That Paulo Coelho piece on washing dishes has stayed with me. The thinking can be applied to any minor annoyance - for instance, it's a pet hate of mine that Bert gets toothpaste juice all over the mirror almost every day of his life. But why fret? It only takes moments to clean and I'm much better off pondering on how lovely it is to have the company of a funny, kind man even if he is a bit throughother in the bathroom and everywhere else.
Last autumn he planted a hamamelis (witch hazel) in the garden. It will flower in the winter time, he said. And it's scented. The smell will be glorious.
It flowered just before Christmas. Wait until we get a balmy day, he said. Wait until you smell it then.
So the balmy day came. Can you smell it, he said. Isn't it lovely?
I couldn't smell it. Not even when I got right up beside it and buried my nose in its flowers.
What does it smell like?
Flowery. Like Zoflora.
I couldn't smell a thing. Was he gaslighting me? Yet, I worried. Am I losing my sense of smell? He smokes, I don't. It should be me that has the keener sense of smell.
Later that day I accidentally broke a bottle of Zoflora. I could smell that. Bert is sitting in the next room, smoking.
Can you smell that?
I walked into the next room and I couldn't smell anything. Worrying. Yet when the cat shit in the wet room I got that whiff. Of course, I looked it up on the internet. It could be a cold. I haven't got a cold. It could be nodules. No thank you! It could be something totally drastic the same as the person had whose funeral I am going to tomorrow. Or Bert could be gaslighting me. But he hasn't the imaginative powers to do that. Nor is he mean enough. And he could smell the Zoflora from the next room.
I wonder what the hamamelis does smell like.