I had a lot of opportunity for conversation in Germany. In one instance, two of us were badgering a third; we were telling her that she ought to take a particular decision (an administrative one, actually) because it was the right philosophical position to take. She was trying to convince us, mostly unsuccessfully, that philosophy be damned, practically, on the ground, her people would be really peeved if she took that particular decision, and her role was to keep them happy. Although I disagreed with her and insisted that if you took the twenty year picture it would be a wrong decision, and pretty irreversible as well, I have been ruminating since then. If thats her philosophy pertaining to her current position, whether the decision is ultimately right or wrong, she really is not violating any personal mental thing..
I have been reading McCall Smith again. The Right Attitude To Rain. (May I say, what a wonderful title! Think I should do a tribute to Smith based in Chennai, called The Right Attitude To Sweat). Of course I love Ms.Dalhousie. I thought I like Mme.Ramotswe better just last year, but now this one is a proclaimed philosopher and that just is perfect for how I am feeling about my life right now so I love Ms.Dalhousie. I love how she ponders on things and how Smith goes off on tangents in her mind even as the story moves forward, almost imperceptibly.
Many times, as I go through all these things that constitute this mortal life, I am at crossroads. Crossroads are such a challenge. There is the practical aspect, always. Maybe the easy downhill? (Watch the knees, girl!). There is the moral high ground. (Is it worth the effort? And besides me, none of my near and dear ones may care for this hill. But thanks to me, they have to puff up it as well). There is the middle path, usually, this is what I choose. I figure it gels with my philosophy of life (not that that is all formed and set in concrete, its a work in progress, obviously, as it ought to be). I am fiercely independent but I care sufficiently about other people. I am flexible and as long as I am that path, I know I can be happy 11 months out of 12, one way or the other. I don't do regret that much, I don't carry personal baggage around too much. But then I am very sentimental and emotional so there is definitely some mental gymnastics I indulge in due to that.
You can philosophise away anything, right. It works for me. As I grow older, it seems to take longer to get over some (usually minor) annoyance. The modus operandi (at least in principle) is like this. I have angry thoughts. I bite and yell. I regret the bites and yells. I get angry at myself. I calm down. I try to apologise. No one cares for apologies, I realise. Thankfully this is not such a bad thing, as I usually bite and yell at people with whom I have strong bonds, bonds which are not particularly shaken by minor things like temper tantrums or subsequent attempts at reconciliation. I spend a few days wallowing in self-pity and expecting the world to come and apologise to me and kicking myself for trying to apologise for things which are clearly the world's fault, and not mine. I think and analyse.
My thoughts therefore enter a distillation column. They spend a good bit of time getting heated and swirling around there. Finally realisation dawns. And I am back. Spin-doctoring away everything.
As my body is aging, it is taking me longer to recover from injuries (and excesses). In some ways I treat it as a sign from within (yes, that is the other thing, all the stuff is from within, as far as I am concerned. I don't think its conceit. Or even supreme confidence. I don't know, its something). Sometimes I slow down, at others I accelerate, at the sign. Both seem to make sense. And recoveries from mental annoyances are also taking longer as I age. Same as the body thing. But somehow when I recover, I feel stronger, and better. My body perhaps just does not heal like my mind does, or maybe it just cannot. Or maybe its all an illusion created by my current mood of indulging in philosophical grandstanding... I am looking forward to my forties. Doodh Ka Doodh Paani Ka Paani ho jaayega, I think....