Thursday, November 27, 2008

Memed, or: I write a little about myself, as though I don't usually

I was tagged by Lena in a very roundabout manner, and during this long and rainy afternoon at work where the humid morning threw itself before the oncoming train of a drizzly afternoon, I spake thus:

1. Go down to this post. That’s a picture of me. See my hair? It may come as a heart-stopping shock, but that colour ain’t real. The tan is, although it is sadly depleted and dry as I have not yet emerged from my winter burrow.

2. When I was born my father called his Tibetan teacher in Dharamsala, India, and asked him to give me a Tibetan name. The usual way to do this is for parents to ask His Holiness the Dalai Lama to name their newborns, so Tenzin ran up the mountain and asked for a name for his new daughter. I was named Tenzin Lhamo. Most Tibetan children are given a first name which accords with that of the current Dalai Lama (currently Tenzin Gyatso), and Lhamo means goddess. It was also the birth name of the current Dalai Lama, so he gave me his own childhood name.

3. When I was in Prep I was a head and shoulders above the other kids. I had reached down to achieve average by about 17, but I still have an internal image of myself as clunkily towering over everyone like a giantess and taking up more room than I should.

4. I always wanted to be a historian, and I was fascinated with what I learnt in my super-major at uni. I was also very very lazy and very very isolated, and realised that I have neither the intellectual shininess nor the grit-teeth tenacity to succeed in academia. Also I have forgotten almost everything I learnt so I now know I have a memory like sieve with a hole punched through the bottom, except for anything useless or celebrity-gossipy, where I have a God-given gift of lifelong photographic recall (enhanced by my many years of poring over my grandma’s Woman’s Day).

5. I am terrified of slipping and falling, and of spiral staircases. I'm not afraid of heights, or of just falling, but of the slipping and the falling. Spiral staircases are my undoing. I was at Blarney Castle in Ireland in 2000, and a staircase there is so steep that there's a rope (a rope!) instead of a proper metal handrail. There's one tower to go up, and one down. Upon beginning my descent I ran into some people (idiots! nasties!) coming up. I yelled at them until they turned around and went back down again, cos there was no way I was moving in any way even an inch except slowly, slowly, step by step, to the bottom.
6. I have a feeling that this is related to my first memory. I was one. I was wearing some green woolly tights and a dress. My uncle carried me to the top of a wooded tipi in a park. My mum said "Hold on to her tight!". My uncle said "She's fine! She's a good climber!" and
he let go of my dress
all the way on to the ground.
My uncle says the moment I started to cry was the best moment of his life. I remember lying on the ground, seeing my mum and my uncle's faces, and although I'm sure that chatty as I am I had no conversational language skills at 12 months, I'm sure I remember thinking something like "Don't worry! I'm ok! Don't look so worried".

And then I felt the most splitting pain the back of my head and I started to cry.

I realise I must be recreating some of this. But that's what I remember so that's what I'm sticking with.

7. I need laser eye surgery. R: -5.00; L: -5.25.


Lisa Dempster said...

I love that you have a Tibetan name. And that you have spatial body issues - I do too. I think it's really common for women. It's bizarre when you think about it. I mean, how can your body feel bigger than the size it actually is? But that clumsy/awkward/hulking feeling is unmistakable.

I have no idea what those eye number means. I fail as a glasses-wearer.

Theresa said...

Woah, you have the same name as the Dalai Lama. How cool!

It's funny you still think of yourself as giant. I was very small when I was in school, and then I got a bit tall-ish in high school. I still think of most people as bigger than me, though, even when they're not.

Léna, said...

i actually am a giant but feel like a teeny tiny person.

consequently i am clumsy and look ridiculous in playsuits.


Miss T said...

Lisa, it means that anything beyond about 10-12 centimetres from my face is a blur. I could probably maker a cup of coffee in my own house, but I couldn't read a book and if I tried to cross a road I'd die for sure. I always think that if I was born before glasses were common I would be a total non-event of a person, unable to work or marry or do any of those things old-fashioned ladies did ... in fact I think I'd almost be a cripple and have to live inside.

Lena, I'm sure your playsuits are ADORABLE.

Theresa - can't wait for dinner Monday! Kristy has chosen well with Enlightened Cuisine.

Anonymous said...

Rarie but your Tibetan name sounds like cat food! Much better to have a nice regal one with umlauts like Tenzin Chodon.
But the coffee in your cupboard (that you could just about make with your blindaugen) is rather nice, so credit to you for that.
Miss T Minor