1ngi: (friendship)
A glass case on a table in a draughty Elizabethan pile.

Inside, reverently laid open, is a large leather-bound notebook. The writing is tiny, much of it in green ink, some in blue. Crossings out and bits of paper pasted over unwanted paragraphs reveal refinements and the moulding of ideas.

As I lean over the case, my breath stops as I recognise some of the words.

Read more... )
1ngi: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 11:50am on 03/07/2012 under , ,
You are not my lumpy fat friend or skinny belinkie long legs friend or wrinkly friend. You are not my 'can't pass somedays' or 'my hair is too fine' or 'I wish I was shorter, taller, younger friend. You are not my mad, bad or unwantable friend.

Well you can be a little bad - if it is fun and makes you happy. In fact it's rather sexy.

You walk in the room, and for me the sun just came out. There you are, with all your beauty shining out of you, shimmering in a wave of perfect you-ness.

I missed you.

God, I missed you.

I was overwhelmed to see you. The joy of it.

I wish you could see your perfect you-ness.

I love you.
1ngi: (Default)
You would think, that given what's on my plate, I would have enough to worry about without taking on huge massive global issues that are waaaaay beyond my sphere of influence.

Negatives... )

Positives... )
Mood:: 'cranky' cranky
1ngi: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 04:04pm on 05/06/2011 under ,
To slightly paraphrase Andrew Billen on writing about The Time Travellers Wife some years ago now, it seems to me that too often, heterosexual marriage is a partnership in which only the male is conceded the privilege of absence.

It's taken a long time for me to understand the themes encountered in that book. And like the author, I can see it much more clearly now in the light of several failed relationships. More recently I can see it as a really good explanation of what it is like to be in a relationship with someone who suffering from depression or bi-polar disorder or some other debilitating illness.

"It's hard being left behind. I wait for Henry, not knowing where he is, wondering if he's okay. It's hard to be the one who stays."


I knew a couple once, J— and D—. She lived in London and was the head stained glass expert for English Heritage. He, I believe, was from a cadet line of some bit of the Irish ascendancy, renting a pile from the National Trust in Wiltshire. Having turned his back on familial expectations, he became one of the most highly regarded cabinet maker and carpenters in the country. He would ask her to marry him, on average, at least once a year. This went on for years with her coming up to the country at weekends. Her reasons for saying no were that while she loved him, she loved her life and her job. One year, D— asked if he could promise her the status quo, would she yes? She said yes, and they carried on as happily as they had before.

They were a good chunk older then I was at the time (I was 28 when they wed) and I remember being a bit shocked that they might consider being so 'apart' while still being married. But at that time I had yet to experience a relationship where that kind of communication and trust existed. I had however already experienced plenty of the absence that Wife is an allegory of.

I think I was a little bit in love with D— actually and I remember thinking that I longed to be cherished the way he lavished J— with his quiet adoration. However I have to be fair and remember that J— cared for him demonstrably too. During the short weekends she was with him, he had a ritual of taking her breakfast in bed with the papers and a rose cut from the garden. I would hear the sounds of them talking and laughing down the hall. She would cook huge Sunday lunches and make sure all his grown-up kids were round the table to make a bit of a fuss of their dad (and any waifs and strays like me and my other half at the time). It wasn't perfect of course. But on occasions I think they came close. I think their secret was that they never stopped 'courting'.

I realise now that while they had many times apart, they made every effort to make sure that they were not absent from each other. And that is what I think I was envious of.

I still am.
1ngi: (friendship)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 05:49pm on 12/07/2010 under , , ,
I was born at the end of 1967. In the 12 months before, two sisters, Mary and Marion, died within six months of each other. Mary was my maternal Grandmother and I find myself fascinated by her and the fact that we just 'missed' each other.

It's like walking into a hallway and noticing a door at the other end closing. You fancy that you can see the shadow of the person leaving through the gap between the doorstep and the door.

Read more... )
1ngi: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 10:50pm on 23/04/2010 under , , ,

It was the last day of November. We were on our first holiday together staying in a charming cottage called the Music Room near Corfe Castle.

We went to Studland Bay and walked and walked and walked...

The sun shone all day long, the wind was mild and I think it was probably the last day of Autumn. We held hands.

We negotiated the nutter who tried to tell us the strange marks in the sand were aliens. You pointed out they had been left by a hover craft. I tried not to get the giggles. We explored the old Norman church. We had hot chocolate in the cafe by the beach and then we walked even more. My legs were giving up. We walked around the nature reserve and I was certain that I'd seen a nesting grebe. Which turned out to be a bit of broken branch. Classic.

We watched the setting of the sun in all its beauty.

It was first time I told you I loved you.
1ngi: (wonderment)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 01:17am on 21/01/2010 under , , ,
I've read too many negative things lately. When you strip away the layers of wondering from our daily lives, and just leave the cold hard facts, the world seems such a dark place.

Once upon a time I was such an optimist.
I believe in the wonder of you. But that does nothing. I can not make you see your own wonderfulness. The only way that you bring forth wonder is to believe in yourself. I can change the atmosphere. People pay me a lot of money so that I can help them think positively again - and get others to see that potential too. But ultimately you have to do it for yourself.

I read The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Attwood. It made me militant for a short while. I remember the day I was made redundant and felt sobs creeping upon me during the meeting. I stood up and said very calmly, "I'm going out for a breath of fresh air, I will be back in a moment."  I went into the yard behind the building and hugged myself and gasped and gasped for air and cried and cried. Then I breathed hard, went to the ladies, fixed my makeup and returned to the meeting. I expressed my understanding for their business decision and I think I utterly floored them. They knew I was shocked and devastated but I sat there refusing to look defeated.

That outburst of emotion as response to bad news was of course perfectly normal. Many many women experience anger with stabbing hot tears of frustration. But when we go to a male environment, and the workplace - historically male - still has that culture in place, we are not permitted to behave in ways that are more true to our nature. It is considered unprofessional. Instead we put on macho professional straight jackets. Reworking the work place to fit our own identities is discouraged and makes us look weak.

If I think about the hundred petty ways women must hide portions of themselves because it's not nice or convenient I get a touch of the red mists. If I consider the poor women of Saudi Arabia and a hundred other places, my heart begins to ache.

I used to be an idealist.
Where did she go? The me that believed in man's humanity towards man. The me that thought love was enough. I have caught the Cambridge cynicism and I hate hearing the grey words tumble out of my mouth.  My utterances were so much more. I spoke of beauty and colour and opportunity and love and joy. It tasted much better.

 My mum told me I used to look at the world through rose-tinted spectacles.
Was that wrong? To see the loveliness? I didn't ignore the horror, in fact I rose to meet it and spent much of my career working with others trying to reduce it. It's got worse since we had the internet, now we get peppered with outrages that we have to care about because our friends care about it. I can't switch off my friends like I used to switch off the News at Ten.

My Grandfather used to say that I had my feet firmly planted in mid-air, "The world needs Ingrids".

I've been trying to soar my whole life. Everywhere you go stuff pulls you back. Dare to dream? What an offence! Swear, curse, eff, blind and no one bats an eyelid. Declare a treasured hope or whisper a floating idea, watch it rise into the air like a seed from a dandelion clock and then grit your teeth as someone smacks it down.

The world may well need Ingrids, but I'm not sure it wants them.
I am a strong woman. I am strong because I love with abandon. I am strong because I can feel the seasons in my bones. I am strong because I dance when you're not watching and sing when I like. I am strong because I adore seeing you shine and will do whatever I can to make that happen. I am strong because I will rush to your defence and will fight your enemies. I am strong because I can push my hands into brown-dark soil and plant seeds and help things grow. I am strong because I cry when my heart breaks and I laugh when you wrinkle your nose.

I am strong because I dare to dream.

1ngi: (inner life)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 05:58am on 25/11/2009 under , ,
These are the words from the opening scene of Love Actually:

"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaking suspicion... love actually is all around. "

I have had these lyrics from All is Full of Love by Björk stuck to my desk for many years now:

you'll be given love
you'll be taken care of
you'll be given love
you have to trust it

maybe not from the sources
you have poured yours
maybe not from the directions
you are staring at

trust your head around
it's all around you
all is full of love
all around you

And today I need to be mindful of this:

"The world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming it."
Helen Keller

I'd more than appreciate it if you would share with me one of your favourite quotations below.
(Cynics need not respond.)
1ngi: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 12:00am on 12/08/2009 under , , ,
Dawkins annoyed me the most the day when he admitted that he hadn't appreciated that a person could suffer grief through the loss of their faith.  A woman enlightened him one day during a question and answer session and he later blogged about his amazement to learn that this had happened to people (I can't find the ref on his site right now). He previous lack of empathy was more than a little shocking but I suppose that he had the good grace to admit that he needed to be more aware of this.

I've been peeling back the layers my beliefs over many years and I have still yet to settle on a definitive description of what I do and don't believe.

I was born into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  )

Fell away and started questioning... )

Born again? ... )

A 'red-letter' Christian.. )

An uncomfortable atheism with shades of nature worship... )

"The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful and has nobody to thank"

Attributed to Dante Gabriel Rossetti

You see there should be a god. Probably.

1ngi: (Married Life)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 05:59pm on 10/04/2009 under , ,
The year went quickly. Not painlessly but passionately and deeply felt.

We have had a lazy morning in bed having snuggles, exchanging presents and remembering what we were up to a year ago today. I think it rather fitting that on our paper anniversary, Siôn has spent the last hour making origami flowers. 

Easter egg hunt tmrw - yay!


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