Impossible Exchanges: Woman at the Supermarket

Fear Of The Lord

It was just another ordinary Wednesday. I had popped into our local supermarket on my way to work to buy lunch. I was just about to leave the lobby area when I heard a haunting voice warning about “the storms”.

The anxiety in the voice was clear and I would normally have feigned deafness and quickened my step towards the safety of my car. This time I glanced to my right. The voice was that of woman, about my age, huddled over what I assumed to be a baby, telling it of her fears.

“The storms are coming. They will be bad. We all need to take cover”.

The baby, on closer inspection, turned out to be a holdall, and as our eyes met, I knew instantly that the forecast snow was the least of her problems. This is definitely the point where I should have produced an awkward smile and headed for sanctuary.

I was on my way to work.

I had deadlines.

My parents warned my about talking to strangers.

She was talking to herself.

She was shouting at passers-by.

What if she had a knife?

I had pressing deadlines.

I wouldn’t normally do this.

I walked towards her.

I sat down on the bench, next to the holdall.

“Oh I don’t think it will be that bad. The media like to whip up a story when there’s no real news.”

She didn’t mean the snow. She knew about the snow. That would pass. Her storms were beyond measurement by Beaufort. She asked me my name.

I lied. “Jennifer”.

Her name was Jennifer too and she was 47. My age. She said, that despite appearances, she wasn’t homeless and thanked me for not patronising her with the offer of a cup of tea or coffee. Besides, both were evil in her eyes. Poison. She came to the store daily to pass on her warnings. Messages from a higher place. People normally ignored her, but she could see that I believed her. Believed.

There was a pause as we took each other in. We aware of only each other and our reflections in the perfect plate-glass which surrounds the lobby and shielded us from the biting wind.

“I don’t know if I believe. What are the storms?”

Ignoring me, Jennifer outlined her life so far. She came from a caring family and had left school with a good education. She worked in insurance for over twenty years, then set up as an independent financial advisor. She lived alone in the centre of the town, in a lovely apartment overlooking the park. She avoided her neighbours. They were self-centred, media obsessed retail junkies and worthless.

“They must have some good qualities”.

Giving me a piercing stare, Jennifer reminded me that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.

“Yet it was the basis of your career for so long. It provided for you and I expect it helped you buy your apartment?”

Jennifer said that this contradiction fuelled her inner storm. She did not live a life of excess, enjoyed the simple things, but could not let go of her comforts bought by dubious means.

“But you were providing a service to people. Products that they wanted for their own security”.

To satisfy their greed, to provide false hope, to protect them from their own stupid actions when they should be more responsible. Consequences are lessons to be learned. Many forms of insurance are just self-denial. They allow fools to continue unchecked. The weak and the meek couldn’t or wouldn’t buy this illusion, and the fools prosper.

She paused. Financial products make money from money, not from honest hard work. No materials. No finished product. There was no craft in what she had done. The storms were coming and I had to prepare myself.

“Where are the storms?”

Inside you.

“Storms of the mind? Of the soul?”

Precisely. I had to choose. To continue my apathetic existence, surrounded by and feeding greed and ignorance. Or to fight against it. I had to choose. Just as she had chosen.

“But have you? You still have your apartment. How does that fit with the storms?”

She said nothing.

I looked to the floor, thinking about my own house, career, car, possessions, savings. My world, in financial and material terms. I had not come by them through craft. Arguably I had used skills, but those skills had built increasingly efficient systems to put hundreds, perhaps thousands, out of work. My path had been similar to Jennifer’s.

I looked up. She had gone.

All that was left was my own reflection in that perfect, spotless, plate-glass.

MinG

Endless Impossibilities…

The most recent post from the blogging101 course has probably been the most inspirational one for me. I have enjoyed the various exercises, but I felt that my blog was lacking direction. I knew that I had things to say but I wasn’t sure exactly what and why. What would I write? And why would people continue to follow and read?

The idea of building in a regular feature, filled me with dread. How could I keep that up? What common theme? But the suggestion of looking at what had brought the most positive responses gave me a “eureka” moment.

 

I was so excited in the car hat I started talking to myself, and selling myself the idea.

 

This might only be based upon limited feedback (I don’t have many followers), but it created that spark which had eluded me for the past week or so. The inspiration came from an earlier post : Dear Sweet Impossible You.

My theme is “Impossible Conversations” (this is a working title and may change). The basis is a series of conversations that have not taken place and, for various reasons, just cannot. They might be:

  • A discussion with a person who I only met briefly, but who I found inspiring and/or interesting in some manner;
  • A conversation with an inanimate object;
  • A tribute and response to and from someone who has touched my life without our paths ever crossing;
  • How I imagine a chat with an animal would be if we could have such an exchange;
  • What I might learn from a tree or building who had seen their surroundings change.
  • A meeting with someone special who has left my life.

There are endless possibilities, and I find the idea of blending a real encounter or experience with fiction to create an impossible exchange that could have been.

I’ve started work on that first conversation…

 

More later,

MinG

Post Haste

I do apologise, but I’m not going to have much access today for the blogging101 assignment, so I opted for a photo post format.

WP_20140215_022

(can you spot the geocache?)

And here’s another photo of a post.

WP_20140419_09_17_53_Pro

Sorry – couldn’t help myself!

MinG

ps On another day I will tell their stories….

Pleased to meet you neighbour, part 2

Musings on a Comment

Sorry neighbour, but this one is about me, me, me.

In the final assignment from last week’s blogging101 course, we have been encouraged to blog further on a particular comment left as part of a previous exercise. In that exercise, we chose four+ blogs which we had not previously visited and left a comment.

One of my comments was at Words Like Honey  on a post Sweaters in Waiting

Such evocative photos of yarn. I have never mastered any form of knitting, but your call to action has me reaching for the sewing box….

And that summed me up. Or at least where I am at the moment, recently.

I hear a call to action…

and I reach…

I might even grasp…

And start to…

… but rarely complete.

When it happens, I might beat myself up (not literally) about yet another unfinished project – sometimes not even started.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

And then I mulled over whether this is a recent trait or something more ingrained in my character. And why might this be. The above proverb has been interpreted in a number of ways, but I think that you can see how I’m reading it.

This blog might seem a little self centred when it started with a reference to another blogger, but this is where my train of thought took me, and given that I at least want to complete this post, I’m sticking with it.

So, back to non-completion. Why? It could be any one of the following:

  • Lack of real intention
  • Procrastination
  • Too many commitments
  • Lack of skills or resources to complete the task
  • Laziness
  • Fear

I don’t think that I suffer from a lack of real intention. Previously I was  occasionally be guilty of the false acceptance of an invitation that I didn’t really want. I’ve just about given this up and learnt to say “No”.

Procrastination. I hope you don’t mind if we come back to that later. No really.

I do sometimes lack the skills or resources to progress sometimes. And I’m too bloody independent for my own good. I just do not like asking for help. That’s a whole topic in itself. But this blogging101 project has made me have to ask questions. Small steps, small steps.

Very few people would call me lazy, but I do feel that I don’t quite reach my full potential. Is that a form of laziness? Perhaps.

Which brings me round to…

Ah yes, fear, my old friend.  Fear has “guided” me on many occasions. The reunion invite I accepted, but I was too scared to attend because I worried that I wouldn’t live up to the achievements of others. The geocaching social gatherings that I am too scared to attend alone. The walk up the hill that I didn’t undertake in case it started raining. The unanswered question in the staff briefing because I thought everyone else would know and I would look like an idiot, or worse still an idiot who had not paid attention earlier.

And yet, I’ve stood up, played and sung my own words in front of that most critical audience, my peers. I’ve asked the question that everyone else wanted to hear the answer to, but were too afraid to ask themselves. I do talk to strangers, actually that’s a cheat because quite often you won’t see them again so you won’t have to know what they think of you. And at the last reunion invitation which I accepted, people found me and my life interesting (I was quite surprised!).

And yet, I’m always scared to be judged. Even if it means approval.

And of course, fear drives procrastination, if procrastination can be driven!

So what now? Is it all about fear? Fear of being judged? Fear of failure? Fear of what others will think?

A fellow blogger has written a post,  “four kinds of people on earth” , where he suggests that the most common type of person is the coward. Well at least I’m not alone!

Yours, going back behind the sofa for a while,

Min6

Pleased to meet you neighbour, part 1

One of the best things about taking on the blogging 101 assignments has been discovering just a few of the fantastic blogs out there.

Not surprisingly there are a myriad of topics to scan for and many different takes on some similar subjects. Having already made some new contacts in an earlier assignment and just by being here, how was I going to tackle the latest assignment. For those aware of the blogging101 diary, I am still (at least) one day behind, and the widgets and formatting will have to wait until the weekend.

So, back to the problem of choosing. My job has to follow certain rules and regulations and is driven by numbers. Whilst analysis of results allows for some interpretation and imagination, it is generally about how things are. Out of work, I like a bit more random. So I went for two blogs chosen by some logic, and two (almost) totally random.

Based on what people following you follow: Words Like Honey 

Wonderful photos and some good advice. As I don’t have many followers, you may have already been here. If so, thank you for the recommendation. If not, why not take a look.

Based on the first thing I saw when I looked up from the reader:  Calico Moon 

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Check out the music too.

I didn’t really see a multi-coloured moon. Our cat is a calico shorthair.

Based on what people with similar interests follow: So many books

If you love books and reading, head here. There are thoughtful posts and links to many book related blogs.

If you want to see a funny and apt banner photo, take a quick look. It made me smile. God I know that feeling!!

Based on a fairly random typing in of former holiday location (Lugano): Stai Al Borgo

Again, great photo content, and I could almost smell the Panini featured in one of the posts. Colourful and I am now regretting not cooking a Tuscan stew for dinner tonight.

I hope that you have the time to look and enjoy as I have,

MinG

Now go to the back of the class

Well it’s been a large week so far at work. Getting to my wordpress assignments without damaging my eyesight and health (screen use and lack of sleep) was always going to be a challenge.

So I gave myself permission to be a little late with my homework. After all, whoever is out there is not sat just behind me, unlike my boss. Let me get one thing straight though, he’s a decent man and very supportive.

Updating the “about me” page was quite daunting (to use my mother-in-law’s favourite word). Surely I am my own Mastermind specialist subject? But how to describe me? Hmmm.

The page did need updating and I make no apologies for using some of the words already posted when introducing myself. I haven’t changed that much since last Monday! One things I have spotted that changes is the way I sign off. Sometimes MinG, sometimes min6, or Min6.

I reserve the right to sign off whichever way. Oh yes, I also changed my tag-line, again.

I remain consistently inconsistent.

Anyway, tis done. For now. Please take a look and enjoy (I hope)

MinG
-x-

Un-Themely Behaviour

Ok, so I’m a little late posting about Friday’s assignment (“Love Your Theme”), but this smug student tried out several themes last Sunday.

I had reduced a long list of eleven down to two, and opted for the Hemingway Rewritten theme. Clean, tidy and with my preferred size of font (although I know that there ways of changing this).

I didn’t want to get over concerned about colours. A suggested palette which can take minor tweaks will do. The exception being my  “About Me” page, which I have opted to change colours of key words. I found the following link useful for coding colours:

http://www.w3schools.com/tags/ref_colorpicker.asp

I so very nearly moved to Twenty Eleven this morning. Purely because I could move the side bar to the left, Crikey! I could lose days of my life playing here, so enough. Hemingway Rewritten it is.

More later

Min6

Dear Sweet Impossible You

WP_20140319_16_06_12_Pro

 

Dear Dream Reader, my sweet impossible you.

 

You cannot exist. Or can you?

 

You are the person in the office who knows that this blog is mine, but you don’t mention that to me because you know that I would prefer that it remains anonymous. You never change your manner towards me if I write about a contentious matter or if I launch an blog-attack on a workmate.

 

You are the person in the café that I do not have time to visit on my way to work. You blog too, and we pass each other knowing smiles as we huddle over our notebooks and cappuccino.

 

You have walked along the same beach as the one in “day 6 on the island” https://minor6th.wordpress.com/2014/09/26/on-the-island-day-6-toll-to-toll/. You already knew that the arrangement of pebbles was called a berm.

 

You have the same sense of humour as me and you laugh at my references to cows and broccoli.

 

You sometimes reply to my posts, and frequently like them.

 

I read your blog and I am in awe of your inner strength.

 

You don’t mind that I am not given to writing long posts. You too appreciate that sometimes there isn’t much so say. Sometimes a picture will do. And if I haven’t written for several weeks, you are still out there, waiting.

 

You are my father. Long gone but never forgotten. Stolen from this world before the technology that you loved so much really became interesting. How you would have loved the gadgets available to us now. How much fun we could have had together.

 

Stay with me …

 

… until the next time we meet.

MinG

xx

Tag! You’re it!

Blogging 101, Assignment 2, Title and Tag Line

I have to admit that I read today’s assignment with some relief and satisfaction because, like the smug kid in class that I was, I’d done my homework and read the next chapter just in case.

I’m not saying that my title and tag are perfect, but they represent me.

Music is very important to me, and the minor 6th can be a chord or interval. It is bittersweet. Bitter because of the minor element. Sad songs are usually written in a minor key, unless the composer is really trying to fool you or themselves.

The 6th lifts it and pulls it towards the major.

Most importantly, if you turn a minor 6th upside down, you get a major third. The basis of sweet happy harmonies.

I also like the alternative name of Min or Min6, the latter being a bit like Ming. But merciless or merciful? It all depends how I am feeling.

I will muse today about how to expand the tagline. I like its brevity, but does that close the door rather than asking you to open it?

 

More later

Min6

 

Why Am I Here? To Find Out?

Blogging 101, Assignment 1, Introduction

What I’m looking for here is, ironically, difficult to put into words.

Hello, I’m Min and I have a problem. How to introduce myself.

In conventional terms I am a late forties, semi professional married woman. I have a cat (no children). I like the usual things:

  • music (fairly eclectic tastes, recently listening to Sibelius, Foo Fighters, Bjork, Brian Eno and 80s pop);
  • food (especially fish at the moment);
  • gardening (or so  tell myself, but the garden is currently a state, and I don’t mean Kansas);
  • geocaching (especially in spring and autumn);
  • wine (enough said).

Why am I here and doing this?

I guess primarily to express myself in a manner that someone, anyone, might enjoy or at least relate to. It’s definitely a form of therapy, and I expect that I will be ranting a few times.

It will give me an opportunity to express what the rules of society do not permit me to say to someone’s face.

But there will be joy and photos and silly stuff too. My life’s semi-rich tapestry hung up for all to see. And because nobody out there really know me. I don’t have to face you in the office tomorrow and explain my bad behaviour.

And I just want to leave something that I have created “out there”. I used to be in a band who mainly did covers, but we experimented and started to write our own stuff. This is where we fell apart. I didn’t like the sugar sweet input of some of the others and they found my stuff too bleak. It might sound arrogant, but I just believe my own work was better. So perhaps some lyrics will feature.

What topics will I cover? No restrictions. but probably mostly from the list of likes above.

And I hope that being here will introduce me to like minded individuals. There seem to be precious few about in my day to day existence (apart from my much beloved).

Anyway, I’ve been rambling, you’ve been kind enough to “listen”, and if I don’t stop now I’ll make myself late for work.

More later

MinG