Reality and Inspiration

22nd June 2011

I had an argument this morning with someone about reality.

How on earth can you argue about that?  You might wonder! 

 He said that reality is the same for everyone, that’s why it’s called reality….   It is real.  Take for example, a black wall.  It is a black wall.  According to my friend, that’s the reality.  How you see this wall – as a massive, dominating presence in the eyes of a child, something insurmountable and imposing, or through the eyes of an adult, merely an annoyance or something not so tall or imposing, perhaps easily scaled if you could be bothered …well that depends on your perspective.  How you see this wall –  as a threat, as a block, as something that stops you going somewhere or moving forward, or as a security, a guardian that keeps the world out and your loved ones safely enclosed, or even as a potential blank canvas to be inscribed with art or graffiti….well that’s just an individual thing.   It does not change the reality that the wall is a wall.   A very big black one.

Well I disagree.   That wall can be seen in as many different ways as there are eyes to see it.   So reality is not objective, not concrete.  (Or even bricks and mortar if we are talking about walls)   It is subjective, ever changing, diverse, infinite, shifting elusively between one mind and another, one viewpoint or another…..

My friend describes reality literally as a black wall.  That indeed is something you run smack into, it stops you dead in your tracks by the sheer undeniable, immovable actuality of it’s presence before you.  That is reality.

I see reality different.

OF course!

Reality is like the ocean.  It is constantly moving, shifting either subtly or with great force and motion, but it is still there, it is still the ocean.   It appears differently to every single person who views it and we all stand at a different place on the shore gazing out over it.  Some like to just look and not think, some like to ponder it.  Others like to dip their feet in or even immerse themselves fully and explore the depths.   Some question it, others take it for granted.  The ocean, like reality, is all things to all people.   And it holds for each of us, a different truth.

Perhaps the ocean was the scene of the biggest fright of your life, a near drowning, or the terror of a shark attack, or a haunted place that stole the life of someone dear to you.   That would be a totally different element to the ocean that holds the cherished summer memories of childhood, or an unforgettable holiday, or the playground of first loves, or the serenity of a days fishing or surfing…..perhaps you have never seen the ocean, only read about it or imagined it in your dreams, and yet it is the same ocean.   Reality is like that.  It is as infinite as the senses that behold it or the memories that encapsulate it.  

To some it is a beautiful view.  To others a livelihood.  To some it is a supply of food for the family or simply a place to bathe and cool down at the end of the day.   Our reality, our ocean is not a simple matter – it is not singular and unchanging, but one that is forever moving and rolling and reflecting the heavens above and the earth below, and yet even so, it is still the ocean.   And always will be.   And like the ocean, our reality holds the sum of all thoughts, feelings, emotions and experiences that emanate from its presence in our life. 

Reality to you might be that black wall – something immovable and inflexible that you slam into, something that stops you from your path, even hurts you if you try to move through it.   

I still prefer reality to be like the ocean.

So if reality is the ocean, constantly in motion, are we then the shore that stands defiantly immovable in the face of it? Is it reality that ebbs and flows around us, constantly there, constantly surrounding, touching and prompting us, attempting to make us one?  Or are we the ocean and reality is the shore, and we spend our existence touching, tasting or beating it relentlessly to mould it to be what we desire, hope or believe it to be?  Like an intimate dance between two halves of a greater whole?   Such is the elusive nature of reality that I suspect it is both, the ocean and the shore, 

Today, reality in the Old Post Office Tearooms is an ever changing flow of people with many hidden depths and agendas but a single appreciation of warmth, company and good food and drinks.

 

Here we sit,

Sandy and self,

souls apart…

not noticing we are joined around our table by

souls of the past,

who make us welcome.

 

(Yvonne Bishop, Sandra Nelson 15 june 2011)

 

 

I do believe someone just gave a nod to Mary and the souls of her era…  I wonder if she enjoyed sharing around the table of today…

 

 

 

Winter Solstice 2011

 

You can always have coffee and cake

but it’s special when you are with a

lovely group of women

eating something delicious

and not feeling guilty!

 

(the NOW Women of Bsn TAFE)

 

“Is everyone happy” says Brenda to a table of ladies enjoying a sociable get together over “high tea”.   And the responses were totally affirmative.  After several hours where the buzz and vibe of a table of happy people filled the room, there was a reluctant scrape of chairs and clatter of empty dishes and the group began to leave.    

“Thank you for looking after us” they all chorused to Brenda and Caitlyn and the good vibes filled the room long after they had left.

It was a great way to diffuse the energy of a previously difficult customer.   The reality of the hospitality industry is that you will get the whole range of humanity come to your door to be served.  Here at the tearooms, it is no different.  There will always be a critic, or someone who is looking for something you will never be able to deliver.   Or someone who is simply having a bad day (or week, or life) and wants to shoulder it off onto someone else.  

At times like this, the girls have their own way of dealing with it.  No fuss.  No words.  No arguments.   Out comes the “naughty cup” and the customer who is causing the mischief gets their tea or coffee served in the “naughty cup” much to the delight of the staff and those in the know.   The customer remains oblivious that the joke is on them, while the staff can go about their business feeling a little justified and with a smile to alleviate the ill feeling.   I think it’s a lovely way of handling things when the “going gets rough” at the little café…. And it has brought about many smiles along the way.  

Sometimes that person sitting alone in the corner gives off vibes so cold and dense that it would take more than a knife to cut the air around them.   It is a sad situation especially when people like this really do need a little kindness, but have apparently blocked themselves from receiving it.   If ever there was a place that could heal or uplift or open a heart, it is Brenda’s little place of loving food and beverages. No matter how strong and resilient you are, it is never possible to let people’s moods slide off all the time, there are occasions when the negative energy sticks.   Even in such a happy, warm place as this café.    But a special little cup has a way of balancing things out, bringing back a smile and evoking the sense of fun and humour that makes the world, indeed go round!

It seems the customers are onto it!   …if the little notepads are any testimony to the thoughts in the tearooms…

“People are just about as happy as they allow themselves to be”

(Abraham Lincoln)

 

“Life is not about waiting for the sunshine,

It’s about learning to dance in the rain…”

 

 

 

I have often wondered why we keep coming back to Busso.

It is probably because it reminds me of my early days in Midland where I was born.  The quiet, smallness and slow pace of life here is something that I was used to in those early days.

We cling to memories don’t we?

(Kevin James  2011)

 

One of the most amazing “realities” of being here at the café is that people are so willing or so compelled to share their thoughts, dreams or feelings on an anonymous notepad.  It becomes like a symbolic reaching out across time as words and meaning are shared without expectation beyond the present moment in the writer’s life.  I hope to immortalize these moments by publishing them here.

Interesting and inspiring women have left words for us this past week ……and yes, I was inspired….

In my mind and heart,

I am a poet,

A silent poet

In intensity of feeling,

Hearing the inner activity

Listening to the music of others,

Sweet, melodic,

Discordant,

Moved by the movement…

 

(Marion  22 June 2011)

 

 

 

 

 

Angels are close as you go through each day

They are watching as you pray

They understand what you’re going through

And they want to bring some joy to you.

So walk in the forest,

Run on the sand,

Take in the beauty

Of this wonderful land.

Nature is healing,

Be amongst it each day,

And soon you will feel

The pain go away.

 

(Rosalie)

 

I know there were a few tears inspired by this one for the staff at the café.    Thank you Rosalie…

and thank you to every one who takes the time to share with us…

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