Monday, December 11, 2006


More and more these days, it feels as though I’m living in a tunnel. Not a dark and shadowy tunnel, nor one of those where the light you see at the end is the express train rushing towards you. Nonetheless, it’s a tunnel with that archetypal defining feature of tunnel-ness – it constrains, it channels movement in one direction only, it keeps its occupants apart from everything outside its narrow confines. No broad, spreading pastures yet awhile; no freedom to roam, just a relentless onwards, onwards, onwards where the tracks lead. I hesitate to try and write anything much, since whatever I write will be similarly constrained. One-dimensional, monochromatic, blinkered; dull.

This tunnel exists in many dimensions.

One is almost physical – the stretches of road which link the places where I spend nearly all my time - my house, the office where I work, Tesco’s where I buy groceries, church and other venues where I play bass. Weeks go by when I travel no roads other than these.

Then there are tunnels of activities – the wheels within wheels of daily and weekly routines.

I’m not necessarily complaining at this stage, just making an observation. This is how it is, how I’ve chosen it to be, by dint of not actively choosing anything else.

But there’s another tunnel too, one that is more worrying, more disturbing. One over which I ought to have more control than these other more materially based tunnels, but one from which I have least idea of how to escape.

This is a tunnel of being, of emotion, of identity. I know its walls are imaginary, existing only in my own mind, yet they constrain as much as any construction of concrete and iron.

I was going to keep quiet, wait until I’d reached the end of at least one of these tunnels; wait until in one dimension at least I’d rediscovered some freedom to roam, to explore; whether that exploration be of physical places, other activities, or extended ways of being.

But that might be some way off yet. No lights visible at the end of any of these tunnels. Not a complaint, just an observation.

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