Friday, September 03, 2004


I really have no idea what’s gotten into me this last week. I somehow let myself drift away from the world, and now it all seems like I’m viewing it through the wrong end of a telescope. Or it's as though the rest of you seem to occupy some parallel universe, or multiple parallel universes. Mine might look just the same at first glance, but it seems to operate on a different set of rules.

Just at the moment, I really, really, REALLY feel like deleting this blog, quitting blogging and forgetting I ever had any notions about writing or communicating or even just being part of this blogging community. I’m not going to, not just yet, because there’s still a little corner of self watching me that says even this, too, may pass, but still – I really feel like it. This blog has come to symbolise something akin to vapourware, an unreal world of dreams, a place to build castles in the air.

It’s thirty years or more since I read William Golding’s Pincher Martin, but it must have made quite an impression since much of the feel of the book stays lodged deep in my mind; the synaptic links created were so strong they’ve held fast ever since. The very last line especially stuck in my mind, perhaps because I never understood the unexpected twist those few words contained. Not until now that is – this blog has become like Christopher Martin’s rock in the North Atlantic. At one time, it really felt as though I was striving towards something, but in truth it was all imagination, a delusional fantasy of a mind whose inevitable commitment to another path had been made long, long ago.

Go with the flow, they say. Give yourself over to the will of the universe. Follow your path; live out your destiny; fulfil the promise of the person you were born to be. Fine – but in that flow, even if we can all achieve a stardom of a sort, through success at what we do, it wont all be in starring roles. The universe needs ordinary folk as well; folk to do the nine-to-five, to bring their kids up right, to care for ageing parents, to keep the wheels turning, to shovel shit when shit needs to be shovelled. And sometimes doing those things will take up all of living. Living out individually-focused dreams is only ever going to work for a handful of people.

What if I’ve been mistaken? What if I got things back to front? What if, in thinking I could reach deep into myself and tap into latent resources of creativity and energy and compassion, I wasn’t actually going with the flow at all, but going against it? What if my highest purpose here on this planet has nothing to do with self-actualisation at all, but is, for example, simply to be the best father I can be? After all, looking back that is quite possibly what I’ve been best at all these years.

All the while I believe I could – even should – be doing something different, living life differently, I live with tension. Creative tension you might think; a tension that drives irresistibly towards a resolution in fulfilment. But what if the starting point is so firmly bedded it cannot move, cannot be torn out of the ground without massive damage to itself and it’s environment? Then all that’s left is endless, unremitting tension, forever unresolved.

About a week ago, at the time all this started flying around in my head, I had this weird dream. Weird on two counts – it’s the first dream for months of which I have any recollection whatsoever. I suppose like everyone else I must dream several times a night, but I never remember anything, not even the fact that I’ve been dreaming. Nothing. Zilch. Zippo.

But I remembered this one. I was in it, twice. There was the me having the dream, the person whose eyes I was seeing through, and there was another me. I didn’t see where he came from, but he stood a little distance away, facing past me but glancing in my direction. I didn’t trust him; he seemed somehow dangerous, unpredictable. Not that he’d do anything bad as such, but he was a wildcard. I was afraid of what he might do, because it was unknown. He was me, but his mind was closed to me, it had thoughts and plans of it’s own. I was afraid, so I hit him. Or rather I went to hit him, but as the blow struck he vanished, apparently ceasing to exist. And at that point, of course, I woke up.

Now, I don’t know if I’ve been unconsciously playing out the dream, or whether the dream reflected what was already happening at some level below consciousness. Or of course none of the above. But at the very least it’s unsettling.

It's the feeling that part of me has just wiped out - or at least banished - another part of me, that leads to the urge to quit blogging, to quit wishing I was doing a different job, to quit trying to wring out of the days minutes when I can write, to quit wishing I could be spending time up mountains, to quit trying to be creative in a life where creativity is an unnecessary, unwanted luxury. Maybe I should just get on with living.

Do I believe all this? I don’t know. I really, really don’t know. But until I put it out there and see it staring back at me I can’t tell; the thoughts just chase themselves round the endless treadmill of my mind.

Back to current posts