The sun is low in the evening sky. Just above my horizon of hills, it crowds my eyes, bright like gold. I hear the changewind of autumn sing through the telephone wires. The trees shimmy like dancers, rattling their castinets of dry leaves. Gold and red all around if I look quick, and if I don’t they become a carpet at my tomorrow feet. I feel the wild. Do you feel it? It’s quite inconvenient really, for supper is due at 6 and I am late all because a feeling took over from the boiling tatties.
I think on my children, all adults now, parents and friends of those I may never meet. In a long life, there are so many memories, so many times of change and change and more change. Of adaptation, of quick thinking, of loss and of failure, of high rise buns and success, of pets and walks and talks and laughter. I don’t remember it all, but at times, I remember something and that something smiles me or gasps me and I know I am still alive because I know I feel, even if those feelings upset earthly plans, which they generally do.
Emotions come to us unbidden, unsought and they can make things awkward. I might suddenly want to pull over and stop to look at the way the sunlight diamonds the waves, and yet my companion is in a hurry to catch a deadline. Although I hesitate, I don’t stop, and as I continue along the road I am left wondering if that sight was something worthy of a deeper look and because I didn’t honour it, is now lost. Or did I leave it behind for less hurrying folk to marvel at, and, if I did, is that good? I am scurrying like a mouse for a deadline I might not care a toss about, a bit of cheese for someone else, and now I have emotional indigestion. It has ever been a quandary.
In a discussion that pits emotion against logic, we can be at eternal odds, for the twain shall never meet. Yes this is the sensible choice considering the worldly demands of the day, but I what I feel is at odds with that choice. I feel sad, for example. The natural return for that ball over the net is the question ‘why?’ I have yet to be able to answer that one for I honestly do not know. I am just sad. If I am happy, nobody asks why. When I apply logic to my own emotions they don’t like it. They shuffle about awkwardly inside me, mixing themselves up so I don’t know who is where. Searching for a reason is as pointless as trying to bale out the ocean with a teacup. I might venture a response if the questioner is persistent enough with their ‘whys’. I feel sad because……this is an anniversary of a sad thing. The response to that is rooted in logic and comes thus……But that was a year ago! You need to move on, smell the roses, bla bla bla! I nod. T’is true after all but those facts do not change my feeling one jot. In fact, more arise in response to the logic which is a response to the emotion and suddenly a new beast is born, one with bared teeth and claws out. All I said was I feel sad.
Or…..I am quiet and thoughtful, in my own world, trying once again to sort out the dichotemy between what I feel and what is available to me. Once again, the spirit world arguing with the ‘real’ world. I wonder which is real. For me, being quiet and thoughtful does not beg the question ‘what is wrong with you?’ and yet, it comes. Trying to explain it, the feelings I am feeling, in carefully thought through answers always ties my legs in knots. The truth is nothing is wrong but that question in my ears. If you ask a man what is wrong, even though chances are you already know, he will answer with facts. If I ask him how he feels about the situation he finds himself in he will invariably panic and dive off to make a coffee or to assemble a carefully worded email. He is unlikely to do more with my question than indicate to me that it has astonished him. What do feelings have to do with the problem?
I wonder how many situations morph intod new beasts just because one counters another’s feelings with logic. We used to call it ‘fixing’ back in the day. Please don’t fix me. But what does a completely logical person do or say when confronted with the potential mess of an emotion, ‘innapropriately’ expressed, one that nobody can explain? I can quite see the dilemma. Perhaps life is supposed to be a dilemma, a puzzle, one that will always have missing pieces.
Makes me chuckle.