We're All Memory Builders
We're all memory builders but the memories we build are so very different. Though we are the same, we are, most definitely, very, very different.
Almost everybody has a refrigerator magnet or two.
We have one that I love.
"Remember that life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away!"
I love that quote, though there is some debate over where it originated. It's something that I think we can all agree on the sentiment.
We've just wrapped up another memorable holiday in Cornwall. I'm already getting nostalgic for the long walks, bright sunrises, stunning sunsets, and relaxing to the sound of the sea.
Part of the whole holiday experience, for me, is the train ride from St Erth to Paddington. The train passes by some of the most picturesque countryside. We pass Dawlish, Teignmouth, and Saltash. We finally arrive in London at Paddington Station.
It was the stuff that takes your breath away. What great memories.
When we got back to Kings Cross last week, I paid a bit more attention than I normally do to the throng gathered at "Platform 9 3/4". Under the sign, there's a trolley, some suitcases, and a birdcage partially embedded in the brick wall.
Of course, Platform 9 3/4 is where Harry Potter famously transitions from the real world into the magical world of Hogwarts, magic wands, and Quidditch. It's the beginning of his magical journey.
I can be a bit cynical about this kind of stuff.
Why do people get so excited about a book or a movie or a sports team? I'm trying to understand.
I don't get all hyped-up for some fake trolley stuck in a wall.
Though people are the same in so many ways, we are oh so different as well. Maybe Harry Potter was a big thing for them.
I guess I shouldn't get so cynical about it.
I remember telling a friend, one time, that I was going on a holiday and there was nothing but beach for miles. This was my idea of heaven.
She said, "Where's the bar? Where's the nightclub? Where's the excitement?"
That's the point! I was after no excitement.
She said, "That would drive me crazy real fast" (she really said bat-shit-crazy but I'll give her the benefit of the doubt here).
Different people have different priorities. What I find lush and relaxing can be seen as boring and dull by somebody else.
The same way, I didn't grow up with Harry Potter but the kids who did are now getting out and feeling their way around the world. The trolley and the wall must evoke pleasant memories for them. I guess they're trying to capture a bit of that feeling again.
Perhaps, more than anything else, Harry Potter lets us dream like my generation did with Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, or Bilbo Baggins.
They bring us out of our everyday lives and make us feel like we're partners on their fantastic journey.
We're vacating our existence to participate in their world.
I guess it's kind of a vacation.
For me, that's what art should be as well.
Good art should help us to vacate our normal life and be transported to another magical world. Art lets us build memories or remember things that are important to us.
That's probably why I've painted this lighthouse above so many times. It reminds me of our four-mile beach-walk to have lunch at the Godrevy Cafe here. When I look at this painting it all comes flooding back to me. Life is good.
I'll probably paint that lighthouse many more times in my life. Just because it makes me feel good. It's a whopping great memory.
So, when I breeze through Kings Cross, and I see the crowd of people gathered around that half a trolley, I'll try not to be so cynical. I'll try not to be so critical. I can feel good for the memories they're creating or reliving.
I can understand why but I guess I still don't get it.
For me, I'll stick to long walks, fresh air, and a bit of color splashed here and there.
Not bad, I think.
Until next week, I wish you peace.
Everybody knows that when you travel you have to be at least tangentially aware of local customs and traditions.
We just had a walk on a secluded cliff edge path. It was a bit drizzly but a really nice walk just the same. Topping off the day, we decided to stop in a little harbor town called Porthleven to see the beach, visit some shops and watch the tide come in.
After getting a bit shopped out the sun made a brief guest appearance.
There was a nice pub portside. I thought it would be great to grab a pint and some chips because I really love chips. Okay, I really like beer too. What's not to like about chips and beer except the calories and the starch and the grease and the ... Okay - I did it cause I like 'em.
Having ordered my chips (fries), a beer, and a ginger beer for you know who, we sauntered, as you do on any great day, out to the patio area next to all the fishing boats in the harbor.
We waited patiently for the fries to arrive. When they were delivered there was a plate and chips but where was the stuff you put on the chips. There has to be stuff to put on the chips.
By the time my brain caught up with my mouth, the server had disappeared into what seemed to be thin air.
The accompaniments were all inside. So I got up to go inside to get salt, vinegar, and perhaps some mayo.
As soon as I turned my back to the chips the Devil's horde descended from the heavens in their multitudes (okay there were three) digging their nasty little beaks into MY chips.
Andrea deftly scooped up the dish with the fries and swooped them under the table. Several people shooed the vermin from the table which enabled me to go forth and continue my condiment quest.
When I came back to the table, I gathered the plate within my protective space, hunched around it, and growled at any seagull that would dare encroach on my chow-space. I was even offered a loan of a very cute little black cocker spaniel to help guard my chips (I thought that little pooch was a bit too eager so I decided to pass).
The point here is I didn't think twice. Even though their horrible little H1N1, Avian Flu carrying, tick-infested nasty carrion-eating winged critters had their muzzles full-in on my vittles, I had no problem scoffing the rest of them down. I didn't think twice.
You see when the zombie apocalypse comes it will be some poor idiot like me that will be patient zero. He'll be the idiot that the monkey bit or who ate his fries after some pox infected feathered freeloader lunged face first into it.
Yeah, it's just somebody like me who thinks they're a hardy person cause they ate quite a bit of dirt when they were a kid. It will be somebody who thinks that not much of any kind of disease can affect them.
Yup, I'm not much worried about the zombie apocalypse. I'll probably succumb to something more mundane. I'll probably be taken by something like Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Gull Fever and squawk my way to the grave.
Maybe I'll have to pay more attention and start being a bit more cautious. Maybe I should be a bit more respectful of those creatures who could inadvertently do me harm.
Whether or not I survive till next week, I wish you peace.
Smartphone Rules of Engangement
You've been traveling all day long. You've taken a space at the airport bar and you're quietly waiting for your next flight. You sit down, order yourself a beer and perhaps you scan your phone to see if you have any messages. Maybe you've picked up a newspaper to give it a good read. You just want to pass time and get lost a little bit in your own thoughts. Maybe you're watching the television above the bar for entertainment. Then this guy sits next to you. He's already talking on his phone when he sits down. He continues to flap his gums.
"... There's nothing much happening here, sweetheart. We're just waiting for the plane. In the meantime, I guess I'll just sit around here and watch people going by. It's not a bad occupation to have at an airport but people do just think so much of themselves. How will I ever get through the wedding? It's been so long since I've been in the same room with all of them. It is so boring. Don't you think? I wish I wasn't going. You know how I hate all that dancing an frivolity. There is nothing for me there. I'll show up, I'll make nice and in the end, there will probably be a fight. There's always a fight. Especially, when I get together with my family. It's just inevitable. You know Adam. Adam has to be right all the time. He has to be the center of attention. He's the kind of guy who just has to be able to say his piece. It doesn't even matter if he is right or if he's wrong, and he's usually is wrong. God forbid you should even roll your eyes in his presence. He just has to have his say. Of course, Sam will take offense at anything that Adam says. Sam always takes offense at whatever Adam says. Sam is just bound to get his knickers in a twist over something or other. You never really know with my family........"
The guy just droned on and on like that for a whole hour. There wasn't an ounce of interesting information in his whole oratory. He barely stopped to take a breath.
At one point, I thought he was just holding the phone up to his ear to make everybody believe there was actually somebody on the other end. I was convinced there was nobody on the other end. I'm sure there wasn't. There wasn't enough time while he sucked in his next breath for anyone on the other end to respond to anything he said.
I think he was just trying to tell everybody around him that he was so important that somebody at the other end of the phone was willing to listen to him pontificate on subjects from family relations to the situation in the Middle East to auto mechanics.
Small mercies exist. In this case, that is, I don't know the guy, and I will probably never have to sit in the same room with him again. Ever in my life. Ever. Never.
Then there's the guy who is having the most important business meeting of his life over a pulled pork sandwich, fries, a shot of whiskey, and a Sam Addams Octoberfest chaser. He got the chaser for half price. And just wait for the carrot cake topper. With a full mouth and some very convincing mumbling, I'm sure he was able to put the world to rights. This is the all-important airport business meeting conducted by a ne'er do well who ain't all that talking so loud when he says "Millions" or "sign the contract".
I am not really good on the telephone. My daughter is the same way. If we have three words to say to each other that will convey the sentiment there is no need for four words.
For those of us that have problems recognizing and respecting another's space, I suggest a few rules of engagement.
Smartphone Rules of Engagement
Rule Number 1 - If you're in a crowded room (hell - if you're in a room with other people) and you have to take a call - excuse yourself, leave the room, and relocate to a more private location.
Rule Number 2 - If you're in a crowded room/room with other people in it and you have to make a call - see rule one.
Rule Number 3 - If you're on a mode of public transportation and you must watch the last England goal (not that they happen very often) or the last episode of Eastenders, use a pair of bloody earphones. I don't want to listen to it.
Rule Number 4 - Your smartphone is not a BoomBox. I don't like your music. No - Really - I don't - especially out of a tinny smartphone speaker. If you must play it - Use Earphones/buds.
Rule Number 5 - If you're at dinner with somebody special - Put the damn phone away. I really don't care about this one if you are having dinner with somebody else. It's funny to see people not talking to each other. However, if you're having dinner with me - please put it away. I like to see the whites of your eyes when I'm blabbing with you. Please turn it off and put it away.
Rule Number 6 -Just because you have the capacity for 20,000 pictures on your phone and the last picture of the last time your child spit up on you, you don't need to show it to me. (I have a bad habit of over-sharing photos cuz I think it's cool - I will try to do better - honestly).
That's all - if I think of any more I'll be sure to let you know.
I painted this lighthouse scene yesterday. The paint is not yet dry. I really like the view from the St Uny Church in Lelant through to Godrevy Lighthouse.
Until then, seriously, I wish you peace.
The Old Horse
I had a 1968 Ford Mustang, eons ago when I was little more than a young colt. I loved tinkering with my old friend. It was a cool car. It was a great car.
Oh, the good times we had together. We would eight-track our way down the highway, riding the rage. We entertained each other. We were best friends. Yes, we were quite a pair.
Life has its little twists and turns, and we eventually parted company. One of us zigged and, I guess, the other just zagged. He got old and I got responsibilities. I needed a new and more reliable buggy.
We did have a good life together though. I do miss that old horse. I feel like I might have let go of the reins a bit early.
I'd like to rekindle that old relationship. I want to get my hands on one of those old fellas. I want to get behind the wheel of one of them again.
There must be an old pony out there I can breathe new life into. I can make it purr like a kitten. I can shine it like brand-spanking new.
You might say, "Scott, you're not thinking straight."
You could have a valid point. I can delude myself a bit sometimes. It's been known to happen.
It may not be such a great idea after all. It might not be practical, but are dreams supposed to be practical?
Why do we do these things?
It's a mystery to me.
Nevertheless, I'd like to keep thinking about it for now.
Why? Because it's fun and I like it.
I'll keep dreaming and the next time you see me, who knows, I could be rolling around in a flashy old pony car.
Until then, I wish you peace.
Today Is All We've Got
I get to think a lot when I'm on my walks. This was drawn from a walk we did near St Paul's Walden. St Paul's Walden is where Queen Elizabeth II's mother, The Queen Mother, grew up. This drawing is of the house on that lovely piece of country. We are thinking of going there tomorrow or Sunday.
I like to think about how things might be in the future; where I might go, what I might do.
Though, when I was a kid, I think I spent a bit too much time dreaming and not enough time acting.
Like most people, I'm great at projecting out into the future. I love thinking about what it will be like when I ...
I can go on and on and on... It's just fun to think of how things might be.
That's all gaga, fiddle-de-de, fanciful thinking unless you take action today.
I know there's Free Beer Tomorrow but how often have you collected on that one?
Today is the only time we have to make a change that will change the future.
It's like taking the next fastest train. The next fastest train to your destination may stop at every puddle, pub and fish shop but it's the next fastest train. You don't know, especially now, if the next fast train is even coming.
So take action today while you have the chance.
You can't spend money tomorrow. You can't be in better shape tomorrow. You can't be rich tomorrow. That is, unless you do something today.
But just like you can't take action tomorrow, it does not serve you well to carry today's baggage into tomorrow. It will weigh you down like an anchor keeping you from doing today's important things. Remember, when the day is done - It's Done.
The day is done.
I'll clear the decks.
I'll stow the baggage,
And bury the wrecks.
Today has passed.
I can't have it back.
Did I do the right things?
Am I on the right track?
There's no use churning over
What woulda been?
What coulda been?
What shoulda been?
Cause today was perfect,
Right in every way.
I can't change it now,
I can't make it stay.
Today was perfect,
But I can't hold on
Because tomorrow will come
And today will be gone.
I'll clear the deck,
My blank check.
Was, just as it should've been,
Perfect in every way.
Until next week - I wish you peace.