Thursday 28 April 2011


In a way, this post is a follow-on from 'Loyalty' - see below. Committment is a huge subject in itself and I may well indulge in a more focussed observation later - that would be 'see above', I suppose. For now, I will stay with the superficial resemblance between the two. Having said that, my irremediable inner voice has offered a dilemma. Posting a letter: once I have put the letter in the Post Box, I am committed. If I put it in the one box I use habitually and in no other, is that loyalty? Perhaps the thesis should be resemblance/difference. Since I was very small, I have been struck by the finality of posting a letter. It is an act from which there is no return. One may hang around and wait for the postman and beg him/her to let one retrieve it. No doubt this would be an illegal act on his/her part. One could fix a hook on to a fishing rod and attempt to angle it out. One could blow the box up and then have to answer to the consequences. Or one could be resigned to inevitability. With hindsight, this seems to me to have been a seriously sound early lesson in taking responsibility for one's actions. Likewise, washing one's hair. Once one's head is drenched preparatory to applying shampoo, there is nowhere to go but on. A letter cannot be un-posted and hair cannot be un-washed. So there you have it: loyalty to the brand of shampoo married to you- can't- get- out- of -it equals : what? Committment, I suppose. Thus, I have talked myself in to the position where loyalty must be an essential component of committment.

I am having trouble with my car. The good news is that it is not the water pump which is going but the compressor of the air-conditioning. Good news because the car is driveable. Bad news because I do badly in the heat and don't relish driving about in a little blue oven the moment the sun shines. The nice man in the garage to which I am loyally attached suggests that it is not economic to throw more money at a nine-year old car which has required expensive attention already this year. He offered many alternative solutions such as downgrading to a smaller model, new, or a similar one a year old...and so on and so forth. I listened and reasoned as a reasoning and reasonable adult, but my inner voice was screaming "no" as I threw my arms protectively - and metaphorically, I hasten to add - around my beloved car. As a good Libran, I compromised. I bought time to seek the advice of the Father of my children who knows about these things, both motoring and economic. My instinct is to throw money at the air-conditioning and postpone any more radical decision in the hope that the Gods will throw me a solution: eg Lottery win or a bucket of common sense.
As I write, it comes to me that the most momentous experience I have had of a can't-get'out-of-this event is childbirth. I can see myself climbing up the stairs of the Maternity home where my first child was born thinking: Liz, you have managed to organise your life up to now to accommodate can and can't, will and won't almost one hundred per cent to suit yourself . This time, you are committed in a way over which you have no influence whatsoever. This one you can neither get out of nor dictate to. Put yourself in the hands of the staff and your baby. Work together with them all. (It was a long staircase). This I was able to achieve and on the day when someone first walked in space my firstborn arrived with a minimum of fuss. It was also the day in which loyalty and committment were both born in a way that had previously been just a poor semblance of the reality. Prynhwn da.

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