Sunday, July 19, 2009

A few of my favourite things

Bob from
, my socialist-internationalist-Marxist blogo-friend from across the pond, tagged me for the following meme:

List 7 things I love
Tag 7 other people

First, a soliloquy:

The last few months I have been living under a very heavy cloud of anxiety for my first-born. Some of it was exacerbated with my own inclination to worry myself sick over things that might not merit that kind of profound fearfulness. But I am always afraid that if I don't conjure up the worst possible scenarios, life would ambush me with one of its more unpleasant surprises and then I might not be ready with an action plan. So I purposefully imagine the worst and consequently and naturally I begin to sink into despair. Despair is not a good state of mind for writing and thinking.

I offer this explanation by way of apologizing to my Internet friends and readers for being very remiss in the last few months.

Things have been improving gradually but steadily, and seem to be gathering a good momentum, which is all I ask for. If I were a religious person, I would give thanks to God for this small gift. I even attempted to pray to a God I don't believe in, so distressed I was. And now I'm no longer sure that there is not some benign immanence in the universe upon which we can draw at times of great need and channel some of its good energy into helping us cope, resolve difficulties which seem so hopeless.

I can't say I'm bouncing off the walls with joy and lightness but I am feeling optimistic enough to answer Bob's tag with genuine liveliness and even some delight.

******

In answering the question, I tried to divide my life into several unscientific categories and chose one thing that I love best from each one:

Family - My two children, a son, 19, a daughter, 9.

Work - Literary translation; it's the closest I'll ever get to writing fiction and poetry.

Hobby - Walking. I used to love walking along the river that traverses the city of Fredericton, New Brunswick, where I lived for a few years. Especially in the morning, on sparkling summer days, when a soft breeze was blowing, immediately after dropping off my daughter at her kindergarten school. Always strangers would walk by and greet me with a smile and an empathetic good morning. I miss that. Montreal has its compensations but nothing comparable to that hour of almost pure peace of mind.

Music - Guitar Flamenco

Amusement - Reading, almost anything, anytime, anywhere.

Food - coffee

If I can't drink my bowl of coffee three times daily,
then in my torment I will shrivel up
like a piece of roast goat.

Mm, how sweet the coffee tastes,
more delicious than a thousand kisses,
mellower than muscatel wine.
Coffee, coffee I must have,
and if someone wishes to give me a treat,
ah, then pour me out some coffee!

(From JS Bach's Coffee Cantata)

People - Jane Austen, whose wisdom, wit and infinite understanding for human folly and potential for good leaves me often wondering how so much genius could be contained in the relatively short and uneventful life of such a person, at such a time as she lived. She understood the importance of writing and had a great value for the company of people:

"My idea of good company, Mr Elliot, is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company."

"You are mistaken," said he gently, "that is not good company; that is the best. "

(Jane Austen's Persuasion)

I'll tag the New Dad on the block, Selma, Dvar Dea, Modernity, Sojourning Mike (because there is no reason without opposition), Terry, and the wandering Internationalist

With Bob's caveat: No obligations, and apologies if you've done it already!

Update: The New Centrist, who usually dislikes tags, obliged! And what a wonderful (and honest!) list

5 Comments:

At 5:19 AM EDT, Blogger bob said...

Thanks Noga. What a great list. Sorry to hear about your distress, and glad to hear it might be lifting!

 
At 1:23 PM EDT, Anonymous TNC said...

"But I am always afraid that if I don't conjure up the worst possible scenarios, life would ambush me with one of its more unpleasant surprises and then I might not be ready with an action plan. So I purposefully imagine the worst and consequently and naturally I begin to sink into despair."

I was wondering what was up.

I do this all the time as well and it has only increased after my brother passed away in a motorcycle accident in 2006, on my birthday, which is coming up soon.

Stay strong and take care. I will be praying for you. Hope that does not sound too corny...

 
At 3:01 PM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

Thanks, TNC. I appreciate the thought. I can't imagine what it must be like to lose a brother and at a young age, too. We talk to each other on these blogs and we have no idea what tragedies take place behind the cordial discourse.

 
At 8:35 PM EDT, Blogger ModernityBlog said...

Noga, sorry, about that. My apologies I am not a meme person, I like to keep a bit inside, preserves my sanity. I hope you'll understand that.

Good luck :)

 
At 11:42 AM EDT, Anonymous Mike said...

Hey Noga,

Just noticed this now (via Bob from Brockley); thanks for thinking of me. I will do my best to come up with something on this (having just told Bob that I've never once done one of these meme things; now I'm on the hook for two of 'em.) More soon.

Solidarity,
Mike

 

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