Jimmie Hendrix wrote Purple Haze in 1967, a time known for hallucinating drugs. Purple Haze lyrics include the phrase “Scuse me while I kiss the sky.” The purple haze references Hendrix getting high. Yet, the greeting card world has added pictures of birds and quoted “excuse me while I kiss the sky” to inspirational messaging campaigns.
If we let go of the drug induced message, and think about the birds and sky, it might actually be a message for this new decade. It’s an invitation to pause, “excuse me while I kiss the sky”. It could even be a message of hopefulness. Because “hope is a verb with its sleeves pulled up.”
In the 1980’s a scientist conducted research on how much time people were engaging with the sky on a daily basis. He interviewed people on the streets of Philadelphia and asked how often they looked at the sky and noticed clouds. His study revealed people were just not looking up. He then created a “Sky” curriculum to help science teachers introduce children to sky watching. The sky is a place of wonder, science, innovation, imagination; all fuels for hopefulness.
We share the sky and it can be a source of hopefulness. Notice I don’t say “optimism”. David Orr, a conservation biologist and Kevin O’Brien, president of Santa Clara University both make the distinction between hope and optimism.
O’Brien writes “optimism is naively believing everything will be all right when we know that reality is far more complex and and messy.” He continues…”Optimism is like a sugar high that quickly fades. Hope fuels our mind body and spirit for the long haul whispering or shouting when we need it “Take heart! Keep going! The journey is worth it!”
Orr writes, “hope is a verb with its sleeves pulled up”. “Hopeful people are actively involved in changing the odds. Optimism leans back and puts its feet up”.
As you enter into this new decade take a moment to “kiss the sky” and “pull up your sleeves” to generate new ideas for our future. “Take heart, keep going the journey is worth it”. The sky may be exactly what we need to fuel our minds, bodies and spirits for the new decade.
See you outside. I’ll be the one looking up and pulling my sleeves up.