Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Put Down the Duckie

"Put Down the Duckie" is one of my favorite Sesame Street songs. If you listen to a little of this clip, you'll see why. (If you have five minutes to spare, listen to the whole thing. It's a star-studded trip through the late 80's.) Ernie gets great advice: "You gotta put down the Duckie if you wanna play the saxophone." Ernie wants to play the saxophone: I want to ski, hike uphill, and sit cross-legged on the floor. After years of inactivity and too much good food, I'm on a diet, trying to learn a new way to eat and exercise.

I love reading, writing, conversation, going to the theater, and drawing. I find these activities deeply engaging, recreational in the best sense of the word, and I hate the word sedentary---where would the world be if Jane Austen had been into extreme sports? I know that other people find physical activity satisfying in ways I don't understand. My partner Garden Girl builds stone walls and digs ponds for fun, then returns to the house sweaty, muddy and triumphant. I don't get it, but I want to. (Well, maybe not dirt part.)

I love to share a meal with my family and friends. Everything from planning the menu to the last candlelit moments lingering at the table is a pleasure to me. Even the clean-up is a chance to continue the conversation or reflect on the evening. I love to go to the market and find a great new cheese or splurge on wild king salmon. I love to see my children make old family recipes. I love fine dining and beautiful cookbooks.

I want to join my skiing, bike-riding, soccer-playing family, but to get there I must put aside the familiar and beloved habits I've acquired, at least for a little while, and learn a new way of being. It's not a matter of just eating moderately and exercising a little, I have to change the way I view myself in the world. I've got to put down the duckie so I can learn to play the saxophone.

5 comments:

Garden Girl said...

The things you love make life a wonderful experience. I love you and your duckie.

Diane said...

thank you for inspirational tune, images and message! Indeed...you only have to "put down the duckie" for a little while... to start a new activity.

This is inspiring to me, too.

I'm not a great cook, but yes to all the other things you named, reading, writing, reflecting, etc.

Sista Cala said...

...and a little child shall lead...

Amazing the things we can learn from a children's show. Guess that means we still have plenty of room to grow and change.

Barbara B. said...

cool clip! :)

mompriest said...

Oh, I love all those things too...a good night of entertaining is priceless. But, I entered my early 20's as a dancer, involved with a runner, hiker, cross country ski kinda person. so, soon "exercise" was a part of every day life. Especially bike riding. I found a way to include "exercise" with my need to get to work...

well, that made "exercise" more fun and, well, worth while, a kind of personal sense of "justice" and good for the environment. I rode my bike to work for years, about 8 miles each way...now, I can hardly believe it...but I did.

Of course then, I was in my early 20's...now I'm 50. So. well exercise is a different issue - how can I squeeze it into everything else I "have" to do...and I only have to walk across church property to get to work - since I work at a small church, I can just work from home...

sorry I'm so long winded, just brought out memories...