Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Cherry Picking

I knew I had to write this post today as soon as I saw these cherries high up in a very inaccessible and potentially dangerous place. The title "Cherry Picking" came to mind like a bolt of lightning. Not the unflattering idiomatic sense of the word, but the literal meaning. I also envisaged the exact image I wanted. My cherries on the balcony with the stupendous view in the background. Metaphorically speaking, this view is my constant source of inspiration, my catalyst, my continuing support. One needs a clear view or outlook on life. Where is one heading? What is one's "raison d'etre"? Does one make a difference?

The Other SideThis morning I don't know why, but I felt momentarily deflated. I felt like a small fish in a huge pond of ever increasing magnitutude. I asked myself a very honest question. "Janet, do you feel down, because although you were nominated in the Top 100 blogs, you didn't achieve the final 100?" I thought for a few moments, and this is my answer to self. "It would have been a huge thrill, of course, and it would have made my day and my week, but there were far worthy winners." I have mentioned this phrase here. Then it hit me. The word "worthy" by my very own definition. Had I somehow subconsciously implied that I or the other 395 blogs who were nominated were not "worthy" for not being in the final 100? How might they all be feeling? It made me ponder. I fell into reflection. I walked outside into the bright sunshine and spied upon the ruby red cherries, glistening enticingly.

Inaccessible Delights
Seeing the cherries high up in the tree and inaccessible to me, I knew I had to somehow pick them. I had to do it alone. It was a test of my character. Caution well and truly thrown to the non-existent wind, I gingerly clambered up the steep perpendicular embankment at the back of the house, and grabbed one of the branches, and then twisted it so it came back towards me. I had a stark choice. Did I carry on with my quest or give up? Well, the rest is in fact, minor history. Proud of my endeavours, I decided to wrap the cherries in a nice red ribbon and hence the top photo. The photos are on my blog now to remind me that life is complicated at times and seemingly impossible, but that you can achieve the impossible, if you really literally reach out and grab it. I managed to pick these cherries with great difficulty, but I did it! Failure was simply NOT an option. Success smelled sweet as I held the prizes in my hand.

Permission GrantedLife can deflate you at times. You have to pick yourself up and spur yourself onwards and upwards. Remember that feeling sorry for yourself is a pointless waste of your valuable time. Think of a beautiful scene and give yourself permission to relax for a moment amongst the hurly burly that surrounds you. These images will be a lasting reminder for me personally that life is what you make it. I had to take a risk in picking these 5 cherries way high on high, just for this blog post to be written as I am typing. The self-imposed cutting edge. I can choose to continue with my sombre mood or choose to ignore it, and completely engulf myself with what I love doing best. No choice really, is there?

Swimming or Drowning?
Then I read Natasa's excellent and thought-provoking post "Swimming or Drowning?" and it all made sense. Sometimes life can get too hectic with an online world which dominates so much that there is no time to really see what is in front of you in the offline world. I am truly blessed with an idyllic lifestyle and environment. I do not know what is going to happen from day to day. I should appreciate this more, instead of analysing things far too much.

Writing is.......
How do you cope with a momentary loss of confidence? Please do feel free to share your experiences.

For me, writing is therapeutic. Writing is uplifting. Writing is..............? If you wish, please complete the gap with your own thoughts. As always, I would love to hear them.


Leahn said...

What a lovely, inspiring post! Well done with the cherrries by the way and with your nominations with lexophiles! There is always next year.

I know how you feel, life sometimes feel like an uphill struggle. I've noticed that much more as I head towards 40. Can that be true?

I fully understand your dissapointment it's perfectly natural but remember:

Where there's a will, there's a way.

The only way is up!

and you got those bloody cherries didn't you!!!!

Thanks for making me smile.

Janet Bianchini said...

Hi Leahn

Wow that was a quick reply! Thank you for reading my post and for your encouraging words.

Luckily, as I said, it was only a momentary lapse and I was able to brush it off very quickly as soon as I'd published this post. Writing is indeed very therapeutic.

As for heading towards 40, well, speaking from personal experience, the very best is yet to come!! Life in the 50s has never been better :)

Anonymous said...

Lovely cherries! Yes, the writing life is healing, but also has the power to make you feel isolated and depressed!

You didn't make the top 100? I wasn't even nominated!!! But that doesn't matter, I think. If a few people rcomment on a post and there is a discussion of any kind, then you have achieved something, I believe.

Or even a post with no comments. A ripple in the pond. A pulse in the eternal mind (to misuse Rupert Brook!) who knows what happens to our words, the things we do!!


Janet Bianchini said...

Hi Jeremy

Thank you for taking the time to comment. It's always lovely to have feedback.

You are correct that achieving a discussion of sorts on a blog means a lot. I have many posts with no feedback, but maybe one day, someone will discover them and leave a comment (or not). Indeed, the act of reading the post is enough, "a pulse in the eternal mind", as you mention.

Writing is essentially and primarily a very personal journey. For me, it's a means of releasing the inner untapped creativity that has lain hidden and abandoned for well over three decades. I'm now having the time of my life!

Agata Zgarda said...

There were lots of cherries in my life.I managed to grab quite a few and I'm glad I saw them. Life is a great cherry tree and we need to put some effort to enjoy it fully :-)
Mouthwatering post :-)

Janet Bianchini said...

Hi Agata

Lovely to see you here! I love your point of view regarding cherries and the meaning of life- so true! Thanks for your kind comments.

Natasa said...

Janet, thank you for this wonderful and honest post. As I have already said, just visiting your blog makes me feel more optimistic. This post made me think of a poem my son loved when he was 5. It is called "How to pick cherries." A little boy's grandfather is trying to teach him how to pick cherries and not fall. I will try to translate just a couple of verses, but I will not bother with rhyme and metre:
Grandpa said to his grandson Brana: "The sweetest cherry awaits at the top. Whoever is too impatient loses it, because he falls off the tree a long time before reaching it."
And, you know what - I disagree. Because you can always use a ladder and, with a ladder, sky is the limit;)
As far as what blogging means to me, here it is: I have been writing for my whole life, but until I started my blog, I had no readers (except my family, of course). Now I have a few readers and if only one person reads my post and finds it useful or interesting, my time has not been wasted.
Thanks for linking to me.

Janet Bianchini said...

Dear Natasa

Thank you for translating the poem and for telling me your opinion of it.

You can be assured you will always have an avid reader of your blog posts, which I always enjoy so much. Keep on writing in your inimitable style!