The Things I Used To Do

Bismihi Ta’ala

So, I’ve been thinking.  Contemplating.  Re-envisioning.  And one of questions that I have found myself repeatedly asking is: Why do I write?  I’ve probably addressed that question somewhere in the archives of this blog and I have a feeling I had some theatrical answer like: “Because I have to, because I breathe words, because without writing I would no longer be me!”  And at that time, I have no doubt that the answer was honest and true.  It may still be.

I know I’ve stopped doing a lot of things I used to consider essential to my description.  I considered writing and reading, drawing and talking, craft and art, all a part of what made up who I was.  I have done very little of any of that in the past few years.  And I can feel something missing, have felt it for a long time.  I’m not sure why I stopped to begin with – so many possible reasons come to mind: work, deadlines, schedules, getting married, learning how to cook, getting used to having to share my personal space with another (totally different) human being, traveling, migrating…but I guess none of those would have brought all my hobbies to a standstill if I hadn’t wanted to stop for a bit.

I have this need to re-assess not just the reasons why I did the things I did, but what effect they had in my life.   To re-explore who I thought I was as opposed to who I really am and then figure out how to get to who I want to be.  Is this what they call mid-life crisis?

But I feel too young to be going through mid-life! I haven’t done anything yet!  I’m still just dabbling in this and that, trying to decide what I really want to do when I grow up 😦  I’ve only just got married, am only just learning how to swim and to drive (hopefully!), only just figuring out how to feed others as well as myself, only just…so many things.  And Time is already running out?

So I’ve decided to go back to all the things that appealed to me in my ‘childhood’ and try them out again.  To see if I can re-kindle the passion that I had for them and if I can’t, to discover what’s changed in me since then.  Maybe I’ll find new things I can enjoy, maybe I’ll make some past dreams my present reality.  All I know is that I have to do something.

Here’s my current To Re-do List:

1.  Write

I’ve written a book, for God’s Sake! Surely I should be able to write another…right?


I need to write on this blog, re-start a journal, write articles, write stories, write anything…just let the words spew out.  Apologies in advance if something untoward or nonsensical makes its way here.

2. Draw

I used to draw like so:


But now my hand trembles at the sight of a pencil.  So it’s time to sharpen the nibs and go fulfill some papers’ purpose of life.

3. Tat

Of all the craft work I’ve ever done, tatting, crochet and weaving appeal the most to me.  The last time I tatted was literally eons ago…

Time to make more lace as well. And ignore that fact that lace making makes me sound even older than I actually am…

4. Read

No I’m not putting reading down here because I don’t value it more than tatting and drawing.  I just don’t know where I’m going to get books from (I loathe online reading) right now.  But I shall read…somehow.  Perhaps you can suggest something I should sink into?

5. Think

I’ve been doing things routinely for some time.  I’m not sure I ever stopped to consciously think about the things I did, although I did sit and stare into the distance and do a lot of musing-type thinking.  Perhaps some of that would be good to do now, but also some of the awareness-type thinking where you actually consider the impact of your action and in-action on your own life, on the lives of those close to you and the world as a whole.

Five things are good enough to start with I believe.  Who knows, if I’m lucky and determined, I might even get more than two of them done in the next few weeks while I’m on hiatus from ‘normal routine’!

Wish me luck!



The Difference Is The Same

Bismihi Ta’ala

Once upon a time, I used to think of myself as an ‘old soul’.  It was a nice, pretty turn of phrase and made me feel important.  I’d watch the world around me from a distance with a sage-like perception of myself.  I felt that I was not like others, that I was…different.  And perhaps I was.  I wasn’t interested in the same games that others children were, and if I did play them, it seemed that I took something else from the experience than they did.

I do remember being briefly amused by climbing trees and making imaginary castles and computer rooms on the different branches.  I remember being enamoured – again briefly – by video games (I won’t say which for fear of disclosing how old I really am, because there’s a difference between being an old soul and being old. period.) but again, I played them at the homes of cousins or friends, and once the play fell into a familiar pattern, I quickly lost interest in the repetitive nature of the game.  Once I could understand or even spot a conscious pattern behind something, then the activity became uninteresting for me.

The only thing that never bored me were books.  I imbibed them – some good, some bad, some that should never have seen the light of day.  It was only in books that I could remain involved, because I never ‘got’ them.  Yes, there was a classic pattern in them, but every story was different. every character new, every combination of words fresh.  Books were a haven for my imagination because I could read the same story but imagine a different visual for the same descriptions, making the story brand new every time.

But I digress, this post is not about books or my love of them.  This post is about patterns and how they’re all the same, but they can all be so different as well.  The more complex a pattern, the more it amazes me, the more I need to simply sit back and think about it.  I can’t get my head over the fact, for example, that in its basic description the structure of an atom imitates that of the galaxy.  How does one blueprint contract and expand so perfectly to accommodate the needs of a single element as well as that of the universe?

I still sit back in awe and wonder that one plus one is equal to two.  It just adds up so …perfectly. Take one and add another to it, and you’ll always have two! Voila! Sometimes, when I knit or crochet, I wonder at how just one series of moves, repeated over and over, can give such a variety of results.

People amaze me as well – 7 billion of us – each one unique and different and yet psychologists and sociologists give us a science to understanding our behavioural patterns.  We can almost predict exactly how any one of us would react in a situation and how to handle it…if we could only understand ourselves as they do.  We have so much information about ourselves, we should be immune to being influenced by any external sources but we still fall prey to every new marketing campaign that comes our way!

There’s so many random thoughts going through my head right now,  I don’t quite know what the point of this post is, so you will forgive me for ending it as abruptly as I started it.  Maybe next post, I’ll have got my coherency back.  Or maybe not! 🙂