Monday, February 18, 2008

creedless

Personal mottos.  This idea fascinates me today.  I heard it first when Oprah asked Jim Carrey what was his.  He said, "I am heaven."  At first he didn't explain it, as if the meaning of that should be obvious.  But there were just way too many directions we could have gone with that, so he finally explained.  He said too many people wait around for heaven to happen someday and be somewhere else, but he reminds himself that it's right here and now.  That's a paraphrase, and I make no comment on his actual motto but merely the awe and amazement I felt that he was able to answer the question.  He first qualified the fact that he has many creeds by which he lives, but that is the one he shared with us, the adoring public.  Can I call us that?  I mean, he's pretty cool.  Anyway . . . 

I am notorious for watching moments like that in an interview and panicking.  What happens in my inevitable someday when I'm in an interview like that and someone asks me that question?! Or more likely, what if someone asks me in the grocery store?  I have no idea what my life creed is.  As the little girl says of the cost of a plane ticket in Sleepless in Seattle, "It changes practically every day."  

Which reminds me that I may not know what my life creed is, but Nora Ephron has probably written it down somewhere.  My MySpace motto is from her as well, "I lead a small life . . . .")

When I downloaded several songs from iTunes the other day, I could have come up with a life motto.  Probably "Give Me Jesus".   There's something about that song - you can have all this world, just give me Jesus.  That one almost always feels true.  But when "Boondocks" came on, I gotta say it felt sorta like my motto too.  I like that I am finally learning to be proud of where I came from.  Another country song I downloaded was "Better Life" by Keith Urban, known in my head as Someday, Baby.  It played quite a bit the year I had cancer, and it was nice to find lighter moments in which we could hope for a future happier than the trial we were in.  I'm a big someday girl.   But I never leave it at that.  I would have to add into my creed something about Living for Today because that's another important one I gleaned from the aforementioned Year with Health Crisis.   

So you see what I mean?  Oprah asks me that question someday and she's going to be staring at the business end of a panic attack.  There's no way I'm pulling it off like Jim did.  Except of course, that I'll be thinking about it from here on out.   Any of you willing to attach yourself to a life creed of some sort?  You can't take "I am heaven".  That's Jim's.   

11 comments:

Kathy N. said...

At the moment, I'm kind of fond of "This too shall pass." It may sound fatalistic. But on a really bad day, it helps me get through. And, it also keeps me from flying so high on a good day that I crash when things get hard again. It kind of keeps me balanced while I live in a word that really will pass away. When I get to Heaven, though, I'm chucking this particular creed at the door!

Another one I like right now is "You may be right." It solves all kinds of problems and totally calms my soul.

As you can see, I have more of a "Creed of the Day" style than a life creed :)

mom

Tracy said...

I think I have a life-creed, but to put it into words that would be Oprah-worthy? That's a lot of pressure! I guess it would go something like this, "Don't search for happiness. Spend your life helping others, and happiness will find you."

AmyB. said...

I like to quote Dory, from Finding Nemo. "Just keep swimmin', just keep swimmin'.) :-)

Matt Bowman said...

I think mine change a lot too; either that or I'm just not very creedal (is that a word?) in my thinking. On the non-creedal side, I like this quote from Jacques Ellul:

"We must be convinced that there are no such things as 'Christian principles.' There is the person of Christ, who is the principle of everything. But if we wish to be faithful to him, we cannot dream of reducing Christianity to a certain number of principles (though this is often done), the consequences of which can be logically deduced. This tendency to transform the work of the living God into a philosophical system is the contant temptation of theologians..."

On the creedal side, I guess I would say that I think it is everyday mundane things that matter most. Getting up in the morning, breathing in and out, preparing and sharing a meal, washing the dishes, being overwhelmed by the bare branches of a tree, reading to a child--these things are sacraments, miraculous and full of grace.

Felicity said...

A dark red plaque hangs in my kitchen that says three simple words in gold lettering:

Faith, Family, Friends.

That pretty well sums up my priorities in life.

And on those inevitable nights when I tuck in my kids and they are fussy or unsettled, I hear myself saying (from the movie Chicken Little, I'm pretty sure):

Tomorrow is a brand new day!

ORION said...

I actually was asked a question similar to this on live radio (thank goodness for that 7 second delay)
It's similar to Dory's in Nemo...
you just gotta live life...

Kim Stagliano said...

Hi - popped in from Orion. Hmmm, life creed? I'll draw from Stevie Nicks. "You can not know the dream until you've known the nightmare."

K

Amy said...

Hi - believe it or not, I popped in from Kim Stagliano. Isn't the internet amazing? I just spent time reading your archives. You are very eloquent. I feel like such a "peeping tom" when I read stranger's blogs! But it was so good, I could not stop. Thanks for the entertainment!

My creed? "It is what it is...what are you gonna do?" but I also like "Have a Coke and a smile" because, well, Coke makes me smile. Problems fizz away with a Coke.

Roger & Andrea said...

After having been through the last month--It is what it is--has proven factual more than once.
Just keep swimming! :)
Andrea

Roger & Andrea said...

Wow there are some deep thinkers here--I have't given it that much thought as life seems so fluid lately. I'm still here though, and reading you every time you write. Thanks for making me laugh--out loud sometimes.
P.S. I am directing people to your blog from ours. :)

cindi said...

"Love wins" has to be mine, but I can't say that its original... I assimilated it from Rob