The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Ties

.
Put the wider side on the right and pull it down so it’s much longer.

Fold it over the shorter side and back round… do I do that once, or twice?

Start again…

When was the last time I wore a tie?

Loop it up through the top and push it down between…

Nuts. That doesn’t look right. Start again.

This is stupid. I wore a tie every day to school for 5 years. I even wore a tie at least twice a week when I was a web consultant.

Stop thinking about it. Empty the mind of conscious thought. Allow muscle memory to take over…

Ah, success.

---

2 hours later my stepson asks if I can help him with his tie. Standing in front of him I realise I have no chance. I ask him to face the other way so I can put my arms around him and try and tie it from a more familiar position.

Then I ask him to find a stool to sit on because he’s 6 foot tall and I’m not.

Arms over his shoulders.

Put the wider side on the right and pull it down so it’s much longer…

Nuts! I put my own tie on this morning; why can’t I figure out how to do his?

Forget conscious thought…

Ah, success.

---

When we meet up with everyone else, there isn’t a man there who doesn’t have a black tie on. I briefly wonder how many struggled with theirs.

---

The sun is shining. It’s a beautiful spring day.

No. It’s still autumn.

7 months of winter have not passed, only 4 extremely long, emotionally crippling weeks. The toll on the family has been enormous, especially for Maggie.

---

Elsie Simpson: 13th May 1920 to 10th September 2009

The world is emptier without her wonderful smile


UPDATE
This time, on this post, forgive me for not answering all the comments individually.

It has been an extraordinarily tough time with all sorts of aspects I cannot go in to.

However, I greatly appreciate all the words of warmth and support.

And welcome to all the new visitors to this blog who have taken the time to say hello.

Now I have a new post up, I'll close the comments on this one.

Thank you all once again for your kind words.
.

48 comments

Nitewrit said...

Hello Kim,

I came to your Blog through the praises of Ron on his "Retired in Delaware" Blog. It would appear we have some things in common, despite the distant locations of our lives, besides "Retired in Delaware" finding us two of the few Blogs he enjoys. Your Blog title was a lure as well, since we share being bearded ones. I also have not worn a tie for so long now I have probably lost the ability to tie it properly as well. I have no particular plans to do so, either.

I am sorry for the lost Elsie, although I don't know her. Is she your wife's mother?

I like your clear and good-humored vignettes and am adding you on my follow list. I invite you to come by and visit my Blog some time if you have a moment, although you will find me somewhat more longwinded, i suppose.

Larry E. ("Night Writing in the Morning Light") at www.nitewrit.com

Ed Adams said...

Sorry for your family's loss. Death sucks, especially for those left behind.

Jacqui said...

Beautifully written, my sympathies for your family's loss.

talesNtypos said...

Sorry for your loss.

Entrepreneur Chick said...

I'm so sorry...

PI said...

Kim and a tie? And then I remembered what the family have been going through.
My deepest sympathy to Maggie, yourself and all the family. I hope she had a peaceful end and that you all come to terms with your sad loss.

2to4aday said...

I think that's how we all get through tough times, too--forget conscious thought. A loved one dies and if we think too much about how we're going to ever get through it, it just doesn't work. So we put ourselves on automatic pilot, go through the motions of normalcy, and somehow it works. Good advice.

Postman said...

Humor and poignancy in one blog post. My condolences for your loss, sir.

Carrie said...

So sorry for your loss. :( Best wishes to you and your family.

-Carrie

i N a said...

My condolences...

Jeff said...

Hang in there my friend. We are thinking of you all.

Peace

~:C:~ said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Kim...

: (

Just Curious... said...

I am sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you.

Charlie said...

I'm sorry to hear it, Kim. My best to Maggie, who needs you tie or tieless.

Fumblingconfidence said...

Ah, how much easier things are we don't overthink. Unfortunately, I lose myself in the confusion of overthinking. I enjoyed reading your blog. My sympathies for your loss.

mapstew said...

Even in grief, if we can hold on to a little bit of humour then we know we will get through.

My sincere condolences to Maggie and yourself and all your family.

Patrick said...

Sorry for your loss. My sincere condolences for you and your family.

Melanie said...

Let memory take over. Well said.

Stephanie Ann said...

My condolences to you and your family. Sometimes it is best to just let the mind go off on its own. Most of the time it comes back having worked itself out.

Dimple said...

Sorry for your loss. It's hard to have someone we love leave.

And on a lighter note, the word verification for this post entitled "Ties" is ..."tiess!"

starrlife said...

Oh Kim- so sorry for your loss! My condolences to your family...

The Nashie Show said...

wow, kim.
that's so beautiful. i'm so sorry for your loss.
Ashie at lauraandashie.blogspot.com

Red Lotus said...

What a beautiful post. It's something I think everyone can relate to, male or female. I am terribly sorry for your family's loss. I love your blog, by the way. I picked you up on my "blogs I follow" list from Blogs of Note.

www.2boysoutsidethebox.blogspot.com

David Wagner said...

Excellent writing style. Glad I stumbled in here today. Stay strong.

Fruitcake said...

Many warm thoughts during this difficult time.

Shawn said...

I am very sorry for your familys loss and wish you all peaceful hearts.

savannah said...

Until I read: When we meet up with everyone else, there isn’t a man there who doesn’t have a black tie on. I briefly wonder how many struggled with theirs. I had no clue. I am so sorry for your loss, sugar. You and Maggie and all of your family have my heart. Know that the coconut krewe is thinking of all of you. xoxoxox

Brave Astronaut said...

Thinking of you and yours at this time, Kim.

Jessie said...

I'm sorry you had to tie those ties... :(

Khanh Ha said...

My condolences to you, Kim.

About ties: I used to work as a cocktail waiter in New York City and I hated wearing a tie. The maitre d' said 'no tie, no job.' I said, 'Is a bow tie okay?' He said, 'Tie. Not bow tie.' So I knotted a tie, perhaps two (just in case) and I never unknotted them. They each had a noose, quick to put on. Yeah, for a long time I hadn't knotted another tie around my neck until my wedding day. (See your post for duplication of how to ....)

ThePantaloon.com said...

Ties are easy. Comedy's hard. Condolences.

One In Six Billion said...

so sorry for your loss. my thoughts are with you and your family. best wishes

Dorothy said...

To quote Thomas Campbell;
To live in hearts we leave behind
Is not to die.
I'm sure Elsie will live on forever.

Cindy said...

That was beautiful. Brought me to the place of feeling when we've lost someone dear and are only able to do single tasks in order to get through the day. Beauty.

Eryl Shields said...

Hope it went well on Thursday, Kim, if 'well' is a suitable term for a funeral.

It's surely time we did away with ties: they're like corsets for men.

francis mahon said...

Kim,

My thoughts are with you and your family at this difficult time.

Fran

ps: your reflection on the seemingly banal topic of tying a tie strikes me as a wonderful little affirmation of life.

Katie Roberts said...

though I don't know you, a tear burns in my eye....love and grieve well my friend.

Bits-n-Pieces said...

So sorry for your pain and loss. I lost a friend Friday...fiery car crash, 39 yr old father of 3 teen daughters. Life is not fair.
I hope you find healing and peace in the coming days.
~Robin

Ian Uriel Girdley said...

Your "let go of consciousness" method is the only way I can parallel park. If I try to follow the rules and spacing and degrees they taught me oh so many years ago in Driver's Ed, I hit a curb or park two yards from it. If I let go and don't think about it I generally slide in perfectly. I still am not very good at tying ties, though.

Cindy said...

Sorry to you and your family for your loss. Reminds me of when I lost my Mother. Hang in there friends!

Suz said...

I am sorry for your loss. Your blog post was wonderful. I enjoyed it and it's perspective on life and death and the things that occupy our minds when we don't want to think.

سحس said...

Nice blog

Philip said...

been there and done the tie thing with my nephews on similar occasion. You express it really well. Enjoy your blog a lot. Take care, best wishes, Philip.
I'm at www.domesticatedbohemian.blogspot.com should you have a mo.

jeffb said...

I like your writing style and the bit about letting go of conscious thought is a life secret so many times, isn't it?

Jeff

Mary Witzl said...

Oh for God's sake -- you had me laughing my head off, Kim, remembering the first time I put pantyhose on after a five-year hiatus, and then I got to that last paragraph and now I'm crying.

I am so sorry.

But what a brilliant way to describe getting ready for a funeral.

Falak said...

Hi there bearded one... Your blog is a pleasure to read...... I came to know of your blog through blogger's blogs of note section....... Maybe you would like to check out my blog some time when you are free from your ramblings........ http://muchadoabouteverything-falak.blogspot.com/ that is the url for my blog..... keep blogging your too good. i guess you know that already!

erika konya said...

"I sometimes hold it half a sin
To put in words the grief I feel;
For words, like Nature, half reveal
And half conceal the Soul within."
L.A.T.

Sometimes superlatives can't do our feelings (or a matter) justice, so we have to go subtle. And sometimes we have to resort to words that feel weak and powerless, because there is nothing better to say. Like, I'm so sorry for your loss.

Kim Ayres said...

This time, on this post, forgive me for not answering all the comments individually.

It has been an extraordinarily tough time with all sorts of aspects I cannot go in to.

However, I greatly appreciate all the words of warmth and support.

And welcome to all the new visitors to this blog who have taken the time to say hello.

Now I have a new post up, I'll close the comments on this one.

Thank you all once again for your kind words.

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