Tuesday 21 January 2014

As I was saying...

The post I had in mind as a Part 2 to my favourite things and vice versa, was postponed while I lived the guest blog adventure. Now seems as good a time as any to ramble on with it. First, I should say that, influenced by the negative responses to it - the guest blog, of course - I started trying to avoid the complaining, mannerisms, style and so on which had been criticised. Not a good idea. Of my time on earth quite a lot of it has been spent working out what pleases the other. In my life away from blogging I think I have managed to cultivate a bit more of a 'dammit' attitude to the 'right' thing and the 'wrong' thing so I shall transfer the benefit and be as predictable, toshy and unclear as turns up spontaneously in my stream of consciousness. Bryn Terfel singing Welsh songs: that's not a bad start.  A deep voice from the land of my father's (apostrophe?). That's enough to burn my toast... while I stop and listen, of course. Though nostalgia is a double-edged whatsit. Given enough of it, it becomes homesickness which, as a war time six year old sent to boarding school, I know a bit about. Indeed, it may well be my prime 'dislight' now I see it in black and white.  Echoes of it creep in  even to the here and now of life. For instance, if ever I am separated from someone I am close to on an outing, I am plunged back in to the despair of The Abandoned which I experienced when kind parents, seeking to protect me from the pain of separation, simply left me at the school without saying "Goodbye". I recounted this to the father of my children when he disappeared at an Airport recently while we waited for our flight. In sixty years I had never confessed before. "Very well", quoth he, "next time I'll say 'I'm just going for a newspaper. I may be gone some time'". And that's another of my distinct delights: the awareness of a shared allusion. It feels like one of the most profound of  jokes (You do get the allusion. Think 'ice'.)

Communicating with the wordless is another great delight. Working to understand my cat pleases me. I ask her what kind of miaow if it is not instantly apparent. Patiently she miaows again evidently hoping to find me less stupid with repetition. Currently, there is a television advertisement for spectacles. A vet is feeling in a pile of fur for a pulse. Failing, he tries his stethescope on himself then on another part of the fur. Urgently, he calls for his assistant to come " as quick as you can.... a cat with no pulse." The assistant picks up the fur and places it on her head. He has mistaken her hat for a cat. The advertisement then shows the cat making one of those non-miaows which are a sort of 'humph', as if - "over here,stupid" The advertisement is for a firm that makes eye-glasses, for the benefit of those of you in Mountain View, California. Pre-speakers make rather more rewarding reading. This can be done via decibels, hand gestures and puce faces, also by chuckles and smiles,  grunts and variable tones. It's possible that love for the little ones brings the nicest delight of all. I am still delighted by my eldest's first responsive communication: "in the barfoom" he replied when his Father enquired, as one does of a baby, expecting no reply, "Where are your shoes?". His father came running through the house shouting "He spoke. He spoke.". Alright: the secret's out. Communication is the delight, the favourite thing. Bore da

1 comment:

visible vixen said...

Dear Liz your abandonment tale is heartbreaking, and your kind parents trying to do the right thing by not saying goodbye is a reminder of how far we have come. I love your vivid cat descriptions, and we must always remember that non-verbal trumps verbal in what our brains process. Communication reminds us that we are not alone, despite the muddles and confusions that poor communication can bring. Thank you for another wise post, and boo sucks to anyone who criticized your guest post.