Truth of Lies

I’m feeling pensive.

As Nano Poblano draws to a close, I find myself looking back.  I used to write blogs and not post them. With Nano Poblano (or NaBloPoMo), I found myself ignoring my normal blog-filters and I wondered if there was one post which should have stayed in drafts. Sticks and Stones.

Over the last month, it was my most ‘silent’ post. Being the self-deprecating, panicking sort, I wondered if it was okay. I am alone in these thoughts? Did I offend people? Was I wrong to mention how I managed bullying at school? I don’t know.

This made me think about truth and lies and how sometimes they’re black and white and other times they’re grey.

In my post, the technique I used to survive bullying at school I related to an Aesop’s Fable. I went with the flow, I acted like I didn’t care, I played situations down. I acted like they didn’t happen.

I handle adult life in a similar way. I play the game. So long as I maintain my moral compass, I tend to be what people want me to be. It’s only when things I vehemently believe in are challenged and when that affects me, do I stand my ground. Everything else, I let go.

I play the game. A friend of mine says it’s not an honest game. I’m lying. By ignoring things that upset me, I’m pretending to be something I’m not.

She right, you know. It is dishonest in its own way.

But I’m me when it matters.

If you know me well, I’m me when I’m with you.

That’s the truth.


nanopoblano2015darkDay 28 of Nano Poblano!

[That’s Ra’s version of NaBloPoMo]

Two days left!!!!

 

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Sticks and Stones

I was always good at Playing the Game.

That’s what my mother called it. The art of moving among people, saying what needed to be said without being angry or offensive. I internalised emotions. I diffused situations with humour. I remained silent if necessary.

I recognised this at an early age.  I noticed some classmates lacked it. My own brother lacked it. Although he was older than me, there were times I came to his defence. Ever the diplomat, me.

One of my favourite of Aesop ‘s fables was The Oak and the Reeds. It’s not as well known as some of them, but it resonated with me. The tale of the old tree than grew with the reeds beside the river. The tree was proud of its strength and size but a great gust of wind tore up the oak from the ground.

The tree wept.

“I don’t understand it. How can something as frail and slender as a reed escape the anger of the wind, while a strong tree has been torn up by its roots?”

The reeds explain the moral of the story.

“Sometimes in  order to survive, it is better to give way.”

And this is how I played the game. I stuck to my opinions when they truly mattered and let everything else go. I decided who I respected and who I didn’t – and as to the latter – if I didn’t respect you, why would I about care what you said or thought?

I was so lucky to believe this. To believe this so strongly I left school without enemies and a small group of friends who stood with me.

Though, we are never unbroken.

My insecurities lie in my capabilities. My ability to write, for one. I suffer from anxiety and have developed a habit of surpressing how I feel. Sometimes, I surpress too much.

As an adult looking back, those who ‘broke’ me were adults and/or people I respected.

But.

But the beauty of being an adult is when looking back you realise we are all victims of our lives. We all (mostly) do not intend to sabotage the lives of others but do what we think is best at the time. Then to compound this there are personalities and how two people can take the same experience and interpret it a very different way.

Of course, bullies do intend to sabotage lives, they’ll probably never realise how much. They’ll probably never realise how broken they are themselves.

I was bullied at school but I was always lucky to be a reed.


So, I’ve just come from Ra, and she wrote this. It’s a whole heap of awesome, but this clip triggered these memories.


nanopoblano2015darkDay 24 of Nano Poblano! That is, Ra’s version of NaBloPoMo.

We’re posting everyday in the month of November!

When I say ‘we’ I mean these awesome folk.

 

Songs Without Music

I started writing poetry before I wrote it down. They were songs without music that I’d made up and they were relevant to me. I didn’t know it was poetry until school gave it a name.

My writing began with poetry – but you woudn’t know it here.

In hindsight, I see now that poetry was the coping mechanism of my youth. It helped me process heartache and conflicts within myself and sometimes within the world. As I began to feel more conrol over my life, poetry writing dwindled.

Lapse

I don’t write poetry much

Anymore.

A lapse in concentration

Or something

More permanent.

Ideas struggle to be polished.

Come like the rain and never go.

And I fear –

Go the like the rain and never come.

I was nineteen. Beside this poem in my scrap book, I wrote ‘Is this even a poem? I don’t even know what it means.’ I wrote two poems after it and nothing since. Well, nothing finished.

Eventually I realised, I was perhaps mourning the loss of something I no longer needed. However, some of my favourite poems I wrote in those last few years. Like this one.

Nothingness

Nothing is

     The empty inside a jar,

The answer

     To a rhetorical question,

The sound

     Of silence in a vacant room,

The light

     At the entrance of a tunnel.

Nothing is

     The hue opposing white,

The expression

     On a blank face,

The difference

     Between two things identical,

The impression

     That nothing is.


nanopoblano2015darkDay 23 of Nano Poblano! That is, Ra’s version of NaBloPoMo.

We’re posting everyday in the month of November!

When I say ‘we’ I mean these awesome folk.

Finding Hope

A thought has lingered for a day now.

I suspect I will not be rid of it until I write it down, but at the same time, turning these words over won’t make anything other than compost.

As I try to keep up with the wondrous blog posts coming from Nano Poblano (Ra’s version of NaBloPoMo). I read this one by Janelle Weibz.

Now, I have never heard of the series Gundam, but this bit stuck with me:

“…I realize the thing about peace is that it can’t really exist without war, in the same way that light can’t exist without darkness. We had to talk about war to even begin to understand what peace meant, what society looked like or could look like.”

I realised, it wasn’t something I wanted to hear. I started questioning everything. Is the only reason I love is because I know hate?

Now to make another television series analogy, remember Stargate  SG1? And if you remember this, perhaps you remember The Nox?

They were my vision of humanity’s future. A peace loving, kind, anti-war sort of folk. You know, when the human race is ‘older’, maybe we’ll learn from our mistakes, maybe we’ll be these things.

Janelle also said this:

“We are all human; we can’t so easily remove ourselves from our situations, from our affiliations, from our histories and biases and traumas and experiences.”

Perhaps my hope for humanity’s future, is empathy – seeing things from the perspectives of others. Having a broad view.

I don’t know.

I still believe in kindness and I hope I didn’t need to see cruelty to know it.

 


nanopoblano2015darkDay 20 of Nano Poblano! That is, Ra’s version of NaBloPoMo.

We’re posting everyday in the month of November!

When I say ‘we’ I mean these awesome folk.

Denial Is a Form of Optimism

Denial is an interesting word with many guises.

It can work in your favour. It can save you pain. It can delay the inevitable and it can block a memory. But it can work against you. The inevitable remains assured and memories can resurface.

While denial can be born from ignorance or stupidity, it is also about self-preservation and I maintain my belief in its optimism. It serves to protect us a little longer from harsh realities or inconveniences until our minds are better ready to deal with them. As we can’t seem to remove this filter (and certainly, some people possess bigger denial-filters than others – and indeed some never reach awareness), we’ll never know if this system is in place for better or worse, but it is optimism nevertheless.

There’s a video somewhere on the internet. It’s grainy CCTV store footage of people shopping and/or browsing and a fire starts. A light-fitting gets too hot and ignites some fabric. Customers continue to shop. More people walk into the store to browse. The whole video is quite surreal.

This brings me to ice skating last evening.

It was my idea. Neither my friend or I had been for ages so I thought we’d have an evenly matched skill level. I was wrong. Apparently she used to roller skate in her childhood so she was better from the outset. She pulled me a long for a few laps and we watched professionals casually spinning and skating backwards with such grace that when their phones received text messages they answered them without losing rhythm while skating. As time went on I began to get some confidence back, I stopped clinging to my friend or the handrail and my toes stopped gripping the inside of my shoes (which my brain obviously felt would help me grip the ice). After a time my friend and I began to skate a little more equally and we started to chat. And laugh, we laughed a lot. And my friend fell over. She laughed herself off her skates. It wasn’t a sliding fall, she flailed forward, over-corrected, flailed backwards with skates spinning cartoon-style and took a solid fall to the ground.

I gave her ten points for execution, but first I asked her if she was okay.

Sure. I’m Fine. I reckon I’ll be sore tomorrow. So we skated a couple more laps and I asked her again. Yeah, I’ll be fine – I’m such a klutz. After a few more laps I asked her if she wanted to go. My elbow is hurting a bit.

We headed back to her place, got some ice onto her arm and got out a board game. We played a couple of rounds with our conversation drifting back to her injury from time to time. I’ll be fine. I can still move my fingers. It’s just a sprain.

As I went to leave, she went to stand. Ow, ow, ow. Wow, it really hurts.

I said it couldn’t be broken because everyone who’d I known to break a bone felt sick and thought they’d faint.

Um.  Actually, initially, I thought I might.

Oh.

I drove her to Emergency. She’d broken her elbow.

 


nanopoblano2015darkClick on the link to visit the team of Tiny Peppers. It’s Rarasaur’s version of NaBloPoMo and it’s called Nano Poblano.  Or, as I’ve been calling it lately Nano Problano.

We’re blogging every day in the month of November! I think I’m actually getting the hang of this.

Day Five: The Fear of Desperation

nanopoblano2015darkOkay, so it’s NanoPoblano or NaBloPoMo and I’m trying to avoid list-blogs. To that end, I’ve looked to The Daily Post for inspiration and found this topic, ‘Phobia Shmobia’. And really, it’s doesn’t matter what it inspires, does it?

I’ve always found phobias fascinating. My own main phobias include:

Atychiphobia – the fear of failure

Claustrophobia – the fear of enclosed spaces

Arachnophobia – the fear of spiders

Ophidiophobia – the fear of snakes

And some I can’t find a name for, like the fear of awkwardness. Why can’t it be called Awkwardphobia? Why does it have to be something-in-Latin-phobia?

The interesting thing about phobias is, they’re irrational. I have a friend who’s afraid of birds. She will cross the road to avoid walking through a folk of pigeons or seagulls. You couldn’t get her into a henhouse for love nor money. She finds them unpredictable. There’s a part of my brain that laughs with its logic. It asks – what threat do they pose!? Why are they to be feared!? Then, another part of my brain reminds me that fears are irrational. To some, my fear of spiders, snakes, enclosed spaces and failure are as illogical as her fear of birds.

Of course, there are ‘grades’ of everything. My fear of failure is my most debilitating fear. It’s not like I spend my life rigid with the fear of randomly confronting a spider or snake and I am still able to use an elevator without freaking out about the confined space. Logic does save me, most of the time. Things like awkwardness and failure are harder to define, but tangible fears I seem to handle okay. Which can be strange.

For instance, I’m not one to take a roller coaster ride. Not because I can’t, but because of logic. I wonder why people scream when they have some idea of what to expect. Which is hilarious because it makes me sound like no fun at all.

Oh my God, I’m no fun at all!

It’s weird, right? I’M WEIRD!

Firstly, let me clarify – I haven’t been on a OMG roller coaster ride. I live in an area where world-grade rides don’t exist so I (really) don’t know what I’m talking about. I took a local ghost ride once that was so underwhelming my friend beside me screamed just to give the cart behind us some hope.

The question The Daily Post asked was – have I overcome any fears?

Well, I’m blogging daily for the month of November.

As a failure-fearing-monkey, that’s progress.

Unsent

Dear Friend,

It’s been a while since we last spoke. I hope you and yours are well. I hope you are happy.

I guess I wanted to say ‘hi’. I thought of us the other day and how we were as children. We’d  be called BFFs now. How much time did we spend growing up together? Remember how much we laughed? Remember when you got car sick and threw up in my parent’s car? I thought we would be forever friends, I thought we’d be bridemaids at each other’s weddings. But Time. It passed us by, it pushed us to different schools and different people. Maybe we weren’t as similar as I’d thought, maybe we were friends for as long as we needed to be. I tried to maintain contact but I felt your indifference and let you go.

I saw you once, when we were seventeen. You were the same but painted in makeup, blue eye shadow and black maskara. We said ‘hello’ and ‘good bye’ with one look. Silence always was your favourite conversation.

That was near twenty years ago now.

I really just wanted to say ‘hi’. If I’ve upset you somehow, I’m sorry. If I’ve done something to anger you, I’m sorry. I’m not expecting us to be BFFs. I’m not expecting us to meet for coffee or for the last twenty years to dissolve and we throw our arms around each other like it’s not weird.

It’s Time. Time and life. We’ve moved on, we are different people. You haven’t nanopoblano2015darkupset me. I’m not angry.

But, I don’t understand. After twenty odd years of wisdom, why did you blank me at the supermarket?

Silence always was your favourite conversation.

Take care, old friend.