Thursday, 11 December 2014

Meditations On A Rainy Day - II

. . . . . . . . . . but more along the lines of ‘All Passion Spent’;
Men grow too old to woo, my love,
Men grow too old to wed;

physical companionship, friendship and mutual goodwill between two people is a wonderful thing in itself; we leave the highs and lows of unbridled passion to those who have the energy. Peaceful co-existence may not be to everyone’s liking, but having experienced the opposite, this harmonious way of life is the one for me.

But there is something else we are no longer passionate about, something probably far more controversial,

Men grow too old for love, my love,
Men grow too old for lies;

and that is physical protest of any kind. Fighting the same old battles, over and over, to protect the environment, save the planet, take away from the rich and distribute to the poor, stop wars, stop hunger.

Fat chance.

Perhaps this is the unpleasant cynicism of age but, apart from making contributions in monetary terms, joining online pressure groups, and keeping our own footprint as light as possible, we now do nothing. When I watch those with two homes, a flat in the city and a house in the country, families with more cars than necessary, tourists flying to all corners of the world on short breaks and a couple of holidays a year, wailing over that poor polar bear stuck on his melting ice floe, I need to turn my back and bite my tongue. While we want to eat cheap and plentiful beef, the rain forests will continue to be destroyed. While we want to wear cheap t shirts, more and more people will have to work for hunger wages. While we want to own ever more gadgets, natural resources will have to be exploited until none are left. Someone, something, somewhere, always has to pay.

I don’t say that we, Beloved and I, have become indifferent, by no means, but we can do very little beyond what we do and for the sake of our own peace of mind we now leave protesting to the ones who will need this planet long after we have left it.

We accept our limitations.
Yes, food,
Just any old kind of food.
Pheasant is pleasant, of course,
And terrapin, too, is tasty,
Lobster I freely endorse,
In pate or patty or pasty.

2014 has seen the number of private social events shrinking too. And we don’t mind at all. Large parties are usually pretty boring, with all that standing around and shouting at each other;  small gatherings are less so, but only if the assembled company is easy to get on with. I used to do my utmost to ‘sparkle’, now I can barely muster a dull glimmer. The selfish gene has kicked in and I want return value for my effort. We still enjoy small lunch and supper parties for no more than six, both giving and receiving them. Even so, when we are the hosts the concentrated hard work before and afterwards requires at least half a day to recover.

Health problems come in to it, of course. If your heart is liable to set itself off in violent protest at having to cope with excitement you soon learn to keep yourself subdued. It’s been a good year though, I’ve managed half a dozen  episodes of AFib without having to be admitted to hospital.

Having to remain calm in the face of extreme provocation, i.e. “L’enfer, c’est les autres'', is something I have come to accept.

A thrill of thunder in my hair,
Though blackening clouds be plain,
Still I am stung and startled
By the first drop of the rain:
Romance and pride and passion pass
And these are what remain.

But the year has also been extraordinarily good to me . . . . . . . . . .



  1. Friko, I cannot imagine you with only a glimmer! Sometimes, I cynically believe that those protesting the loudest are the most destructive of natural resources. I like small, quiet, intimate gatherings. I am definitely a wall flower and pleased to be one.

  2. Perhaps it is my mood, but this is a gently melancholy post. Beautiful, true - with an underlying ache.
    And no, I too cannot imagine that your sparkle has faded. More selectively displayed perhaps, but not faded...

  3. I'm not a party person. I like peace and quiet. I do what I can to make the world a better place, and I donate to worthy charities. I don't like to scream and shout about it or pressure anyone. We have started eating less beef. This is the only place I've mentioned it. I like your post.


  4. Your post is elegant and speaks to me directly, right to my heart. You are an artist finding her voice (I say humbly) and am adoring this latest work of yours, Friko. I could have written it myself if the sentiment were all it took to write it. Going back to read it again...

  5. Though every good, the herd might trample,
    Of protesters, the world has ample,
    Yet few dare set a good example.

  6. I love this post. Don't we all need to just slow down?

  7. We say much the same: "I don’t say that we, Beloved and I, have become indifferent, by no means, but we can do very little beyond what we do and for the sake of our own peace of mind we now leave protesting to the ones who will need this planet long after we have left it."

    We did fight. We do speak out and vote. But the times they are a changing; And the sense you desribe makes great sense to us! Oh to watch the holidays flurry past with no obligations of our own save to continue the appreciation of our domestic realm. . . . BLISS!

    I appreciate your musings, your writing...

    ALOHA from Honolulu

  8. You express candidly what I think many of us who have "reached a certain age" surely must feel. I know I do. Have a peaceable holiday, the both of you, and Millie, too.

  9. Yes. My husband and I have arrived at the same conclusion. The fight for change is a futile one. Wasted energy on our part. We do the best we can to support our beliefs; those who come after will pay a huge price. Thank you for your posts. I am so enjoying them!

  10. Everything you say in this and your previous post resonates in my own life. But you (and I) are NOT doing nothing. Keeping your footprint light, donating, speaking out (as you have done here) are all useful things , the impact of which may reach farther than we realize. Your words are your contribution. May the blessings of the season (and not the considerable irritations) be abundant for you and yours. Love, from one prickly old woman to another, Vicki

  11. How surprising and uplifting to find that you're feeling this peace as well. For the last several weeks I have felt so many hurts and frustrations just . . . dropping away, replaced by this peace. Oh, what a relief at last! I almost fear saying it out loud for fear it will leave me.

  12. Yes. These days I don't rail. I do give time and sometimes money to causes I feel drawn to. We are in Arizona for the winter now, settling into our small mobile home and loving the simplicity of it.

    To everything there is a season.

  13. Friko, you are doing just fine. And, unless you ask my wife, I am always right.

  14. You sparkle in your posts Friko - simple.

  15. Simple and quiet is the way we've lived, and I want to continue to do that without my dear hubby here by my side. Whenever I go out do do different things, I'm always GLAD to pull into the driveway and be 'home sweet home'. It's small, it's not modern, it is what it is and is a haven/sanctuary to me. I have much to be grateful for.

    Happy love, peace and joy filled holidays dear sparkling Friko.


  16. Oh yes, my sentiments exactly. I do worry about what sort of world the next generation(s) will have to contend with, but don't kid myself that my contribution can be much more than living as lightly on the earth as is possible without actually destituting myself. And no, no evening parties, thank you, unless you want me snoring away in the corner.

  17. Slow and rushing water in many parts of the world or calm lakes and ponds have dried up due to Man's machines sucking it all up and spitting it back to the earth with dangerous chemicals - unable to ever be used for consumption. Oceans and Seas are being so over fished that in the next decade there will likely be none. Trillions of pieces of plastic litter our waterways - mankind's trail of garbage. I agree with you - the fight goes on to improve many things, however; the battle to save the plantet is failing and one day all life will drastically change for the worse on our Earth. I too, will be long gone and I can only imagine the horrors that are slowly creeping upon the younger . Our Governments and Businessmen run the world and probably have underground bunkers in which to live and carry on their life's ways while everybody else fends on their own as everything around them collapses, including that polar bear that is no longer on ice. I have a very peaceful life, most would call it boring, I call it living. Love your writings.

  18. oh the passion of sex. while I sometimes miss that loin lust, I do not miss being at the mercy of estrogen and I do enjoy the companionship of someone who knows me and who I know.

    I've never been much for participating in protests beyond signing a petition. I protest in the way I live...simply. I recycled and carried my own bags and composted long before it was the hip thing to do. we do work in expensive homes and I am always amazed by the closets. huge closets bigger than my living room full of clothes they can't possibly wear, once a year if at all. I hope the younger generations have the dedication to clean up the world that we and the ones who came before us have trashed so tragically cause if they don't, well, humans will be on the extinction list.

  19. Hi Friko - as you say we can't do it all .. even if we wished to do more .. life rushes by as it is. I now do what I can ... and help out where possible .. but say 'no' too ... I sincerely hope the youngsters will encourage their friends to remember others and care for the environment etc .. little butterfly actions done locally help hugely ..

    Cheers Hilary

  20. Ah, there is wisdom here; something about knowing when to get excited and when...

  21. ... good to know, the year has treated you well, and apparently also your life ...

  22. Well, you tell it like it is dear lady. We do not give up our travel and will not in spite of my waling about carbon footprints. I will not give up my clementines from Morocco. But I will continue to support our National Parks, our environmental wars and fighting the good fight for a democracy against an oligarchy. Maybe I will never see a change, but I cannot stop. I think the lack of hormones reduces the needs for parties with glitter and light flirting and silly repartee. I will meet up with loved ones and that is enough.

  23. The passion of youth burns brightly but, so often, briefly. True devotion and commitment of the heart runs deep and warm. I'm with you! ;)

  24. I've been out of the loop a day or so, and now playing catchup. Not the red kind that require tomatoes either. I'm kinda where you are, but no afib. I have weakness on one side from a stroke and still working on the other side weak from previous surgeries. Yes, much to be said for companionship and a good hug.

    Love these lines of poetry.

  25. Hallo Friko,
    ich denke, dass das eigene Konsumverhalten ein Dauerthema ist ... Verbraucher werden auf den Preis achten, und damit werden sie Fleisch kaufen, dass in Massentierhaltung hergestellt worden ist, oder Textilien, die in Dritte-Welt-Ländern produziert werden. Dazu ist das ganze System zu intransparent, dass wir als Verbraucher durchgängig darauf achten können.

    Gruß Dieter

  26. I have no idea why this proverb should have entered my mind, but here it is: "In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king." We live in a world blind to much, not the least of which is the consistent, enthusiastic, and generally obvious lying by governments, bureaucracies, and, yes, even protest movement leaders. Beyond that, technology and social media have joined forces to turn the younger ones, who know nothing else, into something akin to automatons.

    Like everyone, I suppose, I feel the occasional urge toward a Jeremiad. But doomsayers are a dime a dozen these days, and who needs one more? Better to live life with honesty, good humor and compassion, and remind others that the same is possible for them. Or so I think.

  27. The injustice in the world is overwhelming. Living simply requires intention rather than going along with the cultural norms and I sometimes get tired of fighting. Where do I put my energy? Do I focus on food supply, where my clothes come from, or reducing consumption of fossil fuels? Reducing plastic and eating fresh, local foods where possible are important to me, as well as minimizing car trips. But we enjoy travel and take a major trip every couple of years. Does that negate my daily efforts? These questions plague me and it would be easiest to stop thinking and just do what everyone else does.

    I see hope for the future. Many of the young adults I know are well aware of having inherited a world of problems of the boomer generation's making and are making intentional choices to spend less, waste less and help others.

    I'm so glad you've managed your Afib without hospitals this past year. I wish you the same for 2015. We're going to a dinner party this evening - just 6 of us - and that's perfect for me. Crowded gatherings where one stands with a drink in one hand and plate in the other are uncomfortable and awkward events for me.

    I'm catching up posts and see I have another one of your meditative writings to enjoy.

  28. Your first paragraph sums up the contentment DH and I feel at this quiet time in our lives. No parties for us, though I do still try to make a difference where I can, however small.


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