the illusion of poise

I got a text from my friend yesterday and it said “I am not handling life gracefully”, and I thought “me either”. Then I started thinking, what exactly is it in us that says we have to handle life gracefully? Where did this illusion that we should sail through life with poise and grace, and not a pearl out-of-place come from?


When I think of someone with poise I immediately think of Audrey Hepburn, and the iconic character of Holly Golightly in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. But the thing that we love about Holly, the thing that makes that movie so interesting is that we know she is living with poise but no emotion. We love that scene at the end where she suddenly ‘feels’ and is a blubbering mess.

Another good friend is leaving today, to live on the other side of the world. I am not handling this gracefully, and what’s more I don’t think she’d want me to. When I turn up at the airport tonight to wave her off, she is not going to know that I care, if I stand there, and graciously and gently say goodbye. She is going to know that I care because I will be an absolute blubbering mess. The mess is reality. And poise? That’s just an illusion.