Nov 19, 2014

Sometimes you find a bit of wisdom in the most innocuous place

From the television show "Bones" -

THIS:

Aubrey: "How did you get over it?"
Brennan: "I didn't."
Aubrey: "So this isn't a comforting talk."
Brennan: "No. The pain is always there; the challenge is to not try to make it go away."
Aubrey: "Really not comforting."
Brennan: "Fighting it is the problem. We fight to try and change the past or push it away, but the pain is part of who we are. It's not easy, Aubrey. Nothing of value is."

And some of you will get that, and some won't. 

Nov 12, 2014

Change

Not something I liked when I was young. I always stayed too long - places, jobs, relationships. It was a matter of the devil I knew. It was about being afraid of the unknown. Afraid of success and afraid of failure. Afraid of mistakes. I do not know how I lived that way for so long. Dreadful.

When I did make a change, especially a BIG one, an irrevocable change, it was after much thought - 3 years of thought in one case; 4 in another. A friend said "How can you make snap decisions like that?" He didn't know that snap decision was so many years in the making.
 
I started to change that about 30 years ago - big changes, small changes, important ones and frivolous ones. Often change for the sake of change. New, even when the old was just fine. Yes, I still thought out the big ones  - but not for so long. Some decisions seemed snap-like but once I decided it must be done then it was DONE.

Four miserable years living in Philadelphia - once I decided I was going, we made plans to go. Well thought out plans that were put into immediate action. It was easy. Moving there in the first place, not so well thought out, of course it wasn't my idea in the first place - but, water under the bridge.

I'm a planner, always have been. It's easier to do that now with the wonders of the interwebz. I've got lists; I'm ready to roll. I still drag my feet a bit. It took me 2 years to do the up-dates on this apartment. But it took me only 3 months to decide to get new dining table chairs. And once decided they were ordered the next day (and I'm still waiting for them, six week delivery is going into it's eighth week.) And these are just little things, I'm prepped for the big ones.

On the one hand, I think I have a future. On the other hand, I know all I have is a past and I'm just treading water. The only real plans for the future should be (and are) for comfortable maintenance.

Yet, I crave change. It's not so much that there is bigger and better out there, it's just that there IS an out there.  I have to be content with smaller and safer. I don't like small and safe, not anymore I don't. But there is that practical planner me off-setting the new and improved(?) go-for-it gal.

So, little changes - better than no changes at all.


Nov 11, 2014

Try to remember...


Today is Veteran's Day and there are many postings about it. Vanilla referenced the art installation at the Tower of London - thousands of ceramic poppies - one for each fallen British Commonwealth soldier of WWI.  Of course that led my mind to In Flanders Field by John McCrae.

We had to memorize that poem in school. In fact throughout the lower grades we had to memorize a poem a week and each week several students were required to recite it in class. It was a teaching tool on several levels - train the brain, literature, public speaking, and in the case of "In Flanders Field", history.  All of that rolled into memorizing and reciting a poem.

Of course that is no longer done - waste of time. Have to teach to the test and then test. No time for education. (Okay, do NOT get me started, my head will explode. Some states have so many required tests that 60-80 out of 180 school days are used for testing. Ow, ow, ow - my head!)

My way of thinking is such that everything is a reference to something else - that something else being a bit of flotsam and jetsam that crossed my path. The problem is often I can't remember the original source. A line from a poem haunted me for years. Could not remember the exact poem. I swore it had to be Wilfred Owens, Rupert Booke or Sigfried Sassoon. I could have sworn it was a war poem. I spent decades - DECADES - trying to track that poem. Part of the problem was my mis-remembering the line. I had one extra word in it. I googled my little fingers off - nothing. I finally came up with a search term that elicited the answer - William Blake. William Blake? Yup, a poem called "London".

This morning I once again tried to recall the name of that poem. I remembered it was Blake - and I remembered I first read it in my Norton Anthology Vol. II - thankfully that old college textbook is still on my shelf. Easy to find when you know what you are looking for.

Sometimes I recite poetry in my head as I do mundane tasks - because I like poetry, because I can, because it is soothing, because it reminds me of something or other that pleased me then. Because it is probably a good thing to do to keep the little grey cells functioning.

Song lyrics are poetry - I know a gabillion of those. I suppose if young people today memorize song lyrics then that is somewhat analogous to memorizing poetry - tho I really don't think today's lyricists compare with even - oh, hell they don't compare favorably to anyone with a brain and reasonably decent language skills. 

Ouch, ouch - I am doing 'in the old days'...Okay, I'll go quietly to the home now.