Wednesday, 22 May 2013

wearing your heart on your sleeve

There are stories that I tell a lot.  I am getting like your old geography teacher who would tell the same five stories over and over and laugh at them himself just in case no one else did.  Here is one of them:

  Several years ago I was at the opening of an exhibition.   I was feeling rather low and somewhat lost in an adult world that seemed to have so few interests in common with me.   I was at the point of thinking that it was really time to turn away from all the things that I loved and get interested in house prices and mortgage rates when I saw a really nice looking lady standing a few feet in front of me.   In her bag was a Bandai robot.  Suddenly I realised the folly of being dishonest about what I really liked.   How many people here were also secret robot lovers?  Perhaps we were all just too shy to admit it and talked about mortgages because we were afraid of being thought odd.  How sad would that be?  We could have been having a build-a-robot party instead!  I began walking towards the lady to tell her how impressed I was with her... when her small son appeared from behind her and took his robot out of her bag.

  Now I feel like the moral of this story could be:  There, you are an idiot. It has been proven.  But being an idiot I chose to take the thought and not the fact as the real truth.  I wanted to be that robot carrying standard bearer for anyone out there who might be thinking of giving up on what they love just for forms sake.

  On the train yesterday, this happened:

  I was sitting in my Captain Kirk top reading Game of Thrones when I heard someone clapping from the other side of the carriage.  When I looked up I saw that it was a young man and he was clapping me!  It turns out he was from the very new nation of South Sudan in Africa.  He said that he had found growing up there very difficult (he originally grew up in Sudan before the separation).  That there were about one hundred and fifty different tribes in South Sudan and that each one had an entirely different culture and tradition.  When he first discovered Star Trek it struck him how much the different races reminded him of the different tribes at home.  For example his father's tribe, he said, were like the Klingons, respecting strength and personal honour and settling disputes with violence.  He said that he had tried to follow several faiths but actually, he found Star Trek more useful in teaching him a morality that fit his day to day experience!  I wonder what Gene Roddenberry would make of that! 
  Anyway, we chatted for the rest of the journey and he took a picture of my home made Thrones cover.  Turns out we live in the same neighbourhood.  Now I have a friend I can't think I would have met any other way ^-^


11 comments:

  1. I think the 'son' was actually a tiny pick pocket, and it was her robot after all :)

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    1. Oh... Do you? Perhaps I should have talked to her after all!

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  2. The sadness of what happens when you meet people who only knew you "dressed up normal" and they see you in your actual clothes carrying around your actual stuff is so much worse than strangers bothering you about it when you do it all the time.

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  3. What a great story. I always find it very strange when people say things like, 'What I wound't give to be a child right now and do exactly what I liked.' Surly as adults we can do all the things a child can do and more. With no one to tell us when and where and what to eat and watch and do! Yet most of us think we can't do certain things. I don't. I guess not having a proper job (I'm also an illustrator) could have something to do with it!

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    1. Right! It's a good thing to realise though... I remember looking forward to being a grown up for precisely that reason!

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    2. Exactly! It's good to have a good thing and appreciate it too.
      I love your work by the way. I have a five year old boy who is also a fan. Beegu is our favourite. It's great when we both like a book then I get to read it over and over.
      Here's my website if you want to have a look, shirinadl.co.uk

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    3. Thanks... and thanks for the link ^-^. I Particularly like the look of Mrs Bimoo's Bad Hair Days!

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  5. What a great story. I especially like the end, your story about riding on the train and making a new friend. I'm obsessed with the Game of Thrones books. In my case, having access to a fantasy world helps me to cope with reality, much life your Sudanese friend. I think letting ourselves daydream and allowing the 'suspension of disbelief' gives our minds a much needed an escape from reality from time to time. How does talking about mortgages ever help us in such a way? :)

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    1. For sure - I'd have gone bonkers ages ago without it!

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