Monday, 7 January 2008

The wonder of a man and his maid(en)

Too wonderful for me

I can only reflect on these sayings of the man of Proverbs.

From the King James Version – Proverbs 30:18-19

There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:

The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.

The first two are elements of nature and still a matter of wonder, the soaring of the eagle and the time it took for man to master the science and art of flight which still fills me with a bit of wonder, as for the serpent on a rock, we do not have a vehicle that glides over terrain the way the serpent does.

The way of a ship in the midst of the sea is now a no-brainer except when you lose power for satellite navigation and you have not learnt to use the sextant – but for people of those times – getting from one place to another mostly using sails still remains a wonder of seamanship.

The warmth of companionship

The last however is a dynamic that still defies explanation, what is between the man and his woman is just not something you can get instruments out to measure.

I learnt years ago that one should never interfere in that dynamic, it is a force that can be both overpowering and endearing, I have had opportunity to observe the Prince and his Princess, the husband and the wife, the boyfriend and the girlfriend, the boy and the girl and always been overcome with wonder.

Yesterday, I was out to Puerto Rico, one of the coastal towns of Gran Canaria where the ode to the built-environment reads like a thousand stanzas of concrete verse. All the hills built into with white beautiful and ugly hotels just because Europeans of temperate and arctic climes seek warmth in the sun on a European island as far South of Europe as possible.

Big brother

As I walked back with the bus stop with ice-cream cone in hand, he said, “Would you like an ice-cream”, she said, “Oh! Yes, please”. They were probably in their sixties and full of fun – the Prince was playing big-brother, it looked and sounded so nice, though I did not expect to see them skipping hand-in-hand to the beach.

Playmates

Then, you wonder why the older generations go to dance classes, I could answer that question – they were dancing the night away – waltzing, fox-trotting, tangoing and whatever makes ballroom dancing exciting.

The decorum of this kind of dancing sweeps away from sight the grotesque antics of embarrassing middle-aged dancers. The Prince and Princess were playmates – I could not dance with myself, I need to consider dancing lessons too.

Protector

Walking through the nature reserve of Maspalomas, one can walk the dunes bare-footed but on the firmer ground of dried plants with footpaths to negotiate, there are dangers. Double-sided prickly disc-like seeds which adhere firmly to your shoes or sandals – the preferred footwear in those places – so, this couple were on an adventure to encounter pain when I warned them of the dangers.

The Prince answered back gruffly, obviously slighted by the fact that I may have pointed out that his was leading his Princess into danger. The Protector was not really being smart. Maybe afterwards, after picking out the barbs from her soles, kissing it better might salve the pain – I interfered.

Patriarch

The restaurant serves a buffet, which means people have to walk around the food tables to get what they like. In most cases, they walk around, have brief chats about the food and then make their choices before returning together to their tables.

However, there were some Princes who were too princely to walk around, their Princesses did all the running around and served their masters who almost expressed impatience for the lateness of the plate and dismissively waited for the plates to be cleared. The man does have a maid here, reminds me of a cheeky comment someone made when he asked if I had laid the maid, (talking about my cleaner) some people can never attain comportment. Oh! There were quite a few Patriarchs in the house and these are Europeans.

Partners

They were looking for the beach promenade and had walked around in circles till someone decided to ask questions – they even had a 5-month old boy in the pram shielded from the sun because you could not really apply sun-tan lotion on the skin of a toddler.

In fact, it was he, who asked the question about directions and I found out that unlike the commonly accepted view that the men never ask for directions, in this dynamic, it was the lady who would never ask for directions.

They shared the joy of helping each other; he pushed the pram through the difficult terrain of pavements without ramps for wheelchairs or trolleys as we walked to the promenade and all the way down to the Playa del Ingles beach where we parted ways. The Prince and Princess were partners.

A-Partners

The last night, he literally wailed as she began to put a distance between herself and him by running. He said, “You find their jokes funnier than mine”. Any Princess would be to rid of such a pathetic Prince. Somehow, there is still a dynamic at work, there is still an attraction that manages to tolerate the insecurity, but would this go on for much longer? The Prince and Princess were beginning to look like A-Partners.

A-partners, coined by the Sun newspaper to describe couples who get on well after separation.

No comments: