The presents are oh so last year. The bins are full, the Christmas cards are gathering a fine patina of dust, the booze is all put away and the words “happy new year” seem so stale. I walked the waterfront this morning and all the cafes are firmly shut bar one which was luckily as ever cheerful. And I stand, so they say, on the brink of a new year. So what? The slope is before me; it could be exciting, it could be just a pitfall or it just could be another turn of the wheel. You shrug your shoulders and have another drink. T.S.Eliot described the ennui we are to face nearly a hundred years ago:
“And when we were children staying at the archduke’s,
My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.”
I looked up the blogs I follow to know what to write but they were all so predictable. Fresh year, fresh start, optimism, looking back and reminiscing, attempts at summarizing what we have achieved last year, wall charts of resolutions etc etc. and of course the fools who try and predict what is going to happen in the coming year. I have to fall back on the words of a Frenchman I used to know, now dead, called Bernard. His reply to every comment, every angst, every complaint, was, “there is nothing to explain”. But but but.. you say and Bernard goes “shoosh.. there is nothing to explain”. Great philosophy that was, from Bernard, may he rest in peace. He died under “mysterious circumstances” as they say.
There is nothing to explain. Just live each day as it comes. Try not to get in a rage over the daily dose of manure that the gutter press passes under your nose. Since I write about lifestyle and health, may I remind you that forgiveness and compassion and acceptance play a large part in keeping you healthy. Rage diminishes you mentally and physically. And, it is not a pretty sight.
So what am I trying to say in this post? It is this. Try to find some freshness. I know it is going to be the same old same old in the coming year. But you can change that by trying to find something new. A little change in routine, a change in how you see things. You may not be able to change the world you live in but you can change your perception and view of that world. The mind is a strangely flexible thing, very adoptive. We just give it the right scents to follow and it will leap like a dog. This is how for example you could be transported into a whole new world by snatches of music you hear or a complement paid to you or by words of wisdom from someone you respect.
Or indeed, even a myth that transports you into some dream. Take that prosaic thing called the moon for instance. It is now alas, just a slab of bright object in the sky. The only romance it holds is that of a light emitting orb. But time was within living memory when we saw the moon as a mysterious thing hanging out there in the sky before man put his grubby fingers all over it. We as children thought it was made of cheese, or that there was a man on the moon. To me the myth was even more beautiful. My grandmother would sit in the white sanded yard and ask me on a moonlit night if I could see Avvaiar, the 10th century lady poet who, bent over, was sweeping the floor of the moon with her twig broom. The fact that my grandmother looked every bit like the illustrations I have seen of Avvaiar made my childhood of looking at the moon even more magical.
To see your world differently it helps to have time out, a break from the usual routine. For me, that time out is a holiday. I go, I exist, I think. That is what the above photograph is about. It was taken on my last holiday which I took with my son. I detach myself from my customary behaviour, adopt a completely different routine and switch off lights in the different chambers of my brain to give me some rest and insight. Also I meet people out of my normal circle who give me fresh viewpoints, open doors that I never knew existed and show me sights that widen my experiences; help me keep a freshness in my life.
It is a long time since I last wrote a post and this one has been a bugger to write. The next one I hope comes not too far behind.
And to help keep up appearances, HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL YOU FOLKS!