Flitting About Like A Fool For Sherlock Holmes

It was a sweet weekend evening, time at home with nothing on the agenda. A rare moment after a good day of work, clients, a morning class, and a solid two hours of writing…and a mind ready to read for fun, or watch a great movie.

My 16 year old daughter May is the only other person home.

“Let’s watch Sherlock Holmes!” my daughter exclaims.

Turns out there is a wonderful BBC modern version of the tales.

My daughter knows exactly where and how to watch them on the computer. She’s a huge fan.

We’re sharing a blanket on the living room couch, leaning back, the laptop on a chair, the speakers hooked up for high quality sound.

We’re 30 minutes into the show.

It’s getting exciting. I love this Sherlock portrayal. Brilliant, blunt, hysterical, says exactly what he thinks.

Suddenly, my daughter says “Oh wait! This is NOT the right episode” and reaches for the computer, pushes a button, the whole thing shuts down before my eyes and she’s tap-tapping her fingers on the keyboard.


The inner sensation is like a rug has been pulled out from under me.

“Hey! What are you doing?!?” I say with a frustrated tone. “You’ve already seen them all…and I liked that! I don’t want to change to another one! Put it back where it was!” 

Inside, I am screaming. Outside I am gritting my teeth.

My daughter looks up, noticing my reaction.

Let’s see what was going on in that moment. Heh Heh.

My story is yanked away! I want to see what happens next! I love being lost in the show! She shouldn’t get me all interested and excited and then stop the movie!   


Yes. About a TV show getting interrupted.

The first movie I ever went to, I was five years old. Mary Poppins.

It was the most spectacular, mind-boggling experience I ever had.

Leaving the movie theater, I can remember the dark red carpet, the gorgeous golden lights glowing softly on the theater walls, and holding my mother’s hand.

Out on the street, it was Kansas. Seriously.

As in Not London. Or singing, dancing and magic.

Glaring late afternoon sun. A sidewalk. People departing and scattering in various directions.

My mom says at that moment, I put my head back and screamed, mouth wide open, crying from the bottom of my soul.

What I remember is feeling like all my pleasure and joy were suddenly ripped away, destroyed, the channel changed….just like that. 

Like a switch was flipped. The electricity unplugged.

Not unlike (in a less intense version) this same moment of anticipation watching Sherlock, being lost in the trance of a very exciting story on the screen, and having the trance END.

Time for some honest investigation.

You may have something you’ve thought of as “over” that you wish wasn’t. Not just a show, but a relationship, your youth, someone else’s life, your job, a vacation.

Is it true that the story is over, unplugged, brought to a sudden halt….and that it shouldn’t be? 

Can I be absolutely sure that this switch to a new and different channel is a bad idea? Am I sure it’s actually “sudden”? 

Hmmm. Seems true that it’s over. But I’m not sure 100%.

And I know it isn’t absolutely true that it should keep going and never end.

Can I be sure that it was sudden, ripped out from under me, shocking, frightening, maddening?

Strange to even question this, but it does seem true that it was sudden. Although I realize it’s my version of sudden, and I’m not sure it was sudden until I gave it that evaluation later.

In the moment, it may not have been sudden at all…..it was there, then not there.

Things were like this….then like that.

So who on earth would I be without my story that what I was engrossed in suddenly ended….and shouldn’t have?

Without the thought that my opinion is the most important one? Or that my trance state is extremely important to maintain, uninterrupted?

I would be relaxed. Breathing. Watching my adorable daughter focus on her own ideas.

Roll with the flow and the scenery.

I would notice that this story, the one without a Sherlock movie running anymore, is quiet, tender, sweet.

Silent house, daughter tapping fingers, a moment to pause, no emergencies, curious about what is next, no need to actually ever know what is next.

Something ends. And then there is something right here, in its place.

I would be rooted, solid in the earth, allowing what I see to change, come, go….and trusting reality.

“Why should the lord of the country flit about like a fool? If you let yourself be blown to and fro, you lose touch with your root. If you let restlessness move you, you lose touch with who you are.”  ~ Tao Te Ching #26

I turn the thoughts around:
My story continues! I am already seeing what happens next! I love being found in the present! She should get me all interested and excited and then stop the movie!  
Yes. Because in these turnarounds, I expand and grow up from age five into an adult.
With love,


9 Replies to “Flitting About Like A Fool For Sherlock Holmes”

  1. Fantastic question Nora. Yes, with my daughter we had a clear, honest interaction. There are such profound ways to say what’s really true, like “wow, this feels abrupt!!” while leaving out the urge to attack. I’m not sure it’s any different though as a parent as with anyone else…my honest response is such good direction, as will everyone else’s reactions be also, throughout her life, with their responses. Yes, it seems very intimate and loving to speak to others about how you are affected by their actions and behaviors, with no demand for change or a certain outcome. It’s honesty and love in motion :)

  2. You are so welcome! I was thinking in the very biggest, broadest sense that our whole life story has a beginning, middle and end…and we humans often think the end (death) is upsetting, wanting to get back to the story. Ha! :) thanks for you comments!

  3. Wow Grace, this makes me realize my similar childhood experience is a common one, as well as my 2 year old reaction at age 37! I recall the feeling of being completely entranced by a live theater production of Peter Pan starring Sandy Dunkin. She truly looked like she was flying! When the curtain went down and the lights went up, my Mother says that after hours of sitting stone silent, I stood up and let out a howl, sobbing that it was over. I’m realizing as I write this, it’s as if that part of me is still trying to get back to the show. Just a few days ago, a couple of wet, tattered pages from the children’s book of Peter Pan were flying about my feet on my morning walk…and I felt compelled to pick them up and take them home! There is a yearning in my heart for continuation, despite the fact that I saw the whole show from start to finish, much like you and Mary Poppins! Endings….they can come at any time, and that time is always the end, even if it seems like the middle. I guess the same can be said about beginnings. Thank you for this prompt, Grace.

  4. Hi Grace,

    Is the thought “your opinion is the most important one”
    or is there another factor to consider in this scenario.

    Don t thyoung need direction and honest response when
    They behave impulsively and without taking into consideration
    How others will be affected. As a parent, is there a place for this
    In your life that is different than in other interactions?

    I would really like to hear what you think.

  5. Argh, as I was reading this Grace Note wife said put out the cat box. How dare she interrupt me! She said now! I told her, “in a minute.” She did it herself.

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