Monday, 22 September 2014

A new theory.

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.


Today’s pictures:

22 Sept 1

22 Sept 2

22 Sept 3

Hmm. Three pictures. Dog, horse and farrier. Three enthusiasms. But at least I did not put JAUNTY CAPTIONS.


  1. Dearest Tania, I don't know about your over-enthusiastic gentleman, but I do know that I would rather have half-full, than half-empty any day. But what is lovely about your writing is that you share the downs as well as the ups, but you never wallow. I am definitely Tiggerish these days, on the basis that life is too short, and the world is too full of truly dreadful things to be gloomy for very long about anything that isn't truly dreadful (loved your post on the void by the way). Anyway, having said all that, one still needs to make space for sadness and loss. To express it and then let it go... That's what you seem to do in your blog to me, anyway. People who don't give any space for that are indeed annoying, or just boring.
    Saw a film about Gauchos last night and though they are wonderful riders watching how they break horses in rather broke my heart. I kept thinking of you and lovely Red and how much better your way was. Re her explosion yesterday, I think you did well to just ride her through it. Sensitive horses, and people, are prone to ups and downs but if you show them that you stay steady for them, they reward you in spades. Have rattled on too long, sorry, Rachel

  2. No, please don't temper your enthusiasms! Your posts are never cringingly enthusiastic or self-satisfied. You always speak from the heart. That's the difference between you and that annoying guy you wanted to punch. The really bad ones have no capacity for self-reflection and balance. That's not you.

  3. How very, very thought-provoking. I remember that rude gentleman (although I may not have known he was a he). At any rate, I still didn't understand why he would be so critical. This is a blog, for heaven's sake; he didn't pay for reading it, and if it stopped interesting him, he had an alternative: stop reading it. To come down on you, I felt, was not only the height of rudeness, but pretty damn presumptive. Or in other words, your best course was to ignore the boor. :-)

    But ... your reaction to enthusiasm I must think about. First, I agree with Rachel when she endorses half-full in these dreadful times. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm. Some days it is what balances the gloom, reminds one that when all those horrible headlines are being written, there are good people alive and kicking too.

    So ... maybe we're allowed to just be grumpy if we're not in the mood for it? As long as we don't foist our grumpiness off on others as your 'gentleman' -- good lord, you are generous in that term! -- did?

    Best to Red and Stanley,

  4. Loved this post, Tania, and love you just the way you are. Let others be the way they are, however churlish that may sometimes be...not your problem, no need to adjust accordingly.

  5. I don't "get" anyone who would come here to get pissed off or otherwise upset... and ill?!? What is THAT all about?!?

    Sounds really masochistic to me!

    As for the half/ half empty thing, I defer to that wonderful Far Side cartoonist now retired Gary Larson who did a cartoon of half full, half empty, what was the question and, in the fourth corner, a goofy looking guy saying, "I'll have a burger & fries with that!"
    (Needless to say, I'm with the guy....lovin' the absurdity of it all!)

  6. Good lord, woman. It's YOUR FECKIN' BLOG. That's all that really has to be said. Unless they've passed a law that I'm unaware of which forces people to read your blog against their will, these people need to button it and go get a life someplace. Their comments are akin to someone sitting down at their kitchen table with a huge bowl of their least favorite ice cream and whining as they shovel it down their throats. Absolutely ridiculous. As is the thought that you should in any way temper or change your blog to suit them. Please, really, chuck those Eeyore comments in the bin and go on being yourself!

  7. I love your thoughts and comments happy, sad, ecstatic or worried they are yours. You make me feel sane as I love the simple joy in life ....A dew drop shining on a leaf, or one of my cats coming to greet me with their tails raise happy to see me again. So please keep your thoughts coming. If some of your readers cannot understand where you are coming from that is their problem and can simply delete their link to your blog. .......end of Problem!


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