Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Without the Glue

I think I'll call him Ivan for the purposes of this story. Yes, Ivan seems a fitting enough name. He's a tall, silver-haired man. A six foot three veteran of Vietnam, who says that life has proved more difficult than war. I take his word for it, and this coworker of my husband should know. Not only was he once a very large target, crouching in a jungle, probably pondering the inconvenience of being huge when hunkering was at a premium, he lost a wife to cancer. He saw a son of his go to jail.

Ivan also had chandeliers recently installed in his large home by, "Three men and a boy."

"I think that's an expression," my husband said uncertainly as he related Ivan's words about installation, as well as the cost. The next thing we need to have done here is to begin replacing light fixtures. Ours are hideous and look as if they belong in Western Bordello run by a Madam with a Puritanical streak. Try to conjure that image in your mind, now multiply the ugliness by two and you'll be about there on these rustic, yet garish monstrosities.

"It's either that or a labor law violation," I remarked as I search my memory banks for any expressions involving a quartet. Visions of high wire trapeze acts were dancing around in my mind, I firmly squashed them and got back to the matter at hand, "Ivan had three chandeliers installed at once?"

I don't know Ivan all that well, I've met him twice, or perhaps thrice. On one of those occasions I made the mistake of saying, "Have we met before?" and evidently introduced the concept, rather late in this gentleman's life, that someone could forget such an impressive figure of a man. One of my failings is that I don't recall faces well, but I hadn't forgotten anything important about him, I assure you.

Ivan lives in a massive house on a golf course in another suburb. He loves his vast home, far too large a place for just Ivan and his remaining son, but he adores it. Ivan has a tree room, a room in which he plunks down his fully decorated Christmas tree once the seasons passes, and from which he retrieves the same fully decorated tree when the season rolls around again. Just blow off some dust, and you're good to go.

I like Ivan. He's a tad eccentric, and a little bit strange. Just my kind of fellow. He purchased that mammoth house with seven bedrooms many years ago. Ivan has three children, he met a woman with three children. Plans were made to form a living Brady Bunch scenario, but not long after Ivan made his purchase things went rather spectacularly wrong in the relationship. I don't know the specifics, but that's how Ivan phrased it when telling my husband that although he left the relationship behind, he was always glad of the house. Something happened, he was hurt, and he carried on. Maybe he finally felt hidden in there, I don't know. Less exposed, more secure, less cramped. I do like a man that will tell you he has a Tree Room, and imply that a circus act has installed his lighting, all without further explanation.

Ivan's not like me. He's not a man prone to elaboration. He'll tell you that being Large in a war zone is not an easy thing, but that's all he'll tell you about that. It's up to you to fill in the details in whatever way you choose. Things went spectacularly wrong, he found that the lady in question was not who he thought, and that's all he'll tell you on the other thing. His son made a mistake, and Ivan hired a lawyer, but there was still a substantial price to be paid. You do what you can, he said. That's where the story ended. Ivan cuts rather close to the bone in just a few choice words.

Yet he once said something that contained such a huge truth within his spare words, that it is worth sharing. He has three children, one son with MS who lives with him still, another son who erred in some corporate setting, and was packed off to jail for eighteen months for it. A daughter with whom he has a strained relationship, but they're trying. The reason he'll give for that caught me, and held me.

"Every life, every family has someone within it that is the glue. The person who holds it all together, and makes it right, makes it work," he said. "When my wife died, I found out that person wasn't me."

And all that followed makes sense, but he likes his life, he loves his children. He's got good advice to give, such as, "Don't let your cat outside here, or the Coyotes will get him. Happened to my girlfriend, all we ever found was the paws."

Funny, and gruesome, eccentric and wise. Some people are good with words in the most casual of ways.

Every time I think of Ivan, even when it comes to chandeliers, I end up thinking about my life and who in it is the glue.

How I might manage if I had to. How grateful I am that I have not had to find out precisely how that might look, or feel and may I never.

He makes me think of the good in my life, hold it closer, value it even more dearly.

All as I admire a man who learned to live his life without the glue.


The Bug said...

My mom was the glue in our family. We do our best, but it's not the same. Sure it's possible to still have a life, but it sometimes feels kind of tenuous, like the family might fracture at any point.

My brother joined me at the same college when I was a sophomore. Mom would send both of us letters, cut down the middle - so that we had to meet up to decipher the thing. We don't have that relentless presence pushing us toward each other now & it's much harder to stay really connected. Sad.

NuminosityBeads said...

I'm new to your writing but am captivated by your style. I look forward to reading more.
You not only captured me but this man's essence by illuminating the space between his sparse words.


Life with Kaishon said...

I love this story. Ivan sounds like a wonderful man. Vietnam was so sad from the accounts I have heard. Desperately sad.

Is Ivan in his big house happy? That is what I wish for all people. Happiness.

Thank you for your lovely comment. You always leave the most amazing ones. They are filled with wisdom! I greatly appreciate it!

Tabor said...

Such an eccentric character and it is good that he is strong if not compromising. Maybe with age he will become more glue-like. Well written!

Kyle said...

The light fixtures sound hideous Alane. Love your descriptions. Rich and brilliant, as always.

I wish Ivan's life without the glue of existence was unique. His story reminds me of my own and so many others' lives. When my mom died all my biological family connections ended. She was our glue. Without her there was nothing to bind us together.

I don't really miss them much, I like my chosen family too much. I'm the glue of my chosen family, but I think some of the connections would hold if I were gone. At least I hope they would.

Cricket said...

An interesting question: who is the glue? I know I can't imagine my family without my wife... or rather, I can and I don't like it.

I would hope my own absence might be noticed.

Perhaps I am not the glue, but in this house I'm in charge of knowing where the glue is, along with just about everything else. They'd think of me every time something could not be found. Ha.

Now that you've brought it up, I like to picture my own family as one of those crazy erector set contraptions I built as a boy: a cross between Rube Goldberg and Calder: pieces here and there, extraneous screws, most of them loose, bits wired on... ungainly and awkward, yet it balances somehow.

I'd hope a few loose screws or a missing piece would not destroy it, but leave it to swing around until it found a new balance.

I'd hope.

10 pm here: to sleep, perchance to dream.

lime said...

he sounds like the kind of fellow whose feet you could sit at if he'd let you. i doubt he'd see it that way but you are wise to listen to when he shares a nugget of truth. bless ivan for recognizing his weakness and those in the folks around him but for not giving up.

thanks for stopping by my place for POTW too.

Cloudia said...

Sans glue...interesting!

Aloha from Hawaii my Friend!

Comfort Spiral

Becky the Design Lady said...

Not sure where the glue is in my family. It's more like Duck Tape in our case. It wraps loosely around all of us just enough to keep us connected.
How wise of you to listen and fill in the blanks with what Ivan doesn't say. Most people don't take the time to truly listen.

Nancy said...

This is a terrific post. I often think of the glue in our family. My younger brother and I share the load in the extended family. I guess I'd have to ask my own who the glue happens to be in our nuclear family. I know my husband and I are both "sticky" in our own ways. He has always supported us in a very comfortable manner, and I have run the rest of the show. Our lives are very comfortable because of mutual contributions. Our girls tend to come to me first with issues or problems, but that tendency was formed long ago.

I loved the story of Ivan, and I loved your writing, as always. You have a way of telling the story and bringing the characters to life. I do hope Ivan is happy in his big house. I think I would want a small one without my husband. A big house would emphasize my aloneness. On the other hand, he is a big man, maybe the space is comforting. All that crouching behind small bushes and all.

Shrinky said...

He sounds a wise man, and you, my dear, are a fine writer. I love how you crafted this tale, it was a pleasure to read. My father was fond of saying it's kids that seal the glue to a marriage - in his case having children trapped my mother to him. She finally found the strength to divorce him once we were grown. But I understand what Ivan meant, most families, without even realising it, tend to centre around one pivitol person holding it all together. It's sad he lost his.

Hilary said...

This is a wonderful post, Alane. I love how Ivan knows his own frailties and those of his children for that matter. And I can't help but love the notion of things going spectacularly wrong. How colourful is that!

TechnoBabe said...

Ivan sounds so interesting. You are right that his tidbit of advice is worth repeating. You make the readers ponder who is the glue in each of our lives.

jay said...

I came over from Shrinky.

One of the nicest things my husband has ever said to me (in more than thirty years of marriage) was that I was the glue. In those few words he made me feel that I was actually fulfilling an important function, at a time when I felt pretty worthless.

Ivan sounds like an interesting man, with a very dry sense of humour, maybe. Good for him for learning to live without glue.

Miss Footloose said...

Shimp, what can I say that has not been said above already. Just wanted to let you know I loved your story and the way you tell it. Thanks for giving me some food for thought!

Land of shimp said...

Bug, it's so hard to miss someone, isn't it? Whenever you talk about your mom, the love you feel for her is highly evident. It's very touching to see. It is so hard to lose the people in our lives who are part of our foundation, but it sounds to me as if you knew that about your mom while she was with you.

I think we all have someone, or in some cases, are the person who holds things together. Recognizing that while the person is still with us is a gift.

I like your mom's letter trick.

Hello NuminosityBeads :-) Thanks for visiting, and thank you for the compliment, it's much appreciated. People really intrigue me and I'm constantly caught by how many small, but important truths they will reveal. Ivan introduced a concept to me that I won't soon forget. Including letting people I appreciate in my life know that.

I think he likely did let his wife know that while she was living. He originally said that to my husband, by the way, and later repeated it to me. I found that touching, that sitting around with a male coworker, he felt completely comfortable in that admission.

There's just something compelling about people who are comfortable with their own vulnerabilities.

Thank you Life with Kaishon. I'm so glad you liked that comment because it was wholeheartedly meant. You take remarkable photographs.

Ivan is happy, and I think values that happiness because his life has presented challenges to that. I like that he sticks by his children, come what may. When his son got into trouble, he evidently never expressed disappointment in him. What Ivan said was that he had lost his mom at a key point in his life, and it confused a lot of issues of right, and wrong for him.

The thing I liked about that was that -- and this is a tough one to explain -- he didn't have any disdain for, or disappointment in his son. Instead, he was trying to understand the why of it all, while sticking with the young man through his troubles.

By the way, that young man went on to rebuild his life quite well. My husband has met him on several occasions. It does make me wonder if that young man would say his dad was his glue. I have a feeling if the question was ever posed to him, that he wouldn't hesitate.

Land of shimp said...

Tabor, thank you. Yes, Ivan is quite the character, and he's rather successful, also. It's a strange thing, some people take getting knocked down in life as par for the course, and not a setback.

Do you know...I really do think that in some ways Ivan is mistaken about his own glue-like qualities. He stuck by his son, and helped him rebuild a career after he was released. His other son, the one with MS, still lives with him -- it's one of those insurance things, that son is one of the people caught in the "pre-existing" trap -- and part of why Ivan keeps that mammoth house is that it has enough room for both of them to feel as if they have their own, personal space.

It affords his son some dignity.

I don't know about you, but I think it's pretty clear that Ivan sticks with the people he loves come hell or high water, damnation or flood. I think he's been fairly uncompromising about the women he's let into his life after his misfire with Lady Brady, but ...yeah, Ivan's molded his life on more than one occasion to fit what is going on in the lives of his adult children.

I hope they know how much he loves them, because it's very easy to see that, even in the course of casual conversation.

Aw, Kyle...I am not in the least surprised to read that you are the glue for your chosen family. I'm sorry you lost that sort of biological family, but on the other hand...well, I'm sitting here thinking of some of the things that you've said about being young. How painful the struggle was with your sexual identity, or rather the reaction to your sexuality that people around you had and...I can't help but think, you found a better space for you in life.

People who love you, not based on expectations of who they want you to be, but rather who you are. You never deserved any less than that, and I'm glad you found it. I think sometimes what we make for ourselves can often be better.

The weirdest thing just came to mind, Kyle and I'll just go ahead and share it. The story about your dog getting skunked, and how you related that. Your reaction was entirely compassionate, and although it must have been sensory overload in the worst way, you reached out to help.

I can see why you would be the glue. I think gluey people have empathy in their first response systems.

Land of shimp said...

Ay, there's the rub, Cricket :-) Oh, I bet you're good and sticky (I need to reply to your email, but figured you'd get that) at times!

I think those of us who have a partner, or are married are both the adherent substance, and the thing being held together. We go through life relying on those we love in ways we don't even understand. It's not just the "whoever does the laundry provides a piece of the structural foundation of how this works"...but smaller things, too.

My husband and I have such a tag-team approach to life. He'd insist that I am the glue, I'd tell you with as much conviction that he is. We make for good interconnecting cogs, you know?

His dad was the glue in his family, and the funny thing is, no one realized that when he was alive. My father-in-law just sort of quietly, and with very little apparent emotion, just sort of held that large family together. Dealt with the troubles with a level-head, provided the balance.

I think the reason Rob liked Ivan's glue statement so much was...well, it was an opportunity to stop, and evaluate what makes his life work, right now. A sort of invitation to appreciation.

The worst part about his father dying was not, "There went the glue, and now the Deluge." but rather the knowledge that while Jerry was one recognized that, paid it attention. Expressed gratitude.

So I guess my point in the post was not so much, "Hey, who is the glue in your personal setting." We will all of us have someone, or feel like the person who is the sticky substance...but rather the value in either knowing that about ourselves, or those around us.

The "go ahead and recognize this" no matter what area it might fall into in your life...because when you are looking back, and the recognition comes after the point where it is no longer working, it's a lost opportunity.

Ivan said he realized that after his wife had died. He seems a very loving man, I've no doubt that his wife knew how loved she was...but the regret he seemed to be expressing wasn't about his own lack of being able to hold it all together, but rather...he didn't realize what he was losing, not entirely.

I don't think the loss was the reason he says that, said it to my husband, said it to me also. He's managed, and frankly seems a content soul.

This may be assigning too much importance to it, but I think Ivan is trying to do something other than draw attention to his own situation. That man is a survivor and a half. I think he says that because it is one of the few regrets that he has about his wife. That he didn't realize that when she was alive...that perhaps he never told her that.

Land of shimp said...

You know what, lime? Yes, I think Ivan likely is that sort of person. He's also just silly amounts of good-looking, and very fit. He wasn't terribly affronted by the concept that I honestly didn't recall meeting him before, but rather genuinely surprised.

I'd met him at a massive benefit, I still have no recollection of it. I must have met 300 people that night, and frankly, I'm not good in crowds. I appear to do well, but the fact of the matter is, big events turn into blurs in my memory.

That story about the cat was just hilariously gruesome. You see, when we moved to this house, my husband was worried about letting the movers handle things like the TV (flatscreens are hard to move, they need to be moved upright) and the computers. So Ivan came over the day before we moved, and helped Rob move them to here.

So that advice was ...well, it was very literally meant. I have a cat, Ivan was making sure it was fully impressed upon me that letting him out would be a bad idea. Even after I said, "Oh he's an indoor cat, always has been." It's kind of apparent that I'm not an easy person to freak out when you meet me, but that tale started to go well over into the "Yeah, only a war veteran would not get how disturbing strewn body parts would be." and I finally yelped, "Okay, okay! I promise I'll remember you this time!"

And Ivan laughed for about three minutes straight. It's easy to like people who have a good sense of humor about themselves, isn't it?

Whenever I see your name, Cloudia, I think of what a beautiful place you live. Isn't that just the greatest association to have? Cloudia = immediate thoughts of beauty.

Land of shimp said...

Thank you, Becky. I find people are exceptionally interesting. Almost everyone we meet has a story that illustrates how truly neat people can be in the face of tough things. Or just how, each of us contributes something that makes up a very vivid world.

I like that you have a colorful house, by the way. Remember the post about labels? You said that you were likely the woman with the dogs, in the bright house...and I thought, "That is a wonderful way to have people think of you!" an association with color. Something vibrant.

People can just break your heart at times, but they are so rich, diverse and really even the seemingly ordinary stories contain something that can make you stand in awe of human resiliency.

Nancy, you form a unit and the structural balance is shared. Isn't that why people get together for a lifetime? It isn't just about love and family, it's about finding the person that fills in the holes, and you do the same for them. Maybe some people don't have "the glue" per se, but rather make a fabric together. Weave out a life. Sounds like that's the case for you, and I'll just say, I'm not surprised by that with you. You've got a strength about you. I'm glad you have your husband, who is strong for you.

Longterm relationships are kind of like that, aren't they? Anchor or ballast, depends on the situation.

Srhinky, that means a great deal coming from you. I like a lot of people, and the stories they share, particularly the ones that conjure images.

Just reading about your dad, who didn't treat what he had all that well, and as a result lost it. As sad as that is, it's a reminder to value what we do have, while we do have it. The examples of those who live in the world of regret. I do wonder, didn't that help make your own relationship something better though? Those cautionary tales we live out, and then make something better with our efforts, and more mindfully.

Hilary, doesn't it just immediately bring all sorts of images to mind? Our imaginations get to sort through it all, wondering, maybe a little afraid of knowing.

Thanks Techno Babe, he is an interesting fellow. My husband likes and admires him, which isn't actually all the common for my husband to extend to people. I do think there's a lot of value in what he said.

Jay, he truly does have a dry and dark sense of humor, which I tend to appreciate in people. My husband has the same sort of wit, and they travel together for business frequently.

Now, what an absolutely lovely thing for your husband to say to you. The truly romantic things in life are often just that simple, and I'm glad he told you that. You deserve to know it, and isn't it lovely to know that you're appreciated?

The world is full of such gentle love stories, really.

Land of shimp said...

Hello Miss Footloose! Thank you, I do appreciate that.

It occurs to me that since you've traveled far and wide, you really would know that the people in your life are the glue, changing your location as often as you did.

Have glue, will travel, eh?

Katy said...

Shimp what a great story. Ivan reminds me of the first lawyer I worked for who has just recently retired. He has the same way with words. Saying so much with so little.

Jo said...

When my parents died, and my daughter left home for university, I felt as if I had lost all my anchors. I felt like a helium balloon that was about to float right off the earth and up into oblivion. It was the most horrible, terrifying feeling. But as a bit of time has gone along, I find have become the anchor for some of the people in my family.

I have a feeling that for Ivan, his big house -- with the tree room -- is his anchor.

imbeingheldhostage said...

What a brilliant and thought provoking post. I like Ivan.

Part of me hopes that I'm the glue, the other part really hopes I'm not in case something were to happen to me.

Frances Tyrrell said...

I might have the same chandelier, I thought it was one of a kind!
Interesting man, and a perceptive and interesting question: who is the glue, and who will be the glue - I wonder if I could become glue?

Okay, I'm still laughing at your comments on my blog. Amelia Earhart indeed, is that where she went!
The handbag only looks that bright, it is quite dark and smart looking by most lights.
AND, I intended but completely forgot (more about that another time) to tag you for the handbag reveal. Interested?


Dave said...

Alane, I really enjoyed this story. Sounds like your friend had a sort-of John Wayne personality? I can understand his words about the 'family glue.' Its like that in our family. Its not me... - Dave

Asif said...

First time here. Blog jumped here.
I liked this particular story it was full of wisdom and keen observation.
Ivan's story is very heart touching. I wish he finds all the happiness of the world.
Your writing style is indeed captivating.
Looking forward to read more such things from you :)

DUTA said...

I think it is usually the woman in the family that serves as Glue.
As for the size of the house - For some people a big house brings out their loneliness, for others , like Ivan in your story, it is a necessity.

Land of shimp said...

Katy, I've always admired that gift in people, the ability to conjure vivid images with just a few words. It's not a gift I share, I tend to ramble happily on, but there are people who are just highly skilled at it...and never seem to precisely know that about themselves.

I'm sure it would be a tremendous boon to a lawyer! I guess he chose the right profession.

Jo, you know, it's funny but I thought of you as I was writing this. You were one of the people I wondered about because I knew you'd had to be the foundation in much of your life. Your own glue, and I wondered what you had found to help given you that sense of stability. I assumed it was none other than you, which is a difficult road, and only truly strong people are able to walk it.

I bet you're right, Jo. I never thought of it quite like that, but it makes a great deal of sense. You see, that massive house doesn't make sense, unless it means something, or represents something for Ivan. I think it is the physical representation of stability, the kind that he made.

I'm being held hostage, I think that in most lives that is how it is, if it had to change, although difficult, a way would be found. Yet, I remember reading some of your posts and I'd just bet your family, without thinking of phrasing it that way, does think of you as the glue. The touchstone. The center of what keeps them spinning.

May they never have any reason at all to have to rebuild that in a different shape.

Frances, I like the handbag tremendously, but I do believe you have a friendly eggplant sort of bag. I was just so tickled by the choice. I think that's the bag many people pick up in the store, admire and then put down because they want something more "neutral" ...I love the vivid quality of it, and let's face it, you're unlikely to forget it anywhere! "Where's my bag...THERE!"

I shall pass on the handbag tag for the simple reason that if I go through mine, I may appall myself. "I should have entered this receipt ages ago! Gah!" and then my son is a type 1 diabetic, so I have odd things in my purse like cake decorating gel (for blood sugar crashes) it's more fun to shake it around like a Maraca , and let people wonder about the vague little "Save me!" sounds coming from within...but thank you for thinking of me :-) In the interest of preserving histories mysteries, we'll just leave the contents of my bag to their own device, and hope they don't stage a coup at any point.

Land of shimp said...

Thank you, Dave. It's good to be the person who knows who their glue is though, don't you think? If you've got a gluey sort of person, that means you have someone you love very much, and are loved in return. May you always have that!

You know, I think you make an apt point, Ivan has that sort of personality, without the same sort of delivery. Very straight shooter is he, but I think he also has an outgoing vibe. Interesting fellow.

Hello Asif, isn't that just the best thing about the blog world? We follow a comment here, click a link there, and enter different, personal universes as we do. Thank you for stopping by, I'm glad you enjoyed Ivan's tale.

I think he truly is happy now, I think it took a different shape than he thought it would as a younger man. I once asked Rob (that's my husband) if he thought Ivan would marry again. The conversation that ensued was fairly lengthy, but the upshot was that Rob didn't believe so, Ivan had indicated that when he tried again with Lady Brady, he thought he owed that to his children, to try and put a family unit together for them.

The upshot of the conversation was that we both believed he'd been able to recover from what came down to the whims of fate: losing someone to illness. But having someone intentionally hurt him had been more difficult.

That was just our guess, but he is happy.

Duta, I think Jo really nailed it. There is the physical representation of a re-established security. Something that illness...or in the case of the lady he planned to marry...callousness...could not take away.

You know, it's funny, because I do agree with you, I think in families it is often the woman. Yet, when Rob's dad died, when all of the kids were full grown (the youngest being 21 at the time), did that family ever fall apart terribly, and dramatically.

I think if it had happened when they were younger, they would have found that their mom was the glue in the family, but it turned out as everyone got older that their father was.

Perhaps people switch roles throughout long relationships? I do agree with you in most circumstances, but the things that have happened in Rob's family since his father died ...well, many of them trace back to the loss of his dad. He'd been there quietly in the background, holding everyone together, quietly fixing everything.

He was their glue.

Asif said...

Thanks for the wonderful analytical comment you left at my place. I have no words left to appreciate your deep examination and thorough analysis. You don’t know how much happy I became after seeing your deep and concerned view. I must say that you are too good.
BTW I just wanted to say that Mr.Vincent was not a family related Uncle. In fact my family members don’t know him at all. I just met him once while playing and I just liked him for his thinking and living ways. Actually in Indian culture we address elders with such sort of relations. If a man is old enough, we respect him by addressing him as Uncle and if it is a lady we address her Aunty. Addressing elders with some sort of relation name is a way of showing our closeness, love and respects towards that elderly person.
Anyways, thanks once again for dropping by my side and leaving such valuable thoughts.
With due respects,

Land of shimp said...

Asif, what a remarkably kind and generous thing to say, thank you. I truly appreciate that.

I'm so sorry though, I did misunderstand! I didn't know that about Indian culture, and feel as if I should have as I've known at least a dozen people from India.

I'm glad you liked the comment, but I'm so sorry. I really should have known that, and didn't. Thank you for explaining. I won't forget that piece of information in the future. What a helpful thing to know!

Asif said...

Yes I’m proud to say that the eternal love and oneness is the hallmark of cultures of all our south asian countries.Politically we may be different but culturally we are all more or less the same.
On a different note, Even I’ve always believed in the present and I live for the moment myself. But being a human I fancy a chance to live again if given the chance to go back to our past. You see we learn so many wonderful lessons in life with our experience and if at all we get a chance to live again with such experience, can’t we create a heaven on earth???
The famous saying which generates a lot of feelings with in me is “It’s difficult being a legend in your own time.” Don’t you think the time machine is a wonderful aid in that angle? I’ve seen many people fantasising about going to the future using Time Machine but for me the mere thought of creating a Time Machine and the mere thought of being able to win over the times has been a fantasy. Moreover the theory of special Relativity has generated a lot of questions with in.
I have some very wonderful moments in my life which I want to cherish all my life. I love my school days a lot and I have met innumerable and lovely people in those years. I did my 12 years of schooling totally in 8 schools (thanks to my father’s transfers when he was in Govt service). I now miss all those lovely people and lovely moments in my life.
Hence, I’ve always lived in the fantasy of going to the past and live those wonderful moments again and again using Time Machine :).

The point you mentioned about Time being non linear has made my head spin for a moment :)… I am unable to digest the mere thought of it being non-linear. Sorry for being soo ignorant about the new studies. Now the moment I get hold of the theory, I would definitely go through it thoroughly. Thanks for sharing such valuable information.
And I can understand your imagination so well about the joke. But practically speaking, all the scientists in the world reach to their inventions or strive for the proofs only after imagining things. Hence I’ve always believed imagination is such a wonderful thing we all humans are equipped with. Isn’t it right to say that we are in fact on top of everything present on this world only because of our imagination and thinking.
Believe me; I enjoyed sharing a few words with you. In fact I love the way you present your feelings. Looking forward to read such valuable thoughts again and again.
Thanks once again for all your valuable and kind words.

LadyFi said...

A very moving and touching tribute to someone who sounds as if he is worth knowing.

slommler said...

Yes I think his house is his anchor. Especially his tree room. What a wonderful man Ivan is. Thanks for introducing him to me. And congrats on your post of the week!!

TSannie said...

This was all kinds of wonderful. You make me feel like I know this Ivan.

Well deserved POTW!

Protege said...

Absolutely worth the POTW win.
Congratulations and my compliments on a well written, very poignant post on sentiments we can all relate too.
Absolutely wonderful read, worth reading again and again.

Thank you so much for stopping by today and leaving a very kind comment with a very entertaining story, I enjoyed it very much.;)
Have a Happy Easter,

Land of shimp said...

Asif, isn't that just the most enthralling concept? I know when I first read it, I sort of wandered around for the rest of the day, feeling as if everything was painted new colors. I know that time theories are a bit beyond my actual understanding, but usually they contain something that had at least occurred to me in the past.

You know, the "Time as wheel." theory has been around for a very long time, and yet somehow, I'd never made the "all at once" leap with my imagination. Oh what the world must look like if these things spring easily to mind, you know?

Lady Fi, thanks for stopping by :-) Yes, Ivan is a man worth knowing, I think. I know my husband truly enjoys working with him...and he's different, if you understand what I'm saying.

Not "weird, upsetting" different, but rather oddly comforting in his difference. Technically my husband is his boss, and that's just a weird thought.

Don't get me wrong, my husband is a good, and decent sort of boss's just the idea of trying to have any sort of authority over Ivan that is such an odd thought. Ivan has that sort of presence where if an emergency occurred, you'd look to him for directions on how to handle it.

My husband's a bit like that, though. When Ivan helped Rob move the electronic equipment there was a moment that was somewhat odd. I was watching Rob do something, Ivan was by my side and he said, "He thinks the world of you, you know." and I replied, "Well, it's mutual." and very quietly he said, "It should be."

Which, isn't that nice? But it wasn't meant to be flattering, it was just this quiet observation, this reminder that really, my husband is a good, ethical guy. In that moment, I felt heartfelt sorry for the woman, Lady Brady, who through whatever means, lost this person who clearly has no trouble with loyalty.

Thank you, SueAnn. People are endlessly fascinating to me. Every time someone bemoans the fate of the world, I end up thinking about the people I know, and just how ...there are a lot of special human beings out there. We all know someone who just makes us think, "The human race gets a lot of things right." I'm sure Ivan isn't perfect, no one is, but in particular his two sons lucked out. They've both had big things go on in their life, and their dad was just steadfast through it all.

By the way, the son who went to jail, his story turned out quite well. He's now married, has a good career, a family. I couldn't help but wonder if his ability to turn things around wasn't due, in part, to the fact that ...even when he made a mistake that would make many people label him for the rest of his life...his dad just didn't do that.

Maybe that's why I clearly like the guy so much. Not only does he inspire that feeling of faith in the better nature of people, he clearly extended that towards someone he loves.

Aw well, musings, musings. Thanks for stopping by!

By the way, I also adore the tree room concept. Just...time to move the tree back to its room. Here we go!

Thank you, TSAnnie. It's a nice thought, isn't it? Just knowing that someone out there takes note...and then it's a nice thought for many other people do too. Just a gentle form of connection, making the day a little bit brighter.

Land of shimp said...

Zuzana -- Oh my goodness, what a wonderful name! It sounds like you should be Queen of something. Zuzana, Queen of all she Surveys. It's wonderfully regal, and special. I've never seen it before.

Thank you, I do appreciate it. I loved your post. I can't think of anything more worthwhile than giving people something to smile about, and that's exactly what your post did.

Daryl said...

Wonderful post. You know when you leave a comment, your email is not attached. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving the lovely comment .. I couldnt reply to it because there was no email.... anyway I didnt do that effect with the camera, I did it after I downloaded using's focal zoom effect.. Congrats on the POTW!

Izzy said...

Great story!!

ethelmaepotter! said...

Ivan is my kind of fellow - I tend to gravitate toward eccentricity and wounded souls...and it sounds as if Ivan has had a wounded soul more than once, and is definitely making the best of it.

My mother-in-law had the most hideous light fixture in her living room, and she absolutely loved it. It was a wagon wheel that had been broken at some point and was held together by duct tape; the tin shades were missing off two of the lights, and I never saw more than one bulb in the whole ugly mother-in-law was the queen of frugality, and I guess that's where my Fred gets his penny-pinching ways!

I think my own mother is the glue in our family, but the rest of the family, including my mother, has always said it's me. Funny, we use this same expression, even at work, and I've been told I'm the glue at work, too. Sometimes, the load is too much, and the glue starts to lose its has happened to me recently. I guess I just need to repair myself and start holding things together again!

Congratulations on a well-deserved POTW!

Cricket said...

Yay. So happy to see this post at Hilary's. Congratulations on your potw. I forgot it was even Wednesday. Perhaps you have seen the floods here on the news? Very close, but not actually in the house, which is all I can ask. Anyway, I was preoccupied....

It's time for me to seek the land of Nod. I'll read the other posts tomorrow. Just wanted to check in here first.

ds said...

It's always the quiet ones....Wonderful post, most deserving of POTW. I can "see" Ivan perfectly. Congratulations!
Now to ponder my own experiences of glue. Thank you for this.

Anonymous said...

Hilary has done it again-how she finds the time is a mystery, but find it she does, then she passes her finds onto us and we reap the rewards. Once again she has found a gem, a writer, a gifted writer with the ability to paint a story so vividly that it comes alive for the reader.
Congratulations for making the Post of the Week spot. I predict many more followers for this blog.

Dianne said...

congrats on POTW

the images you painted for me with this story were wonderful

I used to be the glue when my siblings were younger, now there just isn't much glue left and they don't stick as well.

But we try

Ivan Toblog said...

There is some irony in that you called this fella Ivan.
You'll get even fewer details from me.

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Hi Alane, long time.. What a beautiful story.. My mom hands down is the glue in my family. We'd all be completely lost without her.. If one day I have my own family I am able to bring to my family even 1/100th of what she keeps bringing, I'd consider myself very lucky.. as always, beautiful post..

Clowncar said...

nice post. nice character portrait. I love the idea of a Christmas tree room. and as you can tell from my recent posts about adoption and parenthood, ideas about glue and family have been resonating with me lately.

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