Saturday, January 29, 2011

Charlie Brown (And Simple Joy)

I love this boy:

I love his round head and his shoes that look like weather-beaten footballs with the air leaking out.

I love how he holds his face in his small hands when the world of "Wah, wah wah wah" is just too complicated to handle.

I love his deep talks with Linus (and Linus' blanket) on that brick wall that never moves, never changes.

I love that small smile and his inability to believe in himself (that part? That part right there is me sometimes).

Why? Why write about Charlie Brown in a blog that is so chock full of things about missing DC, about loving friendship and laughter and joy and the whole package of living?

I know. It seems silly.

But I think that's what I wanted to write about him today. Because sometimes we just aren't silly enough. We don't laugh enough. We don't do this:

or this:

And I wanted to say thank you to Charlie Brown, his football mishaps, his love of the little red-haired girl (who inspired my application essay to Princeton University) and most of all that wonderful, exasperated phrase: "Good grief!"

We need simple joy. 

Simply. Joy

Charlie Brown is that for me - he makes me laugh, he reminds me that after all, life is simple - Thanksgiving meals around a ping pong table, the Christmas tree too weak for even one ornament, and the colorful cast of characters in our lives that endear themselves to us over and over until we are ourselves with them, our best selves and our funny selves and our stressed selves. 

We need the laughter that begins in our eyes when we see the joke coming from a long way off, or the slipping and falling into a puddle, or the hilarious attempt to exit a revolving door before the actual entrance. We need the laughter that you can hear down the hallway of the apartment building and into the street, the laughter that bangs around the walls of the dorm rooms and living rooms and cozy fireplace rooms. We need the laughter tenses up our stomach muscles until we almost can't breathe it's just so funny. 

Did you laugh like that today? 

We need simple joy. Simply, joy

And Charlie Brown? Thanks


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