Monday, February 18, 2013

Vanilla and James Joyce

Sunday afternoon reflecting on ancient history. But this has become a standard behavior. Interpretation: here is an old guy.

The mother of my children, who died thirty-three years ago, would have had a birthday today had she lived. Both my daughters are now older than their mother ever was.

This day which started with the brightest of all possible blue skies has turned into an occluded afternoon, the sky a dome of grey with not a spot of blue showing through.

Sometimes we feel as though our lives have clouded over, never to see the sunlight of joy again. This is not the case, for just as these clouds above me now will lift or drift off to another realm, the feelings we hold in our hearts will be assuaged and there will again be blue skies.

Living in a constant state of euphoria would be no more desirable than living in a constant state of dolor. Neither is natural.

I had an acquaintance once whose every moment seemed to be filled with joy. No one knew the pain he bore within. Now, he was either a great actor, or a total hypocrite. You be the judge. There are those who will say that for him to “let it all out” is the only way in which he could find true happiness. Others might say that his actions are heroic, for he does not dump his ills on everyone with whom he comes in contact.

Of course, we have all known someone who cannot corner us quickly enough in order to tell us the panoply of woes with which he is encumbered. And we cannot get around a corner quickly enough to avoid him. So much for “letting it all out.”

I overheard a conversation a few years ago in which one of the participants was told that her daughter had made the trip home safely. She said, “Oh, dear! I forgot to worry about that.”

Were I inclined to “worry” I should be quite good at it, for I come from a long line of worriers. I have yet to observe that the worries of these dear ancestors ever accomplished anything in terms of “fixing” or alleviating a situation. But they loved to worry. “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” It is indeed totally unnecessary to borrow trouble. Everyone has an adequate supply of his own.

My Beloved Beautiful has gone in search of a dentist nearby, for in consuming a bite of candy which was a loving gift from a friend, said candy knocked a crown off. No, really. She fished into her mouth, laid the beautiful piece of porcelain or acrylic, or whatever the material is these days, on the table. “And,” she said, “That was a thousand bucks.”

We never know what our “gifts” may do for another. Nor do we know what the gifts we receive may do for us. Beware of friends bearing gifts.

If you draw anything useful from this, you are my guest. If you don’t, well I can’t help how you spend your time.

Disclaimer: This is a Joycean endeavor. Flow of consciousness sort of thing, you know. Sometimes getting into someone’s head isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. And just so you know, I sort of feel that way about Joyce.


Shelly said...

This is a great piece and a wonderful reminder about life. Terrific reminders for a Monday!

I hope you find a good dentist there and that it will not be too pricey~

Jim Grey said...

Your Joycean expedition was coherent. As I've established on my blog I am a worrier. I think we're born with a natural level of worry, which we then can cultivate or seek to minimize. I think I've cultivated mine, so it's time to uncultivate it. (I'm not satisfied with "uncultivate" but am unable to come up with something better.)

And I'm so glad that except for a few fillings left over from my late teens my teeth are unfettered by dental devices.

Lin said...

Someone said to me the other day "Gees, you are complaining more than usual today" and my heart sunk. Do I really complain that much??? Here I thought I was pretty bubbly most of the time. hmmmmm. Gotta check that today to see who is right.

Or not.

Hope you get that tooth fixed pronto. Hope Joann isn't in pain.

Vee said...

Hope the crown is back on by now.

Have you ever considered how the "worry gene" may be related to extrovert/introvert traits?

Anonymous said...

Complaining or kvetching? There's a difference. I worry about everything but usually what I worry about are things in the far future (not so far now that I am further into my future), every day things - not so much. But I gotta say relentlessly cheerful, chipper, perky people are possibly the most annoying people on the planet...but there is hope for them:

vanilla said...

All: I had just finished writing brilliant responses to each of you, as is my wont, when the Gatesmobile pulled up side of the road and died. I'll try to recreate.

Shelly, there is a dentist available. Expense so far undetermined.

Jim, I don't know about "uncultivating." Perhaps an attempt to plant fewer seeds, or to water the soil less where the seeds have already fallen?

Lin, I don't see you as a complainer at all. Everyone is entitled to express a bit of disgruntlement, given the condition of the world in which we live.

Vee, I have not considered that particular correlation. Share your thoughts on that with me sometime.

Grace, perhaps your short-term worries are less pressing because you can do something about your present. The future?

Secondary Roads said...

Sometimes you crock' me up.

vanilla said...

Chuck, ...he said, one old crock to another.

Sharkbytes said...

Never could get to the point of enjoying those stream of consciousness writers. I'll make an exception for small excursions of yours.

vanilla said...

Shark, thank you for the "exception." I might understand someone writing in that style, what I don't get is a publisher picking it up for market.