It’s November 13th, day 13 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. It’s 3:13 in the afternoon. Not prime time for me to talk about inspiration or to get inspired. I am a little weary after making, consuming and doing lunch dishes. To top that off, I received a phone call from a neighbour. She was inquiring the name of my neighbour right next to me. She was going to file harassment charges against her. It brought back alot of bad memories and feelings. But at least I feel somewhat exonerated – that it was not I who was behaving badly. I’m not the only one who had trouble with her.
I am feeling better now that I’ve let that breath out. Words are powerful. They’ve always helped and inspired me. I’ve written many posts on my relationship with this woman. I am happy to have curtailed the need. I can sing a different song now. Perhaps we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves when we hang onto things/people/issues for seemingly too long. Perhaps it wasn’t the right time yet. Perhaps there’s a lesson we have to learn first. That is what I tell myself. There’s comfort in that.
Words and stories inspire me. My mother excels in story telling and is great inspiration to me. She doesn’t set out to tell a story but the stories come out just in our every day conversations. Here’s my words on her in a post from 2018:
If there’s anybody that I aspire to be, it would be my mother. She gives me inspiration on how to be, how to live. She teaches me through her story telling. That’s how I’ve learned everything Chinese, the culture, my ancestors, my very being. Don’t get me wrong. I find faults with her, too. Our mother/daughter relationship has had many difficulties like all such relationships. I’ve had my share of ‘I hate my mother’. Growing and maturing has enabled me to understand my mother and see from her point of view. Sometimes, especially in recent times, I feel as if I am my mother.
Words and pictures speak to me. I see pictures in words and I see stories in pictures. They give me inspiration to tell my stories with ink, paint and thread.
My energy tank is running low. Let me finish by acknowledging that the Ultimate Blog Challenge and Paul Taubman, our digital maestro, also give me inspiration and a platform to tell my stories.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on.
Mary Oliver sure can wrangle them words. Wish that they were mine! Meanwhile the wild geese fly. Meanwhile I’m tapping out my words, my distress. Yes, I have been listening to someone’s despair again. Not that they would have call it such. But what would you call it – the losing of one’s identity, job, home, life partner?
I have no need of telling mine. I tap it out here on the page. It does me more good here than recounting out aloud to someone. Then I would be just begging. Oh, please, feel sorry for me. I have suffer so! I need no such sympathy or pity. It would only make me wallow deeper in my misery. I am listening to the tapping of my keyboard. The cadence is soothing on my frayed nerves. I’m comforting myself. I wonder if cutting or flagellating oneself have the same mechanism of relief. It’s good that I don’t have to physically hurt myself to do so.
There! I’m almost myself again – soothed and smoothed. I’ve listened to too much despair and sadness. I’m not willing to do so anymore. I will offer them Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese instead.
You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting — over and over announcing your place in the family of things.
Sunday morning. I am baking baquettes and trying to write. I am distracted by dog hair on the floor, thoughts, feelings and excuses of all sorts. I would just like to sit here in the warmth of the morning sun and do sweet tweet. I would regret it later so I must trudge on. Maybe a cup of tea would soothe the words out of me.
So I’ve had my cup of tea. The baquettes are done and eaten. The dishes are dealt with. The dog is walked and her hair are gone. The thoughts and feelings linger. It is evening, supper done and I’m sipping my wine, feeling melancholy. I am sure it has to do with the state of the world today. We are, or should I just speak for myself, so adrift in this moment.
We want so desperately to connect, don’t we? If not, why fore all the social media? I know I am guilty of being on Facebook and Instagram. I have a Twitter account. I would tweet more if I understand it more and if I have more followers. Yet, despite all this, I feel more disconnected and lonely than ever. Do I have any real friends?
I am trudging through my thoughts and feelings. I’ve had a glass of wine. Don’t mind me and my words. I really want to write about storytelling today. Somehow I got lost and couldn’t find my way to it. How nice it would be to back to the days of The Friendly Giant. He would lower the drawbridge for us. We would enter the castle and he would have arranged some chairs around the fireplace . Wouldn’t it be nice to sit and listen to each others’ stories?
I miss those days. Missing is a useless feeling though. It does not help to connect us at all. Perhaps I can try again tomorrow for a story. In the meantime, here’s the Friendly Giant.
There are many stories in the desert. Won’t you take a seat and have a listen?
I come from a culture rich in superstition and ancestory whorship. We honour and worship the deities and ancestors by laying out food and burning paper money on special occasions. Red is the colour of luck and prosperity. I learn most of this and all things Chinese from my mother. She is a great storyteller.
A few days ago Sheba and I stopped in for a visit with her on our walk. I shared Sheba’s anxiety attacks with her. I was wise enough not to tell her that Sheba probably absorbed them from me. She in turn told me of an episode when she was a little girl in China. She was sent out to fetch her brother for supper. It was dusk. She came across a crippled man. His appearance and the strange way he walked gave her a great fright. She ran home crying, I’m so scared! I’m so scared!
She fell quite ill with fright and could not recover. The family searched for remedies and learned that she has to get it from the man who made her ill. It was said that if she ate a certain kind of cookie the man had bit into, she would recover. My relatives went to the man but he would not cooperate. He did not understand that my mother was just a child and easily frightened. She was gravely ill. There was no disrespect. Still he was angry and not moved until he was admonished by his wife.
He followed my relatives back to their house. They gave him the cookie. He bit into it and then gave it to my mother. She ate it and was able to recover. My uncle, my mother’s older brother said she had great chi to have survived.
Her advice for Sheba is to give her something to wear to anchor her – to give her heart. So now Sheba is sporting a purple magnetic necklace I found in my jewellry box. She is less nervous but still on guard, looking over her shoulders while she eats. And someone has to stand by her while she is eating out of her bowl. It’s not like her at all. She loves to eat and needed no coaxing or guarding before. I hope she snaps out of it soon. If she could only talk! It would be a story.