What drives us to blog? Is it a clear-cut thing, or is it more complicated? For some people blogging is about writing, for others it’s about photography, or an online outlet for sharing artistic creativity. And for some of us it’s just a wonderful way for introverts like me to socialise with a global community from the comfort of their own homes 🙂
‘Colour is a power which directly influences the soul’Wassily Kandinsky
I wonder sometimes why I love being surrounded with colour so much, and frequently the answer that comes most often straight to mind is ‘Because your internal life is so grey’. I choose to colour my world in bright and strong and vibrant hues, almost proving a point to myself that yes, I can do colour, while inside I regularly feel nothing more than shrouded in a subdued, moody monochrome.
Depression does not provide a sunny-day-colour internal landscape, nor even allow for a veiled silvery sheen like muted moonlight in a clear night sky. Instead it smears my soul with thick, sticky mud, soaks my very fabric with foul, clouded misery until the sheer weight drags me down and I feel chilled to the bone, infused with a deadly damp that refuses to warm my sad, aching heart.
But I refuse to be beaten. And so I keep trying hard to bring colour to my life on the outside, in the hope that some of it may seep inward slightly, brightening the edges my dark dull mood…
I’ll be honest, I’m not finding keeping up with Just Jot it January this year as easy as I’d thought. Posting something every day is one thing, but posting something specific to fit a particular prompt is something else. Some of my posts I’m really happy with, but some feel a bit scraggly, a bit thin on content, a bit lacking in interest, not quite valid. But you know what, I’ve come this far, so I’ll just keep going, and see how it goes for the rest of the month… 🙂
‘Egregious’ is one of those old words that has had an apparent shift in meaning over the centuries, nowadays taking on a decidedly negative connotation in place of its more positive beginnings. Whereas it used to mean extraordinary in a good way, it is now used to mean extraordinarily bad. Very confusing. Another word that always flummoxed me when it came to understanding the correct connotation for the time is ‘condescension’.
In Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’, the obsequious clergyman Mr Collins revels in the condescension he receives from Lady Catherine de Bourgh – he considers it a great honour that she condescends to favour him with any particular attention at all. I suppose in such a world where strict social class and hierarchy and knowing your place meant everything, it would presumably have been considered a real feather in your cap (which you would definitely remember to doff graciously) to be patronised in such a way by someone of such high social status?
Nowadays, in a world where we like to think we espouse social equality, lording such a blatant sense of superiority over someone is considered to be an egregious mistake, in very poor taste. And so today’s negative connotation of being shown a patronising condescension by someone as something to be aggrieved over rather than pleased about has slowly developed over time, replacing Mr Collins’ attitude of grateful simpering servitude.
It would seem that ‘egregious’ has followed the same fate, and perhaps for very similar reasons, namely the demise and derision of such strict social status and previously revered hierarchy throughout the whole population 🙂
My youngest daughter returned my old sewing box to me yesterday – no pressure, she said, but I’m re-organising and need it gone. It’s been sitting unused but very much loved in her house for the last 18 years, and inside it I found random buttons and threads and zips and fasteners just as I’d left them, and a small bundle of bright fabric remnants that brought me up short. Each remnant is a ghost of a memory of something long gone, kept by me at the time for sentimental reasons, kept intact all these years by my daughter for the same reason, and so my old sewing box is an impromptu time-capsule of sorts.
The sudden reappearance of my old sewing box into my life symbolises – encapsulates, perhaps – how strange I’m feeling about a lot of things at the moment. Remnants and snippets of the past keep catching me unawares, an odd kind of double-exposure deja-vu image of the vibrant present superimposed on old faded memories of almost 20 years ago, or sometimes even longer. I pass someone in the street and think – oh, I’m sure I know them from somewhere – and realise afterwards we knew each other decades ago, in what feels like another lifetime.
I was in a busy shop the other day, and overheard an older woman talking animatedly to another two older women about retiring from work, and booking cruises, and general chit-chat of that ilk. I recognised her voice, and looking more closely saw she was one of my lecturers from college 22 years ago, but much older and greyer. Had I not heard her voice, I might not have recognised her straight away. And in another shop I was served by someone I used to work with over 40 years ago – in my first job as a Saturday girl while I was still at school.
What takes me aback is that I see elderly people I remember as being middle-aged, and middle-aged people I remember as being young – everyone looks so much older these days, and with a shock I realise so do I. Moving back home to where I grew up and spent my younger adult life after nigh on two decades is such an odd feeling – I feel like me but not-me, the same but different, young and old all at the same time, and it’s quite disconcerting.
So as I was looking through all the saved remnants in my sewing box, I realised that I want to make myself a patchwork cushion with all these random fabric memories interspersed with more up-to-date scraps of bits and pieces collected more recently, create for myself one cohesive piece, a mosaic of myriad memories, an eminently practical use of the past and the present to then carry on forward into my future.
And I realise too that perhaps I need to do that with my whole life, remove the closed-off compartments in my mind that make it so decidedly ‘then and now’ inside my head, and create one cohesive ‘me’ that transverses all mental barriers…
I may be experiencing a bit of a mid-life crisis – I bought myself some black girly Caterpillar boots today, with deep pink stitched logo and completely covered in tiny black blingy beads. I’ve always really loved big chunky boots, especially with thick tights and a short skirt. Even with my voluptuous curves – or maybe because of them. I don’t care if it’s no longer a fashinable look, even at 56 I still like it, and my new blingy boots should be a fun addition to my wardrobe 🙂