The pause was only a minute. No longer, and no less. I know that because I have the pause down to a fine art. I just stop. No particular reason, I don’t go anywhere to do it, nor sit down, I just stop.
The middle of the town centre seemed like a good place to pause.
It is amazing the amount of people that pass you by and their reactions to something they are not used to. There are the, I don’t notice but I’ll just take a fleeting glance in her direction to see why she isn’t doing anything, there are the, stare at you and then quickly look away when they notice you are looking back at them. Then there are the, “What the….” They are the funniest you can feel them looking at you and hear them asking their companions why I’ve just stopped. Then there was the one, just the one woman that stopped and asked if I was Ok. I was, thank you, I was just catching some peace of mind.
It’s one of the strangest expressions, the English have lots of them, but “Peace of mind” is one of my favourites.
We state, “I just want to check, for my own peace of mind, you understand,” and yet there are not many people I know that have that peace.
In that one minute, the World has changed so much, that we don’t notice it unless we are at the point of change. Many have taken their last breath in that time, and there are new born babies taking their first look at life. There are couples meeting for the first time, shoots of grass appearing from the ground, trees being felled. Just because I stopped doesn’t mean anything else has, but in that minute, I can find everything I need. Try it I dare you, it’s amazing. You have to look passed the what comes next. What comes next doesn’t matter, it’s not happening, it doesn’t matter what has happened, it’s over. For 60 seconds, it is about you and the space you are in. You can close your mind to everything if you need a break or you can take a look around, observe others and what is going on. I chose to observe.
It’s all sort of new Worldy, but really, it’s not. When I was young, I used to have these fits of rage and temper and I would go off gung ho. My grandfather would hold up his hand and calmly say, “breathe” and I would. I still imagine him standing there at times and it brings back the warmth he had for me.
So, there I was standing in the middle of the town centre, just standing, not doing anything, I don’t know if I had an insane grin on my face or what, but I felt at peace with myself. I had given myself time to be calm and carry on my day. I noticed two women having a conversation, one of them holding the hand of a little girl, I’d say she was about six. On the other side of the shopping parade was a boy maybe a year or two older, running around, tugging at his mother’s leggings and shouting at her. He was bored, he wanted to go home, he was thirsty, he wanted a poo. The legginged women shouted at her son, told him to stand still and stop shouting.
At this the little girl tuned to her mother, pulling her hand to get her attention.
“Why won’t he stand still?” She asked her mum.
“Because he has nothing to stand still for.” Her mother gently squeezed her hand, bent over and kissed her on the forehead. Straightening, she said good bye to her friend.
I wish I had had the little girls mum, she obviously knew all about staying calm, she had in her own way taught her daughter as well. As for the other mother and her son, I don’t know as they will ever find it.
The day got better as it continued, I noticed things that I have never noticed before. Not because I had taken a time out, but because I was awake and alive and feeling real. You see I haven’t been feeling at all of late. I’ve had the Duldrums. The horrible feeling that the World is a nasty, dirty, depressing place and that I’m better off hiding in my own dirty, depressing home than being out there with people.
Having seen the rubbish in the streets, the drizzle of the rain, the shabby shop fronts and the shouting parents, I could have come back home and locked the doors and climbed back into the Duldrums. I saw two sides of the town, I saw a patch of waste ground, filled with Poppies and blooming, I saw the architecture of the old buildings that had been preserved. I saw a mother and daughter in harmony. My state of mind determines which side of life I keep and which I discard. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are homeless out there, I saw them, but I saw the nurse that delivered sandwiches to them that morning and felt good as I contributed. That may sound like self-serving gratitude, but I didn’t walk passed in ignorance, I just chose to see the better side to the story.
My point is, I got caught in the Duldrums because all I had been seeing lately was the negative side of things and my mind was holding on to them. My mind lies to me, I’ve learned that one. She is a manipulative, lying, pain in the arsenal, and cannot be trusted, so I give her peace. I stop and when I do she has no other choice but to shut down, when she is at peace, so am I and when I start again, I can choose which things I take in and which things I decide are not worth worrying about.
I’m a neurotic sort of person, I suppose, I go from being bubbly and euphoric to being a right miserable cow, but I know it and I realise that at my age I’m the one responsible for me.
This may be a dreary post today, it wasn’t intended to be, nor is it some sort of, get your advice from Jenny day, it’s just sometimes I think, a lot, maybe too much and the last few days has been like that so I thought I’d share. Hopefully you’ll stick around and not put me in the Ga Ga category.