Posts tagged ‘authenticity’

July 17, 2014

Dead easy

It’s an easy jog from the Olympic Pools in Newmarket through the Domain and over Grafton Bridge.  Under Grafton Bridge is the remains of a cemetery.  Most of the graves are in disarray, broken from vandalism, tree roots and the shifting ground.

Down into the gully and over a little creek and you’re at the new cycleway under construction. Can’t wait for that to be finished but I’m one of the first to run on it I’m sure. Back up the hill, more of a bush climb than a run and all of a sudden you’re at Governor Hobson’s grave. Signed the Treaty of Waitangi on behalf of Queen Victoria and six months later dead. Aged 49.

Running after the pool was quite hard for some reason so it was the end of K’Road and back.  A cold day, wet and nice to be in a hot shower and in warm clothes. Going out for exercise when it’s cold and wet is hard.  It’s definitely easier not to go out!

As I’ve said before from the movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona, life is short, life is dull, life is full of pain. But it’s not that hard to make something specDSC_0849ial for yourself.

And in the winter where there’s not a honey bee in sight, just rain, cold, and at Grafton Cemetery a stark reminder of how long you’re gone when you’re gone, time to give yourself something simple for an uplift.

Might be a run, a movie, time out with a friend or connecting with family.

An easy uplift for a gloomy winter’s day.

Stephen

May 19, 2014

Geloso

It’s the Italian word for jealous. There’s something much more appealing about a jealous Italian love story than the nasty everyday variety. Or may be it’s the disconnection from such an event that makes it sound softer.

I was reading a blog over the weekend on being grateful. It’s a great topic to explore and then to remind ourselves about being grateful for what we have, as opposed to being anxious about what we don’t have, or geloso of others’ things or situations.

If you read the comments on a New Zealand on-line news article, there’s a good chance that the vast majority of contributors have something to complain about. And maybe they do. But I’m sure, like all of us, they also have plenty to be grateful for, despite injustices and unfairness.

So why the complaining? Why the geloso (on occasion)? I’m not sure I know the answer to this any more than anyone else does. But in watching leaders and others I know, those who don’t complain and who aren’t jealous appear more content, more at peace, and happier.

You might say that those that display these characteristics don’t have so much to complain about, and you could be right.

But you could be wrong for yourself. Being grateful in my experience requires less energy, doesn’t require justification, can disarm, and give that most important of gifts to yourself. The freedom to move on without holding something that you most likely can’t change.

Many of the respondents to the blog I read “accused” the author of living a life without challenges. They could be right.

I suggest you try out being grateful next time you’re confronted with something which brings up the unfairness or jealousy gene. Just try it. Even to yourself, but even better out loud to others.

The weekend is a great place to start trying it out. It’s only 4 days away. Now that’s something to be thankful for!

Stephen

July 2, 2013

Short, dull and full of pain

And so it is said on the Woody Allen movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Of life.

Life has put a long time between blogs for me at the moment, but I’ve still been thinking!  A lot. Life is busy and it’s certainly short and for some I guess it is dull and full of pain.

We only need to look at any news site for the pain the many people are in. Take a walk at lunchtime and see how dull many people seem. They might not be of course. But it looks like it to me.

But if it’s true that life is dull, then what? Or maybe it’s pain? Caused by circumstance or by others. You might even be a victim.Image

But time has passed. A short time, because that’s all there ever is actually. But does it need to be dull? No.

I’ve watched another of Allen’s work, Midnight in Paris, a few times lately. The protagonist Gil Bender escapes his current dullness by visiting the 1920s. Yes, it’s far fetched.  Gil meets up with Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Cole Porter, Hemingway and others. He reshapes his life from a potentially mediocre existence of comfort and wealth to one of living a life that has meaning and adventure, for him.

You might have pain and I can’t judge or minimise that.  What then? Life is short. That’s a fact.  Dull? No way, there’s no excuse at all for that. Wake up and get on with life I reckon. Now. Which is why my blogs are few and far between right now.  Enjoy.As Cristina says on Vicky Cristina Barcelona, watch out for the “appropriate police”.

Stephen

February 27, 2013

An Irish impression

My son is getting married in the south of Ireland and I’ve travelled here.  To be with him and to support him on this happy occasion. I was warned of Irish hospitality which might see my health compromised with some serious drinking which I couldn’t refuse.

When I was young a lot of things were not spoken about as a mechanism to avoid dealing with life’s realities, and strangely, this has come back to me here.

The friend of the late Mr Coyle, Timber Merchant

The friend of the late Mr Coyle, Timber Merchant

I am cautious about first impressions but they exist, and only exist at first, so I kind of like them.  Since generations past avoided “talking about things” emotionally intelligent people have moved on, recognising that rational communication, coupled with a genuine desire for growth, can have significant benefits.  And let’s be real too: withholding communication from someone you care about, or who needs it from you, is simply abuse.

A man in Kilkenny asked us if we knew Mr Kylie of New Zealand, a wood merchant, who died two years ago from Cancer. After several attempts at understanding each other we established that it was actually a Mr Coyle and no, sadly we didn’t know him.  We can all joke and mock someone who attempts such a ritual with a foreigner.  But what a lovely expression of our deepest desire for connection.  I’ve tagged the man on Facebook as “The friend of the late Mr Coyle, Wood Merchant”.

Some of my ancestry is from the south of Ireland and it struck me tonight that some of what I had seen represented the best and worst of what little I know about human nature.  The friend of the late Mr Coyle, Wood Merchant was open, and genuinely sought a connection with folk from 20,000km away.  He got it.  And so did we.

But I’ve also seen the “don’t talk about it” brigade at work.  From the absurd – the number plate on my car with state-sanctioned delusion allowing it to use the number 131 instead of 13 for 2013, to avoid the unspoken misfortune of having 13,  to folk, who, well how can I put it, use silence as their primary tool for communication.  I’ve been thinking “What?” I’m torn between wondering whether they’re stuck in some bad Coronation Street episode or that a cheery demeanour is somehow threatening the economic and meteorological gloom!

I’m proud of my son Thomas and he’ll make a great husband, far better than me I’m sure.  It’s no wonder the friend of the late Mr Coyle, Wood Merchant spotted him in Kilkenny and engaged with him.

Ireland, like New Zealand is an Island nation, and my first impressions of the south are that many of the folk here could benefit from a dose of meaningful connection with another real world.  And here you won’t need to travel 29 hours to find it like I did.

Try Dublin, I’d suggest.  The two hours drive to another world.  A great place with an international sense of itself which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Friendly and engaging.  Like Thomas’ wedding will be I’m sure!

Stephen

ps It’s been too long between blogs I know!

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