“Fair is foul and foul is fair; Hover through the fog and filthy air” – Macbeth (William Shakespeare)

 When I first read these words at the end of Scene I in Macbeth many moons ago in my teen years of high school studies I didn’t quite understand what ole Wills was getting at. Almost two decades have passed since then and for reasons unknown to me those lines have leaked from the recesses of my memory and tantalised me with annoying repetition in the past week.

Today it dawned on me that the words are one of many clichés, quirky one-liners or wise old sayings that speak of the paradox of life. Nothing is ever as simple as “good or bad”, “young or old”, “love or hate” and so on. And these paradoxical moments or feelings rarely exist as singular experiences. Always where the one is, the opposite hovers in the shadows. And sometimes they’re so closely intertwined it’s hard to know what the outcome will be.

I’ve had what by my definition can only be termed as a foul week. There were certainly moments when the air was foul and filthy with the stench of my fears, blues and downright “feeling rubbish” moments. The hand of despair and intense sadness pressed down on my chest like a boulder. And then somewhere in and amongst the blues, there’d be these moments of joyful surprises – unexpected correspondence from someone seemingly out of reach; messages of support and encouragement from people I least expected it from; good news of a dear friend in remission from cancer and getting the work package she’d been hoping for; cuddly, tender moments with my twelve year old and warped laughter bordering on mockery with my boyfriend just to keep things from getting too intense.

And it’s in these paradoxical twists, turns and meanderings that I realize life is being lived just as it should be and always teetering on the balance between foul and fair.


    31 replies to "Paradoxical moments"

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    • MsMalia

      Wendy i came across a poem that you might like…i know i read Cavafy’s poetry quite often as it humbles me…
      Candles
      Days to come stand in front of us
      like a row of burning candles-
      golden,warm and vivd candles.

      Days past fall behind us,
      a gloomy line of burnt-out candles:
      the nearest are still smoking,
      cold,melted ad bent.

      I don’t want to look at them: their shape saddens me,
      and it saddens me to remembertheir original light.
      I look ahead at burning candles.

      I don’t want to turn, don’t want to see,terrified,
      how quickly that dark line gets longer,
      how quickly one more dead candle joins another.

      The clouds will lift girl. Just remember that news and events are just burning candles that burn away and there are more lit on the way.Thinking of you. Enjoying your blog too. :o) Will be in touch soon. xo

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