Monday, 4 May 2009

Things I don't understand

I grew up in a unique part of the world, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Tasman Sea and there is no more land in a southwards direction until you reach Antarctica. Although I am no beach babe, I love to be near open bodies of water (seas, oceans etc), or at most a short drive away. In times of trouble, I love to walk near the sea, watch its motion, and listen to the sound of waves crashing; I find this both calming and reassuring.

In my late teens, I went through a very difficult stage in my life and developed a dangerous habit of walking across rock pools late at night just to try and escape thoughts and events that were plaguing me. While I have not done this for many years now (and have no intention of starting it again any time soon), I was keen to recapture that feeling of calm as part of my 101 goals. I modified it to read #86 - Sit on the edge of a wharf/jetty.

This morning, I went for a 5km walk along the Petone Foreshore on a beautiful autumn day. I'd had a sleepless night contemplating stuff and needed to clear my mind. The jetty beckoned. Yesterday, I had a minor car crash (very small, no-one hurt, my fault, thankfully the other driver does not wish to pursue it further) and another tiny event yesterday morning triggered a floodgate of emotions. On my walk, and during my brief sit on the edge of the jetty, I started to compile a mental list of things I don't understand.
  • Why does sleep elude us when we need or crave it most?

  • How does precious time slip through our fingers at an alarmingly rapid rate, yet take practically forever to heal old wounds?

  • How come we can't live today without technology and/or gadgets that we never knew we needed even a short time ago?

  • Why are we not equipped with an 'off' switch for our brains? I'd be the first to buy one if they ever became available on the market.

  • Why, when endless thoughts and worries are spooling through my mind, does my brain manage to find a matching earworm to really hammer the point home? Talk about rubbing it in!

  • How do small, simple events, sounds, smells, or comments have the ability to trigger such a huge whirlpool of emotions?

  • Why does it usually take some sort of wake-up call to do the things we want to do in our lives? Until these freak events happen, I'm guessing that most of us haven't even worked out what is important to us and what we value most.

  • Why is self-acceptance so hard to achieve? I'm all for self-improvement, but have we gone too far? Why can't we be happy with who (and how) we are along the way?

  • Why do we believe that our dreams are elusive, instead of making them happen or being happy with what we've got?
Any answers (or further questions) greatly appreciated!


Kate said...

I'm sorry - I don't have any answers but I was nodding along with a lot of your questions - especially the turning off your brain one. I need to be able to do that!
Hope the walk and being near the sea eased your mind.

Sab said...

That walk sounds wonderful. I wish I still had the ability to just leave the house for a walk, but can't now with the munchkin (not as easy at least).

I was also nodding along to the questions you asked. If you find any answers, I'd love to know!! Especially the sleep related ones. Weird.

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Dunno Café Chick!

I haven't got answers either, but I love the questions. Here, as a reflection in a rock pool, is something to sooth, but it's not all smooth - never is:


This was not just an ordinary day,
one when the Half-moon and Sun together
peeped into limpid pools cracks and hollows
on boulders dozing like pitted gargoyles
along the far beach-line, and fixed their gaze
through soft-puffed light cloud so that what one missed
the other glimpsed: a painted paradise.

A garden in miniature trimmed with jewels;
oak-leaf shapes, pale, delicate as moth wings;
a tiny fish, unseen among the weed
darting above a bronzed pebble cluster
to hide motionless behind another;
and nestled between plumes of jade, deep red
anemones tight knotted, fast asleep.

Clasped, close below the shell-encrusted lip,
clutches of mussels all garlanded with
rock-weed baubles and bits of flotsam ranged
quaintly as if by design, rearranged
by chance chosen pulses of waves lapping
and overlapping, laughing at the lapsed
tide-line being aligned and re-aligned.

But breakers breached and spilt the placid scene
scooped and scoured, and the fish and flotsam bits
plunged, swirled, rippled and dimpled down over
sand to the bay; and still the peepers watched
with steady gape, the waxed Half-moon winking
then and again, the Sun sinking, lifting,
hanging there waiting for another day.


Café Chick said...

As always, the poetry you share is not only beautiful but seemingly perfectly appropriate. I walked past 'my' rocks today with a much clearer mind than previously and tried to conjure up some of the words from this poem. All I could remember was "a painted paradise", and that indeed is what I was looking at.

Random Thoughts said...

Cafe Chick,

It sounds like your soul is searching, which is never the easiest of times. I agree with all of your things I don't understands. What I do understand is that is life were easy it would most likely be pretty boring, and even tho in tough times we really hope and wish for a boring day or two, we wouldn't be happy with boring every day.

Have you taken your bike for a ride lately? I love a good ride when I want my brain to turn off.