I came across this quote the other day:
no matter what.
The water does not flow
until the tap is turned on.
I love writing – and I mean “real” writing – with a fountain pen – but today, when we write, most people assume that it’s on the computer. Only last night, I watched a television programme where a script writer said that he still wrote with a pencil – and everyone laughed when he said that he didn’t have any technical issues with a pencil and the only thing he needed to do was sharpen it!
I can’t believe I haven’t blogged since 29th August but every day for the last 1,056 days, without missing a single day, I have taken a photograph and written a journal – so it’s not as if I haven’t been doing anything. This was my photograph for today – a typical Saturday in our town centre – quite ordinary really, but all these people had a story to tell – and I’m sure if I had spoken to them, they would have been really interesting.
The two guys on the left were intent on their scratch cards and looked quite upset when they obviously hadn’t won – whereas the people on the right were happy in their own little worlds. The man at the top, who is rather old, can be seen playing his mouth organ, the one in the middle was dancing around to attract attention so that people would at least communicate with him as he was trying to sell The Big Issue and the girl at the bottom right was just absorbed in her music and singing.
Thinking of all the people I meet on a day-to-day basis, I realise that no two days are the same, and in fact, many times they are not just “ordinary” but “extraordinary”.
For instance, I nearly always take the bus into town when I go in – and that is several times a week – and often sit next to a man called Joe. We got chatting a few weeks ago because he was wearing “hospital” boots and I quipped to him “I won’t stand on your toes if you don’t hit my knee with your walking stick”! I had a knee operation a few months ago, but my knee is still quite sore at times, so my comment was quite true. He explained to me that he had complications following a diagnosis of diabetes, so now whenever I get on the bus and he is sitting in the front seat, I sit next to him and we have a great chat. He is a Londoner and told me that he was looking forward to going up there to visit his family this weekend, so I told him about how I was trying to find out about my grandmother, who lived and I think was born in Lambeth, but beyond that, I can’t seem to find any more information.
Apart from taking a photograph every day, I also put up a Post-it Note, and very often people speak to me about that – and it’s amazing how a simple quote can start off a conversation.
At one coffee shop in our town centre, Muffin Break, they even have a “Maureen” wall and each time I go there to have a coffee, someone will ask me if I am going to put up a Post-it Note! Here are a few of the Post-it Notes on the wall.
Although I am a Christian, my Post-it Notes are not overtly Christian and are really just meant to make people think and sometimes smile. It’s interesting too, when friends send me a message to say that they have seen one of them somewhere – I have now put up almost 700 since I started and haven’t missed a day since Lent 2014 – often I think I should stop, but I quite enjoy doing it. Interestingly, when we were out with our grandson yesterday – and of course, I had to leave one at Pizza Express – he asked if anyone ever “told me off” for leaving a Post-it – I can’t remember anyone ever doing that – in fact, most people are quite happy to read them – and they are ALWAYS positive, so I guess that’s a good thing.
So I guess what I am saying is that our days can be as “ordinary” or as “extraordinary” as we make them – I often speak to random people wherever I go – and like to think that I make a difference, even with just a smile or an encouraging word. For some elderly people (and I guess I must be in that category myself now, although I don’t yet admit to it!) I do think when I speak to them that if they live alone, they perhaps don’t have any other communication, so it is good to start up a conversation. It is usually with a woman, because to start a random conversation with a man could be misconstrued in this day and age – but if it is an older couple, then that’s different.
I have been challenged to do some RACK-ing in the next few weeks running up to Christmas – and for those not familiar with the term it means doing a RANDOM ACT OF CHRISTMAS KINDNESS – which could be something as simple as paying for the coffee for someone behind you in a queue in a café to buying a bar of chocolate for someone you don’t know or even paying a shop assistant a compliment – such simple things, but they could make such a difference in someone’s life. How about joining me? You don’t have to tell anyone about it – just do it!