Once In A While – My Walter Mitty Musings

“Once in a while”; the quote and lyrics of the song were floating around in my head yesterday, then I ended the evening with watching The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The two things flow together in ways that probably only matter to me, in a semi-lazy summer afternoon, flowing into the evening kind of way. Or those spring days when the smell of all things growing come out. The hibernation of winter is leaving us and excitement starts to build.

I’m not on any grand adventure right now. But I am not just sitting around waiting for life to happen. I think I’ve lived a very Walter Mitty life, at least the first part. Not very adventurous or exciting, though I have been rather content in it. But my current life is Walter taking off on a plane to Greenland to find Sean O’Connell. It’s Walter skateboarding down the road in Iceland. That image I have over there in the sidebar of inspiring images….. This one

I’m in this building excitement in my life as I sit down and plot and plan desserts that are, while not awe-inspiring, are something that brings the person eating it utter delight.

That mouthful of something sweet and chocolatey that make the person just ‘um, yum’. A crunch, a bite, a smile of delight.

“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”

      -The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

The quote always makes me think of the William Blake line. “To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour.” It’s from Auguries of Innocence. I always loved that line. The magic in it. And Walter Mitty is a pretty magical film. Especially from a writer’s standpoint. The thing makes me cry every time it ends because of the delight in it. I feel like I’ve written about this before. Those déjà vu moments.

Last night it smelled like earthworms outside. Maybe they are coming forth. The blackbirds are in the trees, the rain falls softly, the snow hits the mountains so much wetter. There is that impatience in the air. We are in the cusp of a change. Dawn has come, open your eyes….. from Stay Alive by Jose Gonzalez.

Last year I was so impatient and in love with someone. I was struggling with all aspects of that. The chaos and clambering of my heart and mind. I wrote so much. I was so frustrated with all that didn’t come from what I wanted, to what transpired. A hell of several proportions that even now I haven’t completely let go. I guess falling in love with someone does that. Even now I wonder how I can say I fell in love with someone that wasn’t right for me. But that seems to be how things happen. Ironically, maybe that I write this after reading a line from “Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell”, from the  Ravenous Butterflies Facebook page…. (Check it out)

“leaving is not enough; you must
stay gone. train your heart
like a dog. change the locks
even on the house he’s never
visited. you lucky, lucky girl.
you have an apartment
just your size. a bathtub
full of tea. a heart the size
of Arizona, but not nearly
so arid. don’t wish away
your cracked past, your
crooked toes, your problems
are papier mache puppets
you made or bought because the vendor
at the market was so compelling you just
had to have them. you had to have him.
and you did. and now you pull down
the bridge between your houses.
you make him call before
he visits. you take a lover
for granted, you take
a lover who looks at you
like maybe you are magic. make
the first bottle you consume
in this place a relic. place it
on whatever altar you fashion
with a knife and five cranberries.
don’t lose too much weight.
stupid girls are always trying
to disappear as revenge. and you
are not stupid. you loved a man
with more hands than a parade
of beggars, and here you stand. heart
like a four-poster bed. heart like a canvas.
heart leaking something so strong
they can smell it in the street.”
-Marty McConnell

Wow, those lines hit hard and I want to take a massive step back and look at things from a different perspective.

It’s a new dawn. Life continues to hustle along. I’m Walter Mitty-ing it along. An adventure around every corner, in every baked delight, in every Instagram followed post.


Walter Mitty is My Soulmate

Yeah, this pretty much sums up what's going on in my brain. I can be in one place physically, but mentally on a mountain.

Yeah, this pretty much sums up what’s going on in my brain. I can be in one place physically, but mentally on a mountain.

Okay, the title might be a smidge misleading since I can’t say as I would want to be married to Walter Mitty.  More like we are simpatico, or twins, or could be really good friends.

I, like Walter, am a dreamer. I have been forever accused of daydreaming my life away, much to my mother’s disgust, dismay, and all around annoyance. Trust me, the years of home schooling were not either one of our friends. (So glad that’s over with.) I daydream so much I have my Pinterest and Tumblr accounts with the word daydream in them. I am a very active daydreamer.

Give me a tedious project and I will be fantasizing the time away. Mulching the yard is really good for this form of what I like to call ‘writing in my mind’. I plot, organize and ‘write’ little things in my head as I’m working. I have plotted out whole scenarios of my characters, then promptly forget them when I go to write them down. Mind writing isn’t quite conducive to actually writing. Not that that will ever stop me. I must daydream.

I blame just being a writer. Give me a picture, a song, a phrase, a weather pattern, a movie, a dance routine, a smell, (I could keep going) and I can write something about it. It might not be good, but I can write away.

I can’t say as I’ve ever been accused of zoning out like Walter Mitty, but I can fantasize right there with him. And just like Walter, I haven’t done a ton of exciting things. I lead a very ordinary life, in my opinion. Granted, my interests would fill out an Eharmony page much walter-mittybetter than his…. And I’ve actually done almost every dating website out there. Not that they have actually worked in my favor. But that’s neither here nor there.

I should also mention that I’m thinking mostly in terms of Ben Stiller as the new Walter Mitty, though I happen to be an absolute fan of Danny Kaye as the original. Both stories are entirely different and both quite wonderful. If you haven’t seen either film, you must. Both of them. Right now. Go. I’ll wait.

For some reason, Ben Stiller riding the skateboard down the mountain in Iceland has become a new inner inspiration to write. (I just saw the film a couple days ago, so the inspiration is really, really new).walter-mitty-3But I think the two of us could be great friends.

Have you ever watched a film, read a book, or seen something fictional that you feel the character could be your best friend? Your soulmate?  Tell me who they were and why. I’d love to know.

Signing off


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