Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Catastrophising: we does it

Every once in a while something happens, like a trip or a nudge or a poke in the ribs from the universe, some sign with no benign intent, to remind you of some awful mistake you once made, some failure you could not redeem, some path you could have taken, some person you might have been happy with, some behavioural atrocity you now cannot believe you committed, some entirely different life you might have had, if only this or that had been a little different.

It can be the introductory bars of a song on your iPod, or a birthday card you come across while you're spring-cleaning. It can be a book title or a voice on the radio or the sight of once-beloved handwriting.

You know them. You've had them. They haunt you for days. How happy you are in your current life has utterly nothing to do with it; it is about the past and the irredeemability of the past.

Getting one of these little nudges from the universe is like doing the kind of injury you can do to a muscle or a joint that you hardly notice at the time and then find yourself barely able to walk for a week. A pinched nerve, a strained ligament, a bruise, a sprain: minor but disabling, unable to be ignored.

I've had four in the last 48 hours. A song I stumbled across online; a dedication in a book I almost didn't buy; a couple of pieces of news.

The Bloke would point out, and indeed did point out, that I am warm, and fed, and dry. Which just made me feel morally inferior as well as beaten up.


Mindy said...

There is a song on the radio, on high revolution at the moment, which is doing exactly what you have described. It's a shame because I really used to like that song.

Sometimes the universe feels like it is ganging up on you.

Bernice said...

Heard during an author interview on RN a few weeks ago:

"Poignancy is the denial of expectations"