Catpaws Cafe

Random musings from my virtual fountain pen

Archive for the tag “hopes and dreams”

The unexpected melancholy of others

Summer is at it’s end. I feel the sadness and melancholy of others, in other places. I feel it and it’s not even mine – and yet it is me – in earlier years.
The children have gone back to school
autumn is drawing close in the northern hemisphere
the end of august,
still a few warm, sunny days to be enjoyed
but the days are getting shorter again, the evenings darker.
Soon the trees will break into the finale and launch natures own fireworks
the announcement that summer is indeed over for this year.

I feel it, even tho where I live it’s perpetual summer according to some.
It isn’t; but the seasons aren’t as pronounced this close to the equator.  Peculiarly enough
it is the winter I treasure the most here, even tho the vibrancy of autumn is still my favorite.

On my inner screen, years and geographical distances is no obstacle;
one aspect of me is driving down a lane in France in an old split screen Citroen
the weather blustery and the road covered in fallen leaves turning brown.
And I want to be there in body too
feel the crispness in the air and the light rain on my face
as I get out of the car and pull my jacket tighter, hands in pockets
delighting in the bursts of colour of my new scarf.

Or in the garden where my parents once lived.
I am walking around in this no-time land like a ghost
the sound of the silos drying the harvest in the far distance ever present this time of year.
The bright red garden furniture my mother restored all those years ago
the droning of the drowsy bumblebees, enjoying the last of the Nasturtium.
A younger version of me, new notepad on her lap, pen poised
waiting for inspiration that won’t come
before giving up and reading someone else’s prose instead.
Transported instantly to another place and time
where something worth writing about actually happens.
She dreams about cities where there is music to be heard and others like her to make friends with;
who reads books, likes art, go to the theater and to see a live ballet,
far from immature teens with their cigarettes and beer-cans, smelly locker-rooms and spots.
Where the people with dreams and aspirations live…
For a minute I too want to red wooden garden furniture
in a fruitless attempt to somehow connect with mother in a way we, me and I, never could.

Picture blurs, and clears once more
New school, new books, new jeans
the promise of new, hope of new friends
maybe even a fanciable boy…
Sitting at a desk
when I’d rather enjoy the last days of summer, cycling to the lake and going for one last swim.

The brochures of evening and hobby classes drops through the letterbox
see what tempting things we have on offer this autumn!
All in the name of trying new things and exciting adventures and the hope of meeting kindred souls.
Special offer Sunday lunch with friends after a brazing walk, lazy late afternoon drinking tea or wine.

It is the quiet exuberance time of the year
the enrich the soil of my mind – nourish my spirit time of year.
Not the loud jump up and down and dance of spring and summer.
It’s the tgi the weekend of my school-years
not to go out or partying
but to be allowed to spend time as I choose, with whom I want, well – to a degree…
A break away from the noisy crowds of competing children,
school corridors, playgrounds and gym-class.

All while the cats snooze in the midday heat
a gentle breeze keeping the mosquitoes at bay
just dregs left of my coffee.
The far side neighbor is on his lunch-break; Mexican popular music is pounding for all to hear.
I briefly wish our trusty bike would miraculously transform into a truck
where everything was ready and packed including the cats
and we could just jump in and take off onto our next adventure…
It’s time to go inside.

Pic from the web, I can't quite make out what the watermark says.  If this is your property and you want me to remove it please drop me a line.

Nasturtiums.  Pic from the web, I can’t quite make out what the watermark says. If this is your property and you want me to remove it please drop me a line.

 

Looking back at my 80’s…

I LIKED the 80’s, not just for it’s explosion of new fresh music but for it’s optimism, it’s sense of hope. It was a very addictive feeling of we can do/accomplish Anything, that has since disappeared. Sometimes I caught glimpses of it when visiting Mexico City 2-3 yrs ago, but only among the well educated youth.

Maybe that’s what we were? Geeky college and university night school students (and a few graduates) with little or no money, motivated and eager to get out into the world, to explore and create, seduced by the dream of one day having a loft apartment with wood floors in the heart of the city and not identical boxes in the suburbs with linoleum floors and a long commute, leaving for work so early in the morning that breakfast was not an option. So we made it into the new-romantic way to keep the weight off: endless coffees until lunchtime, which was spent in one of the many little places that popped up like mushrooms after rain. It was a great time to be young adults.

We dreamed about putting our mark on the world, travel to exotic places… even tho none of us could afford to take a holiday, it did not matter! We’d waited for years to be let loose and play in the world and here we were!
That was the difference between the late 80’s, the 90’s and the noughties… Back then everything was new, life was still physical in as much as we were not reined in by remote controls/mobile phones/ipads or slaves to our androids. You could have a bbq outside with your mates, play music on a portable boombox (Joe Cocker, Simply Red, old soul and 60’s stuff) and no ringing phones with tinny music or playing games on said phones. Instead there’d be laughter and late night fun coz it was an occasion or it was summer, and it wasn’t every night.  Cheap wines and new imported beers…

Things were new and developing, like the precursor of the internet, and we talked about it with enthusiasm, hope and amazement.

As the evening wore on it would get quieter, with only the odd car going past and breaking the silence, or the sounds nature and her other creatures made. Most trickled off to catch the last bus or train home and the rest kept our voices down or the neighbors would complain.  It was a lovely era.

What happened to it all?  The fields filled with more cheap ugly housing, the green tarmacked over to make new car-parks in failed park-n-ride schemes, rents and house prices rocketed. The move forward into the up and coming inner city ‘hoods or the developing envisioned next silicon valley… didn’t happen. And we, we grew up and apart, and little by little ran out of steam, lost our vision and appetite for life. Settled for less than inspiring jobs or down to start families. And as Don Henley sang, the end of the innocence, but in a slightly more local context.

Catpaw on the 4 July 2012

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