‘The World In Solemn Stillness Lay’

I have rage, random twitches of anger, the fact that I’m utterly pissed off at something so trivial really annoys me for a whole host of reasons.

So, during French class on Tuesday mornings we usually have a ten-fifteen minute break. Today we broke a little before eleven so that we could observe the silence in the cafeteria with everyone else. It was interesting because we kind of trailed into the cafe and so got to different places when the college speakers played Big Ben’s chimes. As soon as we heard the chimes everyone stopped in the place they were standing and fell silent. People going up and down the stairs, all along the corridors in pockets and sat at their tables in the cafe, everyone stopped still silently.

I loved it, there was something so right about it and the silence and the contemplation. I found myself seeing the rice fields in Japan where I stopped for the two minutes silence a few years ago. I found my mind wondering if any of those who died in the first world war would recognise this freedom we have, whether they would think it worth the sacrifice. I found myself thinking about peace.

I find it hard to be a Pacifist, but I am convinced that it is the only position to adopt. Until everyone realises that war is wrong it’s a position that’s going to be difficult but how else other than pacifism can you convince people that war is wrong? Anyway, I’m in the sort of position where I’m thinking all these thoughts and then the moment’s over and everyone’s walking on and moving into the cafe and just going on. Anyway I get my morning chocolate and sit down with everyone and I’m sat with the guy who looks like my dad – I’m not kidding, same haircut. same skin tones, same way of speaking and a lot of the same irritating mannerisms. To be honest he’s an alright bloke – well so’s my Dad really, but he pushes my buttons for no good reason other than it feels like I’m talking to my Dad. Well, except today.

So, I’m feeling all serious and thinking the line above (yeah, I know it’s a carol lyric but it seemed to fit) and sitting down when the Dad-look-a-like (and wouldn’t he really hate it if he knew that I was thinking that) says ‘I bet that’s not something you usually do’. Now, he’s said this once before to me, that time it was about coming to an adult class (as opposed to school) and I very nearly turned around and said ‘yeah, normally I’m teaching them’…it just bugs me when people assume they know me. Especially when they don’t. So anyhow, it bugged me on that level, but I was looking at him and thinking, you’re the baby-boomer generation, you’re the ones who really lucked out on what your parent’s generation did – giving their lives so that you could live well and free. You’ve told me about all the freedom that you’ve used and just last week you were telling me about how you couldn’t be arsed to take care of it.

Yeah I got narked at him last week because he was telling me he couldn’t be arsed to recycle (ok points to my Dad for this one but composting, recycling etc. feels like what you just do) to a fairly large amount, more than just not being arsed y’know.

Pointless and stupid anger and wondering how many assumptions people make based on generation, and how many people assume that no one could possibly understand the sacrifice of a generation one you get beyond the ones brought up whilst rationing was still on (that’d be Dad, Mum and I’m assuming Dad-look-alike).

‘m not easy-going I’m just stupidly annoyed at things I can’t do anything about, great, thanks Dad I know who I inherited that trait from.

2 thoughts on “‘The World In Solemn Stillness Lay’

  1. If I’d been you I so totally would have said that line about teaching the classes…

    Next time he says something patronising, ask him how old he thinks you are. When he makes a guess, I’ll bet you it’s 6-7 years younger than you actually are. If he asks why, tell him that you’re not so naive as he thinks, you’ve lived half way round the world for two years and you’re a qualified professional, and he shouldn’t be so quick to judge you as being a just-left-school-kid.

    If you care enough, that is. It’s what I’d do.

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