21 July 2008

Rambling and Contemplating

If you are a certain kind of single person (i.e., one who would like not to be single, but is not yet settled enough where she lives to do such things as go to the pub, being busy every evening), you spend a reasonable amount of time cruising around places like match.com, just to get a sense of what might be on offer.  And having now done this in the UK, I have two questions.

Nature:  What's the damn deal with it?  Don't get me wrong.  I actually quite like nature.  I particularly like open fields, tall hills, and wandering around nature in the drizzle or fog.  Two years ago I went for New Year's Eve at my best friend's, and she and her parents and I had one of the nicest walks I've ever been on, in the damp and fog.  I certainly like striding about personfully in nature.  In fact, I'd say I like it even more than I like striding about personfully in the city, and that's quite a bit.  And vistas?  I love 'em.  Standing on top of a high hill and beholding teeny tiny houses down below, or the clean lines and varying greens of separated fields:  I love the crispness and miraculousness of the view.  But I cannot for the life of me understand the desire to go out and ramble about in nature every weekend.  Actually, it might be the "rambling" that's the problem.  I like hardihood in nature, or I like climbing up and viewing.  Bushes and brambles don't really appeal to me (although I just want to say here that I REALLY like mud).  So I can't get what appears to be a mania on the part of Englishmen over 35 for nature.  Perhaps it's the "oh sylvan Wye!" aspect of it:  that is, it seems to me that there's something somehow vaguely pretentious about loving nature - although I know that can't be true, given the evidence of my own feelings for it.

Second, spirituality:  what's the damn deal with it?  I think I must just be missing that gene. I don't know if there's a God, and I do wonder about it sometimes, but I can't say I'm spiritual at all. To me, "spiritual" means dream-catchers, and vaguely new-age ideas, and a true belief in karma or the ebbings and flowings of universal energy.  I'm sorry, but I just don't have it.  I'm too much of a rationalist, I suppose.  

If I loved someone, though, I would go camping with them, and I'd probably go for rambles in nature.  And what's more, I expect I'd quite enjoy the rambling.  After all, it would smell good, and leaves would crunch and birds would sing, all sensual experiences that I like.  And I do quite like learning to identify trees, and quiet, and both would certainly be available on rambles.  But spirituality I don't think I could ever do.  Maybe it was all that going to church with my last boyfriend but one -- although I enjoyed the going to church (but not the concomitant "I'm a Jew; what am I doing here" guilt).  So, no, I think it's just that I try to be good, and to sort out the world, without thinking that's all part of something larger and more cosmic.

Gosh, I sound tough and unyielding in this.  I'm not really that way, just so you know.

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