We will put sugar or salt on food to make an otherwise bland dish to make it desirable to eat. We will do this just to add a twist on taste, for the order of experiencing something different. We will paint our houses. We will paint our cars, for the sake of making these parts of a necessary life the personal slice of freedom. And this freedom will be in the shape, smell, feel and sound of the source to which these senses can be drawn. Whether we are painting yellow lilies on the lawnmower with a brush or pounding nails into some section of the gun-metal-colored tree house, there is a living extension of our want to clothe the physical environment and be able to say “Now it’s not so bad!”
This effort can pay off a hundred times over. To make changes in color and form not only stimulates the senses, but it also lends to an awareness of personal control. We each have many opportunities to defy the limitations of conformity expected by the collective bodies. There’s no law against wearing a shirt made of silky white butterfly wings. And no one can truly enforce his or her distaste for earrings fashioned from wet spaghetti loops. But of course, this kind of change is limited to time, expenses, space and muscle. At some point even the super-quick move to switch applications on our electronic devices fall prey to the encroaching duties that need the fingers, hands, feet and attention elsewhere.
Let’s not forget that even when walking the dog or waiting in line at the bank, there is an avenue for further manipulations of our realities. For anything to manifest and take form in what we can see, feel and touch, there must a mental picture available for reference. What about the revenge fantasy taking place in the form of red-hot, anger-driven obscenities, dished forcefully towards the last person to offend who made an offensive gesture? Obviously, this a challenge that still needs attention. The fact that this comes to mind while waiting for something to do is clearly an item on the adventurous list of “yet to do.” Or how many times can a bedroom be painted a different color before the in-laws decide to quit encroaching upon ready-made plans and the character of a marriage. Those words spoken and the events which have happened of which we each feel disagreeable, are going to circulate in thought and continue to recur until the issue is made peace with.
The good news lies in the nature of the revisiting inner arguments and pissing contests that we let live for free in our heads. A mental picture is the property of the person. It is his or her own to play with and put different angles on. Just as true it is that a sculptor can mold a piece of clay the way he sees in his mind, any person can apply a desired response to the insulting bully. We can do anything to a snapshot of the usual social exchange. Who says that anyone of us has to keep saying “Okay” when the childish older brother makes snide remarks on the other end of the phone. It is possible to drop the passive response and paste in a healthier statement such as “You have two minutes to speak the facts, before I move on to something else.”