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That Emmental Moment. Wednesday October 5, 2016

You know it's been tough for me and my family this year.

I won't bore you with details – the details are not mine to bore you with, and I wouldn't want to bring you down, but – it's not been a joyride for any of us.

At times it has felt like looking down into a great chasm. At times it has felt like there has been a great divide between my family and me.

I am not talking about the thick sheet of fogged plate glass that exists when I am in one of my depressions; I'm used to existing in that murky gloom while they continue their normal lives around me. This is more of an ideological divide.

I first became aware of it with the Brexit vote. We were split: they were all on one side, I was on the other. Passionately and completely on the other. I can never remember falling out with anyone over politics before. But it wasn't about politics: the politics was only a reflection of the way we viewed the world. I saw that my children's views were a pure reflection of my husband's views and that they all saw the world in a way utterly alien to me.

I have felt that my ideas and philosophies have been dismissed, unvalued and disregarded. I have felt myself dismissed, unvalued and disregarded.

And that pattern has been repeated in a number of areas so that I have felt more and more isolated.

But this morning my sister turned it around for me with one sentence. She said, "You're looking at the hole. But you need to look at the cheese."

And I'm going to leave it there. I am looking at my cheese, and feeling grateful that I have cheese (and that no one has, as yet, moved it). It is a good and tasty and nourishing cheese.

And there is far more cheese than holes.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Tutti Frutti Wed, Oct 5th 2016 @ 7:43am

With such a close result there must be a lot of people in your position Mary. Doubtless the moodscope community will also be divided over the issue so I suggest we all try to avoid commenting on the politics of it and concentrate on what Mary has said about ways in which we feel connected or disconnected to those close to us (or holes and cheese). I am glad that your sister was able to help you Mary.Cling to the cheese. Love TF x

Mary Wednesday Wed, Oct 5th 2016 @ 9:20pm

Very wise words TF. This was not meant to be a political post in the least (note I was careful not to mention which side I espoused) and I would have been distressed if the politics had overtaken the cheese. Swiss cheese at that, and the Swiss - so far as I know - are not part of the EU!

Andrew Wed, Oct 5th 2016 @ 9:07am

Wow - and the award for the best analogy of the day goes to Mary! I love analogies - the way we can paint meanings using word-pictures - they deepen understanding of often complex issues, like depression, like politics, like life itself. And this one is a belter! Concentrate on the cheese, not the it! Oh, and don't get me started on Brexit! I'm with TF on that one....!

Sophie Wed, Oct 5th 2016 @ 9:10am

What a brilliant analogy, thank you Mary

the room above the garage Wed, Oct 5th 2016 @ 9:29am

Thoroughly understand. And how it seems like the cheese is melting at times! Its hard to keep going at these times. When it feels like nothing can ever be the same, I look for perspective. Instead of looking at today or this week, I fast forward into ten years time and remember that by then, this will be a distant memory...invest now in what you want for then. Will try to take my own advice today. Love ratg x.

Sue Wed, Oct 5th 2016 @ 11:21am

love the analogy. Today I have plenty of holes but will try and look at the cheese instead. Thank you

Benjamin Wed, Oct 5th 2016 @ 11:59am

Politics has always been wrapped up in identity and choice of community; but it has been a while since it was also so clearly an issue of religion. By this, I do not mean anything in particular to do with the Mideast. Religion frames meaning and purpose; and through them, identity. Currently, the globalizing religion which has been dominant in the US and Europe has faced challenges worldwide; and because its theology is one of perpetual progress and total inclusion of all people, these setbacks have surprised many who did not realize it could be questioned. Viewing the conflict as religious in nature may adjust expectations; and perhaps suggest how the conflict might be mitigated or healed.

Jul Wed, Oct 5th 2016 @ 12:54pm

Hi Benjamin. I am fascinated by your reply and read it three times so that I might fully understand your meaning. Mary's blog to me is simple with her Emmental cheese analogy and your comment seems a complicated one to unravel. I think you are focussing on religion rather than politics and telling us that a conflict can be resolved by looking at a problem from the perspective of religion? Yes? What you say is very interesting about how western religious leaders are surprised at how others question its inclusivity etc and all it stands for. But how does this help Mary's family problem? There are many ways domestic/family conflict can be healed and Mary's suggestion of viewing the cheese rather than the hole is a good simple one. It's good of you to comment Benjamin and please forgive me if I am being thick in not understanding completely your meaning. I have taken your comment seriously. Best wishes Jul xx

Tutti Frutti Wed, Oct 5th 2016 @ 4:27pm

Hi Jul My reading of what Benjamin is saying is that people's views over brexit went above and beyond the usual level of engagement with politics. This is therefore likely to have led to the kind of very difficult arguments you get when you challenge deeply held beliefs such as religion. It is generally accepted that we need to respect other people's religious beliefs and perhaps there are lessons to be learned from that in how we deal with the bad feeling that has arisen in the wake of the brexit vote. I may not be interesting this right of course but I thought he had a good point. Hope this helps. Love TF x

Tutti Frutti Wed, Oct 5th 2016 @ 4:29pm

Sorry "interesting this right" should be "interpreting this right" in the above. TF

Jul Wed, Oct 5th 2016 @ 6:10pm

Yes I think you are right Tutti Frutti. I certainly agree that we should be tolerant of other people and the decision each person made over the Brexit vote. I suppose when reading Benjamin's comment I wasn't thinking he was referring specifically to the Brexit vote but I can see now that he was! Many thanks TF. Julxx

Jul Wed, Oct 5th 2016 @ 6:11pm

Sorry meant to add that I think Benjamin made a good point too. Jul xx

Duma Wed, Oct 5th 2016 @ 3:27pm


Would you be comfortable, if I were to quote the fourth law of The Scientific Method (see Dialectical Materialism)?

I'll risk it.

"There is a duality of opposites."

Reason I mentioned that, is that we keep having polar opposite problems/experiences/blind spots...

...everyone talks to you and no one seems to listen...

...while (until recenty) noone told me ANYTHING and everybody listened.

Playing 'the mammoth in the room' is fun and WAY more sincere a form of flattery than imitation.

Those holes once held gaseous cheese, they are worth every penny!

Cheerfully yours, Duma.

The Gardener Wed, Oct 5th 2016 @ 4:06pm

Mary, could you send your sister over to administer a good kick? All my cheese has holes today - need another analogy as am allergic to cheese. All my roses have mildew, perhaps? Electricians who should have had my new lights in place say not their job, cornice painter job. Painter excellent, says job not within his capabilities, so holes in ceiling, no lights. Man supposed to be signing first act of buying the house has disappeared from the radar. Then news that a co-grandmother died this morning, after 5 years of varied sufferings, of a massive tumour on the liver. She was still writing me in lovely calligraphy not long before she died. Meanwhile Mr G being as bad as he can be - I know he's a 'sick' man, but the experts say that there is a lot of manipulating and dominance in it as well. As he is cosseted from morning to night, I am feeling very un-christian, seeing him in a super armchair, feet up, rug and electric fire, tea and biscuits - and the events of the day drive me so screaming mad that I'm letting steam off via the computer. I was enjoying some gardening at house for sale, but the running commentary of moans got to me. I'm sorry for this - coping with a situation which demands the utmost patience when EVERYTHING has gone wrong is tough. So Duma and others, I am very 'uncheerfully' yours.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Oct 5th 2016 @ 9:17pm

We are a safe place to vent. And you paint such glorious pictures with your words, even when you "moan" (not moaning: it's expressing frustration - and we understand - at least I do). Receiving hand-written letters in beautiful handwriting is wonderful. My friend Raz has such lovely writing. I cherish each one of his communications with me. Each one is a work of art. So your words remind me of that. As for feeling unchristian - it's probably when we are struggling with those feelings we are at our most Christian: not my will but thine and - "For Goodness' Sake, Lord - give me strength!!!"

Brum Mum Wed, Oct 5th 2016 @ 4:09pm

An interesting analogy. I can see how upsetting holding different political views to your nearest and dearest could be. However, you may be surprised that you are the butter in the sandwich that keeps everything together, to use another analogy. Your sister's got it right.

The Gardener Wed, Oct 5th 2016 @ 4:28pm

Oh, and thanks to Brexit our income (on exchange rate) is down 500 euros per month - the cost of one week of respite for Mr G. And idiot politicians claim that thanks to the Stock Exchange on a high UK industrialists will rush out and build new factories - won't be able to staff them because all 'foreigners' will be sent home. Who said 'It's a mad, mad world'?

Tutti Frutti Wed, Oct 5th 2016 @ 4:37pm

I am sorry you are having such a difficult time. I hope that letting us at moodscope know what's going on has made it feel a bit less awful and I am pleased you can be yourself here without pretending to be cheerful. I don't know what I can possibly say to someone in your circumstances but I hope something will improve your situation soon. Love TF x

Orangeblossom Wed, Oct 5th 2016 @ 5:03pm

Hi Mary, I love your idea to focus on the cheese and not the holes. Thanks for the fresh perspective.

The Gardener Wed, Oct 5th 2016 @ 5:53pm

Thanks TF. I am now getting a cold - Mr G near zombie now, but a very demanding one. Clinging to one thing - Moodscope score new low (cf the pound) but I make myself look round at what I've achieve - good work, gives pleasure, serves its purpose - so, today is black, but tomorrow will only put doing a new shop window on the agenda, if I can do that can at least score on the 'proud' card. Going out to dinner, staff at restaurant super - but I have a wheel-chair to manoeuvre!

Ruth Wed, Oct 5th 2016 @ 7:53pm

Thank you so much Mary. The cheese analogy will stay with me. Really helpful.
Oh Gardener, I feel for you and will hold you in my thoughts.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Oct 5th 2016 @ 9:19pm

Thank you everyone who has commented. As so often on a Wednesday, I have not been near my computer. but I do appreciate everyone.

Sally Wed, Oct 5th 2016 @ 10:46pm

Great analogy from your sister, Mary. So visual it hits home. I must remember to use it.
Good luck, Mary . It's not easy!

Nicco Sat, Oct 8th 2016 @ 4:19pm

A great blog, Mary, thank you. It reminds me of my husbands gardening trousers - I get embarrassed if someone calls when he is wearing them as they are more patch than trouser! But at least they are trousers, and are probably more robust having thick patches on them and they do a wonderful job!

Nicco Sat, Oct 8th 2016 @ 4:27pm

Ps: When I saw your blog I thought, at first glance, it said, That 'Emmanuel' Moment! Also, a while ago I'd never heard of emmntal cheese, but I'd seen it written in a magazine so phoned my daughter and asked her (I'll try and spell it the way I said it) "What's Eee-mental cheese?!" Needless to say, she hooted with laughter! Her answer? "Eee, have you not heard of it before? I've got a mental mother"! then she told me how I should have been pronouncing it!

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