Island Blog – Try It

I don’t have a single thing to grumble about, not one, not even half of one. I have a roof over my head, one I can safely presume will be still over my head on waking the morra. I have five strong and healthy children and 12 ditto grandchildren. I have the freedom to choose what I will eat tonight with no fear of lack or hunger pains. I have fresh clean ever-flowing water, a telephone, a cooker, a bathroom and flushing loo, two of the latter. I have no restraints on my goings out nor my comings in. My day is my own. The list could fill a book and I am daily grateful for my health, my lot in life, my past and my present and there’s the key. To live in the present is to have life by the cajones. To be in touch, connected, engaged and curious is the only way to live a life to the full. Of course there are sad moments, down days, self-pity parties and la la but who doesn’t have them? However a grateful heart will always find something to be thankful for even in those times, even if it is only appreciating the fact that there are shoes on feet that fit, ones without sole holes.

I think that humans spend way too much time overthinking themselves. Burrowing into the regrets, blame and resentment of the past is so daft it’s hilarious. Oh, so you think you can change the past by doing this burrowing thing? You cannot. It was. It is not anymore. So, looking at the anymore right now begs a curiosity, a thankfulness for the butter on my bread, the fact that I can walk, hear, see, hold someone close and give the gift of a smile or a kindly word means everything. There is no other thing as good as everything and those of us who live by this creed, who have done the daily work required to shift a natural negative outlook on life to a positive and thankful one are the happiest people in the world. We are not cash rich and there are ‘things’ we might think we want. We are possibly bereaved, abandoned, neglected or even abused but none of these will control our thinking and, as you already know, our thoughts control our perception of life and even create our circumstances. Think well on that the next time you begin to list your ailments. Nobody wants to hear because every single one of us has them, one way or another. Instead, ask how are you? Did you love ice cream when you were a kid? What’s the naughtiest thing you ever did? What’s your favourite music? Do you have bluebells in your garden? Do you have a pet parrot, pig, lizard, rat, horse, dog, cat, extra terrestrial?

In other words, (or questions) lift lift the conversation until you are the one upbeat person everyone wants to bump into. The elevation you bring will elevate you too. Trust me, I am flying home from the local shop most days. It really works and the long term benefit of a fun, upbeat, interest-in-others attitude means that try as I might to find something to grumble about, either in the present or the past, I find myself at the bottom of the barrel with nothing in my hands. And, as to the future…..well I am certain that a heart thankful for every tiny little thing that means I am still alive and really appreciating every single gift might well mean that heart beats on because it is excited, enlivened, shared and treasured.

Try it.

Island Blog – Nothing Else Matters

My life is golden, a flower, one that has lain dormant (but plotting) for many soggy months, one that is now above ground, looking up and out towards summer. I have seen oh so many summers but this one is new to me and I can feel the fizz of excitement in anticipation. As I sit on the stoep, feeling the warmth of Father Sun on my bare skin and watching seabirds wheel and cant, hear the chase-off when a buzzard comes in to their air space, or a sea-eagle, I smile and whisper a thank you. As I hear a distant woodpecker nattering at deadwood in a call for a mate or see siskin and goldfinch on the nijer seed, I feel the free space around my body for I am a part of this burgeoning Spring day. I listen to my neighbours enjoying a barbecue with friends, a just over the hedge spiral of shared talk and laughter as their little ones demand another rib or a water pistol and I smile through my happy solitude. I see the sea-loch calm and soft beneath a wide sky and wonder about the life beneath the surface. I think about ‘surface’, the way I can see something that appears to be the truth only to discover that it is anything but, like the way I might think a person is until I get to hear their story. So much depth, so much history, so much about experiences I have never had nor ever will. I hear the words, Be Careful, in my head and I will. Be Care Full. I want everyone to know the peace I feel, the acceptance of a life golden because for those of us who do not face danger every single minute, nor abuse, we who have a home, a place in space, enough food in the fridge and our health and strength, our memories and our family do indeed live a golden life. A daffodil life. We can rise through the sog and bog of winter into a new timeline, a new day every day. We can walk in freedom and, if we have eyes to see, we can watch it all in awe and gratitude. We cannot change the lives of all those millions of others who have not even one of our life gifts but we can spend time appreciating our own, noticing them, naming them, listing them.

My children and theirs are well and happy. My siblings ditto. I have friends, moon rises, sunsets, tasks to complete, people to encourage, letters to write that will be received with a smile, frogspawn to move before it dries out a thousand tadpoles, supper to choose, music to listen to, a beloved dog to walk with and to cuddle. In this world right now, all of those are privileged gifts. To whom much is given, much is expected. I get it. I really do. To be thankful, mindfully thankful despite loss and a mucky past, despite the inner demons that have no power unless I give it to them, is key. Key to what? The door to the next big adventure, that’s what, and we all have one of those just around the corner. Life is golden for any of us who are not running from war, from abuse, from ethnic cleansing, from a painful past, but even they, one day, will find the golden. Let us who have it now rise into the sunshine because the truth is this:-

Nothing else matters.

Island Blog – Taradiddle Tapselteerie

I like an oppositional perspective on life and deem it apposite in this instance. I also love words and playing with them, using them here and there like stepping stones, no, more like hopscotch. I realise I might leave a reader behind, baffled, bored, thinking me an arrogant wordy nerd. I bow to this. But my love of words knows no bounds even if I have to dictionary a whole lot of them. They come into my head just like that. Just like Taraddidle and Tapselteerie and then I must needs ruffle through everything up to the T pages to find their meaning. Why did, do, they come to me, all random and naked of meaning? I believe I hear the music in them, the beat, and not the memory of English Language A level, which I never took because I was unceremoniously expelled prior to the exam.

The whole oppositional perspective on life thingy is easier to explain, I think, even if redemption is not necessarily in sight. And here it is. I am not a balanced type of woman, nor was I, even as a girl. I am either on the ceiling or deep underground. It is exhausting, but, nonetheless, it is me, it is I, I am me and I am I, and if I could just get myself clear on that I just might find a home. And suddenly this knowledge laughs me because it tells me something important. I am already home and this home is me. I can make it just as I choose. I can high fence it or let everyone in. I can pepper my garden with wildflowers or let it all die. I can paint the stucco, decorate the garden furniture, even sass up the wheelie bins, or I can not bother all. The choice is mine alone, me and I.

Distilling this down to that moment when the fierce bubbling calms to a reduction, I see something. I see the imbalance of life and not just my own. I know for certain that many others present as ‘fine’ when they are anything but I get it, for who wants to invite delving questions demanding answers we don’t want to give? And it is……oh, hold, the cliche words rise in me, the ‘it’s okay not to be okay’ for which I immediately apologise. So what words do we need when we need them? Well, probably none. We are up, we are down. It’s not a good thing to pretend we are balanced when we are not but if we keep it all in it does us no service.

To acknowledge Taraddidle and Tapselteerie has worked for me. I feel the beat of them, hear their music. It’s my ladder up when the snake takes me down because I am not one, not the other, but both.

Island Blog – About the Real

I walk into another evening alone. Oh yes I did have a great friend staying and other friends here making music, yes I did. And then they all go back into their shared lives. And I am so thankful they came. I loved the moments chuckled between us, the laughter, the conversations, the music. I really did. But after them there is just me, just the old loneliness.

In our ‘out there’ lives, we don’t mention loneliness and yet it is rife among us. We don’t want to speak out the word because it invites questions, or fixings, or mentions of Spring and daffodils and light. We see it coming so we keep quiet. We say we are fine and after a little chat about this, that and the weather, we turn back into the lonely. It doesn’t begin after the death of the one we shared everything with. No. It creeps in after the probate is sorted, the paperwork filed, the busy time that keeps us, well, busy and then stops dead like a train hitting the buffers. The shunt of silence is deafening and it isn’t going to make noise anytime soon, bar the odd visit of friends, the lift of music, laughter and shared time.

So what do we Lonelies do about this? Good question. I will work on it. Many of us are just short of 70. What options are out there for us, we who have stayed solid throughout maybe 50 or more years of being one of two? Well we may not be able to see them options but they might just be there, out there, somewhere. So what I say is this, as I wander, restless, through an empty house, more empty than it was when the other of two was away for a bit…..do you remember your dreams? I am working on that. Dreams I had as a young woman with no clue just don’t make sense now. However, a person without dreams, without aspirations, is basically dead whilst still breathing. It doesn’t matter what you do in the loneliness. But it matters if you do nothing. I catch the lift of the young woman I was, at 18, before marriage and kids and a most adventurous and demanding life subsumed me, or tried to. It never worked, this subsuming thing although it took all my spirit strength to remain Me. And now, on my own is mostly wonderful. I no longer have to say where I am going, nor when I will return. I no longer have to explain myself. I no longer this or that, and that is a void I do not know how to navigate. I was this woman and for decades. Now who am I?

There’s a question. The real is the truth. Lonely is real.

Island Blog – Conundrums and Palindromes

An intriguing subject and today I realised something whilst pondering the grammar I so oft forget even as I knew it like I knew my own self a hundred years ago, could navigate its complexities and dark alleyways, its sharp and tantalising edginess, its opportunities for a witchy twist. I still feel that but now I need to let a ferret loose in my thick small print Oxford dictionary, even if it needs a serious upgrade. With all the new language, the new ways of saying the same thing the Greeks said but with different spelling, I can see that my dictionary is a very old man, dusty smelling and wonky chops at his edges, bless his old falling apart interior.

However, it thinks me about life, the subject of conundrums and palindromes. So many many times a conundrum taunts us, challenges us, confines us. Then, if we pause ad reflect we see the palindrome, that what challenges us spells the same way forwards or backwards, telling us that there is a see-saw in the problem. From one end it is all about win or lose but once we see the whole see-saw, we can understand the whole thing. Just a see-saw. Just an up and down and another and another.

I remember see-saws with my kids and my grandkids, the same bump on the same ground as I downed heavier than them but cautioning my downing. and then my uplift. Life, I thought, and learning.

If we can understand that when life slants us off kilter with a conundrum and then in kindliness offers a see-saw palindrome, thus gifting us the chance to monitor our bump down and our uplift, then we can deal with whatever comes our way. There will be endless number of weights that confound and upset us; yes. And here we are on the see-saw. On the other end there may be impossible weights and hitting us at times we don’t expect and feel we are not ready for, but we can hold tight to our end of that board and can learn to work with balance. Whatever comes, comes. Who we are and what we decide to do about who we are in the circumstances will decide not who or what wins, but so much more.

We will understand that we spell the same, forwards or backwards.

Island Blog – The Dance

I have just cleaned my screen. It took a while to eliminate all the greasy finger marks upon’t. T’is done now and my screen is blaring white and clean, causing me to pull back a bit as if in the headlights of a oncoming car. I recover. I consider ‘clean’ against ‘not clean but easy to work with’ and I confounder myself. What else is not clean but easy to work with in my life? I am rocketing towards 70 and that’s an OMG, here she goes thing for children, probably now in their 40’s.

Moving on (quickly). This day I have listened to 3 TED talks on End Of Life. The one thing only we, in the West have any problem with. I mean, people, for goodness sake! We are all going to face it. But how? We don’t know when but we can decide the how of it. As I am doing. And, with great respect I will challenge anyone who is not clear about their choices for that time that will come to us all. Oh, yes, I have heard my fellows telling me I am being morbid but I dance those tellings away because I have been there with the generation above me, now long gone. It is more than a choice. It is a responsibility. Just saying. A Power of Attorney and a Living Will. Easy. Done and freeing for the kids who grieve and grieving slams you into space, one you don’t know, don’t like, fear and run from but which engulfs you for years and affects every step you, the left-behind, is left to take, day by gruelling day.

I am almost there on the legal stuff, which, by the way is a thixotrope of complexity. I remember when the Old Sea Dog was wheeched off to Glasgow with one of his 3 heart valves (2 down) doing it’s best (I named it, the only valve working, Falkor (you have to see the Never-ending Story to know that name), and whilst said Sea Dog was, to say the least, discombobulated, we could find no legal, official thing about his living will. That lack caused my kids intense angst. I don’t want that again for them. Hence I am required to act. No, I require me to act. It is only fair. Many I know have all this in place. And an equal many wave it away. The list is What I Want For My End of Life. It is so simple and yet here we run from it as if anyone can ever run from Death.

I love Fun. Fun is my absolute friend. If someone says Come Now and With Boots On, I am ready in 2 minutes. How much preparation does anyone need for Fun? It is gone in seconds unless we are are ready for it every moment of every day, even the dark ones, the cold ones and cloudydeep ones, the ones we don’t want to wake up for, the same old day tramping like nuns through the cold of our bereaved and broken lives, even then. Even them.

Moving into later life is not a time to deny that life. It is ours. We can ‘old’ with attitude or we can hide away and pretend it isn’t coming, tell ourselves we now have to wear sensible colours, forget the music in the pub that we loved, deny travel because travel is scary (for all of us btw)and fold in. why? Well, I am there, so I can tell you. We don’t want to look like fools. That’s it. We know where we are even as our kids want to tell us we will live forever. We won’t. Let us brave up and make things clear. Let us.

On a swippy note, I am listening to dance tunes in my kitchen as I cook my supper. I love the flavour, the swing, the colour, the flow and the creativity of this dance for life. Although limbs might not respond as they once did, so what! They did once and didn’t my body love that? Yes. it did. Celebrate old body and dance on when you can and if you can. Just don’t deny the olding. Just don’t. It is our path. It is so glorious, so freeing, so fresh and so, well, the dance.

Island Blog – No Moment Missed

Life is an awfully big adventure or it’s nothing at all. Or something like that, if anything could be just ‘something like’ an awfully big adventure, or a life. But we so often take days for granted, allow them to limp along in trudge boots, unseeing of the beauty of our one and only chance to make a difference. Now why would we do that? Death is the end of life and we don’t much like death although I, for one, am completely okay with it for it is just part of a cycle, unless the death is too soon, too young, too inexplicable. Those deaths take forever to be allowed in a mind. But the days we, who yet live, must be roiling with adventures or they just slip through our fingers like mist; missed; missed opportunities to scamper if we can, sparkle our eyes, notice everything, to engage with everything and with everyone we meet. It isn’t hard at all, not if we think it so because by thinking it so we show our humanity and our gratitude. Things will annoy, people will irritate, life will throw curve balls and situations will seem unfair or cruel but if we choose to see life as an adventure, we will learn techniques to work around, work with, work intelligently through any amount of sh*t. Our belief that our piddling little life is more important than anyone else’s is what creates war and war is nothing if not pointless and destructive. From neighbours to posturing countries, from pub quizzes to dinners out, as long as we tell ourselves we are the proverbial ‘it’ the road ahead is paved with troubles. The key is to let go and to let be. And until we learn that, until we take down our walls of protection, we will always be something’s or somebody’s target.

This weekend past I drove to the ferry (most of the way in Nervous Gear) for a visit to my son and his family. I can almost see their home from my own so don’t think airports or anything as scary as that. All I had to do was park, walk aboard, cross the sea and then walk down the gangplank, straight into my son’s big strong arms. We laughed and talked, ate too much and wandered each day with their littlest one in her polar suit and furry lilac boots. During that time I learned much about about them, how they are now, so much more than I could ever learn in a text or during a phone call. Engaging in their life, albeit for a short time, showed me their life, told me how they think and let me know how they have moved on since last I spent some days with them. In my big family it is easy not to manage any of that. A few exchanges when the little ones are playing elsewhere is enough for the time but doesn’t show me how life is for any one of them inside their own lives. And what I noticed is that they grab every opportunity for adventure. All my kids do and in doing so they teach their own little ones to do the same. A sudden rain stop. Let’s get out there and climb trees, or splash in puddles or play ball! There is no faffing, no hesitation, just action.

I return home with memories of our daily adventures roiling in my head. Colours, laughter, pink cheeks, cold fingers, encounters, good coffee and the warmth of a shared evening. It hopes me for a better world. If everyone just got on with life, really living it, giving every moment the respect it so deserves, well…….who knows what the earth might look like? Okay, maybe not the whole earth, but our own little bit of it, our own homes, neighbourhood, street, community. And it all begins with a morning decision to see the good in each moment, every person, every situation in which we find ourselves. When I was fearful on the scarily empty ferry, the cafes closed, the staff minimal, the travellers all unreadable in masks, I decided to stop, breathe in the salty air and to look around me. I watched a couple with a lovely wee dog, the way the woman reassured when the loudspeaker yelled everything in Gaelic, the way another couple took pictures of the passing lighthouse. I counted the beat of the lights and wondered who decides which lighthouse does what and when. I smiled at passing crew members and noticed the way they were already ready for a mask muffled exchange. They, like me, are short on conversation, I realised. The ship was ghostly, almost empty and yet so big and powerful. I watched the wash created by the engines, the wake, the seagulls fly, the islands I cannot name moving by, dark in the darkling light as the sun sank into the great Atlantic. I heard all sounds around me. That door needs oiling. This flag needs a seamstress or replacement. I noticed the colours and their lack. Why does everyone wear dark colours in winter? It’s as if we need to blend into the sleep of the season, no colour upset to the quiet vibration of January. I, in my colours felt a bit rude to be honest. But, no matter. All of us, the dark and the coloured folks, all 10 of us on a ferry that can carry 1000, arrived together and safely. As the crew threw ropes and japed with the land crew, I saw the sea settle, the salt sink, the last light catch the spume turning it into an adventure – just a moment but I caught it and the lift and startle of it carried me all the way back to my wee mini who, I just know it, was excited that I was back. Hallo Pixty, I said and she smiled into life. We trundled home once I had worked out how to put on the headlights and arrived as we had left but not. No. We arrived back adventured up. Changed. Not a moment missed.

Island Blog – Dance Life

I have listened to Christmas songs, tunes, melodies for a few days now. I can catch the Christmas spirit effortlessly, ready always to dance, to tinsel up and to twinkle along with the lights. I have the celebration gene, thanks Mum and Dad. At times, this spirit kaboom can be an awkward thing as I look into blank faces when I rapture on about birthdays, first days, anniversaries. I read those faces. What is it, that look that tells me those people need a hug, not that I can give them one just now, because they have agreed to give up on living the Dance of Life? Honestly folks, if we cannot dance till we die, are we dying to dance? Yes, I believe so. Just look at the followers of Strictly Come Dancing. There is something magical about the fleet flight of dance, especially with a partner who can lead, who can follow. I remember ballroom dance classes when I was at school and although it was all about the boys for me, the feeling of being inside strong arms, guided, swirled and lifted, was indeed heady. I also recall being at my daughter-in-law’s 40th birthday and of dancing alone, a lot, as himself was no longer able to join me and then, out of nowhere, came this young man who really knew how to lead a woman. We spun into flight and I will never forget that dance. Never. I had no idea of the steps, but that is the thing about a good partner because he does.

So, in short, I am still a child, that little girl who grew into an adult body but brought the Alice with her. It isn’t luck, nor a gene because we all have them and many genes can be ignored, or denied, or changed. No, it is a decision, a stronghold on what I believe makes life a dance, a joy and joy is deep rooted. It starts as a seed, no matter the troubles, the noise pollution, the location. We are all able to overcome. all of us. I have witnessed an old woman, determined to go search for whales, with legs that might as well not have been attached to the rest of her. I have heard her voice. Just lift me, just get me on board. The tide was low, the pier high, the hesitation evident in the faltering of her companions. Come ON! she admonished. Think dance! I was a young woman at the time and she was compromised but she showed the spirit and in doing so she taught me. I remember walking away as the boat left the pier, watching her on the disappearing bows of the whale boat and thinking this. I want to be like her. I will be like her.

That decision has stuck with me throughout the years. Oh, hell yes, I have moaned and grumbled. I have miserabled my trudge through the tough times. I have wailed and thwacked walls. Once I took a broom and thwacked out 3 huge kitchen windows. I have felt low and lower but I did sow the seed and the seed remembered being sown and, in grace, pushed up green and that is the miracle of a decision to dance life. Life becomes my partner, the one who appears from nowhere when I am dancing alone, a lot, and takes me in his arms and off we go.

In the build of Christmas, the most magical mystery of all, remember dance. But there’s more. Grab the spirit, the dance of it and just refuse to let go. Live it, no matter what.

Island Blog – Farrago, A Walk, A Widow

I feel like I am walking backwards in terra incognita. I might thwack into Rara Avis, a hippogriff, a chimera, a story I cannot read, nor understand. I recall walking backwards into a lamppost once, and it hurt. My head spun a whole web leaving me feeling foolish and a little sick. It’s not so different now what with the re-run of Covid restrictions. We could move Christmas to June, I suppose, when the days are balmy and warm and quite unacceptable for the virus. Even my thisitive ponking is hiding in the attic and the windmills of my mind are moving too slow to grind the corn. Everything is so very confusing. But it’s not just that. It’s the longness of it all, the slogging grind of endlessment and with no wide horizon out there as a promissory note.

As I bounce into each morning, which I do, I meet the morning, usually half way down the stairs, in the place where Winnie the Pooh stops to think, or gets dropped by Christopher Robin. I never worked out which. The morning is most gracious, meeting and greeting me like this. It must be so much more rested in normal homes where folk rise with the light in a big fat panic because they can’t find their cufflinks or their art homework or their gym shoes. In this house the morning is never a panic, not any more, even if I do recall a few in my past life. What are you thinking? asks the morning as we meet in a socially distanced greeting. Oh, I reply, shucking off the dreams and turning to watch them scoot back up to the bedroom where they will plan another show for tonight….mostly Covid worries. Ah, yes. Of course. Well, you know you have to make your own decisions about what you do within a farrago. I nod. Coffee, I say, heading for the kettle which is also getting used to being woken early. I pass a lodger, hanging from her web, and I greet her. She isn’t fussed at my looking. She knows I won’t hurt her. I only swipe at the old webs, blackened by fire dust and long abandoned.

I walk with a friend and her dog. We plash through the puddles, noticing and commenting on the way the island sucks up any amount of rain, allowing it fraccess to slip-aways and into burns and water scurries, all finding the sea eventually. We will never sink, not this rock, not these island people with their stout boots and heart-strong spirits. We talk of life, of Christmas hopes, of Covid fears, of how we have managed to refuse defeat, even if we sometimes dip our heads into our hands and feel like nomads without any physical ground to traverse. It is all happening within our minds, the doubts, the confusion, the halter that tightens daily. And here we have control, as long as we exert that control. But, but and but, I twitter at her, I just don’t know what to do, what to decide. I, in theory, have family coming. I am longing for them. I don’t want to stop them. I would like to be a woman who is easy with the vast expanse of life but I am also engaged fully with the minutiae of life. Of course I flaming am! I was a wife, am a mother and grandmother and I learned quickquick that this was my role. If life had been down to himself, the whole scatterment of children would have spent their lives in the trees or floating out to sea in inappropriate boats. They would never have washed nor cleaned behind their ears. Their diet would have been white sliced bread and a fry-up, three times a day. Good Lord, of course I was all about the minutiae. However, this learned behaviour trips me up nowadays, particularly in these nowadays, inside this farrago, this dissolution of life as we knew it.

It wonders me. What, if (let’s play) I had become a widow in ordinary times, those times when we could go anywhere, see anyone, travel freely, guffaw around tables sharing breaths? Gosh, it might have been so much easier to walk a widow’s way. Maybe she would have found herself a bit quicker. Maybe after all that fannying about with minutiae, she might have pulled on her dancing shoes and spun around lampposts, spun new webs, spun just for the fun of it. Maybe. Ah, but I am open to learning, no matter the times. Perhaps these tougher times will find us stronger, more autonomous, more ready to outgo when outgoing is once more the normal. Farragos, in my experience, lose momentum and fade away eventually. Now why is that?

The human spirit is why. We are, let’s be honest, indestructible.

Island Blog – Thing with a Point, Small Whispers

Have you ever said, or asked yourself – What’s the point in me doing this thing? I certainly have and still do, only now I understand that even the smallest step is always worth taking even when I can see no end result, no point that brings me the whole Something; that Something that would show me the point of my pointless steps and would surely confirm that I was actually prophetically brilliant without realising it.

Every single day proffers opportunities and we evaluate each one. What is the point in me sweeping the kitchen floor when nobody but me will see it today? What is the point in my adding a few more stitches to my latest fantasy landscape tapestry when I make no effort to market them? What is the point in applying loud makeup? For the sheep to ‘baa’ at or for the birds to tweet to their own Twitter mates? Why am I considering hoicking out that lithograph of an ancient stuffy old ancestor I never ever met, just to add ink and make a print? For whom? Whom cares?

Chances are, nobody. Not a who nor a whom; not at step one, nor two or even ten, but when a body remains committed to the small steptasks, something wonderful joins that bodymind on the long and winding road. As I make myself perform these, frankly ridiculously ridiculous, tasks that have popped into my intelligent head only to be sideswiped by my intelligent head, I feel a sense of achievement in my soul. Now, the soul is powerful and it has a voice. I turn to address the cynic in me and hold up my hand. Stop right there. I am doing this ‘pointless’ thing because something way bigger than you or me sent me a whisper. Through a word, a song, a looking, a noticing and I am tired of being so grounded in earthly limitations. I have wings and you, Mrs Cynic, do not. You are not spiritually wealthy. I can tell by the tight purse of your mouth.

So I do all the pointless things because every one of them has a point, in itself, its own point and who doesn’t want one of those? If I honour the whisper as the one who can make this thing a better thing then, what is not to like? In my long life, I have found that the end game is often imagined. The success story we read, the achiever, the award winner, the one who won Strictly. We are fools to aspire to such ‘success’ unless we are prepared to swallow the bitter pill of the millions of small steps that would make that success possible. I don’t want awards, nor to win Strictly, but I do want that sense of warm pleasure that comes from any job well done, no matter how pointless it felt at first. It doesn’t matter if nobody sees because I do and I am my finest seer. We all are. I wonder sometimes that we teach our children shortcuts, to run fast and not to stop for anything, resulting in hollow hearts. Taking the fast route can work at times but not all the time. There are small whispers being missed at a cost.

So, I would say this. When a small task whispers in, take action and value that connection. You never know what will come in to help and to guide. Don’t give up and don’t give in to old Purse Lips. What does she know, she who never partied till she lost a shoe? Live wild, people, no matter how old or young you are. Adventurize your life right now. Otherwise that life, our only one, is nothing at all.

And nothing is pointless, at best.