Sun on skin, smell, particular light, that sort of stuff

marion-coutts

The template of self-image I adhere to is that of a happy person. Is this different from being happy? I have no idea. Before the crisis, the bad sank down somewhere I couldn’t reach or was too lazy to get to, and the good floated up as flotsam near the surface. I was usually near the surface too, sometimes impressively active and sometimes just bobbing and lolling, lolling and rolling, the one a front for the other. Bad and Good are weakened words now, blanched of force. Language is failing me too.

Optimism is an under-researched attribute. Where’s the science? Where’s the research? What do our brother creatures – the owls, crabs, bonobos – think about the bright side? What do optimists do under pressure? Do they continue to seek out slivers of silver the size of fingernails in the crushed, smashed and folded lining of the earth? Optimism doesn’t seem to be something you can just adopt. Equally, I can’t be rid of it, even in mid-fall. […]

I am a blessings counter. I am and always was. My family gifted me balance and ballast. By upbringing and temperament it was just one of those things that came with me. I link it to the most rudimentary physical sense of being-in-the-world: sun on skin, smell, particular light, that sort of stuff, and that in turn connects to the articulation of the stretch between being an individual – myself – and non-individuated matter. I have always been able to think of myself as matter: one and many, all-solipsist and nothing at all. Not anything.

~ Marion Coutts, The Iceberg: A Memoir


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Comments

  1. i am one who continues to seek out the slivers of silver –

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think we can foster this mind-set. I sure hope so.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ” balance and ballast”. It was my family’s most useful gift.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brilliant.
    I need to keep copies of this on me.
    For the ones that keep asking “how did you survive?
    How did you find it in yourself to go on?”

    Thank you for this beautiful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am a blessing counter. What an awesome way to consider oneself.

    Liked by 1 person

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