Tuesday 11 June 2024

D-day and world pain: 'Weltschmerz' ...

 

As it was D-day and I was remembering my parents who were 19 or 20 at the beginning of the war and 24 or 25 at the end … my father's birthday being at this time of year.


Melancholy - 1891


So in these tempestuous times … I wondered how to title the post … then frustratingly after the internet went down for nigh on 24 hours ...



… just when I needed it to be up and running for work that needed to get done, the ideal title for this post courtesy of Big Think appearedlink also below ... 


Suits me … melancholy at this time, yet uplifting as we're so fortunate to be alive and well … we all have our ups and downs …


Anxiety (1894)


... while in the last 80 years – since the end of the 2nd World War - which was meant to be the end of all wars … discord never stopped and perhaps more so now as there's the non-stop news, social media traction – all of which add to people's insecurity …



... so rightly described in this article … where reality often doesn't live up to people's ideals and expectations.


Separation (1896)
I was going to include photos of three churches I visited recently ... covering 1,000 years of history - including many skirmishes, conflicts, war-mongering peoples ... locals and invaders ... but that can wait ... weltschmerz is more suitable ... 


An Optimist and a Pessimist by the
Russian artist Vladimir Makovsky (1893)

World Pain - unfairly affects the poor, the disenfranchised ... it also applies to our communities ... especially in these days of the 21st century ... 



As the BigThink article mentions … we can soften our weltschmerz by keeping our positivity out there, and refusing to be dulled by others … our spirits need to be up … 


Syrian girl in Istanbul ... looking wistful 
but with hope ... 

... we can all do it, I know we can … all those little positive actions, optimistic thoughts add up giving us a more generous view of life.



Big Think article: The upside of feeling dissatisfied with the world: How to work your "weltschmerz".

Please note unless mentioned the art is by Edvard Munch (1863 - 1944) - his Melancholy is the one chosen by Big Think to illustrate their article.  


Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Saturday 1 June 2024

WEP Get Togethers # 3 … Spring blues, with a touch of 'flambeau' …


It's ridiculous … it's still blowing a gale, and heaping lots of that chilly wet stuff on us … everything is green, when really we should be enjoying Spring blues. No doubt we'll be having water rationing later on – as we haven't enough reservoirs … but so be it …


June togetherness ... 

Our election is going to be in early July I'm very glad to say – let's get it out of the way so we get on with life … there's far too much discord going on: here, there, and everywhere … so I'll be happy to have ours over and done with.


When I wrote this post – I'd got no idea about the background to said 'flambeau' … we did have fun and games ??!!, which took a few days to get over … our fire-alarm goes off quite often, particularly since a challenged-family moved in to the basement flat next door.


Spring Blues ...

The house is divided into a variety of flats, but at one stage both sides of the house was a school – so the layout isn't the normal 'semi' that most would expect.



Two Thirty am (yes, early morning) – the alarm goes off … and stops, and goes off, and repeat, repeat … we're all tired of it – as it's usually set off by that family.



Hand held brazier by Joan
in the 1928 film Joan of Arc


I couldn't see anything serious, and looking at how other flat members were reacting, so went back to bed … but was then surprised to see two fire engines and an ambulance turn up.




The firemen went to work … by then I was up and about again watching from on high … got the hoses out, put their smoke equipment on … and went in – but that really was it.


I've since found out – curiosity necessitated itself … the wife was there on her own, so I could chat to her – apparently her husband doesn't sleep – he put some oil on for some french fries (what we call chips!), went to the loo … when he came back the pan was on fire … he managed to tip that over his foot …


Issam Kourbaj - exhibit at Kettles Yard, 
Cambridge in 2016

The place was full of smoke, the extractor fan had caught fire, the walls are in a state … he's now not in a fit state to do much, his wife is grafting to clean up … the two kids – another story – are away for now (bliss – no screeching from the little girl) …



This scenario … got me thinking … I was wise not to go out into the street in the early hours of the morning … common sense by me prevailing.




But brought to mind … Hilaire Belloc's 1907 poem 'Matilda' ...


Struwwelpeter

 ... and the one I was even happier to have happy memories of 'Struwwelpeter' by Heinrich Hoffman – which is available on Project Gutenberg … 'Merry Stories and Funny Pictures' – particularly 'The Dreadful Story of Harriet and the Matches' … and of course Struwwelpeter himself – just like the chap next door …




There are plans for a move to a better area for the family, where their friends are … the little girl turned off a tap – so one of the flats this side of the house didn't have any water – they borrowed from me … not a problem – but the actual tap-stuff was turned off by Amelia the amoeba of the aqua world



Life in Hilary land … and oh yes … after the peregrinations of the night-time … guess what – it was fire-alarm test day for the flats, then I was meeting friends for coffee up at a local hotel – and yes … you guessed it – the fire-alarm went off there too … thankfully a test … that day I'd had it! Three alarms in less than twelve hours …


That's summed up recent days ... I do hope there will be no more fire alarms, and that the weather will improve … summer really is due soon … isn't it?!

Hilaire Belloc's poem 'Matilda' ... 

Project Gutenberg - includes Struwwelpeter by Heinrich Hoffman

Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories