candy from a stranger

ImageWould you take candy from a stranger?  No?  Well, what about on Halloween?  Then I bet you would.  Even the parental warning to ‘never take candy from a stranger’ has an exception to the rule.

I made edible street art out of candy the other day, and I’m hoping that my neighbors ate the entire wall over the past 48 hours.  The project made me wonder if my neighbors would hesitate before taking candy from a stranger.  Maybe you think they should refrain altogether, but, dear reader, I don’t.  If you’ll take candy from a stranger on Halloween, you can eat a street mural made of gumdrops and starbursts.

Today, I’m setting out to dispel the notion that we shouldn’t accept candy from a stranger.  Why, you ask?  It’s all about possibility.  I believe that a stranger is more likely to give you a sweet treat than something deadly.  Don’t you agree? I suppose there is no guarantee, but isn’t that just indicative of life itself?
I believe we need to seek out the unexpected. Make room for whimsy, if you will.  We take a chance each time we interact with a stranger (we can’t be sure of their motives or temperament ), but we also open ourselves up to the possibility that they make us laugh, share a great story, or, potentially, become a friend.

“I used to feel so alone in the city. All those gazillions of people and then me, on the outside. Because how do you meet a new person? I was very stunned by this for many years. And then I realized, you just say, “Hi.” They may ignore you. Or you may marry them. And that possibility is worth that one word.” — Augusten Burroughs

I believe that taking risks and making experiments allow you to life a creative life.  Risks backfire, best intentions fail, and we don’t always achieve what we strive for.  But the negative outcomes make the best stories.   And as for me, I would rather be a dazzling failure than sitting in my rocking chair wishing I had taken chances.  For me, the hope or possibility that the risks are worth the reward is enough to take the leap of faith.

When the stakes are high, the challenge is great, and it’s easy to shy away from the opportunity.  But what then? All is lost.  You might seek and fail, but if you don’t seek, you will fail without doubt. And so, dear reader, I advise you take a risk today.  Perhaps start by taking candy from a stranger.  If strangers aren’t handing out candy, then find another risk – something closer to your heart, and see where it leads you.
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The best part of this random act of happiness wasn’t the candy or the laugher, it was working with Justina Louise.  Justina is an ah-may-zing wedding photographer in the Twin Cities, and she took the day off work to be silly with me.  Check out her work, and say hello — she’s lovely!

graffiti mural in downtown minneapolis

Graffiti art has been on my bucket list for a while, so I decided to make an abstract mural with permanent marker on my favorite white wall in the city.
Just kidding!

Did I getcha? 😉

What I actually did today was write letters to strangers on the backside of colorful construction paper, and then turned the notes into paper airplanes.  I placed the colorful planes around the University of Minnesota campus.
The idea is that a stranger will take the plane out of the tree, and then the letter inside will come be a surprise.  A  discovery, of sorts.  Each letter is unique, and talks vaguely about the importance of taking chances.  When I was in college, I wasn’t entirely sure that studying art history was the greatest choice, but I had faith that the dots would connect down the line.  And you know what? Everything worked out better than I could have imagined.  Nothing at all went according to plan, however.

But still, the message that I wanted to share was simply to be patient, continue to follow your dreams, and don’t be afraid to take a risk.
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageIsn’t the view of the city from the UofM bridge gorgeous?
The bridge leads right to the art museum, and so, being me, I wandered into the galleries to see some art:
ImageImageImageImageImageAnd speaking of notes, have you seen the Disney short film The Paperman? It’s a ‘must see’ if you have 90 seconds: 

And just because this post is so quirky, I made you this: