Catpaws Cafe

Random musings from my virtual fountain pen

Archive for the month “March, 2012”

Solitude matters, and for some people it’s the air that they breathe (Susan Cain)

Thank you Susan Cain for your talk on Ted that was brought to my attention by an equally introverted fb friend, Rue Hass.  It came very timely after I wrote this last night, in my head, and on paper this morning.



Waiting for the body to grow up and clarity of mind to dawn

to know where to go

when what you like is not good enough

& you’re good at everything except what counts……



If I am the only one

who can see –

– is it really so?

If there is no


to be found in the

outside world

Am I just too early

or is it all a delusion?

A ruse of what is a possibility

destined to never actually be

there being noone who knows

how to nurture it

least of all me.


Over and over the drumming was heard

and the choir of 99% chimed in.

The last percent was busy doing

what I should have been doing

playing for fun.


Now I look around the bar

in a place where if you don’t work behind one

people want to be in one

drinking and enjoying

your self?

In the crush of other people

the noise almost deafening

I don’t want to shout and shout and lip-read.

Snatches of sentences

words without meanings

whatever I want to convey

shortened almost beyond recognition and

crammed into something of fewest words possible

what can be yelled at an other

conversation in tatters

I don’t want to wince every time the speakers hit another tinny high

every time the once boy now supposedly grown up who spent weeks and weeks learning to

make that piercing awful sound

more suited for a footie match.

It adds an other discordant note to the ones already

ringing in my ears.


I keep doing this to myself.

This is what people enjoy,

this is what they do for fun,

a voice whispers in my head.

I feel so odd

so alien to this side of the human race

coz I can’t help longing to be somewhere else.

I keep doing this

going out to join the others

trying to be part of

rather than removed from

trying to be a human and in some small part fit in.



sometimes in the past even praying

that at some point

the switch in me will flip &

it will become fun, enjoyable.

I’m still waiting.


Back when I was still expected to be a sheep

all at once

nothing and everything.

All lived under the life draining law of Jante

that would attempt to grind any and all aspirations

out of us

‘for our own good’

and ‘to prevent disappointment’.

So the flock still runs

like flocks everywhere do



And the one who supposedly broke free

still feels wing clipped and

the chains dragging behind

wondering if it is too late to

learn to fly!

gain overall views

soaring high above the ground

the wind on my face and beneath my

stubby wings.


I get lost

trying to find myself

I get lost

trying to find my way back to myself

i get myself lost in

what could I have been?

my wind reduced to a restless rodent.


I tell myself

Let it go

let it all go

digging around in yesterdays

isn’t going to move me

upwards and onwards,

just act like quicksand

for my spirit.

Invisible tethers

for the eagle I long to be.


Being a shaman is a bit like being a unicorn in a herd of horses, one get’s judged as a defective horse. (Bear Heart)

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” ~ Maya Angelou

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

~ Maya Angelou


About 25 yrs ago, I was 20, temping for some big corporate firm  It was winter, grey and cold.  I was wearing a nice suit under my coat.  On my way home from work I stopped off at a nice Chinese Restaurant and ordered a take-away.  While I waited for my food I sat at the bar and watched people rush past going about their lives; heading home from work, carrying big bags of shopping goodies, meeting up with friends for the evening.

To be able to do that on a weekday in late January made me feel like a rockstar.  No kidding.

The silk on my arms, soft leather boots hugging my legs, warm and snug at the cozy bar listening to the soft clink and murmur of voices of the early diners in the restaurant… for those 15 minutes or so, the world was mine.  The first plateau on the yuppi-ladder.  Any concert I wanted to hear, art-exhibition or theatre performance could be mine too in time.

It did not matter that it’d take about an hour to get back to my tiny studio flat in the ‘burbs and that by then the food would be almost cold.  It did not matter that I’d have to watch my pennies for the rest of the month.  I would not have to cook and I could be cool and bohemian and eat with chop sticks straight out of the boxes like in the movies and save myself the washing up too!

There and then I felt like a successful career woman.  I’ve never forgotten that feeling.

What’s your unlikely rock-star moment?

On the path with Spirit

I realized I have not written anything for a while. Not b/c there’s nothing happening, more that sometimes life has to be grabbed with both hands rather than written about. That can come later.

There’s a lot of women on the Isle of Women right now. It’s nice to see. It’s b/c of a conference for women being held this weekend.

I’m not going… that really would be going back rather than forward for me. Which is funny peculiar in it self as the event is called ”We move forward”.

I was sitting and waiting for my husband to pick up some papers, thinking about how I should be going out and meeting these women, and how unmotivated I feel in doing so. I asked myself if there was a fear hiding in there somewhere but didn’t find any. I immediately spotted a trigger tho about the fact that the whole thing is being held in the most exclusive hotel complex in town… and swooped down with my consciousness-net.  (I like to think of it as a butterfly net, but instead of insects I catch any preconceived notions and equal-signs I find within.)

My thoughts wandered as I saw golf-carts drive by and a few children cycled past too. I kept looking for things to appreciate (as I usually do to pass the time) … nice shiny hair, cool shoes, great legs…

Since my husband quit his job 2 weeks ago, we’ve been out a few times for a drink and to hear a couple of bands. Last Sunday was one of those times.

Through a mutual friend I got talking to a woman who is going through a divorce and leaving Mexico to move to Austria, where she has lived before and has friends. We talked briefly about the general state of affairs of the world, the difficulties faced by expats abroad and back home, tips and helpful hints, and any firsthand news we had from friends and family.

As it transpired, she was half french/ half english and spent her time much like I do, working and staying at home, not going out much.

Then came the winks; ”I wish we’d met earlier, we seem to have a lot in common. I really don’t go out much ‘coz I can’t seem to gel with the other expat women here, all they seem interested in is drinking…” I nodded in agreement, a little surprised by the candidness of her comment -after all we’d only just met- and still she summed up my take pretty well…. no offense meant, our 2 mutual friends are american women who are both very nice.  On the whole tho I find I more often get on better with other europeans.  Still, I admire her honesty and courage to speak it. Most of all it felt very good to know I’m not the only one who’s made the same observation.

(Let me clarify one thing here, I do not have anything per se against people who drink, it’s their choice, and I sure have downed my share of wine in the past. But if and when I describe myself as deeply spiritual, it is not the kind of spirit that comes in a bottle I am referring to.  I do however find it difficult these days to be friends with people who’s fondness for alcohol makes drinking a daily thing or who casually use other recreationals equally often. Smoking do not bother me, apart from cigars… ugh.)

Then another memory surfaced in my mind:-

A long time ago, when I first moved to London, I had been walking around for hours, getting to know the area, looking for work, you know, everything… I sat down on a bench in a square with my sandwich and can of something or other. On another bench closeby sat one of the many cycle couriers on a break. And me being new to the city and a recently retired cyclist myself and looking to make friends, thought this was as good an opportunity as any.  So I smiled and said hello etc etc and we chatted for a while. When his break was up he asked me if I wanted to meet up for a drink after he finished work and I said sure, ok.

You know what’s coming, right? I waited for an hour (unheard of for me) and he never showed. This was in the days before mobile phones, remember.

So what do these 2 things have in common? I wondered at first.

You’ve probably already spotted it. Both times were events when I forced myself to do what I thought I ought to be doing rather than felt inspired to do something. I forced myself to talk to the cyclist guy (partially coz he was rather handsome) but mainly because I thought I should start making some friends, rather than let it happen in a more organic way.

Same with the womens conference; I’m not aligned with what they are doing. I’m not saying they aren’t nice people who I’d like if I met them under less contrived circumstances. But the fears and equal signs are lining up for me; with the equivalent of a fiver in my pocket and unwilling to be put on the spot to possibly spend a weeks worth of groceries on an inpromptu restaurant visit, I’m not in the mood to be the one who decides not to go. Nor do I want to say I can’t afford it – it’s not true but without a paying job and hubby between jobs, I choose to be frugal right now. Besides, I’d rather spend the money on books…

The bottom line is, I do not feel in the least inspired to go, I just think I should. Should make an effort. Should be social. My fears of being judged is pushing me to go. My heart says -accept that you just don’t want to and that that’s ok.

Know thy self. Line yourself up. Doing the right thing for the wrong reasons does not work. I know there’s a saying to capture what I mean but it eludes me at the moment. There’s no right and no wrong here, it just is. Spirit says -if you do things b/c you think you should, there’s a clue right there. It’s not going to net you what you want coz you’re not in alignment. You’re not acting on inspiration, you’re on a quest of  ”do to get”.   Stop judging yourself for not wanting to go. Maybe, just maybe, this one isn’t for you.

So I’m listening to my heart and working on my fears.

And I’m meeting my husband after he finished his temporary dinner shift for a walk around the fiesta in the square. That feels like the right thing to do.

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