Before embarking on this collection, a preface is in order. I started this in the belief that, in isolation, each piece I post here could lack clarity and would need some context. Instead, this will serve to fill a void and enable me to write a half-decent back-story.
I have been writing for a very long time, but have never had a collection gathered in one place. For many years, I kept everything separate – and never really took things seriously. As time has gone by I realise the creativity and dynamism I had spent so much time trying to keep to myself was being cast by the wayside and being misrepresented – mostly by myself.
I was recently branded a process-monkey, incapable of thinking outside the box, rigid, inflexible, etc. I inwardly rejoiced in that I had created a fretwork to contain the inner chaos of my everyday life – perhaps I could finally consider myself tethered to the outside world. Equally, however, I was incredibly, incredibly sad; it was – simply – not a reflection of me. The mask I see in the mirror is a lie, those that too gaze upon it see an untruth.
“I am not what I am” – Iago (Othello: Act I Scene I)
I was told I was a man of words. I was someone who thought too much; thoughts which would get me into trouble as a contrarian. This was twenty-five years ago, the late 1980s. This was a world in motion and radical change. The tide of capitalism had broken through the dam at Berlin; Tim Berners-Lee hailed something labelled the ‘world-wide web’; Michael Palin’s Around the World in Eighty Days premièred on our TV screens. I knew none of this; I was three-years old, sat on my grandmother’s knee – already branded an ‘over-thinker’.
By the age of seventeen (skipping through the dull parts), however, it was clear that I was not so much a man of words, but a man of ideas. This is not to say they are all winners; I am, by far, more fascinated with the action rather than the consequence. I have never been able to look at something and accept it at face value – life would be much easier that way and I could get on. A thing would be a thing – and would always be the thing ineffably. The last couple of decades proved my grandmother quite correct otherwise. There are too many ideas and, as of yet, there has simply not been enough time. It is beyond border-line problematic. Just time-wise, a train of thought has become so expensive, it has been long since I last remember buying a ticket.
I once described this personal phenomenon to someone: if everyone in the world was like me nothing would function in quite the same way. Question everything; it both is and isn’t in parallel. A ten minute consideration of a single raindrop or a glass of wine, perhaps, stacking up continually; extending into whatever time one would usually reserve for sleep. The end result or purpose eludes, but the question is asked regardless; perhaps proving as equally concealed, perhaps equating to no more than “?”. Uncertainty, hesitancy, potential. With my characteristic lack of clarity – equally present here one would suspect – I had not expressed myself at all well and she didn’t understand. She thought, instead, that I wanted to top myself. The date did not end well.
I rarely express ideas in fine point. I am not fully convinced I have discovered a way to express the vast majority – they are mostly beyond the tip of the tongue. I normally lack the desire to do so. Evangelism in all its formats strikes me dumb – I have always been able to write quite forthrightly, and that is what I do.
Here is their home.
There will be essays; short-fiction; poems; links to online articles – whatever I am considering at the time – and whatever I am digitalising from my many notebooks. I have written a novel and its online home will also be here, once it enters the public domain. (I haven’t yet found a way to make that previous sentence appear less pompous but it will continue to trouble me no doubt…)
The moral of this however, my overarching message: I love the idea of someone appreciating what I write, but it is not the reason I do any of this. Its cool not to like it, it is equally cool to ignore it; this is somewhere for my ideas to evolve.
May peace be upon you.