Sunday, January 9, 2011

...what love looks like.

Sometimes I see couples walking down the street and notice they're holding hands, or little fingers, or arm in arm, with arms encircling each other like yokes around hard-working oxes necks. These small demonstrations, where two bodies touch at the sides somehow indicate to the outside observer that these two humans are 'in love' or 'in like' or 'in a relationship' or 'in something', depending on the stage of their being together. Or the moment. Some people you see are clearly meant for each other. Their mismatched clothes echo the others, the hats they wear, although one might be crocheted and the other knitted, speak to one another and may have, one day, been a part of the same sheep before the wool was combed and coloured and wound into long yarns which now invisibly tie these two people together. Or one listens so intently to the other that all buses, people, clicking boots, birds, dump trucks, cars, rustling newspapers, cups on saucers, spoons ticking, water running are outside them, beyond their ability to care because they are so focused on the other.

Then there are the others: the others who are demonstrating 'love' and being 'in love'. The ones who walk beside the other hand-in-hand, arm in arm, in a vague attempt to appear 'in like' or 'in love' or 'in something'. I can attest to this myself. In the past whilst holding hands, I have found myself wondering what I look like to people on the street, in the shop, in the cafe and wonder if I look like I am sufficiently 'in something' with that person. When this realisation hits me like a pile of bricks I recoil from the idea of love within myself and coil myself away from the situation and realise that I'm 'in nothing' and while I may be demonstrably 'in something', in fact, there will be no love lost on the outside observer and they will have seen me for the 'in fraud' I am. So I recoil from the person I'm holding hands with so as not to confuse their notion of being 'in love' (I'm considerate, yes?). But then again, I've found in these instances that the other individual is too wound up in themselves that there was no chance of us being reciprocally 'in anything' anyway. And so I trudge away at the end of the relationship, and while I don't look like I'm 'in anything' at least I look like myself who has found herself out of love but still 'in hope'.

So what does love look like? I am a very lucky Molly to have some very lovely people in my life who are very in love. Well, at least they look like they are very in love and I base the following statements on them, so if they aren't 'in anything' and I've read it all wrong, then I'll have to re-write this post. These people I know are people that have been together a long while but still get excited to the see their squeeze. Their shoulders go back, their eyes sparkle, their heads tilt in anticipation and when the object of their desire enters the room you can see that then, just for a moment, its them and no one else. Time suspends and their held within each others eyes: in love. And so when you look at them, you wonder if both of them have accidentally stepped on tacks and hold that frozen position in some vain hope that they didn't have the misfortune of stepping so blithely on a sharp object before recoiling due to the pain in their feet. But no, they unfreeze and time starts again and they bask in each other's presence. And life goes on. And they're in love. And to the onlooker, the warmth from both seems to emanate out and warm the dark cockles of my heart.

Love has nothing to do with clothes, or looks, or jobs, or past-times, or haircuts, or favourite meals, or knowledge of languages, or books read, or mountains scaled, or the number of songs you can sing from memory. Love is about the wave of warmth that washes over you, that holds you tight, but lets you breathe freely; a cool spring morning, warm under the blankets and the sun streaming in. Yes, my dears, love is about everything that makes life and twines yourself inexplicably towards someone else.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

...if frowning excessively can cause a 'widows peak' or 'male-patterned baldness'.

So before you get all uppity with me about a very touchy subject for many men, I have a postulation.

I walk to work every day. When I walk to work there is a man I pass who looks to be in his mid- to late-twenties who wears a dark coat. He has a receding hairline. I saw him today and I think his hairline has receded further still since the last time I saw him. When I see him he always seems to be in a frowny sort of mood, eyebrows down in dark contemplation or shot up in some kind of moment of aggravation which serves nothing for his face as it causes  his receding hairline to recede further and make more of an impact on his slowly disappearing hair. Of course I would like to be of assistance to this man and perhaps ask him why he is so glum, but I suppose that would be a little bit weird and probably unhelpful.

"Excuse me sir?"
Looks surprised, but stops. "Yes?"
"Sir, I was just wondering, why do you always appear to be so worried and stressed out about things?"
His eyebrows move slightly downwards.
"Well, sir, I walk by you most days to work, and you always seem to have a furrowed brow, and look worried, or your eyebrows shot up in irritation."
His eyebrows shoot up in irritation.
"Well, sir, I was wondering [slight stammer] if it was contributing to your receding hairline? Your irritation, your stress I mean, that results in your shot up eyebrows..."
He walks away in aggravation and a few more hairs fall out of his head.

WARNING: This is not a good way to 'pick up', 'pull or generally try to flirt with someone. But that is beside the point...

Back to the point: I feel bad for this dude. I know how much dudes worry about their hairlines and until they resign themselves to what seems inevitable (or perhaps now fixable with implants or other technology), hair just keeps on disappearing until it finds a nice stopping point. Now I wonder, if only he could just de-stress a bit, chill out, and smile a little, if his hair would grow back, or at least forget how to fall out of his head and generally stay put.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

...what this year will bring.

So here we are, having toppled inelegantly from 2010 to 2011. Last year was a cracker-jack of events in world politics, the strength of humanity (and its weakness, unfortunately) and general interest. While the youth of the world protested everything from G20s and G8s in Canada to rising tuition fees in the UK, there were huge moments of humanity could be proud. The saving of the Chilean miners made me proud to think that despite the wars and conflicts and crooked politicians (currently deriding Ivory Coast's), the human race finally pulled together and did something incredible for thirty three men trapped in the belly of the Earth who thought they might never see daylight, let alone their loved ones, again.

With every passing year I'm always a bit surprised at my successful continuation in the Land of Adulthood, of which I have been a part for quite some time now. However, I'm still in shock when people address me as "Miss" or "Ms" (depending on the moment) and the stark realization that if I do or say something really wrong, that I will be personally be responsible for my own actions. Interesting stuff. Not that I'm planning to go and do something wrong, or even do on a regular basis (such an exciting life this Molly leads) but it sometimes weighs on my mind that I can officially be jailed for my actions. Regardless, I'm looking forward to 2011. I have already decided that it will be an immense improvement on 2010 because of its status as a prime number and because it is more upright a year than 2010 which seems heavy in its zeroes. With that, I hope that the year will be good, enriching, and surprise me in its strength of humanity and people working with each other, and not against. Oh, and let's keep on working on the environment, shall we? The volcanoes, tornadoes, floods, heatwaves and parched earth of this past year is certainly an indication that we need to start caring a bit more about what we're doing to our faithful Old Mother Earth, eh what?