The moving about, even just in the mind can be unsettling. Ten days in Bali, ok, let’s move there. Two days at the Eco-village in Queensland, lets go! No wonder my Helvi is getting nervous. “You will still take your own with you. The black curmudgeon sits on your shoulder night and day”, she says. “People know that, they can see it,” is added for extra impact. The dream of living in like-wise communities is what plagued me since birth. And that’s how it goes. The attraction of living somewhere were low impact on nature is shared within a community, does pull. That’s apart from the bonus of a ban on fences, especially colour-bond fences, and electricity burning air conditioning.
It is true that the social skills of easy laughter and merrymaking in company of others is wanting. A demeanour of a seriously looking man exudes around, and leaps in front like a warning, well before actually meeting. It can’t be helped, even when wearing my partial dentures. However, lately I do go around smiling more which helps, but only in combination when walking with our Jack Russell ‘Milo’. I got a smile back last Tuesday at Aldi’s tying up Milo at the trolley bay. I saw her again inside the shop as she was bending over the carrots next to the capsicums. My H is the opposite. She has a Mona Lisa smile. It comes naturally. She feels the smile. People often talk to her which I envy. She draws in people. I seem to repel but am working on it. It is never too late and I can still climb stairs two steps at a time. That has to be worth something.
With the autobiography or memoirs if you prefer, it seems to have stalled. The moving about has rippled into the consciousness of everyday living. The living in a town- house of seven others in the compound is magnifying the stark differences between communal design and the exclusive or excluding design where privacy dominates. People might peer from behind the blinds. Perhaps not even that! A garage door rolls up but the owner is already in the car. We can’t see him as he drives off.
In Eco-village last week we saw people moving about inside their houses. There was proof of life. Some were working in the garden. Children were running about. Kangaroos were lulling about sunning themselves on grass with the black water-hens picking morsels out of the compost bins. A man with binoculars was trying to spot birds. He had lost his wife some time back but he had not given up. He recorded all birds and had bought cameras to photograph whatever he felt like photographing. He was happy.
You know that at the age of over seventy five, the egg-timer is slowly running out of sand. One is not totally without optimism. My mother was 96 when she quit. A good omen. Dad smoked but enjoyed it till the end. At his funeral and going back afterwards, my mum cleaned for the last time his ashtray. He was still alive the day before and drove his car. He hated hospitals and going to the doctor. No sooner when he was taken to a hospital, he died. He died at 78 but not because of smoking. So all up. If we split the difference, ( one has to be fair) it would allow another ten years before the egg-timer would run out of sand.
I would be happy with that. So much still to smile about.