measure and manage

Ahh, here we are again, at the tail end of another year.

As tempting as it is to look ahead, keep going, and ignore everything that’s happened these last twelve months, there’s a voice in my head that’s piped up with “Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it”, so I guess we’ll look back before we turn and keep going.

Of course, I do this constantly anyway. “Ruminate” is probably in my top 100 favourite words. (That’s just a rough estimate because I don’t think it would make the cut for top 10, and even top 50 could be a bit tricky to figure out. Besides, there are a lot of words out there, and a lot that I like.)

Another wise saying that I’ve been mulling over recently is the one that goes something along the lines of “stupidity is trying to achieve a different result by repeating the same process” (I know that’s very much paraphrased and reworded, but I can’t be bothered looking up the original. Well, ok, I will, but only so that I can credit the original genius who came up with it…) Continue reading

because pigeons

A good friend asked me the other day about my favourite animal. I replied that I like birds, but especially pigeons and eagles. She could understand why I chose eagles, but seemed perplexed by why I would like pigeons.

When I started thinking about the reasons why I like pigeons, I realised there are several reasons, and the full explanation is quite long. I instinctively thought that I must’ve written a post about this before, but all I could find were a post about Peregrin falcons (in which pigeons get a mention) and one about why I like wedge-tailed eagles. If you search my blog, there are a few other posts where pigeons are mentioned briefly or in passing, but nothing significant. Continue reading

thought fragments

This year has disappeared in a whirlwind of long days and late nights.

It has been a year of plaintive farewells, and cheerful greetings.

I have done so much, and not enough, and there’s still so much to do.

But it’s a humid Summer’s day, and all I want to do is lie on my bed with the aircon on.

Or maybe go out and have a few drinks with friends.

Or listen to classical music while reading a good book.

I want to share the music of Rachmaninoff, but I can’t decide which piece I like most.

Not long ago, ABC Classic played part of his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, and I stopped whatever I was doing, and listened until the end.

Earlier this year, I learnt that Rachmaninoff struggled with depression throughout his career. He received harsh criticisms about some of his compositions, which made him question his worth as a composer.

But he sought help, he did better, and now he’s remembered and celebrated as one of Russia’s greatest composers.

I wonder if next year will be “quiet”.

The years seem to alternate between tranquil and turbulent, and there aren’t many ways in which this year could have been more turbulent (although there are still about two and half weeks left, so I wouldn’t be surprised if something happened…)

Or maybe the years don’t alternate, and I just made that up.

Thick, grey clouds have gathered, and there’s a cool breeze blowing now.

Maybe it will storm later.

silence

This post is not about silence in the usual sense.

It is not about the silence of libraries and waiting rooms, broken only by the occasional cough or the shuffling about of things and people.

Neither is it about the silence of the oppressed or marginalised.

It is not even about the silence of mid-night or early morning, when the streets are empty and the air is still.

As I write this, it is almost seven weeks since my grandma passed away. I will schedule this post to publish at more or less the seven-week mark.

I’m not sure why exactly it’s taken me this long to write about this. It’s not really that it’s been hard to talk about (especially after reading Caitlin Doughty’s Smoke Gets in Your Eyes). Part of it is simply that I didn’t have the time, energy or words.

But I know if I don’t write this, these thoughts will just continue to swirl around in my head indefinitely, waiting for an outlet. So, I suppose, this post is about my silence of the last seven weeks — the silence of loss. Continue reading