Don’t Waste Your Time or Time Will Waste You.

This is usually around the time I post a pictorial montage of my weekend up on my Facebook page; unfortunately I haven’t been well enough to put it together. In fact, neither have I been able to do anything photograph worthy for some time. It appears to be a trend of the last few weeks; it does not bode well.

The purpose of the montage is to keep me busy and active. My brain has become a bit foreign to me of late, so it helps me keep track of time and retain a semblance of chronology; I lose my place in time quite often these days, I think. Duration, start points, end points – all a bit of a mystery. It’s like everything is happening at once; it is overwhelming, upsetting. Reliving everything and feeling what comes with it anew. It may have made me a bit nostalgic and regretful, perhaps. A world of my own. Sometimes to process it I may remember things out of order, or things that didn’t happen. Sometimes for positive effect, sometimes not.

I have always been lucky to have an incisive mind, it has always given so much on so little – the engine has always roared on frugal amounts of fuel. It’s a debt I’ve steadily been repaying as the balance is redressed. My mood, concentration and energy have all but evaporated, as is my ability to understand the gravity of that fact – perhaps the one saving grace.

If I am honest, which is a rarity on this topic through the years, ultimately I feel no real improvement in my situation, although I’ve recovered my ability to ‘put a pin in it’ as it were, which is a skill I’ve honed over many years – despite the toll it’s taking. I can put on a good show.

I’m not sure if it’ll ever truly get resolved; perhaps one day. For now, I’ve been defeated. My only option is to just keep plugging away, it wasn’t always but it certainly is these days; my time and happiness are being robbed and, when I can, I’m fighting for them.

A picture paints a thousand words, so in lieu of a montage, I’ve written these thousand(-ish, probably a lot less, owing to poor concentration skills) words. As I see the sun rise I realise it has been a long old time since I slept, so the above may not even make much sense. I don’t always say what I mean, but I always mean what I say.

Treasure your moments, everyone; the bad times leave deep scars, but the loss of happier times are the wounds which never heal. Enjoy all the good times, make as many as you can, and try to remember them, which is what I struggle with the most…

Next post will be less mawkish and maudlin all being well.

I’ll finish below with a selection of words that are not mine but what are beautiful in themselves and currently playing around my mind:

“The other one he loved like a slave, like a crazed and like a beggar. Why? Ask the dust on the road and the falling leaves, ask the mysterious God of life; for no one knows such things. She gave him nothing, no nothing did she give him and yet he thanked her. She said: Give me your peace and your reason! And he was only sorry she did not ask for his life.”

⁃ Knut Hamsun (Pan)

“The identity of the official whose alleged responsibility for this hypothetical oversight has been the subject of recent discussion is not shrouded in quite such impenetrable obscurity as certain previous disclosures may have led you to assume; but not to put too fine a point on it, the individual in question is, it may surprise you to learn, one whom your present interlocutor is in the habit of defining by means of the perpendicular pronoun…”

⁃ Sir Humphrey Appleby (Yes Minister)

Castle Griffinsteed

Advertisements

Start The Car And Take Me Home



The worrying thing about change, I find, is that it’s always the same. Unrelenting; unwavering; unsentimental. When you find the moment you are happy to see out your days with…this too shall pass. Such a loss is many degrees worse than some of the most harrowing events I’ve witnessed or been party to; I’ve always learnt from harrowing events. How to be stronger; how to be more patient; to consider consequences. What have I ever learnt from a moment of happiness? Synonyms. Some were more ‘joyous’, others would be better described as ‘thrilling’. Few others, ‘bliss’.I fear less the darkness that blinds than the light that burns. One quickly extinguished, the other lingers. But what for?

This was as far as my asinine thoughts had pondered until I was distracted. There was a child, apparated next to where I was sat. A boy. Young, no older than four. Five at a push. Despite barely reaching the desk at his fullest stretch had his nose peering into my notebook.

“Hello.” In the same sort of way I would address a strange cat in the kitchen, I had an opening gambit.

No answer. His hands remained buried in his blue dungarees as he haunched over my writing. A self appointed editor-in-chief. With no parent in sight, I moved to ‘cat in kitchen’ line two:

“Are you lost?”

“Are you lost?” He echoed.

“I’m where I’m supposed to be. You’re not though are you?”

He turned to look at me and cocked his head. He was laughing guiltily as though he and I were sharing a secret. One I, perhaps, didn’t understand.

“What are you writing about?”

Amidst all else curiosity and wonderment had won out.
I stared both inwardly and onto the paper in front of me.

“It’s just what I am thinking. It feels important.”

Only silence in reply.

“…just to me. No one needs to see it. It’s cathartic. I want to feel like I’m doing something positive.”

More silence. Dead air I felt compelled to fill.

“I want the world to be different, better maybe.”

“Like Batman?” The energy of those two words obliterated the soundlessness from before.

“No. I don’t want to save the world; sometimes, I would quite like to believe it is worth saving.”

I wanted to tell him of complexities of adulthood; checks, balances; moral relativism; ideology; but I just felt foolish. When I was young, there was what was right and there was what was wrong. I had always considered that the world had seen its edges frayed, but, in keeping, it was more complicated than that.

I stopped and looked over the child properly for the first time. He didn’t meet my gaze, not avoiding it just…never fully acknowledging it. Distracted by everything around him all at once. He was somewhere where everything was new and exciting. Even as jealous as I was, I felt less of a man for considering taking that away from him.

“So is it? Worth saving, I mean..?” I asked. I’m not so certain why; the wisdom between the ages, maybe, started to shine through even just a little.

“Oh, yes,” the lone reply, tinged with auspicious excitement, “…there are dinosaurs.” With that he turned away with the grace (and accompanying roars) of a T. Rex and vanished as swiftly as he had come.

I now had my answer. I caught the knowing look in my reflection from my desk mirror. I replied with a curt nod before my eyes returned to marking time across the page once more.

I’m Going To A Town That Has Already Been Burnt Down

Is today the day I get everything sorted, or is it Thursday?

I have tried to edit another chapter to put up on here, and wasn’t going to post until then. However, I was sworn in as Chairman of the Bored today. Massive news. Full of joy, fun and sarcasm. It was a unanimous decision; 100% of votes cast in favour. All considered me as the person best placed to tackle; raise awareness; promote; respond to the boredom crisis that has now reached peak levels.

Three things in particular helped my case for election.

  1. The boredom outbreak seems to only ever to be in a twelve-inch radius of wherever I happen to be, so I am more experienced with it.
  2. I was the single person casting a vote. The only person present during the course of the day.
  3. I was the sole candidate. (See point two)

There had to be a recount after Jeff Lynn of ELO was initially declared the winner. Ironically, this was the injection of excitement that this Marie Celeste of a day truly needed.

Today is one of those days for Iggy Pop-ping along; perhaps required after spending evenings Alabama Song-ing along instead. It is all about finding a balance.

I always like to include some sort of song/video I’ve found that has made me smile, or at least pause for thought. After some lovely words given after my last entry, I have instead put another example of my guitar work. I am in love with it again today, so three minutes respite below:

Go check out Jay Foreman at www.jayforeman.co.uk or on his Youtube to hear his genius at work properly…

 

 

 

There’s a Part of Me That Still Believes My Soul Will Soar Above The Trees

I’ve been laid up in bed under the weather for the last few months. For the most part, if I haven’t been able to reach something from my bed, I have just, simply, had to do without it.

One thing I have had access to is my guitar, so I’ve playing about with that for a good while (much to the chagrin of my neighbours). I wanted to play ever since I was a child. I was gifted my guitar as a teenager, and I’ve been playing ever since. No lessons, and it shows, but I’ve been practising whenever I can, and enjoy it. The days I no longer love the guitar are very sad ones indeed.

I saw this quote by the more talkative half of Penn & Teller; it describes my relationship with my guitar to a tee:

With that in mind, something I did while being fairly immobile, and without completely steady hands (*excuses etc). Its both up tempo, but rather sad. The mix amuses me:

 

 

Having been ill for so long, and facing the prospect of being so for the foreseeable, my first thought was to consider that I needed to develop a relationship with it, as I, simply, had been ignoring it. My second thought was that – obviously, perhaps – I already had one:

I lived with someone many years ago who I absolutely despised. Not simply dis-like, I truly despised this man. It wasn’t one sided. He hated me just as much, perhaps more – I never cared to find out. From the many encounters of a wide array of people I’ve met during my life, some of whom – incredibly annoying; only two have been so beyond the pale; both former close friends, ironically perhaps – or very comic book villain. This was one of them. If, on pain of death I had to say something kind about him…I would still consider it long and hard before declining.

We lived together in one house. We weren’t always there at the same time, but each time we were we would do anything not to be in the same room as one another, often staying in our own space, safely away from the other. When the other was absent we would have free reign and our kingdom was larger; it would shrink to such an unsustainable size otherwise.

There were three occasions, only three, during a twelve-month period where our paths crossed. It was almost as though both of us acknowledged a mistake had been made, but defiant that the error was at the hand of the other. I use the word ‘ acknowledged ’, an exchange of a death-stare upon stopping whatever activity we had been doing is a loose definition of the word ‘acknowledged’.

He wasn’t always there, but it was my house. He was in my house. That’s where I go to be safe; calm; somewhere you can make your own. Even when he wasn’t there, he could be again soon. As much as it would pain and annoy me to admit – he would, quite accurately, say the same.

To add to the woe of this, people would confuse us because apparently we looked similar. Even people who knew us both, occasionally, got our names confused…or upon hearing about us both, would assume we were the other. I think I developed a twitch as a result of the number of eye-rolls I had to do in such a short space of time.

I write\vent all that for the simple reason because that is the exact relationship I have with my illness. Like for like. He had a small box room because I had chosen the master bedroom and was unwavering and not in a compromising mood. We lived in this fashion for twelve months. I imagine had it have gone on longer there would have been some sort of coup and I would have been turfed out and consigned to the Harry Potter cupboard. I have been under-the-weather for some time longer than twelve months, and am trying to make my new home under the stairs as comfortable as possible…

The Patchwork Girl Has Come To Cinch The Deal

This is the second part of something I wrote 2½ years ago. It was something I enjoyed at the time, and always meant to go back to. The first part is here, please read that first if you would like – and if you enjoy, read this one after.

 

I have taken to sharing something that has caught my eye during this time, somewhat related, perhaps, to what I’ve written. The below video shows the differences between labels and people – and what values we attach to both.

 

I have had only my notebook and whiskey for company this week, so to see the fruits of a rapidly unravelling mind, perhaps, please enjoy the below:


“My favourite thing about you, was always your ability to surprise me”, he was outwardly unmoved except for a wry smile. A neutral observer would even see a hint of regret, perhaps a degree of disappointment, a man who had played all his cards being dealt out the next round. Yet there were no neutral observers, there were none. Only one pair of eyes across the table; they knew his cards were yet to be revealed.

He had no anger nor could it be described as surprise. It wasn’t excitement; desire; aggression; there was no panic in his mind or his manner. For the smallest degree of an infinite amount of time, he felt nothing. As she held his hands, he was without her; he was on a solo journey on his train of thought.

Every moment in life is a Choose Your Own Adventure. Go left? Go right? Should we speak or be silent?  Should we lie? For the first time in his adult life, he didn’t know which page to turn to.  What would someone else do? What would anyone do? Could he pick a page at random, and see how it played out? You can’t turn it back once you’ve moved along. Faced with an internal disunion, suddenly the gravity of every decision he’d ever made (and will ever make henceforth) became painfully clear.

The thought of throwing a pause into the story and keeping the moment, averting his next step, was an appealing one. Although, if he had that power, there were plenty of other, more alluring, times he would have done so. Action and inaction are not opposites. They are virtual synonyms; they are both responses to an event and have consequences. The two choices are exactly that. Choices. So what is the opposite? He did not want to choose. He did not want…consequence.

He, simply, did not know what to say. In a continuous spectrum of emotion, words were rather inadequate. One phrase could turn a tide; create joy; forge sorrow. He would have no control over the events once a word tumbled out. If a wrong one slipped into her ear, it would poison her mind. They were starting their trek out of their purgatory, their limbo; but it was a hazard-ridden path for the both of them.

In no time at all, his locomotive brain was running in circles; with each lap the right stop became difficult to spot as it went past.

He no longer knew the rules to the game they were playing.

As she looked at him, she saw every encounter they had ever had; everything that had brought them to this point. For all of its contrariety, here they both were. There was no word one could use other than ‘inevitable’.  In a world of infinite possibilities, they had found each other. Their lives had one way or another, become ineffably intertwined.  She was momentarily disquieted by this idea of determinism, but instead found comfort in the peace it had brought her.

Her silence was different. He was lost, she was held tightly; enrapt by it. He had spoken last, but still she waited. She was holding a fragment of empathy in her hands. It was fragile; not like a baby, nor like a china doll. This was a time-bomb counting down. Before she could say her piece, she needed to be sure it would fit, or else risk detonation…damnation.

Her mind was still; despite its surrealness, this really was a perfect moment.  She added it to the ethereal album she kept of his face. Despite his gaze not meeting hers, she kept this to treasure in the future.

She no longer knew the rules to the game they were playing.

They would both have to make it up as they went along.

Once upon a time in a much happier tale, they had understood one another, but perhaps they could again. He shook his head to himself, before nodding; smiling at his own resolve he found the strength to meet her eye.

“There’s only one thing left to do then.”

“It’s all just….a little too late, don’t you think?”

As his answer, he stood and took a step towards her. He gambled on it being the closest they had been. He outstretched his palm; looked down at her face watching his, and spoke his three most heartfelt words:

“We could run.”

If It Looks Like I’m Laughing I’m Really Just Asking To Leave

This is getting closer to the story I want to write. It still isn’t that. Writing this has helped move that ahead, so that one day, when I finally get what I want written down it may have some proper substance.

I think its important to get what you want written done, even if it is not perfect the first time. It can only improve over time, even if the second, third, fourth are not much better. 

The below is the first part of something that will be much longer, that I’d quite like to finish if it turns out to be any good. I thought about holding off posting it until it was all done, but considered that this might mean it would never get read at all, and I do think its better than what is sitting in my reject pile (even if only slightly…)

I’ve been watching many sci-fi/dystopian/thriller type movies of late; I find them fascinating. Some are disturbingly relatable. Many so happen to focus on identity.

Then someone showed me this cartoon, which – absolutely bizarrely – I saw similar ideas in, or perhaps I’m seeing them everywhere (although this one managed it whilst being quite sweet and enjoyable):

Now Part One of my own short. As I say, I hope Part Two follows soon.


“Oh that’s just fantastic. Another one? That’s twelve now! How much more of this is there?”

The elevator doors had opened revealing a pensive pair of eyes. There was a face; hair; knees; nose; and all the other usual accompaniments too, but none of the room’s other occupants were really looking at those. They were all indistinguishable from their own. No one has ever seen their own face directly. Not once. The only way we see ourselves is from a photograph or at a glance into a mirror. As bizarre and unexplained the unfolding scenario was, none of the men seemed to acknowledge its gravity. The new addition drew little more attention, even when the feet edged gingerly into the room.

“We’ll call this one ‘Baker’?”, the man closest stepped forward and pointed to the new arrival, but he addressed the room instead. The Patriarch. He had identified ‘Baker’ as the youngest, the naïve one. That person whom people spoke about in front of, knowing they wouldn’t understand. He didn’t.

“Why Baker?” From behind, a pencil had stopped taking notes.

Patriarch continued, “He is the twelfth. The Baker’s dozen. Baker.”

There was a furious crossing out across the page, but the words were calm. “A baker’s dozen is thirteen.”

For just a beat, Patriarch was silent. He had been caught out. He turned to the one who challenged him and drew out his his index finger towards him, as though it were magnetised to the man’s face. “He’s Baker. Write that one down.” Writer recorded as such.

“My name is not Baker”, Baker said.

Everyone ignored him.

He took a moment to survey the room. An open plan office space, not too expansive. It held all the men in the room quite comfortably, but was probably at capacity. Fully furnished; computers; phones; a printer. All powered down. The strip lighting overhead, all off. The daylight seeping in from the windows from three sides gave just enough to see, even if the details were slightly obscured. Outside there was only sky, save for the speckled clouds and, of course, the sun.

Far in the distance, the sun was fast approaching the horizon. The watercolours surrounding it were splashing a rouged tangelo from the west. This sight was almost hidden due to the piercing glow. The shade provided blessed relief from its gaze. It was becoming ever apparent that this was not a problem to be contended with for long; the rank of shadows grew ever stronger.

Then there was that ‘thing’ with all the doors. There were none. The single egress was the elevator door, which was sealed shut. Like everything else, it was now powered down. This isolated world was a stage set far away from anything that could be considered knowable. A lifetime’s accumulation of experience was irrelevant.
Patriarch had been talking. He was spilling rhetoric as a drunk does his ninth drink of the night. Perhaps half of the room had been paying attention, although none were rapt. Everyone was grateful when the printer started humming into life; indeed, the looks on the faces across the room: Gratefulness first, then surprise. After that, doubt.

“One of your number is not what they seem.” Until now, this one had been silent, but as the printed sheet fed out, he was the only one to move and pick it up. Reader continued: “Find the werewolf. Eliminate him before he hunts you all. He will take one per night.” He looked up, at no one in particular and continued solemnly, “Night will come soon.”

“A werewolf?” Doubt turned to panic, “What crazy place is this? I’m trapped here with all of… you; and now, a werewolf is going to kill me?!?” Panic had found his shrill voice. The Peace and Reason that was self contained in the space was now fraught with holes; the amount of damage a piece of paper held in one’s hand can do has always far outweighed that of anything sharp or semi-automatic.

“It’s a metaphor.” Writer had stopped his note-taking once more, and contributed instead. His effort was wasted, as no one paid him any attention. He added this fact to his black book, keeping his future epiphanies to himself.

“Rubbish.” Patriarch replied, reaching out and snatching the paper from Reader’s hands. “No such thing as werewolves. This is ridiculous.” He scrunched up the paper and made to throw it but Panic held him.

This whole place is ‘ridiculous’.” Panic took back what had been taken and did his best to flatten it out. He folded it once and, reverently, put it in his pocket. “This is our only way to make sense of what is going on here.”

“What sense is there in chasing werewolves and fairy tales?!”

“What option do we have? What would you have us do!?” The two men were nose-to-nose at this point, the distance between them shrinking as their voices raised. None of the others interjected.

This…”, he continued, pointing frenetically between each of them, emphasising the “…Impossible.”

So it was.

As the final syllable faded, the word remained. One man; twelve men. Trapped in a place which, simply, could not exist. Speaking the word had exposed just how much it was smeared across the environment. Not one desk; no window; there was not a single face untouched by it. If they had not already, it would not take long for the men to realise it themselves. Everything that had once had a veneer of truth started to tarnish, underlining the layers of absurdity beneath. All with the exception, perhaps, of the word itself. It all appeared just plain wrong.

The sun faltered and was, finally, lost beneath the horizon.

There started the night.