Close Quarters

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Being around family almost constantly for the past couple of days has made me realise that in my old age I am beginning to get a bit more flexible. About forking time, I'm sure some of my family members are saying :) Heh :) It is so difficult being around other people sometimes, especially when those people are relatives :) But a sort of Zen equilibrium has been holding me in better stead than usual this time.

I confess, I am a freedom addict. Limit my sense of freedom in some way and I wilt, or I go inwards and mope and get depressed, or I get irritable (usually (c) if you happen to be my mother). I know early experiences in my life have forced me into this too-much emphasis on freedom, with too much of a feeling that I am curtailed by other people when in fact I suspect there is really no curtailing at all except what is going on in my own mind (sometimes I wonder what the hell is left out there in reality apart from the shit that goes on in our own minds? Maybe just beauty, or somethin'. Or love or ... I don't rightly know. And these are the questions and ponderances I keep pondering to my poor family who really don't quite rightly understand why I need to ponder the philosophical significances of the most mundane of things.

Yesterday on the plane at takeoff, I blathered on to the people sitting next to me in the seat. I love that feeling at takeoff. The gut dropping feeling, the feel of the plane gaining speed and launching itself into the air. Honestly, that is surely some sort of a miracle and I don't quite think I will ever not feel the unbelievable faith that goes into getting on a plane and trusting that the mechanical engineers, the pilots and all the others who have been involved in getting this giant hunk of metal off the ground have done their jobs. The faith that this big tonnage of weight will fly off into the sky, above the clouds. I raved on in this fashion and they were particularly kind and smiling and somewhat in agreement with the wonder of it all but perhaps afterwards they were thinking I was a bit of a fruit. I do, these days, feel so often like a fruit marching to the beat of a different orchard, but how can one march to that except that which you are hearing, right? Even if so often it feels like others don't understand you?

So often when I am away with other people (not so much friends but more family ... okay, my mother) this sort of creepy control-freaky claustrophobia feeling kicks in and takes away my enjoyment. Even though afterwards I wonder what the hell I was getting so claustrophobic about. It's difficult to explain but it feels really childish. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I shall be home in X days and I can get back to my usual routine. How incredibly boring that is to feel that way! I get this feeling that I will be restricted from what I want or need to do, or something. That I won't be able to sleep according to my own sleep patterns (this is true), that I won't be able to go off and write and be quiet without people thinking I'm weird. And yet this time I have no problems in doing those things. This is who I am and if other people don't understand why I need to do them, then they don't understand. But I still need to do them.

When I feel that tight and tense claustrophobic feeling, I am able to remind myself that if I yield to giving way, in whatever way that means, then this space opens up in front of me and suddenly there is a way to be able to just roll with what's going on. I am starting to find space to be amongst other people in some sort of way that doesn't detract from myself. And that, paradoxically, is not all about me asserting my boring as batshit me-me-meness all the time. For a mature, insightful, people lovin' chick, sometimes I'm really boringly self-centred.

The simplicity of the now. The realisation that letting go of whatever I expect to happen and just sit in what is going on right now, and to just flow with it all instead of feeling like I need to set my own agenda - with a few glaring exceptions, this is a space I seem to be able to bring in more, these days. It brings me out into the richness of things. Turns up the colour of stuff. Takes me away from the incessant cavern of wants that scream from within my soul.


  1. the simplicity of now
    just flow with it all
    turns up the colour

    indeed it does

    perhaps you're not marching to the beat of a different orchard as much as you are simply allowing yourself to hang out in the orchard, while all the other fruit are marching off to the SPC factory . . . ?

    methinks that statement might mark me as a similar kind of fruit :)

  2. I have lived with family (in the same house!) for over 18 years now and am FINALLY getting more flex about it. I need privacy like you need freedom.

    Hey - I have to fly in ten days and I don't like flying! I am going to try and enjoy it but I am scared already.

  3. What's with all this traveling, girls? It's not fair, I want to go somewhere!

    I love what you've written. I regularly vacation with my mom and kids, and sometimes it feels so tight like I can't breathe. Mom and I generally get along quite well, but she's an outie to my innie, and sometimes doesn't get that I need solitude to write and ponder. It's usually ok, but I know what you mean. I'm told I'm being antisocial...when I'm not, I'm just being social with myself. It's important to have time for deep internal conversations, because if we don't know ourselves, we can't relate to anything else in a healthy way.

    I am sure that I know nothing about being an outie...I have tried asking my husband, but he says he's "just not that deep"...I think everyone has why the disparity between the two?

  4. Kel - oh, there's the whiff of uncanned apple about you, sunshine :) It's so nice to be able to be amongst family members with a more secure sort of anchor that you are who you are and they must accommodate that, just as you accommodate them. Why does it take so long to gain maturity??

    Barbara - yes, I would be feeling the same as you about privacy, living in the same house. When my brother was staying here I got really territorial (I resisted urinating on the walls, though). Happy flying. Eight days to go :)

    Erin - ahhh, ye olde "I'm just not that deep" chestnut. I spent years telling my ex he was deeper than he thought and he finally conceded I was right (which I always am, don't you know). It's just easier to access how deep we all flow when you spend some time sitting in that space.

    I love how you described it, "being social with myself". Nice :)


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