It’s a funny thing when you expect one thing and get another. Like that moment you pull away from the drive thru of your favourite coffee shop and take the first sip of a much needed caffeine fix and your brain seems to stutter. There is something in your mouth and it’s definitely not what you ordered but for that split second, you can’t recognize what it is. You ordered a steeped tea with triple cream and sugar (yes, I know it’s not proper tea drinking etiquette, but I only drink the stuff as a legitimate way of consuming vast amounts of cream and sugar; it’s more socially acceptable than asking the barista for hot sweetened cream) The point is, while I like coffee (honestly, if there’s cream and sugar, I’m in) I ordered tea. For a second I was so focused on enjoying what I expected, that I didn’t recognize what I had.
That’s what blogging has become. I expected it to be an outlet to vent. Perhaps a place to stretch out the rather neglected muscles of my mind. Maybe, just a more acceptable way to procrastinate, “Oh I couldn’t possible have picked up all the lego on the floor for the fourteen hundredth time…I was writing “
I didn’t recognize it for what it was. A longing. A question. A smoke signal sent out from the dark. “Is anybody here?”
We are all looking for connections. But how do we do it? An article on How To Emotionally Connect Readers to Your Writing states, “As humans, we think in pictures. For example, if I say house, tree, ball, truck, tornado, you likely get a picture in your mind of those things, with related memories.”
Some of us are better at painting mental illustrations than others.
Over at CatrionaIsCrazy , the author describes a hornet infestation. She uses the term, “a whole pant load of Hornets.” I immediately sympathized and, exactly as stated above, got a picture in my mind with related memories…
Gardening for some is a retreat; an escape into a creative outlet that creates life and beauty. For others, it’s a matter of just not being that house on the street that no one really believes is an organic dandelion winery. Since my neighbourhood is obviously against entrepreneurism, and I am against using chemicals on my lawn, I spend a large portion of the summer at war with these determined little plants. Due to compacted soil, I find the only way to be victorious is to use a hand weeder, get right down on their level, look them in the eye and pull, roots and all. Unfortunately a sweating, frizzy haired woman, bent over, with her hindquarters stuck up in the air does not do much to improve property values, so for modesty’s sake, I hunker down in the grass. Last summer my shuffling must have disturbed a bee who, while very supportive of my dandelion crops, did not appreciate my rude interruption of her harvest. In an attempt to escape, this frustrated and frazzled bee flew right up my pant leg.
The first rule of crisis management when something flies up your pant leg is to jump up and scream, effectively bringing family and neighbours alike running to your assistance. The first rule for a buzzing insect finding herself stuck in someone’s pant leg is to start stinging. This leads to the second goal for both gardener and bee alike…getting (it) OUT.
I’ve gone over the next step in my head several times and I stand by it. My husband has pointed out that since the bee had been hanging out in the dandelions, probably collecting pollen, I could have deduced that the buzzing from my pants was in fact a Honey Bee. Since that species can only sting once, I should then have realized that because I had already been stung there was no need for urgency.
(see, this is one of those times where I am just incapable of adequately describing the facial expression that this helpful comment illicited … you’ll all just have to use your imagination)
Regardless, I am not capable of stringing together this kind of logic under pressure but what I am apparently capable of in a stressful situation, is speed. I whipped those pants off faster and with more enthusiasm than my husband had ever seen me do before. The accomplishment was somewhat overshadowed by the fact that I was now standing amongst my family and neighbours holding my pants in my hands wondering if the correct protocol would be to stand there and try to explain, or run.
While I’ve tried to teach my kids that running away from a problem, only increases the distance to the problem, when you’re standing on your front lawn without pants on, distance seems like a good thing. Considering this entire endeavour had resulted from trying NOT to be judged on my less than perfectly sculpted garden (or posterior for that matter) I’m pretty sure performing a strip tease shouldn’t have been part of the game plan. Yet here I was.
And that is why blogging has been such a blessing. While browsing through the Reader I have discovered an entire community of people that find themselves in situations where the only thing you can do is look over your shoulder and say, “can you believe this?!?” And I can. And if I laugh, it’s not at you, it is with you, because, I’ve been there and bought the t-shirt
And that’s what we’re all looking for really. Someone to remind us that we’re not alone. If you’re very lucky, that someone will make you laugh when all you want to do is cry. So thank you to all the wonderful people who share their stories; the sad ones, the touching ones and the ones that can match my buzzing insect story and raise me…because the only thing more alarming than finding a buzzing insect is realizing that it’s not an insect at all, as Lisa will tell you over at kidscrumbsandcrackers 😉
And don’t forget, if you’re ever standing outside, wondering if anybody is here, you’re welcome to come in. I’ll put the kettle on … as long as there’s lots of cream and sugar 😉
Better mad with the rest of the world than wise alone. ~ Baltasar Gracian