That time of the year is approaching when those amongst us who have nothing better to worry about than another ache or brown pigmented spot (The Doctor calls them senile keratosis but I have threatened him with unimaginable pain if he mentions the first word, the one beginning with s in the same breath as my name) begin the lengthy countdown to Christmas. Yes, it is 10 weeks and one day until the big day. It lands like a wrecking ball causing anxiety and chaos in our midst, filling me with unseasonal misery. Christmas cards are already in the shops and I have seen geese wandering around a field nearby looking decidedly plumper as they peck away unaware of their fate. The wild birds are merrily munching their way through the berries on the trees. Those same berries that I had earmarked for my Christmas table decorations.
I know I sound like Victor Meldrew but Christmas marks the passing of another year in which I have failed to find my passion, destiny, call it what you will. The feeling that there must be more, a greater zest for life somewhere, or, even worse, I might have come across it and missed it, constantly dogs me. Writing this weekly blog comes about the closest I have ever been but still I am sure there is something else. I think about this something else first thing in the morning and last thing at night. The wait seems endless at times.
Perhaps I am being too greedy and I already have it and live in ignorance of the fact. Most certainly I am in excellent health unless you count the two deep gashes on the thumb and first finger of my left hand due to ill-chosen use of the mandolin while slicing potatoes yesterday evening. While The Doctor gets on my nerves occasionally we mostly have an agreeable and harmonious relationship (I do wish he would stop turning the central heating down). We live in a comfortable house with the poodle gods adding another layer of interest to our lives. The Gnasher has taken up marking her territory in the most inappropriate way recently, providing a distraction from my introspection.
This elusive passion, or The Element as Ken Robinson calls it in his book of the same name, is supposed to be a powerful driving force within each of us. Well here I am waiting to be driven to finding myself in that element. Most of the creativity stifling aspects of my life have been erased and I am ready and waiting. So why does this seemingly mystical force still elude me? When will it appear? How much time have I got left to enjoy it? Does everyone find it eventually or do some people die never having made the discovery? My Mother only seemed to be in her element while drinking builders’ tea, smoking and reading the Daily Mirror. So it is not necessarily life enhancing since the fags managed to finish her off. Then again neither is motorcycle racing as the yearly TT races here on The Rock bear testament.
It is possible then that some of us can only glimpse moments of this passion, as our boundaries are not strong enough to resist outside forces that may prevent us from reaching out to that creative core in ourselves. Maybe we need to be a little more selfish and put ourselves first instead of last.
There is an overt element of magic in people who manage to put themselves first when it comes to their passion. Paradoxically it makes them more considerate and less inclined to be bothered by the intricacies of petty squabbles and some of the more material aspects of life. They have a strong sense of identity.
So in the meantime, whilst I continue with my own attempts to be in my element maybe you can let me know how and if you have found it.
Until next week
The Aged Chronicler