Friday, 2 April 2010

why not?

It’s late Thursday afternoon, Good Friday Eve. The park is a hive of activity with groups of families arriving for the traditional Easter break. The afternoon light is magnificent. We reckon we scored the best spot in the park, the view from the back of our site looks down over a vast freshly cut expanse of grass with gums and Jubilee Lake on the other side. There is a small group of kids rollicking on the ‘oval’. The early teenage boy has only jeans on, handstanding, throwing and kicking a football, thoroughly enjoying the freedom of being away and apparently carefree.

As I looked left to the playground where Johanna and Bella are also playing carefree it reminded me of my younger days ... seemingly endless summer days mucking around with friends. And I wondered about the end of carefree living and the onset of responsible seriousness.

We all remember our high school teachers, at least the characters. And some we remember because they were exceptional teachers. One I had, Mr Pearce, was my year 10 maths teacher. He taught me to always ask ‘why?’ It was never enough to say what had to be done to solve a problem; he would always push us to explain why. Just when you felt cosy by regurgitating a rule, he would rock the boat by demanding you explain ‘why’.

‘Why’ has always been the seed of unconvention. And now I wonder if one of the keys to regaining carefree living is to ask ‘why not?’ And by carefree, I do not mean in the literal sense, that is, with nothing to care about. I mean the frivolity of joy - and I glance up and see Johanna and Bella rolling down the grassy hill. Who’s rules say that life has to be lived devoid of childlike frivolity. Social norms are very weighty. When we are teenagers we are told not to give in to peer group pressure. But who is telling us as adults that the Jones are a bad influence.

There’s lots of dreaming in Jonestown. But not often the courage to ask why not? Its after dinner now ... Maria rode into town and bought ingredients for minestrone. We were just about to do the dishes, when she says, ‘I’m going for a walk around the lake before it gets dark, want to come?’ Why not? The dishes will be here when we get back. There’s a metaphor. (Actually Maria had a better plan, “Johanna, why don’t you and Bella do the dishes?”)

Some ads make me laugh audibly, must be cause they are aimed at my profile! Anyway, the ones that make me laugh these days are the 4 wheel drive ones, ‘bad things happen indoors’. Make me giggle every time. Conscious of how stupid the proposition is, I reckon ‘bad things happen in the city’.

So we go for a walk ... beautiful. And now I put the kettle on and wait for the football to begin. I’ll sit here in the yurt with the headphones on looking at the animated live site and Gerard et al on ABC. I’m hoping Fev is at his foolish worst and the blue baggers get the points. Beautiful.