Friday, 22 May 2020

Just Checking In, Really

I struggle to believe that it's been nearly a month since I last posted anything on this blog. I had a quiet aim to post once a week, and clearly that's not happened. Things in life have overtaken me somewhat. I don't write this in a 'woe is me' kind of way - I know there are always people worse off - but I suppose I'm trying to come to some understanding of it myself. If this first step is possible (or even when it isn't!), it's always the aim to (probably inadvertently) pass on some kind of wisdom along the way, so here's hoping.

I suppose the last time I wrote anything on here (rather than just linking) was before a fire that happened in my house. I was using an old laptop and the battery in it exploded. First of all, it's worth pointing out that, apart from happening at all, I was very lucky that a) I wasn't seriously hurt (I burnt my foot a bit, but that's all), b) that the damage was very localised (when you consider how quickly whole houses can go up, you know, this hadn't got anywhere near devastation level), c) the fire services were very quick to respond (I wasn't sure if I'd completely put the fire out before I had to leave the room due to smoke, so I was understandably nervous until they arrived). The worst thing about the whole episode was the loss of some of my writing (lots of papers were on my desk, especially newer drafts that I hadn't typed up yet) and, now that I think about it, the shock of it, and the interruption to what I was doing at the time, and the momentum I had built up (I was doing well sorting out possessions in my room, doing more reading and writing etc). As I say, tho, these are very minor concerns relatively, and I count myself extremely fortunate to be able to tell you this like I am.

Daniele Pantano's Mass Graves: City of Now and Maya Angelou's And Still I Rise are two books the cosmos deemed worthy by trial of fire.
I've gone 'a bit mad' (I won't bother unpacking that one, or we'll be here all night...) since then trying to make some eBay money. The constant scrolling through auctions and all that jazz has taken up lots of time and energy (all my choice, yes), and I've eased off that. Because I'm buying and selling (go to my shop for a bargain!) games, that means I've been playing on a few, too, and though I don't see that time as completely wasted (it's been fun, after all), I sometimes feel it is because it doesn't tie in with my, and other people's, definitions of 'productivity' - of which blogging is only a small part ('SMALL!?' I hear you shriek. 'But your blog's contribution to the world is so unfathomably large - how, pray tell, could it ever be described as a 'small part' of anything, unless in a crude, jokey sort of a way?' Well, I say stop being so sarcy).

Jazmin Linklater's Toward Passion According and Zarf: Issue 11 are two more works that have passed through the fire and come out victorious.
These are two selected flash-points in a general 'up and down-ness' that I think we're all going through at the moment (for those of us for whom life is already like that, then it's more pronounced, I think). There have been other frustrations and niggles that have got me down and fucked me up a bit, but c'est la vie. What did I do to help myself? Well, read on...

I have just written a bit of a diary, and felt my head was a little clearer afterwards. These days, my diaries aren't so angsty and dripping with soul torture juices (TM), they tend to be more about what I'm going to do to change (I suppose the seeds of this were sown in Robert Sheppard's focus on poetics as a speculative writerly discourse - when I write poetics, it is often to find a way forward. But anyway, I'm not the guy to broach that subject. And if I was, I'd do it in a post that isn't already huge, unwieldy, and generally rather inane), as this one was. Then I wrote a bit of poetry - first time in too long. Some of the drafts I mentioned before that were damaged in the fire, I made into a new poem by combining the words that were left behind, the ones that survived, and suddenly felt great (yes, probably a bit of mania before another drop, but I'm using it to write this! Strike while the iron's hot, etc. Dunno what you do when the iron's cold. Put it back in the cupboard, I suppose).

"Nature abhors a vacuum, and fire abhors unworthy poetry," says the aphorism as old as time. So it was that some of my work has completely perished. Some of it, however, fought back.
Is that the wisdomful nugget of this post? Writing cures all? Haha, I don't think so. I mean, I think it can help all of us in some way or another, but I think this deeper feeling of contentedness, perhaps (if it even is that...), is due to paying attention to one's own 'higher power', which for me I think is writing. To put that into a soundbite thing, maybe it's a case of you 'getting out of it what you put in'? Other things that I'm doing to combat the shit mental health are growing chilli peppers (thanks for the seeds, Ann!), and I'm working on making an effort to hopefully get my outdoor exercise levels back up to the point they were at before Covid-19 had me looking at people out the window like 'Unwashed doom-bringer! Stay out of my sight, lest you infect my eyes! The eyes are the windows to the soul, and I want my soul to be healthy. Yes, healthy soul, healthy soul... All the outside air is bad for the soul - Devil air, yes it is!' (this said as I rock back and forth on the floor, slowly clawing at my face until it starts to bleed).

And that, I think, is it (I have to legally add "for now" after saying that, because people's Blogtastic-based disappointment translates to a lot of litigation). Let's re-cap; it's all about moving forward. I'm not dwelling on the bad stuff in the past, or the bad stuff now. I am happy that I'm doing good stuff (self-defined), that there are people that I love and that love me, and that life is (at least potentially) rich and wonderful again.

Peace, love, and light, folks :)

No comments:

Post a comment

Just keep it clean (ish)!