Sadness

20161223_170044

Sated? Weary? Enough? Strange meanings for such a short word… and my heart is not in it anyway. The modern (if you call middle English modern) meaning is more than enough (there’s that word again) to carry wearily… ok, that’s it! I am giving up on linguistics for now, before I start agreeing with the definition. I am not in the mood to be cajoled out of what I actually feel, which is sadness.

You see, a friend is moving away for a while. That while is not forever and it is not even a very long time as these things go… what’s a season when time goes so fast I can barely recall where this year is up to?

So one puts on a brave face and talks about this and that because there is always so much to say and never enough time to actually say it and make the connections and explore your own ideas and find common ground and share oddments and tweaks. And one laughs and smiles and generally pays attention because, yes, that’s what this is all about, being present, with your friend and never mind that there are another million things you should be seen as doing.

But then the time is up.

And that while mentioned above is actually starting and it will continue to exist, encompassed in this lifetime, and you can’t really avoid it anymore.

Have you noticed how difficult it continues to be to cry? People might even ask what’s wrong and do you need a counsellor with your fries? No, no, no, better wait until you’re at home…. what? Cry in the bathroom under the shower? How very quaint! Let’s be adult about it, though, and defer all this emotional “stuff” until another time… an appropriate time for sadness… that’s sad, isn’t it?

And then, if you please, one realizes that sadness just is and won’t just go away and saving face by appearing brave serves no one. So one says “I’ll miss you” because really, why not? With whom should I banter over memories of a country I have not actually seen?

I will wait and keep busy and be an adult and all that. Distraction does work and so does social media and email and pictures. I will, as the saying goes, “deal with it” and I will not even need a counsellor.

But, my friend, there are so many things still unsaid… the strangely squat mists over the low lying fields that looked as if a faerie sea is slowly advancing towards you, and then driving through it the car lights make alien circles of pale rainbows and cattle appear like spectres out of the clearly delineated layers of earth, fog, clouds and blue sky… then there’s the realization that cloudy skies are always more interesting than the clear ones, and because of the humidity there’s a much better chance of actually finding that precise shade of blue eyes have… and then there’s that song, Piazzolla’s Oblivion, a saxophone solo you would have enjoyed…

I will need a good memory, to last me a season…

Advertisements

More minute

20160731_100152

It doesn’t sound quite right, does it?

I have thought… you might be forgiven for asking if I ever even do anything else 🙂

The answer is yes, plenty, thank you very much 🙂

But nevertheless I have thought of even more minute stuff that shapes my life, whether by giving me that little burst of joy or, on the other side of the coin, annoyance 🙂

For example, knowing a secret that is currently enriching someone else’s life.

Planning an overnight trip to a museum so that the little one could see dinosaurs.

An unexpected change of plan that makes me wonder about what could possibly go on in that person’s mind.

Sitting down to an inocuous discussion which allows me unfettered access into a difficult brain with a matching personality.

News about a friend’s good luck that will also make our lives easier and better.

Reading rubbish which nonetheless makes you aware of certain facts, which then in turn pleasantly surprise a friend.

An inefficiently arranged house which then gets dirty.

Accepting that my feelings aren’t mirrored.

Writing poetry, especially after a long break.

Wondering about the name of a plant, only to have a colleague mentioning it in a completely unrelated context.

Discussing choice, predestination, permaculture and why we usually do not eat felines during the same walk.

Seeing feijoas planted on public domain.

Stepping barefoot onto the soft remains of flowers that appear red from a distance but are actually pink on a closer look.

Lacking motivation to do anything of what needs to be done.

Receiving a certificate – now needing a frame to match the favourite colours of the people who helped me achieve it.

Planting a flower, then figuring out that I actually needed another one but realizing that the two will actually go well together anyway.

More positives than not I notice… 🙂

Competition

DSC05343

I was playing pool with my friend today. Both of us were out of practice (you know, sinking the inadvertently complicated ones, missing the really easy ones) but the length of the game allowed for both bantering… or was that bartering? I did say I will cook lunch if two balls are in… and serious discussions. Part of the serious discussion was the idea of competition.

I am competitive, especially with myself. I have discouraged competition with others in myself ever since I was old enough to figure out that it makes me uncomfortable to lose… and win. That didn’t sound in line with the old theory of evolution so I had to dig a bit deeper.

I don’t like losing, who does? But not liking to win required some thought and, once I grew up a bit, some scenarios. It should have been clear before, but we are mostly blind to ourselves day-to-day, and only figure things out if we take the time to know ourselves. Who has the time? And even if you do have time, how many will actually think about themselves and make scenarios about winning and losing. But I digress…

The results were unsurprising in hindsight 🙂

I don’t like winning if others lose. Can I get any quainter than that? I love winning, providing you win as well. It is linked with fear in a way. If I compete in a win-lose game, then I have to either pay attention to the game or to the person I am competing against. The disconnect from the person is scary, looking at them, analyzing all the ways in which I can win, all the ways in which I can manipulate things in my favour.

It is also linked with my general attitude towards life (see my previous blog, Attitude). Incidentally, the new theory of evolution seems to say to my untrained mind that although the genes may be selfish in their fight to be multiplied, they select for co-operation… that’s almost funny when you think about it.

So rather than my childhood “yes, but” mantra which used to drive my mother to distraction, most of the time I can make a choice and use “and”. Rather than a hole left by the losing which can only be filled by the winning, I find it comfortable to have two wins side by side, each not taking anything from the other, even growing on each other. I used to say “I don’t wear perfume but I like strongly scented flowers” Nowadays it’s “I don’t wear perfume, I love strongly scented flowers, I have my favourites for each season and I prefer them in the garden, not in a vase”. Fussy, much? 🙂

As a result, thinking positive could probably be my middle name. Negative thinking, after all, stems mostly from an impaired ability to look at things from someone else’s point of view, an almost hunching over ourselves and an unhealthy (literally!) shouldering of responsibility and singularity.

So, my friend, I would rather praise you when you sank that difficult one, gasp when you miss the easy one, and generally laugh at our clumsiness, rather than go all out , ignore you and your gentleness and your stubborness and win. Where would be the joy in that?