Day 241: “Mary, Mary, quite contrary…”

I am a contrary person.

The Pisces in me says, “Yes, of course you are. You are a fish that swims both ways.”

The rationalist in me says, “Are you really listening to that new age horoscope bull-hinky? Don’t be silly.”

For whatever reason, I seem to be a bundle of contradictions. The irony of this, naturally, is that I feel I’m actually quite a simple person. But I do recognize that there are at times certain…shall we say…inconsistencies in my needs, desires, and behaviors.

I have recognized that I am a person who ultimately becomes more content and productive within the confines of a structured routine. The problem is that word confines. One can feel both comforted and claustrophobic when confined. I enjoy maintaining structure in my life because I feel better when I do; it’s comforting. Yet somehow, at the first opportunity I find, I will rail against that same structure and allow chaos to reign temporarily, just to give myself a break from the confinement of it all. Too much of a good thing can be stifling.

Day 241 - Mannequins

You may have noticed that for a long time, I’ve been quite regular with scheduling my posts for my 365 project. I’ve been diligent and consistent with preparing posts the evening before they publish, and scheduling them for a precise time each day. I even scheduled more than two weeks’ worth of picture posts for the time I was away on vacation last month.

Lately, however, my attention to this task has become more erratic flexible. You see, I’ve spent my life in the ebb and flow of an academic calendar. Each year, September brings rigid schedules and discipline and structure…in other words, confinement. And so, each year, I’ve allowed August to follow a much more amorphous rhythm in order to temper the upcoming rigidity. By the end of the month, I find myself longing to re-establish more solid patterns to follow, since chaos too can become stifling.

Is it any wonder I gravitate towards cats? I can’t wait to get to the other side of a door, but once I do, I want to be back on the other side.

None of this lengthy explanation is related to the subject of today’s picture, other than perhaps the fact that the building is where I teach, but it seemed like the time to make it. And this month, remember, is about doing what I want, when I want.

Day 241 - Mannequins cropThis coming weekend is Labor Day weekend in the United States. It is a time for barbecues, college football, holiday sales, and quick road trips. For me, I feel like it is my last opportunity for quiet and shapeless hibernation before I once again walk willingly along a solid straight line. Once I settle into my schedule that will carry me through the next four months, I am sure I will return to a more regular and consistent pattern with my pictures, and I will enjoy it. Until such time, however, I shall do as I please.

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5 comments on “Day 241: “Mary, Mary, quite contrary…”

  1. margaret21 says:

    I wondered when you’d kick against the traces, having to do a post Every Single Day. It’s been fun for us, your readers (well, me anyway) but I wonder how much of a millstone it’s been for you? But you’re nearly there! Don’t disappoint us now. And please don’t abandon ‘As a Linguist’, either, while you’re at it……

    • limr says:

      Thanks, cherie 🙂 I do still plan to post every day but I’m not holding myself to a specific time, so there’s no telling what time of day the picture will pop up! 🙂 It really hasn’t been a burden and it’s been great getting so involved in photography again. But it does take a fair amount of concentration. I have no intention of abandoning ‘As a Linguist’ – I just needed a break and now I need to figure out a schedule I can live with while school is back on. I have less time for writing, but when I’m teaching, I always have more ideas for writing, so I’ll figure something out 🙂

      • margaret21 says:

        That’s all great news. I’m actually full of admiration for your daily post, and I also realise that your thoughtful posts ‘As a Linguist’ can’t just be dashed off on the back of an envelope: perhaps September presents more than enough challenges…. 😉

  2. MaraEastern says:

    Contradictions – well, if you were Scottish, it would be part of your character as a member of the nation; Caledonian Antisyzygy they call it. Maybe you heard of George G. Smith, Hugh MacDiarmid and other literary figures concerned with this topic. Anyway, I wanted to say thank you for this post – I recognise myself in some of what you write and for some reasons, it makes me feel validated. Good luck for the start of the academic year (and you may wish me the same 😉 )!

    • limr says:

      Perhaps I’m Scottish in spirit? 😉 That might be hard, though, seeing as though my family is nothing but Portuguese going back hundreds of years.

      Good luck for your academic year as well! I’m so glad you felt connected to what I wrote. Writing is such a solitary activity, but it’s nice that it can also bring a sense of community. See, there I go with the contradictions again 😉

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