I participated in GISH (the Greatest Internet Scavenger Hunt) a few weeks ago, and I learned something. I learned weird is good.
I competed with 14 other people from around the world, trying to complete challenges that were fun, strange, kind, and amazing. For instance,
I made a picture of my favorite actor (Peter Capaldi) from hair from my dog.
I made cabbage pie and calculated the volume of one slice.
I made a model of DNA from genes (genes… jeans… get it?)
I gave a book that was important to me as a child to another child. I loved reading The Witch of Blackbird Pond, and I’m hoping it will be important to another generation.
I worked at learning how to spin my own yarn. I’ve wanted to do this one for ages, even had the materials, but just never got around to it.
I worked with my team to raise money for survivors of the Rwandan genocide.
Like I said, it was fun, strange, kind, and amazing. The fun was extremely fun: I loved flinging pudding at my children from three feet away and making a DNA strand from outgrown jeans.
The strange bordered on bizarre: I’m not an artist, but I had to use dog hair as my medium. I painted a portrait of Jensen Ackles using Skittle-water as my medium. It was weird, but so much fun to connect to the Supernatural fandom in such an odd way.
The kind was generous: Thinking about how to share books with kids, to really know and recognize them, and pass on what I love to others was beautiful.
And the amazing was beyond what you could imagine. GISH had set a goal of rasing $108,000 for a group of Rwandan genocide survivors to assist them in building a sustainable farm and market. Altogether, GISHers around the world raised over $250,000.
Here’s my biggest takeaway from GISH week: None of the items I did took very long, but they increased my connection to my family, Beaver Falls, and the world. In a small way, working together with people from across the US, Europe, and Africa to create lipstick-ing robots and bellyflop Olympics and molotov cocktails of kindness reminded me both how big the world is, and how small it is. For this week, we were connected in weirdness and kindness together.