A Place of Repose

From Wiki.

“Repose is a formal or literary term used to mean the act of resting, or the state of being at rest. Repose is also a state of mind: freedom from worry. As a verb, repose means to rest or relax, or to rest on something for support: There he was, reposing on the front porch.”

IMG_0039a place to repose

In the renewed effort to reclaim a more balanced and benign view of the present world there could hardly be a better place to achieve it than shown above. The cushion that our Jack Russell ‘Milo’ is resting on is the reversed soft cotton side. The other side is deemed by him too rough. It is actually a piece of worn Afghan rug made into a large cushion cover we bought somewhere on our travels up North near Brisbane some years ago. You can see how low we have sunk to cater for his every whim. Sometimes I feel Milo is the owner and we mere yeomen, just renting, cap in hand!

The reason for the need of a place to repose is that the bleached bones of some of my past were getting to poke out of storm’s dust, causing anxiety to well up far too frequently and making me feel the fate as unnecessary fickle and punishing. We all know the black-dog’s friendship with darker moods. It is thought and I agree, that the search of man’s obsession for everlasting happiness is futile, unnecessary and might also be very boring. However, the opposite of accepting a pervasive gloom is not really all that popular either. So, what about a bit of each?  Could that be the answer?

Medicine is often prescribed as an answer to shadowy moods, but apart from an aspirin and thyroxine I have never taken any mood changing stimulants, excluding the sharing of coffee in morning and Shiraz at the evening. The capriciousness of fate is hopefully teaching me in accepting the past what can’t be changed. We might as well accept. You would have thought that a man in his late seventies could have come to that insight a bit earlier, but…better late than never. I might just be a late learner and having migrated at fifteen did something.

From now on I will take up residence for a couple of hours each day in the chair where I took the photo from, just behind Milo on his claimed cushion and ‘repose’. The beauty of those few square metres is sublime. Helvi made this Nirvana and paradise. It is just perfect, especially after about four pm when the sun is starting to take a rest and slowly goes down making a mood for respite of heavy thoughts perfect for a change into something lighter and positive. Is it in the opposites, the Wu Wei of life that there might be an answer?

What do you think and looking at Milo, does he give an answer?



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22 Responses to “A Place of Repose”

  1. lifecameos Says:

    In my early seventies I am finding I need to remind myself sometimes that there are things I can not change, and that if I keep mentally returning to them I am wasting my opportunities in the present. It does take me some conscious reminding myself sometimes, but I think it is important make the most of now, rather than dwell on things I can not change, with people I have long lost track of.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, be in the present and accept that which cannot be changed. Of late we have been clearing boxes of memorabilia of no great interest, including many photos. Fortunately, Helvi is much stronger and doesn’t suffer from sentimentality. ‘You and I haven’t looked at these photos for years. Why do you want to keep them?’
      ‘Think about the joyful things that the past also gave us.’, she said.

      Fair enough.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. berlioz1935 Says:

    Once again a great post. Striving for a balance in all things is the key. Recognising that gloom is part of the balance. We need the dark to recognise that the light is the superior of the two. I think Milo teaches you a lot about life. The repose he is taking balances all the other activities of the day and complete his being. It is only we humans, especially Western people, who go on and on. The Shiraz you are talking about is a great equaliser to all our activities during the day. And old age is the equaliser to our hectic life previously. We come to recognise that we have to prepare ourselves for the eternal peace.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you, Peter.

      You wrote a very good response. It is so true. We can lament the world we occupy till the cows come home but all we have to deal with is this moment. The past is gone and the future yet to come. I am playing indoor bowls tomorrow at the Goulburn’s Workers Club which is a social event, not competitive. I look forward to that. A great mob of people. And Helvi is coming as well. She enjoys the company.


  3. leggypeggy Says:

    Ah, the importance of balance. Poor John and I really need to get up to Bowral to visit you and Helvi. Maybe after our next trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Andrew Says:

    We invested in a thing called a smuggler a while back. It’s a large comfy chair where one can luxuriate or two can snuggle. I adopted it as my reading chair. Special spaces for reposing. The smuggler for reading, the balcony for coffee and the sofa for rugby watching. The older I get the more important these modest refuges become. Lulu too shifts around and reposes in her particular spots depending on her mood. A choice of 3 baskets, a comfy mat or the cool of the floor. Sometimes she will join me outside as I indulge myself with a coffee. The modern world is a necessary evil. I hide away from the mad politicians and dream that when I wake up the tangerine shitgibbon and his friends will have gone and the MayBot will have gone in for her annual MOT and been taken off the road as unfit. Broken up for scrap. And one day the dream will come true. And Lulu and I will raise a satisfied eyebrow and return to our repose.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Andrew Says:

      Smuggler = snuggler. No budgies involved.

      Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      You know, Andrew. I looked up the magic smuggler and got lost. I put it down to a shady HK item, only known to the well informed.
      Yes, the snuggler is very popular and the one from Norway seems very popular. It is a chair where one luxuriates in while it also swivels on a pivotal device.
      I am sure Milo would claim it.
      I have raised all legs on sofa and armchair by propping them up with 10cm of square blocks of wood. It is amazing how this extra height now aids in getting up more smartly.
      The props not only lift my body but you should see the elevated position of my mood.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. shoreacres Says:

    Only in the past year have I learned that among Orthodox Christians (Greek Orthodox, anyway — others might be different) the way to refer to someone who has died is to say that he or she “has entered respose,” or “is reposing.” When I first heard it, I thought it was utterly charming, and comforting. I suppose it’s related to what my grandparents’ said — that someone “has entered in to his final rest” — but it’s a much more elegant way of speaking.

    “Repose’ reminds me of John Singer Sargent, too. Paintings like this seem the very definition of ‘repose.’ A couple of hours a day of respose can be a very good thing. As Grandma also liked to say, “Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The reposing I seek is as your grandmother put it, Linda. I would add a third one, a nap.
      My mother always had a quick nap every day for most of her life. Her final nap came at the age of almost 96 years.
      We had a wonderful day of bowling with a lunch of roast pork, apple sauce and vegies. (Helvi gave me her crackling.)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Milo has it figured out! We could all learn a thing or two from our four-legged friends. A comfy bed, people who love you, a full dinner plate, and I assume, tasty snacks. And then he has sniff-abouts, exciting adventures out into the neighborhood where familiar and exotic smells tell him who has been visiting. “Was that a kangaroo that stopped by?” Those twitching legs as he sleeps suggest he is off happily chasing one of the previous night’s visitors, protecting hearth and home, taking care of his Gerard and his Helvi.
    What more do we need than love, good food, a few treats, a comfy home, and an occasional adventure? Why do we as humans always insist on making things so complicated?

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes Curt, I never ceases to amaze me how dogs can pick up what is going on. When we are happy, he reflects that in many ways and he can also tell us when things are not as cheery as they most times are.
      He now refuses to walk if it is just one of us and escapes upstairs under the bed. He wants both of us to be with him. I think that is so uplifting.


      • Curt Mekemson Says:

        How very neat, Gerard. I’ve never known a dog that insisted on couples walking! It would be fascinating to know what is going through Milo’s head. –Curt


  7. rangewriter Says:

    You and Milo are have both arrived at the perfect state of mind. Life is temporal. We are here but a short time. Wringing our hands about that over which we have no control is pointless and disrupts our equilibrium. Yes, I know I should care, and I DO care, and I do what I can to resist evil, but I also protect myself. Above all, I protect myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      One way of keeping reasonably sane is to stay away from politics. I now make concerted efforts to quickly switch off when it raises its ugly head.

      I have written enough about the subject and nothing is as soul destroying than getting images of political leaders on the screen. Those angry purple faces steering us into the abyss.

      I now sit outside and look at the garden.


  8. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    What a beautiful, important post, Gerard! 🙂

    Oh, to be as relaxed as sweet, handsome Milo! I fully believe our furry-family members adopt us! And, yes, they are the owners of everything, especially our hearts! And they teach us how to live life correctly! My Cooper reminds me, daily, to rest, relax, play, laugh, take walks, chase my tail (ha!), and so much more! 🙂

    Your paradise for repose, rest, renewal is so lovely! Helvi is a nature-magician to create such a place! 🙂 A place to breathe, daydream, think, meditate, read, or just sit and smile. 🙂

    WE all need such a place and we all need this place to balance out the struggles we deal with.

    ❤ and (((HUGS))) for you and Helvi!
    Gentle RUBS and PATS for Milo!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Caroline. Time to hang up the cloak of anxiety and fear of what has been or yet to come. A garden is as good as a heaven. Glad that your Cooper also gives the right balance. Dogs do that so much better than people.
      Who said; ‘the more I get to know people the more I like dogs?’

      It’s perhaps a bit cynical but at times it is true. One could never be disappointed in dogs , cats or nature. I mean it’s impossible to become angry with tulips, Cooper, Milo or a Dixie Rose.
      Hugs too.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Jack Russell’s seem to have the secret of relaxing down pat. Taking a quick lesson from Charlie, I sometimes take a “lie down ” in the afternoon. My father often slept in his chair. Perhaps we require more repose with age. Sometimes I just sit in the studio and think. Maybe that’s reposing too. While we scurried around working, talking, and getting things “done” when young, our lives seem to shrink as we age and there aren’t that many things to get done. May as well take a lesson from Milo and Charlie and just rest.


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