Several things have conspired towards today’s blog topic, the way life sometimes does. Firstly we had a summer barbeque which forced me to look at our house and garden through another’s eyes – actually around 35 others’ eyes – and has prompted a makeover of the garden at least!
Then, on one soft morning when the sun was shining at an angle into our patio garden, the bricks on the workshop looked very different – the same old bricks but with their patina of soft green, sage green, emerald green, yellow, orange, pink and peach highlighted so that I saw them as if for the first time. They were gorgeous and now I look at that wall with a more appreciative eye.
Another early morning with my first cup of tea, this time a grey morning, the light shining through the lounge window illuminated my bare foot as I sat there reading (a wonderful book by Lawrence Durrell called Bitter Lemons Of Cyprus) with my leg lolling on the arm of the chair, and showed in sharp relief all the tiny little lines just below the inside ankle of my foot and revealed a complexity of pattern that is truly amazing. And I thought I knew my body! I am now appreciating my feet more than before!!
And then today, seeing a friend for the first time in several months was a real shock. She suffered from a virus around Christmas time and it went to her brain. She is now a different person. She shakes, she is understandably depressed, and more, no-one seems to know what is wrong. All anyone knows is that the virus attacked her brain. And she was a lively, lovely artistic girl in her early 20s who was set to become a model. Now it is all she can do to get through the day. She can’t light her own cigarette, she has to drink through a straw because she shakes so much, and she bursts into tears in frustration at her own lack of control.
Seeing her has made me take a hard look at my own life and realise just how blessed and fortunate I am. All my little niggles are negligible and petty against her sudden change of fortunes, my day to day routine a wondrous journey against the devastation of her life. In her eyes I have a charmed existence.
I guess I have two things to express today – one, that in seeing something well known in a suddenly different light, one can never go back to seeing it again in the old way, so as we get older, our lives should become richer in terms of experiencing life and seeing beauty in nature and other people. The other is that we should never, ever, take our lives and ourselves for granted, for sometimes inexplicable things can happen totally out of the blue and change everything we knew.
Reading your blog today really chimed with things going on in my life/world. We were affected as a family by quite a tragic accident a few years ago, and we no longer take anything for granted – but looking at life through fresh eyes has allowed all our family to pick ourselves up and start all over again.
A you say sometimes things can happen totally and change everything we knew, so we can’t change it back again and make sense of the new and enjoy it for what it is.
We now have an artist son and I am planning a different life than that mapped out for me… not worse, not better, but totally different !!
Best wishes to your friend.