Teenage Dirtbag

It’s already over 70 degrees outside on a Monday morning. There should therefore be a huge thunderstorm at some point in the next couple of days, ‘coz that’s how it works in the Estuary area. If it happens, there may well be standing around outside because I could do with getting soaked. Everything itches. I thought I’d escaped the worst of hay fever this year but BOY was I wrong. However, finally, my left ear is back to normal.

Today therefore, time to talk about moving forward.

weightsandglasses

There is 5kg’s worth of fat on me that needs shifting. I can see it, and feel it: the importance of its removal has become wrapped up in an ability to prove to myself I can do hard work when it matters. I’m not setting a target date, but will make an effort. There’s other stuff that needs fixing too: personal things, shifts in axis that can’t all be done at once. You’ll grasp this when it’s done, with everything else.

For now, this is a busy week. I’ll finish off the last of my currently pinned poetry’s mirrored background gubbins this morning, then the last ten poems can go up. I’ve asked for two to be removed (and I’ll repin them when it happens) and then that’s it, the whole collection is ‘live’. I have then until Wednesday to get the last of the mirrored stuff up. That’s eminently doable in my time-frame.

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Kettle on, let’s roll.

Paris

Yesterday was tough. Paris has enormous personal significance for me, since my early 20’s. I said a lot on the personal feed yesterday, and history will recall that I learnt about the fire, almost moments after it started, because of Social media. In fact, I knew about it in a house on the East coast of England well before major news outlets reported the fact. This is why this medium has become so important.

The world, quite literally, is at my fingertips.

Of course, it matters a great deal in these situations who you follow: I have a number of Parisians on my feed thanks to that computer game. At a point in proceedings someone decided that the way to go with reaction wasn’t ‘this is horrible’ but instead that ‘yay, organised religion is burning’ was a better angle. Once upon a time, that might have been a great way to pull in the more radical fringes to your cause. Not any more.

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There’s a consequence to being in the public eye: if you fuck up with an audience, it is increasingly difficult to hide your crime. This was the fate of a Sky news anchor  yesterday who said all the wrong things on camera and when apologising via a Tweet forgot to actually say they were sorry. Words really matter, especially on a text based medium. Using the right ones is a skill many don’t grasp.

Individual culpability on an instant message network has never mattered more than it does now. Knowing when to say stuff, or more importantly, when to stay quiet is a life skill that so many have never successfully grasped. It’s something only now I’m comfortable with, after (I think) nearly eight years on the platform. It’s also why I’ll never, ever EVER go back to Facebook.

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I remember the day when it became apparent that even if I was interested in leaving my past behind, other people weren’t. The perpetual obsession with marking yourself against those you were educated with, social groups you felt uncomfortable with and subsequently left, is a source of constant amazement. The human obsession with maintaining such bonds when the knots they are tied with are inherently flawed has never made sense.

This is the place where I am happiest after half a century, without doubt, divested from the distractions of the past. Occasionally I catch a glimpse of that via my husband’s need to be reminded of those people and their achievements, and am reassured that nothing significant is either lost or missed from removal. After all, if these people truly cared about me in the first place, they’d be here now, reading what I do.

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The fact no-one bothers beyond the spoon-fed auspices of mass media hubs is a lesson in itself: I know this is possible, because individuals have made that move. Some came and stayed, others got frustrated with my attitude and again left. I’m not here to personally entertain anyone or conform to your view of what I should be. This is about evolution, development and expansion.

If that matters enough, you find a way.

Superstition

I read an article over the weekend that suggests, quite rightly, that being angry is useful, assuming that ire can be channelled effectively. This has been happening for a while: identifying what it is that causes emotional responses, then dictating the means by which that can be converted into something more useful. It’s not that anger doesn’t have value, either: as a poet, that kind of strong, inescapable emotion has an awful lot going for it. Expression can be a tough ask however: today, we’ll start fixing that too.

Things that Make me Angry, by Sarah aged 52 and a Half

People

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That’s it, nothing else on this list. People are the problem. Watching them destroy environments and fuck up each others lives whilst at the same time choosing to wilfully ignore all the stupid shit that takes place in other’s existences. I also utterly count myself in this Angry List: personal actions sometimes are very much worthy of promoting both rage and disappointment. So, how is it possible to make things better?

I don’t think anybody really can expect to have that kind of affect on large swathes of humanity. Looking at alternatives, by far the best course of action is to attempt to affect change in small doses, a person at a time. That means starting with yourself is a good beginning. So, how do I stop myself getting angry currently. Hmm… it’s a tough ask. So much bad news. So many potential disasters on the horizon. Where do I even start?

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The answer, of course, is to not be so hard on myself. By learning compassion for self it is easier to separate feelings, making a decent attempt to rationalise what’s going on. Then, it is all about the business of being able to adequately describe how things make me feel so that the process can be translated from brain to page, and then becomes easier to explain to strangers.

Having now managed to crack this, at least in part, it is time to take the issues out of brain and onto a page. Therefore, this is my starting point: if you make me angry, there’s a far greater chance going forward that will be explained, using language that effectively communicates both reasoning and response. This is NOT an excuse to cause further conflict however, that needs to be properly quantified.

This is not the means by which things are made worse.

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That whole thing about being the change you wish to see in the world? Ghandi was spot on. This is the means by which change happens, and I can not be scared of it.

So, let’s roll.

Begin Again

Religion has an awful lot to answer for: wars, plagues of frogs, beards… the list is endless. At it’s core however we, as humans, should grasp its true significance. This is a system of control. All religions present rules for living a good life, suggest means by which this should take place. Most religions reassure that it’s okay, death is just a transitional state when the reality is a lot more bleak and frankly frightening for most. Religion, simply put, was a requirement as man developed free will and curiosity. It was the means by which people could be dictated to, whilst selfishly playing on basic fears.

The reality for billions of other people however is that religion is an essential, brilliant part of their existence. It allows them peace and focus to become better individuals. Faith provides vital communities that care and clothe, support and understand: nurturing development, granting vital peace to those at the end of their existences. Religion provides means by which existence is both understood and continued, and it is the love within hearts and minds that can bring so much good and happiness to bear.

Both these opinions are equally valid.

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Religion is the first place where, I now grasp, the true value of compromise was learnt. My first direct experience with the devout was not pleasant. However, it taught a lesson that only now after nearly thirty five years has registered as the norm. Allow other people to believe what they wish, and respect that right. Nothing else really matters in the world right now than being able to exist with each other in a manner that will then allow us all to work on the more pressing issues facing the environment.

Except, of course, other people’s priorities are different.

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After a life-changing event on Friday, a lot of priorities have been shifted. Over the next few weeks, as these alterations become more apparent, there will undoubtedly be some changes. That includes making reasoning more flexible. It is becoming apparent that a lot of basic knowledge on interacting with people has never really been properly grasped during my lifetime: this is a very good opportunity to start working out where the holes are.

Every day is a school day, remember.

Moonlight Serenade

What matters more to you, at any moment in time? Is everything a drive to gain interest in your personal projects? Are you desperate to feel a part of something bigger than yourself? Sorry for all these questions so early in the day, but perhaps it is time to try and engage the people around me into conversations they might not feel comfortable in beginning unprompted. In the next few months, I will be asked a lot of questions.

There’s a measure of confidence this morning all the answers are here.

xmas1800

I’m not regretting anything that’s happened lately, quite the opposite. Sure, there are things that brain’s a bit nervous about but undoubtedly that fear is not the same quality as it was before. Can fear have shape and density? Absolutely it can. It is intractable, often impermeable until there’s the ability to ignore the effect it has on every decision taken. Once that’s dispensed with, it’s another emotion to understand then put away.

The joy last night of our first proper snow of the year was considerable, tempered immediately with ‘ooh hang on, my car’s parked on a slope and tomorrow I need to be driving.’ It probably sounds basic to the rest of you grown-ups, but rushing out to move it dressed in cycling shorts and a vest top after cycling last night would probably appear a tad reckless, but was huge fun.

Doing stuff when I think of it is the new favourite thing right now.

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Oh yeah, this is spontaneity! I remember that feeling, before my kids were born. The more that the past is poked, the easier it is to work out where contention initially emerged, and issues arose. Then, you gotta fix them. No longer need I be complicit the lie of participation: if it matters enough, then shut up and just get on with it. Really, you wanna get stronger? Just get stronger. Work harder. Stop complaining you’re not good enough. Get good.

I know, incredibly easy to type, monstrously hard to achieve. Artists don’t just become good overnight. Athletes train constantly. If you want something, work is a given. More significantly, your path to glory does not need to be the same one trodden by your ancestors. How about forging a new way that no-one else has considered before? There’s nothing stopping you from fining a better way.

Really, you can achieve brilliance and not be like everybody else.

Desert Island Disc

DAY 15: There is summat contained within Huel that has begun to do very good things in my brain. Having swapped from lunch to breakfast consumption reaps multiple benefits too: I’m more awake, capable, and likely to make the next day’s snack in plenty of time because leaving it in the fridge overnight appreciably improves flavour. Undoubtedly, I’m less hungry too, which is going to provide benefit elsewhere.

As I don’t drink enough to warrant it, Dry January’s never a thing, but the whole sugar free for a month works very well in its stead. I’m pretty much there completely now: no more cake in the house, or sweets. Gonna be making some once February rolls around though. That’s all part of the later plan, which doesn’t need worrying about for a while. For now, brain can be satisfied that on the Sunday before New Year’s Eve, I don’t remember ever feeling this good about myself.

I was up at 8.30am and, on reflection, this was a very good start to the day. There’s a second submission not listed on that PostIt too, concept of which was being played with yesterday. It cost me 15 euros to enter, rationalised like a Lottery Ticket. I have such a small chance of winning, but having spent the same amount of time on making the idea real that was used on the contest-winning entry… there is nothing to lose. That’s the key, of course: never anything to lose, you can’t win if you don’t enter, and the possibilities remain endless.

The key difference between here and before, it is apparent, comes with the notion of ‘winning’ which, although clearly very attractive and all, has ceased to be what matters. More and more, as I read about poets such as W.S Graham who were never properly appreciated until after death… how much of modern published literature will survive the march of time? It doesn’t matter about what people do after I’ve kopped it, they’re not here to enjoy my life. I AM AND NOW I DO.

Now matters most, and it’s fucking brilliant.


These are the things that need to be most worked on starting today. Not tomorrow, because that really is too late. Last night’s epiphany was bi-fold: you can get as angry as you like people don’t seem to care, but it achieves nothing, except to isolate you from the important individual shortcomings that have to change. There has to be trust, and belief. I possess one right now but not the other. Time to strengthen both.

Enjoy your NYE however you choose to celebrate. I’ll be off shortly to give blood, which seems an eminently sensible way to start a year of positive action.