Humor and other diversions

Originally, I thought today’s blog post would be my response to Chad Stafko’s snarky Wall Street Journal article about runners, Okay, you’re a runner. Get over it, but then I read Mark Remy’s hilarious response here in his Remy’s World column at RunnersWorld.com. So I’ll just share the links with you and tell you a different story, though it also has to do with emotions like anger and humor and other things integral in the aforementioned articles. Enjoy! I’m curious to know which article you relate to more.

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My day started off all wrong yesterday. I had gone to bed the night before anxious about an email related to some work I’ve been doing, and the emails started up again early in the morning. Confusing, long emails filled with the “my way is right” subtext.

By 8:30, my breathing was jagged, and my mood was, too. I knew I needed a diversion. I had the perfect thing in mind. Over breakfast, when I would normally be checking email or Facebook, I decided to cull my growing magazine pile and came across an article about an art installation at the local museum. An artist, Tom Shields, had put chairs in trees. You read that right. The magazine article included some great pictures, but this was something I had to see for myself.

I grabbed my camera and plenty of warm layers to combat the chilly wind and headed out the door. On the way to the museum, I bought a salted caramel hot chocolate. There are very few foul moods that a salted caramel hot chocolate can’t make better.

Here was my first look at the little patch of woods, a mini forest of sorts, where the chairs were. I knew they were there but wondered how close I would have to get before seeing them. The title of the installation is Forest for the Chairs, but at first, I was missing the chairs for the forest.

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The camera could see what my eyes could not. Can you see the chairs yet?

ChairOne_2013

A closer look

I felt like I had stepped in Wonderland, or an Escher drawing or maybe even Oz.

Chairtwo_2013

This one actually made me think of a tornado, and how the woods might look scattered with debris.

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Chairs, chairs everywhere, and not a seat to sit

Chairfour_2013

Here’s one waiting for company.

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Shields took apart the chairs to place them in and through and adjoining the trees. In some cases, the tree had holes drilled in them for the chair rungs. In others, like this, Shields cut the chair to fit the trunk.

Chairthree_2013

I love that this red chair serves as foreground for autumn’s golds and scarlets.

ForestfortheChairs_2013

One last look back

As I turned to leave the mini forest, I realized my breathing had returned to a calm, deep inhaling and exhaling. There was nothing jagged or stressful anymore. The place had cured my frustration and sent me away stronger. And stilled.

FallFireTree_2013

Proof that I had noticed the trees, in spite of the chairs

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On my way back to the car, I noticed that Mother Nature had installed her own art on a tree.

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Nature is proof that God loves us.

When I got home, I had a phone message waiting for me from the committee chair of the project. We had a most pleasant conversation, partly because I had spent the morning in a welcome, healing diversion but mostly because he’s so easy to work with. He told me that one of my emails to him the evening before had made him chuckle. And then he said to me, “Humor gets us through these things.”

 Humor gets us through these things.

I laughed. He’s so right. I wrote it down.

Humor – and other diversions – can get us through the moments that leave us wanting to scream or cry or toss our computer out the window. So what diversion will you follow today? Will it be a long walk outside? Maybe a search for chairs in trees? Or something else? I’d love for you to share how diversions cure your bad moods.

3 thoughts on “Humor and other diversions

    • Thanks so much for stopping by the blog! I hope the post inspired lots of visitors to drop by the chair forest. I was just thinking the other day that I need to get back out to the museum to your work again. Best regards to you!

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