If we were having coffee, I would apologize for not being around so much recently. Being polite, you would ask what I’ve been up to, and I would say well, nothing much. However, on a flip-through of my journal for the month of April, the following is revealed:
LET’S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED
I was sorting books (yet again) and found:
‘Let’s Pretend This Never Happened‘ (Jenny Lawson)
“…she learns that life’s most absurd and humiliating moments, the ones we wish we could pretend had never happened, are the very same moments that make us who we are.”
I often get cold feet about my own blog. I do value it, so could try again with a simple coffee post.
KEEPING WHAT’S MOST PRECIOUS
I want to keep the large padded footstool if possible, and had the sudden impulse to stick a blue Post-It note on it. That reminded me of Frasier telling his father and brother to put labels on the things they most wanted to inherit. The father thought it was a bad idea, and refused, but Niles had great fun sticking labels everywhere.
Looking around the internet, I find a lot of people fall asleep during Blade Runner. I was no exception. When I woke I was very confused… I thought it was morning, and wondered if Mum had got up yet. I couldn’t remember seeing her today at all, or anything else that might have happened. Slowly it came back to me that she had indeed got up, and had done things like set the robohoover to work.
OUT OF THE LOOP
I’m disoriented these days. It’s intensified because small plans are mooted, then suddenly change and I’m not informed, and I find myself working towards something that’s not going to happen, or isn’t going to happen the way I think, which changes everything…. It’s funny how people leave you out of the loop, then look at you as though you’re the bat with crazy ideas.
A SIMPLE MISUNDERSTANDING INVOLVING COFFEE
Mum’s just got up from her nap and is drinking caffeine-free instant coffee. She hasn’t drunk instant for years, so that took me by surprise. I didn’t even realize it was caffeine-free… I just thought it was good thinking on her part to buy a replacement when I was about to run out. I ran out today… so (feeling somewhat cheated) I said “we need more.”
I now have a silver tin, while Mum has the gold. Why does ‘caff free’ get to be gold??
*SPOILER* — ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (A.I.)
Part-way through watching the Artificial Intelligence AI DVD on Mum’s TV while she was napping, which I’m not encouraged to do, I got tired minutes before she reappeared. I turned it off and left the TV on, so all she saw was snooker, which she’s still watching.
I love the teddy in AI… that’s why I bought it. The part of the story that’s painful is how the robo-boy has been imprinted on one human (his ‘mother’) and that’s an irreversible process, even though he’s likely to live a lot longer. If returned to Cybertronics after imprinting, they would have to destroy him. Rather than do that, they abandoned him in a wood with Teddy, and told him for his own safety not to go to Cybertronics or any large group of people.
But was that kind?
At the end of the film, it was easier for the boy to lose her forever while knowing he was loved, than to lose her heart and her mind… even knowing she was still alive somewhere. I didn’t understand that when I saw it before, but think now that I do.
Part of the problem with people now is that they expect perfection. All you need to do is check out one of those B&B TV reality shows… they knock marks off if there’s no TV or they have to share a bathroom, and they complain about dustbin men at 6 a.m.
Then there’s the perennial “there was a small spider in the corner.”
It makes you wonder.
EXPRESSING MYSELF… OR NOT!
I need to be consistent in myself, and that means doing what comes naturally to me. Saying what seems right to me. I’m confused enough without there being added confusion… an alien dynamic.
I run into fears I might overdo emails. After all, people are busy. Or they do all their communicating on diddly little iPod Shuffles. So I delay my responses, cut down a lot, and do so much self-editing that the authentic me isn’t coming though.
BRIEF FLASH OF ENLIGHTENMENT
From my horoscope for April 25:
“Nearly everyone seems on edge today…. Unfortunately, you could inadvertently kick a hornet’s nest if you are careless with your words. Author Pearl Cleage wrote, “Discomfort is always a necessary part of the process of enlightenment.””
Overnight I had a Eureka moment that I’ve since forgotten. I don’t know if it was real or dreamed…
I hoovered downstairs (and the stairs themselves) and polished the tables, and felt tired the whole time, as though doing it was little short of a nightmare! I hope that book about the art of Japanese tidying is right when it says that when you finally get your possessions down to a more manageable level and tidy them away into their designated spaces, keeping the whole house clean will be easier and more fun.
“Those items that bring you the most joy, such as your divorce certificate, should be kept in your power spot. Every house will have its own power spot. To find yours, close your eyes and joyously chant: “Where’s my power spot?” If the answer does not come to you then you aren’t chanting joyously enough.”
A little while ago my iMac failed… or rather, one small component in it failed, which means the whole 27″ 30.5 lb weight of it (and some of the software on it) is scrap. I used to paint in that corner; create and maintain databases, organize my photo collection, back up my iPad, listen to music…
I haven’t been there since the iMac failed, and have felt confused and disgruntled ever since. I got a new computer but haven’t turned it on. I don’t know if it will run the software I’m used to running, and the thought of installing it all over again makes me not want to go through the process at all. However, without that resource, I don’t feel ‘me’ any more.
It’s time I addressed that, and brought my ‘power spot’ back into play. Today.
HELPING THE GRASS GROW
The hill out the back gets manure put on it annually. You go out into the garden and it’s suddenly reeking. I have thought a few times the cats were overdoing it…
BOOKS AND HAPPINESS
A while ago when I suggested buying Sharpe books on Kindle for her birthday, Mum said no, she can’t concentrate enough on reading.
More recently, I took a pile of books downstairs to go to charity, and some time later thought “that’s funny, the pile looks smaller!” I peeked in Mum’s room, and she’d taken a book (The Vital Spark) and put it in her book rack.
That made me happy. 🙂
She’s also finished a slim library book by Ann Cleeves and bought herself a Kindle book.
It all makes me happy and I feel calmer. Also, today it was sunny. Rather cold, but the sun was gold on the trees and blossoms… just lovely.
I’ll miss it here.
I wrote the following in my private journal: “You know, all that chatter is the kind of stuff I thought would be fun on a blog, with names changed to protect the guilty. But it’s far more complicated in real life, hedged around with ethics, dangers and concerns. I end up with cold feet, and whatever goes on a blog now is not quite the same. It has become too difficult for me to deal with.“
I’m still attracted to the idea of it, though. One of the reasons I’ve come back to my blog, for this post at least, is that I was inspired by another journal I read. That’s always the kind I wanted to write, but I don’t know if I have the courage. I always like to put down my thoughts, so you would think it would be easy, but it’s not.
I bought an iPad, thinking it would make it easier to write or doodle things on the fly. Instead I got terribly distracted and spent a lot of time playing games or finding new things to bookmark. While looking around, I found one blogger who said he would add something to the list of ‘Stupid Things I Do that I Don’t Know How to Stop.’ I was tickled at the idea of such a list, so here’s mine:
- Turning on the iPad every morning
- Constant surfing on the internet
- Sitting up too late
- Opening the wrong drawer YEARS after reorganizing
- Writing too-long emails
- Having a Facebook presence
- Avoiding my blog
- Starting new digital paintings but only finishing one in twenty
- Downloading new Kindle books without having read the hundreds I have
It doesn’t help that I’m still reading The God Delusion a chapter at a time. I’m also reading How to be Assertive in Any Situation on my Kindle, Hung Lou Meng in iBooks and Five Little Peppers and How They Grew in the Kindle app.
The iPad is supposed to be a useful organizer and communications device, but my attention gets scattered and I lose my focus!
Anyway, I try. Yesterday I went through a list of recommended apps and downloaded several new ones. I had trouble finding the BBC Weather app (not mentioned in the list anyway) — it was sorted into ‘iPhone Only’ in the App Store. It’s supposed to be for iPads as well, so I’m confused. While I was at it, I downloaded the WordPress app… you may not realize it, but that was a great leap forward. Could be a sign of things to come! Note that I didn’t say ‘great’ things… just ‘things’.
Last night, just as we were turning in, Mum said “I don’t know yet if I’m going to the cat show after meeting the girls in town, in which case I’ll take the bus out and get some M&S food.”
“WHAT cat show??”
“Why, the cat show in the next town! … Oh. Did YOU want to go?”
Well, no… I’ve gone off cat shows big time. To be honest, I never enjoyed myself at cat shows. They are supposed to be sociable events where you meet other cat people and introduce your pride and joy to interested visitors. But I never heard what anybody was saying, and nobody had time to stand around and write me notes (even if they knew me), and so I stopped trying. (This after years of attending cat shows, so you can’t say I never gave it a proper go).
But I’ve been feeling even more than usual lately that I don’t know what is going on; I’ve been in a permanent state of confusion, and the Great Book Disaster is simply the worst example of it. I wonder if Mum used to make more effort to fill me in, and now she’s a bit more tired and less inclined to? Meanwhile my sister hasn’t realized this, and assumes Mum tells me everything.
I keep thinking, “was it my fault I didn’t know about this; could I have been paying more attention / realizing the significance of random details / joining up the dots a bit better / asking more questions? Or did I forget things?” Sometimes that happens — but I think in most cases recently, people simply haven’t been telling me.
I woke at 5 this morning under a cloud of gloom. I remembered all those photos of me as a young child, and even as a baby to a slightly lesser extent… no smiles: tense and anxious. I read somewhere that children hate being photographed — I should think ‘to the power ten’ for deaf children, who have even less idea than hearing children what is going on.
I’m not just sitting here muttering, though; I thought “I’m going to have to deal with this situation before it gets worse. So I’ll tell Mum, and I’ll tell E, but I won’t tell either that I told the other. That way, if they’re both making more effort and not assuming that someone else is filling me in, I stand a better chance of being kept informed by SOMEbody.” Somewhere I read: “deaf people are highly manipulative, but they have to be if they are to survive.”
I started up Firefox to search for something on the internet… and then when I got there, I couldn’t remember what I meant to do.
This is a problem with growing older. You start to wonder if something really happened or if you just dreamed about it.
I have a friend called Honey. She went to America, started a family, and we lost touch. It got so that I didn’t know where to look to find her last known address there. I sometimes thought about firing off a postcard to see if it would find her, but the problem lay in finding an address to fire it to.
The years crawled by. Christmases came and went, and no cards crossed the ocean.
Sometimes I realized that the silence was so complete that absolutely anything could have happened in her life and I wouldn’t know. She could be divorced, mother of 12 children, a successful bestselling author, a multimillionaire with her own island… or living back here in Britain.
Life continued to pass in a fog, and then one day I thought to myself “that’s funny, didn’t Honey send me an email? I’m so sure I saw an email, and I was going to read it, but somehow here I sit, and there’s no email. What happened?”
I realized I must have dreamed it… sometimes I dream about her. Sometimes we’re getting on and happy to be with each other, sometimes we’re falling out and angry. Sometimes she’s calm and cheerful but walking away, not listening. So it made sense that I would dream she had got back in touch. Obviously I woke up just as I was about to read her message, because I didn’t remember reading it.
A few days later (three days ago) I fired up my email and found a message from my sister, saying Honey had been in touch, wanting her email address given to me so that I would write.
“Whoa,” said Mum…. “that’s spooky!”
The worst of it is, I’m not quite sure what actually happened. Was it a dream after all? Had I seen a message from her waiting for me? And then, for whatever reason, it was skipped over and forgotten about. That doesn’t make sense… if I was scanning a folder of emails, even my Trash Folder, and saw a message potentially as important as that, I would read it immediately. If it had been from Honey, I would have remembered about it, and answered her (probably immediately). If it had been a spam message from a spammer using the same name, I would have checked it first (just in case) and then dismissed it so completely from my mind that I would have difficulty recalling.
Or it might have been a dream. That’s exactly the kind of thing I dream about. It’s kind of spooky either way.
PS: Honey tells me that a few nights ago she was dreaming about Marks and Spencers prawn sandwiches, something she’s not had for years. That made me smile, because a few days ago we were getting sandwiches for lunch from Marks and Spencers, and I stood and stared at the prawn ones wondering if I should get those… but in the end I went for the chicken and sweetcorn. They were very good; some sandwiches taste like cardboard, but not these. While I was eating them, I had yearnings of my own… I miss the beef and horseradish sandwiches Marks and Spencers used to sell when they started. I liked them so much that I chose them every time, and now they’re gone. We used to eat them in Princes Street Gardens.
All the time that we were not keeping up with each other’s news, I wonder how many thoughts like this we had in common without even realizing.
Have you ever misplaced something you bought at the shops? You return home and suddenly think “what happened to the videos I bought in the first charity shop?” and search all your bags, the car, the floor, the sofa and the table, and can’t find them anywhere. You become convinced you left them behind in the place where you had lunch.
“What videos were they?” asked Mum.
“Um… well… Black Beauty and… I can’t remember the other.”
Mum sighed, then asked “are you sure you actually bought them?”
After a pause, Mum said “actually – I think you did. I seem to remember the girl at the desk saying something.”
“She said something when I came in – I don’t remember her saying anything when we were going out.”
“When we came in she asked if you were feeling better. But she said something else when you were buying something.”
“Oh… yeah… I wasn’t really sure what it was she said, but she did say something. And then I tucked the videos into my wheelie bag.”
“So if you put them IN your wheelie bag, how did they get OUT?”
“They would have got out when we went to have lunch – remember I took out the library books?”
“Oh, yeah… well I could ask them at the eating place when I go into town tomorrow.”
Then she added “well anyway, if they don’t have them, it’s only a pound you lost.”
I didn’t reply, but protested inside – “I don’t WANT to lose a pound!”
When I got back to my own house I was still cross, saying to myself “I’m always so careful; I never leave a restaurant without checking for forgotten bags on the chairs or underneath the table. How can one be so careful and still manage to lose something? It’s not fair!”
Sulking, I walked into the sitting room and saw a white carrier bag sitting on the floor by the sofa.
“That looks rather like a bag of videos,” I thought – “but they could be anything, as I’m always buying videos. There’s no way I could have brought any home during the day as I didn’t come home – unless I forgot that as well!” Nevertheless, I felt a surge of hope as I picked up the bag and looked inside – maybe there would be a small miracle?
I pulled out two videos – Black Beauty and Star Trek: Nemesis.
Oh, now I get it! I must have bought these yesterday.
Edit Feb 2008: Comment from when this entry was hosted by Blogigo:
1. Pete wrote at Sep 15, 2006 at 20:12:
LOL I can relate to that