I must get up and get on with things….I must light the fire / have breakfast / wash the dishes / feed the chooks then get on with things….. I must leave this phone call and get on with things …..That’s enough time spent having lunch, it is time to get on with things…..
I have caught myself saying these kinds of things recently but why is it that what I am already doing is not considered one of the “things”? Life is no longer a thing in its own right; you have to be doing more that just living these days. This attitude always surprised me when I was a young mother staying at home with my children, spending 24 hours a day living, but not doing paid work. So many people asked me what I did all day, questioning if I was bored, insinuating at times that I was lazy or not pulling my weight in society. I knew there was not a job in the world more worth while than raising your children.
It is the same now. I yearn for days of solitude to simply get out into the garden and potter about, or cook slowly in my kitchen, while everyone else seems to be going to things, participating in organised things, eating out and travelling far and wide to see other people doing things. Gardening and cooking are seen as chores which must be done quickly or by someone else so everyone can get on with “things” most of which I have no desire to do.
Lighting the fire is a thing I love. Why do we nowadays have to turn it into a chore and hurry on so we get on with real “things”? I love greeting the chooks in the morning, with a bowl of leftover dinner and some grains for them. I stand and watch them chat about it; arguing over one piece of bacon rind when there are 6 more there if they just look and one after another having their fill and moving off to have a drink of water. Why is that not a “thing” worth getting on with?
I do get a bit cranky about this at times when I try to cut the crap from banal conversations about art exhibitions I have not been to, movies I have not seen, music I know nothing about and celebrities I have never heard of. I try to move the conversation beyond the human, to frost on the broccoli in the early morning light, frozen bird baths, the movement of layers of clouds across the sky recently, ideas and philosophies I have read about but we are from different planets; the others and me.
Mostly I do not listen to music; I prefer the sounds of the natural world around me to the sounds of humans. That makes me a freak who does not appreciate the finer “things” of life, evidently. What is finer than the sounds of the crackling of the fire, the chooks wanting breakfast, the creek gushing along after rain, birds in the garden or a breeze in the trees?
Mostly I don’t care for art, except when it is useful. I’d rather have a bird’s nest on my mantel piece than a famous sculpture. I love baskets and fences woven from plants in people’s gardens, I love ceramic fermenting crocks made from local clay, I love quirky, interesting furniture made from local timbers by clever artisans….. but I cannot be bothered with art for its own sake. These days you cannot go around saying you are not interested in art or music…. but when people ask me, I tell them.
Recently a woman who has the most amazing singing voice and makes a living singing asked me what music I like. I tried to say “I love it when you sing at the market but between markets I rarely listen to music” but somehow it came out sounding like I was criticising music, because I don’t know about genres and musicians’ names.
It is not enough to know about vegetables; evidently that is not a “thing” these days. I was excited because I had been to a restaurant with son Hugh where I had chosen a meal with 3 vegetables I was not familiar with (skirret, salsify and Portuguese cabbage). People laugh at this as if I don’t mean it, but I was as excited about this as another would be about a new piece of music they had discovered….. and no-one would laugh at that!
So, now I am sitting in bed writing this…. I doubt that blogs are “things” and that I really should get up and get on with things….