Howling at the Moon


For some years now, as part of my reflections on the western society of which I am a part I have referred to “The Air Hostess’s Smile”. It is a smile which accompanies her question, “Do you want anything from the tray” or “I hope you enjoyed your flight”. It offers nothing real, is only skin deep and should not be taken personally. In other words it is largely without content. In many situations we live on a diet of corporate intimacy. Smiles without warmth, praise without stamina.

If someone says, “Have a nice Day” and you stop by them and say. “That is so moving. You don’t even know me and yet you wish me that. Such generosity of spirit. Such warmth. And you do it to everyone you say goodbye to; You must have an incredible soul” They would look at you as though you had slipped your moorings, lost your grip on reality and ceased to be a member of the mentally ordered society”. In short you would be considered “Bonkers”.

Should you read the small print issued on the back of the flight ticket it might include the words. “Any praise or compliment offered by this airline in the course of its commercial dealings with you: is for display purposes only. It is not personal and implies no approval of, or recognition for, your character”.

In the same way I have come across people revealing their secret thoughts and fears in a way which is moving and disturbing. According to some ancient instinct one is moved to give them a hug or write to them personally telling them you hear them and you will not let them down. Of course they are not talking to you: they are talking to life and the comment, though personal, is not addressed to you. They are just Howling at the Moon.

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About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in community, faith, Life, Relationships and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Howling at the Moon

  1. I love your idea of the ‘air hostess smile’. I think I’ll keep howling at the moon! 🙂

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  2. Caroline says:

    Howling at the Moon is definitely what some of us are doing. But I can assure you the comments and ‘virtual hugs’, the encouragement and praise really DO COUNT and help in more ways than you can imagine! For me they are that extra nudge not to let myself down.

    Thank you for all the encouragement you give me on my blog

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  3. eof737 says:

    Interesting observations Chris… though I must say that revealing, painful things I’ve read on many blogs were heartfelt and the sympathetic comments were appreciated… it would be a shame if all we did was howl at each other… no? 😉

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  4. Jillsy Girl says:

    Do the back of airline tickets really say that?

    I agree with the others. My blog isn’t the kind to divulge personal feelings since it is a photoblog, but others that I follow can, from time to time, offer posts as such and comments do tend to help the author quite a bit.

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  5. Shonnie says:

    Duckie … so glad that you finished this …. Because your comments on my posts have been some of the most empowering I have received. Glad to know that you hadn’t finished. I wish I could say that I have never hit publish before I was finished, but I have. 😀

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  6. Julie says:

    Your last 7 words – that says it all. Now paying attention to it all can be so much more fun!

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