The Ecstatic Gesture

This is not a post about daffodils, I assure you, in spite of the quote I am about to share.

As we all know, the only way to plant daffodils is to pile them on to a tray, and then to run out into the orchard and hurl the tray into the air, planting them exactly where they fall. There may be other, less orthodox methods; if so they should be spurned. The tray, the ecstatic gesture — that is the only sure road to success. –Beverley Nichols

Excellent advice for planting daffodils, but what do you think about the three other words in this quote which have been niggling away at me for some time now? The Ecstatic Gesture. How I love the idea of it. It is the exuberant release of inhibition and the joyful expression of individuality which appeal to me so deeply. And leave me feeling vaguely inadequate somehow.

Why? Because I’m just not capable of the ecstatic gesture. Not really. I have my moments when I might burst into song to an indifferent audience of one Westie-boy, but that’s not exactly a daily occurrence. Am I some sort of dullard that I am not metaphorically hurling bulbs into the air? So steeped in introversion that I’m left pining away on the sidelines not experiencing life to its fullest, more an observer than participant?

I’ve asked friends the ecstatic gesture question. One described running outside after a drought into the pouring rain to dance and splash in the puddles. Marvelous! But I wouldn’t do that. Not because I don’t think it’s wonderful, but because it wouldn’t even occur to me.

Fortunately, there is a flip side to this gesture coin.

A dear friend lost her husband a few weeks ago, and there have been, among the tears, many warm and funny memories shared of this special man. He was an extrovert, I guess, a man capable of – if not ecstatic gestures – certainly memorable ones. He once gelled up his hair troll doll-style and came downstairs for breakfast with a perfectly straight face while his family collapsed in helpless laughter. How do you not love a man like that?

Of all the stories I’ve heard about him over the years, my favorite surfaced just a day or two after his death. It involved something quiet and intimate. It seems that occasionally before leaving for work in the morning, he would write a love note on an orange in the fruit bowl. “I Love You.” “You’re Beautiful.” Imagine the delight upon its discovery. Imagine the impact of this one small gesture in the life of his now grieving wife.

90c931c48533fea542773fce7ad3b33b

This is what it’s all about, I suppose. It’s not so important that the gesture itself be an ecstatic one. What really matters is to leave behind a trail of gestures that have left others feeling ecstatic, loved or cherished.

Even introverts can do that.

How about you? Introvert or extrovert? Ecstatic gesture or no?

And I thank you for reading,

Barbara

Advertisements

About Silver in the Barn

Life in a 1915 farmhouse in Central Virginia. Blogging about whatever happens to catch my fancy - sometimes nonsense, occasionally not.
This entry was posted in Random Ruminations and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

155 Responses to The Ecstatic Gesture

  1. carolwallace says:

    Well done, Barb!

    Like

  2. Wow. Now this is a great post. I love the thought of ecstatic gestures and I’ve long rued the fact that I’m not one who dances in the rain so to speak. But your take on it, that we only need to leave behind a trail of gestures that make others ecstatic, well, that even I might just be able to pull off! Thanks, Barbara. This is my favourite of all your posts so far!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s taken me some rumination to figure out how I feel about being the kind of person rather incapable of ecstatic gestures. Figuring out the flip side of it is what motivated me to write this post and I so appreciate your immensely kind comment. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that daffodil idea so much I have an urgent desire to go out and plant an orchard to throw them in.

    I’m an introvert but I am prone to the occasional ecstatic gesture. That’s Actor Me coming out. Or maybe just Silly Me who likes to stick her head up occasionally.

    Do you ever push the shopping trolley really fast down the supermarket aisle and then lean on the handle and lift your feet to ride it the rest of the way? No? Just me then?

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This is beautiful, Barbara. From one introvert to another, I can see my own approach in your words: “So steeped in introversion that I’m left pining away on the sidelines not experiencing life to its fullest, more an observer than participant?” At some point, I forced myself to learn the behaviors of extroverts. But it doesn’t come naturally. And ecstatic gestures? Well, ‘ecstatic’ simply means ‘filled with happiness and joyful excitement.’ We introverts feel this way, too; and express it in our own quiet ways. While you may not be flinging bulbs in to the air, your garden is still filled with an ecstatic profusion of beauty. Everything you touch brings beauty into the world, Barbara, and joy to the hearts of your friends and loved ones- who, believe me, feel exceptionally loved and cherished. Giant hugs, WG ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ah yes, Elizabeth, we do have to force ourselves to learn the behaviors of extroverts, don’t we? It is such an effort which I am sure they couldn’t possibly imagine. There is something about the ecstatic gesture which appeals so deeply to me – to be the kind of person capable of living with so much outward zest – but that is not to be. And as one introvert to another, just know that I feel exactly the same way about you in regards to the last part of your comment. Thank you so very much. Giant hugs back.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. April says:

    Introvert. No ecstatic gestures. I enjoyed your post because I thought there was some deep hidden trauma in me which kept myself from ecstatic guestures—all along it was the little introvert in me. Thanks for the new insight!

    Like

  6. KerryCan says:

    Wow, Barbara–this post gave me shivers! I can relate to so much of it (yes, introvert; no, exuberant behavior) but love your recasting of the idea of the ecstatic gesture. Your friend, though dealing with a terrible loss, was one lucky woman and we can learn a lot from her husband.

    Like

  7. leannenz says:

    I think your posts are your ecstatic gestures. They show passion, compassion and love among many other things. To me ecstatic is not necessarily something extroverted but something that makes you very happy. Gestures towards others are approaches to others and your posts reach out to people and effect them in meaningful ways and make many people very happy. I think you have wonderful ecstatic gestures!

    Like

    • I’ve never thought of my posts that way, Leanne, but the fact you do pleases me so very much. I can’t think of a nicer thing to say from one blogger to another. I’m feeling rather ecstatic right now (not that anybody would ever be able to tell!) XXX

      Liked by 1 person

  8. shoreacres says:

    A little etymology’s always good. Around 1590, ecstatic meant “mystically absorbed.” The meaning “characterized by or subject to intense emotions” came later, as did the assumption that ecstasy is purely positive.

    We often think of the ecstatic gesture as characterized by intense emotion — usually joy — but it’s a bit more than that. In fact, being absorbed in something so utterly we forget ourselves (or the judgments of others) is closer to the orginal meaning, and that’s an experience available to introvert and extrovert alike. That’s the point where I see some slight irony in your daffodil-planting quotation. That description of planting actually presupposes intentionality, planning, and self-awareness: the very antithesis of “mystical absorption.”

    These are the musings of a word-geek, of course, and don’t detract an iota from the point you’re making: that leaving a trail of kind and loving gestures is not only good, it’s possible for us all, whether we toss our daffodils, or plant them with care.

    Like

    • “Being absorbed in something so utterly we forget ourselves….” Yes. Yes. Yes. That’s it exactly.

      I don’t see the daffodil planting example as anything other than a wildly ecstatic gesture, but that’s the die-hard gardener in me. He is joyfully thumbing his nose at all the gardening rules….place bulbs in geometric patterns, dig hole six inches deep, etc…… Any gardener not afraid to break the horticultural rules is my idol. “Serious” gardeners just wear me out, a sad side effect of spending a few years in a rigid Garden Club. Let’s just say square peg in round hole and it didn’t last long.

      Word-geek musings are always more than welcome here especially when they serve to clarify the question so beautifully. I love the way you think, Linda.

      (I’ll have you know I just tossed “etymology” into the comment section of another post earlier this morning, so you are not alone.”

      Like

  9. joannesisco says:

    As you can tell from the comments, this post really hit a nerve with many of us. The “ecstatic gesture” is such a wonderful expression and I think virtually everyone – introvert or not – has this deep down desire to ‘let it out’ … but we’ve been schooled to keep it in – always sensitive to the inevitable repercussions.
    I think the concept of your ecstatic gesture is going to be stuck in my head for a while. I love your posts Barbara. You have an elegance in your thinking and way of expression that is so appealing ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • As a fellow over-thinker (is there a support group for us? Oh yes, it’s called the blogosphere), I’m not surprised that the Ecstatic Gesture concept is now swirling around in your head too. It’s so appealing and simultaneously terrifying, isn’t it. Joanne, how do I even begin to say thank you heartily enough that you know how much I appreciate your comment. You’ve just made my day, my friend.

      Like

  10. Introvert with short unexpected bursts of extrovert… 😀
    Ecstatic gestures… yes.
    And Barbara, your pictures of the oranges first seen on Instagram, now more lovely and special than ever with your story about your friend’s husband’s sweet notes on the oranges… sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is so beautifully written Barbara! Chills and the forming of tears all at the same time. I don’t know about ecstatic gestures but I suppose the small ones matter too.

    Like

    • Thank you so, so much. The small ones matter more, I suppose, Marissa. I think they have more of an impact because they are directed towards others where the ecstatic gesture is more a celebration of self.

      Like

      • Yes, I don’t know, I was never a grand gesture person, but it’s not like I don’t try. I think the little notes are subtle but so well placed…maybe those dandelions would be a little to well thought out, but at least they would end up growing.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Who thinks to write a message on an orange? This is one of the most touching love stories I’ve read. I hope there were oranges at his funeral. Or perhaps a basket of oranges should be delivered each year to his wife on their wedding anniversary. Thank you for sharing this most beautiful of stories.

    BTW, I am not an ecstatic gesture girl either, choosing to do things quietly. And that is OK.

    Liked by 1 person

    • He passed away a few days before their anniversary. What a lovely, lovely idea about the orange delivery. I see that those introverted waters of yours run very deep, Audrey, thank you so much.

      Like

      • You are welcome. The idea just came to me, how very much his wife would appreciate oranges, perhaps with messages of love and support inscribed by friends.

        I am glad you shared this story. It reminds one that it doesn’t take money to do something meaningful. Just thought, care and love.

        Like

  13. My mother suggested I hurl daffodils into the back 40 as though I hadn’t read Beverly Nichols:P
    I have considered it, but as I currently only have ONE sad yellow buttercup (Who plants ONE?) I’ve considered how lovely a row they might be out by the street…Then maybe hurl hundreds of them into the back 40 and plant them as they fall.
    I am an introvert, to be sure. I am not shy in general, and am capable of grand ecstatic gestures, and do on occasion, enjoy being silly, particularly if it will embarrass my children.
    We are a note-leaving family. I-love-you notes on pillows, tucked into pockets, bags, lunches, written on steamy mirrors, post-its on steering wheels, bikes, dry cleaning bags. I hadn’t thought to use oranges. Will consider. And possibly bananas. I mean, who wouldn’t want heart-shaped toast and a banana that reads something sweet? ❤

    Like

    • Squirrels, Joey, squirrels plant one buttercup!
      Yes, hurl hundreds of daffodils into the back forty with a nod to the fabulous Beverley Nichols. How I adore him!! If you like typically understated, wickedly funny British humor, you will love Beverley. Although you may be cursing him after about twenty or thirty daffodils are dug in.
      Shyness and introversion are two very different things, aren’t they? I’m not shy either and actually can fake an extroverted personality when forced to. But deep inside, I prefer to be curled up on the sofa with a book and my dog to any social event.
      Bananas. Yes. Definitely bananas. And in with my special cards and letters are one or two post-it notes too. I cherish them.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. What a lovely man to leave those messages on the oranges….your friend certainly knew that she was loved, something that troubled a friend who lost her husband – a man of few words and no gestures -some years ago. She had no such doubts while he lived, but in his absence she worried about his true feelings.

    I think that I might once have been capable of the ecstatic gesture when very young, but mother’s sly carping led to putting on the armour and making no outward show of emotion, a state which lasted until meeting my husband, whom no armour could resist and against whom no armour was required.

    I don’t see you as pining away on the sidelines…your posts show your deep interest in all around you – and to observe is to participate on your own terms.

    Introvert or extrovert? I really don’t know. I enjoy talking and listening to people but can’t say that I need people in order to enjoy life…where does that leave me?

    Like

    • It is your gift for choosing exactly the right word which normally causes me to burst out laughing. But today, Helen, you’ve made me cry. I don’t think I’ve ever read a more beautiful stringing together of words than how you describe the shedding of your armour. I hope your lovely husband reads this.

      Like

  15. Dear Barbara, a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing the utterly romantic orange story. And I agree with Elizabeth about you and your garden. But wondering if we should make the distinction between introversion and polite reserve. I’m completely introverted when it comes to public ecstatic gestures. And the cart v trolley controversy? They are called carriages here in MA. Riding them in the store is not done, however, introverts and extroverts alike enjoy them in the parking lot.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I totally forgot about “carriages!” See what twenty years down South has done to me? But I still say “grinder” and always will.
      Oh yes, polite reserve is a quality not be undervalued and has nothing to do with introversion, I think. I notice you make the distinction of “public” ecstatic gestures which is an important one. It’s what makes our personal relationships so vital to our well-being, I guess. We have somebody with whom to share the EG, occasional or not. Lovely to hear from you, Linda, and I want to remind you to get those hyacinth beans soaking overnight and into the ground soon if you haven’t done so already.

      Like

  16. kristieinbc says:

    What a lovely post Barbara. Your friend’s husband sounds like he was an incredible person. I’m an introvert myself. So much so that I don’t even burst out in song to my Westie. 🙂

    This is probably a horrible analogy, but I’ve just been at my mom’s again, and she has a fondness for TV game shows. It’s one I don’t share, but when in Rome, etc. The world is divided into those who would go on shows like The Price Is Right and Let’s Make a Deal, and those who wouldn’t be caught dead dressing up in a ridiculous outfit and dancing and shouting their way onto the stage. While I firmly fall into the second group, I appreciate the exuberance exhibited by the first.

    Like

    • YES!!!!!!!!!!! Who are these people, anyway? It’s an entire audience full of stark raving extroverts whipping themselves up into more of a frenzy than they usually live in. I would go insane in two seconds. One of the more traumatic experiences of my recent life was when I joined my sisters (both extroverts) in Arizona for a girls’ weekend. My youngest sister insisted we dress up as the Kardashian sisters as a “prank” on the other girls. Kristie, I don’t do pranks. So I refused to participate but my sister actually packed three sets of leopard leggings and three long black wigs. So I had to do it. It was horrifying and exhilarating at the same time. But was I ever happy to get home.

      Like

      • kristieinbc says:

        You are so much better of a sport than I am, Barbara. I would have been running for the hills filled with rattlesnakes before I would have put on leopard leggings.

        Like

      • Even with a few margaritas in you? LOL!! Believe me, Kristie, I wanted to run for the hills but I was outnumbered. How could I deprive Kim and Khloe from their fun? Actually I was Khloe – she’s the tall one, right? – so the other character will remain a mystery. Happy Mother’s Day if I don’t have a chance to wish you so tomorrow.

        Like

  17. Another over-thinker to the post: May I join OTA? I’ve been mourning, in a way, the loss of exuberance, carefree-ness, passionate devotion to a pursuit… whatever you want to call it. I think it comes with age. We are… well, let me speak for myself: I am tired, hardened, worn down. Not to sound desperately beaten down, because it’s not that. I don’t think. Is it? Maybe it is. Either way, it has been such a long time since I’ve had a belly laugh of the kind that leaves me breathless… such a long time since I could bore my listeners to tears with my gardening stories… Just today, when the $%#@ robins were &%@# singing at %$#^ four in the *^$@ morning… I stopped myself short to recall that there once was a time when spring birdsong in the morning brought tears of joy to my eyes. Those days are gone. I miss them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • All I can say to this, Maggie, is I’ve been there too. In fact, I bounce back and forth between feeling calloused and worn out and not. Living under the perpetual Sword of Damocles of when the next disaster/injury/emergency will strike with my daughter has had the side effect of making me almost afraid to relax and feel happy because I know if I let my guard down, it will hurt too much the next time – and there will be a next time – the rug gets ripped out from under me. As to the effing birdsong, the very fact you recognize that you are no long feeling joy at it might be the impetus you need to make a change. Not to mention you’ve been very, very sick. Don’t underestimate how much that has taken out of you. Probably more than you realize.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Barbara. I know how well you understand and I feel sheepish for griping about my blues. But blues is blues, no matter how they got there, right?

        The downward spiral, eh? So much energy devoted to staying afloat. Resisting the reality that you are at a low point. Denial is not a coping mechanism for nothing.

        On a brighter note, I just returned from a walk and heard one of my all-time favourite songbirds – the Grey Cat Bird. Made me grin from ear to ear. I ain’t dead yet!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Blues IS Blues. And please don’t feel sheepish. One thing I’ve missed after my daughter got so terribly sick is that my friends stopped sharing their troubles with me feeling as though they couldn’t possibly measure up to mine. Which only served to make me feel worse actually. This is fodder for a future blog post but I haven’t tortured myself sufficiently to post it yet. LOL!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • This has been revealing Barbara, and I thank you. I understand that if people stop sharing, one would feel excluded, isolated. Being an ear, someone who can relate and who understands, and who can share the burden by doing so IS a good thing.

        Ah, humanity.

        Liked by 2 people

  18. Carrie Rubin says:

    I can completely relate to this. Except around my limited family circle, I am very reserved in my actions. Like you, I would never run out in the rain on a whim. Instead, the pragmatist in me would say, “Why would I want to get all wet? I’ll just have to change my clothes.” And the introvert in me would say, “What if someone sees me?” I love that there are people who do these things though. Makes life so much more interesting for the rest of us. But you’re right. There are smaller things we can do to touch others in unexpected ways, like the notes on the oranges. Very cool.

    Wonderful post, and I’m pretty sure this will be the best line I read all day: “Am I some sort of dullard that I am not metaphorically hurling bulbs into the air?”–haha, loved it. 🙂

    Like

    • That’s so it for me too, Carrie. I LOVE that there are people who do these things. My beloved sister, for example, Extrovert Extraordinaire, has reduced me to a heap of laughter countless times at her antics. She is just a naturally exuberant creature. I am thrilled to be in the running for “best line of the day.” Thanks a bunch!!

      Like

  19. dorannrule says:

    This is a wonderful post Barbara, because it is a reminder to “show and tell” and not keep everything inside. Yes, I am an introvert like my Mom. And although Bill is a bit more outgoing, we both bottle up feelings. I love the idea of leaving notes of love. This is such a beautiful story. Thank you! ~Dor

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank YOU, Dor, for reading and leaving me such a warm comment. Show and Tell. Older generations tended to do more showing, didn’t they? The words were hard to squeak out but the gestures were everywhere. I don’t think that’s such a bad thing actually.

      Like

  20. sweetsound says:

    I’d probably hurl a tray of stuff into the air on accident because I’d tripped on something. I’m also a clumsy introvert, but some of the Ecstatic Gestures mentioned in your post and in some of the comments here have made me feel joyful at the prospect of filling the future with them. It’s been awhile since I’ve felt that way, so thank you for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Almost Iowa says:

    It seems that occasionally before leaving for work in the morning, he would write a love note on an orange in the fruit bowl. “I Love You.” “You’re Beautiful.” Imagine the delight upon its discovery.

    Me: So what do you want for your birthday?
    My wife: I dunno.
    Me: How about snow tires?
    My wife: Why would anyone consider giving snow tires for a birthday present?
    Me: Because you need them.
    My wife: You still haven’t answered the question.
    Me: Because I already bought them for you.
    My wife: My birthday is in May. You remember that, right?
    Me: Uh, of course I do.

    I hear Michelin has borrowed a phrase from Hallmark. “Say it with snow tires.”

    Kidding aside, our conversations are more like:

    Me: “Did I tell you I loved you this morning?”
    She: “Yes, but you don’t have to wait until tomorrow to say it again.”
    Me: “I’ll wait until this afternoon and surprise you.”
    She: “It won’t be a surprise, but it will still be nice.”

    Like

    • My first gift to my husband was a muffler for his 1958 Chevy. I know how to work my way into a man’s heart. And you? You don’t fool me for a second. I recognize a tender-hearted soul when I read one. Lucky Mrs. Almost Iowa.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Outlier Babe says:

        Barbara, the post is beautiful–very beautiful–but why “even” introverts?

        You are a giver. That is who you are. Some extroverts are as well, but being extroverted is a separate facet of their personality, just as being introverted is of yours. You are someone who notices what is going on around you, and appreciates it, and who notices what is happening with those around you, and appreciates them–and lets them know it. All of us here feel that. We come here for your wonderful posts–both the topics and your quiet, intellligent, humanistic take on them–but all of the comments you see are here because of who YOU are: A giver.

        Of what importance is extroversion versus introversion compared with that?

        Like

      • Well, I guess you have to understand where I was coming from. I’ve been feeling kind of bad about not having an “ecstatic gesture.” About being one of those people who doesn’t want to dress up as a Kardashian or go to the big party or “hurl the bulbs” into the air. Kind of feeling that my introversion holds me back from fulling experiencing the joyful side of life. So writing this post brought me that little bit of clarity when I realized that “even” an introvert can perform meaningful and lasting gestures (not that I didn’t already realize this intellectually but definitely not emotionally) that have a lasting impact. Regarding the rest of your comment, I don’t really know what to say except yours is a gesture I put on a par with love notes on oranges. Thank you, Babe.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Outlier Babe says:

        I understand. While I’m fully capable of extroverted gestures, I’ve been seriously considering trying the social anxiety med. in order to deal with typical amounts of day-to-day “intraversion” or “interversion”, or whatever you’d call it interactions between people. My extroversion was originally chosen as a cover-up for extreme shyness, and now is often an involuntary nervous reaction to feeling (real or imagined) social pressure. I would much rather feel that I can be at all times who I feel I really am–not acting differently around men due to PTSD and abusive history, not Aspie-awkward, fishing for how to do small talk and talking about me to fill in the gaps, not occasionally involuntarily-extroverted, but just me. I am already treated differently (a post, eventually), and need no involuntary negative extras.

        You again give me too much credit, which again is a credit to you. I’m rubber you’re glue, nyeah, nyeah, back to YOU!
        😀
        (You’re welcome.)

        Like

      • Small talk is absolute torture to all of us, torture, I tell you. And so I realize that the poor person standing in front of me is probably feeling the same pressure and awkwardness. The best way I’ve learned to deal with it is to take myself out of the equation entirely and simply ask questions to draw the person out. Sooner or later, we land on something of mutual interest and then a real conversation can happen. And sometimes you get stuck with somebody who cannot lob the conversational ball back to you. Now that’s when it really gets tough.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Outlier Babe says:

        You are so right, when you try to bounce the ball and there’s no wall there!

        Yes, questioning is the key, but I don’t know how to do even that like NTs. There is also that key feature that some who would say “Oh, you’re not an Aspie” or “You’re not Aspie any longer.” definitely still distinguishes me as Aspie: Until I know someone well, I cannot tell when a pause is a period. If there are two or more speakers, yikes. Add an auditory delay from my Meniere’s… Awk-ward. Add my tendency to blurt and chatter when nervous. So ugly.

        Typically, all conversations begin very well. Rot sets in fairly quickly. I can see the shift in their eyes. I used to watch this with my Aspie son. And, watching, I sometimes couldn’t detect what he had said or done that was any different from what my non-Aspie son would have said or done in the same conversation.

        Blind watching the blind.

        Like

      • Eleanor Roosevelt said something (supposedly, I haven’t verified) which I really liked. Something to the effect of “you wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” Isn’t that powerful? What if the people you meet were concerned about what YOU thought about them? Ever thought of that? Of course you have. How interesting that you could observe the reactions to your Aspie son yet couldn’t discern what it was he had said or done. I guess that makes perfect sense. Hey, I’ve been meaning to ask. Have you ever read “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime?” I would be very interested to know your thoughts on it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Outlier Babe says:

        Love it, of course! Own it. It is excellently written, and the story idea is excellent, as well. I also think it is an accurate portrayal of one flavor, or level, of Asperger’s. At the time it came out, I was a bit miffed, however, that Aspie’s was all the rage, and that book was making such a splash in the adult world, while a really well-written and touching fiction book featuring an ADHD boy–Joe Pigza Swallowed the Key–had made none. This was a shame, I felt. The “Joey” book doesn’t offer the mystery plot, but it and its sequel(s) are definitely appealing to adults as well as, or more than, children.

        But so many so-called children’s books are adult fiction dumped in the children’s section because women read them. Or that is my opinion. Perhaps you saw my post on sexism in Android’s book postings…

        Like

      • I own it too and read recently that it is being produced for the stage. I would love to see how they pull it off and whether it does well. I loved the book and want to read Haddon’s other, “A Spot of Bother” one of these days.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Outlier Babe says:

        I started to read the other and was not interested in it–most likely because I was expecting something too close to the pace and wit of the first. I’ll be interested in hearing what you think.

        Like

      • Outlier Babe says:

        There. Finally finished my work shift, or as much as I can do tonight without screwing up, so now I can give all these comments the attention they deserved the first time (really shouldn’t have tried to address them quickly at all–I’m not a quick thinker).
        I think as a play it would be great fun!!

        Like

      • It’s already out there. You can see it on Broadway and in London’s West End. It won 7 Olivier Awards and has been nominated for 6 Tony Awards.

        Like

      • Fantastic! I’m delighted to know that a subject so off the norm is making such a splash.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. suzicate says:

    Most definitely an introvert, but I do have a silly playful side that only those closest to me and small children know. I suppose I can admit to a few ecstatic gestures in my time…I wish there were many more but I’m usually too inhibited to not look around me if I’m in public domain.

    Like

    • I think having only that handful of people who know the silly playful side is what establishes those tight bonds of intimacy. Nobody would ever believe, for instance, that my husband is hilariously funny, but he is. Fall on the floor dying laughing funny, but only to me. Which makes it all the more special, right? And is there anything better than making a small child laugh? Love that, Suzi, thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. nrhatch says:

    I am 100% confident that no one here views you as a dullard. :mrgreen:

    Liked by 1 person

  24. You write a blog. If that’s not tossing to the winds of the universe, I don’t know what it. (insert giggles or gales of laughter – depending on who’s around to notice and realize you’re mentally dancing on the tables – here.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmmm, I may have to over-think your comment for a month or two before deciding whether I agree. Hitting that publish button is a giant leap of faith, if that’s what you mean, but not one which I equate with an ecstatic gesture. Although…..okay, I’ll just have to think about this more. Thanks, Phil!

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Outlier Babe says:

    Speaking of givers versus non-, I’m sorry you lost your friend, for the husband of your friend must have also been your friend, as well.

    Like

  26. Jodi says:

    Oh Barbara – I love your mind, your thought process, your writing! You often cause me to pause and think about things I otherwise would not. I ADORE the orange message idea! SIMPLY ADORE!

    I think I am probably an Ecstatic Gesture kinda girl….. It’s just in my DNA, but oh how I envy the more reserved, contemplative, thoughtful folks.

    I think you do MANY ecstatic gestures – they are just not the dancing in the rain, singing loudly, “Hey I’m here” kinda stuff… They are thoughtful and insightful and loving and kind. Like for example the beautiful piece of lace you surprised me with in the mail. The flower pods. A random card…. These are ecstatic gestures – just not boisterous. You gave me great ecstasy, and I hope you felt it when you did it. And today, on my blog post, you thought to ask about Mikey. You remember important stuff, and you care. Anyway – you are awesome – introvert or extrovert – you are the amazing Barbara – Silver in the Barn – the one and only that so many of us LOVE! And you already clearly have too many comments for me to read so that just proves it! 🙂 xo

    And my sincere sympathy in the loss of your friend. He clearly was an amazing guy! Peace and blessings to his wife.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is no way you could ever hide your extroverted light under a barrel, my dear. If this comment isn’t a classic Jodi-esque example of exuberance, I don’t know what is. I think that’s what people enjoy so much about you. You are not afraid to be ecstatic over a raspberry chocolate brownie and to revel in the sharing of it. Trust me, we introverts need you guys to keep us entertained, fed, liquored up, and otherwise amused. Life would be dull and boring and flat without some of you E-types spicing up the gumbo! I know my dear friend will eventually read this post and these comments and gain some comfort from them. Her husband leaves a terrible gap. Thanks again, Jodi, you fabulous thing, you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jodi says:

        Awh. It is certainly a mutual admiration my friend! Come fly here soon for a visit and brownies or salty rosemary pretzels and wine and everything else we need to talk about. 😝

        Like

      • Oh, those pretzels. I have a bag in the house at all times now whether I convert them in to your rosemary pretzels or not. Oh! Have I told you my sister moved to PA? She’s in Hamburg. Anyway, my point is that she gave me a box of special Pennsylvania chocolate-covered salty pretzels that are TO DIE FOR. YES!! We will make a plan for a trip to PA after we return from our major traveling in June. No dirty martinis?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jodi says:

        Deal! And absolutely!!!😜. I’d take the pretzels over the brownies any day. Like you. We are salties. Oh and those olives – the whole – well maybe I take that back – reason to have a martini!!

        Like

  27. Caffienna says:

    Shall I spend the rest of the day crying or what? ​

    Like

    • No! Please don’t! And do you know, I thought of you when I was writing this as an example of a person of ecstatic gestures. You’ve never watched yourself lead the choir, i presume, but I have and there is definitely an element of ecstasy you bring each and every time. So thank you! Thank you. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Heyjude says:

    What a gorgeous post! And I am not one for ecstatic gestures. I’m far too self-conscious for attracting any attention to myself. But I did once plant crocuses by throwing them into the air and then planting them. Does that count?

    Like

  29. I had a photo taken of me in the nude on top of Australia’s Uluru. Just felt like it, I don’t really know why. I then had several copies of this photo taken and pasted them in the first three pages of a photo album dedicated to a trip taken to the centre of Australia with some friends and my brother. This was many years ago.
    You can imagine the look on peoples faces to not just find the first page a bit confronting. They would quickly turn the page but there I was again and the next page as well before they would find relief in a nature shot of gum trees or just rocks…
    Helvi thought then but already knew I was strange.
    The photos have disappeared.

    Like

    • BAHAHAHA! This is what we call the Triple Crown. Or a triple-header? NO, I better stop now. That is the funniest dang thing out of you yet, Gerard. Maybe the photos are tucked away in Helvi’s “special” place where only she can admire them.

      Like

  30. Gestures don’t have to be dramatic, not at all. My husband leaves me little notes that he writes into the fogged up mirror, they are invisible. Then when I come out of the shower, in a steamy room that’s when I can read it. Even after so many years and so many messages…I will never get used to it. They always surprise me and touch my heart. I don’t fit in a drawer, I have my moments…if that makes sense. I enjoy life, laugh a lot. Do I throw daffodils in the air…no, but I might kick them :-).

    Like

    • I love the idea of a steamy love note whether delivered in the shower or not. Double entendre definitely intended. And it does make sense that you don’t fit in a drawer. As Hilary notes, many of us are ambiverts straddling that line depending on mood. I can’t say that I straddle the line – most definitely over in introvertlandia, but I love a visit over the border now and then.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. I’m an ambivert… most of us are. I can do ecstasy, but mostly in private, I hop and skip on a sunny day in the garden sometimes.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Eliza Waters says:

    Definitely prone to EGs, just did one this afternoon throwing my arms up at the gorgeous day, sky, birds, sun – everything and shouting ‘Hallejujah!’ 😉
    I like your idea of doing them for the benefit of others, not just my own self expression. Will have to ponder that one.

    Like

    • Good morning, Eliza! I love the image of you – after this truly grueling and brutal winter – ecstatically celebrating Spring. Hallelujah indeed!
      Scarlet runner beans went into the soil yesterday. Shall I go out and check whether they’ve germinated yet? XXX

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eliza Waters says:

        I was wondering about your beans just yesterday – lol – glad you mentioned them. Because they are so fresh, they will just pop right out of the ground… (did you know that many mail order seeds are at least a year old when they are packed? It has something to do with testing rates of germination – go figure.) I hope they perform well for you! ❤

        Like

      • No, I didn’t know that about mail order seeds. I’ll let you know when I see signs of life.

        Liked by 1 person

  33. Such a thoughtful, provocative post, Barbara. Love this one. I’ve often been described as “ecstatic”…no, wait…that was “eccentric”. My bad.
    I’ve never been sure of the introvert/extrovert issue. It’s so important to avoid labels that children must live up to; I was not the same shy introvert when away from my birth family. ☺ Van

    Like

  34. Love, love this post. I’m late to the party so maybe you’re already planning this (as I’ve seen other comments suggest): you should be gathering these posts into a book of essays. Or autobio. Or a book of any sort.

    To the topic at hand: Also love the phrase: “the ecstatic gesture.” I’m an introvert, but becoming much less so as I go older. I think it has to do with the fact that the older I get, the less I care about what others think of me. I’ll get out on the dance floor and do crazy, arm-flapping moves. I don’t think I’ve ever made an ecstatic gesture, but now that I’ve been introduced to the concept, I’ll keep an eye out for an opportunity.

    Like

    • Do you mean the Elaine dance on Seinfeld? I can do that too!! Now that you’ve been introduced to the concept, as have I through Beverley Nichols, I’ll be on the look-out for more opportunities to indulge too. And thanks a bunch for reading and commenting, I appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Sue Mayo says:

    Love this post. As you know our dear friends husband shared the same birthday with me. He and I would exchange Birthday wishes and a few laughs by phone on May 20th. He was as full of foolishness as I am if you can believe that. Although he has gone to a better place, he will never be forgotten.
    I try to find the best in whatever life brings and getting a belly laugh from a friend makes me ecstatic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know you and Berk shared a birthday and now there will be a gap on that day. Yes, a belly laugh, Madam, you’ve given me so many of those that I can start cackling right now. “Earman? I hope your memory is…..” OMG.

      Like

  36. dorothy says:

    Oh Barb.,what a wonderful tribute to my “soul mate”. He would have loved reading about his sweet nothings (as he would say) making blog headlines. When we’re young we don’t always value the simple gestures but as we get older it’s those gifts that we value the most.. just yesterday I found a note I had saved written on a deposit asking me to do a favor but ending with Love You. Life isn’t about being fancy but expressing true feelings to those we love..it’s that warm and fuzzy feeling that gets you through the day.
    And, Miz Barbara..how do I say thank you enough for the beautiful painting of my bowlof oranges. It is on display on the table between our chairs so there’s a constant reminder of the love we shared. Thank you thank you for this exceptional post. You are such an inspiration

    Like

    • I hope that the painting is a daily reminder of how much Berkley loves you. Because he certainly still does wherever his soul resides. And we do too, Dorothy, all of your friends and family. You and Berkley were the perfect example of “happily ever after.” It’s been my great privilege to know you both. Thank you so much.

      Like

  37. Melissa says:

    I am an introvert all.the.way. I find joy in the quiet moments and will only very occasionally break out in song or awkward dance, usually at the prompting of my toddler. I will, however, run outside to lift my face up to the rain when it comes because what else would you do in the high desert when the rains come? The smell of each droplet as it hits the parched earth is enough to drag my butt outside to play a little 🙂 All that being said, an ecstatic gesture to me, is (most days) just what you mentioned…small acts of kindness and love that elicit such a deep and wonderful response simple because they are shared. I recently wrote about how life is too short for bullshit or boredom on my blog and this post of your dovetails nicely in its simplicity and reminder that the kindest acts are sometimes the quietest acts ❤ xoxo

    Like

    • Melissa, I will make it a point to pop over and read that post as soon as I can. I love the image of you lifting your face to the rains in your parched environment. It’s such a link to our most distant past; you know that others have done this as far back as ancient man. Talk about an ecstatic gesture! Just a perfect example.

      Like

  38. rixlibris says:

    Another great post. Ecstatic Gesture? This is neither ecstatic nor a gesture but I seem to have a habit of singing aloud when pushing a cart (trolley) through a grocery store or mega-mart. I never realize that I am doing it unless someone, usually my wife as she puts an aisle’s worth of distance between herself and ‘the weird guy’, points it out for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Grace says:

    Barbara, I definitely fall on the introvert side, but have to admit that I often break out in song. I used to drive my fifth graders crazy; they would say something that reminded me of a song and I would just start singing! 🙂 As for ecstatic gestures well, no, I can’t think of any right now but oh, how I love that turn of phrase! xx

    Like

  40. reocochran says:

    I missed this message and may fall into the group of late arrivals, Barb. So sorry!
    I am one who is known for doing things a little bit over the top. I had not heard of the ecstatic gesture, but I am sure this would cover my behavior over the years. Not sure if it came when I was 4 years old and put my hands on my hips and imitated my emphatic ballet teacher, mimicking her to a ‘T’ or if came later, when I was in band learning crescendo (loud) or learning acting and directing in National Acting Camp? I have had dramatic friends but my best ones like my balancing their introvert sides. They would never ‘dream’ of some of the things I have done. I like to be around other extroverts, since then I feel ‘normal,’ Barb. I also like to make myself quiet, listening and more attentive with introverts. My one artistic brother is extrovert, we wear each other out, while my youngest brother is an introvert, we carry on long, deep conversations. He is famous for saying at the end of a long monologue, “This is how I think but I may change my mind tomorrow” or “I think this is ‘right’ but I may be wrong!” I like how he is not imposing and trust his thoughts implicitly, Barb.

    Like

    • I know exactly what you mean about spending too much with extroverts as being potentially draining. I feel just like that. But it take so much to draw a group of introverts out that can too be a drain. My brothers are half and half, i’d say, just like yours. I love the image of imitating your ballet teacher. You were meant for the stage, Bumblebee!

      Like

  41. markbialczak says:

    Lovely post, Barbara. I believe you likely leave your own trails of endearment expressed.

    I am en extrovert. My expressions can be loud, much to my disbelief. My dear wife Karen sometimes must use the universal palms-down gesture for shush to me, in fact.

    Like

  42. Behind the Story says:

    You leave me craving the ecstatic gesture. I’m an introvert, but I don’t see the extroverts gesturing ecstatically either. Wouldn’t it feel good to sing and dance any time a good song comes on at the supermarket or the gym? I do like the idea of throwing out a tray full of daffodils in an orchard.

    Like

  43. Rachael says:

    I’m an introvert and I so wish that I could participate rather than observe. I feel like I’m missing out on so much but it’s so difficult to throw aside your inhibitions. I’m profoundly jealous of people who are able to do this with their dignity, for want of a better word, in tact! But a little at a time. But small gestures of affection I can proudly say I am not too shabby at. Very good read, and I thank you for writing.

    Like

    • Interesting how many of us feel exactly the same way. I’m surprised how many self-professed introverts are running around the blogosphere. Must be the sort of outlet which appeals to our introverted nature. In any event, being not too shabby at small gestures is a really big thing. Many thanks for stopping by.

      Like

  44. Nice still life, or as my son said when he saw it: “appelsin!” (orange!).

    Liked by 1 person

  45. You had me cracking up about your friend’s troll hair. I’m so sorry that he’s gone. He sounds like an amazing guy. I think you nailed this one, and “the ecstatic gesture” is the perfect phrase for even the introvert. I leave little “food notes” like that, too for my kids to find, even now that they’re grown. Or sometimes in the bathroom where they least expect it. 🙂

    Like

  46. cat9984 says:

    The closest I get is laying in the grass and feeling/smelling/being with it in the sun. But that’s pretty good for an introvert, isn’t it?

    Like

I welcome your comments:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s