Wednesday, December 01, 2010

In Defense of Frivolity

I've been thinking a lot about frivolity lately. In some ways, I've devoted my life to it's pursuit. I've struggled long and hard against my love of it, because it seems to be so empty headed, and I am neither simple, nor dull.

I am aware of how my life appears to others. Someone recently said of Eric and I, "I think they just don't want to work." and another said of my soirées "I feel like I can't come hang- I'm not into all that girly stuff."

Of course, those remarks had the sting of truth. But I also found them misguided.

The word "Frivolity" as defined by Merriam-Websters is quite insulting really:

"Of little weight or importance. Having no sound basis. Lacking in Seriousness. Marked by an unbecoming levity.

Synonyms: fiddling, foolish, unimportant, incidental, inconsequential, inconsiderable, little, Mickey Mouse, minor, minute, negligible, slight, small-fry, trifling, trivial."

Who wants to be "trivial, foolish, unimportant or filled with unbecoming levity"? Not I! And yet, those small, seemingly unimportant things hold an immense draw for me.

I love the intricate pleats on a vintage dress. The elegant unfurling of a palm frond. A steaming cup of tea served with a matching saucer, a tiny silver spoon and a dish of crisp, snow white sugar cubes. I love watching light pour across my kitchen table.

These details may be trivial, but noticing them is not. It is actually a meditation on my precious life.

"God is in the Details."

The more I think about this expression, the more I am impressed by it's truth. You cannot attend to details if you are rushing, distracted or half-hearted. You have to be in the moment, moving methodically and with intention.

And living in the moment, attending to what the moment demands of you brings you to a place of weightlessness, light, levity and fun. Now, where have we heard that before?

Suddenly, frivolity seems to be something I can explore shamelessly with pride and gratitude. It's been a long ride, but I'm glad to have arrived at this conclusion. I'm also curious to know what new lessons await.

What are your thoughts on frivolity? Which details entrance you in your daily life?


tangata said...

Ahh the light princess! Love the edition with Maurice Sendak's illustrations. The story is pretty good too!

Simply Sarah said...

Well said my dear! I try every day to harness your ability to tap into the creative forces around me.... I find it inspiring! Your gift of bringing light and a sense of occasion are one of the many things that draw others to you! We have forgotten the importance of the little details, and when we remember we rush off to some big box store to fill them in... not the same!
So THANK YOU my dear darling for helping us all to remember how simple it is to engage and enjoy all the seemingly meaningless, but so, so important frivolous details!
(I just raided my back yard of holly, fir, cedar and pine and decorated every mantle and vase... so much fun and not a dime spent!)

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