Parade of Life

CARTOON PARADE OF CHILDREN-ILLUSTRATIONI was recently asked, “If life is a parade, why would someone want to hop onto your float?”

HUH?

I was struck dumb – which may have been the desired result.  I not only could not come up with an answer to the question, I got all caught up and nervous about what my float would look like, would it have to be visible to other people, was it going to be graded, etc….  I stammered trying to organize my thoughts quickly enough to come up with some self-deprecating rejoinder.  Nothing.  The person asked me to just think about it for a while and get back to him.

Having considered the question for a while, this is the best I could do.

“If life is a parade…”

Well, I guess it sort of is. Every day I march out into the world to do my thing and be myself.

My brain morphed the question to “If life is a parade, why would I want to be on my own float?”  I’ve spent a lot of this parade jumping off my float, being embarrassed by it, feeling like it just doesn’t measure up and being grateful when I’m invited to hop on someone else’s float.  On other’s floats, I have invariably found that what looks very attractive and inviting before I hop on turns out, from a closer vantage point, to be an artful, carefully constructed facade .  Up there, I see all the glue, feathers and crepe paper – objects designed to obscure and charm.  I’m certain my float, up close, is no different.

When I decide to jump off one of those floats, get kicked off or crowded out, I am initially reluctant to return to my own.  It seems foreign – mediocre and lacking. I am painfully aware of all the draping, soft lighting, smoke and mirrors I’ve employed to create it. It isn’t perfect but when I regain my bearings, I realize, in spite of the visible dents and dings and the attempts to cover them, it’s not so bad. It’s mine and it’s home. I’ll have reflect a bit more on making my float a place I want to stay; that, I think, will help to answer the question originally asked.

float

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