Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A rumination on filters and glasses

I've been thinking about how we filter our perceptions, and also wondering why. For many years I used to complain to my best friend about this or that, and she would say: "I wish I could get you some new glasses," meaning, I was focusing on the dark stuff. And then she would wisely change the subject to something mundane. Somehow or other, and I have no idea now whether I had anything to do with it or whether it matters, I seem to have acquired those glasses she wished for me.

It's certainly not the Hebrew language, which used to torment me and still causes frustration. It's not the famous aggressive bluntness of many of my fellow Israelis. It's not the bureaucracy, which slows even simple administrative tasks like renewing a driver's license down to weeks instead of minutes. It's not the treacherous co-workers who lie to your face. It's not the merchants who either cheerfully overcharge or ignore you. It's not the politicians whose rhetoric is shamefully and obviously self-serving. It's not that I didn't become rich or famous or powerful, all things I wanted at one time or other. It's not the threat of nuclear war with Moslem Fundamentalists, or the growing certainty that global warming will end everything.

Could it be the sunshine? Could it be the physical training I've been doing for the last four years? Could it be the many years of therapy in my former life? Could it be my Mediterranean diet? Could it be having such an understanding friend, even if she lives at the other end of the telephone? Could it be Prozac? Maybe it's having a devoted and comfortable old dog to walk twice a day, rain or shine. Maybe it's living in the most people-friendly neighborhood in the world. Maybe it's having sold my car and not worrying any more about maintaining it or parking it on these ever more-congested streets. Maybe it's having given myself permission to avoid involvement with people who bother me too much, which , when I think about it, is everyone, at least some of the time! Maybe it's being retired. Maybe it's just being 71 and having lost many important relatives, that somewhere deep down a decision has been made to enjoy whatever there is to enjoy, never mind if it could be better or more.

Whatever it is, I seem to be leaving out whatever I can't cope with. Maybe my rose-colored glasses are temporary, but so is life.

6 comments:

Fred said...

Whether you're 71 or 21, I think your outlook is perfect. Who knows how long we'll be here, and I'd hate to miss out on all the fun in life,, however short, or long, it may be.

Savtadotty said...

Thank you Fred. I basked for a moment in the thrill of that "perfect" from a teacher (!), but I forgot to mention my children! I guess I filtered them out of the foreground because they are so far away geographically, but knowing they are good people contributes enormously to my deep satisfaction these days.

Shari said...

Wow, that was so beautiful, Savtadotty. Just great.
Even if we haven't conquered the world, we can enjoy the beautiful things around us, can't we? And they do tend to be free. Its bloody marvelous.

Udge said...

A wonderful post, Savtadotty. You have arrived at a marvellous place, however you happened to get there.

Savtadotty said...

Shari, Thank you. If I knew the formula, I would give it away.

Udge, Yes, it is marvelous, and I am so grateful. Maybe it's just hanging in there for the long haul?

Claude said...

Thoroughly enjoyed this post. Haven't visited in a long time, as I have been busy doing one thing and another, but I see that everything is back in order.
Funnily enough, I have been wearing the same rosy pink glasses for quite a while now ;)