The 365 Commitment


So the puppetmaster sees a golden opportunity to recruit Pinocchio as the puppet with no strings. During his first performance, Pinocchio sings a song by Ned Washington called, I’ve Got No Strings. After he declares how much fun he is going to have and how he will not fret or frown or worry because he has no strings, a female puppet dressed in a Dutch costume sings:

You have no strings
Your arms is free
To love me by the Zuider Zee
Ya, ya, ya
If you would woo
I’d bust my strings for you

The Zuider Zee is a large body of water in the Netherlands, and clearly this puppet is indicating that this would be a prime location to take a lovely date to, as perhaps was a pastime for young people of the time. So this young puppet indicates her willingness to bust her strings for Pinocchio if he were to woo her properly. Since I first heard this song as a child and many more times to come, I have always asked myself that same question. For what would I bust my strings? What is my Zuiderzee?

For we all have strings do we not? Even Pinocchio who thought he had no strings, would learn soon enough that the strings that he would be pulled around by were not visible, but just as real. So we are held by strings. Some marionettist holds our strings from above us orchestrating our moves and putting us on display. We may or may not know this. We may feel we are free and sing in ignorance like Pinocchio, or we maybe very well in the know and content with the fact playing right along as we collect our portion of the puppeteer’s coin.

However the time will come, as it often does, when the cloak of ignorance will wear thin and the strings that hold us will become unwieldy and cumbersome. We have to consider what we might do to bust our strings, cut the ties, take the risk. Certainly having our moves dictated to us comes with a bit of comfort, right? Our decisions thought though by others can make things a lot easier. Like letting someone else decide what movie to watch tonight.

Of course some strings may not be the ones that we severe. Perhaps our Zuiderzee can be a very dark prospect. What would the cost be to cut certain strings that bind us to commitment, to relationship, to contracts? No strings may not be possible, or even desirable. Certainly Pinocchio thought so until he became a complete jack ass.

So we have to take some risk, be willing to severe strings that hold us back but maybe keep the stings that hold us down. Contemplating our Zuiderzee just might be a great question to contemplate. In today’s turbulent world we may struggle with knowing which strings are good and which to cut. So with that I will leave you with the parting sage advice from Jiminy the Cricket:

Go ahead, make a fool of yourself, then maybe you’ll listen to your conscience.

Guy Reams

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