Realizing My Vision Without Flinging A Cow

I loved Northern Exposure when it was on TV.  One episode in particular, Burning Down The House, made a big impression on me.  I still think about it.

In it, Chris decides to “create a pure moment” by: 1) building a trebuchet, & 2) choosing the perfect cow to fling from it.

But his plan stalls when he realizes that: 1) there is “a certain wrongness” to the cow he has picked out, & 2) he cannot, in good conscience, fling a cow because it has been done before.  Which would make his cow flinging merely repetitive.  And not the perfect artistic experience that he longs for.

• • •

At first Chris is bummed that he won’t be able to create his pure moment but comes to realize that:  “I had to let go of that cow so I could see all the other possibilities.”

I still reflect on the idea of a certain wrongness to things.  And on how you often have to let go of any preconceived ideas in order for a new, better idea to manifest.

All this comes to mind as I write this last NaBloPoMo post.  I had a different idea of how this challenge was going to play out, so when I sensed a certain “wrongness” to it I almost gave up.  However, I hung around posting something every day– letting go of “that cow so I could see all the other possibilities.”

And as a result, I managed to complete NaBloPoMo.  And make a decision or two about how I’ll pursue my dreams in the future.

So with that last NaBloPoMo thought, I’ll leave you, my gentle readers, to watch what might be the best– the most absurd– the most unexpected three minutes in all of Northern Exposure.  And that’s saying something.


• • •

“The thing I learned folks, this is absolutely key:

It’s not the thing you fling. It’s the fling itself.

Let’s fling something, Cicely!”

~ Chris, Northern Exposure

14 thoughts on “Realizing My Vision Without Flinging A Cow

  1. After I wrote this post, Bart Simpson popped into my mind. He’s stayed there while I edited the post, so I decided to add him here in the comments. Perhaps he has succinctly summarized what I was saying above? 😉


    • Mike that is wonderful. I don’t remember that episode at all. I hope that I get the opportunity to dance on my grave like that– with that same music playing in the background! Thanks.


    • kate, that’s about the truth of it. It was such a wacky, smart TV show that my guess is that the TV execs didn’t understand it, so they got rid of it. Yet EVERYONE who I know loved it.


  2. That’s way better than a cow – I have one to donate if you decide to build a trebuchet – and congratulations on completing NaBloPoMo again. I was just thinking about Northern Exposure the other day and wishing Netflix had it.


  3. My dad grew up in the town where they had some of the exterior shots and I spent much of my childhood there in Roslyn, WA.


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