1885 words written. Five hours of editing. Horse ridden. Farrier welcomed. Dog walked. Kindness on the internet. Breakfast cooked for mother. Spirited political discussion with stepfather. Admin tragically left undone.
A fairly ordinary, good-ish day, in other words.
I was thinking today about enthusiasm. I am an enthusiast, and because of this I attempt to convince myself it is an unmitigated good. Today I contemplated the possibility it may have a dark side.
This was because, I am ashamed to say, I heard the voice of a very enthusiastic man, so jigging with can-do that I wanted to first punch him in the nose and then lock myself in a darkened room and do nothing for the duration.
How could this be? I am supposed to be a fairly nice person. This poor gentleman had never done me any harm. He was just being enthusiastic, which is something I myself am. Where had this visceral and rather beastly reaction come from?
I remembered my two most hurtful blog critics, one lady and one gentleman. Both of them said, in varying shades of rage – enough with the bloody horse.
The gentleman said it made him sick.
I remember at the time being entirely baffled. She is just a horse, and I love her. What could be more benign than that?
Perhaps it was the unbridled enthusiasm that drew such fury. I wonder if, allowed to gallop about in all directions, it becomes a rudeness, a reproach. I wonder whether it is a narcissism. Look at ME with all my passions and delights, whilst you are stuck in the corner channelling your inner Eeyore. Is it almost a reproach? Does it lack empathy? If someone is in a shitty mood, the last thing they need is a bloody enthusiast, leaping about the seeing the best in everything.
I think of the people who convince me. They are not the evangelists. One fanatical gleam in someone’s eye, and I go cussed and run off in the other direction. A bit of diffidence and self-deprecation, and I am sold. Some uncertainty – I suspect, I guess – and I am caught. I think of the voices on the wireless which entrance me. They are not the fast-talking, loud voices of utter conviction; they are the quiet, slow voices which allow nuance and doubt.
I think: is there sometimes an element of bad manners in enthusiasm?
I don’t want to turn into a stale jade, but I wonder perhaps if the dial might be turned down, for the sake of tender sensibilities.
It’s a new theory and I’m still working on it. I love a new theory.
Hmm. Three pictures. Dog, horse and farrier. Three enthusiasms. But at least I did not put JAUNTY CAPTIONS.