Picked up pressie for G’s girlfriend. Done washing-up. Got two pieces of proofreading today, which must now begin to work on. Have checked in me outward flight but can’t check in free for return yet. Got a lot to think about, and a lot to evaluate, and I guess that’s where I need to be.
It’s not easy starting from scratch all the time, but it gets easier to understand when one begins to understand it’s oneself.
You know. I had a convo last night, a really lovely and friendly but honest one, and I heard myself voicing a really weird conclusion: I’d done my best to achieve my goal of making a better world, and failed; I’d done my best to achieve my goal of working to make people feel safer, and failed (the latter on four distinct occasions, so don’t call me a quitter!); and I’d done my best to achieve my goal of monetisable creativity, and failed.
And so then, what I concluded, yesterday I mean, whilst speaking with this wonderful person I found myself with last night, was that I really truly honestly sincerely had absolutely no idea – now – what I wanted to do.
Except make money, and lots of it yer know. But how, why, where, who with … all those questions and puzzlements had simply gone out the window.
I was empty not of ambition – quite the opposite at the mo’ – but rather of direction: and the truth of the matter is that without someone who understands and knows where I’m at and doesn’t feel frightened of what I might achieve, and appreciates and doesn’t condemn my sometimes real and dreadful foolishly public displays of love and affection through the writing I tend to carry out, I shall be nothing at all; achieve nothing further; be unable to cement any ambition in any way.
And so it’s difficult for me to write these words, but if you know what being a writer is like in any small way, you’ll understand that a writer cannot understand themselves without putting out into the public domain what they write.
And if I continue not to say what I feel inside, I shall not understand what I feel inside. And if I end up not understanding what I feel inside, then one day I’ll just stop feeling – perhaps, I have to say, as happened since 2004-5, when terrible events of awful sentimental misadventure struck my whole being and emotional integrity down in one gradually remorseless swoop.
So I don’t want to go back to this; I don’t want to return to that place. And I guess if I do ask anything of a universe I still believe in, it would be: a) that I might have the opportunity to pull my own socks up by my own effort, through a job which both I am worthy of and is worthy of me; and b) that I might find someone to be by my side who could appreciate all the above in its entirety.
And it’s a big call I know; and it’s a fairly – if not utterly – selfish call too. But it’s a call I need to make, to coax into being, to engineer and to ultimately implement if I am to have a moderately coherent chance of getting to the place – that ambition I now begin to talk of – that I slowly begin to believe I might have a right to occupy.
And I know by myself I cannot really achieve this ambition; and I realise now that I am not (to be) a proudful and solitary rock which interrupts a river of humanity in awful isolation, but a stream of humanness which wants to meet brooks and rivers of other reality, and needs to mix and flow and touch and jump and glance off and bump into and occasionally get confused by them all.
And over the past few weeks, since my birthday, I’ve been mightily confused; mightily so.
And I’ve acted poorly in the main, though out of as good faith in my confusion as I can muster.
And I guess I need to return to the scene of the crime, in a way. So that’s why I’m flying out for a few days of contemplation: to revisit (now) old haunts, and remember my love for a place and time and a city and airs and graces and intelligences unlimited; yes, intelligences unlimited.
Just be, yer know? Just be, and reflect.
* I saw “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” yesterday, with my handsome son and his beautiful girlfriend. It was at an open-air theatre in Chester, the town I have lived in for a while. It was a wonderful experience, and Storyhouse, the producers of the play, as well as everyone who collaborated to make everything work, are to be wholly congratulated for the afternoon we enjoyed.
I mention it here, because for me the key moment, the empowering moment, the moment of grand beauty and pain, was not the ultimate coming together of one of the couples in question but, rather, when the villain of the piece – Proteus – realises the true extent of his villainy (alongside the fact that it is a consequence of his relationship with love’s travails), and thus promises to the woman who remained true to him for the duration of the story that he will forever revert back to being the honest lover he’d started out as a bare two hours before.
And so we believe, in the light-hearted comedy mode that this play framed for us, that Julia, his once beloved, then awfully betrayed and now assumedly returned to, was going to forget and forgive – and return to the masculine fold.
But she doesn’t.
She rejects the advance, the promise, the future of being second-choiced for the rest of her life.
And she walks away into a life of her own choosing.
And although I am unclear if this is Shakespeare’s own tale, I do not find it difficult to believe it might be. He is a mischievous soul who likes unvarnished truth, above all.
And in this, if not in the quality of my own writing, I fully am at his side with respect to both the approach and the thesis.
And thus, in a way, I make peace with my own foolishnesses described above.
And thus, in a way, I understand now why the women in my life have always walked away in the opposite direction.
And thus, in a way, I can maybe slowly, gradually, painfully, unrecognisably begin to make amends for all the damage I have done over the years.