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Yes-isht - Saying yes quickly to hard things, even as I wince.

Updated: May 7, 2020


Some folks want to change the world. I don't geddit. At all. My main life ambition is to have a library, leading onto a night garden. The smells of the books, night-blooming jasmine and the teak bookshelves. Gorgeous and precious. The sound of the wind and music, uninterrupted buy sounds of traffic, other things to do or most people, frankly.


A library, a garden, time, interest and people who will share a space while I read


...da'is it. Earning a (purely subjective, highly personal) state of peace knowing that I'm where I need to be right then and don't have unfinished business pending or undone matters waiting at the library door, might be where the work is.

I try to tell myself this. Truth is that change is hard and both physicists and esoterics tell us that forces only ever work in equilibrium...as without so within. The problem with changing the world is the amount of transformation you have to personally undergo to become the person to get the job done. Frankly, I'd rather be reading.


Rumi has a poem that begins "say yes quickly..."


Yes-ish. Rumi is long dead, was a dude and didn't have twenty-first-century humans with which to deal. And fools rush in...I'd prefer to think of myself as ambling into...though some of the places I've found m'self beggar good sense. I say yes to things that I know I'll regret saying no to, even if I'm pre-cussing the process. You'd think a nearly two-decade career was a plan - Nyet. The plan I had was for a summer job. Longest-summer-ever. Cutting off my hair and then lathering up and shaving myself bald? Seemed like a thing to do at the time. Not necessarily a good idea. That's the thing.


Sometimes I find myself saying yes to something that on the face of it, looks like a really bad idea.


The singular regret that I had about shaving my head, is that I didn't do it when our youngest sib was having chemo and lost her mane. She would have been aghast and then greatly amused. Regret is the worst.

Common Entrance might be the nail that killed my ambition. I worked hell hard at the exam. It took years to recover. The reward for all the work, all the drills all the lessons at Teacher Jai's - Jail. First day of school, me in my fresh grey uniform, allllll books papered and labelled in the bag only slightly smaller than not quite ninety-pound, not yet five-foot-tall me and the grey courtyard walls met me and... All that work to go to jail?

Then as now I cry from relief and the extended weeping on results day with "You passed for Composite?" and my sobbed "No, Convent." was prescient. The casual, matter of fact remark from my mother who taught at the Composite that she and I could not operate in the same school, coupled with the knowledge that she and the other Salvador Girls had all gone to Convent was enough to bend me to the task of getting my first choice.


When the prize ain't a prize, what next?


Regret at getting the very thing you wanted and finding that it's not what you need is the worst worst. Tastes like ashes. Same colour as a Convent skirt, just saying.

What if I sit in my library of an evening and it is patently not what I need? Hmmm...I can't imagine that'll be the case. But...life is weird and short but sometimes longer than you think.

Maybe that's just my idea of life on my own terms and the library isn't even a physical place. Maybe changing m'self is changing the world. Maybe I'll need to find another ambition...or find some ambition. Maybe I just need to keep reading, ambling, listening and saying yes, yes?


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