Oh good grief, Blogger has changed itself again, and when I sign in, I have to scroll down forever to find the latest updates. Yes, I KNOW I SHOULD USE GOOGLE READER but it worked for me. Till now. And first thing on a Friday morning, I really do not want to have to deal with change. Any change. Especially not when the computer is doing its scan and is moving at the pace of an arthritic snail.
I have coffee. All will be well.
A few days ago, while chatting to a friend, I had this mental image of a wall full of papers stuck on it. Each paper had a name on the top, and was covered (or not) with all the things associated with the name. Interests, memories, talents, gifts, experiences etc etc. Some were completely obscured by words, and yet some were strangely blank. Nothing to do with age - just sort of empty. It was a funny feeling, and is largely governed, I suppose, by how well I really know each of the names on the papers.
Wouldn't it be interesting to find out what others would jot down about us, should they feel moved to slap post-it notes all over their walls. It is of course, totally subjective. We see what we want to see in some cases. We are also oblivious to others.
There is no such thing as a blank paper. It depends on how well hidden people are, and how close we are allowed to get. And then there is the dimensional aspect too. Here, as we all know, huge sections of our lives are veiled for numerous reasons. So you see one dimension of my life, (and me) or maybe two. It is the same in real life, isn't it.
I am very human, and I no doubt irritate my family and friends at times, (actually, drive them up the wall is probably more accurate) just as I get irritated too. Remember the human bit! So then I thought - what if I binned the mythical papers, and replaced them with new ones, just listing 5 major blessings each person represented in my life. Focus on the positive, what they had taught me, and suddenly there were no blank papers. I struggled to limit myself to five. And throughout this mental exercise, I smiled.
But the point I have been plodding towards slowly here is the influence our family and friends have on who we are right now - who we have become, or are becoming. How the courses of our lives change subtly according to the influences we allow into it. The people.
There are always events out of our control which alter us in cataclysmic ways at times. No denying that, or a whole host of other things. What I was concentrating on this time was just how the people in our lives leave little or huge parts of themselves in us, and how that in turn embeds itself in our reality and influences others in other spheres.
Am I making any sense here?
Let me use Jean as an example. She will probably shoot me, but hey, she is a perfect illustration.
Jean is my friend, and I love her dearly. So the five things I can say about her are that she is contented. She leads a simple life, and she laughs a lot - there is great joy in her life. She has a huge and gentle heart. And she has an amazing generosity of spirit, with her time, her actions and her love.
Thank the good Lord I see a lot of her, because I am mercurial, lose my temper, forget to laugh and let complications obscure simplicity. By just being Jean, her influence on my life rubs off, and hopefully, I am learning to listen to her silences when I am ranting on about stuff. Among a host of other things. See?
I have stripped away the talents and the interests, and the ability to make the world's best scones and jam, and the gardening expertise, and the card making, and sewing, and .........
All those are things which add multiple layers to a lovely lady. And yet, the ones I, and everyone else who is privileged to know her, think of as being the essence of who she is, have nothing to do with what she does, but who she is. Inside. This is the stuff which matters in the end. The stuff which changes people.
And so it is with all of us. We all have influence. Let's just hope it is more positive than negative.