Friday, May 27, 2011


At my cousin's graduation this evening, I was struck once again by how boring graduations are for those not participating in them and how even for the graduates the hype is greater than the true excitement. It's a strange phenomenon, this. The grand events of our lives are never as exciting as we're taught to expect them to be. Proms, graduations, weddings. Perhaps they would be more special if we didn't obsess over them so much. They lose their magic by being pushed over the edge into triteness and the land of unrealistic expectations.

Maybe that's why the tiny moments of pure bliss are so blissful: They're not cheapened by overemphasis. They spring up at us, and we are able to take true delight in them because by having no expectations, they exceed all expectations.

I am by no means promoting cynicism. I am simply lamenting a few sad facts surrounding what are meant to be the greatest moments of our lives. We build them up so much beforehand, we put so much pressure on them to be extraordinary, that there is no way they can even reach the bar. They appear to fall flat, so their true greatness passes by unnoticed. We're so busy watching the precise zenith of the sky that we fail to notice the shooting star just above the horizon.

You can't manufacture enchantment. Don't try to force excitement or enjoyment. Subtly craft a favorable environment, then step back and watch the magic happen.

Um...somewhere in there I think I stopped talking about graduations and starting thinking about how much anxiety there is around weddings. Then my mind wandered off completely into some mystical realm with stars and moonlight and glowing fairies and tall grasses and trees with scratchy bark and heady aromas and garlands of flowers and...

Listening to: "Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison
Reading: Inkheart by Cornelia Funk

1 comment:

  1. I followed right along with you, but I disagree slightly. I completely concur with the overhyping of both prom and graduation (neither of which I particularly enjoyed, except singing with my best friend for our graduation. Prom was a waste). But weddings....I LOVE weddings! Yes, there's a lot of expectations, but they can meet them! My best friend got married last November, and it was wonderful. It did live up to the expectations - and she keeps saying she wishes she could get married every day (to the same man) because it was so wonderful. It's where you put the emphasis of those expectations, I guess. :)