My New Definition of Worthwhile
Last night, we stood in line with hordes of parade goers, waiting for the ‘’Tit R~x Parade to get underway. In my hand I held a hastily-constructed stand of tiny spectators, proportionately appropriate for the tiny floats making up the parade that parodies the grandaddy of all Mardi Gras parades, the Krewe of Rex. I’d read that the creator of the ‘Tit R~x Micro-Krewe was overjoyed by parade participants who created tiny dolls to view his petite parade. I wanted him to know I loved his parade, so I brought the Bywater Bystanders with their homemade sign: “Throw me something, Mister!”
After a long wait, finally, down the street trundled the shoe-box sized floats. Fully lit, mechanized, replete with elaborate detail—the floats mesmerized. I held out my offering. “Tiny spectators for the tiny floats,” I repeated, and was rewarded with throws so small the marchers had to carefully place them in my hand. Kneeling, I let the Bywater Bystanders view the rolling floats. Beside me, a guy vroomed! his toy cars. “Me, me, me!” he beeped. “Parade traffic,” he explained.
Inspired by the parade and our visit the day before to the Backstreet Museum to view the elaborate Mardi Gras Indian costumes, I’ve decided my new, highest standard of life will be that no effort counts unless just about everyone in the world will think it counts for nothing.
From now on, my only legitimate aspiration will be to expend untold amounts of my limited self on a project, a task, an undertaking, a something incredibly important to me and probably no one else. I will strive to get it exactly right, to care about the minute details, to lose myself in something I cannot count on one person validating along the way. I will act knowing from the outset that the world won’t care, won’t understand, or—like the other tourists at the Backstreet Museum gazing at the colorful, intricately hand-sewn costumes that take up to a year to create only to be worn for one season, then set aside—will repeat in a voice that clearly objects: “worn only once?”
This is my new definition of worthwhile. To wit: nothing is really worthwhile unless it is a totally extravagant, unjustifiable expression of the spirit that no one will understand except your tribe.
here’s to creative synthesis . . .