tired of your world?
try on another’s skin
read a book
I used to read all the time, but it’s an ability I’ve largely lost. I dip in and out of this book or that, and it can take me a long time to finish anything. Today, though, I found out that books still have their place in the world, even in mine.
I’m upset just now about a lot of different things, some of which won’t be resolved any time soon. There’s nothing I can do but wait. I couldn’t concentrate on anything I was meant to be doing, so curled up on the sofa and read.
I was previously dipping into this book for minutes at a time, worried I wouldn’t finish by its library due date, but today wrapped it round me like a blanket and read all afternoon and evening: Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey.
It was brilliant and I would recommend it whole-heartedly. It upset me a lot. 😀
I know that doesn’t sound so good, but I don’t regret reading it. It gives me a different understanding of what it must be for people to go through memory loss.
The main character talks about being treated like she’s back in school… I could relate to that, as the same thought flashed through my head during a meeting with a nurse. Being talked to like I was six was a very big reason I rebelled and refused to have anything more to do with her proposed anxiety treatment.
Yet anxiety is a horrible thing… I wonder why it should hit me so hard that I needed to pull up the drawbridge and hide inside a novel. I don’t think anything will change me, and maybe it’s not out of the ordinary… we all get overwhelmed at times. I wonder what life would be like if no one ever felt fear?
Whatever… I was surprised how quickly I went from only being able to concentrate for a few minutes to spending hours reading. People talk about how the internet and ‘information overload’ has changed the way we read, think and engage. Perhaps, but I don’t believe it’s a permanent change. If for any reason you mentally disengage yourself from your internet habit, you can still take up a book as though nothing else exists.
Have now begun Dark Eden by Chris Beckett.
‘Hmmph, hmmph, hmmph, went the trees all around us, pumping and pumping hot sap from under the ground.’
See you when I get back. 🙂
The older I get, the mellower! It’s strange. Either that, or living with Mum is making me civilized again. There’s nothing like a little light banter every day to make you feel nothing’s that serious or annoying.
Well, I read some WordPress posts saying we should blog often, even if busy or tired, so I’m trying. I got busy doing five pictures at once (one for a small informal contest… nothing special or grand) and when I started posting them, it all turned into a bit of an anti-climax. I’m still working on Pictures 4 and 5, and have even added a Picture 6, but the pace has slackened noticeably.
Maybe it’s time to socialize a bit… all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!
Mum caught me looking abstracted the other day. I explained I was thinking how naive I was as a 20 year-old. My friend Honey and I didn’t know that the slang word ‘barf’ wasn’t a cute word for ‘bath’! But another 20 year-old… a boy… knew perfectly well what it meant.
I was wondering how both Honey and I got to the age of 20 not knowing that, and she said little boys always collect rude words to impress each other!
Perhaps. But I’m glad it was not just me! Possibly Honey and I realized we had exactly the same depth of ignorance, and so we were in the same boat… hence our friendship, which still goes on, though on different sides of the Pond.
In those days we didn’t have the internet. I’ve learned a lot from it since I got online, and I can’t imagine doing without it. I probably wouldn’t even be using software like Bryce… might not have heard of it. Might not know as much as I do about Photoshop etc. Won’t have heard of certain bloggers, and be wondering how they’re doing…
Thinking how nice it will be to get some sleep, though… that’s something that comes with age. I remember telling my favourite primary teacher that I never wanted to go to bed, but in the morning I never wanted to get up, and it seemed rather odd. She said when I got older, I’d be very glad to get to my bed, though not wanting to get up in the mornings remains about the same. Some things we can always count on. 🙂
I’ve always liked the company of older people, and felt a little less at home with younger folks (who are more unpredictable in some ways).
Mum was talking about things from her childhood. She remembered buying dresses… they were taken ‘on approval’, and delivered in boxes and tissue paper. She kept missing trams and jumping on while they were on the move. The conductor would say “you’re not supposed to do that!”
I said I remembered double-decker buses with the door at the back with stairs — they had bus conductors with ticket machines. Mum said admiringly, “you’re quite old too!” and I said “thank you.”
I’m fascinated by any nuggets of wisdom older people decide to share… they are individual but have the ring of truth. Like from the rather worried old lady who said you know you can be perfect, but you must expect to make mistakes. Be kind to yourself. (I have a horrible habit of lying awake at night counting the very many mistakes I’ve made. Sometimes I think wistfully about Ally McBeal’s boss who said tactless things, then in the next breath he would mutter “bygones!”)
Liz Smith (elderly actress) had a lot to say that I was interested in. She said you can’t know why people react the way they do; it’s probably connected to things that happened to them. It’s rare to have true friends; people who know exactly who you are and what you’re about.
Liz wanted to talk with other passengers (while on her cruise) but couldn’t bring herself to make the first move — she was convinced they wouldn’t want her. I feel that more and more, even on the internet; I hesitate to comment, email or join in as much as I used to. I used to have an opinion on everything, but now I watch everybody else making mistakes and putting their foot in it, knowing that this time it isn’t me. More and more I decide it’s safer to pretend I’m not even here!
Perhaps it’s all part of getting older.
A friend and I were having a discussion recently — we were saying how we used to blithely do things that now make us curl up in horror and amazement. We were not mountaineers or explorers… but she used to ride rather nervy horses over jumps she wouldn’t even consider these days. Whereas I used to fill in those email letters that asked for your mother’s middle name!! Perhaps along with age we learn fear… but hopefully other, more positive things as well.
I wonder what pearls of wisdom might drop from my lips when I’m over 80 — everything I’m doing and thinking now takes me closer to those truths! It’s an interesting thought.
Sitting with Mum the other day, I was talking about our future plans, and what we could do about this or that. Suddenly she stopped me short with: “Remember I’m getting old. You will have to do such and such if I pop off.”
It’s not the first time she’s said it, and she always seems to come up with it just as I’m getting enthusiastic about something. Nothing bursts your bubble quicker.
“WHY do you keep saying that?” I burst out. “I know you’re getting old! I don’t need to be reminded!”
“I have to remind everybody.”
“There are some ladies down at the Bridge Club who are younger than me, and they keep saying they’re too old to do stuff, and they sit and let me do all the work. They all think I’m younger than I am. So I’ve started telling them.”
I stamped off to the kitchen, returning with tea and biscuits.
Mum sat forwards eagerly. “Well, this is what we can do. We can do this, and that, and the other, and maybe we could…”
She went on like this for some time, and when she finally stopped, I said, “Tell me again, why do you have to remind people you’re getting old?”
“Now YOU’RE talking about it all the time!” she screamed. Then we both chuckled.