Saturday, August 05, 2006

Comics and Ritual

When I was married I was blessed with a husband who had a really good sense of humor. Among the things we liked to do was share the daily comics. We each had our favorites and managed to work out a way where we could swap pages and not hog them. Occasionally I would cut one out and post it on the fridge as a weekly reminder of humor or the commentary it so jokingly gave on life.

Recently my church showed a series of tapes called "Discovering Everyday Spirituality". These tapes were narrated by Thomas Moore and were very good at reminding me of the things I loved as a child, which spoke of how good my world was back then. The tapes each had a topic. These were story, place, activity, and ritual. In each of these everyday things we can find peace, character, and value for our lives today. How I start my mornings has ritual. It has meaning to me. Until I considered it in light of these videos I had forgotten where I got some of those rituals.

When I was a child my grandmother and I used to sit and read the funny papers (50's lingo for comics) together. It was one of our rituals. Time spent in an activity that we both loved and felt richer for doing together. This was the basis for my sharing comics with my husband. It is the basis for my starting my day with 3 of my favorites online. It has meaning for me beyond the simple act of reading something amusing.

Today I was reading one of my favorites, Rose is Rose, and suddenly thought of that spirituality series. The funny showed Rose going out to find the bag of garbage her husband had been dutifully taking to the trashcan sitting on the ground. As she picked it up and completed the job you saw Jimbo headed off into one of what was no doubt a favorite activity. It was one of mine as a child. He was chasing fireflies. You almost never see these lovely reminders of nature's wonder anymore. The text read, "Fireflies account for almost three percent of 'garbage moment' interruptions." (chuckle) Suddenly I was catapulted back to the time when as a child my parents and grandparents would be sitting in lawn chairs watching my sister and I chase fireflies around the neighbor's yard. There was my place, activity, ritual and story. What a lovely reminder of the spirituality you can find in everyday things.

I took the liberty of printing off that comic to post on a wall I am building of things I want to do and be mindful of. If you have favorite comic strips I hope you get as much joy and history out of them as I do mine.

Peace, Joy and Hope!


Susan Palwick said...

Wow, Lee, what a great post! This really moved me, maybe because I love fireflies too. They're one of the things I really miss about living back East (I don't miss the humidity, the population density, or the lack of mountains, but I miss the fireflies!).

And yes, our personal rituals are deeply spiritual, even if they seem to have nothing to do with God. But then, I think everything's deeply spiritual, when you get right down to it, because God's everywhere.

Lee said...

Thanks Susan. Yes, I miss the fireflies too. A friend tells me her yard, which is out in the country, has them and her children love chasing them.

Isn't it amazing how tiny things can bring the most amazing responses. I think that is part of what makes life so memorable.

Andrew McAllister said...

You're right, humor can be such an important part of a relationship. You'd probably enjoy an article called Do Guys Like Funny Girls?.

Andrew McAllister said...

Hi again Lee,
Thanks so much for dropping over to "To Love, Honor and Dismay" and for leaving such a complimentary comment. I truly appreciate it. And I agree, humor can really defuse a tense moment if used appropriately.

Sandi McBride said...

Fireflies...or lightening bugs as we call them here in the South. I still love them, love sitting on the porch in late May and watching them light up the woods. Lovely post

Lee said...

Yep, we called them lightning bugs when I was a child too. I envy you your view of them on summer evenings. Maybe I'll have a yard again someday to watch them in. City life takes so many of the simple pleasures out of the world. Thanks, Sandi!


San said...

Hi, Lee.

I'm glad you included this oldie-but-goodie post, since I'd never read it. It reminded me of my own morning ritual of brewing coffee and savoring the aroma, while I walk through the house, opening the blinds. It IS spiritual.

We don't seem to have fireflies, or lightning bugs, where I live. But I loved sighting them when I was younger.

Lee said...

Thank you, San. I'm glad you liked it and have your own early morning ritual. I miss fireflies too. Apparently they are still alive and doing well in the countryside. Thank God!