I came across this anecdotal story this weekend (in The magic of Metaphor by Nick Owen):
Thomas Edison: A strategy for genius
Thomas Edison took a long time to invent the first light bulb. Rumour has it that he made over 2000 experiments to perfect it.
At the press conference to launch his new invention, a pushy journalist put the knife in: “Say, Mr Edison, how did it feel to fail to make a light bulb two thousand times?”
“Young man,” said Edison, “I didn’t fail to make a light bulb two thousand times; I merely found one thousand, nine hundred and ninety nine ways how NOT to make a light bulb.”
This then reminded me of a Donald Swann and Michael Flanders sketch which I loved as a child (I have it on CD somewhere), which went something like this:.
“Uncle was an inventor. He invented a drink and he called it One Up.
Sadly this failed.
So he had another go and called it 2Up.
This wasn’t too popular either. So he created a new drink which he called 3Up.
This also failed to hit the spot. So he had another go and called it 4Up
But no luck
So on he went.
He called his final drink 6Up.
Then he gave up.
For those of you who want to know how last night went – I had a fabulous time with my friends at their Glee’s evening. We had a brilliant time singing Flanders and Swann songs (see my Music page for some!). We sang The Seahorse and The Sloth and many others. Wonderful food and great company!
Their friend was ‘interesting’. I have to say it’s rare for me to meet someone these days and feel I can see why they are divorced! Not so in his case!! I can totally understand why he is on his own!! Enough said! (But I proved I had lightening reflexes by catching his wine glass as he knocked it over and righting it before it hardly spilled a drop!!!)
I have just returned from a very early morning walk by the lake, which now has lots of ducklings swimming along behind their mothers. And we all know how I feel about ducks being in a row!!
The lake is still a very special place for me – but gosh so many memories. And they all flood back like a tidal wave whipped up by the wind. They come rushing to the shore and envelop my being. It’s a fight to keep them away. But it’s a fight I know I have to win. I have to walk the path and create new memories so I can push the others out. It’s always harder after I’ve had a particularly splendid evening out as the contrast is greater.
But to do the opposite and not have the fun is to live a mediocre life – and that I categorically do not want to do.
This is a Raincoat and Umbrella Post! (Updated)
I keep wishing all this will be like Dallas or Dynasty (I didn’t really watch either so I’m not sure which!) and I’ll wake up and find it was a bad dream. Except there’s quite a lot of the last 22 months I’d like to keep!!
Shame life’s not like that!!
So back to reality: I’ve completed the loft clearance and cried masses – and thrown away loads of things. God knows what state I’m going to be in by Friday if this carries on.
My great friend has been keeping in touch and has insisted I take breaks and go round to her house for cheering sustenance!!
And I’ve been playing my Flanders and Swan CDs – The Bestiary is a good morale booster – or should be!
Crying is not a good look!! At least not in my case!!
It really is a very good CD. I had forgotten.
The tracks are full of wisdom – given with wonderful, gentle humour.
Flanders and Swann had a brilliant knack of summing up important points in life in their cleverly constructed lyrics and melodies.
Tracks like “The Sloth” viewing life from upside down:
“making a smile of very frown”
“The armadillo” –
“Never tell a man the truth about the one that he adores”
And the lullaby to a sea horse is just plain beautiful.
I appear to be wallowing rather this weekend – lots more tears last night and this morning. Still at least I managed to sleep past the 3.00am slot which is a plus. 3.00am is a ‘killer’ – the world is a bleak place and my mind goes to very dark and dismal places at 3.00am and I have seen so many of those over these last 17 months. In fact I could almost count on the fingers of one had the nights I have managed to sleep through the 2.00 – 4.00 am slot.
If I wasn’t me I would be saying “She’s not taking this at all well!”
People say I am coping and doing well – I wish I thought so too.
Perhaps I am. Perhaps I am expecting too much of myself. But if I don’t then no-one else will and really if I am going to get through this – and I AM determined I will – I have to ‘tick myself off’ when I seem to be sinking back into my pit of despair.
At the divorce support group I went to for 10 weeks we had to draw a ‘road map’ showing where we felt we were at the beginning and then the end of the sessions. And then where we ultimately wanted to be. I feel as if I have been in reverse these last few days.
OK I know it’s probably to do with the Decree Nisi and I know IT IS only a piece of paper. BUT IT MATTERS!
End of ramble – I am off for an early morning walk