Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Humble Acorn

You know how it is. Sometimes you just run out of ideas to blog about. So, during one of these void-in-the-brain episodes, I asked a friend to give me a random word and I would write a post about it. She said,

"Oh, I don't know.......... acorn."

And the void was quickly filling in with all kinds of random thoughts.

I thought I could tell you about the beautiful photo I recently saw on the front cover of a book with a new tree sprouting out of a split acorn. It was exquisite. And I will always wonder how the photographer captured that gem. Was it a set up? Or did someone actually stumble upon this miracle in the natural world?

I could tell you how funny it was that just a few days after I was offered this word, it showed up on a license plate on the car in front of me. Why would someone have the word acorn on their license plate??? What are the chances that I would happen to see it?

I could tell you stories about this sweet little squirrel (portrait above) who I made friends with during a trip to Long Beach last year.

I could talk about something deep and profound. The symbolism of the acorn. New beginnings and such.

But really, I shamelessly admit that all I can think about is the poor little critter and his relentless quest to attain his most precious beloved, yet elusive acorn in this scene from Ice Age 2. I saw this in a packed theater some time ago and had one of those torturous moments where I could not hold in my laughter. The scene wasn't even the funniest scene, but at that moment, for me and no one else, it became unbearably funny. When everyone else stopped laughing, I found myself suffocating, trying desperately to hold it in which makes you feel like you are going to burst into an embarrassing explosion of furious laughter, drawing unwanted attention to yourself.

We've all had them.
My favourite is when you see a newsperson trying to keep it together during a live broadcast. And the harder he tries to stay serious, the more likely it is that he is going to fall apart. If he only had the freedom to just get it out, the humour would quickly fade and normalcy would take it's rightful place once again.

Nothing is more agonizing than trying to supress an outburst when it is not appropriate to laugh. It's kind of like being tickled. A seemingly good feeling that is SO VERY NOT!

All of this over an innocent, unassuming little acorn.


  1. I love this idea...I think I'll go find a stranger on the street and after buying him a cup of coffee, I'll ask for a random word....
    now how fun would that be ?
    can you imagine what word he might come up with ?
    but if he said the word "help" that would make me sad and then I will have wished I just asked my son for a word, instead of a stranger.....

    by the way, this is what happens when I think...

    and the laughter being held inside, ready to burst and when it does, the feeling....yep, I know that one all too well....although now at 45 I laugh all the time...even when it's not always appropriate and I don't care like I did when I was younger and thought for sure people would be looking at me...

    here's to tiny acorns....


  2. my husband and i play this game...

    he gives the word and i write a poem.

    its fun and it often gets my head into a knot.

    enjoying your ramblings...

  3. Well, the random word thing is the best idea I've heard in ages - I never know what to write about - so if y'all start getting emails from me with just one word, you'll know why. And vice-versa is just fine too. I may blog for random words. I may make a cardboard sign that says just that & stand on a street corner and see what transpires.

    When I saw the title of this on my blogroll, I immediately thought of a cartoon from my childhood, or maybe I made it up as a child, of an acorn-house where tiny creatures lived. I think I made it up. :)

    And I LOVE your squirrely friend up there!


  4. Such a sweet little squirrel! I love acorns ~ though I don't think I would have the word on a license plate...?! Ha!

    Usually if I get giggling lots I snort...not very 'lady like'... but I just gotta be me! :)

  5. i'm surrounded by oak trees at home and love them. i do love the tiny little acorns that grow and sprout to be come these giants that live on forever (it seems). would that all of us can sprout and give our shade and comfort - our beauty - our strength...yes, there are many things in an acorn.

  6. Oh man... I can remember sharing a few of those laughs with you over the years. The problem with us is that we are both horrendous cry laughers. So when we get caught in a clinical giggle we look like we are bawling our eyes out. I can only imagine what the people next to you in the theater were thinking.

    It makes me smile to think of you laughing. You have such a great laugh.

  7. i adore this random word deal! you made me look at the word acorn, in such a beautiful way. i always adore your words.

  8. Amazing how a seemingly so simple a word can evoke such emotion. Love how you see all the possibilities one little word can bring. Fun post!!

  9. fun how a simple word can conjure up so many different thoughts. great way to get a blog post started. yours was fun and i love that cute little squirrel

  10. I'm with Beth, you'll often find me laughing when no one else is. Still, I know what you mean. There are times when laughter is wildly inappropriate. Your story reminded me of one of mine.

    You know me and that I spend my day with young children. I can't help it, but I think toots are hilarious. They just are. I never hear one that I don't at least snicker. Usually, I guffaw. This can be embarrassing for the tooter, I know, but I really can't help it. I am laughing now just thinking of it. Jeffrey says it's a good thing I spend my day with children, grown ups would be offended.

    Like I said, a snicker and a grin - minimum.

    So, there we sit. At a funeral. Not making this up. An old man sitting in the row in front of us bent down to get the program he'd just dropped to the floor. Out ripped a rather loud, rather long toot. OK, toot is really to gentle a word for such a sound. It was a full-fledged FART.

    I could not - absolutely could not stop laughing. Or keep it to a snicker. My future brother-in-law, fiance (yes, Jeffrey) and I finally had to excuse ourselves from the funeral. The not laughing and remaining somber is what finally did us in.

  11. What a perfect idea for poster's block! I've had it so many times, and end up taking an unintended break until I came up with something to say.

    I don't know how I missed this post Jaime, but as I read this post about the best character on the Ice Age movies, I burst out laughing... again! In my opinion that little guy steals the show! Simply irresistible! I've laughed my head off a number of times as I've watched those movies!

    And your little friend is just adorable too! Squirrels are the funniest little characters! Each has a personality all its own. (: xxxVicki

  12. i remember that scene .. :-) and i have, on more than one occasion experienced the bubbling out of control laughter that needs to be contained which only makes it harder to contain ... eek! hee hee

    i heart squirrels and how their personality seems to fit their environments ... i still remember the crazy tough and big new york squirrels who seemed to saunter through the parks ...

  13. this had me smiling from start to finish. you are such the gifted writer. to be able to write so much, so delightfully on one small object such as an acorn. i can only hope to write this way some day.

    the photo rocks, too!

  14. i also wanted to say... from the bottom of my heart... thank you for your always boosting thoughts and comments on my blog. it was so good to see your name pop up and read all your words. don't know what else to say, but thank you.

  15. LOL - I LOVE this! You have to believe in connection when you read about that license plate!!!!!!!

    I've missed you too - thank you for all of your loveliness on my blog. We have GOT to catch up properly!!


  16. I love the Ice Age films, that poor squirrel!! heh Uncontrollable laughter, I've often experienced that walking along the street and I've been alone at the time. Memories you see :-)

  17. I remember that scene. That poor little squirrel. It is so desperate for that acorn that it is extremely comical! I'm giggling just thinking about it.

  18. Oh, I have BEEN there! Maybe too many times for my own good, but I laugh a lot when it's not the right time. Most days, though, I'd rather laugh at the wrong time than cry.

    I just want to tell you, Jaime, how much I appreciate you and your beautiful blog. Your words always lift and inspire me, and I feel so lucky to have found you out here in the blogosphere!

    All best,

  19. I haven't seen that movie, but I might have to rent it. OMG, I just read what Relyn wrote about the toot at the funeral and I'm dying!! My dogs haven't seen me laugh that hard in a long while - thanks Relyn!

    I love your post, Jaime. I'm so very glad to know that you sometimes struggle with words. I have a post coming up for Vision and Verb that I have to write and I have no idea what to write about. I might have to steal your random word idea. =)

  20. For the first I saw your work on Flickr ( I am fairly new there) . Thanks you for sharing your world. You are a GIFTED photographer. I feel refreshed and inspired!