Tribute to a reverie.

November 28, 2012

There is a walk between the little town and the promenade and
the wind blows as the train rolls past.
And the stone wall is old. And it never changes.
And the sound of the sea amazes me. The most perfect sound. Man has never been able to create a sound as mellifluous as the sound of the ocean.
At the halfway mark or there about’s sits
a quaint old ice cream shack.
And a cliff top.
You can climb the cliff top and sit in a state of unbreakable reverie.
I do this. And when I don’t do this, I wish I was doing this.
And the World doesn’t matter.
And the people don’t matter.
And for a short time, you don’t exist. You were a murmur. A blip on the unfathomable tapestry of time. How comforting this is. The shadows that follow you always, slowly wash away each time the tide pulls itself further out. And you hear them crashing against the rocks, and they are meaningless now. And I feel fine. For just a little while.
Sometimes faces pass below and I wonder who they are. What thoughts are they having. How did they come to be here, today?

“In these deep solitudes and awful cells,
Where heav’nly-pensive contemplation dwells”

And then I stop wondering.
And the waves steal my thoughts again, and wash them away. And It’s calming too.
Thoughts of an introvert are masked in public and chaotic and self destructive in private. It never ceases. “Just be yourself” people tell you, not realising that it takes a tremendous amount of energy and concentration to ‘just be myself’.
But everything is beautiful.
Do you ever get the feeling that no one listens to you? And you want to scream? It is a lonely feeling.
The sound you make, is a blur to them. A faint hum on the wind. An irritating distraction more than anything, that quickly passes and is forgotten. A vacant nod of insincerity crosses their face. So you slowly say less and less. Because it’s easier. And then you write. That’s the beauty of the written word. It is a drug.
You don’t have to see their disapproving, or bored faces staring back, or glaring around the room looking for something more interesting than your apparently lifeless words. It is a drug, and it subsidises your wistful desire to be heard. How arrogant it is to wish to be heard.
I feel like a caricature of myself. And everyone else merges into everyone else until the faces are a haze. I don’t remember a time when this wasn’t the case.
But on the top of the cliff with the quaint old ice cream shack below, and the passing faces, where there is no one to talk to,
there is also no one to not listen to you. And the fleeting sense of freedom is ineffable.
The balance is harmonious and sad, all at the same time.
But it suits me just fine that way.


Futile Scribble

February 4, 2011

I am writing more and more in my little notebook recently, and I’d quite like to blog the notes I make, in some sort of vain attempt to appeal to my creative writing side. So alongside Futile Democracy and Futile Photography, I now own Futile Scribble.

The difference between this blog, and Futile Scribble, is that I do not want Futile Scribble to involve much thought. It is just for simple, quick, off-the-cuff notes that I feel the need to write down, and then to preserve. Almost an experiment for my own sake, to note how my thought patterns change over time. It is also an attempt to think in the moment, rather than becoming deeply anxious constantly through only thinking about the future. I am finding spontaneous note taking, to be rather settling and serene, in an odd way.
That is why Futile Scribble now exists.

Go subscribe!


A snapshot of thought

January 31, 2011


Taken in Istanbul, in 2007.
Taken using a Canon 400D.
———————————————————

I am carrying a notebook around recently. Taking little notes of anything that catches my eye and trying to write down what I see, as if I were taking a photo of it. A snapshot of thought. Like the photo above, not considered, or edited, or planned, or thought about in detail; just a quick note. It appeals to me, because it doesn’t take much artistic creativity. It requires just a pen and paper. I can take photos that mean something to me, but i’d like to be able to use words to create a photo too. This is my first attempt at such a task.

In Leicester there is a boy
student
who walks around with his headphones on through the city centre
singing loudly to himself.
he can’t sing
he’s fucking awful
The odd smirk on his face says he
thinks he’s being “different” or “quirky” or “unique”
but he looks at the floor as he walks
in an awkward
uncomfortable
insecure
transparent
ignorance.
That’s not unique or
an undiscovered, tortured genius
that’s the same as everyone else is, when they’re drunk.
He is the sheep that thinks he’s special
heading for the same slaughterhouse
as the rest of us.


On a Metro train in Paris

January 27, 2011

What is a writer? An artist? or just a narcissist. Especially bloggers. We think we have something important to tell the World, or to convince the World that we are right when actually we are the crowd. We are the amplified vanity of our real life selves. We can be creative and we can have spells where our mind is numb and empty. Most of the time we are just attention seeking. We need people to know our thoughts and opinions. If we locked ourselves away in a room and smoked ourselves to death reading the great writers like Hemingway, the World wouldn’t miss us. The World would have missed Hemingway. Perhaps we are interpreters. Perhaps we feel the need to vent or maybe we have no other way to express ourselves. Do we bring something to the World? I think so. I think bloggers are a new field of writers entirely. We are journalists without employment and yet our work is free for the entire World to see. We are commentators. It doesn’t matter our motives or our apparent desire to feel we have your attention. Are we artists? Some of us, yes. Most of us, no.

Sometimes we all just need to scream and punch and kick and fight and laugh crazily and beg to get off the train and lock ourselves away and think, because if we don’t we will be inflicted by a ferocious, endless insanity. But introspection is much like a kettle. It has a boiling point. It needs to be poured out when it reaches that point.

Writing, is my way of doing that.

On a Metro train in Paris, a young French mother was sat next to her little boy. She was sketching fellow passengers. Not all of them. Maybe just an arm of one of them, the hair of another. She sketched beautifully the vacant, lost expression of a middle aged tall man with short grey hair and a tweed jacket. She could have chosen anyone on that carriage to sketch; she chose the man with the most forgettable face. She saw the ordinary and created something extraordinary. And when the man left the train, she switched her eyes to the next person she wished to sketch, and she never scribbled anything out or started again. I was intrigued by her, the entire way. She is an artist. I wish I could do the same. I don’t have it in me. So I write. But there is no difference really. It is an outlet. An artist or not, it is an outlet. We are both channelling our minds to something that is uniquely ‘us’.

I do not write for any artistic sake. I am not an artist. To be an artist, you need to be able to suspend a sense of reality and express the sense of private solitary that is just aching to burst out. You see it in the writings of Silvia Plath and Allen Ginsberg. Theirs is a unique Worldly interpretation that is expressed beautifully. They see a red rose and say it’s green, and you don’t know why they say it, but for some reason it makes sense that they do and I want to be them. But i’m not. I cannot express why I sometimes see a red rose appear green. I guess that is why I, like everyone else in the World, cannot do what these geniuses do.

There are many parts of the World and reality that I live in and don’t understand or find absurd or want to throw in the bin and forget, which other people tend to find normal or at least easy to deal with and I can’t and I don’t know why. I frustrate myself if I try to explain the way I see much of the bullshit I’m supposed to accept as a mere “fact of life” that you “can’t change” so “why worry? just get on with it“….. no, I have no time for that attitude. I mentioned not long ago, being yelled at at work by a colleague for putting a tray of food down on the table that people were sat at, rather than the table that they weren’t sat at, and taking the food too them. It wasn’t inconvenient. The people at the table were laughing and joking with me (which they weren’t with any other staff) and no harm was done. To be shouted at, made me stand for about three minutes, and laugh to myself. You have to laugh at absurdities, because if you don’t, you risk acquiescing to that way of life and you risk trying to legitimate it to yourself, you risk betraying your thoughts and your unique understanding, and I don’t want to be in that World. Fuck that World. I don’t fucking want it.

“At this point of his effort man stands face to face with the irrational. He feels within him his longing for happiness and for reason. The absurd is born of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world.”

It is a childish rebellious nature. And because it is my nature, I cannot change it, nor do I wish to change it. I don’t want to be like everyone else. And that’s where writers fall down. We assume that we have something unique to say, that we aren’t like everyone else, that we think differently and can’t seem to understand the World like everyone else seems to manage to do perfectly. Realistically, we’re not tortured, or artistic, or even different. We are just far more over analytical and far more self aware and far more neurotic. I am horribly self aware, that I have to be in control of every situation I find myself in. If i’m on the street walking, I have to know who is in front of me, who is behind me, who is walking up the street from me, which way the car in the carpark opposite is likely to come, and if it’s going to rain at any time soon. I’m neurotic as hell. I don’t particularly need control with my friends or relationships. I just need to know that I am fully in control of myself and aware of absolutely everything that is going on around me. I absolutely hate that idea that I am boring someone, or that I am being made out to be stupid. I analyse everything and everyone. I am trying to hold on to my own sense of self all the time and I feel like I am losing. I question everything and everyone. I question my own intelligence and worry that it’s all false and that i’ve managed to somehow manipulate everyone into thinking I have an ounce of intelligence when in fact I have nothing to offer anyone in the way of intelligent conversation. I cannot relax. I am a fucking mountain of anxiety. I try to pander to what is emotionally acceptable in the hope that I am acceptable to you.

Introspection is not necessarily a bad thing. It helps me grow mentally, and places the present in the context of what came before, and what I expect of myself tomorrow. It is my meditation, because it is myself, testing myself. It is a form of creativity in itself for me. I like that. It is however different to a constant feeling of awareness. Awareness is good, but constantly, it just creates anxiety, and anxiety at awareness exhausts itself because it allows for nothing but the negative to take hold. Introspection leads to a natural rebellion. Awareness leads to anxiety.

If rebellion was not natural, and was pointless, we would not have the great works of art of literature that we today admire so greatly. Rebellion is simply dissatisfaction at the workings of the World. It seems to exist more with the younger generations. The older generations claim ‘wisdom’, because they’ve given up, lost hope for a better World, and acquiesced to the whim of those who pay them. The rebellious nature acts as a kind of spark that you need to keep going. I cannot live without that feeling. It would be a waste of my time. It is rebellion, in the sense that it makes no sense to me that 6.5 billion people, can be classed as one of very very few Nationalities or Religions or Races, like little cylinders all fitting nicely into the round hole they have been assigned. We are all, absolutely all of us, rectangles trying to be forced into the round hole. It is not cynical or pessimistic. It is sincerely optimistic that humanity is better than this.

Camus begins his book The Outsider with the line:

“Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday; I can’t be sure.”

It is a beautiful start to a book. An existentialist book about a man who has completely rejected expected human reactions and emotions, and is just a very natural person, unaffected by the emotional norms forced upon us by society.

Trying to define oneself is in essence limiting oneself to the limitations of language, and around a social framework placed in the context of your time and geographical location and it is therefore quite impossible. I would also be limiting myself to collective understanding, and I cannot know experience and definition of myself, outside of my own constructed reality. No one else has had my experiences, or my memories, or knows how I react to situations, to people, to colours, to objects, or to events. I am me and I like me but I cannot define me. There is no absolute. A lack of absolute individually, and logically therefore collectively, leads me to conclude that nothing has to be “just the way it is, you just have to get on with it” if that is not how you interpret the World. Trying to define oneself is like trying to hold sand. We define ourselves and those around us, by our individual perceptions.

You build up a persona for yourself in front of different friends and family. It’s all fucking bullshit, but you start to believe that’s who you are. It isn’t who you are. Who you are is screaming at you to open its cage door. Sometimes you want to go away and start again, like your whole life had been written on a piece of paper you now want to screw up and throw into the fire.

The only truth is that happiness is fleeting, because for happiness to be meaningful, it requires the opposite. The past is gone. The future is irrelevant and living is what actually matters. And so when we aren’t living, when we are just existing, we are more aware than ever that happiness is fleeting, and it has fleeted. Perhaps we think that by writing and gaining recognition for our writing, we are creating our own fleeting happiness that is vacant from our lives elsewhere. Like a drug. A thought needing to be written down, takes the shape of our life until it is written. Until we sit back, and see it written. Then we momentarily feel a fleet of happiness and accomplishment. We are not alienated from our writing, like we are from our day to day work. The writing we have created is as much a part of us as our legs and arms. That is satisfaction on a level that is inexplicable.

We expend a great amount of energy trying to seek meaning to our lives and our World. We fail every time. We fail because natural meaning or purpose is absurd. The universe is indifferent to our existence. It isn’t laid out for humanity. It isn’t hostile to humanity. It is simply indifferent. And so trying to seek a natural meaning, is illogical. I write, to try to define myself and sort of create my own meaning.

I cannot word my arguments very well when I speak. It is my biggest set back and I hate it. I get so frustrated with myself. I see words jumbled up in my mind and I want to say them all but I cant arrange them in a logical order and so it just becomes a mess of words and sentences that mean nothing and I start to panic, which only makes the situation worse. I cannot construct sentences in the way that I want to. I have ideas and arguments and yet they are just feelings that I cannot convert into words and I despise myself for it. I don’t want to come across stupid and useless. I want to come across strong minded and passionate and in absolute control. I want to come across confident and authoritative when I speak. But I can’t.

That is why I write.


The morning of Bukowski

January 25, 2011


One of my photos from Paris.

A short and sweet blog today. I am waiting on an email back, in order to post a longer, more precise blog. So today, I thought i’d be a little bit spontaneous and post a poem by Charles Bukowski that I have come to absolutely love. I have sat this morning, reading hundreds of Bukowski poems. I think he may well become the inspiration for my next tattoo.

Here is one of my favourites. It is called “I like your books“:

In the betting line the other
day
man behind me asked,
“are you Henry
Chinaski?”

“uh huh,” I answered.

“I like your books,” he went
on.

“thanks,” I answered.

“who do you like in this
race?” he asked.

“uh uh,” I answered.

“I like the 4 horse,” he
told me.

I made my bet and went back
to my seat….

the next race I am standing in
line and here is this same man
standing behind me
again.
there are at least 50 lines at
the windows but
he has to find mine
again.

“I think this race favors the
closers,” he said to the back of
my neck. “the track looks
heavy.”

“listen,” I said, not looking
around, “it’s the kiss of death to
talk about horses at the
track…”

“what kind of rule is that?”
he asked. “God doesn’t make
rules…”

I turned around and looked at him:
“maybe not, but I
do.”

after the next race
I got in line, glanced behind
me:
he was not there:

lost another reader.

I lose 2 or 3 each
week.

fine.

let ’em go back to
Kafka.

Amazing.