Day 26 of The Vulnerability Challenge: When do I feel the happiest?
On this day 21 years ago I didn’t feel like going to lectures. I wasn’t the kind of student to just casually take the day off so my housemate (and general bad influence) had the perfect excuse: call it your saint’s day. You can’t go to lectures or do work on your saint’s day.
The only condition of setting up such a day was that it needed to be observed every year and anyone who celebrated it needed to have an honorific title (mine was Iftikar, Amazon Queen Peachy of Fiji, Budweiser Goddess of Silence etc… it went on for a while).
The following year the Emperor of Bali and I joked about how this completely made up tradition would one day be celebrated on every continent across the world.
Ha ha… so silly, so funny, so never going to happen!
Except that in its third year I celebrated it in Japan. And the year after that, another reveller (‘follower‘ in millenial language) celebrated the day in Australia.
Until only 6 years after that first excuse to play hooky from lectures, a Saint Shâo-Lan’s Day celebration was held in every continent on earth… including Antarctica.
We started having to plan it months in advance to ensure that the fortune cookies could be ordered and the toast could be coordinated across seven time zones.
People literally across the world looked forward to “The Invitation” because it was sent by Chief Minister of the Ministry of Festivities and Merriment and started like this…
All Hail The One & the Esteemed Members of the Pantheon
We hope this communiqué finds you high in spirit, healthy of body, and your domains filled with peace and bountiful harvests.
The Ministry of Festivities and Merriment is pleased to announce the campaign for celebrating the most exalted and glorious of days, a day which brings elation, jollity, and exuberant celebrations throughout the corners of the known universe, and several bits of the unknown.
Throughout the various empires, domains, kingdoms, fabled lands, and abodes of the Pantheon and the countries in which they reside. The commencement of the 6th Year of the Shâo, ushered in by the glorious Saint Shâo Lans Day…Invitation from the Ministry of Festivities and Merriment
It went on for at least another page.
In recent years, we let the momentum fade but the spirit of the day remains. And as this completely fabricated event reaches a milestone birthday (as of today it’s officially old enough to marry without parental consent in Mississippi and gamble in Vegas), I realise that the time when I feel happiest is when I’m making something up, creating it from absolutely nothing, and seeing it come true.
I feel happiest messing around, making outrageous promises and impossible predictions and then somehow, under the influence of some truly nutty characters, making it happen.
And in case you were in any doubt what I claimed to be ‘saint’ of, I’m Patron Saint of Silliness.
Fill yourself up with whatever makes you truly happy today.
Happy Saint Shâo-Lan’s day!
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