Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Honesty without openess? 

The will to attempt to craft anything here has departed, at least for now, although I’m still hopeful of being reunited with it some day. On the other hand, saying nothing achieves nothing, while keeping posts sanitised achieves very little more than that, so I might just as well abandon yesterday’s intent after only 24 hours, be less picky and at least say something – after all, this is only a blog, no-one actually has to read it. Indeed, very few do these days. Most of the hits come from Google image searches (which may in itself be significant, but I’ll follow up that one another day. For example, Older but no wiser is the #2 hit for common newt, #6 for silver grass, #4 for glow, #1 for lyn idwal…).

I said I was keeping my mouth shut. It was getting worse than that; I’ve been censoring my own thought processes and simply avoiding pathways I didn’t want to go down. I’d take a few steps, see where they were leading, and deliberately back away again, leaving those paths untrodden. My rationale was that I’d tried them all before and they either lead nowhere useful, or somewhere unpleasant.

Earlier today, a colleague of mine showed me a PhD dissertation done by an acquaintance. Two hundred and eighty eight pages of it. I remarked that I couldn’t do that now (not that I ever did before). I may or may not have the capacity, but that wouldn’t be the central issue – I couldn’t do it, because to do something like that requires such a huge commitment, a level of dedication and drive I know I couldn’t sustain. There would have to be some purpose beyond the simple end product; it would have to be a stepping stone leading on to some greater purpose than simply gaining letters after one’s name.

But – and this is the point, one of those negative thoughts I‘ve been avoiding - I can no longer conceive of having a goal which would provide a sufficiently powerful pull to overcome the obstacles along the way.

Is this apathy? It certainly looks like it. A “So what? What’s the point?” attitude. I used to have so much energy and enthusiasm; my counsellor remarked on it several times. It was only a few months back that I remember a colleague saying “My God, that’s the first time I’ve heard Andy having a moan”. I still present a positive face to the world, mostly. But it’s a face that’s becoming weary and growing more cynical by the day. Its source is more habit than anything else.

But I do at least have enough pride left to feel shame at this mutation into a middle-aged, clock-watching, doing-just-enough-to-get-by cynic.

Mind you, to be fair on myself, there is more to it than that. For the perhaps first time in my life, I’m growing deeply worried about the future. Gazing into my crystal ball and seeing only problems, uncertainty, potential hardship and no resolution in sight. And the trouble is, they’re not things I can talk about here because to do so would encroach on others’ privacy.

To blog, or not to blog. That is the question.

No, in spite of everything, I’m not quite ready to pack it all in just yet. I just need to figure out how to be honest without being altogether open.

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