I am just a fool at heart

I was standing in line at the bank the other day, clueless to the world around me.
I was fidgeting with my wallet and the ever-growing stash of old receipts and slips of paper in the coin purse.
Some of those little notes contained chicken scratch ideas for my column and other spur-of-the-moment writing thoughts.
If you ever come across a slip of paper on Scott Street scribbled with: “Remnants of the Dead Sea in a bath salt package. It looked dead, was green as mint-flavored Listerine and it smelled like Vicks” and “Did you know that at minus 47C (-53 F) you could pound a nail into a two by four with a banana?”—just give me a call and I’ll come pick it up.
The woman in front of me at the bank turned around and said “Hi” as I came out of my little bubble realizing we knew each other. I returned the greeting and in the microsecond that followed, my intuition was shadowed with a dark foreboding.
She was one of my column readers and I hadn’t published anything for more than two weeks.
?I saw it coming from 20 light years away. I held my breath.
“You’re all dried up, are ya’?” she asked, sporting a crafty smile.
Okay. This is where I met myself at the fork in the road of responses. How was I supposed to answer that?
“Yes, as the matter fact I am” or “No, I’m just saving all the good stuff up for next time.”
All I could do was tilt my head back and cackle in nervous laughter, and hope that everyone behind me knew what she was talking about as the words, “No, no, no, no,” tumbled from my lips.
Then I wanted to jump into my protection suit and explain to her that my absenteeism in the newspaper was due to my “original thinking, needing plenty of time to let ideas percolate before taking action, highly-focused, perfectionist” personality.
And I would not have been lying.
However, as my soul sister, Norma Jean, pointed out Monday morning (when I was lamenting to her that nothing was happening in my neck of the woods that warranted writing about) I could call on my wisdom fairies.
As it turns out, mine were busy clearing cobwebs upstairs so Steven Colbert stepped in to save the day.
“Don’t be afraid to be a fool. Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics.
“Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us.
“Cynics always say no. But saying yes begins things. Saying yes is how things grow. Saying yes leads to knowledge.
“‘Yes’ is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say yes.”

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