I’m not a big one for New Year’s resolutions, but I do find myself at the beginning of each new year, thinking about my major life themes; such as how about 15 years ago I decided to stop taking myself so seriously and try being a Fool instead.
Why a Fool? Because The Fool questions the norms, and is not tempted by the comfort that comes of conforming. Questioning the norms peels away the cataracts that can cloud one’s view of life. Clarity is such a high.
The Fool gives herself permission to do scary things. Like be authentic. This is a circular gift; you have to risk authenticity to be a Fool, but being a Fool makes you more authentic. Of course, the risk is not as great as it may seem. Authenticity is ultimately liberating, because it’s a huge time-and-anxiety saver.
To the extent that ‘what is true’ and ‘what is desired’ are not the same, The Fool gives herself license to seek only what is true. Truth-seeking can be messy and baffling, and is often confused with trouble-making. Causing trouble is not the Fool’s objective, but she doesn’t shy away from it either.
A Fool knows that each new day is a leap into the unknown, and that all the work we do to wrap ourselves in conventionality merely masks this fact. So every day she practices jumping joyfully into the abyss, slowly but surely perfecting the art of living a life without fear.
A Fool maintains her optimism, not because she doesn’t see the negatives, but because living a life focused on them is no life at all.
The Fool traipses among life’s complexities looking for themes and common threads rather than easy answers. It’s why she always looks like she’s dancing, bobbing, and weaving, and she likes the way it makes the bells on her cap jingle.
It takes a lot of time to become a true Fool. Perhaps more time than I’ve got. But I’m finally getting the steps and the rhythm down, and believe I may be on my way.