Sunday, 25 January 2009

One Step Back, One Step Forward

photo by: Pat McDonald

A sign of my continuing battle:

About twelve people came round to mine this morning for a cheerful breakfast - mostly thanks to The Boy's level head - and while I had a lovely time, I had a sort of palsy, twitchy thingy when someone (great and well-meaning) on her way out, saying goodbye to me, then took a handful of strawberries from the plate I was taking in from the kitchen to offer everyone. There weren't many to begin with and I just felt that seeing as she was leaving she could have not taken any. It wasn't a take-away service and maybe you should stop eating at someone's house a little before you leave or at least if you do take a bit extra on your way out, then maybe you should make a token attempt at helping to clean up. I don't know. I then dispaired of my lack of a sense of abundance. Why did I care? I am, as I heard a snotty undergraduate say of DPhil students in the queue the other day, clearly a "mentaloid" and "craptacular".

A sign of my evolution:

I thought about an incident (vaguely and probably very annoyingly described in Hurty Wintry Ickiness) today. My feelings about it flared up again this week because of a fairly random comment someone made in a conversation. But I have decided to take responsibility for my part in the mess. I am starting to see that I was in it, and that I was not as noble as I would have liked to have been. So if you're reading, I am sorry.

How about you guys, my loyal readers? Any instances of your personal growth or regression?


John Flood said...

Last Saturday I was invited to dinner with friends and I find as I listen to others speaking, I'm analyzing the context of the speech as well. It's not done consciously but I'm aware of it.

As much as the world seems to be collapsing around us, we are actually mired in the mundane. Our talk and feelings are focussed on the micro-moments of life that pass us by in seemingly endless whirl. Maybe, despite our lists, our lives are too complex to handle at any one time.

So where does it take us? Partly into something over which we feel we have no or little control. Or a recognition that if we have no control, we might be able to opt out of some of this by creating our own world of moments that are significant to us.

I don't know how far one can go in this pursuit. And I'm aware I've gone through "I", "we", to "one": it'll be "you" and "they" next. The last will be a sign of incipient paranoia.

I think you (here it is) come close to it in your anthropology post where you describe in acute detail some wonderful interactions. They then take on a kind of Hunter S Thompson quality in the sandwich shop (have you thought of trying another?) where the centre of action is actually you with a cast backing you up. Poor Hunter could only get through his situation with lots of drugs and drink, and the occasional motorcycle ride at 100+mph without a helmet. Not good, but then Graham Greene played Russian roulette every decade.

There is something about responsibility in what you are saying. It is as if you are calibrating yours in relation to others. Of course the only way you can do that is through knowledge and understanding. You have both of those in abundance. Good luck.

Academic, Hopeful said...

Wow, thanks John. Your post brought a tear to my (squinty, already tired) eyes. Lots in there - will have to re-read and let it sink in. That bit about the "I" to "They" is genius.

I am also laughing about myself as the actor in my ridiculous life! I have to remind myself to take the world more seriously and myself less. But, as you suggest, it's not that easy to take the world seriously and whenever I do, I seem to clearly see why I need to do that which gets me back to the mundane.

Thanks again. I appreciate your comments.

Miranda W. said...

good one...

all I know is that the new, improved, and efficient me would definitely not have taken a three hour nap this afternoon, nor would she be considering finding an open restaurant at this hour and gorging on fatty expensive foods. but growth is relative (and possibly over-rated).

Twin Palms Road said...

Thank you so much for leaving a comment on my blog - I've almost given it up but you have encouraged me to keep trying and that is truly appreciated.