Monday, March 27, 2017

Too Much

When I was at school, I loved writing essays.
That is, if we were given a small range of topics to choose from.
I would choose one easily and sail into my subject.

What fried my brain was to be told, "You can write about anything you like."
My thoughts would dart about like frightened rabbits, trying to latch on to a substantial idea.
I felt strangely unsafe, like a baby scared it might fall.
As if the world had suddenly become too large and there was nowhere for me to hold on to.

Give me a day with no arrangements -
I used to be so excited about all the possibilities
All the things I could do with a whole day to myself.
Nowadays, not so much of excitement
Because I have learned that wide vistas of choice undo me completely
And in my trying to land on " the one thing" I want to do, my day slides past in tatters.

If there are many choices, I'd rather exit. Thanks.

I suppose my malaise boils down to an aversion to too  much choice.

Most people think that having lots of choice is freedom.
Maybe so for them
The normal ones.
But for me it doesn't feel like freedom
It feels like too much space.

You know, when  I sat down to write this blog, I thought to myself,
"You can write about anything at all."


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Fast Forward.

Fast forward over the chasm of time since my last post
To today.
This I can say, the days of the non adventures of the little man, see also here and here are a vague memory now.
Suffice to say, he is no longer under that tree, gazing wistfully into a shrouded future
Not sure how it happened but he is on his feet and trucking again.
Maybe it was that owl's strategy after all . . .

As I type I am surrounded by boxes, packed and waiting to be packed.
After 14 years in this "house with a view" we are moving to smaller pastures.
But hopefully fruitful and fun ones.
I am viewing the next while rather as a caterpillar going into a chrysalis: that during the more cramped time mysterious and marvellous changes will happen
And we will emerge all new and different
Able to view life from new perspectives, flying light and high.

Its an exciting thought.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Zebra Crossing

The latest bee-in-our-bonnets is to keep Zebra finches again
We had an aviary at our previous home and learned to love these chatty cheery little birds.

My man set about building a place for them with his usual diligence
The finished product was lovely, with plants in troughs, feeding trays, a spacious bird bath, a well shaped small tree stump planted firmly in the trough and the best bit - a dried shrub - roots and all - hanging from the top of the cage just asking to be used as a nesting spot.

I bought the pair of Zebras for my man's birthday
The pet shop's assistant did her best but terrified them with her catching efforts
They flew from one end of the small cage to the other in a frenzy of fear
Eventually she grabbed a pair, placing them in a paper bag with a few holes in it.
The bag was absolutely silent and unmoving on the seat next to me in the car on the way home
So much so that I was worried that the birds had died of fright.

They had to wait in that little bag for a while since I wanted the birthday boy to free them into the aviary he had so painstakingly made for them.
He was thrilled with his new little charges
And couldn't wait to shake them out of the bag and into their new world.

It was quite comical to watch them
At first they had no idea how to fly in such a big space
But they quickly gained confidence and expertise
And its a joy these days to watch how happy they are there
They have already built a woven nest in the hanging shrub
And the first white oval egg lies in its depths.

And I thought, as I tend to do, about how this too, could be a parable:

How often may I have feared things because I didn't understand that they were necessary steps on the way to something better.
I am learning that if things are restricting, dark or fearful, they may well just be steps on the way to something good, that lies just outside my vision.
Maybe it doesn't make the scary bits easier but does bring bright hope to them.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Life as a Story

I used think I was addicted to novels
Because I could not put any book down until it was finished
And then I would walk around in a daze until reality bit again.
So I gave up reading them altogether, since moderation was obviously not my thing in that area.

Then I thought I was addicted to TV
Getting lost in the same kind of way, losing track of time
But now I realise my real "addiction" is to stories.
People's stories.
And their lives' joys, sorrows and complications
And how they relate to one another in the midst of all that.

Stories draw us in
And often speak to us in unique ways
Take the story of Snow White, a simple child's tale
But layered.
At one point in her life
She lay inert and motionless, waiting
Then there was a moment

An encounter, an awakening, a rising up, an opening path,
And a moving on . . .

The little cartoon man could learn a thing or two from this . . .

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Another Plan (more continuation)

A wise old owl silently lands next to the little cartoon figure under the tree
"You've been here for ages, just gazing into the distance" he says.
"What are you doing?"

"Oh Owl, I am waiting for my new road to open up. It's taking so long that I've got stuck and I have no idea how to free myself."
"Hmm. Tricky," comments the owl, stoking his chin with his wing, "do you mind if I make a suggestion?"
His voice is whispery, and his big night eyes probe deep.

"Please do: I am pretty desperate," the little figure admits.

"Try forgetting all about the new road
Enjoy where you are now.
There are flowers around you: a shining warming sun, blue skies, the wondery tree itself
Notice the breeze on your skin, the rustling in the trees and the way sun makes patterns everywhere.
Let that be enough for now."

"You get my drift?"

i get his drift
sounds like a plan
they do say owls are very wise . . .

Friday, July 1, 2016

Unfolding (a continuation)

the little cartoon figure sits still under the wondery tree
a long misty time
waiting for a new road to open up
and as he does so
an invisible web begins to wind around him, unnoticed
pinning him

friends wander by chatting and laughing
maybe they will take him along his new road?

he tries to get up and join them
but he finds he can not move
when he tries to call out to them
no words come

he tries to find his feet and his voice
but they are lost in the mist

it is restful under the wondery tree
but my heart stirs restlessly
words need to find utterance
and feet need to follow
and sometimes to dance

i scan the horizon for my new road . . .

Friday, June 17, 2016

Then and Now

In hindsight, my life looks like the little cartoon figure, walking along jauntily, with hands in pockets whistling a merry tune.
All well with his world, not a care in sight
Then suddenly there is an explosion which propels him over a cliff
And the cartoon is empty of him.
Just a road

when I fell over the cliff face, I landed, winded, in a completely different life.
one of shadows and fear; of pain and sorrow
a life lived inside the lives of others.
a life lived one moment at a time
because there was no alternative.
each day a quicksand
no solid ground
and even the inward life seething with unanswerable questions.

and now?
the jaunty figure is gone, maybe forever
the life inside other lives is diminishing
the road once travelled, is no more
and i can't find my new one.
there is a little cartoon figure sitting under a tree
gazing into the distance
just wondering . . .