I’m fairly calm. When one problem builds on another into a concatenation of catastrophes, I tend to keep my cool.
No – not because I haven’t a clue about how bad things are. But because I can imagine them being worse. (That’s my theory anyway.) It’s come in handy over the years working in live broadcasting where the unexpected is not that, well, unexpected.
But calmness is not the same as serenity.
To be calm is to remain focussed and carry on, no matter what.
To be serene is to embrace the slings and arrows – or children piled on top of you while you’re trying to read – and feel an extra warm mmmm of contentment.
To calm is to withstand being poked.
To be serene is when the poking, pulling, jagging and squashing feels as though you’re being stroked.
Whilst wearing plush velour.
And the same post-coital grin as Sally, post Harry.
Calmness I do.
Serene? That’s rarer.
(The Loose Bloggers Consortium prompted the above. You can find them listed in the right hand column – just scroll down a little. While purring.)
32 responses to “Serenity v calm”
Love the “wrong” picture! (and the analogy of Sally, post Harry)…
Finally someone who points out the ridiculous beliefs of those people that wear orange bathrobes and think
eating a apple or a cup of rice is a meal fit for a king. And that black and white soccer ball with the polka dots is dumb too.
Well said. Er… I think?
Disasters, maybe, surely not catastrophes, dear sir- as prime minister Disraeli said of his loathed adversary Gladstone, if Mr Gladstone fell into the Thames,that could be a disaster, but if someone rescued him- that would be a catastrophe! Love the pics.
I wonder if Disraeli ever carried a Gladstone bag?
Or if Gladstone ever felt dizzy?
THAT was funny!
I’m with you on this, serenity seems to me to be a constant state of being, monk on a mountain living on air kind of thing.
Now calmness, well, that has to be wrestled to the ground in front of a a cheering audience.
These serene peak-sitting monks… Who does their shopping for them? That’s what I want to know. All the way down the mountain. All the way back up the mountain with bags of milk, bread, tomato soup, etc – handles stretching and breaking… And who gets all the credit? The serene monk. Typical.
‘Where the unexpected is not so unexpected’, that is a curious way of looking at it. Whatever ‘it’ is.
Now that I live with the Zen Master Elvira, this makes sense now. Before Elvira, I flew off for no reason and stayed cool as cucumber when I should be running for my life.
True – maybe I should have said – have your contingency plans ready, don’t fuss and get on with it – but it doesn’t have the same ring.
And you’re right – sometimes the right thing to do is – evacuate (the building rather than your bowels), while shouting “Don’t panic Captain Mainwaring.”
Ha. That’s brilliant.
The first photo gives a whole new meaning to dog sitting!
That’s the difference between cats and dogs – try that on a cat and see what happens.
I think I’d agree with your distinction between calmness and serenity. Calmness is fairly easy to come by, serenity much more difficult, especially for someone like me with a generally restless personality. Unfortunately I don’t think serenity is something you can set out to achieve, you either have it or you don’t, like the legendary zen roshis.
You could always try the minor European nobility route – I think some of them are self-styled “serene highnesses”.
How about serenity coming with age? Well, alright, it hasn’t come to me yet, but I’m still hopeful (though not very calm when thinking about it).
I suppose there’s no point in my urging you to “Calm down, dear.” As David Cameron discovered, it tends to have the opposite effect.
Paul, thank you so much for reminding me of Michael Winner “Calm down, dear, it’s only a commercial.” Calm? Serenity? Not in the face of Michael Winner who is the one and only I’d like to shove an iced cup cake into the face of his restaurant reviews. After dinner, with him footing the bill. He should be so lucky.
Everyone I know should read this post. Grand explanation on difference between calmness and serenity. The pooch with boy sitter … that’s both.
Blessings – Maxi
serenity and children should never appear in the one sentence
Firstly, the photo of the dogsitter; that looks to be a very strong dog and so I would especially not want to see one of my grandchildren sitting on it. There have been too many stories of perfect family pets suddenly savaging children in the family.
Secondly, calmness and serenity; there is the related state of contentment and I sometimes wonder about that as I tend to suffer from it. Is it a state of being ‘satisfied with one’s lot’, or of ensuring that ‘one’s reach does not exceed one’s grasp’, or is it, as I like to think a state of not worrying too much about ‘the Joness’?
The Joneses… I’ll return to them in a future post soon. I’ve been speaking to the creator of the real-life Joneses, but I want to check out the movie version first. All will be revealed…
My cat was regularly sat upon by the household dog of the people I was living with at the time…I don’t think he was in any great state of serenity as she (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel) flattened him to the floor and proceeded to chew and slobber over his ears 😉 He did however exude an air of great calmness in this troublesome situation, otherwise known as resignation to his fate 🙂 … PuuuuRRRRRRRR!
It always amazes me the dignity and calm cats maintain in so many kinds of “troublesome situations.” 🙂
Considering how wet and slobbery his head was by the time the involuntary ‘shower’ 😉 had been handed down and that he would spend the rest of the day smelling of dog breath lol I was amazed too! 🙂
It always amazes me what cats can get away with under the guise of maintaining dignity – lounging around for starters.
Any respectable cat is entitled to many long sunbaths and extended naps in order to recharge enough to remain calm, cool and composed while coping with the chaos they encounter in most (loving) homes…
Serene is a big enough well so that you can drop stones into it and the water absorbs all of them.
You have me thinking now of ice cubes, gollopping into a pint glass, I think I’m about to be distracted.
Semantics, semantics. Why couldn’t we simply have that serene look that Sally has. all the time?
I think you misspelled the second word there. Surely you meant to type “schemantics”? No?