Sunday, August 1, 2010
THIS represents a morale-boosting campaign by the British Ministry of Information launched in 1939, of which I knew nothing until this week. I now have, as a gift, the poster image on the cover of a journal. Perhaps it will become the keeper of my inconsistent, well-intentioned attempts to do as the words direct.
In my defense, I am a millpond of calm compared to the North Atlantic, Perfect Storm bag of unease I once was. And circumstances, eventually, give most of us two choices: carry on or not. "Or not" falls short of appealing. The winner is "carry on," by default.
I believe we are allowed moments when we become the character from the fantasy story - or cautionary tale - who sits weeping on a fallen log until the bold or hapless protagonist strolls, strides or gallops past and asks us what's wrong. What we need to remember is that wallowing has a brief shelf life. Stay at it too long and, whew, it begins to emit a repellent aroma.
If flawless recall had been granted as one of my wishes (and it is not one that I would have asked for...there would need to be oh, so many wishes for that to make the list), I could be certain there has not been one day in my adult life when I was unaware of my blessings, blessings which cannot be nullified by evidence of life just being life.
One truth which I try to hold in consciousness is that no one has ever known what happens next. War, peace, sunny days or dark, any moment other than this is a mystery. In fact, I am willing to acknowledge that it is ALL a mystery and also admit that its mysteriousness does not indicate anything wrong. Wanting to pep up an uncertain nation with a new version of, "stiff upper lip," the Ministry of Information left us timeless good sense.
The smooth, red journal with its "elastic band place holder" fits comfortably in the hand. Its lipstick brightness calls out with the encouraging pat on the back, saying all will be well...if not now, then soon or soonish. The sans-serif font (could it be Helvetica?) is easy to read, hard to miss, impossible to misunderstand. Do your best, make you neighbors/town/nation proud. The next time I venture forth, I think I may carry it, cover facing out, like a religious tract. One thing I can count on, if I forget to live the motto and slip into any version of crazy, there will be at least one person to snap me back into line. There we are, yet another use for the elastic band place holder.