Monday, 23 May 2011

Who Are You?

I know. It's been almost a month. The summer is knocking on the door and the junior football league has started its practice on the field outside my kitchen window. Right now the warm and thundery day has turned into a drizzly evening, and when I look at the days on my calendar, I again get one of those practically-out-of-body-experiences because how many times can a world tip upside down in just a few months? 

Two and a half weeks ago I became an aunt for the first time. LOVE. All is well with the little family and of course, my teeny tiny new niece is absolutely perfect. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

I had a series of neurology appointments after, yes, again, some spells with blinding headaches, followed by a series of tests and scans. And some more appointments. And the good news is I don't have anything growing in my brain that shouldn't be, nor am I going demented just yet. What I am is incurably absent minded with a tendency to loose concentration resulting in me staring at the wall in the middle of a sentence, completely lost to the world, my mind having wandered off somewhere interesting because I just happened to catch on a loose thought hippety hopping through the gray matter masquerading as my brain.  Yes. In the middle of a sentence. That I myself was just saying. Charming. There were other not so altogether pleasant news as well, but nothing that can not be fixed, and  I have no plans to croak just yet. But let's just say that what I am dealing with here is one of those take-it-easy-woman-or-else kind of situations. 

The direction is more
than the speed.

I was once told by a wise woman that I should build some battlements in my soul to protect me from all the people in the world who were, according to her, inevitably going to take advantage of the fact that, again, according to her, I had, regardless of how things may have seemed, one of the kindest, gentlest beings she had seen. Also strongest, she said, but why put yourself through needless misery when you could just as easily just say no. Well. She had seen a lot of souls in her life, that woman. A lot of beings. And yes, she was indeed wise. Still is. But the advice that she gave me this time, though I did sort of understand it, was not for me.  I wanted to live. To say yes instead of no. So. Yes. I have gotten taken advantage of. By people of whom by their words and their appearance you'd least expect to. I have known people you would not want to meet on a dark alley at night. Or day. And you know what, sometimes it is precisely the people you'd least expect to that you should be the most wary of. And vice versa. 

 Mark Parisi at

So you meet all these nasty little people. You get treated like something of no value. You cry. You kick the wall. You cry some more. You think you should no longer trust people. That maybe you were wrong after all, that maybe that is well and truly all there is, self-centered, all-surface humanity. How very easy it would be to fall into that trap. How very, very easy. And yet. As I kick the wall I hear that little voice in me say, no, yell, hell no! Never, ever, give up. Just do not. Because just like the summer, behind the next corner there just might be a person who will make you smile instead of crying. Who will let you talk and talk and talk and who will not try to heal your every wound but who will look at you and you will relax because you see that this person knows. That here is someone who understands. You hear their voice on the phone and you can not help it. The smile. It's like someone just poured warm honeyed milk in your veins and you get the sudden urge to stretch like a cat basking in the sun. Whom you just don't get tired of listening to. Who knows how to make you laugh. But who also knows  what it is like when the laughter is just not there. Who is not afraid to say it out loud. Who has no need to hide. From you. From the world. Who is unlike anyone you ever met.

There are people whose mere energy makes you all agitated and jittery. And then there are people who are just so purely themselves that you can not help but be, well, yourself. During this past year of roller-coaster rides of really rather phenomenal proportions, I have seen so many people. Gotten to know so many people. And realised how few of us really are what we are. Without apologies. Without hurting other people. Without the need to impress. I know I've said many times that despite everything, despite my cranky health, my less-than-picture-perfect life, I still consider myself lucky, and I do so now more than ever. 

Today, as I was making dinner, this thought just came into my head. Yes. One of those hippety hopping loose legged thoughs. And I looked around me. The Daughter, just lying on her back on the carpet, playing with some kitchen utensils, lord only knows what imaginary world she was in. The smell of cooking. Basil. Garlic. Fresh bread. The gentle rain outside. Music. And I though. Lord how lucky I am.  This is what I need. This is what I want. A simple life. Warmth. Of sun. Of hearts. Real food. That warms your belly and your soul. Words. Of kindness and of love. Work. That has a meaning. Hands. Arms. That wrap around you and will hold you when you need to be held and will let you dance when you need to dance. Wander when you need to wander. People. Who know who they are. Who know who you are. And who like you, just as you are. Guts and gills and all. With your seams all wonky and your hands elbow deep in flour, your hair all messed up and acting silly...

I was asked just some days ago if I would, if indeed, I could, ever go a day without smiling. And my answer was, never. The point here, I believe, was not that I should go a day without smiling, but the fact that this person thought that I smiled a lot. Which is right. I do. The world is grim enough as it is without me making it any grimmer by walking around with a perma-frown. And it's not like I go around wearing a plastered grin, it just so happens that, come on now, look around you, right now, and tell me, can you really, honestly, not see anything worth smiling about? I dare you to do this next time you're out. Or standing in a mind bogglingly boring bank queue. Or anywhere, surrounded by people who look like their faces might crack if they smiled. Sure. You will indeed get some weird looks. But sooner or later, someone will smile back at you. Someone who knows you. Someone just as crazy as you. And maybe you will say to yourself, lord I'm lucky.

And oh, yes, I've made a lot of stuff and have some serious seamed stocking reviewing to post but that'll have to wait, now I need to get me to bed and dream some weird and wonderful dreams soundtracked by the Little House on The Prairie - theme song. I know. Some things in life are just too too weird...and wonderful...