Riffing on a Fortune Cookie

wpid-20150419_055349.jpgI like fortune cookies.  To be clear, it’s not the cookies I like so much but the fortunes inside.  They’re fun.  I love that moment of anticipation as you prepare to pop it open and wonder what it’s going to say.  And afterward you can do that thing where you add “…in bed” or “…in jail” to the end of the message and make it funny.

(Pro Tip: When you order Chinese delivery they always give you way more cookies than you need.  Save them up so that next time you have people over for dinner you can give everybody a cookie at the end of the meal.)

Like all life’s experiences, opening a fortune cookie is what you make it.   I once got a message that said I was a true friend.  That message helped me realize that I wasn’t being such a good friend to someone.  If you want to learn things — here’s a shocker — you have to listen.  A fortune cookie can be the first sentence of a conversation with yourself.  Open one.  Read it.  Ask yourself if the message is appropriate, true, or possible.

On Saturday I got the message you see above: “Keep on charging the enemy so long as there is life.”  And yes, I added “…in bed” to the end.  Not so funny.  But when I thought about it, it came to me that the enemy is me.

Lately I’ve been following my writing and workout routines in a mechanical way.  I haven’t been taking joy in simple things.  In this context, “charging the enemy” means that I need to continuously challenge myself to be relaxed, open, and receptive.  I need to switch off my autopilot and engage the controls.

Without a sense of wonder, life is as dry and lifeless as a somewhat stale, vaguely sweet, mass-produced cookie in a plastic bag.  But when your sense of wonder is fully in gear, inside every experience there is a mystery, a joy, and a pleasure.

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