Everything is static where new information is found that
does not add anything new, when it just confirms previous assumptions, or
biases, or conclusions you hold. When the status quo is retained, you are
unmoved, and life stays the same. If your beliefs and ideas and creative
inspiration are drawn from a pool of knowledge and facts, that make up the core
evidence you use to make decisions and being creative, and this web of
understanding about the world does not keep being refined and growing, then you
have stagnated and are static.
Shoes are important from the point of view of survival and
status, but they also hold a mythical quality that is hard to definable: shoes can
tell us how risk-averse a person is, how self-assured and confident, how brave
they are in stepping forward. I observed recently a table of three women who
worked together, all three wearing similar stylish cloths in muted colours suitable
for work, but their shoes made each distinctive: one wore flat, black pumps; the
second, short-heeled undecorated court shoes; but the third, the bravest, was wearing
a pair of kick-ass, high-heeled felt boots.
I would really like to go home and wrestle with the long
weekend, get knuckle deep into some cheese and wine, and lay back and ponder
the future, but that won’t happen while she stands there in the doorway, blocking
my escape. Doesn’t she realise this is the grand final weekend and there is nothing
to do? Even if I fired up the computer, there is no-one about. Women’s brains must
work differently: who in their right mind turns up late on a Friday and expect
things to happen. In the first place, there’s no second place to get to.
On holiday one year my father decided to walk across the
Sydney Harbour Bridge with me and my sister. Holding our hands, he started out.
We were young: she, two years older than me. I remember, we took two or three steps
to each stride he took. He looked over the balustrade admiring the harbour and
boats and occasionally he would stop and pick us up, first one then the other, to
show us features of interest. When walking we saw only were the iron railings,
the road ahead, and the bridge’s arc in the sky.
Listening to a panel discussion, where practitioners in clinical
medicine, psychology and philosophy were represented, the problem of mental illness
was raised and the question asked about where and in which discipline the solution
might sit. Broached was the definitional question, about who could define the essence
of the problem and where might the solution be found. Interesting, the philosopher,
even though there was much support for philosophy among the panel experts, was aggressively
against philosophy having the answer: he stated that philosophy was about the big
questions and was not to ferret about in the weeds of a mind.
Ranging widely in search of an object to write about, and my
landscape is littered with many both banal and extraordinary, I thought about
windows and how I trip over myself ignoring the window in my ardent search for a
significant or meaningful object. But windows are, for all their invisibility
and opaque natures, unique, even essential. They are enabling objects that let
light in so we can see objects around us in inside spaced; they also open
vistas for objects outside so we don’t have to move to see them. Even when seen
through, windows are overlooked.
What is it about sniffing that is so off-putting? Maybe because
we have all sniffed at one time, or maybe because we have as children all been reprimanded
and told to stop. I find sniffing deplorable, unmannerly, and anti-social.
The woman next to me is an adult, foreign, she talks to herself, and she sniffs.
Somehow, I find I cannot turn to her and criticise her behaviour. Of her many flaws
I should tell her sniffing is the most intolerable. Saying that, the persistent
whispering to herself as she scrolls through her phone pretending to ignore me
ranks highly too.
A watershed day – when my phone credit resurrects itself and
I can connect to the world again. An interesting feature of getting older is
the reality of budgetary constraints. Now that I am monitoring expenditure, I
recognise when service providers upgrade systems and note how the incremental
changes to services increases data consumption, and impacts usage, and increases
costs without warning. This is gouging: they give me more, but it isn’t what I
want or need. I understand the need to release system changes, but don’t give
me more apps that I won’t use and then charge me for them.
idle moment I overheard a conversation between a young couple in the library,
probably students studying together. The content was trivial and uninteresting
on the whole, but their interaction was a distraction. I know that eavesdropping
is deplorable, even socially reprehensible, but how else can I get ideas on
short notice to re-purpose? The seating is arranged in close proximity, the
offered conversations are hard to resist, in every respect these glimpses into other
worlds are like banquets for a grand feast. Besides, talking in the library is
the equivalent of putting your thoughts into the public domain.