Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Informal, Please

Keswick.

Journal Entry, Sunday, July 19, 2009
Here is what I am realizing about my own behavior. Because of the history between our families, I took for granted the in-place, warm, 'already there' status of my "relationship" with Ian, Traudel, and Kurt, Alison and Dave, even though I'd only met Ian and Traudel in person once, and Kurt, Alison and Dave - never. Maybe that makes me assume a level of intimacy or ease or just 'familiarity' that isn't necessarily appropriate OR reciprocated. Still, I loved them already because they loved/cared for my brothers, and then my mother on her trip last year, and because of their relationship to Klaus, who has been a cherished presence in my life and a part of every overseas trip I've been on. Kate, Luke, Klaus, & My Lovely Mother. At the same time, the relaxation I'm exuding may help to set a tone, to put others at ease, to establish ---- connection? I do surely hope. Greenhouse (glass house at Chatsworth). I suck at formality. SUCK AT IT. To the point that when I do encounter it, I freeze completely, turn 100% inward, and become totally quiet. [I don't see the point of it, true story.] The kind of people who rock my world [i.e. Luke, above] are not, EVER, formal, so I don't even want to attract them to me. I mean, I can behave with grace, manners - I can put forth the minimum required to endure a formal occasion, but inside I'm screaming for escape (& usually do, as early as I possibly can manage to!). Maybe that's why I assert myself by asking NOT to be treated as a guest -- please LET me do the dishes, play with the little lad, make the pot of coffee, go along to shop for dinner groceries, set the table. It made Ian and Traudel uncomfortable but only at first! The people that I feel close to or want to establish closeness with? I want to cut straight to the truth of who I am, so they can more easily shift back into who they really are. I think when Dave initially met us, he felt that from Mom and me both, and it's the reason why he came back with Tracy, and then again to share his WW II items. Mom and I weren't stuffy or stand-offish; we didn't give a rat's heinie about his pierced ear or burly biker facade (**& we LIKED his Thursday socks!**) -- we leaned in, we teased him, we engaged! I'm proud of us for that -- my whole family is this way, no b.s., let's get real and stay that way. And about formality, it extends to physical environments, not just people. I much preferred the gardens at Chatsworth [above] to the interior, which made me feel hot and claustrophobic (same way I reacted to Versailles' interior). Same difficulty I have viewing art in museums, as opposed to in someone's home or on the crumbling walls of buildings. (Then again, I consider crumbling walls of buildings to BE art!) Formality alters my receptors because it raises an odd block of defenses. I love the open, wild field of grasses up the way from Ian and Traudel's [above] even more than the part of the Chatsworth gardens I saw, and that's consistent. And the cottage-y, rambling, friendly garden at Hilltop Farms [above] - GORGEOUS. Even the deeply layered profusion [above] at The Mount. I love the wildness I sensed, the flowers' freedom, the unkept sense of artistry. Irresistible Luke.

3 comments:

Holly said...

This mix of emotions and the free spirit that we have come to know as you...well, why would we ever want to change something so grand? You are like a breath of fresh air blowing through a room that no one has visited, loved, or lived in for a very long time. You bring in energy and chaos...but we can't have the benefits of one without the static of the other. You are YOU. And, WE are better for YOU being with US.

Mel said...

*sigh*...my Nanna was born in Keswick..I wonder if you might have passed by the house where she was born....

I can totally relate to your discomfort with formality..I always used to think that it was because I wasn't 'good enough' or I wouldn't 'measure up' to those stuffy occasions...but now I know its because I don't like the boundaries or the sense of inauthenticity that they suggest...

Oh, and I think crumbly-wall art is ART too...and wild, rambling gardens...and windswept moors....

What beautiful pictures..thank you...

Julie said...

Get real, stay real. Perfect!