“Well, Jane, is just goes to show ya. It’s always somethin’! If it’s not one thing, it’s another!” Roseanne Roseannadanna: Saturday Night Live, 1975-1980
If you’re old enough, you remember Gilda Radner and her iconic character, Roseanne Roseanadanna. Radner was a genius comedian. Her memorable characters had us laughing until our sides hurt when Saturday Night Live emerged in 1975 with its irreverent sketches and once-in-a-lifetime comedy team. The quote above is probably Roseanne Roseannadanna’s best remembered line, and amidst Gilda’s hilarious hairdo and nasal voice, she spoke truth.
It really is always “something.” It is true that “if it’s not one thing, it’s another!” The “somethings” and the “anothers” may change, but they are always in the midst of life just waiting to show up.
The thing that lay in the background was that Gilda – and therefore, Roseanne Roseannadanna – knew how to fly! Wasn’t she a joy? She did it first by just naming those one-thing-or-another danged problems and facing the fact that they’re always a part of life. My favorite: What are ya gonna do if you’ve cut all your fingernails and you find you have a big bugger hanging in your nose? Weighty problems, my friends!!
Obviously, we have more weighty problems than hanging buggers, but the theory is the same. We begin by naming them. By complaining them. We have been naming them – and complaining them! They’re real and we have had no choice but to face them. We’ve found a myriad of ways to do just that and we’ve been surprised by how we’ve made our way through some that seemed like just one too many.
We’ve found out that we’re stronger than we knew! And when that happens, we are ready in a new way for the next “something” that will arrive. When that happens, we have learned – again – how to fly!
And you know what I think has been happening? We’ve been adjusting. Getting used to the new “things” that have turned our worlds upside down. We always do. We adjust – and go on – made new again in even very small ways, and finding the lightness of wings.
We’ve been learning how to let go, even a bit, of the weight of the pandemic on our spirits. How to be alone. How to shop. How to be safe. How to engage in new pursuits like reading, playing games as a family, learning a new craft or studying a favorite subject. How to withstand isolation and make it a friend for now. How to be gently in each others’ lives from afar. How to live a bit more gently with our fears and complaints.
We’ve been learning how to let go of some of the things that have weighed us down. How to fly again!
And it has happened just in time. The world is on fire again, and new weight has arrived. It is very heavy indeed.
If we can carry into it some of the lightness of our new ability to fly, we shall adjust again to the new world that will emerge. It will be very hard, too. But we know now that it is possible.
You see (above) my latest endeavor with calligraphy paints and Washi tape. What you don’t know is that I accidentally landed the side of my hand in the wet ink at the beginning of the third line. (“There’s always something!”) The word, “that,” was a gloppy mess! I almost threw it out as a failure. But I noticed something. I realized that I could cover the sloppy mess with a banner of matching tape because there was room for the word, “that,” at the end of the second line.
Then I realized that there was also room for a second banner below it, before the author’s name. Ha! Something new came out of the mess!
Seeing that “there’s always something,” naming and complaining it, finding an adjustment, and creating something new that is even more interesting than the original! That’s flying, friends! Maybe even grace.
(You can catch some RR on YouTube. Search for “It’s always something.” Click on roseannadanna, and you’ll see her segment on Weekend Update on Smoking!) That’s the best this non-techie could come up with for access…get ready to laugh right away!