Thursday, 12 September 2013

Hell is Other People

“’Hell is other people’ (J-P Satre). But so is heaven”
             Johnathan Haidt, The Happiness Hypothesis.  Read it!

I remember doing a training exercise years ago, in which we had to cut out magazine pictures of things that were important to us and make a poster of them. Many people did pictures of family, forests, sea, fashion, pets, books, etc. What would be on yours? I covered mine with pictures of people. (I remember being frustrated when someone called it ‘conservative’ but it showed me photos in magazines really are of a narrow sector of society!) Yes, I love nature and books and movies and all those other things, but at the end of the day, what really matters is other people in my life. Although I do agree with Satre – people can also drive me nuts!

Yesterday a friend posted this on facebook;

(from The Idealist’s Photo website)

which reminded me of an old poem I wrote years ago & recently dug out of one of the screeds of journals which litter my bedside table, to type up. I can still adore people for something as simple as the way they smile, laugh, look after another person, move, tell a story, or speak.

 Just as long as I don’t have to live with them all….

I fall in love all the time
Just at a glance
I can fall
head over heels
for no reason at all
I fell in love
with my daughter’s doctor
his gentle accent
his delicate words
talking about her
asking about her
the way he carried his tall torso
as he leaned over her
checking her little body
the tubes and wires
her heartbeat
as she lay
healing on the bed
I fell in love
with a friend of a friend
her laughter
her sorrow
as she told of the fire
that destroyed her house
Her hair bounced, shook,
as she swished it out of the way
The distress of the recollection
shattering the smile on her lips
I fell in love with an aunt-to-be
(they never quite made the wedding
before the uncle died of cancer)
At the funeral
her tear-stained eyes
her bittersweet smile
her kind words for everyone else
her honesty, directness, openness
admitting her vulnerability
She warmed herself to me
I fall in love all the time
Just at a glance
I can fall
head over heels
for no reason at all