Do you remember Gumby? It was a bit before my time, honestly, but the Gumby Revival happened during the 80’s and I do remember that. Why it was ever popular was a mystery to me. I mean, it was a big misshapen piece of clay that moved jerkily around the screen. I didn’t get it. Until now. I have had an epiphany, or at least a weird idea….
Gumby, I’ve decided, is actually a representation of all of us. We are all just big hunks of clay waiting to be shaped into something better. Some of us stay a lumpy mess, while other become a finely chisled shape of desirability. Now, before you think I’m talking about physical fitness, let me tell you that is not what I mean. I know, when I mention finely chisled you all instantly thought of Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds, and frankly, I did too, but that is not where I’m headed. I’m talking about personality and character and all that mumbo jumbo goolash that goes with it.
It seems that every person we interact with has an effect on our lumpy clay. Sometimes they punch a nice deep hole in it and other times they brush against us and add a bit of texture. We can’t really help but being affected by others, cuz we’re clay. We can work and try to smooth out those punch holes, fill them in with more clay or cover them up with clay we pull from another part of us, or we may leave them gaping open for the world to see. It just becomes who we are.
The part of this Gumby mess we don’t always think about is the effect we have on others. Just like everyone else has an effect on us, we leave bits of our own clay where ever we go. We punch other people’s clay and rub against them and leave our mark. Unintentionally sometimes, we find a lump of clay we think would look better, be better, be happier if we took it upon ourselves to ‘shape it’ a bit. We push and pull and punch and rub and ‘knead’ it until it is just how we think it should be. We feel good about our efforts. We stand back and look a the masterpiece we have created and realize, it isn’t what it once was. It isn’t the same clay ball. We no longer feel like we knead or want to be with it because the mystery and characteristic little lumps are all smoothed out and its….different. We ruined it.
The thing is, that ball of lumpy clay was never ours to reshape. We really only have the job of shaping one ball of clay and that is the ball we are in. Try a we might, we are clay. We may affect others, but we are not the sculptor. What we really need to do is to find a lump of clay that rolls smoothly beside ours, one that can rub against us and us against it without leaving punch marks. One that can keep it’s shape while letting us keep ours. One that can morph and grow and develop along side of us without losing itself or making us lose ourselves in the process.
Gumby and Pokey….the perfect relationship model for our day…..cause I said so.