Monday, March 14, 2011

dealing with melancholia

How can we help but be melancholic at the moment?  In the last 12 months, we have had natural disaster after natural disaster, with countless people being killed around the world from Pakistan to New Zealand and Japan, others whose homes and livelihood have been destroyed and our understanding of the devastation that can be wreaked has been brought home to us.  It gives me a sense of impermanence, a deep underlying anxiety about what else is in store for us to deal with and a frustration that people cannot understand that we cannot keep tinkering with the earth and pulling gas and oil from the core without suffering consequences.

So, it's even more important to celebrate the goodness that is in the world, while we also acknowledge the suffering.  My mission here today is to share with you some of  the moments of goodness that have sustained me over the last month or so.

The first is of course the joy I find whenever I walk along the ocean coastline on the Mornington Peninsula and swim in my favourite ocean pool at the Sorrento back beach.  Particularly when the tide is up, but the pool is still demarcated, the sheer pleasure of swimming in a reasonably placid but deep pool of clean ocean water, while watching the power of the surf coming in and out is a wonderful way to be reminded of the goodness and power of nature and the joys it can provide as well as the devastation.

Some of my mum's great grandchildren at the family gathering at McLelland Sculpture Park
 The second is my family, we had an extended family get together with my mother who now has little idea of who we are, often thinks I am her sister, but clearly loves being surrounded by her children and grandchildren.  While we have the usual family tensions, it is good to get beyond them and find the joy in the connections, particularly with my own family and the nieces and great nieces and nephews. And it has been good for my soul to have Em, one of my daughters over here and having time with her, her sister Beci  and the always so delightful grandchildren.  It does seem, (rather strangely, given I was not a particulalry good cook when they were small, although food was always an important part of our being together) that we make our best connections over food.  This time we went to DOC in Carlton for the most delicious ever Mozzarella and pizzas and celebrated the launch of my son in laws new venture the Taco Truck.

Continuing on that theme, this weekend I had the opportunity to take the two grandsons down to the beach house and had a most magical evening while the sun was setting, swimming in the bay, Tyke showing me how well he can snorkel and Ari having the loveliest time on the boogie board.  Being able to share my love of the water is certainly a high point and the best nourishment for my soul.  Though Ari reminded me of the constant signs of the fragility of life when he sought reassurance that his little friends in Tokyo who he visited with his family last year were 'safe'. 

So the lesson I think is to be with the ones you love, celebrate the good things that happen while grieving with the people effected the bad things that can happen.  Live for the moment and live simply so we tread lightly on this earth.

A berry clafoutis made by the other half on our new blog

Finally of course the goodness of food carefully prepared by friends and family always helps to bring a smile to my heart.  On that note, I am starting a new blog with a friend so watch this space for a link.  It will focus on the food and alcohol we need to help us survive those moments in life that seem unsurvivable and to celebrate the good things in our life.  Luckily my friend is an excellent cook (unlike me) and also has the most amazing ability to grow vegetables and eggs courtesy of her chickens. 

1 comment:

  1. That berry clafoutis is cheering me up just by looking at it!

    Thanks for this post Marg. It is time to concentrate on glasses being half full otherwise we'd choke on misery & forget to live.