The Good In The Bad

Even though the sky was cloudless for most of last week; even though it was the type of blue sky you would only expect to see in a Mediterranean summer it was a challenge to be cheery. Funny how the world can carry on in all its glory, announcing itself daily like the backdrop in a musical while inside I am all it’s a brilliant blue sky, a wonder of nature, but what do you want me to do, write a song about it?

Turns out I needed a bit of a break. I was beginning to feel that unfocused way I do before my mood begins to plummet, where as I walk I can sometimes imagine my skin splitting apart like an overripe peach and everything that I am running out onto the pavement.

You recognise the signs after a few years and the best way to deal with it is to stop.

All week I was prepared to hate everyone and everything. I was convinced the world was going to hell in a handbasket but wouldn’t you know it that lil’ ole world of mine became intent on proving me wrong.

There is good stuff among the bad. Always.

Like kookaburras, my favourite Aussie birds, filling the sky with their laughter every morning. It is a rare occurrence to see them in the inner city and hearing their call is like being plunged deep into the heart of the bush.

(You can listen to the kookaburra laugh here.)

Kookaburras have a presence that is almost regal and they inspire the same kind of affection as a loyal, trustworthy dog.

Then there was the honest dialogue between an old friend and I for the first time in ages. We had a bit of a falling out over her Christianity. The born again kind. I have nothing against Christianity at all but please, don’t try and convert me every five minutes. It does nothing but get my back up. This old friend admitted to me – actually admitted – that I am one of the most spiritual people she knows and that even though I am not a Christian she admires the way I live my life. Well, knock me down with a feather, Heather. I was grateful she admitted it. I know how hard it would have been for her, me being a heathen and all.

I also got some fabulous poetry from Rachel Fox. That girl is so talented. It was such a thrill for me to get a parcel with a Royal Mail postmark all the way from Scotland. It made me feel so good to get those poems. It always lifts my spirits to experience the creative spark of another person. Thank you, Rachel.

I am getting a new digital camera courtesy of my father-in-law. It has a zoom lens and I am pretty sure I will be able to take macro shots with it. My aim is to take birds in flight and drops of water on flowers. Deep down I am actually rather arty farty. Yes, you heard it here first.

Don’t tell my husband, but I am enjoying listening to our record collection again. For many years we didn’t have a record player and when he bought one recently I was all what a waste of money, we’ll never use it. I have been secretly listening to records while he’s at work. I mean, he doesn’t need to know I have changed my mind about it, does he? There is nothing worse than a music purist being proved right. Today I listened to Ella Fitzgerald sing Gershwin. It was so good I almost cried. And yes, vinyl has a much richer sound than CD.

I ran into a former student of mine who is now 40. Can you believe it? I am only five years older than one of my students. I started teaching when I was 22 and he was in the senior English class at 17. He said I inspired him to be a writer and is quite successful in the theatre. I felt so moved because I had no idea anyone was actually paying attention to me in that English class. It was a tough crowd. You just never know how things are going to turn out.

So there I was, walking around like Eeyore with the cloud above me and the universe kept conspiring to lift my spirits.

The powers that be have made me realise it is never really time to admit defeat.

That it’s always possible to see the light at the end of the tunnel even if you have to squint hard.

That bad as it can get, it’s good too.

27 thoughts on “The Good In The Bad

  1. Seems to me the peach skin split open and a whole bunch of wise fell out. I was going to say something to the effect of “we just have to ride it out sometimes” but you did more than that – you reflected. And rested.


  2. Kookaburras… sent to keep us real… I mean, how can we take ourselves seriously when all a bird can do is laugh at us?


  3. “I am getting a new digital camera courtesy of my father-in-law. It has a zoom lens and I am pretty sure I will be able to take macro shots with it”

    Do you know what kind of camera-make and model? I’m planning on buying one soon and could use some advice on best ones to get.:)


  4. I think everyone have those days that you’ve described here but it’s nice to be able to have nice things happening during those days – I’m glad that these little things lifts your mood, I think it only takes a small thing to make someone smile even for just a moment


  5. It’s a funny old world. Times like these when the universe works to lift you up and others when you are riding sky high and it keeps knocking you down.

    I am glad you are a little uplifted. I have felt a bit glum over the past few days and yet I have no reason to at all. Daft.

    And yes, I agree re vinyl – nothing like it. We have record sessions here quite often. The children watch them go round completely spell bound and we all quiver when there is a little scratch on the surface. Wonderful.


  6. I got an email from my nephew, who now lives in what used to be my parents’ house … he said he found my old ‘Disc Jockey Major’ in the loft. I wonder if it still works? I have some vinyl I couldn’t bring myself to throw out … Herb Alpert, Boney M, The Hollies, Carole King … I can hardly wait till the next time I go up there.


  7. Sometimes you leave me speechless. I had to leave and come back.

    I’m sorry you were headed to a rough patch again. I found it enlightening when Dave warned us to never take antidepressants – he said it messes with the creative state of mind. My sister and I had talked extensively about why it seemed so many (not all, but enough to warrant the conversation) writers/authors suffer from depression. I think you found the perfect answer – we may have those melancholy moods because our brains are wired to see the bad in everything to better help us create conflicts, but likewise, we are given the gift to see our characters to safety by seeing the good too – the mark of a most talented individual. Yes, I meant you.

    Don’t know how much of that is true, but it makes a pretty theory, don’t you think? Dave DID warn against antidepressants.

    And I’ve always thought you spiritual. πŸ˜‰


  8. Hi RACHEL:
    The postmark was a real thrill, a complete reminder of the homeland. Your poems really are amazing. You have such talent.

    It’s important just to stop sometimes, isn’t it? Taking stock is a good thing. And sometimes it’s OK to say – you know what? I’m a bit tired right now. I need some time out.

    Hi ATTILA:
    Oh, it did. And I am truly glad for that!

    Hi BEAR:
    Absolutely. You got it in one. I do love my kookies!

    They’re there. They’re really there. I know it now for sure.

    It’s due to arrive today or tomorrow. I’ll fill you in then!

    Hi LISSA:
    You are so right. The smallest of things can brighten our day. I saw someone with a yellow umbrella yesterday and I immediately thought of you. I wished you were there to take one of your great photos of it!

    Hi RELUCS:
    Sometimes the glum hits without reason. I think it is part of the human condition. And you are right about the vinyl. I am a born again fan!

    You should give it a try. It might still work. I have listened to all the records you’ve mentioned. They still sound good.

    Hi DAOINE:
    Can you believe that about the student? That was a tough school with a really difficult English class. They just couldn’t be bothered to do anything. I was so touched to hear one of them is doing well.

    Hi AINE:
    Oh, right on about the antidepressants. For some people they are a necessity but for others they can do more harm than good. Once again you just blow me away with your insightful comment. You are so right. I think our brains are wired to see everything and often that means we are more susceptible to the bad. Would I want to change that part of myself? Probably not because it would change too many things. I’ll just ride it out every time it comes. Thank you for always knowing what I mean πŸ˜€


  9. Arty farty -bwahahahah – I thought I was the only one who used that term. Bring on the photos πŸ™‚ There is nothing like a kookaburra to bring you out of a funk – they are just the best. Though I saw an albatross (first time ever) the other day on the beach and that was amazing. They say the best way of cheering up is to do some vigorous exercise, but who feels like it when you’re blue. Glad you are feeling a bit better Selma.


    I always use arty farty, especially with those interior designer types who go on about how wonderful the space they’re designing is along with the WOW factor. Throw in a water feature and you’ve got the interior designer phrase hat trick.

    I’ve never seen a real albatross. I am so jealous. It does make me think of the Monty Python skit though.
    Two choc ices please.
    I’ve only got this albatross.
    Er, what flavour is it?
    It’s bloomin’ seabird bloomin’ flavour.

    Love it.


  11. Hi VIC:
    It could go either way, I’m afraid. Hopefully, I’ll produce something worth looking at from time to time πŸ˜‰

    I had forgotten The Wiggles were so popular in the States. I didn’t know they had songs about kookaburras. That is cool!


  12. This is the very sign you were looking for!! How cool is that? Not just one sign but multiples! Perspective when you needed it the most. Send me some of that! I could use some lol


  13. Hey, Cathy said exactly was I was going to say: you were sent the sign you asked for, indeed!

    Thanks for sharing this. Your posts always manage to bring back my own a bit shaken belief that there is always sunshine after rain. πŸ™‚


  14. I know what you mean about “vintage vinyl” Sel, I’ve been thinking about all the “old” inventions etc, that are now making a comeback, and some of them, well they just can’t be improved upon can they.

    You seem to be in a very contemplative space these days, I hope it leads you to a good path to go forward on. We all need to re-adjust our focus at times and reassess the next step, don’t we?

    I’m just working my way through all the new bells and whistles on my new computer, I’m also posting now and then, hope you can stop insoon.

    Lots of hugs, G


  15. Ella Fitzgerald singing Gershwin? Sounds amazing … I am a tiny bit jealous of your record player (not to mention what I’m sure is an amazing record collection). πŸ™‚

    This year we have bunnies who come to our yard to visit and eat birdseed that’s dropped on the ground. (I’m sure some of it is from our crazy neighbor.) Something about those bunnies — they are insanely cute — makes me smile even when I’m having a craptastic day. You’re quite right in that there is always good in the bad.


  16. Hi CATHY:
    I asked for a sign and got so many. I would never have thought. I will definitely send some your way πŸ˜€

    Hi SHIONA:
    It means a lot to me that you should say that. I think it is natural for our beliefs to feel shaken from time to time. We often feel at the mercy of negative people who seem to hold all the cards. But you know what? I believe there are more good people than bad, more people who truly care than we realise. Seeing the signs has reinforced that.

    I am veering towards over-contemplation, I suspect. But you know me, never do anything by halves πŸ™„
    I will certainly stop in and see you.

    Hi KATE:
    I love bunnies. You really can’t get much cuter than that. You have had so much to deal with lately. I think they have been sent to cheer you.

    Our record collection is nothing compared to some people I know. One guy had aa room full of vinyl – over 10,000 records. It is incredible. My husband hopes he gets left it in the guy’s will.!!


  17. There is a line in one of The Boy’s children’s books that has something about a kookaburra. I must admit that I thought it was a made up word. (This is Nat less stupid.)

    I love my digital music for its accessibility and the variety available, but my how I miss the ceremony associated with vinyl. Alas, I need a new turntable.


  18. Great post, as always, Selma..
    Please e-mail me privately via FB messages.
    Use “Lisa Nanette Allender” to send me a message at Facebook.I’d love to exchange “real” letters with you, via the snail-mail! πŸ˜‰


  19. Hi NAT:
    Kookaburra isn’t the most common word in the world, so I’m not surprised you thought it was made up. It actually is an Aboriginal word. Kookaburras are a type of terrestrial kingfisher. Who would have thought I was so full of info about native birds. Just call me Selma Attenborough πŸ˜‰

    I like the digital too but the vinyl does have a unique quality that digital doesn’t quite capture.

    Hi LISA:
    I’m not on Facebook, hon. Sorry about that!


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