Sunday, 21 May 2017

Sadder but wiser

The more you do, the more mistakes you are likely to make. Only those who sit on their hands are not infallible. Even wicked corporations hold such approach dear! The more we experience, the more nasty situations life puts us through, the opportunities to learn we receive. Lucky those who do not need to draw conclusions from their own missteps and wise those who intently observe fellow people’s slip-ups, analyse them and take precautions not to repeat them.

It all commences in childhood. I remember well when my mother warned me not to put a finger into a burning flame on a gas stove. Obviously, I refused to listen to her and burnt my finger. Lesson learnt – keep fingers away from flames. Alternatively, the lesson learnt could be to listen what you parents say. With hindsight, coming back to choices made by me when I was a teenager or a student, I recognise my parents were usually right (I have never admitted it to them, as such statement would have all appearances of asking for continual advice) and often ask myself what they would advise me in a specific situation, how would they react if I told them about my crazy idea or what they would rebuke me over. By the way, I recall now a training delivered by a coach who claimed parents in Poland do not support their children ingenious ideas, but do their utmost to discourage their offspring from pursuing their ambitions, especially the dicey ones.

I also wonder what can prompt humans to give up on silly activities that might severely harm them? Would throwing up all contents of one’s bowels prompt a binge drinker to become more restraint with alcohol, or would they need to commit a crime or lose a job to get the eye-opener? Would causing an accident persuade a fan of fast driving to stick to speed limits? Or would a severe fine be helpful enough? What else, except for unwanted pregnancy or contracting an illness, would convince a person who indulges in occasional sex to hold their horses? How heavy shortage of money would urge a reckless shopper to think twice before spending money on stuff they don’t need?

I strive to look at other people’s and mine mistakes. Watching humans stumble but not necessarily fall fills me with confidence that cool-headed approach to life pays off. Holding back before making hasty decisions, minding the consequences, putting oneself in someone else’s shoes and trying to guess their perception of a situation, these all make up precious guidance how to become wiser and avoiding the side effect of being sadder.

Lastly, I ponder upon circumstances which can throw an individual off their sanity. The one which instantly is brought to mind is falling in love, a state compared to mild intoxication, when sound judgement is said to be turned off or at best impaired. But symptoms of falling in love and impact on a daily life or an infatuated person changes with time. A teenager in love behaves different than a human in their mid-thirties. And I put it down to benefit of learning from mistakes made by many people.

Expect a break from blogging the next weekend. I am heading west for a short, or maybe longer road trip. This will be not just a sightseeing trip, but also an opportunity to be on my own (oddly enough, this is now something I am longing for) and to think things over, to return happier, but wiser.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Out and about

The spring of 2017 will likely go down as chilly and wet. The current weekend is the second one this spring (after the first days of April) when both on Saturday and on Sunday temperature neared +20C and sunshine was not sparse. While the weather was not high, outdoor did not beckon, unlike this weekend.

The first stopover during my short (20 kilometres or so) bike trip yesterday was the site of airplane crash in Las Kabacki. I visit the place each year around the anniversary of the tragedy. This year’s is a round one, it has been already 30 years ago. Oddly enough, most people hanging around, sitting about, praying or contemplating silently the memorial plaque were youngsters, who just like me have not had the chance to remember the day Il-62 crashed into the forest.

On my way towards leisure park in Powsin. I am heading east yet meet quite few fellow cyclists, runners and pedestrians on my way. Though the weather is conducive, lots of people are either too burdened by duties put off until weekend, or simply too lazy to get up from their sofas and take a few breaths of fresh air. Sadly.

The clearing on the southern edge of the forest is one of favourite hangouts for barbecue aficionados. Weather permitting, one can come across scores of people either burning bonfires or making barbecues, indulging in Poles’ favourite sport (grillowanie) and the place is filled with smoked and characteristic smell of grilled meats.

Having turned up at my destination I spot several traces of boars’ activity. Looks like flocks of wild boars ventured here when few humans were around and digged around the grass. Disturbingly, boars in droves are not afraid to approach humans’ dwellings and might attack if incensed. My mother, while walking to her spine rehabilitation classes in Konstancin on Friday, was surrounded by a flock of boars who fortunately only looked around (at her standing still) and ran away.

Klubokawiarnia is the focal point of the leisure park and a spot where visitors coming here for more than an hour can sit back, have a drink or a snack. I must plea I don’t know whether lunches are served to whet appetites of hungrier guests. Comparing to how it looked in 2009, little has changed. The place has its spirit and a whiff of modernity is absolutely redundant if the spirit to be nurtured.

The amphitheatre where concerts are played on Sunday afternoons, also a popular dating hangout for teenagers from Ursynow, Wilanow and northern parts of Piaseczno. In the foreground, my bike, I have had it nearly for a year, replaced a saddle to add comfort to my backside, had it overhauled (or rather serviced) before the high season and after overcoming ailing spine (though I stay cautious not to overstrain it), I can enjoy longer and longer trips (this year I intend to take at least a 50-kilometre day tour).

The further from densely inhabited district of Ursynow, the fewer individuals one can run across. Here, on the south-eastern corner of the forest one would sooner have an encounter with wild deer (heaven forfend!) than with a fellow human. While cycling there I felt a bit guilty, as if I trespassed someone’s home.

As I grow older, I learn to cherish more the days in spring, summer and early autumn when I do not have to toil away in the office. Clement weather is something one should make the most of, so on such days, I attempt to confine staying indoors to absolutely essential time dedicated for house-related duties which I could not handle over the working week. Some people enjoy themselves on parties on Friday or Saturdays and then spend a large part of a weekend fighting a hangover. What a waste of life! Given a choice between night-time revelry and day-time leisure outdoor, I would opt for the latter for most of weekends (some partying is essential, since a human cannot be bodily fit but socially dead). Actually while working long hours Monday to Friday, a decent dose of physical exercise over the weekend is essential to keep an office worker and let them recharge batteries.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Back to bedlam*

While I don’t feel like stringing together a worthwhile and readable posting, forgive me harnessing someone else’s words (or lyrics, not the first and not the second time I recourse to them) to mark the (this time) definite ending of one chapter in my life and doubts whether it has not coincided with a new beginning. Doubts, since the chemistry is a missing piece and mere desire rarely burns long.

* While all quotes are taken from U2 songs, the very title of the post comes from a different artist.