A Russian Caravan kind of a Day.

Warning: random.

And so I’ve returned from a break in the elsewhere. Which was also a kind of fact-findng mission, if you will.

I was here, in fact.

When the heat broke yesterday, it brought with it thunder. The dusk was heady with the scent of jasmine flowers, finally blooming after my hopeful plantings two years ago.

And today it’s been raining without pause. Summer rain feels like a treat. It tucks you deep into the day, (of which there’s simply none better for writing).

But it’s back to Real Life, and my head is filled with so many rampaging, busy thoughts as I try to figure out the where of them, and how they will fit.

There are also logistics that are leaving me quite dazed and bewildered. As well as scary grown-up paperwork and admin looming before me on my desk. But inside the cave of this day, I just want to sit with imagined worlds. Just for a while. And so I do.

Because it’s a Russian Caravan tea, kind of a day. I do believe you’ll know what I mean by that. I’m lured down trails that lead into the wilderness. Into folklore, and old tales of the future-past.

It’s funny how one can be perceived by others.  Frequently, (with alarming regularity, in fact) I’ve been sought out to perform serious admin and organisational tasks in life. As though I can sort out the merde , make sense of it, and make it all tidy.

For those who have any inkling of me, just pause for one moment and allow the mind to boggle, (I could include a picture of my desk at this point, but why mess up the page thusly?)

Although I can keep a house pretty tidy, it’s really not the case at all in other respects. I don’t possess an admin brain. I do recoil from admin as though it were a foul and odorous beastie.

I suspect the vast majority of us are perceived in ways that don’t reflect the truth. Our truth.

I’m wary of identifying with labels, (as well as their accompanying baggage), but I tend to often dismiss and underestimate the impact of my ADD. It’s something I’ve largely ignored my entire life, (and have never taken any form of medication for it), but as I witness it in someone close to me, I realise how much it really does have a bearing upon my functioning at a very fundamental level. My ability to focus on “dull” tasks, and the impact upon my memory function – my capacity to hold information that my brain just doesn’t gel with on a visceral level.

Um…maths, for instance.

Every day at school I used to be patiently reminded of the same formulas and processes we had been doing the day before. Day, after day, after day…

And every day I’d forget it all. Everything. Blank slate. It just didn’t stick, no matter what I did. And it used to cause me great anxiety, along with the others believing that I was just a bit stupid. But I just couldn’t engage with any of it. I was already off in the Elsewhere. Looking as though I was listening, but I didn’t hear, because I was following an entirely unrelated narrative thread in my mind. I’d wandered off and couldn’t hear the calling back.

And so it is with admin.

Daydreaming is often my default mechanism, and yes, ADD, but how much is just our innate nature? These traits seem to have become modern pathologies only in recent times. Because the world now seems to dictate much more rigid terms for what is real and reasonable and necessary. Corporate imperatives.

A world of linearity, achievement and infinite growth.

Once upon a time…me and those like me were another version of things. Perhaps we were not the hunters and fighters of the world. But I do believe we may have been the sensers and readers of hidden things. The ones who might see through and behind things with our flashes of intuition. Like those who can sense a storm coming by the onset of a headache.

I’m well and truly over years of willing myself out of being this way, in order to fit some bland template fit for a capitalist body. A body that’s expensive to maintain, and which struggles to remember its primal animal and circadian rhythms.

That’s what I seek out: my soft animal being, and the gentled breath of circular time. I no longer berate myself, or push myself hard to be other than who I am. Doesn’t make it necessarily easier. But at least I’m not my own enemy any more. I now try to just let it be, even when I encounter incomprehension or rigid expectations. And I refuse to take it personally, or let it get me into such an anxious state.

Because even the most frustrating of our characteristics can be where we find our gifts. The things we take so much for granted that we unthinkingly discard as worthless clods, might yet be shaped into beautiful, fleshly thing.

And when people ask me, as they often do, “where did you get that idea from?”, it’s usually arisen from that tendency towards daydreaming. Mostly.*

I do think about all this as I see the world changing so rapidly.

There are many of us who are of a…sensitive nature. Creative, deep feelers and thinkers. More of us than ever we were conscious of, perhaps. Thanks to that very large web of ideas, where we keep bumping into one another. Much like we once gathered to fill our cups and buckets at the village well.

We exclaim at the delight, and relief, of encountering one another there. And as the world gathers its fierce momentum and shifts towards increased automation, and faster…everything, I do believe that this creativity and depth of feeling will be become more valued, more sought after, rather than less so.

Yesterday in my garden, when it was hot and not raining.

There’s usually a tipping point, and perhaps it’s finally here, as it is in so many other ways. Yes, I’m an idealist, but this isn’t even about that. It’s much more about necessity. Survival.

Many of us reject the undervaluing of what makes us human: art, and healing, loving and helping one another – these are what we crave as human beings, even those of us who are not conscious or mindful of that desire.

Legions of us are long-awakened to the fact that corporations serve corporations, not human beings. And corporations seem to grow ugliness and fear in human beings. Because if corporations are in fact psychopaths, what do they nurture? Sadly, they often wear people down, erode what is rich and tender, and teach humans the games of the psychopath, in order to survive those environments.

Those who do enjoy, or benefit from those games end up being eaten alive by the mechanisms of a such an existence. Often, without even realising what beauty and soulfulness they’ve lost along the way.

And machines, in an automated world, don’t possess that human spark of creativity and deep social skills that we crave. The physical touch of another, just as a baby needs skin on skin in order to thrive. A glance of empathy, a story that lights the way through a dark place to a warm hearth, and a wild-edged home. Stories with their roots in ancestral memory, and in blood and dirt, and long wanderings. Or music that’s conjured from the molten core of human emotion.

The things that crack our hearts open and allow our soft yearnings to enter the world. They are the things, I believe, that make the world; every bit as much as we ourselves are made by the world. For better, and for worse.

One day they’ll be able to mimic so much of human life and interaction in these manufactured beings. But they still won’t be us. The cognitive dissonance would be stark. We would know, yet not know.

Perhaps more efficient versions of us could be made, without all of our messy, random, “superfluous” impulses, behaviours, and tics that are impossible to erase in a human. It would be dangerous to include that mess and unpredictability in a robot – however chilling, and mildly repulsive the result might be. The unpredictable element, which life bestows.

And this morning I walked out in the rain, and passed by shops and people going about their day. The bowls of water left outside shops yesterday for dogs, because of the heat. The smile of apology and murmured concern when a man nearly walked into me, as he came around a blind corner.

Warmth, kindness, thoughtfulness, empathy. Small things. Huge things.

And here I was thinking I’d pop in with a cuppa, and chat about some music I’m listening to, (as well as some other things). But instead it becomes a random tale about ADD, robots, and daydreaming. As you do. None of it is thought out, or through. These are merely the surface of thoughts, slung together over tea leaves on a rainy afternoon.

But I will briefly mention some music, and say that I’ve really liked Kiwi musician Marlon Williams’ music these past few years, (he of the liquid gold vocal chords). I’m currently enjoying this song, and dancing to this one, (the video makes me chuckle).

And now I must go and feed the dog-person, as well as the cat-people. I am receiving Looks. Cheerio, then. xxx



*As we all know, ideas are preserved in the dew drops you see strung on cobwebs. Because that’s what spiders really do, between gobbling insects. They collect all the ideas, that fall as dew, and they store them on the orbs of their homes on frosted mornings; until we’re ready to (politely) collect them up and use them. Always ask the spider-archivist first though, and never, ever break a spider’s web. So many ideas will be lost, along with someone’s home that they made entirely by hand. And don’t be too greedy – try to choose the ideas that are suited to you, replace ones that aren’t, and leave them for others. Or pass them along. Many ideas can grow and become more beautiful when they’re shared.




8 thoughts on “A Russian Caravan kind of a Day.

  1. Russian caravan, yes! random works for me. my whole life is pretty much a stream-of-consciousness affair…

    oh goddess, how I do agree with all you say above; the robot world is NOT my cup of tea, and I strongly suspect it’s detrimental to everyone and everything. if in the future that is the way it’s going to be, you may find me in a cave in the mountains somewhere.

    your description of doing (attempting to do) maths made me giggle…because, well, that was my experience to a tee. they could never believe that I *was* actually trying to do it, because the results were so spectacularly bad. and they couldn’t believe that a child/young adult/uni student whose performance in every other class was quite decent could fail so utterly to grasp the simplest mathematical concepts. I stopped being able to help my daughter in maths at about her 3rd grade in Montessori…once you leave simple addition, I’m fried. memorizing the multiplication tables to the 12s and struggling through long division represents the apex of my academic maths ability to this day. and you know, I just don’t care.

    the photos from your excursion are gorgeous! and your garden…jasmine *and* roses…(insert envious pouting face here.) I hope that the scary paperwork and admin stuff looming on your desk gets sorted with the minimum of horror.

    the spiderweb idea-storage metaphor is so lovely. I almost forgot, reading it, how little comfort I have with the savage spinners who create the pretty webs. it was all dewdrops and fairyland and golden ideas awaiting the taker until I remembered OH FUCK SPIDERS, and returned to reality. or as close as ever I get to it…

    off to check out those music links—thank you!


    1. Oh, indeed: “and they couldn’t believe that a child/young adult/uni student whose performance in every other class was quite decent could fail so utterly to grasp the simplest mathematical concepts”.
      When Moon asks me for help with her maths now, it’s a matter of us both learning how to do it. And in fact, she winds up getting the concepts because she’s had to try and explain to me how it might be done. Heheh.

      Forms and paperwork I think trick a similar switch to maths in my brain. I’ve been wading through them all afternoon, and haven’t made a great deal of progress. Um, overthinking possibly.

      Had to giggle at your spider horror ; )

      I’ll be joining you in your mountain cave for a large pot of tea dearest. Stoke up the fire!


  2. I just love your writing, Antoinette! I rarely post responses because I’m overwhelmed by the beauty and thoughts they bring up for me. Wishing you well on the admin task set before you. And on the post-fact-finding-trip musings… I quite like Russian Caravan tea, too 🙂


  3. i’m all agog with the glory of this beautiful post. *ah,me!*

    i feel myself to be very, very weary of the internet world (again) — realizing that i have mental/emotional energy sufficient for either/or…which is to say, i could write stories, or i could write to the internets but apparently not both and i know where my heart is leading me….

    ….how much easier it would be if i could just pop around to yours and share a cup of that tea and we could chat about dew-drops and daydreams then go happily back to our respective gardens, knowing we had all we needed, right there under our dirt-encrusted fingertips. xoxoxo


    1. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished we could sit down and share a cuppa, Mel! Maybe one day…I mean who knows? For these are strange and wondrous times.

      As the for the internet world, what you’re saying also preoccupies me. I sometime have a real sense of brain fatigue with it all. And my energy is quite low these days for lots of things. There’s a lot to wade through to get to the treasures, the people, that I keep returning to The beautiful connections. But the writing bunker also calls.
      Gah! Another reason I wish we could share a cuppa and a chat! So much in this subject alone, dearest kindred spirit. xxx


  4. there is so much I love about this, starting with … oh, everything! your words, your garden. and your thoughts on way-of-being and how anything different from the capitalist norm is pathologised. I’d never quite made that connection before, despite being very much aware of the whole psychiatric diagnosis industry. I’d never understood where this idea of a “norm” came from. but of course it’s from capitalism – from the bizarre notion that we’re all here to work and make financial profit. it starts with asking little children what they want to be when they grow up and expecting answers like doctor, fireman, property tycoon, rather than dreamer, adventurer, someone who loves cats, dancer to wild music, reader of science fiction. >:-(

    I have actually bookmarked this post because not only do the thoughts in it touch me, but some of the phrases resonate with the gatherings I have been doing lately – they shall go into my bag of seeds and stars, and maybe one day come out as story.


    1. Thankyou for your lovely, lovely words Sarah. And a resounding ‘yes!’ to what you say about norms and the “diagnosis industry”. It feels as though from childhood we have been prepared to squeeze into boxes in the service of capitalism. I could say so much about the pharmaceutical industry in this regard, being propped up by capitalism, and also adding its influence to controlling and sanitising the subjects of capitalism.

      Anyway, blessings to you dear lady. xxx


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