The fleeting nature of time, the emphemeral substance of life, the adage of “this too shall pass” was never more forcefully brought home then when turning the pages of my diary. Yes, despite all the technological stuff (to which I’m happily addicted) I still like to use an “old fashioned” diary for work. There is something strangely comforting and affirming in writing down the day – achievements, failures and you’ve got to be joking moments. I use different coloured pens as well (what does that say about my character – probably something dodgy but whatever) to define what’s what. It was while flipping through crisp, clean whiteness to diarise a purple moment for one month hence that the old inner voice woke up and yelled in my ear “do you see that your worries and stress and issues are doable – swish, boom, bang and you moved forward 30 days.” Mouthy wench is the old inner voice but she has a point.
or whatever power source forms part of your belief system? This is not a religious poser but merely a passing blip ruminating on whether human beings refer to an intangible something to air their views when life gets on its inevitable rollercoaster of highs and lows.
Example – earlier this week, after an incredibly arsed up day at work, I got in my car to drive home and asked God (my thing, doesn’t have to be yours) if he had got out the wrong side of bed that morning, hence the iffy day! Now some would probably call that disrespectful and irreverent but it made me laugh and the utterly spectacular sunset brought me a hint of sanity and by the time I got home all was well with the world.
Yes, I do have a significant other and we talk a lot and often about everything and then some but pause a moment and ponder on this – I also need someone to talk to about him when he gets up my nose and I want to smack him (which is rare but it happens). So you see there is method in my madness as far as that goes and for those intensely vulnerable moments, which everybody has as far as I’m concerned, there is nothing more comforting than a non-judgmental sounding board.
“Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.” ~Victor Hugo
Part of my “growing up” rule book was don’t judge other people. Honestly, I think, when I was younger I wasn’t very good at abiding by that rule – I made assumptions, some good, some negative and some so left of centre that they were just plain stupid (good old hindsight). There are enough “official” quotes and sayings about the subject as well but my personal summation of the whole philosophical slice of the pie is everybody has a story.
Does that sound terribly noble and cliche’d? Probably but more and more I’m having to consciously redirect my thought process and remember those four words. Today I learn’t that the lady at the local stationers, who always looks like a shoddily made sack of potatoes, is not a slob but is in a really crap relationship with a nasty piece of work. On the other side of the coin I also discovered that the woman I work with genuinely has an ugly dark heart and my prior theory of benefit of the doubt may have been sadly misdirected.
Listen more, talk less – everybody has a story.
Chatting with some friends the other day, the dreaded subject of the festive season and gift giving to the in-laws raised its scaly head. After much hilarity and a number of suggestions that would make most people blush the discussion took a more philosophical leaning towards spoiling yourself. Over and above beauty treatments, shopping trips and a personal chef (which are all utterly spectacular don’t get me wrong), my contribution was ..
Solitude, also known as time to be by yourself and with yourself
Seriously, in my humble opinion, it’s a priceless commodity – time to think and examine and investigate your own life. I think people tend to hide and shy away from their true feelings and thoughts when they are with other people (even a beloved spouse) but when you’re on your own there’s nowhere to run. You have to face all the stuff head on. It’s surprising just how much peace stillness engenders and how truly doable it all is. My personal “think about it” process – compartmentalise, pack away and stick on a label.
I don’t have a predetermined schedule for looking inwards – if living was that straight forward it wouldn’t be necessary but as often as possible I become one (the oneness of it all sounds ridiculous I know but you get the idea).
“Language has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.” Paul Tillich
Every so now and again I change out my work bag. I have two that take it in turns, one a chocolate brown leather and the other a Vuitton look alike. They’re both fairly spacious and despite my best efforts the odd scrap of paper does occasionally take up residence in a dark recess.
Yesterdays ragged remnant, scribbled on the back of what appears to have been a grocery list, delivered this ……
Do you think, he said, you might want to love me? Well it was more of a rumble exactly, his voice deep and warm. She reached out and took his hand, pressing a soft kiss on his knuckles. Meaty hands he called them but their strength gave her comfort. The white cuff of his uniform was in stark contrast to his golden hand coloured by hours spent outdoors. She had fought her feelings from that first day when he met her at the country fair. She didn’t have time for relationships and men. She was going to be a politician on Capitol Hill. He’d put his arm around her shoulders and grinned, his green eyes sparkling with knowing. You can be the next president he said, but we are going to be together. A deep sigh brought her hurting back to the present and she slid off the bench, dropping to her knees in front of him. Jessie, she said and he lifted his head,
It was (I think) going to be a short story romance of a headstrong, rebellious girl and her long-time love interspersed with a dose of conflict and separation. A mosaic of snippets of other lives – someday there may even be an ending.
“There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.” Anais Nin
Health, stress and its affects have been front and centre of late. Call it circumstance, fate or whatever – multiple people that we know are ill to varying degrees. I suppose being away for a few days has also sparked another spell of thinking. How do you or is there a right way to deal with stress?
I’m very vocal (not always to the stress causer mind you) and if my office walls could talk I’d probably need to take out a gagging order! Lets put it this way I’m a firm believer in better out than in.
Music is my figurative punching bag. Hard rock, classical or something that makes you cry – there’s a tune to pretty up and every mood (that said rap and hip-hop have yet to reveal their purpose to me).
In a utopian world, you’d be able to tell your stresser that they are the root cause of your stiff neck and twitching left eye but until then ………………
“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music” Aldous Huxley
One of the “things” about getting older is that you’re meant to know yourself a little better. You’re meant to know your character and what type of a person you are. Anyway, somebody said to me today….. you’re really good with people. I snorted something unintelligible because really (or so I thought), deep in my psyche, I’m not a people person at all – the quintessential cat that walk alone. People are complicated and full of twists and turns – straight lines and no bumps are not common .
I suppose, therefore, it’s an eye-opener or a reason to press pause when my black and white has a smidge of grey. I am, on closer examination, a keeper of secrets. People tell me things, a great many things – the good, the bad and the ugly. Apparently I’m a good listener, empathetic and I don’t judge – who knew. The thing is though, does one have a limit? How much stuff can you take on board before you’re full and more importantly how do you get rid of the stuff? Spring cleaning the mind – now there’s a title for a self-help series!
Because I am a woman
I choose to have a voice,
I choose the right to express my opinion and to be heard.
Because I am a woman
I reserve the right not to agree with you,
I choose not be your chattel.
Because I am a woman
I choose the right to be treated as a human being
I choose the right to be treated as an equal.
Because I am a woman
I reserve the right to decide whether or not I have children
I choose to ignore what my cultural heritage and religious beliefs dictate.
Because I am a woman,
I choose to love and be loved
I reserve the right to be courageous and feisty and tough.
Because I am a woman
I choose to be in control of my destiny,
I reserve the right to choose who walks beside me.
So the theory that a series shoud run consecutively got shot to smithereens – anyway at last image 5.
This was taken while hiking to Sleeping Beauty Cave in the Drakensberg. The guide books call it “an easy excursion, take your children” – hmmmm, I’m thinking the writer had too much fresh air when that was penned.
It’s mind blowingly spectacular but hard work, especially in the summer when the water is high and you do a lot of shoes on/shoes off! Do you see the face in the rock? Maybe it’s just me – I thought “The Watcher” would be an apt name!
PS It was a really bright, cloudless day – looking at the photograph now I guess I could have “cleaned up” up a bit and reduced some of the shadow and contrast but sometimes, in my opinion, nature is best left as it is 🙂
When DH and I go to visit my mum and dad we often drive past a hobo sitting forlornly on the side of the road with a mismatched, ragtag bundle of meager possessions. He’s a big man, long hair and a full beard – filthy dirty with a puce colured coat and head down, never looking at the passing cars. I always wonder how he ended up in such a dire state?
“I used to be somebody you know
People used to look me in the eye, shake my hand and call me sir
That was before
That was before that night – I signed the deal and they told me I was the best
Everybody wanted to buy me a drink and I didn’t say no
Dave wanted to drive me home but I told him to piss off, I was no girly that couldn’t hold my drink
I got in the car
I killed him you know
They say I hit him so hard that he ended up in the ditch across the way
Just 16 he was, on his way home from football practice
They put me away for a while but I got parole for “good behaviour”
Bloody joke, no booze inside.
And now, sleeping rough,
My family moved away, no forwarding address
They deserted me – the bastards
I’m afraid, especially at night
I hide behind the station
Under the boxes
They hurt me when they can find me
They take my stuff,
I’m all alone.”
Postscript – I wrote this a few weeks ago and didn’t get around to posting it. The irony of the situation is, when we went to fetch my parents for Christmas lunch at my brother’s today, there was a plain wooden cross in the spot where he used to be. Willie, that was his name, died on 17 December 2012.