A Million Little Dots

Welcome to Wild Card Wednesday.  In light of the season, I’ve decided to repost a blog I wrote for a Life List Club Friday back in July.  I’ve done some minor rewrites, but the message is the same.

Each new year is a stew of retrospect, dreams, and strategy.  The key to success is finding the proper balance of  each element.  Dreams grease the wheels of strategy; however, retrospect is the map we consult before we embark on any great journey.

In overview, our life experiences look similar to the method Georges-Pieree Seurat used to create Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges-Pierre Seurat

Seurat used a painting method called pointillism in Sunday Afternoon.  To get this effect, Seurat painted tiny dots of contrasting color.  From afar, all these dots create the optical illusion of a single hue.

I saw first saw this painting while viewing Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  Sunday Afternoon is one of the paintings Ferris and his friends view in the Chicago Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Watch the scene here:

[Fun Factoid: The music in the background is an instrumental of “Please, Please, Please Let me Get What I Want,” which was originally recorded by The Smiths.  The instrumental version in the video is performed by The Dream Academy.]

Back in 1986, when I first saw Ferris Bueller’s day off, I didn’t quite understand the magnitude of all those little dots in Mr. Seurat’s painting.  I was too young, too unweathered by life.

Just like each of those little dots is a vital part of the painting, each of our experiences–good and bad–is a part of us.  Take out a whole section of those little dots and, well, it’s a different painting…or life.

My first Kindle purchase was 11/22/63 by Stephen King.  In short, it is about time travel and the effect our actions have on the world around us.  I liken taking away a section of “bad” life dots to some of the changes Jake Epping made in his travels between 2011 and the Land of Ago.

In Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Cameron spends the entire movie finding himself.   He realizes that bad experiences and hard lessons are sometimes worth living through.  It only takes Cameron a couple of hours to realize what most of us spend a lifetime learning.

That is, we are the sum of our experiences and life is what we make of it.

Ferris Bueller appealed to so many people because we all have that childlike love of life and willingness to dare within us.  We related to Cameron, though, because he represented how badly things can go.  The goal–I guess–is to combine hope and experience to plan the next chapter in life.


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