"Are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
PINKY AND THE BRAIN
(as seen online)
To be honest, I really dislike the question, 'So, what's new with you?' For whatever reason, that question blocks my creative energy — and stymies me from responding with anything remotely intelligent or interesting. While my brain is wildly looking for something sparkling to say in response, the words that often come out are, 'Not much.' Which sounds a bit boring. Maybe it is true on one level, because my life is quiet and uneventful most days. Some folks would probably say that's boring.
Yet, in my simple life, as each day arrives, there are many ordinary, everyday things that I look forward to and think about. The ponderable lines I read in a book earlier in the day. The winter sunshine glinting off dried rust-hued leaves on the tree I see out my study window. The scent of coffee brewing as it wafts up the stairs on a cool morning. But how does one put into ordinary words such gentle thoughts to that typical question? It's not really conversation fodder, at least not as an intro.
I have tried over the years not to get piqued about it, but I try to prepare my mind instead with more interesting possibilities to the question. Of course, in casual chatter, perhaps the best response still is to reply with 'Not much' and just leave at that. The other party is often more than willing to fill in the blank air when my own introvert answer is not forthcoming.
Interesting then to come across a poem by British poet Wendy Cope titled Being Boring that feels apropos. It appears she finds it difficult as well to answer the query, 'What's new?' The poem comes from the author's 2001 poetry collection If I Don't Know. The complete poem is available HERE, but I've included the first few lines to get you started:
'May you live in interesting times.' Chinese curse
If you ask me 'What's new?', I have nothing to say
Except that the garden is growing.
I had a slight cold but it's better today.
I'm content with the way things are going.
Yes, he is the same as he usually is,
Still eating and sleeping and snoring.
I get on with my work. He gets on with his.
I know this is all very boring. . . .
for the rest of the poem, click HERE
One thing I could tell you quite happily if you asked me that question today, we're heading out for lunch shortly to our local Italian Centre where their lattes are always an enjoyable experience. I take pleasure sitting in the busy café where spoons clatter into saucers and people chatter and faces look happy to be together. The ambiance is warming and cozy.
On that note, I shall wish you a beautiful weekend. The morning here has dawned sunny and mild tempered - we'll be enjoying a lovely spring like Saturday. Take care. Stay safe.
(Top) Photo credit: Image from Pixabay