People: October 2022

“Hello hairy-legs”, one of our older parishioners greets our three-year old, Master E. Master E is rather pleased with this greeting, if not bemused.

Watched Australian Story last night. It was about Australian heavy metal band Parkway Drive taking themselves off to group therapy in order to repair and improve fractured band relationships. Great stuff about toxic elements of Aussie masculinity. Members of the group articulated a sense of poor development of emotional skills in childhood and the harmful effects of friendships and business relationships that results. Priceless. Shining a light on the very heartbeat of some of the more problematic aspects of our white Australian masculine culture.

I’d quite forgotten, but I was in a band once. I was asked to fill in for the bassist in a high school band in Year 8. The guy had hurt his wrist but they still wanted to practise. I myself had never played a bass guitar before. I was learning the piano and was supposed to be there to play some fairly basic keyboard line for them in one particular song. Nevertheless, they wanted me to fill in and so the bassist told me what to do. I picked it up just fine and started to really enjoy myself but halfway through the practise, just as I was really getting into it, the bassist decided that his wrist wasn’t really that bad after all, and asked me to hand him back his guitar.

I don’t think I’ve ever really wanted a career. I still somehow feel that I should want one and that I’m somehow less sophisticated or accomplished than others for not wanting one or not being able to organise one. I do know that I want to work, in paid and unpaid roles, defined and undefined. I want to contribute and provide and make good use of time, energy and talents, but I don’t I want to be too fenced. I do like my freedoms.

All Master E wanted to do this morning was to curl up in my lap and “stay here forever”. So, we had a long snuggle, then I made a cup of tea and we did puzzles.

“‘What did Madame Beck mean by leaving you alone?’

‘Madame Beck could not forsee that I should fall ill.’

‘Your nervous system bore a good deal of the suffering?’

‘I am not quite sure what my nervous system is, but I was dreadfully low-spirited’.

‘Which disables me from helping you by pill or potion. Medicine can give nobody good spirits. My art halts at the threshold of Hypochondria….Cheerful society would be of use. You should be as little alone as possible, you should take plenty of exercise.”…

…To “sit in sunshine calm and sweet” is said to be excellent for weak people; it gives them vital force.

There are human tempers, bland, glowing, and genial, within whose influence it is as good for the poor in spirit to live, as it is for the feeble in frame to bask in the glow of noon. Of the number of these choice natures were certainly Dr Bretton’s and his mother’s. They liked to communicate happiness, as some like to occasion misery: they did it instinctively, without fuss, and apparently, with little consciousness: the means to give pleasure rose spontaneously in their minds.”

Vilette, Charlotte Bronte

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