Wednesday, July 28, 2021


 I listened this morning to a podcast about resentment. It was no surprise to me that I do some things right. When people hurt me, and you have to be pretty darn close to me to do that, there really is no sense of resentment. I tend to see the overarching big picture. I tend to think not only of all the elements that went into them becoming who they are, and the issues around that, but also several generations before them. Maybe it is all the reading I have done, but I feel previous generations surround me and am aware they influence us all. 

In any case, people make mistakes, missteps. We all do. We're just people, in some ways more stupid than the four legged creatures. Expecting perfection is just madness.

I, on the other hand, do get sad. I have been sad lately. I think when you come to really know just how difficult it is for people to let go of compulsions and addictions, it can make you sad. Shuggie Bain made me oh so sad. I don't think you can read that novel and not feel sad. I am so grateful for a book club that pushes me through novels that might otherwise not be finished. 

I have to admit that the sadness came too from a sense of understanding the pain of those characters. I have never experienced that sort of poverty described but I am betting my forebears have. I too have seen that sort of desperation up close. I grew up on the top of a working man's pub and I saw very sad and desperate people every day.

My parents bought an outdoor play set one day. I don't know if it was for my brother and I, or for the children of the patrons of the hotel who had access to it. Either way, one day a mother who was off to drink in the women's lounge (they weren't allowed by law to drink in the main bar) brought her children out to the playset. I must have been a little older than the children and she told me that if they misbehaved I should smack them.  WTF?! 

Shuggie Bain was set in Scotland in the 1980s mostly and my story is from the 1960s. Yet, it's the same sort of story; a family in distress; neglected children. Addiction. It was tough to watch it, to be around it.

I've never been sure if I was born an introvert (my eldest son says that I am only an introvert when I want to be, since I do fine in social situations) or if my circumstances made me an introvert. I just longed all my childhood for privacy and for a normal home life; a house, a shared meal.

In the podcast this morning, the question came up, 'What's your emotion of choice?' Sadness? Anger? For me, it would be sadness. Happily, whilst I can have a day where sadness can envelop me, I can't stay there too long. There's a sense of claustrophobia about sadness and one has to get up and leave it behind. Almost like, 'look, thanks for dropping by, again, but I have things to do and places to go...'

I think I can admit this here. I am really never bored. I have this incredibly rich inner life that keeps me quite entertained. Should that become too much, I retreat to that golden silence when I close my eyes and discover all over again, that stillness and silence is where the magic lives.

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