Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Excess...

...the saying too much of a good thing isn't so good...or at least that is my paraphrase. I have observed the diminishing returns of too much. Too many toys has meant too many choices for a toddler - who abandons all for the laundry basket with pretend steering wheel. An excess of food has often meant unbridled enthusiasm followed by remorse at having banqueted without limit. I am guilty. I have so many scarves to choose from I am overwhelmed and typically opt for the standby. I have boots, shoes, food choices - rye, sourdough, multi-grain, gluten-free, pita, bagel...I wasn't done yet - and these are in my house on a regular basis. I cannot pinpoint the tipping point where enough became excess - when things were revered for their scarcity. Candy, pop, toys, new clothes, new shoes....these were things I looked forward to. They were rare, special treats that stood out as thus. Life was about school, grades, chores, making beds and exploring the world. Mom and dad were busy - and we were busy too. Square ball, jump rope, tadpoles were pastimes...as were knip-knops from which I had perpetual bruised arms from the ball out of time landing perfectly on my radial bone. We played games, climbed trees from which we fell and hurt ourselves...and survived. There was never too much of anything - TV, toys or treats. Boredom was allowed...as was imagination. Want was never viewed with pity...but with hopes and dreams. Of late I observe that we seem to have too many things crowding out the imagination. Too many choices rendering us immobile for they are all good...chocolate, vanilla, cappuccino, strawberry, jamoca almond fudge, marshmallow........... it goes on and on...really..it does. I am trying to recognize the excess in my life. To rid myself of the too much for the just enough..or for the need a bit more, but can do without. I think it is cathartic to live in a place where satisfaction is not manufactured.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

words

I like to use words like furl instead of curl, impoverished not poor, wendy not windy. I like the way the words dance on my tongue and cause pause for the reader and writer. Words evoke memories and imagination in a way that nothing else can. I can recall first hearing hue instead of colour. I was eight and from then I made a conscious decision to try to incorporate it when I could. I have oft made mistakes in understanding. Hearing and adopting word someone has also misused or was trendy at the time - but these quickly fall from my vocabulary. Playing scrabble has introduced me to nonsensical words or spellings that my husband claims are bogus. Qat and qi are ridiculous just as are kat and aa...but according to the official dictionary - they are perfectly acceptable in games. The "official" dictionary has now included the word selfie...which to me sounds like something from Aussie where everything is peachy and they like to contract everything to cutesy words that end like footie, Brissy, Uni... Will this same dictionary discard obsolete words? It appears this way as using hubris or obdurate cause unnecessary research. The dictionary that is quick to add a slang is becoming antiquated and unused as writers have made it easier for the reader to understand. So for a wordy like me...it will be hard...for I love the pause and stump a new words causes.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

enlightenment

From my child's eyes I accepted judgement, ridicule...shame. I had no defence to those who were older, wiser and meaner. My experience is not unique - in fact it is ubiquitous with childhood. Bullies, friends and parents hurl damning words that we learn to deflect, fight or accept. From my adult's eyes I have learned that there is no shame - no moniker that can banish me from humanity. I am human with foibles and frailty. There is no dishonour, disgrace or disrepute at being fallible.

Reactions

I am intrigued by people's reactions...whether it be to a loss or win, bad or good news, pain, discomfort or their idyllic partaking. Reactions vary from outward cursing, graceful congratulations, to enraptured enjoyment. To claim I understand humanity based on reactions would be ridiculous...but my observation and introspection shed light on my own response to a recent heart-stopping toe stub. The pain intense, my heart beat faster and harder, tears welled...and yet nothing escaped my mouth. No yelp, no cry, no curse. I calmly sat down. This reflex was the fodder for this post. I have ruminated over it since. I was not embarrassed or shamed by my humanity. I was not expecting those around me to ignore nor pander me with sickly sweet sympathy. I did not want to acknowledge any problem. Giving attention might do this. I cannot help but wonder how much of this parallels my life. Do I ignore things just to pretend they don't exist? I am uneasy at the question. In my defence I know that making a spectacle can in itself become a reward for our pain. Evoking sympathy, empathy and attention sometimes fills the void within our souls. I abhor artificial connection...soothing and placating feel like a grater on my skin. Perhaps instead, my own acceptance of the pain is my balm.

Monday, November 11, 2013

light

I often try to navigate the dark. Feeling along edges, creeping carefully. I am afraid of little things - toy cars that can hurt to walk on, bed legs that munch your toes and all those things I intend to clear from the floor but forget to. I sometimes get hurt... The light can be difficult too. it exposes so much. Dust, imperfections, things we try to avoid. I was walking toward my car the other day and the light completely blinded me. I could not see a thing. I felt immobilized. The idiom of the deer was real in that moment. The disorientation and confusion, overwhelming. I fumbled as much or more in the floodlight as I do in the dark. The metaphor was living. It taught me grace for those in the floodlight - figuratively and literally.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Aha

It was one of those moments...my brain was quiet as was my voice and in the silence I wondered how often I filled the spaces with meaningless conversation. This thought was unbidden, and the source was a mystery, yet clear. Silence can be awkward and yet equally graceless is sputtering without objective. My contemplation has been fruitful. It was just the kind of day.