Tag Archives: tasks

… waiting – waiting – waiting …

Why so impatient dear? I tell myself.

Apologies – can’t trace the brilliant artist

Heck, it seems instant communication has increased our endless tasks, many of which require coordination. Like in waiting for Godot, there are days when nothing moves, nothing happens … and there’s nothing to be done … Instead of waiting for a breakthrough, why not get on with your creative projects, I tell myself.

I so wish. I wish I could stop fretting about a return-call regarding my leaking boiler, about finding a solution for a technical publishing question, someone confirming a date for topping the high hedge, or locating a magician to transfer old Claris Work files to Word. What frequently ghosts my mind is finding ‘the’ right question that cuts to the core of a problem, so that Google doesn’t  add to my confusion.

A lottery win would be welcome – I could employ a secretary. Decluttering, too, is a great idea, but complex. None of several local camera clubs want a vintage darkroom equipment with an excellent enlarger, for free … There’s A, B, C and D, but unless A is done I can’t do the rest. Or unless C is done I can’t do A and B and D. Back to waiting.

Then there is last night’s dream. What to make of a snowstorm just when I start out for an appointment, followed by a surfing car drive among steep sandy hills – is it dunes in a desert, or an industrial sandpit? And who are the aliens with kind teddy-bear-eyes running a bar in this desolate place, offering me lemonade, which I loathe. Give me coffee, anytime. What are they and what am I doing there? This puzzle must wait for another dream.

Drawing by Natasha Tonkin   …         – a scene from my garden –

Normally, during such waiting times, I escape frustration by dipping into media articles to lift my boredom … but it seems the riveting tragic/comic Brexit drama has also come to a standstill.

So like Vladimir and Estragon in Samuel Beckett’s absurd play, I endure these ‘what’s-the-point-moments’ while waiting for things to happen, like they’re waiting for signs to affirm their existence.

*    *    *

Ah, wait, wow, all of a sudden birds descend on my garden, among them my Robin friend, evoking an honest smile as it peers at me through the window beyond my laptop. Within the hour two tasks on my to-do  list are miraculously solved.

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… delights of peek-a-boo …

In ways we project ourselves into our surroundings, as children we delight in the appearance, vanishing and re-appearance of a loved object or person.

Georgios Jakobides - 1895

Georgios Jakobides – 1895

To observe something reappear is as thrilling as green shoots returning in spring, as inexplicable as birth itself. Hide and seek or peek-a-boo are games said to adjust toddlers to ‘object permanence,’ an illusion we embrace, yet these games are also the prelude to a lifelong quest for the mystery of existence. Children, unless talked down to and belittled, ask deep questions – where do I come from, where did the candle-flame go, where has grandpa gone, how long is time, how come I see things with my eyes closed?  The same questions spurn lifelong passion in scientists.

Growing social, we slip into collective rituals of seeing, feeling, thinking and doing. We obey, ignore or defy rules meant to serve cultural cohesion, rules promising acceptance and success in life. We respond or react according to circumstance and temperament. Some of us have a need to belong, feel safe, protected, others may venture into the unknown, become spiritual warriors on a warpath with obstacles, often rituals, blocking individual potential.

I’m a warrior learning from obstacles, one of which I like to share.

You may recall commands, often subtle and inferred, by early significant persons, communicated via responses, to you, to life, based on generational ideals. These commands worm themselves into the psyche and settle around an inner critic. While well-meaning in aiding conscience and integrity, this critic can also become strident and counter-productive.

In my case – the critic periodically berates me for not keeping my own promises … stay on top of things, complete tasks,  respond to request without delay, call on friends, de-clutter, prepare accounts, fix the warped front-door, only so many roll-ups a day, only two glasses of wine … the tick-off list is … ah well … endless …

Good objectives aside – the more the opinionated critic berates my shortcomings, the more I need to release the tension by transgressing self-imposed rules – otherwise the noise of my inner battle drives away the bird of intuition, the unexpected and the wonder of each day.

I listen, but won’t bow to the critic, obey in fear and cage the bird. In my book, this sums up the making of tyrants.

More and more often I remember to soften the demands. Instead of berating I praise myself for small promises kept, for what has gone well, small steps in overcoming this stealthy ritual that does not benefit my aims. It’s my idiosyncratic strategy: no fighting, no surrendering. Try it – humour the critic into humanness and adjust your rules of engagement with the elegant phenomenon of now.

P1050813 - lowres You may ask – how does my strategy relate to hide and seek and peek-a-poo?

It’s the play with reality by the child in us – the delight in re-discovering being.

*    *    *

This little bird cheered me, it arrived flattened in a Christmas card. Instructions read: Stand me up on my feet.

Blessings to my friends for 2014 – may the bird of intuition frequently visit you.

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