Thursday, January 11, 2018

To feel things so deeply ...

Someone once said that it is a burden to feel things so deeply.  I could Google it I guess.

I’m not in a good way for the start of the year. They say that each pillar of your house needs to be in order: loosely, family, friends, career, money, love.  Each of those feels out of kilter.  I just saw my doctor and she emphasised this.

I’m also using again. Today I took maybe three Stilnox and 20mg of Valium, plus red wine.  All to numb the pain.

It’s not that I don’t want to be in Australia.  That’s just geography.

My family – my biological family is far away – however close they are by phone.

My friends: I have friends here in Sydney, but I can feel myself cocooning and that’s not good.  I need to spend the effort to see them.  I know it’s good medicine. They bring me out of myself and make me feel better.

My career is plateauing, maybe even stalling, because I can’t concentrate because of all this stuff.  Maybe I’m at the right place for now, but I can’t help but to feel that if I were in-house again things would be simpler.  Maybe this should be a goal for 2018?

Money is always a problem.  I live barely (not barely) within my means.  I spend money when I want to, never really in a budget despite my best intentions.

Love: I love B., but I don’t think that he’s the one.  I think the fact that I loved him but was never head over heels is a sign. And then there’s the elephant in the room – we haven’t had sex for over 14 months.  Is he just my friend now?  I feel co-dependent. I’m so scared of losing him, but I feel that I could be a far, far better friend to him, than I can be a lover (which I am not, by virtue (virtue?) of the fact that we are not lovers.  But I love him so much.  But I know it’s not in the right way.

Last week I saw Call Me By Your Name and now I’m reading the book. If I ask myself today, have I met that one person who I achieved 100% intimacy with, for better or for worse, then I think the answer is no.  And time is ticking by.  Tick-tock, tick-tock.  I’m 45.  I may feel 25, but I’m not.

I feel close to closure, yet new beginnings.  I don’t know how to make that leap.  Is it as simple as just jumping from the edge (metaphorically speaking) and seeing what else is out there for me?

I found it:

“It is both a blessing
And a curse
To feel everything
So very deeply.” – David Jones

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Restablishing the process ...

It took me a few days longer than intended to begin this process. And here is a poor attempt to brush over that fact with another fact:
Maybe it’s not a coincidence that today’s date also begins with the number 1, and is the first to have done so since the first time it happened this year, 10 days ago. So today is not an afterthought, but a start rich with intention. For now, anyway. Who knows with me? Least of all me.
But what to write about? I have written rarely to capture dreams (some will know my feelings about dreams – only ever inspiring to the dreamer), but last night I had a sort of fever dream, so while the memories are still free to come to me, I’ll attempt to unravel them …
We’re told that nature abhors a vacuum. If this is true than maybe it’s also true that the great feelings and emotions – love, hate, joy, sadness, elation, anger (to name a few) – don’t fill one vacuum or claim their own space in each of us as their cosy abodes while each of the others go unattended, unlived-in, cold.
All our lives are, are a collection of experiences that came to us via a manipulation of our five senses, to varying degrees, until the experience is manifest and is there to see, touch, taste, smell, hear. No experience is really comprised of just one sense. 
I write this with touch, my fingers touching the space between the keys. I see the words form on the screen with my eyes. There is the lingering taste of coffee in my mouth. The vague smell of deet is in my nose from the lotion I used last night on my skin. In my ears are the soft creaks of the woodwork in the house as it expands and contracts after last night’s fluxes in temperature.
And there – an experience. A small, probably inconsequential one – but one that is fully-rounded, examined and realised.
But soon enough it will be gone, and in its place something else possibly governed by love, hate, joy, sadness, elation, anger. Something else. Something else.
But whatever that something else is / was, never was it without another something else. Another experience. Never one without even the glimpse of another. Experiences, like the ingredients in our stew of emotions, lap over, meet, pull away from many others.
Perhaps the vacuum in our souls in which our experiences are created are like kitchens. Sometimes – sometimes too often - we cook alone. But sometimes we receive guests and for a while, and using each other’s stoves and pots and pans we join to create a rich and nourishing stew which we eat together, sometimes for company, sometimes for necessity, sometimes for joy, sometimes for love.
For some the stew will revive them, make them feel complete for a spell. For others, it may give them gripe and make them unsettled. 
And then for others they will feel touched by love, and remembrance, and heartbreak, and completion, and separation. 
For those it won’t feel initially like a nourishing meal (although they may already know it was). They will eventually be able to see it for what it was: needed, no, required. 
Requisite. To remind them that they are alive. To remind them that sometimes to love is to lose. And sometimes to love is to lose and hurt. And sometimes to love is to lose, and hurt, and then to love again through examining the experience again. Because if you remember and do so very, very carefully you will see it is still there, nourishing your soul still. 
Because you held it with you all that time. Nothing and no one ever really leaves us.
To use words that are not mine:
“Tis better to have loved and lost than never loved at all.”
“Is it better to speak, or to die?”
My own:
Sometimes better to trust and to hold on, than to let go. Better to trust that the universe is nourishing us with the experiences that we really need, and never for the ones that we think we need.
Because how much will we ever know about what we really need. 
Who knows with us? 
Probably least of all, us.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

So long

It's been almost three years since I started this here blog and I'm afraid, my friends, that the time has come for me to say "Good-bye."

I originally created this little thought pad as a way of informing my family and friends back in the UK of what I was doing in NYC, but as time went on my audience grew somewhat. The realisation that people from all over the world would actually want to read about my little life made me want to be more considered with what I wrote. It literally made me want to improve my writing, so I consulted friends who could help me do so.

And so I learned the correct use of apostrophes.

Upon further reflection I can see, in no uncertain terms, that since the beginning my blog has actually allowed me to work through some of the various things that have troubled me so much in the past. This may sound trite, but I think that it's true: this blog was the best therapy that I never had.

My life, as it stands right now, is the best that it has ever been. I love my life in a way that I never loved it before and the real irony, perhaps, is that I feel less inclined to write about it now. I don't feel like I need to. I don't know if that goes against the grain of what blog writing is all about, but that's kind of how it feels for me. At least that's how it feels right now.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for your comments. It's been memorable.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Happy birthday to me, happy ... etc

This is the first birthday where I have had no cards or presents or phone calls from family.

That said, it is the first birthday that I saw in while drinking Bollinger champagne, sat next to a pool at a luxury hotel in Los Angeles.

You win some, you lose some.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I don't believe in God, but I can't accept that there's nothing. I don't particularly like the current Pope or what he stands for, but I'm ambivalent about the Catholic church and I can't blame people for wanting to have faith. I am not very well educated on Islam, but I don't believe that all Muslims are experts at flying planes into buildings.

All that aside, I genuinely don't think that it was the Pope's intention, when he quoted the Byzantine emperor, Manuel II, who described Islam as "evil and inhuman", to make some kind of Catholic first-strike against Islam. He may be misinformed and naive, but I don't think that he's stupid. Or at least not enough to think that he could imply that followers of Islam are homicidal maniacs and get away with it. I actually think that he knew that his words would carry some resonance, but not in the way that he intended. In the speech he said that Manuel i's words were "startlingly brusque," and apparently made certain that the audience understood that he was reading a quotation.

Of course what he failed to do was allude to Christianity's history of violence, such as the crusades or the Inquisition. In every religion there are always people who take the "word" too literally and end up landing outside of the rational. Islam is tarnished by violence right now, but Christianity has been just as violent in the past.

But what do I say to my Mum when she says that she just watched the news and thinks that those who follow Islam might actually be homicidal maniacs, after all? I want to tell her off and encourage her to be open minded. But to my Mum she feels justified in saying this and thinking this, because Christianity's violence is in the past and Islam's is happening right now.

Because to her, the Pope's references to Islam's purported disposition for bloodshed caused some Islamic followers to become so enraged that they went out and killed a nun by shooting her in the back.

How can I argue against that logic?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Whenever I read a critics review of a movie that tells me that it is actually my "responsibility" to watch it, I end up feeling fairly resistant.

An Inconvenient Truth is a movie currently receiving such an accolade, but this time it didn't put me off because for quite a long time now I've had a secret crush on Al Gore.

Having now seen the movie, last night, I can reliably inform you that it is indeed everyone's responsibility to see it.

The movie is actually a combination of a keynotes speech where Gore addresses a lecture hall full of people using graphs, photographs and representations to demonstrate the key points about global warming and climate care - all to great effect. To break up these scenes and, I suppose, to lend a greater cinematic impression, the filmmakers have dropped in archive footage of Gore as a child, as a young man, at home, at work, as a younger and then elder statesman. There are also clips of him campaigning for his presidency and then clips of him losing. Gore narrates, or rather muses, over the top of these clips, but in a way that cleverly brings what we are seeing into context. For example, the scenes of his family consoling him after he loses out to Dubya, are there not to make us feel sorry for him, but to explain to us why he is here talking to us. Well, sort of.

I left the movie thinking two things:

The first was about the effect of global warming. Even at the one of the least dramatic levels, which in the movie is cited as being the partial melting of Antartica and / or Greenland, the sea level could rise about 20 feet (and if we carry on polluting the atmosphere they way we currently are, then this is almost certainly going to happen in my lifetime.) The repercussions would be gargantuan, resulting in the deaths of millions of people, not to mention the displacement of hundreds of millions of others. Put into context it makes other "important" issues such as the War on Terror and immigration seem like trifling irrelevancies (which they arguably are, anyway.)

The second is why-oh-why did Al lose out to George? What went wrong? Visually, the contrast between Al's handsome older-man "thang" and Dubya's gurning mug is really quite striking. George Bush Jr. almost always looks like a simpleton. Although I have no doubt that this was the intention of the filmmakers, as they trudged through the archives: to find the least attractive representations of him.

But what really comes out of the Gore / Bush comparison is that Gore clearly understands the war that he's campaigning for, what the positive effects will be if we win it and what will happen if we don't. This is in stark comparison to Bush, who probably understands very little, if anything.

I'm not entirely sure if An Inconvenient Truth was intended not only to be a call to arms, but also a presidential manifesto for a future Gore administration. It probably was. And while I don't pretend to be an aficionado on the intricacies of American politics, I do know that many people in 2008 will vote on a single issue.

Therefore whoever ends up running for office, I'm now convinced that the individual who is committed to the war against global warming, above anything else, is the one who should get the most votes.

After all, every issue - the War on Terror, the economy, human-rights, immigration, education, health - each of them pales into insignificance when you really look at and think about this ...