Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A cup of tea

In The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath writes, "There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them." I think the same thing could be said about a cup of tea. Last night I fell asleep on the couch. I had been reading the excellent A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas and despite how glued to that I really was, it being winter (I know, I'm blaming it for everything), me still being sinusy, the heater hissing soothingly and my dear Fellow Traveller playing his violin in the study, I thought I would rest my eyes for just a minute. An hour later I woke up. If someone had asked me my current mood at that precise moment, I would have said 'relaxed and thoughtful'. I decided to make a cup of tea and while I was waiting for the kettle to boil, I being both the overly introspective soul that I am and still 'relaxed and thoughtful' (the journey into the cold kitchen hadn't squashed that out of me yet), I started to mull things over.

Now you may've noticed - or maybe it's not that clear yet - that this blog is a bit about a journey. My journey to, I guess, work myself out a bit after what I feel has been a long time of expecting one thing, expecting a certain direction, and then being horribly disappointed and angry with the world at large when it didn't pan out. I am wary of pop-psychology speak but I suppose I am trying to 'own' what goes on in my life, carve my own path and not wait anymore for other people to do what I imagine they should be doing and then blame them when things don't happen as I imagined they would.

So, while I was pouring the water into my cup, a thought came to me. Perhaps this is just as it should be. It's not original, I know, and far greater and wiser minds than mine have already come up with it and expressed it far more eloquently. But for the first time I could really see how it applied to me. Perhaps everything is happening just as it should. No more 'I should have done this...', 'Everything would be different if I had...' I didn't. I did what I did because this is how it should be. Then, more than a little spookily, I read the following in A Three Dog Life:

"I was between lives. "What is it?" I asked. "What is it we are longing for?" He thought a minute and said "There isn't any it. There is just the longing for it." This sounded exactly right. Years later and a little wiser, I know what the longing was for: here is where I belong." (page 30)

There is a lot of stuff tied to these ideas, I know - fate, destiny, all sorts of things - and I would really love to hear what you think.


Wurst Semmel said...

Karen Horney didn't talk about the tyranny of the shoulds without good reason. Shoulds are usually rigid and inflexible, casting them off opens up many more possibilities. Hard to do though. Sounds like you're a lot longer along that road than I am :)

Feronia said...

The tyranny of the shoulds - beautifully put. Yes, I feel possibilities opening up but I also sometimes feel the flipside of casting off the shoulds - free-fall!

Helena said...

Oooo spooky, because I needed that- the last couple of days have been all tears and "what if"s.

And yes, cup of tea always help. I hardly ever have a bath without taking one in with me :)

Feronia said...

You have a cup of tea in the bath! That's great - I've got to try that :)

Bodecea said...

"I should do XY"... I called this the third trap of mind after "if I only had XY..." and "when I have XY one day..."

But - as I wrote in my blog month ago - for me it's not a hot bath or a cup of tea, it's a walk through the wood that cures everything a bit!

mrsnesbitt said...

Hmmmmmmmmmm! A cup of tea sounds wonderful! Off to put the kettle on!