Tag Archives: perception

Amplexus

I have always found that the best way to get someone’s attention is to make them curious. “What IS that noise?” “What do you mean by that?”  “She did what with whom?”

Your curiosity is peaked isn’t it? The name of this post is actually the Latin word for hug. It is such a little word but it has huge implications. It implies love, affection, concern. It forces a connection between individuals or even groups. It is physical. And right now, we are living in a world that is telling us to be less physical. And the one thing I’m hearing over and over again is that people miss getting hugged.  That’s hugged not mugged! Although, some hugging can feel like a mugging. But I digress.

There is a movie I really enjoy called ‘Love, Actually’. There’s a scene, I think it’s at the beginning of the movie as well as at the end, where you see large groups of people walking up to individuals, to love ones and hugging them. I miss a hug. I miss shaking hands. I miss getting a kiss on the cheek. And I will continue to miss all of this if it means that I am protecting the people I love.

We’ve entered into a new reality where we are learning to show our affection, our caring, without physical touch. It may not be quite as satisfying but we can make it count. We have to. I love my family but I have not been in their physical presence for some time. And I’m okay with that. I love them enough to stay away. Oh, don’t get me wrong. Sometimes I’m absolutely miserable about it! But I’m a tough old sod and I would rather do the right thing for the right reason.

Let’s be serious. Most of us are not aching all that much. I have food, shelter, entertainment. I am not suffering. My mental faculties are been amused and challenged. Quite honestly, I’m simply inconvenienced. And it seems to me that the people that are mostly inconvenienced are the ones that are complaining the loudest. What about the people on the front lines that are quite literally putting their lives in danger to protect us, care for us? What about the people with loved ones in the hospital that they can’t get to? There are horror stories all over the world but I’m not one of them.

So, I’m going to let my hair grow a little longer. I’m not going to go to the dentist or the mall or the cinema. I’m going to keep away from friends and family. And I’m going to stop complaining about it. I am inconvenienced, nothing more.

 

Dear Diary;

It is been 68 days.  Sixty. Eight. Days. I am a prisoner. There’s been no ransom demand, he hasn’t tried to assault me, still, I’m a prisoner in this hovel, this shack. I am going to die here. I’m going to die alone. I don’t think my friends and family know where I am. I haven’t been to work and yet no one has tried to find me. I have been forgotten.

I’m hiding this diary from him because I think when I’m dead, perhaps someone will find this Journal. My last testament. Proof I was here. He feeds me. I have water. I’m even allowed to shower and sleep in a real bed. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t know what matters anymore.

I’ve begun to question my sanity. Was the life I led before, a dream? Are my memories wrong? I remember large groups of people laughing. I remember crowded sidewalks and arguments with strangers. I remember the smell of cars and cheap perfume. I miss those smells. How did I get here?

I can hear him, my jailer. He’s moving around. Is he the reason I’m being kept here against my will? Have I done something to wrong him? Dear Diary I don’t know what’s real anymore. When I’m able to look out the windows, all I see are trees. There are no people, there are no cars, no buildings. Where am I? He’s coming! Oh, dear God! He’s coming!

“Hey hon? I’m just about to hop in for a quick swim. How about after that I toss a few steaks on the barbecue? The cottage is a great place to sit out the pandemic!”

 

 

Some People

Several years ago, I was sitting outside a mall in the sun with a friend. Both of us were in wheelchairs. It was a good day; we had made some great purchases and we are laughing, enjoying life.  When a complete stranger, an elderly woman (I swear she was pushing 200) approached us. Specifically, she approached me. She tapped me on my knee and said “It is so nice to see you out dear”. Without any reaction I replied “thank you” and then watched this antique specimen of female kind totter into the mall.

While I was still in a state of near shock I glanced over at my friend. I’m pretty sure her expression mirrored mine. Then we both started laughing. She pointed out that I showed great restraint. When I stopped choking through my mirth, I replied that given her age I’m pretty sure she meant well.

We have all been in situations where the reactions of other people are perceived to be condescending or patronizing. I have strong reactions to both. And since I am no longer that shy six-year-old, I can be quite pointed in my response.

When I returned home, I was inspired to write a piece called Conversational Comebacks. Some people saw the absurdity of the whole idea but others did not. And that is where my use of the moniker ‘Some People’ came from.

Especially with what is going around in the world today it is surprising how many ‘Some People’ are out there. They act as if they are the only ones inconvenienced by this pandemic. Inconvenienced. Now there’s a word that can get me going on a rant. But I digress.

In the world of the ‘witty comeback’ few people are consistently good at it.  And of course, how many of us come up an absolutely brilliant retort hours or even days after the original comment.  It loses something when you finally get the courage to say it.  To that end I compiled a list of witty, hopefully pithy, remarks that may find a home in your conversations.

I eventually repurposed my Conversational Comebacks into Shady Quips. There had to be a few changes to make it palatable and I have continued to add to the list. Here are a few examples of my original ‘Comebacks’. If I offend, I apologize. If I make you laugh, well, that is my goal.

  1. In a battle of wits, you are unarmed.
  2. I love what you’ve done with your face, is it new?
  3. You look like the before picture in an emergency make-over.
  4. So, you failed your personality test.
  5. If appearances are everything honey, then you’ve got nothing.
  6. Where did you find your personality, the refuse bin?
  7. They say that Homo sapiens and the common chimpanzee are closely related; in you I can see the resemblance.
  8. Our species was once a single cell born in the primordial sludge three billion years ago. You seem to be reverting back.
  9. Are you related to the Syrian wild ass or are you just a common bigoted ass?
  10. You have a winning smile and a losing personality.
  11. I didn’t think minds could be that narrow.
  12. Did you study hard to be an idiot or does it come naturally.

Whew, that felt good to get it out!  Regularly scheduled posts will now continue.  Thank you for your patience.

 

The Waterfall #writephoto

 

“What do you think! Teddy used to bring me here. He said it was a spot nobody knew about and it was all ours.”

Two women stood at the edge of a small grotto flanked by a diminutive waterfall. It was an idyllic setting. One woman was bubbling with excitement, the other seemed thoughtful, pensive.

As the first woman started to make her way down to the water, the second woman hesitated. She watched her friend pick her way slowly through the vegetation and wondered if she ever questioned the absence of her old boyfriend. He should not have hurt her. He would never hurt anyone ever again.

“I wonder if Teddy ever came back here?” An innocent question.

Libby smiled. “Oh, I’m sure he’s all tied up somewhere.”

Looking For a Hug

 

I looked for a hug,

From a silly old bug.

But his arms were too short,

For that kind of sport.

 

So I asked then a deer,

Who did magically appear.

When he shook his big head,

I looked around me instead.

 

There were trees all around,

Whose branches were sound.

But not gentle their touch,

That I wanted so much.

 

So my journey moved on,

Til I next saw a swan.

Her wings were so wide,

But to me she did chide.

 

Look to your own,

She said with a groan.

You will find what you need,

My words you must heed.

 

So I nodded goodbye,

As she flew to the sky.

Now my heartstrings do tug,

As I ask you for a hug.

 

 

 

Ok, maybe not yet,

But soon, I will bet!

Ethically Sourced

 

I recently watched a commercial that talked about ethically sourced coffee. I am watching way too much TV if I’m actually paying attention to the commercials! Those who know me realize that I have a slightly different perspective on the rest of the world than most people. You might say I’m driving down the road only slightly off the curb. Of course, I looked up what ‘ethically sourced’ meant.  It simply means:  “ . . sourcing ingredients and materials in a responsible and sustainable manner that considers the people and environment throughout the process.” But what about the bean?

My brain took little detour and I had visions of potential Coffee Gatherers approaching a bush/tree and politely asking permission to gather those live beans, submit them to long and laborious treatments and then crushing them to a powder so that millions of people could partake of their lifeblood with the comment “aaahhh! Damn good cup of coffee Ethel!”

I know, I know, I am being silly. But I think we all need a little silly in our lives. And I don’t drink coffee. I drink tea. I hope it too is ethically sourced or at least asked politely. And then I started to think a little more.

I am ethically sourced. My parents met, dated, married and the rest I will leave to your imagination. They were polite in all the years I knew them so I assume they were in the beginning as well. They’re Canadian of course they were polite! Ha ha ha ha!

And then there’s the question of ethics. How do we determine what is ethical? Moral, virtuous, righteous, noble. These are all attributes that we aspire to but that not everyone can claim to be. There are far too many examples of those who are not being ethical.  And some days it only seems to be getting worse. I was raised by good people. I know the difference between right and wrong. I understand that there are others out there with the same background as mine and others a different one but we all want the same thing. We want to feel joy, safety, love. It should be a standard for everyone but unfortunately it is not.

We do love to use big words, important words, meaningful words. But they are words. As powerful as they may be, they pale before actions. We need to see ethical actions for everyone. Well, yes, the bean too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Walk

I’m taking my butterfly for a walk

He likes to drink each day.

Nectar is his beverage

A sip and he’s on his way!

 

I’m taking my bumblebee for a walk

He likes to drink you see,

Floral syrup is his brew

He gets it all for free!

 

I’m taking my Robin for a walk

He flies from tree to tree.

It’s hard for me to keep abreast

When Robin’s on a spree!

 

I love to walk with all my friends

They have so much to say.

If only I could understand

Then maybe they would stay!

A Moment of Introspection

Late this morning I was on my balcony feeling a little sorry for myself.  There was no real need. I’m healthy, I am safe and I have all my needs met, except for one. I enjoy spending time on my own. I can write when I’m alone. I can paint when I’m alone. I can watch TV or read. At my fingertips I have the entire world on the Internet. But there’s one thing I cannot have:  people. I miss people. I missed seeing them on the street and in the shops. But not seeing them is a small price to pay for keeping us healthy. It’s the least I can do.

As I was looking out over my balcony, I was aware that I was alone. There was no one in sight. This is a busy intersection and there are usually a lot of people and cars and noise. But today I could hear clearly the birds chirping away in, what I can only assume is, a song of joy. They are not competing with the fumes generated by cars or the cacophony of voices that accompanies any large group of people. The air is clear and the faint breeze is sweet.

At a distance I can hear a car. But it is not close. There are no planes in the air or trains in the background.  A Security car has just stopped outside my bank. I can see him. He’s all alone. He only stays for a moment and then leaves. A solitary car pulls up into the empty parking lot and I can see through its windows that there are two passengers.  I watch as she don’s gloves before she enters the empty bank. There’s a bank machine there. Within moments they too were gone. I can see birds flying free and unencumbered. This is a moment of introspection.

People are worried and rightly so. The last pandemic of this magnitude was in 1918. It lasted from January 1918 to December 1920. Infected 500 million people, about one quarter of the world’s population at the time. 102 years ago. Have we learned enough to combat this one? Over 1 million people in the world have been infected so far. Out of 7 billion!

Church bells are ringing in support of those on the front lines. I see videos and hear stories of people coming out onto their balconies or at the end of their driveways and singing. They’re making noise. They are rejoicing in being alive. They are refusing to give up or to give in. We will survive this. Our planet will have time to heal and we will have time to take stock.  What really is important in our lives, in our world? Maybe now we’ll learn the truth.

We are not isolating ourselves; we are distancing ourselves. It is a huge difference. And that is what will keep us together. I hope it will bring us closer as individuals and as a species. Be well.

Keep Me Posted

 

Lord keep us posted,

On the plan that you had.

I know you are brilliant,

But things have gone bad.

 

There are locusts and fires,

And floods and a plague.

Forgive me dear Lord,

Your details are vague.

 

I pray and I praise,

I know others do too.

These are desperate times

What more can we do?

 

We must come together,

Perhaps when we’re one.

Our path will be clear,

And this evil be done.

 

Forgive me dear Lord,

For questioning your way.

In panic I drifted,

But I knew you would stay.

 

Your word will be done,

Our lesson was learned.

Our future is forward,

Our sanity returned.

17 Seconds

With all the changes that are happening all over the world, I remembered this post.  It seemed appropriate and the memory made me smile.  Originally posted in August 2019.

17 Seconds

 

That’s it, 17 seconds.  Count them, go ahead: 1-1000, 2-1000, 3-1000, 4-1000, 5-1000 ………Done? All of them? Well, now guess what, phfst, snap, whoosh.  Those 17 seconds no longer exist except perhaps in your memory and even that will fade.

Now a length of time measured in seconds doesn’t seem all that noteworthy, at least not to those who have a potential life span well into 90 years.   Mayflies only live for 24 hours so 17 seconds would be important.  And it should be to you and me as well.  Minds can be changed in 17 seconds, wars can be initiated in 17 seconds, a lingering kiss can . . . Well you get the picture.  A lot can happen in 17 seconds.

It takes much less time for a life to pass on, for love to bloom (ok maybe in some cases it’s only lust but it is ‘a blooming!).  We spend so much time organizing, planning and cajoling and yet sometimes it is the unexpected hiccups that are the most memorable.

I once had several guns pointed directly at me.  It seemed to last for a lifetime as visions of my oh so young life flashed brightly across my mind’s eye.  It probably only lasted for a few seconds but OH MY WORD!!!

It was a dark and stormy night . . . Ok, ok, yes, it was dark and cold.  I was on my way to a night class in Anthropology.  Mid-eighties, winter. I was minding my own business, head down, when out of the corner of my eye I see dozens of huge men with drawn guns racing towards me, directly towards me.  Someone screamed “FREEZE” and I froze, solid.  I don’t think I dared to breathe.

Now I am told that memory is a fragile thing, often tempered by television, movies, news articles, even suggestions from other people. Well, that may be true but I am here to tell you my truth.  I wasn’t afraid.  Honestly.  I don’t think I had the time to consciously form a thought.  I was frozen, remember.  The officers (only 3 or 4) raced past me and into the building I was adjacent to.  Fortunately, one of them came back to release me from my frozen state.  I continued on to my class and only later discovered what had happened.  It seemed some unsavoury characters were hiding in plain sight on my University Campus. Pretty smart when you think about it.  The police were smarter.

Many years later I joined a Police Department.  Did that encounter unconsciously point me in that direction?  17 seconds can change your life.

And one thing can be counted on to be absolutely true:  Those 17 seconds will never come again.  So, use them wisely.