” When a man can observe himself suffering and is able, later, to describe what he’s gone through, it means he was born for literature”
Edouard Bourdet 1927
I’ve had some time off writing, I needed some time out after what has been a very intense process of confession, reflection and discovery. I started this writing process because I wanted to grow; emotionally, spiritually and psychologically. This month means a great deal to me for numerous reasons and I’m aware that I’ve avoided facing up to certain things for the last four years, this year I want things to be different, no more distractions, no more over investing in work and the lives of others, this year I’ll be present, this year I will go there. The countdown has begun, the 21st is the full moon of this experience, it signifies the high tide of my emotional struggle, and this year I will not escape it, this year I will sail on that sea and howl at the moon.
Having time off writing and a concentrated digital detox has been good for me, I have to be mindful of not over-investing in my writing or using it as a distraction too, the likelihood of me turning to obsession is always high and can come in surprising ways, I can easily turn something healthy into something harmful by my obsessive approach and lack of balance and boundary, lifelong awareness will be needed on that front I’m sure! I’ve also been aware I’m a bit reluctant to start writing again and kept putting it off but I reminded myself of the commitments I made to myself and can only fulfil those if I keep writing, so here it is, my journal entry from nine years ago.
A morning of rattling, felt terrible but got on with stuff. I’ve been considering this fresh start I’m attempting to make for the last week or so, there have been more false starts than fresh starts you might say and I can’t seem to stop getting in my own way and making a mess of things. With each failure to stick to the plan there comes a growing familiar guilt, one that I’m now so accustomed to it seems normal, and I’m beginning to see there could be a danger to that. A danger that I won’t get past the starting post, a danger nothing will change and I will stop trying.
I keep thinking about writing, perhaps I can document my efforts to change and that may help me to make the changes, it may make my goals and plans clearer and easier to maintain. Having kept a journal now for over 10 years I always thought they’d be the source material for my first book, that by reflecting on what I’d written I could turn it into a useful guide for others, I could detail the various events and ordeals and how I overcame things, hopefully it’ll be a happy ending, the bad turned into good.
Now as I sit here I realise that things never work out as planned and that whatever I hope will be usually doesn’t materialise, so in fact whats the point of planning anything or lusting after outcomes, it’s better to just got on with each day, what will be will be, it’s better to give up control and wait on the will of heaven or something like that. Trying to direct life stubbornly is stupid, better to go with the flow, submit, surrender. I have battled with myself today and that battle led to so much confusion and upset, annoyed I could not muster the willpower to see the day through without a fix, I gave in and now I’m trying to work out how to see it through next time when the urge is so strong, right now it all feels possible, that’s because I’m high, it’s always easier to plan quitting when high, always seem so easy then!
Sister visited, lovely to see her. J was cross about dogs in the house so we ended up going camping at Abbotsham Cliffs. Set off in the dark, took some cheesy chips, Me, Marcel and sis, the two dogs. Hurricane Irene blowing around. We set up camp and the stars were so beautiful, then our moment was rained upon, torrential downpour, we all got snug and cosy in the tent. I chatted with sis about family stuff in the morning which was good.
Marcel and I chatted about living here, it’s stressful being in J’s house, so many tensions between her and her chap, the police have been round, it’s all drama and attention that we don’t need or want.
Water Festival was cool, Marcel was annoyed there was no greasy pole!
I had a new client, and thoroughly enjoyed the trip to Bath to see him for the afternoon. He has lots of middle east connections, he told me about his work in Iraq, and with Kurdish people, lots of ancient artefacts and history. I loved hearing his tales about being in Iraq and the West Bank, it was fascinating stuff, I told him about my work in the Balkans and my interest in war and conflict, it was easy to chat with him, felt very natural. He was a true gent, his house was charming, old and swelling with art and history. I want to research the Citadel he told me about and the documentary journalism he shared with me, felt very inspired and uplifted on the train journey home, he was keen to meet again and said he’d visit me here next time. It was an incredibly sensuous experience, baths, oils, lovely food and wine, stimulating conversation, which is always a plus, if I can connect with someone intellectually, if they inspire me then we seem to connect sexually more too, turning on my brain is always the most important part, often I have to do this for myself, on this occasion he did it for me, what a treat!
“In a very real sense, the writer writes in order to teach himself, to understand himself, to satisfy himself; the publishing of his ideas, though it brings gratifications, is a curious anti-climax”
Alfred Kazin 1963
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