You only know what you’ve got when it’s gone

There is a moment when it happens. It’s often tiny, it’s almost always unexpected: at least, in its particular position. It happens. The moment so small you can step on it and it isn’t harmed. You pass it by, and while you may not spot what it is, you know that everything has changed. You know that it’s over. Continue reading

One more time around?

It’s been a strange few weeks, as they say. Interesting in a chinese sense but, I think, ultimately rewarding.

I say I think because no-one can ever predict what will occur, but the signs are positive. All manner of self-destructive, self-distracting behaviour ceases now. Has already ceased. The energy I have been dissipating, squandering, casting onto the rocky ground, will now be directed, focused, efficient. There is much to be done. New decisions to be made. New journeys to undertake,

I write this on the train, as I journey towards lunch, towards minutiae such as a new library card – a statement of intent, perhaps? It’s hard to know what path unfolds before me, which direction of the several which shall be on offer I shall take. But it’s not direction that counts, it’s the manner in which you take each step. And I choose firmly forward.

There are several things which demand my attention, but where their variety once was a hindrance, it now serves as a filip, a bolster, an incentive to organisation.

This, I concur, is neither the most interesting nor the most poetic of pieces I have written, but that’s ok by me. Validation, after all, is internal.

There is an interesting adjunct to all this, however. It all revolves around one issue, one person, one relationship. I truly have no idea whether this time around, for it is a second chance, we can make it work. There are many problems which we, in the strange euphoria which surrounds a re-uniting of two individuals who fractured massively and comprehensively, are conveniently forgetting. They will be discussed, and they will be problems again, no doubt … but ultimately the approach will this time different. On this we are both adamant.

Second times around are fraught with danger, but also present opportunities, not least for the bond that is repaired being stronger than before, the desire to succeed stronger than before, and the very presence of the obstacles which will be presented by all and sundry … incentives.

But first we must negotiate some particularly tricky minefields. Carefully. Slowly. Deliberately. savouring every pitfall exposed and device defused along the way.

And yet it must never be forgotten that new beginnings necessarily follow on from, or in certain circumstances overlap with, endings, that they can be voluntary and involuntary, welcome and unwelcome. This is perhaps more than usually pertinent seeing as the train journey mentioned above happened a week before. That is to say that I write now with a sense of hindsight which I could not have mustered then.

But what to say? What to write?

Yesterday’s three-post blogarama notwithstanding, I am strangely subdued in terms of wordsmithery. I wouldn’t exactly say I am suffering from writer’s block, more lexical laziness, and as I try to tap this into my screen (I can barely call the manner in which I insert words into this document typing at the best of times, and this is not exactly the best of times, as I feel as if I am trying to swim through molasses … the world of words is dark, turgid and restricting) I find I’m having trouble putting one word after the other.

I have no posts to rival Release the inner slut, or even Cartesian, moi … but how ought I respond? How does this relate to the world outside words? When in a lull, does one try to write one’s way out of it, try to force the words out, squeeze the prose until the pips squeak, so to speak?

Or does one simply shut the notebook?

Pulled a little cracker, sir?

Sometimes, the most innocent of actions can turn out to be unbelievably crass. I had already started to write a blog … on endings. It wasn’t going well:

  • It’s difficult to know what to say. Things end. And at the ending, the vultures always gather. I sit on a hotel bed, typing. The room is bland, with a strange bathroom which is cold and unwelcoming. Cold in attitude, rather than temperature – the room is sweltering. I’m tapping distractedly, failing, frantically, to apply myself to anything in particular. Hence my tapping distractedly.

Ironies abound. I’ve stayed on this floor of this conference centre for the past six tuesdays. I have mostly followed the same routine of pie and a pint in the student bar, a bit of writing and then sleep before up early, gym and day. The funny thing about routines is that something small always elbows its way in, and suddenly you’re left staring at something utterly incongruous … invariably something that’s been winking at you for a while, just that you’ve utterly ignored it. Tonight bears witness to the end of many things, not least my tenure at this august institution, of which I will be glad. Over the past few days, three articles I have written went from forthcoming to in press. A small distinction, perhaps, but it means a movement from potentiality to inevitability.

Obviously, perceptual bias means that we see what appeals – as Bacon pointed out, we humans are constitutionally prone to seeing order where there is none. But it’s more complex than that, as our gaze can create order where there is none, bend the randomness of molecules to our will. I am particularly sensitive to incongruity at present, so when my pie comes accompanied by a cracker, I have to wonder. A christmas cracker, that is. What, I ask myself, am I supposed to do with a christmas cracker? A cracker, correct me if I’m wrong, is designed for two people. It’s a kind of competition. Why, oh why, give a single diner a cracker? Is it to remind them they’re eating alone? Perhaps it’s an encouragement to make social contact. Forget can I buy you a drink … would you like to pull my cracker has a much better ring to it.

The cracker, naturally, stayed uncrackt.

Oh, and the irony? I commented on the bathroom before I’d witnessed it. This one was particularly strange. It looked like someone had stolen the bath. Typical. The one time you presume, the thing you expose to your presumption moves, like Schrodinger’s cat, into another form altogether. A superposition of ruddy showers, as one might say. It never rains, but it pours.

That’s my life, currently.