Tuesday, November 13, 2007

heart and soul

I know I wrote a morbid-sounding poem last week, but I haven't fallen into a pit of despair. It was a bad case of Mondayitis, with a bad little haiku to mark the occasion. (Thank you, though, for the supportive comments and bloglove you sent me! I took a great deal of comfort from them all)

Although I'm not sad, I have been feeling very emotional. I've been gazing at the tiny freckles on Laura's nose, with sheer adoration. I've been thinking of my younger brother and sister, and how I love them more than they may ever know. Benjamin's cheeky attempts to boss me around have made me grin, and tell him, "Good try!", while we both fall about laughing. Tears run down my face when I watch news items about tragedy and loss. Every emotion seems intensified just now, but it's not unpleasant. It's like my world is programmed for high definition.

In a music store today, I listened to the album recently released by the Choir of Hard Knocks - an Australian choir comprised of homeless and disadvantaged people. Many of the choir members struggle with addictions to alcohol and other drugs; many have mental health problems. I had seen programs about this choir in which I heard them sing, and have read articles about the group. Yet despite this, I found myself listening today, transfixed, with goosebumps rising all over my arms. The music wasn't technically perfect, but it was sung with such intensity. And when the soprano soloist's voice rang out, the notes were so true and clear and unadorned that my throat went tight with the beauty of it.

I know the world can be a nasty, scary, awful place. Things happen that are sickening, sad and soul-destroying. And yet ............ flawed though we may be, we as people also have the most incredible capacity to bring joy into each others' lives. It doesn't take much to make another person feel cared for, feel loved, feel noticed. A wave, a brief conversation, a smile of commiseration, or lending a hand for a moment - these small acts become amplified, like ripples on a pond, radiating outwards and spreading happiness to all those around.

The future can be brighter, because we all can be kinder to each other. We may show kindness towards our own family and friends (well, for the most part!), but what about the mother who no-one ever talks to at school pick-up, or the cashier who looks exhausted, or the elderly man who looks unsure of his bearings on the street? There are so many opportunities for us each to make a difference. I'm trying to remember this.

It seems to me that life can get so busy, it is easy to race along in the current, never stopping to consider where we are actually going, or even to notice about what we are doing, day by day. So I relish these days of high emotion. Because what could be worse than not feeling anymore? What could be worse than ceasing to weep at sadness, ceasing to hoot with laughter, and ceasing to tingle at every nerve-end at the sound of voices sung from heart and soul?


Heidi said...

At first, I was going to tease you that you sounded like you might be pregnant! (You know... with all those emotions on the surface!!! Ha ha!!!)

But this is a beautiful look at life and a view to how we might want to try and live to make the most of... well, everything.

This is a very nice piece.

shellyC said...

Oh Jelly - we are going to move your way eventually (18 months- 2 years) - And when we do i will track you down and give you a HUGE hug for all the beautiful things you write about that are so true.

fifi said...

ah, this is why, all the time, I just luv ya a little bit more!!!

yes and yes.

everything you said.
I'm with you

Heather said...

This is a beautiful post, my dear.

freefalling said...

Not pregnancy, Heidi - I thought early menopause!
Oh god, I'm so shallow!
But my shallowness only hides....er..nothing - it doesn't really hide anything at all!
Although, I always love an optimist, and you are definitely an optimist at heart, which makes you all the more endearing.
Life sucks sometimes and sometimes I wish I could stop the world and hop off, but I would never wish I was dead - I don't want to miss anything!

Ice said...

I'm including you (well a character who exemplifies your qualities) in my NaNoWriMo novel, ie, someone who is very sensitive to the vibes around her. She (of course she is a she) is a healer also, a healer of souls.
I think you see things very clearly.
Being nice to stranger as well as those close to us is just a matter of practice.
I tell every female I meet (even the ones in a hospital gown) "gee that outfit looks good on you." Even if they know your bullsh--ing, they smile and you can see that their spirit is lifted. To the fellows, I always say; "you're looking bright and chipper today, something nice must have happened to you today; they reflect and smile almost everytime.
So, Jelly, you have a kind heart and that computer looks good on your lap! ;)

meggie said...

What a lovely post Jelly! So true.
When I despair over some of life's injustices, I try to remember that there is usually a balance, & I try to remember, that I can help to redress the bad, by being kind.

Kerri said...

Heather said it so simply and perfectly....this is a beautiful post Jelly dear.
You are such a lover of people, and life....
A real sweetheart.
I think it would be worth the excruciatingly long plane trip to Oz just to meet you...and your lovely mum....and the rest of the family, of course!
I'm smiling as I picture the exchanges between you and Ben :)

Puss-in-Boots said...

Jelly, you have such a lovely way with words and can express your feelings so eloquently. I get those high emotional days, too. I cry at happy things, sad things and funny things. And everything else seems so heightened...colours, sound and touch. Or may be it's just that my awareness is heightened.

I think we need these days, as you say, to slow us down and to let us get in touch with what is around us.

Remiman said...

check this out and tell me what you think:

TUFFENUF said...

You hit the nail on the head with this post. Maybe this is one reason that we all like blogging so much. When I am sad sometimes I comfort myself by reminding myself that it is better to be emotional than to not have any feelings at all. A world away from you - you still put a smile on my face when I read your blog!

Susan said...

You are a breath of fresh air in this otherwise busy stressed out world. Thanks for the smiles.

freefalling said...

I like to say "pappadum" too!
Do you put on a stupidly pathetic Indian accent when you say it and go up at the end of the word?

jellyhead said...

freefalling, how did you guess??! I absolutely use a pathetic Indian accent. In fact, I find that any accent I attempt (German, French, Irish, you name it) eventually disintegrates into an bad Indian accent. Hence I have a running joke with a friend that comes in mid-paragraph (when I realise my mimicked French/German/Irish accent has lapsed into Indian yet again) and I say in despair, "Have you seen my pappadum?"

Yes, well, anyway. This may be one of those 'you-had-to-be-there' stories!

Anonymous said...

do you think that it is the crack in the season the being of the cold and the knowledge that soon we will be lacking actual day light???

thisisme said...

Jelly, what a beautiful post.

Alipurr said...

thanks so much for stopping by and looking at my slideshow....i have to admit a hello from me is long overdue, too

(though I am sure you have heard from my mom, though, ha ha....she is such a good Motherkitty)She is planning a huge thanksgiving feast and I have to say i am very thankful to have my mom and dad to come home to....so many people have no one

freefalling said...

Ha Ha - I have that problem too.
My favourite accent to do is a ludicrously over-the-top indian one.
Nothing like stereotyping a whole country of people is there?
My dad is notorious for not being able to tell what accent a person is speaking with - he once asked a chinese woman if that was a german accent she had (although that WAS a possibility - it was more likely to be a chinese accent! It was.)

Sandy said...

It's wonderful to be able to feel and as you said, have high emotion. I've always thought how awful it would be to live a life without being able to feel any emotion...I think it would be a rather boring & dull place in which to live.

Mimi said...

You go girl!