THE POWER OF OUR OWN FREE WILL

I have, at last, finished reading a book which has opened a Pandora’s Box of uncomfortable feelings. It is no overstatement to say the story is, in a perverse way, an engrossing and powerful read.  I took a break from the book just over half way through it to restore my inner self to its familiar, more comfortable state. Though the writer is giving us the power of our own free will to be involved, he is also rendering the reader  to be actively powerless.  Being disempowered is an extremely uncomfortable place to be. And this is the position in which, swathes of the world’s population reside.  Selection Day by Aravind Adiga,  published this year, is not a read for the faint-hearted. It is a very clever writer who can connect a reader to almost participate in the linking destructive events that lead to the final denouement.

SELECTION DAY

I have  read one other book by the same writer, it was the Man Booker Prizewinner 2008. The White Tiger.  Adiga later admitted that he had had to watch his back after exposing in this book a variety of  cultural norms within a society he knows well.  The White Tiger is a very good, high quality and exciting read with superb pacing.  I found myself being curious about the the effects of the breadths and the depths of the social and economic corruption he unwrapped in his story, and its global reach.

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Coming back to nearer home, I have just started reading Ian Rankin’s very first Rebus book, Knots and Crosses.  I thought it might be a good idea to introduce myself to an Edinburgh writer, a writer who has grown in stature.  I am hoping that introducing myself to his literary characters will create another interesting link with Edinburgh…….we’ll see

 

 

 

 

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WISHING IN THE WIND

Nothing in particular to report, though there is plenty to occupy my thoughts. There is is just too much.  I don’t imagine for one minute that I am alone in feeling I am on thinking and analysis overload.

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© M-Digital Doodles

Living in such tumultuous and shambolic times it would be easy to behave like an ostrich and bury my head in the sand.  In the Russian equivalent analogy,  the ostrich  is  ‘hiding its head under its wing’.  The Russian Ostrich would have a cosier and warmer hideout, with the ability for an occasional surreptitious glance out to see if worldly things were a little quieter: peaceful would be really good.

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© Photo By M-Wishing-In-The-Wind

WRESTLING …NO POINT

How are you finding the book?”  I was sitting quietly on my own in the bar eatery, reading.  I was interrupted, gladly, with that question. I briefly studied my questioner, a lady with two boisterous children in tow.  I tried not to screw up my face, I don’t think I was very successful…….”I’m having problems with it

her – “So did I….it was a bit Hickory, it went on a bit“. ……..

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Zzzzzz

Me -“I think I understand what you mean; It’s hard work, I am skimming more than reading“,  adding that the book had been a gift about three years ago and I had just got round to reading it, (well, trying to).

We enlightened each other about what other books we had read by the same author, none so tedious as this one.  “BUT!” she said with a great flourish and a big smile, “I did read to the end …I finished it!”

Today, after another couple of attempts, I firmly decided I was not going to continue to wrestle with the book….there was  no point.

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I might come out to play now.

Comprends, Entiendes, Capisci, Understand?

There are still the remains of sales in some local shops. I am looking for something in particular and  I was in the one shop that might just have provided it. I browsed the department upstairs where you find cushions, bedding, curtains and some menswear. So far no luck, I could not see what I wanted.  All the staff work downstairs, which is where  I found a shop assistant.  While I was asking, it occurred to me that she might not understand what I was looking for:

Me –“I am looking for a counterpane, do you have any?”   Assistant- “ Could you tell me what that might be?”

It seemed I was speaking a foreign language. I explain it is a bed-cover….she continues to look vacantly at me….. I’m thinking quickly about what might be the current trendy modern bed-cover translation and I tentatively suggest “A throw”.

Some comprehension dawns.  The assistant tells me there are no throws……“Throws are for Christmas”

🙂   ❓

 

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BLANK

Have you ever felt you wanted to write something meaningful and all you could muster was a blank, zilch, de nada, niente, rien? That’s where I am at; blank, blank and even blanker.  If I was  being counselled by Sigmund Freud, what would he have deduced?

Usually, I would find a picture or two to give a visual  flow to a post. I am stumped. I could post any number of empty picture frames, but what would be the point.  I wonder what a blank emoticon would look like, especially if it was not based on recognisable imagery….. I have definitely drawn a blank.

 

BLANK

WRITING BLANKS

I looked at about a dozen posts today, all from contributors to WordPress who are new to me.  As I passed on to the next, then the next,  it occurred to me that just two or three posts invited comments.  A few only invited ‘likes’ and linked to other social media sites; others were statements either in words or pictures on a page.  I wondered if they were meant to be found, might my glimpses of them be intrusive.  There are writers who never venture forth from their own blog platforms, though they will reply to a commenter.  Call me old fashioned, I do mingle,  enjoying the mutual sharing and social contact that it generates.

On reflection. I questioned whether writing ‘blanks’ was what a lot of people did today and if so, why. It opens up a lot of conjecture with no way of gaining any direct answers.  One way communication is not intercommunication; it is, I grant you, communicating…but what?   Still I come back to my central question, why?

There was one post I came across that was a friendly, descriptive, sharing one, on which, I was able to and did leave a comment.

 

APPROVALS

Hi everyone,

Due to the continuing number of nuisance mails I have been getting since posting a particular post about so-called top blogs, I have switched on comment approval for the very first time since I have  posted on WordPress.   I hope it will become unnecessary in the longer term to approve comments.  Meantime, I hope you won’t notice much difference, other than a little delay in comments appearing.

Thank you to one and all. xx

M

THE ELUSIVE LANGUAGE LIAISONS

 The card rack I had been searching through, took up most of the length of the shop.  There I was looking through cards at dark end of the rack where the more subdued message cards were displayed, when I noticed under the section titled ‘Get Well”,  a white card with lots of fine silver design on the front.  In the relative gloom, the sparkle of silver had caught my eye. Honestly, I could not believe what I was seeing.  

First, why send or take a card to someone in hospital, which in bold silvery lettering tells the patient where s/he is, ‘You Are In Hospital’.

But in fact what it actually proclaimed on this card and every card like it, very loudly and in very thick silver letters, was:
YOUR IN HOSPITAL.
( Bright pink -writer’s license)
My coughing fit drew out signs of life in the shop. The shop owner came out of a room, apologising for not noticing me. More like, she hadn’t seen me in the gloom. I showed her one of the offending cards at the same time opining on the state of affairs on the written standards of  the English language. 

What…..” she looked really puzzled. It was obvious she could not see what I did.

I spoke the written words…shopkeeper was still no wiser.  
Spelling, “Y-O-U-R in hospitalis wrong“.  I explained how it should have been written and printed.  In shopkeeper’s  eyes a realisation visibly dawned.  “It’s just awful”, I added. 

There are a lot of awful things in the world“, shopkeeper said.  I agreed, differentiating however, that linguistically, in my own language, this was another one of them.  I very much doubt I was her favourite customer of the day; not that I was much bothered,

HEART – WARMING

This afternoon, I sat, and I sat and I sat. Whilst I was sitting, I was enjoying the company of an octogenarian Italian friend, who became my friend during the time she was teaching me her beautiful language, many years ago. She has also taught sprog who was in fact her very last pupil. During our meal, people greeted us as they passed by our table. These were very mature people who my friend had taught at the local high school in decades past. Our waitress, not known for being warm and friendly, was particularly solicitous and smiled a lot.

Later, we moved onto a local bar to sit comfortably in their all-encompassing armchairs, to continue our varied topics of conversation into the twilight of the afternoon. No matter where we were, people treated us with courtesy, friendship and care. Any assistance my friend wished was quickly forthcoming. When we departed, her gloves and a package she had earlier left on the bar were brought forth from safekeeping and handed to her. She was not in the least bit concerned about her belongings, my friend knew that like herself, they would be looked after.

It was heart-warming.