Giacometti, The Tate Modern and merde – she says no, no, no

fullsizeoutput_75d7 ‘Be it ancient or contemporary, Art speaks of our time on earth.’

Times mistakes are good.  Blond here had a ticket for Stanley Tucchi’s film ‘The Final Portrait’ with Geoffrey Rush, depicting the life of Giacometti. Happens to coincide with the exhibition at the Tate Modern.  Sunday, sunday, sunday she had drilled in her head.  Problem was, Sunday past and my entrance into a very empty cinema confirmed my dilly lack of detail. ‘Merde’ she hisses … but I am at the Tate Modern, to Giacometti I will go. Stream the movie later.

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Sensory overload.  Understanding contemporary art requires careful observation.  Standing back, reflection and looking at the careful details of every aspect of what is presented to the viewer.  Story telling in the art. Don’t rush, don’t rush.  These are statements on politics, social interaction, the world perceived by those who strip the everyday to the core. Sometimes, I find myself looking at splotches (yes a bit like a child throwing paint on canvas) but then comes the question – does it make sense as a piece on it’s own, or more if we learn what the artist was trying to express?  What are your thoughts?

fullsizeoutput_75d5 Then, we come to the raindrop.  The artist, mesmerised by the spiritual qualities of a raindrop, and how to transform in concrete terms … I stand and look, and look and in the looking … behind me a woman says in Afrikaans ‘lyk soon ‘n tiet’ – looks like a tit! Boob dangling from string – are you totally without I wonder, but laugh as she does to realise I understand the language.  The art is decidedly lost on her and her partner, in fact a few minutes later I pass them again, her voicing the need to find an exit to all this nonsense.  No, No and no again … And so it goes … should I smile, should I shudder … but that is contemporary art for you … each to his own I guess.

I, on the other hand, am inspired.  I cannot do this, so I appreciate others who can. May not always understand, but try to,  There is a reason these pieces have a place in this great gallery. 

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Aaah, ’twas a great afternoon. I live in a city where all the great works come together.  The Tate, the Modern Tate and all the other galleries that offer me the chance to see the greats.  Not too shabby she says as she takes the lift to the 10th floor. The viewing deck.

IMG_5596IMG_5611 London Skyline

Standing up there, with a full 380 degree view, Art is everywhere. Ancient, modern, traditional, futuristic, it’s all for our pleasure. 

I want more of Botticelli, Michelangelo, Titian, Pollack, Warhol and everyone else that paints, sculpts, draws and puts to paper, canvas and metal the world the way they see it, to enlighten, enchant and entertain me … for I learn.

 

It’s official. You have to stop playing the Lotto – like now!

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It. Is. My. Turn.

We all know about the Struggle.  We do.  We live it, write about it and light candles to pray for the stopping of it.  The struggle is exhausting, and sometimes, all the hard work and millions of little dreams just elude the overcoming of the Struggle.

So the Lotto win is the next big thing. Have tried it at times, and weirdly, at times taken a ticket and never looked to see if I won anything – have you done that? ‘Perhaps winning something ticket’ lies in my purse until I tear it up, too arsed to see if a pound richer I am. Useless.  So I reckon, if I appeal to everyone on the planet earth to stop playing the Lotto, just for a little spell, I have a chance.  I need to win that Lotto, and my reasons are pure. They are:

  • I reckon I earned it.  Have dealt with the Struggle more than most of late.  Lotto will reward me for the Struggle.
  • In the eddy of Struggle, I have had to make do with Boots generic face products.  This is sad to say the least.  Trés sad.  I believe darling Helen Mirren says ‘f…king’ helps little all those moisturisers but it feels SO good to have expensive creams on the wrinkly face.  Bits of gold leaf in neck cream is awesome.
  • Need new gym clothes.  I don’t go to the gym but wearing them around the house makes me feel healthy. Haute couture gym clothes is all for working on the laptop.
  • Googling exotic destination holidays on waitron salary is fatal to the soul. A la masochistic mode. A little Lotto booty will take me from Southfields to the South of France and we all know, a girl needs the Cote d’Azur for uber wellness.
  • Mermaid Honda Jazz is sick.  She is valiant, but sick.  Ignore anyone who says it’s fine – trying to outsmart a Range Rover Vogue is not only frightening but makes us feel like  Thomas the tank engine next to Gordon the Big. I need Range Rover injection.
  • Surrounded by big city fashion labels.  I don’t really like fashion labels (bullies all of you) but sneaking into Primark is random stuff. Just once, just once, Lotto can get me the Loro Piana, Hermes and wine – circa made by monks with no screw top.
  • Letting someone else struggle with the unruly Macbeth hags hair.
  • Foregoing Ryan Air dehumanisation in favour of turning left on British Airways.
  • Allow for setting up trust funds for my children with great titles that sound important.
  • Centre court tickets at Wimbledon.  Tennis is not my passion but centre court sounds so grand.
  • Being told, of course you may have a table, and not being lied to about full bookings because you ask for a table for one.
  • Charity.  Being able to share the Lotto with others rather than thinking, sorry mate, I have beans for the rest of the month myself.

And you know what?  I don’t want the millions – seriously – it brings it’s own headaches and heartaches, but a little extra would be welcome.  

And you know what?  If I won, I would most likely give it all to my children.  Actually more in love with the packaging of Uber brands than spending money on the items themselves. Have no need for yachts or watches, sports cars or holiday homes.

Just want the feeling of saying … maybe I could.

Truth be told … very happy with what the Struggle has made of me, the great opportunities presented and the drive created.  But, and I say but … a little of the Lotto would be nice.

So again, stop playing all you lovely people – this dame needs a windfall of possibilities.

You can play again, say in a month or two.  And if the saying that every draw creates six winners of millions and I figure this has being going on for a while, surely the odds are in my favour if you all desist for a while …

images-40 The price of a new car, cosmetic ‘upliftment’ and that little black dress means winning the Lotto – so help a poor girl out will you?

PS if I win, having taken two tickets tonight, I shall share it with the first person who tells me how winning will change their lives, in the most interesting way, for the better.

PS – if you believe that I love you, but seriously, a little for the information.

Images: Pintrest

The size ten looking back at me – Jenni Button’s and my glory story

Jenni-Button-store-copy Back in the prime years (did I just say prime? is it not the prime years now she wonders?).  Back in the prime years, living in South Africa, Jenni Button was my idol.  An icon in the fashion industry, sleek, elegant and classical designs much admired and barely affordable by moi.  But I loved her look.  Loved her philosophy.

The joy of the day that I found myself able to afford a few pieces by  Jenni Button, and better still, fitting into the size ten clothes – oh, happy day I remembered fondly. Still hanging onto that one.

Fast forward to the story of a women who built up a formidable business, went into a partnership deal and lost everything, including the use of her name in the fashion industry. Pointless legal battles and like my waist, went sideways. Jenni, like my body, had been sabotaged.  

Unlike my body, menopause does scoff at the size 10, Jenni did not succumb to the muffin top of life, and despite huge loss on both the financial and spiritual scales, turned her talents to Philosophy, her new clothing line.  Quick to thwart any more surprise attacks from those ugly powers of high, she also registered her name internationally, for one day, clever woman.  

kko0Qn85 The real Jenni Button

I do believe, nasty, scheming, unkind people never win, and so it was a delicious taste of Karma when the new bossy company went into liquidation a few years ago.  Sadly Jenni Button, Hilton Weiner and Aca Joe, all favourites, went with the sinking ship.  Lesson learnt I hope.

The real Jenni Button, as she likes to call herself, is going strong and a story for all of us.  Especially me. Still remains a fond memory of buying her clothes, feeling special being able to do so and the clothes may lie fallow in my cupboard, but will never be tossed for the size ten, like Jenni’s story, may well find restoration – post menopause.  I look at them every now and then, not with sadness, but fondness and expectation.  They are my possibles.

Interviewed by the ‘Entrepreneur’ magazine in 2009, Jenni told her heartfelt tale.  She also spoke of hindsight, learning from a bad experience (like Jo Malone) and moving on.  Some of her insights to success and inspiration are valid even today, and advice we should all follow, and I quote:

Jenni Button’s secrets to success & inspiration

  • If you don’t have absolute passion and pure conviction about your business venture, don’t bother doing it.
  • Being naive has its virtues in business but make sure you get all your admin perfectly in place. Many an otherwise savvy business person has been brought down because they didn’t dot the i’s and cross the t’s when it came to issues of partnership agreements, tax or legal documents.
  • If you choose to delegate (something I don’t do easily) make sure you check and double-check that it’s been done, and done properly. Your business relies on it.
  • Make sure you have a business plan and that it covers all potential areas of risk.
  • Do not procrastinate! “Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.” – Don Marquis
  • Change your thoughts and you can change your position in life. “It’s not the strongest of species that survives, nor the most intelligent, it’s the one that’s most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin
  • “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill.
  • Refuse to be a victim! “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” – Steven Biko
  • Be flexible. “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein
  • “If moment by moment you can keep your mind clear then nothing will confuse you.” – Sheng Yen
I think of Jenni every time I peek in the cupboard and defy all who say, throw out the old clothes, for these are now even more valuable.  An inspirational, beautiful woman and one I hope to meet one day, preferably in the size 10 clothes she made for me.  Felt like a princess, thanks Jenni!
Images: twitter and destiny

Summer days, swimming days and those summer nights.

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“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.’ Albert Camus

‘Hey what did I hear you say … you love summer?  Ditto darling – I am intoxicated by it. Born in the Southern hemisphere, summer is in my blood.

Love the seasons, truly I do.  Something about Paris in winter, London in autumn, but summer, summer is the happiest time for me.

I remember myself in summer as a child.  Swimming until my blond hair turned green.  Swimming all afternoon, after homework, after sports and washing my hair with ‘Beer on tap’ (remember that?)  We were allowed to play outside in our pyjamas. Parents were happier in summer, as were we, holidays at the beach, romances fleeting but poignant, besties sharing secrets beside the pool.  Growing up was summer in my mind.

IMG_1090 2 Remember the tanning?  Cooking oil.  How the records we played warped in the sun? Nut brown and happy. Summer solved everything. Even drinking Coca cola. Times we swam in dams on farms, shrilling at the thought of a barbar nibbling at our toes.  Times in the river, but it was ok, we were brown skinned, carefree and unafraid. Accomplishing the ‘back dive’ without death was a serious achievement. Achievements were small in the huge world of things but these were ours, as were our summers of teenage transition and longing for the bikini moment.

My children are summer children. Grew up in the sun.  Skinny, naked bodies in the water. Wandering in rock pools. Swimming birthday parties. Slightly sun kissed, in their pj’s playing games in the garden until late in the evening. Barbecue children.  Farm children in the summer when going on a night drive was fun for finding spring hares and living by the light. Watermelon children, marco polo children – children who understood the idea of playing no matter the heat, but those summer evenings made all the difference.

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Living in a costume has to be a privilege. Better to play, to lie on the grass and glance at the clouds, make mud houses and climb trees. Stripped of everything. Sleeping with open windows at bedtime, waking to the sun.  That is summer.

As I sit here tonight in London, it has been a very hot day.  A glorious day.  People hit the parks, and wilted on public transport. Families held picnics in shade, hats on, white skins, languishing in the gift of sun.  And I thought, this is great, this is summer, but also … thought, I remember the halcyon days of summer when water was close, swimming was all and those nights on, not my balcony, but on my veranda, smells of braaivleis, light natural till ten, families together and children running, swimming, and the laughter … the laughter of being outdoor summer babies.

For me, the evening swim when it got too hot, naked in the water … that was when I knew I was a summer baby. It was a long time ago, but it was the most free I ever felt.

Exhale

Swan

Times you just need to exhale.

Seriously, just do it.

Exhale.

There have been times when my heart was pounding so hectically in my chest I thought I should just go, it’s time … this is how it is going to happen … my will is sorted … and it didn’t.

Anxiety attack leads to … waiting … waiting … and then the exhale.

I know I should be doing yoga, embracing the moon and counting the stars, but right now, the mere act of doing is what is important. Post f …ed up life is now becoming, sorting out time.  And I am busy, busy little bee I am.  Sorting, shifting, setting up goals, till … there goes the pounding of the heart and I know … I need to just exhale.

Amazing little mechanism that is.  Exhaling. Physically you go aaaaaah, and mentally you go … let it go for awhile. Pause. The world is not going to explode despite the politics, the weather, the unknown job or finance nightmare may still be there, but let it go.  For a moment and just … exhale. And I am not an exhaler of note, but learning.

We need to pause and drop the mess for a moment.  Put on the favourite song, go through the photos, leave the mobile behind and look outside.  The swan is still gliding, the birds still chirping and why am I saying this?

Met a friend in the city today. We go way, childhood way back, talked of the present, our spouses, our children, our lives and then, when the conversation of all that is negative ended, we began to talk of the good stuff.  Still being friends.  Come a long way since the mud cakes and tree climbing and still here.  Gave our young ones the best advice and now … have to let it go.  Have to exhale. Be in the moment of each other with different paths and infinite wisdom combined in lives lived darn well.  I had forgotten that.

Home to a text from another friend in the first throes of divorce.  Exhale. 

Home to a text from another who is lonely and purposeless.  Exhale.

Home to what is now, is, and looking around at the change and … exhale.

Breathed in the love, the passion and the exhausting taking course of just about everything. Breathed in the loss, the promise, the ambition and lack of it, panic and stress and as the sun is out later, the jury is out and going home, I remembered that to exhale is my right, right now. Tonight, for a moment or hours, for days or a month – I can do that and I choose to go …

Phew! Good day. Good day. Exhale and enjoy it. Tomorrow can wait.

Image pixabay.

A tête-ả-tête with two interesting perspectives. We learn.

475ea273d0d0c3f0efa329d52906da86  It was a good day.  Wonderful friend, client and innovative entrepreneur for a meeting at The Bar at Gilbert Scott’s in the gorgeous St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel this afternoon.  We were chatting, planning a fabulous 50th in Franschoek next year.

Both excited. Me as the Event planner with dreams in my mind and my friend, with the idea of a special occasion to show her husband how much she loves him.  Should have been champagne but it was a little early, and then the conversation turned to our different stages in life.

Caroline runs a successful company called ‘Baby proof your life‘, is a speaker of note and manages to combine a very busy working life with raising four amazing sons.  Even in this Silver Stage when we sometimes think we know just about everything, we learn.  Where Caroline is inspiring women to have full lives, I am at a stage inspiring women who may have to start again, like me, having done what we thought was right and finding ourselves having to begin all over again.  Which I might add, is not such a bad thing. Bad things do happen but it is how we face them and change that makes us all the more interesting.  Age does that sometimes, from the building up, to the facing of the other side when everything seems to be slipping and then go ‘whoa’ not ready, lots to still do and finding the courage to do it. Caroline is teaching women to see the future where having a great career and being a mom is a plan to ensure self worth on all levels.

So what am I saying here?  Never think that we are filled with the lessons in life. Learn from those younger, perhaps smarter and add that to the new path.  That is what I must say I love about living in London – anything goes, genders, relationships, business, life is so out there, so flexible, so malleable and ultimately, and opportunity to put the stereotypes of life at rest with the surge of possibility at my fingertips.

It was a flipping great day.  I found a new address, met someone I greatly admire and forged a new contact in my new business that makes me, on the trip home. on the tube at rush hour, undaunted, music in my ears, bopping to the Bee Gees and thinking … women are like play dough. We bend, we mould, we set and then we just find others who think outside the norm and go, wow, we can morph into a whole new ball of wonderful.  And begin again.

I hope my girls feel as empowered as I do right now.

Hope my girls will take on the world and paper maché it into a better place. Find a tribe of women that inspire, support and nurture a better life. I have and for that I am forever grateful.

In my Silver Street, tonight, another door opened on the journey – and the view is spectacular.

Saturday spent with the mysterious girl.

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Out to dinner in the village last night, Mid the experience, which was lovely, my vision is drawn to a couple, dressed in full wedding attire, striding past the window.  The ‘bride’, how do I put this, not a vision of beauty , marches ahead, dress hitched up and with the groom following behind.  Odd.  Odder still was their plonking themselves at a table close by.  The dishevelled bride is clearly worse for wear, in every way, and ravenous, the groom engrossed with his phone.  It’s burgers and fries in the wedding dress, No, no, and no again as we all think, and all a stare.  There is no glamour here, no beauty, no passion and no mystery. As they tuck into the grub, the tiara falls off and the veil thrust onto a chair and I am thinking, dear Lord, what happened to the beautiful?

Found it today.  A morning spent with tulips. Bed upon bed of beauty.  Short lived, these blooms are symbols of art in their colour, their shape and their ability to captivate.  There are over 5,500 types of tulips in the world today.  Each waits beneath the cold earth in winter to push upwards and perform in their finest days.  Icons in the renaissance of season and I could put that horrible vision far from my mind.  It’s the mystery you see.

Better still, the afternoon was shared with Johannes Vermeer in a documentary of ‘The girl with the Pearl earring.’  For over four hundred years the identity of this woman remains a mystery, and in that lies the beauty.  It does not matter that we have no name, but that we have a painting that engages, that takes our breath away and we are seduced by the artistry of someone, living so long ago, that could capture the wetness of her eyes, her lips and make us want to know more about her.  It is the mystery in her look that draws us in. To think that someone was able to harness the mastery in paint that transcends the normal and yet holds our imagination still.  That is beauty.  That is the mysterious.

We have become creatures of modern times when all is out there.  Social media and global living leaves us so tuned in, so up to date, so exposed to the baseness of it all.  Nothing is sacred in its mystery anymore.  All is instant, doable, current and frankly, sad.  We no longer wonder what lies under the sea, or up in the stars.  We know everything and if we don’t, we Google. Then we do.

There are times though, when we just shouldn’t .  Go back to wonder.  It has always been tough to get through life, so what am I saying here?  I did not like the frankness of the experience last night, and have to remind myself all the time that it’s about the moments of intangible experiences that really matters.

I will never paint like Vermeer.  I will never know the identity of the girl with the beautiful pearl earring – or why tulips are so beautiful, why some can capture life in art and not me, but I will always choose wonder, be enthralled by the mysterious.

Call me a dreamer – guilty as charged. Saturday spent with the girl with the pearl earring. It is her mystery that seduces me, the mystery of why tulips are so beautiful and the mystery of what is, and can be, that keeps me thinking that the love of it all, is worth it.

A little truth about my break from the birdcage.

parrot-and-cage-fran-henig I was looking for a picture/cartoon/drawing of a women on an island only the sirens and mermaids didn’t match my figure and seemed way to young to fool anyone in Silver Street.  The subject is self imposed exile of sorts, and an island would have been ideal, but then I remembered my posts from the London Birdcage and thought, apt … the door is open and I have flown thousands of miles to the South.

The return to my native home has in fact become and exile from exile. Let’s begin with the best of intentions.  Fed up with the winter gloom, post Christmas and darkness before afternoon tea.  It’s sunny skies and beach weather for me I thought, so lobbed the part time job, kissed the young un’s and landed with an almighty thud in Cape Town.  Dressed in London gear in 38 degree heat.

We do not care.  We are going to annex a little house for two and a bit months. Bliss she says. pure bliss. And so it is for about three hours.  Like Julie Andrews dancing on the mountain top, I dance from room to room, quite overwhelmed with space and light – intoxicating light till late. Nothing to do, but be.  She is free, she is free.

Day one and a bit – hit the beach. Lie, spread eagle on the sand.

Day two and a bit – burned to a lobster red.

Some more days, peel.

Now a questionable shade of brown, white and in between.

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Week one – unstoppable.  Zooting around wine farms, lunches, catch ups and dolling up the house.

Week two – umm, where to go?

Quick mention – part of the exile was no TV. No connection.  Now too late. No internet connection so now stalking coffee shops for news.  Trying this living alone thing – it sucks.

Two months in.  Going stir crazy. Dead food in the fridge. Too many rooms silent, eerily silent.

Ok, let’s go back a little.  The mornings are beautiful, the days full of promise, and then there are the evenings.  They come like dead men walking when you are without and without.  Some have it down pat, this in new to me, so I am dragging the hours till sleep which then means two am overthinking.  I am an island of my own making and this island is too small.  Meditation is not my friend.

For one who thinks an empty page in the diary is tantamount to failure, this day in and day out of purposeless living before going back to the birdcage has been harder than I thought.  I don’t do the lie ins, or the afternoon reading.  Guilt to those. Feel like I’m in an episode of Cranford only no gossips in the village to perk up the day. Walking for us Londoners is ambitious – ambling in the afternoon does my head in.

Am I being a total, selfish maggot?  Do others not dream of this?  It is gorgeous, and reflective, and rejuvenating and … dare I say it, boring.  Retirement is doing to be the death of me. I want noise, and a packed diary, and intrigue, drama and passion.  I want to feel the need to move and fill my days with a reason.  The beach holiday is fine for a short time (she says through gritted teeth) and it has been so good for me, but I am for the birdcage of habit for a little longer where the sound of busses and life trumps the sounds of silence.

Images sketchier, dan.dare

Our little love affair with all things French – n’est pas?

Sketch of French life pintrest Je T’aime.

When it began I am not quite sure, that I am totally in love, is a given. And I am not alone.

Imagine the scene.  Hot, African climes and lunch. A women I met but for the first time, begins to parlez to our host, despite few of us any the wiser at the touts and oui’s and allors that rolled with her r’s off her tongue.  Pretentious show off I thought at first, and then … then it dawned on me that the performance was only for the love of all things French – and that she had the proverbial accent to go with that love.  So I could not stay irritated, for I am the same, sans the accent, or the lingo of course.

Some of us are so enamoured with all things French, we are to be forgiven for it.  For me, the closeness of Paris and my unashamed love for her is part of who I am.  My place of place. I am passionate, and putty in Paris.  The sounds, the chicness, the rooftops, the joie de vivre of attitude and of course, the promise of eternal, unbridled, sickening sweetness of the heart romance is the drug.  Lovers are lovers there for all to see, for show and tell ‘amour’ is all around.  Architecture sings of golden tipped gods and cherubs watching from high as you cross the Seine and imagine the possibilities.  Grandeur in kissing, touching, losing oneself in another in small cafés, swooning over the Bordeaux, the world forgotten in a single moment.

Haven in Paris  We love the French for politics is simple a reason to debate.  Striking is a National Pastime and ‘Merde’ is the operatic phrase for everything.  Working is a useless waste of time before the sunset hour, until we meet on the side of the street, blowing smoke, drinking wine and tearing at the baguette. In small measure for eating is for dining, not snacking like the others do.  The French do not snack, snacking is like making little love, one must be in it totally or not at all.

I love Paris in the winter.  I have a muse as luck would have, I have met on more than one occasion.  My muse is old and walks, wrapped in fur, a cigarette on the end of a long holder, her dog sniffing at the sidewalk.  She does this everyday – walks, smokes and cares less for being accountable. I wonder at the stories she may tell …the men she whose lives she has changed.

I love the women on the Cote D’Azure in the summer.  Their dresses swish along with their baskets as they walk – tanned, oblivious, yet sensuous in their gait.  They work, they love, they do not question, but saunter to the beach in the afternoon and strip to soak up the last rays of the day. Immersed in the being there, not in the planning of what one needs to do, how to be successful, what lasting impression they will leave.

The force of Delacroix, of Monet, of Lautrec and Degas is never far. It is the carousel in the Tuilleries, the linear trees of the Luxumbourge gardens, the boules, the picniques, the revolution, the doomed Marie Antoinette that lingers. Even history for the French is classique, is passionate – we have lived!  We have fought!  We have resisted!  We have loved.

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Fashion and Passion. The French way of life.

When I try to speak French in France, they change to English. So speak dear lady, speak for the language is one of love, and love is what the French do so well …

We love the idea of France, of Paris and Provence for we are all in love with the idea of love. So who can judge us for that?

 

Images Haven in Paris and Pintrest

 

Define ‘fine’.

11518169384_3da3773f4e_b And she says innocent like, definitive life, iffy like … like, fine.

Has there ever been a word loaded with more meaning? Seriously, I know there are fifty different ways to say ‘love’, but fine, fine takes it to a whole new level.  Multi-leveled meaning lies in the ‘fine’ We say it everyday … how are you, I am fine. I am fine Thank you as mamma taught me.  But what could this mean?

That I am.  That I may be, under another set of circumstances, or that I am the opposite and you should know better.  I am being polite. The tone of voice used when uttering these words, may give an indication of the true emotion behind the platitude, or it may not – some are good at the fleecing of it. But it puzzles me none the less – the power of the word ‘fine’ so often gives cause to argument ‘you are not fine’, ‘I know you don’t mean it, or don’t be sarcastic sort of thing, and then I think, what should I have said?

If you know someone is hanging on the edge of a cliff, don’t ask them how they are – they are most likely going to say, fine. Dangling from the heart is a dagger, poised an inch from their fragile necks an executioners sword and ask them … I am fine. It’s inbred, we are never going to say … I want to die or my heart is in a thousand pieces, thoughts of murder come to mind … that sort of thing, we are never going to say that, so we say … fine thanks. Leave it there.

Accept it when we say fine, rather than elated, exuberant, invincible.  You would prefer it rather than have to delve further into the question. How are you? I am mocked? No.  I am euphoric? No. What about I am right now contemplating the meaning of truth in our shifting society with a complex tendency to ponder it all? Um, rather not.

Saying we are fine is simply a standard answer.  Asked by a stranger, we supply the norm.  Asked by someone who knows us well, they should already know the answer. It’s an opening retort to an opening remark.

So why do others get riled when we answer ‘fine’ but mean the opposite?  Or ignore the ‘fine’ when uttered through wobbled lips? I think I have said the word ‘fine’ a dozen ways today, each time with a different meaning, depending on the enquirer.  I do not know what else to say for wanting to elicit neutrality on the point.

There are days when we are fine, days when we are anything but and days when fine means f … you too.

Love the word, like play dough you can mould it into any meaning you want.

‘ I know when you say fine …’

I do to.  Being polite is all.

 

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