Do we measure ourselves – successes or failures – by what people think and do, or by what we think of ourselves, for ourselves, by ourselves?
Words of convention, old ones as well as social-media driven new ones, urge us to conform. Everything is geared to self-help, ‘press 2 if you want to leave a message’ or ‘return to the main menu’, makes conformity so easy, so why not conform?
Easy, easiest, least disruptive. Don’t be a troublemaker. Don’t act out. Don’t talk in class. Don’t chew gum. Don’t cross against the light. Don’t play with matches. Don’t stay out late. Don’t, don’t, don’t. Our lives begin in conformity and don’t stray – unless we do, and then we are out-of-line, skipping over the traces. Marching to our own drummer. Why marching? Exactly! We choose course, mode of travel and raison d’etre.
Then we wake up from our dream, realize it is Monday morning – and race of to the tune of Conformity 101.
Inside a heart – not anatomically, but spiritually – there is salad.
The salad has bright colours, fresh oil and herbs, tomato-flesh that explodes in your mouth – all resting on that green carpet where young love says let-us play, where old love says where did the time go?, while middle age asks, why am I on the sidelines?
I had an odd experience yesterday – at my dad’s condo. I’ve been marking prices on things in preparation for the garage sale. While I was there, a piece of paper was slipped under the door.
Or rather, under my door. It was for the census. To be counted, to be counted there – suddenly more meaningful than my plans to relocate, to move in and to renovate.
I suppose that is conformity, of a sort. I’ll have to dial them up to register. I’ll bet I get voice-jail with a recording and a 1-800# to call …
197,824 column written/ published from Calgary
morning walk: 2C / 35F already, another melt-day, possibly a shorts-bike-ride afternoon day; Gusta sniffing everywhere as if she’s discovered new territory, traffic light, kids at bus stops are laughing, birds are noisy – this must, finally, be spring
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