blue eyelinerThis morning, the few short hours available for work weighed down on me, hurryhurryhurry coursing through each decision. What to wear today? Same as last night, because it’s warm and this is a gray snowy day. Shower? Nope; do that after running sprints later. Make the rolled-out-of-bed mess of my hair into “presentable”? No; wearing it down keeps ears warm. Makeup?


I stood in front of the bathroom mirror and the blue flecks in my purple sweater begged for the bright blue eyeliner inherited from my mom’s extensive stash. It’s sparkly and a little brash.

“No time for that today. That’s just silly. No time for silly today.”

And I stopped. And breathed out.

Why was it “silly”?

What is “silly”?

I felt “an offense against [my] instinct for rightness” (Dune, Herbert).

Was I hurting anyone by wearing bright blue eyeliner? No.

Was it unwise? No.

“Unwise” is not the same as “silly.” Unwise has to do with a lack of respect, of oneself and others. Silly is a degradation of unwise, a judgmentalized perversion used more for controlling than for protection and care.

This all washed over and through me in the ten seconds I paused…before picking up the bright blue eyeliner and swiping it on. As I laid it on thick, I pledged to banish “silly” back to the Puritans, as often as possible.

And “unwise”?

Even that is too often applied, well, unwisely. Some might call bright blue eyeliner unwise…as much as I put on, anyway. But as long as it’s not hurting anyone, myself or others, then why not? Perhaps I’m degrading unwise, making it into silly.

But sometimes, I think we pull the authentic meaning of unwise into a reason to attach to a certain outcome, to choose against risk.

When have you judged something as unwise when you really meant silly? Have you, like I did in that moment, taken yourself too seriously, kowtowing to some boxed-in concept of yourself, wrapped up in judgment?

Let’s shake hands and agree, right now, to make some unwise decisions today. Unwise, silly, whatever…let’s make it a slap-on-the-blue-eyeliner kind of day. Cheers, my lovelies!

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