(The following definitions are taken from Dictionary.com)
- Vim (Noun) - lively or energetic spirit; enthusiasm; vitality
- Vigour (Noun) - healthy physical or mental energy or power; vitality
- Vamoose (Verb) - to leave hurriedly or quickly; decamp
My friend from Kindergarten/Primary School (Elementary for you North Americans) and I spent nearly three hours together talking and to be honest we never missed a beat. We ate, had a beer, I stretched and hobbled around as needed (and managed to resist the urge to lie down on my booth seat!) and we talked.
Ours was a bit of a funny story really. As kids we were thrust together to some extent cause our mother's were friends, we were in a small school together and to be honest neither of us really fit in with the "cool kids". We were both being raised by divorced women (no big deal today it was a different story in 1970!) We both had professional and relatively affluent fathers who had shit on our mothers in the divorces. We both read like wildfire and we both had a passion for the works of the wonderful Enid Blyton. Our closest times were spent playacting characters from these Enid Blyton books and running around the neighbourhood, and the mudflats on the Lane Cove River, pretending we were having the same kind of adventures as the Famous Five or the Secret Seven. In year 5, I was moved to a different school and things changed. Although she joined me at the new school from years 7 to 10 we never resumed the same level of close friendship. She was an intellectual bookworm (a genius I believe) who was quite a loner and I was a gregarious, athletic girl who was always participating in one activity or another. We remained friendly but we weren't really friends and our shared history slid away like so much other flotsam and jetsam bobbing in our wakes.
You must be wondering by now what this has to do with my title and the definitions in my introduction. Never fear! I won't leave you hanging - I'm on my way back to the point.
Of all of the old friends I have reconnected with no other has referenced so clearly who I was when I was young. She said, "You were fearless, You'd do anything!" She pointed to a palm tree that probably stood fifty feet tall, and said, "You would have been at the top of that." I would have too. I would have shimmied up that naked trunk, like a monkey, and hung upside down from the fronds at the top. She told me something I had never known; that she had envied me my fearless physicality. I was the living definition of vigour and enthusiasm. My barely controllable surplus of energy and my readiness to participate were a hindrance to me as a teenager. I didn't have Buckley's chance of even simulating the droll ennui of the "cool girls" the vitality, the vim, was sparking from me like electricity, in fact I was the very picture of a "live wire".
Until a few years ago I would have still described myself as very enthusiastic. One of the reasons I loved living in the US is that enthusiasm is appreciated there - it actually attracts people rather than making them look at you like you are embarrassingly energetic. I think mentally I am still capable of enthusiasm, I get enthusiastic about writing these blogs, I am enthusiastic to convey clearly what I think and feel. The outward signs of my mental passion have dimmed though... My body no longer permits me to move or respond quickly or forcefully, and the crisp and powerful gestures have been watered down to careful and restrained movements.
Twelve hours from now I am going to attend the Rally to Re-Occupy Sydney and I am hoping that my friend from kindergarten will be there. She doesn't like crowds, but she said she will try. My other friend has said she is coming too (the one I met up with at the other rally).
I don't like crowds either and I'll stay well clear of any mass of people, I'm not fearless any more, I don't want to be bumped or jostled - that shit hurts! I would go everywhere in a bubble of padding if I could. I guess the bottom line is that when vim and vigour vamoose you have no choice other than to take it very gently.