Diehards

Friday, 22 January 2010

Not a Crowd

There's something special about the number three: the triangle is the strongest shape. Grouping things together in threes makes them sing. My first experience of this was when an artist friend gave me a decorating tip: 'use three shades of your chosen colour,' she said, 'even if you can't see they are different it will give depth.' So when I moved into this house I took her advice. I painted all the rooms white (it was the 90s!) but used three shades: new white, off white, and lily white. I wasn't sure if it made a difference to anything more than my bank balance and sanity, but, sure enough visitors seemed much more comfortable here than they had in the last house. Several commented on how lovely it was even though it's a pretty ordinary, rather small, conversion (i.e. not actually a whole house at all).

I've since come across this theory in rhetoric and literature as well as the visual arts. Three is the golden number, it seems.

Today I have two threes to celebrate. The first is the third birthday of Edith, my best friend's daughter. Edith is a delight who has three passions: Hello Kitty, ballet, and animals. Happy birthday Edith, you will go far!

Secondly, it is the third anniversary of this blog which has proved a massive turning point for me, having connected me to so many sympathetic, empathetic, like-minded, convivial, supportive, people, I never have to feel alone, if I don't want to. Today I realise that this means I have had to take more responsibility for my life: I can no longer stamp my feet and wail, 'no body understands me!' because I have concrete evidence that a great number of people do. I've had to let go of the consolation of being an oddity, and embrace (the new consolation of) being part of a world-wide tribe.

Blogging itself comes as part of a glorious three, along with philosophy, which I began to study in 2004, and writing, which I took up in earnest just over two years ago. As the three whites acted on the rooms in my house, so these three have acted to make me feel my life has depth.

So, chin-chin, bottoms up and cheers to the power of three.

34 comments:

Pat said...

This has resonance for me and I hope you are right because as of today our fantastic four (we old dears of Minehead) has gone down to three.
Nothing terminal just geographic.

'I've had to let go of the consolation of being an oddity, and embrace (the new consolation of) being part of a world-wide tribe.'
That amused me because one of the reasons I feel at home amongst bloggers is I'm thinking their all a bit queer - except thee and me and thy's a bit queer at times.

Pat said...

Ouch ! For their read they're.

Wigeon said...

Happy blog birthday! Three years is great going and this is such an interesting blog.
I looked at you yesterday and thought this isn't the same woman who was in on our seminar at the end of last year. You have moved on, thankfully you've lost the horrible bad bit from your innards that was positively poisoning you and now you're ......well I think you're showing signs of absolutely blooming. Happy three all round. Now you can greet and embrace the world with fresh wtf's! Enjoy it and enjoy finding the new you. xxx

savannah said...

yippieeeeeee! congratulations and all the best, sugar! now come and get a pirate name! ;~D xoxoxo

The Pollinatrix said...

What a great post! I like the way your mind works.

I too am constantly amazed at the connections I've made through blogging, and how much it's affected the strength of my sense of self.

Kim Ayres said...

As the very first commenter on your blog 3 years ago today, I'll join you in the anniversary celebrations :)

Bottoms up!

angryparsnip said...

Congratulations !

Three Years... and this year will be even better than the last, all that bad stuff out of the way !

Your artist friend was right... even though you don't think you can see the difference your eye will ! and when the light hits the colors they will change hue and value.
The same goes for putting three or some uneven number items out as it fools and calms the eye... I could go on and on but. . .

Your sounding great !

Eryl Shields said...

Pat ~ Now you can be the theatrical three!

I think much the same about bloggers, it's that queerness that attracts me.

Wigeon ~ so nice to know that I am looking better, it means I'm not fooling myself.

Savannah ~ coming right over!

Pollinatrix ~ thank you! And welcome to my blog.

Kim ~ the first and only for quite some time. You are always welcome to the party, chin-chin!

Parsnip ~ I would happily have you go on! Perhaps you could write a book on it, I'd certainly buy it.

Feeling great, too.

steven said...

hey eryl - congratulations - both for your blog's birthday and also for your own massive moving on!!! that theyre connected is really cool. that you're connected is even cooler! steven

Mary Witzl said...

Yay, you're back! Happy 3rd blogging year to you!

(God...has it been that long?)

newjenny said...

It's good to read someone knowing how to feel positive in a thoughtful, sensitive and convincing way.

What you said about connecting to friends of the blog is great.

Philosophy, writing and a blog community - a smart combination; I can relate to that one.

Eryl Shields said...

Steven ~ the whole connectedness thing is very cool indeed.

Mary ~ it has; quite shocking isn't it?

Jenny ~ the thing I like most about blogging is that there are various dialogues going on and I can join in whichever I wish and be welcomed. It feels egalitarian in a way the 'real' world doesn't.

Golden West said...

It is amazing how quickly time passes. Blogging is a great exercise in self-expression and I'm delighted to hear it's been so rewarding for you!

Titus said...

3 years! Many congratulations, and more so on the three sides of your triangle.
Boys currently discovering three is the only way to go with "Geomag" if they want to build a structure with any chance of surviving whatsoever.

debra said...

Oh, Eryl, I am so glad ou are writing here and that I found you how ever long ago it was. I don't have a clue how it happened--and I suppose it matters not. I am glad to write what i have to say and know that someone will understand, whether or not he or she comments.
it is good.

Eryl Shields said...

Golden West ~ time does indeed pass alarmingly quickly! I could spend my days blogging which is why I have to stop altogether when I am working!

Titus ~ I have no idea what 'Geomag' is, will have to google! I remember being taught in school about the intrinsic strength of the triangle, and at Sunday School too: the father, son and holy ghost, was it? Have to hope that the three sides of mine are as mutually supportive!

Debra ~ you are kind! I can't remember how we met either; it must have been by commenting on another blog, or other blogs, and noticing mutual interest, I guess.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Very interesting post, three is a special number and I can see how it adds strength to lots of situations. I find it an awkward number for conversations though...

Happy blogoversary!

Scarlet Blue said...

Happy bloggy anniversary!
I always cluster ornaments in threes... but have noticed that five works quite well as well.
Sx

Eryl Shields said...

Crafty ~ I haven't noticed the conversation problem. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist, only that I haven't been observant, but I will be now.

Scarlet ~ I like groups of five too, X

jinksy said...

Congratulations on three of a kind in Blogland!

Philip said...

My computer is rubbish. I posted a couple of days ago but it didn't stick.
Happy anniversary! Am glad you're on the mend and very much enjoying reading you again. The three thing? Well yeah, but where is my third ear, eye, leg, arm?
Thinking about it - I have enough trouble co-ordinating the two of each of those.
By the way, your blog is a triumph (did you see what i did there, sorry rubbish wasn't it)
Philip.

Eryl Shields said...

Jinksy ~ thank you!

Philip ~ yes, my three thing argument, if it can be called that, doesn't stand up to too much scrutiny. Still, I feel quite triumphant that you are the first to pick me up on it.

Titus said...

Sorry, Geomag is construction thing with thin straight magnetic pieces and then ball bearings you use for joints. It's not easy, as the poles seem to shift constantly (there is a law of physics, involved) and the bit you want to place "just there" is always attracted to somewhere else "just over there". I think it's teaching them fortitude and how to construct The Pompidou Centre.

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

Three - a good period. And look where you are now. Congratulations.

Eryl Shields said...

Titus ~ it sounds like the kind of thing my brother would have sat quietly and patiently for hours with, and I would have trampled in frustration, when we were kids.

Abraham ~ thank you.

Meri said...

Happy Blog Anniversary! That's an accomplishment. So many people seem to fizzle out after a year or so, not enjoying the discipline. And as for three, it occurs to me that in painting the upstairs of my house, I used three different browns, from a warm sandy color to a caramel. It was unintentional -- I painted the "lounge" a medium tone first, then hired painters to paint the stairwell, the other bedroom, and the bonus room a warm sandy color. Then I redid the two upstairs bathrooms and wanted a paint to complement the granite and tile. Ended up with a really lovely mid-tone caramel, now my favorite of the three shades. I'll have to follow consciously next time I get the urge to paint on a canvas.

Eryl Shields said...

I have almost fizzled out several times, but I miss it when I stop for any length of time.

The three thing is interesting, being an artist you probably did it instinctively. I wonder if I try it with clothes people will think I have more depth! Worth a try.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Happy 3rd anniversary of your blog!

Lulu LaBonne said...

Happy Blogoversary, the three thing does pop up a lot doesn't it?

Faith, Hope and Charity
Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll...

Eryl Shields said...

Thank you Kathryn!

Lulu ~ two brilliant examples!

The World According To Me said...

Three is the magic number! I'm raising my glass to you and your posts and saying 'Happy 3rd birthday!' I look forward to the next three years! Isn't blogging great.

Pat said...

I've got a challenge for you on my post today. It's not compulsory - only if you have the time and inclination. See what you think. No rush;)

Eryl Shields said...

World ~ bottoms up! Blogging is great, yes, which reminds me I must do another post.

Pat ~ ooh, how exciting, I'll come right over!

Crafty Green Poet said...

I'm trying to comment on your movie post but Blogger won't let me so I'll comment here! I'm not aware that I've ever done anything specifically because I've seen it in a film but I'll have a think and let you know...