Prompted by witnessing a person in the education world flip between “our students are adult learners- it’s their fault if they can’t organise their education schedule” to “don’t burden the poor little things with too many resources- we have to stage their education in developmental steps” I found myself thinking about what construction might lie between these two extremes. What is the middle place? And how quickly do we transition through it without noticing? Continue reading Transition through the middle place
Well, I got all excited. The comment went like this…
“What you said made a lot of sense. But, think about this, what if you added a little content? I mean, I dont want to tell you how to run your blog, but what if you added something to maybe get peoples attention? ……”
This was a momentous occasion! My first unsolicited comment. The fact that it was from “pornography addiction” was a little strange, but I could cope with that…
Hang on… (starts to sniff a spammer)
Simple google search result and bingo!
Oh well. I’ll wait patiently until I get a real person. At least the bots are reading!!
My friends are all heading overseas, or are already there. Well, not all, but many. I’m envious, but have decided to turn this into a positive. What if….. I was a tourist here, in Geelong? What would I notice? How would I experience life differently. I was pondering this, when I saw this…
What a beautiful eucalypt! Subtle sunset colours in its upper branches at the end of a wonderful crisp wintry day. I was biking home from work. What a privilege to live as an unpersecuted person in Australia. Tomorrow I hope to catch up with some friends who are still here. I’m not envious any more, and I’ll do some more of the “What if…..?” technique, as today it seems to have put me in touch with the simple things I might have missed.
It’s late and I’ve been youtubing. A bit of a musical voyage shared with my daughter. We sat up chatting about the changes over the years in how commercial music is experienced. Who remembers the excitement of the first music videos: being able to SEE the artist performing- how fantastic was that?
I remember too the first arty videos. I felt a bit cheated. I wanted to see the performers, not video effects! Watching the beautiful artistry of Antony and the Johnsons “Epilepsy is dancing” compared with the awkward Supremes “Baby Love” I wonder now what I was disappointed about.
Anyhow, it was a wonderful 90 minutes. An eclectic collection, including
Donna Summer: Heartbreaker
Bee Geees: ditto (yep..they wrote it)
Antony and the Johnsons: Bird Gerhl (magic)
Righteous Brothers: Unchained melody
Bats for Lashes: Laura
Sia: Breathe me (one of the most beautiful songs I know; she’s a genius)
Christy Moore: Ride on (also beautiful)
Marilyn Manson: Sweet dreams, Tainted love (both great covers)
Richard Clapton : Capricorn Dancer (dated, but nostalgic video)
The Canadian tenors (with surprise appearance by Celine Dion): Hallelujah
The fray: How to save a life (sad, moving)
The cinematic orchestra: To build a home
There were a few more daggy ones but if I were reading this that would be more than enough information. End of self indulgence. Bye for now.
So far, I’ve only told a couple of friends, and my family about this blog, and today my son asked me why. It was interesting to ponder.
The reasons, I decided were as follows
1. Even though I may come across as arrogant or opinionated, some of my ideas are pretty “out there” – I haven’t really started on these ones, but as a teaser, I believe that depression, while a terrible human experience, has a function which is a bit like immunisation.. you suffer for a greater gain. I believe that we can emerge from depression with a much greater self understanding and compassion, and, if this is acknowledged by our loved ones and carers, the likelihood of further episodes is minimised. Anyway.. that’s one of the weird ideas I’m not going to put out there in a big way.. yet.
2. Thinking that one day there might be a bigger audience keeps me honest. I have to be responsible and accountable for what I write. That’s important. So that’s why I’m not just writing this into a file on my computer.
3. There are some really great bloggers out there. I’m not one of them, so in some ways I’m a bit of an imposter in the space. So I’ll just leave my voice in this little hidden corner of the internet, to be discovered by the curious.
So here I am.. blogging away to my audience of 4 or 5 people. It’s fun.
I’m sitting in an airport with an hour or so to kill. (How fortunate and environmentally irresponsible are we in Australia that jet travel is available to the masses- $38 to travel 900km!)
Nevertheless, putting aside my greenie guilt factor, I’m contemplating friendship, and the dynamic exchange of values. Rather like a tide washing back and forth. There’s a bit of intercontinental drift too.. Some of my friendships have just drifted away, without any active encouragement or discouragement- “that’s just the way it is”. Others are consolidating and as this happens it helps me to contemplate love. There’s much to love. I don’t understand it, but I’m enjoying learning more about it and myself.
So I’ve just had a few days with a dear friend whom I love. He’s a pretty chilled out guy. Quite different to me, so I learn a lot from him. And we have our differences which we exchange. Somehow I feel that if we were partners we’d get to a base level disagreement that would deconstruct or self-destruct our friendship, but the luxury of friendship is that you can actively make decisions to ignore, or tolerate, or learn from the differences. Why is this so much harder in our chosen relationships (which are often formalised by marriage, defacto agreement, whatever)?
Coincidentally, while spending time with my friend, I received a belated invitation from an another (“old”) friend to an event. He’s very like my current friend in a way, but it’s complicated. We spent a lot of time together in our formative years and we have so many of these experiences to reminisce about, but I feel I failed in my part of the friendship. There were some differences that I wanted to explore, and his “model” of friendship meant NOT exploring these. “You just tolerate these things quietly in friendships” (Not his exact words: I can’t remember them, but that the message was explicit). I miss this friend and I grieve not knowing what is going on in his life, but I haven’t made the steps to bridge the gap of time, and it’s widening. I haven’t had a meaningful conversation with him for many years now, so what to do?
Expediently I could say “We’ve just drifted apart”, but what is that? I’m a very social person, and I’ve “moved on”- I hate that expression.. look at the offence Julie Bishop has caused with invoking the good old “let’s look forward” after the execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, and I totally see why. Its reminiscent of John Howard not getting why an apology to our indigenous population was needed- when you are “moving on” you lose an opportunity to reflect and learn from the past.
So what have I learnt? Not sure, but I know I value my friendships deeply, and I feel that I’m too fickle- I love my friends, but I know that some of the “special” friendships have changed. Making someone special has huge spiritual benefits, but can also generate expectations and raise the risk of letting them down. (My greatest fear!) Then there’s the complex ingredient of their life choices of friends and partners- what to do with all the factors there? Loyalty, politeness, tolerance, jealousy, anger, bemusement, amazement and shock and awe are some of the experiences I’ve had watching my loved ones in their relationships. One thing I know about committed friendship is that the commitment process is wonderful self learning.. if painful. Makes me humbly ponder, and often overthink (more about overthinking soon). I wish I could just package it as “That’s just the way it is”. I’d be much more “chilled”.