Wednesday, 8 September 2010

There is no such thing as a bad experience

Today, get up, go out, then walk round the Peak with a banshee.

The banshee is on true mythological, tear out your ears, tip top screeching condition. She is all howling death comes upon you, green trawlernet hair, and off-the-scales wailing.

The protean howls outpouring from her throat resound down the mountain slopes of Hong Kong. I can see the jungle trees below us furl back their leaves in feeble protest at these cyclones of shrieks. The dread of their sounds reach those people down there in the skyscrapers below us. Did you see them eschew the air con environment, pull up their office windows and stare up in horror to the Peak? That was the howl from my daughter.

I am so proud. She may have brought the entire global commercial and financial system to a sudden halt with a single screech. Daughter, me and my anarchist chums have been trying to do that for years. I should loan you out as a secret weapon to Bob Geldorf. And hey! I won't even charge him interest! How committed am I?

Don't ask why my pieces of girl suddenly needed to explore lung capacity on the road that Wikipedia describes as notable for its tranquility. The contributor who wrote that clearly didn't walk it today. If they had done, that entry might read, occasionally inhabited by large hairy mammal type creatures wearing sunhats. Avoid. If unavoidable, wear ear plugs.

We already missed the home ed group we arrived to meet. Maybe it was that. Maybe it was the spiritual perfection in our hearts, brought to fullness by the panoramic views around the Peak, which we merely represented to the outside world in our own special waily way. Maybe it was because Squirrel saw the butterfly first. Who knows?

I am a mother, and need to stay a little bit heartless. Too emotionally affected, and I might have despaired, and thrown myself off the Peak. Then this fantastic remnant of volcano would have been in the news today for that. It should be in the news for the astonishing views it affords over Hong Kong. It should be in the news for that, for the wonder of the world that falls away below. And for the way the Hong Kongers had the foresight to stick a shopping mall on top, just to take advantage of those human feelings made up by great panoramas of the world, when power might need to declare profound and undying love to wealth, whip out a wallet and buy a diamond ring.

But I am a home educator alongside a heartless mother, a scornful hippie, and an envious woman who hasn't got a diamond ring or a colonial house on the Peak. And as a home educator, I need to find courage: a moment of wisdom I can hold to guard against future adversity. I need to hear something positive and warm and encouraging.

It is this. We learned that sometimes, we wrap ourselves up in small worries, and we let them overtake us. Sometimes, we miss an opportunity to stand and stare and wonder at the breadth and the distance of the world. Sometimes, when we realise how we have missed that opportunity, then we have learned the transitory nature of our time, and that is good, because we then know to live consciously. Sometimes, we can live wisely: experience, relax, breathe, and know who we are. Sometimes, we learn strength through weakness. And next time, read the sodding location instructions for the home ed meet up.


sharon said...

Did you have a little scream too Grit? I think I would have, if only in sheer frustration at having made all that effort to no avail.

I did once scream back at my then 3 year old when he was have meltdown number far-too-bloody-many of the day. He was so stunned that he shut up!

Kestrel said...

I have been assured that it all becomes easier, having moved away from all that is dear and familiar, your support networks, your learned climatic responses. Apparently it takes a year, or more. We are just beginning our second year, our second summer. The people doing the assuring are wrong.

I sincerely hope that in your case, they are right and because HK is supposedly magic, that it takes less time.