Reflections and observations on life in general.

Month: March, 2013


I have no car this weekend, it failed its MOT and awaits remedial work after the Easter holiday.
My travels are curtailed – train,  now walking.
Yet I feel much more free.


The Taste of Pride.

A little while ago I had the bitter, slightly nauseous sensation of having swallowed a lump of pride; this physical sensation persisted, even a cup of strong coffee didn’t shift it. Only after I’d spent a while helping somebody else did I notice it had dissolved into a memory of the morning.
I had just responded a little too harshly and obstructively to a colleague with whom my working relationship is sometimes strained.
I understood with sudden clarity as I walked to another task, that I had been unfair, had a harsh tone of voice, used negative words to block him off and had failed to listen properly to what he was asking me; it was a perfectly reasonable request.
I considered this and I did apologise to him when I saw him next. His response was reasonable enough and he said that I did do this quite a lot with him.
I considered this experience, including the powerful reaction I felt upon realising I was wrong and behaving negatively, sowing seeds of further discord.
I came to see that my negative speech was emerging from a limited view of the situation and a feeling that I had a position to defend; both the result of locking myself into a narrow preconception of things.
My sensations of the “bitter pill” were a sign, perhaps “symptom” is a better word, of part of me resisting any notion that I, I, might be in the wrong.
Since that experience, I have made an effort to improve the situation, including working at being more attentive and mindful and supportive when dealing with hom and other colleagues ; so far with some success but aware of the risk of complacency.
It’s not an easy nor trivial thing, changing even a partial habit but the thing is to start anyway and try to persevere. “Perseverance pays” , I tell myself when faced with walls of churning white water blocking my little voyages from the beach out to the calmer water “out back” behind the breaking waves, where the opportunities for the clean-peeling waves are to be had. It’s always tempting to give up, turn round, go back to the habitual safety of mushy white water and the crowded sand, stay in the comfort zone and dream of the waves I would have ridden “if .. (type excuse here)”.
To put it another way, we can put up with water, or taste the wine. The latter demands making a transformation that may appear miraculous.
But of this, more in another post; my coffee cup is,literally, empty and it’s time to walk home.
Outside, the weather is “horrible” or simply “cold”; which one I experience depends upon my view.

Word Birds

I’m trying to learn Dutch at the moment. I have a good teacher who combines patience with perseverance.
Sometimes, when under pressure of real conversation, I find the words I am trying to recall seem to take flight in my mind, like a flock of chattering, mocking starlings, whirling around in my head while I stand, vainly trying to catch the one I want for that next part of the sentence… only to find I have a word of Welsh, French, German….
Later, when the pressure is off, an imagined fluttering of wings and the scratch of small claws on my shoulder accompanies the very word I was looking for, sitting there calmly in view of my mind’s eye.
The mind and memory are strange things.