Friday Poetry: The Call

file0001783491009My husband shared this poem with me which he had read on The Art of Manliness.  I must admit to being a closet fan of that blog and wishing there was something similar for women.

I think everyone has a different call and we all “face the crashin’ lightnin'” in different ways. Having a baby was certainly one way I had to face up to nature. As I was giving birth, I felt I was facing up to life.

The poem describes some occupations as “dyin’ in yer pod.” As a teacher I’ve been so lucky to never has this feeling of boredom. Well, that’s not entirely true. Exam supervision is pretty soul destroying. Every teacher would agree that teaching is an exciting and varied job, with no one day like the next. Every day can be inspirational, challenging, exhausting and hilarious.

Thanks to one of my bossy friends, I’ve actually done white water rafting (I thanked her later for being so pushy). It was very out of character for me, but I absolutely loved it. However facing thirty two kids, in a packed Year 10 classroom, can be every bit as exhilarating as going down the “rippin’ plungin’ rapids”.

The Call
By: Earl H. Emmons

Did you ever have a longin’ to get out and buck the trail,
And to face the crashin’ lightnin’ and the thunder and the gale?
Not for no partic’lar reason but to give the world the laugh,
And to show the roarin’ elyments you still can stand the gaff.

Don’t you ever feel a yearnin’ just to try your luck again
Down the rippin’ plungin’ rapids with a bunch of reg’lar men?
Don’t you ever sorta hanker for a rough and risky trip,
Just to prove you’re still a livin’ and you haven’t lost your grip?

Can’t you hear the woods a-callin’ for to have another try
Sleepin’ out beneath the spruces with a roof of moonlit sky,
With the wind a sorta singin’ through the branches overhead
And your fire a gaily crackin’ and your pipe a-glowin’ red?

Don’t you often get to feelin’ sorta cramped and useless there,
Makin’ figgers and a-shinin’ your pants upon a chair?
Don’t you yearn to get acquainted once again with Life and God?
If you don’t, then Heaven help you, for you’re a dyin’ in yer pod.


The Art of Boring Conversation

I’m taking a a risk writing about this topic. It could be the dullest thing you’ve ever read.

The other day at the park, I was standing near a group of women and I couldn’t help hearing their conversation. It was so intensely boring I had to move away.

So what was so boring? Well here is my list of some of the most boring conversation topics. It was one of the following.

1. Dreams

I’m guilty of this one. By dreams I mean those crazy things you think of when asleep. It may be wildly fascinating when you wake up – but that’s only to you. Retelling your dream is painful for a listener. They’re always long, pointless and confusing.

The only way to avoid your listener completely zoning out is to keep the description of your dream snappy.

“Last night I dreamt I met Elvis and he came to my wedding,” you might say. Please just leave it at that.

2. Movie Plots

Have you ever asked a friend something like this? – “What do you think of the the latest James Bond movie? Is it any good.” You’re looking for a two sentence response. Instead they give you this –

“When Bond’s latest assignment goes gravely wrong and agents around the world are exposed, MI6 is attacked forcing M to relocate the agency. These events cause her authority and position to be challenged by Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), the new Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee. With MI6 now compromised from both inside and out, M is left with one ally she can trust: Bond. 007 takes to the shadows – aided only by field agent, Eve (Naomie Harris) – following a trail to the mysterious Silva (Javier Bardem), whose lethal and hidden motives have yet to reveal themselves.
Bond’s mission is to keep a computer drive that has a list of British agents from being used against them. He chases the man who has it and they have a brawl on top of a train. Eve, an agent sent to assist Bond has them in her cross hairs but hesitates to take the shot because she might hit Bond but M orders her to take it. Which she does and hits Bond who falls into the river and is believed to be dead. A few months later, the British government is upset with MI6 for losing the list; specifically with M. She is told that she’ll be allowed to retire but she refuses to leave till the while matter is resolved. So she returns to HQ to work on it but as she arrives, there’s an explosion. In the meantime, Bond, who is not dead, has been laying low. When he learns of what happened, he returns. And M tasks him with finding the one who has the information. He eventually learns that the man who has it, is someone from M’s past and who has it in for her. Written by
When one MI6 hard disc with the identities of NATO’s agents is stolen, James Bond chases the agent through Istanbul with the support of the local field agent Eve. M (Judi Dench) orders Eve to shoot the agent on the top of a train, but she misses the target and hits 007 that falls in a river and is presumed dead. When M’s computer is hacked, the MI6 building is blown-up and the agency moves to an ancient bunker that belonged to Churchill. Then, five MI6 agents have their identities exposed and three of them are executed and M has her authority and procedure questioned by her superior Gareth Mallory. Out of the blue, 007 reappears from the shadows and hunts down the responsible for the theft of the HD. He reaches Severine and uses her to find the responsible for the actions, the former top-notch MI6 agent Tiago Rodriguez, a.k.a. Silva, who had been betrayed by M and now is seeking out revenge against the veteran leader of the MI6. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Bond’s latest adventure takes him deep to the heart of Istanbul to retrieve a hard disc containing the names of NATO operatives, their whereabouts, and their real identities. Unfortunately the mission goes horribly awry and ends with Bond getting shot while on the roof of a train. Fortunately Bond survives and is enjoying life on a remote Mediterranean island. But an untimely and horrific attack compromises MI-6, kills 6 agents, and ultimately compromises M herself. Then a mysterious hacker, using the newly obtained data, outs the agents on Youtube – compromising their missions and identities. That brings Bond back out of retirement. He then goes on a cat and mouse chase after a reclusive computer hacker – taking him to Shanghai, Macau, Japan, and ultimately back to London and his childhood home called “Skyfall” While the hacker has ties to M’s past, it puts Bond’s loyalty to the ultimate test. Will he be able to stop it before it’s too late?”

I hope you didn’t bother reading that. I’m never able to listen to a plot description beyond two sentences. It’s simply impossible.

3. Your Day in Detail

Some of us love retelling our day in detail. This is a risky move. Unless you are Ricky Gervais or Miranda Hart it’s going to be awful. Some people still persist. There are no jokes and no insights; its just what they had for breakfast, the trip to the gym, a ponytail that didn’t sit right, the search for a good soy latte and it goes on. Truly torturous.

4. Mediocre Interests

I’ll gladly listen to someone talk about the social habits of finches or the pros and cons of types of plastic, however it must be done with enthusiasm.

“How’s your soccer going?”

“Not bad”

“You just got back from the snow. How was it?

“Pretty good – yeah.”

“What did you get up to on the weekend?”

“This and that. Mostly just hanged around.”

This mysterious approach to conversation really only works if you’re in a spy film. In real life, it’s very boring.

5. Sleep

Personally, this is the most boring topic of all. Since becoming a Mum I’ve found myself involved in too many sleep conversations. I’ve even instigated the conversation! How’s your baby sleeping? Through the night? What time do they go to bed? Get up?

Sometimes I play a game with myself and see how long before a Mum talks about sleep. Its rarely more than 5 minutes.

If my baby isn’t sleeping I’d prefer to distract myself and not talk about it. I want to talk about movies, coffee, Kevin Rudds strange tweets – anything else! If my baby is sleeping I definitely couldn’t be bothered talking about it.

That conversation I mentioned earlier – well of course those Mums were talking about sleep. As I write the above I realise I’m guilty of all these boring conversation downfalls. And for this I apologise.

I also realise it’s my charitable duty to listen to boring conversations. After all, finding a conversation boring is very subjective. One persons boring blathering is another’s wit and wisdom.