Saturday, February 28, 2009

The cavemanperson in me is alive and well

A good friend of mine is due to give birth within the next few weeks and I have become aware of a very strong need to be with her around about the time the baby comes. It's not the first time I have felt this way since moving away - it happened when my niece was born, in Cape Town, as well as when two of my other friends had their babies, also in South Africa, while I was over here in Ireland.
And this one is even further away, in New Zealand.

Don't get me wrong, I pretty much always miss my friends. I think we make the strongest friendships in our younger years and these are the people I'm talking about; the ones with whom we have grown from girls into women. We have seen each other through falling in love and heartbreak, through marriages, births, divorces and the deaths of loved ones.

It is in these milestone times that women draw strength and support from each other as much as sharing happiness. The term "I'm happy for you" isn't just a pleasantry, we feel genuine joy when a friend finds true happiness.

Childbirth, however, is a time when I feel a much stronger pull than simply missing my friend. It is an instinct, almost primal, to gather around her, make tea, boil water (for the tea, perhaps?)... whatever, just make sure mum and baby are nurtured.
(And husbands, too, I suppose, although they should be well able to feed themselves if they have reached a point where they feel they are able to become fathers!)
But, no offense, this is about a woman and her new offspring.

Perhaps it stems from centuries ago, when communities lived in closer quarters, when men went out hunting for ages at a time and women were left to take care of... pretty much everything else, really. In fact I have a very clear picture in my mind of me, with my closest friends, my mother and my sisters, all hovering around a woman with her newborn child, in our cave wearing clothes made from animal skins, cooking meals over an open fire. It seems to fit in with how I am feeling now.

Unfortunately, I will have to make do with emails and phone calls and digital photographs and SMS messages again. It's a poor substitute, but then again, it's better than nothing, and I know that my friend knows I am with her in spirit.

Say, I am kind of liking that picture of being a cave-dweller; civilization is sooo overrated sometimes!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

When is it time to shoot the horse?

I am not really asking advice on horse murder here, it was a metaphor. What I really want to know is how does one know when the time has come to delete one's blog.
Is it when one only gets round to posting something new once a month... at the most?
Is it when the comments on one's infrequent posts become even less frequent than the posts themselves?
Or is it when one no longer has the thought, "I'm gonna blog about this!" half a dozen times a day; in fact one battles to find anything at all that seems blog-worthy in one's life.
Ponderous questions, indeed.

But then what if one doesn't want to delete one's blog and lose all the hours of work that have gone into it in the sum of all those posts. One can't help but think of the time spent writing, rewriting and agonising over the wording, not to mention finding and editing pictures and photographs. A blog is a creative thing, something born of one's own inventiveness. Hitting the "Delete Blog" button is quite a big deal, when the blog in question has been a work-in-progress for around 5 years.

Perhaps I'll ponder the question a bit more. After all, no-one ever accused me of making decisions quickly.