Busy with the painting

It has been some turbulent few weeks. When we came back from Europe and 2 weddings later, we decided finally to get the house repainted. My incessant cooking had transformed the kitchen from a very pale blue to an oily yellow and it was time to give it a fresh coat of paint and a little rejuvenation.

Then it was finding the right colours. An agony! I never thought that deciding on a colour was that hard. But it was. We settled finally on light blue just a little darker than the previous one. We did not want to be too adventurous. A little contrast could be seen below the outside is lighter while this side of the wooden door is a little darker in the picture below.

Contrast between the old and the new
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Shade of blue







After many painters came and went we settled on a quiet young man. But like every tradesmen if I can generalise, they must have their radio blaring in the background. And there is one thing that I do not like is background noise of the incessant chatting and music all day long. My own company is amply sufficient with the twitters of the multitude of birds, frogs, cows, chickens and cat and dogs. My life is full at this level.

So, this painter was not going to lift a little finger in helping move the furniture. That got me really stroppy. So, Peter and I painstakingly prepared ourselves to do some heavy lifting. Seeing that we were much older than him, “HE” decided to give us a hand finally. But I suspect it was because he saw that we were twice his age and he started to feel just a little guilty to remain inactive in the face of 2 old people being strong and  him not showing some sort of  sensitivity or empathy. So, he did help in the end but just a little.

But we did “the works” during these 2 weeks. Cleaning behind everything, cobwebs, dead cockroaches …What a mess! Living on the farm has its attractions but also one has to be diligent about the dust and general cleanliness. Yes, two weeks of complete scrubbing and moving the sofas, the beds, the wardrobes, tables and so on. We never had so much exercises in 2 weeks and this is not quite finished also. Overnight we just go to bed knackered, exhausted and slept for 10 hours straight.

House in a mess

In that period, we also got rid of a mountain of STUFF that were not in use or that was superfluous. Boxes went to the local Op shop. In these moments I wished I got rid of the whole house …just dreaming of course. Because I know the moment there is an empty space it will get filled. How easy it is to accumulate! How hard it is to get rid of objects! But we were quite strict and we were elated that a lot of it maybe found a better place.

Can we measure the content of a house with the content of our mind? I am sure it is not far behind at all. The baggage, the packages, the nick knacks, the clothing, the books all represent a life time. A lifetime of memories that weighs on the inside and the outside.

Does one feel a little lighter? Well, on the surface for sure. But, we do carry it all our life inside our mind. A good thing or a bad thing. I am not sure. On the one hand, it is of course necessary to have the knowledge that we have in order to function in our society….In fact a must. On the other there is an innocence, a simplicity, a freshness but that is not enough to function in this turbulent world. The pivotal point is an equilibrium between the two. Not too far in one direction or the other. I wonder how many people can do that? How many people can understand the necessity of one and the beauty of the other. Honestly, I really don’t mind how many. I just hope that I can find solace in my own equilibrium. Is not that the most important adventure? Seeing the function and aligning it with wisdom.

Till next time


The lost jewels

Over the last few weeks there have been quite a few robberies in the area and particularly in our street. The residents were alarmed at the speed that valuable were removed. Meeting were organised with the police, residents and the mayor who took seriously that so many people were being targeted over a wide area.

Speculations were rife. Ice, amphetamines or other drugs were pointed as the culprit. Everyone was really edgy and worried if they were going to be next. Many residents started to put video cameras around their house and locking their gate. We did the same. Peter went and bought a combination lock to put on the front gate with a special code.

In the meantime, on Peter insistence and advice , he suggested to me to put away the little jewellery that I had. So, I sorted them into 2 lots. The trinkets and the good ones. I placed the good ones in a place that I thought would be good and the other I decided to hide the other in a place that was obvious to me ( I thought).  Then I forgot about it all.

One day I wanted to put some old earrings . I went to the place where I thought I hid them. Not there. So, I began searching everywhere. I just could not find them . I did room by room to no avail. So I gave up. Then, I thought well, they may have been stolen after all after nearly 3 weeks of searching. I started also cursing Peter for making me paranoid. But that did not bring them back  did they?  Of course I could not rest easy with the whole matter. OK, they are lost so what? They were important after all. Again this was not and easy thought either.  I let it go. It will come back to me one day where I’d put them….May when I am not here anymore I thought, my kids will find them. All sorts of crazy thoughts  run through my head.

Just the other day I was cleaning the guest room and looked at the couple of green woollen blankets that were  there folded on the chair. They have to be moved I thought as our son is coming soon and there was not need for them in summer. I picked up the 2 cushions that were on top to clear the lot and…low and behold the whole stack was there under the cushions. I was jubilating and rushed outside to tell Peter. So, here they were in all their glory. No one had stolen them after all. I put them back on the dresser in our room.

Today as I looked at them again, a funny feeling crossed my mind. I was elated to have them back. But another thought arose why was I so glad to see them there?  What occurred in this split second? I went downstairs where Peter was sitting on the sofa reading the news and share what crossed my mind.

It all occurred in that split second I said. I saw the memories coming back and making me “happy”. Happy to see that these jewels had an importance after all. Memories, of my mother’s in law ambers, Sulma’s present of Sri Lankan river pearls and turquoises from Burma, the silver necklace that I had made in Cambodia on the model of my paternal grandmother. It all came back in a flash and saw the importance of attachments to the past. We are that past and live with it. I do not want to get rid of it but just observed what we are made of as it plays in our everyday living.

The lost jewellery

That is what we are made of. Memories. Again nothing wrong with that but seeing it opens up a different state of mind. Seeing that in the present moment …that split second was an awareness. An awareness of the past in action. That in itself is a form of liberation, like a burden lifted from your shoulders. Yes, I am that. In accepting it I acknowledge what I am made of. Is it not what we suppose to do as humans? Comprehending our complexity, understanding what we are, how we behave, how we relate.

Now let’s see if I just stopped there and not shared this moment with Peter. I would have wallowed in the feeling of “happiness” relieved at seeing all these objects back…back… where they belonged, satisfied that it was great to possess them again and not give it anymore thoughts. I would have missed the boat and failed to see the other side. The attachments to objects and the weight that they carry makes one heavy. Fear, anxiety, frustration, to name just a few emotions.

Ok, you might talk about the joy of passing on all these things to children, grandchildren and so on and so on…right now  I am not ready to go down that path yet. I might leave it for another time. But I can say this is a lot of sentimentality nothing wrong with that either. It really depends on  what you would make of it…the importance that you give it and the ideas that you construct about heredity and the blood line…and so on…and one more thing, no claim on the insurance either. Oh, that is another topic no?

Till next time.