A Moment Passed


I’m split. Part of me wants to do something; the other part wants to relax and think, taking stock of what’s happened and what it signals for the future. Let’s compromise: I’ll write something, something that won’t make sense, but that’s not the point.

It feels like the end of the school year – all your work’s done, there’s nothing left to do after putting all your effort into something that’s now reached its natural conclusion. Feelings of accomplishment mixed with exhaustion, loss, finality but also possibility.

It’s too early to say whether or not I’ve been entirely successful, but the signs are good, even though that’s possibly not the vibe I’m giving off in this. Again, that’s not the point. What I set out to do, I think I’ve achieved. That didn’t come into clear view until late in the process, appearing only gradually and in different forms until, layer upon layer, in the final moments of the whole thing, what I needed to do and why I needed to do it became evident. It finally all made sense.

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My Fitness Tracker

 

Last night I could have died. It wouldn’t have mattered. Smashed by a succession of illnesses and severe sleep-loss, it was one of those rare moments when you’re so fucked you realise there’s nothing left to do because you’ve already done everything you set out to do. Your meaning’s been realised and your life’s seen out its course. This never lasts long and it suggests life’s some sort of road with staging posts, not uncomfortable places to be while they last.

This year – this staging post – was always going to be difficult, though. It’s 20 years since I first started having it really tough in life and, though such anniversaries shouldn’t really mean that much, we’re human, and we often replay key moments. Within that were a whole host of more recent memories, clouding my mind even further for not far off a decade. And yet, last night, because of how things had gone, it all made sense, it was all packaged up and put away once and for all.

Different place, this world, now, with a different outlook. The structure I’m putting on these events makes them all look almost pre-determined, as if there’s some great scheme of things, some intelligent design to it all. Maybe there is. I don’t know and I’m not sure it matters. What I do know is that life’s different all of a sudden. I’m still me and the experiences I’ve had are still part of my make-up, but it’s an evolved me where the events have taken on a new meaning and place in life. ‘That Moment,’ my last post, wasn’t what I thought it was at the time. Again, the layers were being revealed as something which would become much more substantial and important to me. Now that post means something different, something better.

I don’t use a lot of the social media I use for the usual reasons. I don’t see that kind of use as serving much of a purpose. Social media at the moment isn’t really going anywhere and we seem to be in some sort of limbo. I’ve also not got a lot to benefit from in building a ‘social media reputation’ or in fostering primarily networked relationships.

Some time ago my usage evolved into me going to the ropes and using social media in a way which suited me and what I wanted out of it. There’s not much conversation on many of these networks, so I use my imaginary friends instead. Because my Twitter account is so bad in number-crunching, status-seeking terms, I’m generally blocked or otherwise ignored, certainly not taken seriously most of the time, if at all.

Better, then, to have an imaginary audience, one which performs for you. My imaginary audience isn’t too petty (but just enough) and has a highly-developed bullshit detector. It’s knowledgeable in a variety of relevant topics and sees things, not in a temporary fashion, but as part of an ongoing process, leading somewhere. It sees social media, in the short and the long-term, as a tool for personal and social change. My imaginary audience, obviously, is me during my better moments.

I’m not entirely sure why, but I tend to throw out a lot of highly personal stuff – stuff which my follower-count suggests I shouldn’t in the manner in which I do. But that’s not enough to stop me from doing it. It’s become almost a compulsion, partly because the rewards have been so worthwhile over time. I don’t throw around everything – there’s a few things even I wouldn’t – but enough to be a cause of embarrassment, if I saw it all that way (I don’t, though I’ve got to take into account other people can).

It’s a bad strategy for social media use as we’ve come to think of strategy. So bad, I’m probably the only person who’ll ever use social media in such a way to talk to himself. That might end, now, as I’ve reached some sort of conclusion with a particular approach to life. If it does, I’ll miss it a bit, though I’m sure other approaches will take its place, as they tend to. It seems to have served its purpose, now, and if it’s time to move on, then it’s time.

Does the same apply to other things? YouTube, for example? I don’t know. I’m once more starting to make videos I actually like, videos which are getting closer to my voice, rather than one too heavily reliant on existing media influences. That comes across in how I’m talking to camera, too, as the power of the lens and the world behind it have balanced, with me coming more to the fore from beneath the avalanche of memories which has buried too much in the back of my mind for too long.

I can still vividly remember the day, about 20 years ago – the where, the when, the who – when I told a friend I was getting too cynical, pretending I didn’t know why, but understanding all too well that things were going drastically wrong. Even without, at that time, a thorough understanding of my local culture, I somehow knew they would in ways which told me that in small, cut-off communities, crazes around archaic subjects like witchcraft and wizardry may have changed their overt subject matter, but the characterisations, bizarre beliefs and motivations retain their ability to consume even while their victims are convinced of their sanity and modernity. The craziest of times would last a long time, fuelled by the type of characters you can possibly imagine.

You don’t want to hear it. You really don’t. Even if you did, you wouldn’t believe a lot of it and no-one would admit enough to verify what I can say about it all. But I no longer need to verify or even tell it. It’s done. The craziest of times were over a long time ago and in not processing it all properly, they lingered in my memory, retaining a sort of relevance. But in taking the longer route, I now understand it all even more, and in exposing their true meaning, they’ve lost their power to haunt. They’re very dead ghosts.

There. There’s a bit of writing. I’ll post this. A few people might read it and I’m even dumb enough to check the stats. Double-figures mean party time, let’s put it that way. It’ll probably read bizarrely, but my imaginary audience will work away on it and all the rest of everything else to seal in place this peculiar, but successful method of progress, which is opening up the world again on more peaceful terms. For the first time in about 20 years, I can feel the soil beneath my feet and, if only you knew, you’d know that that’s some achievement.

That Moment


It’s taken some storm to get here but, for me these days, spring’s got an almost religious vibe to it, some magical sense. It wasn’t always so but, as the accumulated memories of life gather and mould – sometimes obviously, more so subtly – they jump aboard the conventional view of spring, as the season of freshness, to give it all added depth.

‘Here Comes the Sun’ has attained this almost spiritual, universal aspect to it, its author making appearances not only at this time of year but also even at gatherings to see off those who’ve now died, adding to that depth more baggage, baggage which seems to transform into some sort of treasure as the end ever increasingly hints at its existence. Spring, and the rest of the year, wouldn’t happen without that song, it’s so embedded in life, now, as is the attitude that, when your time comes and the memories congregate one final time, ‘it’s all right’.

Challenges come along all the time in various guises and of varying intensity, but as my post-40 years have crept up on me in the spellbindingly rapid time from 40 to 50, it seems as if I’ve been going through the big one: the long approach to my final days. Premature, you might think, but with the distinct chatter of earlier years quieting to a relaxed, barely audible murmur in the corner, it’s time to make the most of the experiences which are left before it’s all over, though in ways suitable for this approaching stage of life, something – according to the relativity of time – that’ll come and go soon enough. This is that moment. Prior challenges seem to have been in preparation for something like this, some huge upheaval in my approach to everything. It’s time. It’s definitely time.

At no other time before would I have been in a position to approach all this and certainly not in this way. Apparently, that’s not an uncommon experience. My social environment doesn’t make any of this an easy challenge and may try to impose limits and restrictions on it, typical of its culture, but the trick, I suppose, is to figure out how it’ll do that and circumnavigate the course ahead with that in mind. Easily dealt with when the local culture and its people are properly understood. As for the wider culture, which similarly speaks little to me nowadays, it’s a case of tolerating, rather than celebrating, the neighbours much of the time, but more than this being down to a matter of taste or any sense of superiority, it’s usually merely an unbridgeable philosophical divide: they’re doing their thing, I’m doing mine.

I suppose it could all end before I get a chance to fully live out what I’m preparing the groundwork for. But would that necessarily be a bad thing? From this vantagepoint, I don’t think so. I’ve done everything I wanted to do, bar a matter of degree and, apart from the experience of just being alive and sharing that process with others, there’s nothing to really cling on to or for. Besides, life makes clinging on too long impossible. Time to make room for the next lot if, and when, that’s necessary. Until then, in understanding all this, the road opens up and you’re through the door to a new, better vibe, not far removed from the freedom and wonder of your younger days, as you’re seeing things in new ways again, just at another stage and with greater ability to do the job in a measured way. There’s no reason to not enjoy the ride.

Looking back, so many of the things I thought I was doing wrong, I was doing right, and so much of the ‘progress’ I made only held me back, but that’s me talking from where I am now, not where I was then. If you’re heading to where I am, or if you’re already there, you’ll probably know what I’m getting at. No need to bog you down in detail just yet – this speaks to that moment and maybe nowhere else. Here, translations probably don’t work, and it’s maybe for the best that they don’t. This one’s for those in the know, of a time and a place, a vibe, you know?

The shifts going on now are happening fast. I’m already writing this long after the event – just for the road, sort of thing. A whole new structure has opened up, ways of growing into it are taking shape, and I’ve already entered the process. It’s so far removed from what’s gone before that it’s not yet time to even try to define any of it though, overall, it’s a gradual process moved along by rapid change – an enjoyable one, once you settle into the slipstream of it all. Amazing, really: at a stage in life when evolution is supposed to be stuck for answers and life seems to offer little to people approaching the stage I’m reaching, it seems to be that this is the moment where you begin to learn from the best lessons of all.

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6.59am, 4 March 2016

I’ve been yearning for it all winter, the sun, as it rises into clear view, at last, marking the beginning of the end of the cabin fever months. In the time ahead, it’ll travel from right to left, from south-east to north-east, on the horizon outside my window, and then back again for another year. I can even envisage what it’ll look like and feel the atmosphere it’ll bring. I’ve seen it so many times, I know how it goes, now. As George prepares his strings another time – even, maybe, for those who didn’t make it this time – I’m in awe at the potential of what the coming months may bring. This is the best time of the year if only for the sense that the possibilities and the potential are staggering, with nature pointing the way. I just hope I don’t become accustomed to all that, too.