B the Wise One and I, his inadequate wife have been at each other’s throats. No, don’t begin thinking “oh there goes another cute couple” already. We’re quite okay otherwise, thank you very much. The problem is, he is the kind of guy who will do anything to block out all that threatens a dialogue with his passion. The current one or whichever. But passion. While I, the Inadequate One, like to say “Bring it on.” One? Two? Ten? I have numerous passions. “How can you give everything your all? There can only be one passion, anyway. Or two, perhaps”, he states with supreme (and unusual, mind you) ignorance. He finds it very difficult to believe I want to spend my time making the just right tea, paint a just OK painting, keep the house as ‘warm-looking’ as possible, remove all hair from everywhere, passably bake breads and buns and cakes, make very spicy pickles and ginger ale. Blah. He doesn’t even get time to say phew. “Wouldn’t you like to do one thing the best possible way?” he said.
And that’s what stopped me from drifting away to the cineraria I’ve been trying to sprout.
I do not know best.
Maybe that’s what makes me flit between numerous things in day, week, month, or even a year. Someone once told me a long time ago about people choosing to excel a trade or remain mediocre in it and many others. Choice of being mediocre. Who’d choose that anyway? Well, yours truly, does in fact. Though I can’t say I’ve not dreamt of (or don’t still do) being cordially invited to an Oprah Special. It would be fun and quite a treat to my existing vanity. Not that being OWN’s special guest will essentially make me the best. But her show does invite successful people, I’m told. Masters in their profession, of their difficulties and what have you. So, I do dream of doing very good at whatever I choose to pick up. But if that restricts me to just one (or two) things, I’d rather pick mediocrity. Where’s the spice tray, man?
I am straying from B and I, though. B is a dog lover. Since this post is turning out to be without a picture, I’ll showcase our two devils (and then get back to passionate entreaties in favour of mediocrity).
I love them too.
But I can see the Alaska cruise, as well. We’d promised each other, B and I, that we’d take this trip someday. We adopted dogs instead. And will never leave them in a kennel to explore the world. B is blissfully passionate about them. I am too, like I said. But, for the lack of a better means of differentiation, you could say I am the Passion Jack. while he is the Passion Master. He could spend hours sitting, looking at the dogs. Being with them (and me, if I’m allowed to break the reverie). And talk of Great Dane legs and Pug eyes and Bull Mastiff height. Does he come across as a dog freak? Well, he is, but not as crazy-like as it may seem. He does get up from his reverie, make coffee, write the stuff he’s writing, walk the dogs. Did the word ‘dog’ come back? Yes it did. So, this person I’ve met and married, who likes to keep his passions simple, never really wanders too far from this love of his. He dotes on them, gets up excruciatingly early to walk them, ensures they get very clean water, raw meat diet, and an indulgence in ruining my garden. And much more. For a person who lives his passion, my interest in that beautiful saree there or the awesome photo frame here or the latest bread-baking tip to get a result you don’t have to shove under your rockery is mind-boggling. Why this division of labour? And how come similarly excited responses to painting as well as photography as well as embroidery and volleyball?
Interests are about making choices. No one says there is only one interesting thing in the world. But most choose a manageable few and concentrate on them. Not me. Back in college, a friend of mine used to joke about not asking me for my choice of food or restaurant or movie, because I’d say that I’d enjoy them all anyway. No particular choice. It tickled her to see I didn’t want to make a choice. I was equally thrilled about all the options. (Well, fear not. I’ve mellowed considerably, especially after having ordered bamboo shoots in oyster sauce and having to surreptitiously close all the valves inside my nose when the dish escaped the kitchen, carried out by the very proud chef. Our heads turned in slo-mo to see its steam wafting all over the eatery, almost killing everybody with its exotic, well, smell. It was all my friends could do to keep a straight face. Or when I cringed on the very comfortable chair at a home theatre after having insisted my companions chose the movie. We watched a movie called Kidnapped and it turned out to be soft porn. My companion watchers were an eclectic collection of very conservative relatives, who knew not about the American Film Industry. Since then, I have no qualms in sharing my knowledge here and there. And making choices, too.)
But I am, generally, very thrilled about many things. I’ve tried many of them out. Like making stained glass collectibles, and selling them. Or doing several things as ‘hobbies’, growing junipers on rocks, sketching little girls with coloured pens, I could go on and on with the list. The point I’m trying to make is, even if I’ll never reach even close to perfection in any of them, I will have tasted a bit of their wonder. Isn’t that, in itself, perfection? Tasting various wonders. Perfect life, no?