Friday, 6 March 2009

Good Times (is there a mood pattern emerging?)

Hungarian posters

So I am not sure why I included those posters. I spotted them at Momento Park in Budapest over the Christmas break and I just think they're pretty terrific in a very superficial way.

My brother is in town from as a visiting scholar from CEU, Budapest (a nice connection to the posters?). It's super to have him around, although old habits creep back so quickly - like when he commented on my kitchen being "clean" (as in dirty) within the first few hours of seeing me and later when I told him quite sternly that I was not going to watch another YouTube clip that he wanted to show me. We both chose to brush off these comments instead of engage in a snip fest from the mid-90s. Well done to us! You really do have to let go of a lot of psychological baggage when it comes to relationships with adult siblings and enjoy and respect them as friends. It's a delicate thing. I have now seen him twice in three months after a three year absence - he usually lives in Africa (to save the world! Toot-toot!) and we haven't managed to coordinate our trips back to Australia.

An assortment of around fifteen friends from my Department, my College and other areas of life met up last night in one of my favourite pubs here, the Gardener's Arms, to welcome him over dinner and a few drinks. Good food, good chat, good times. One of my friends theatrically told us all how much she hates people (especially now she is writing-up). She says she hates people who want too much of her time and energy (who tell boring stories about their grocery shopping and get offended when she glazes over) and she hates people who are too good for her (who have already been published and sorted out their postdocs). She says that running is her only cure against daily hatefulness. Whatever this blog may suggest, I am going to miss this place...

It's bright and sunny today and I can see purple and yellow fresias from my window. I am working fairly effectively and I have a good feeling about the weekend ahead. I just have to avoid those afternoon crashes when I haven't eaten properly and think chocolate and Facebook will help me through. I hope you have a lovely one.


John Flood said...

Last week I saw my sister--who is my only relation in the world--for the first time in about 12 years. We had a falling out back then, just one in a long line of arguments, differences, jealousies, and son on. I let it fester and was resigned to never seeing her again. My birthday changed that when she sent me a text. And I found myself replying, "when you're next in London..." She said I'm coming up tomorrow. The result, when I met her, her husband and a daughter (who's coming up to partner in one of the large law firms) was a truly joyous reunion.

I got a little nervous when we started talking about family history, which can often spark arguments. But it didn't as this time we seemed to agree--indeed for the first time--that our mother was actually quite weird. (Side note: we had same mother and different fathers.) My niece came up with a good solution along the lines that since we knew different things about our family, why not pool our knowledge (instead of bickering over who is right...).

The tension, real or imagined, eased away as this possibility became sensible to us. I know I have no real battles with my sister since what would "victory" mean? Antagonism. No, I have reclaimed a friend and more. I know we will differ but it needn't be over the trivial things that dogged us. But for me the most important aspect is that I now have a family again and the world doesn't seem such an alienated place anymore. It's a start.

Academic, Hopeful said...

Thanks for being so open John.

Sibling stuff is often very difficult to wade through, but as adults the ethos has to be to preserve the relationship over being right. It's extremely difficult at times, particularly when these relationships involve so many intense, confusing and often painful feelings, feelings most often experienced and absorbed into our memories when we are these hugely sensitive creatures with our in-built justice scales.

That's a useful way of looking at it - pooling knowledge, helping each other move on. I am really glad you two are friends again.