Island Blog – A Wasp and a Think

There’s a wasp. With intentions. She flies into my garage-cum-woodstore at this time every year. I know exactly what she is up to. She is planning to build a nest but I am not having that. However, I am no killer of anything, even if I am sorely tempted to thwack her with my niblick. Envisioning, as I am, the shrieking of grandlings at barbecues or picnics, the panicked swatting and the wasp in the wine thingy, I do some research and what I find is a lookalike hornets nest, made of nothing hornety but giving out a clear message to this small and dangerous zeppelin that this spot is already taken by folks who would actively discourage, with stinging precision, any such property development near their own. A pack of four is already ordered. If it works, my forays into the garage will no longer need to be at night and I will be free to walk through my garage-cum-woodstore and on up to the back garden without having to don my wet suit for protection, because no wasp, hornet, nor bee will happily sit back to observe a human, dog, deer, cow or horse moving close by their home without having to have a few words. I know this well because once, and only once, I walked a little too close to the front door of a bee hive.

It thinks me about perception. The aforementioned insects see their world through their own eyes, as we do our own. Then (break it down) a bee, a hornet, a wasp also see their own world through their own eyes, each perception different to the other. Just imagine, then, all the people who also see life according to their own experiences, colour, culture, age, creed and opinions. Unless we all allow this, we will not find unity, nor peace, for we are obliged to live close together unlike the animal kingdom who will not. Each of us seeks safety, love, acceptance and friendship amongst a zillion other things but we don’t all necessarily see X as X. It might be Y to this person, A to another, 9 to a third and 257 to a fourth. Stepping back from this chaotic melee, I can see Banksy got it right. He sees this clearly and probably wonders why on earth we are still expecting others to think the way we do, to live the same way, work to the same principles, when this will absolutely never happen. No. We must learn to observe only and then to respect without judgement. Some people eat with their fingers. So what! Others stick their knees under dining tables that need constant repair in order to hold up all that cutlery. Again, so what! If we simply observe, learn, acknowledge and respect, then now we are talking. And we probably are – talking – instead of muttering opinions just out of or just in earshot, our backs facing that which we don’t understand and are not prepared to allow, not on this street, in this school, at this event, inside our own home.

The thing about radical change is that it doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t come through a new law. It comes through one ordinary person deciding to change his or her own heart around this issue, then another, then another until a whole street is so busy acknowledging, allowing and respecting and living in harmony with a zillion differences, judging none, that people come from further afield to see what is making this street so much happier than their own. The ultimate power, the game-changing power lies exclusively with us, the ordinary people. History will bear me out for it has aye been thus. When resolute people join together they can topple anything and anyone but we have forgotten this. Settling comfortably into the confines of the nanny state, our voices have grown hoarse at best, silent at worst. We have grown weak. But none of us really want war, not against another country, another creed, another culture, another vulnerable human being. Our world is changing. The peoples are moving whether they want to or not and we must learn to live well with that or nothing changes.

We might want to think about it a bit.

Island Blog 106 A Timely Light

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First of all I want to say thank you to everyone who comments on my blogs.  Your responses to my own thoughts, thrown out into the world, come back to me like a soft warm morning full of birdsong.  I write as I feel, looking not for a Well Done, but to touch on another’s life, to connect a couple of dots perhaps, to feel I am not alone, not physically, but in my innermost self, that woman I am stuck with, as she is, with me.

It makes me consider these two women – the visible one and Her Indoors, and the oftentimes mismatch between the two of us.

In the early hours before dawn, I ask myself big questions, such as who are you?  and what do you want of this life? and why do we get in the way of each other?  and why is it we aren’t perfectly aligned in our thinking?  I know it may be a tad late to be addressing these major issues, but I seem to be doing it now and, besides, time is an illusion, whatever that means.

When I meet someone, I observe her intently.  I learn much about her from how she says what she says, her body language, her choice of dress, the pitch and volume of their voice.  I can hear clearly what the inner person is saying, however much talk comes out of her mouth.  Is she really herself or is she fitting in to the shape either she, or others, require of her?  Is her confidence real or built only on the sand of her expectations?  What drives her?  The need to be thought of as a ‘good’ woman, or the need to be true to herself, or a bit of both?  Does she feel she has done her very best in this life, or is there an ache of regret and loss, and how well has she managed to conceal it under bright merriment and high rise cheese souffles?

I often feel there is a wasp in between me and someone of whom I have just asked a personal question.  One like….. Are You Happy?  Oh, I will get a list of all those things she may quickly pull into the room like the success of her children, the fact that the Co-op now sells mixed peel outside of the Christmas period, the arrival of the Redwings to colour up an autumn scene, but she won’t answer me direct.  After all, what she feels about her life is not important at all.  What is important is how she can make others happy, and this the point when I am in danger of falling out with Her Indoors, because I understand it completely and it is surely a goodly way to live, isn’t it?

No, it is not enough, and becomes glaringly clear when the children fly the coop, and she is without purpose, unless she has been ‘selfish’ during the busy years, and taken time to develop and grow her own interest, one that can support her to the end of her days.

When I look back on my own life, I see how fortunate I have been in my choices.  I found a man who has never understood for one second the shrieking sharp-toothed Her Indoors, but has loved her anyway, even if he did have to walk about in full armour-plating for many years, which was wise of him considering my deadly aim.

I think we don’t need to seek acceptance, nor understanding for the inner person, except from ourselves.  The big mistake is to bury her, or him, for this applies to both species, and then to blame an outsider for our own refusal to let light in.

Without light, nothing grows but fungus.