Yesterday was a massively important day, and as a result I need to reassess.
Expect change, beginning tomorrow.
Yesterday was a massively important day, and as a result I need to reassess.
Expect change, beginning tomorrow.
That’s my poem IN THE SUNDAY FUCKING TELEGRAPH, that is. I’d assumed, when they did the interview, that all that mattered was the serious stuff. I’d fully expected anything contentious to be edited out (as it appears was the case with the other poet they spoke to) and to have my mental health shout out left in was, it has to be said, quite satisfying.
For a poem I don’t really like that much, this is already FAR more traction than could have been reasonably expected. This morning, something else I’m not that particularly enamoured with either has unexpectedly picked up a consent form request. At some point however it might be useful to get some payment somewhere, because this stuff doesn’t feed anybody.
The attention however is, it must be said, worth the effort.
It’s odd, how certain things move on their own. My concern about diversifying too much is still niggling, but as I’ve already got video ready to roll with imagery for a poem this week after trying to do this since March, it is apparent that that wasn’t the real issue. Once the work’s attacked, it gets done. The real issue is planning effectively to get to that stage.
Looking back on previous disasters, planning was always the weak link. It would support me when creativity flagged, and would propel me forward when things got emotionally fraught. Now it’s shit hot, and happens before ANYTHING else takes place, the difference to just about everything is not only noticeable but reassuring. Why did it take me so long?
Well that’s a stupid question, you didn’t believe you could do it.
Belief is undoubtedly the key. Knowing there is nothing to prove at this stage also helps enormously… what, I’m gonna fail at this by the time I’m 30? I should be sitting at home drinking wine and watching daytime TV at my age: no woman 50 is any kop for anything, unless you’re a Hollywood actress with a skincare contract and an expensive wardrobe. Fuck all your preconceptions, and screw anyone who thinks they get to tell me I’m wasting my time.
Trust me, I did pull a shirt over my head and run around the room when that poem got chosen for publication, and every time I succeed it will be celebrated with a similar level of joyous enthusiasm because honestly, truthfully, I never expected to get here at all. It was all just possibility. Now I am here, you’ll have to extract my existence from cold, dead hands before I’ll be prepared to give it up.
Welcome to the New Routine.
Sometimes, shit just *happens*
No real thought, no hours of painful brain-wracking. You just wake up, boil a kettle and as you stare at a tablet, words happen. I suspect it is the equivalent of a sketch from an artist which perfectly encapsulates the fluidity of both motion and moment and sadly, they do not often happen enough. No matter. This is a decent one, good enough to stick in my notebook, for this is what this blog is.
Up very early today. I even set a 7am alarm. That’s not happened since late March. Stuff has been scheduled, and I have a level of organization in play that’s good even for me. Without it, stuff will not get finished this week and there is a LOT that needs doing. I’ll detail everything properly on the work blog but, for now, I’m strapping on a heart rate monitor and heading for the Gym.
This week is going to count.
A bunch of ridiculously rich people worried about being ‘cancelled’ (with no grasp at all what this really means) co-signed a statement yesterday. The two most notable (at least for me) had already come together in conflict earlier in the day on something far more telling.
This is where we are now. There are no precisely drawn lines… except one. Wealth. All of those people have money, and by definition access to anything they might need to ensure their lives are lived without issue. Except, of course, as writers, they are supposed to be revered and loved for their intellectual stimulation and insight or else their reason for being does not exist.
Think it’s time to bring Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs back to the table.
All those rich people are not at the top of their pyramids right now. They might have made it to Tier Two without breaking sweat but Tier Three is the deal breaker for EVERYBODY in Lockdown: when ‘they’ say that money won’t buy you happiness, this is normally the space where the majority of that assertion lies. The shift from Safety to Belonging is fucking HUGE.
For this writer, I can absolutely attest that once you move into the Esteem stage of proceedings, an awful lot of stuff that was not previously possible becomes just that. The self-imposed obstacles that are set previously simply cease to exist. You can and do attain things that were previously impossible. It is, ultimately, all about your own personal journey into enlightenment.
Wealth then becomes far more than material fortune.
Except, for many of these writers being unchallenged on frankly vile opinions for decades is coming to an end. Having an ‘opinion’ is finally beginning to mean accountability. The more insidious upshot of this, at least for me, will always be the mental health consequences of having opinions and outbursts in a public forum, in front of a massive, often highly susceptible audience.
Never more was that apparent than when this particular piece of video appeared yesterday lunchtime.
I know this might raise some eyebrows here, but this is dangerously close to doublethink tactics. I saw the term ‘psy-ops’ used in a few places by some notable players and had to go look it up. They say every day is a school day in this parish and that it is.
First off: THESE GUYS HAVE GABRIEL AS THEIR PATRON??? Quite apart from the numerous WTAF’s that resulted from this rabbit hole, it is apparent that mental warfare is now a big deal. Undoubtedly, having looked at the tell-all book a member of the Orange Twat’s family has now been allowed to publish, it’s quite clear that childhood trauma’s got a part to play in proceeedings.
Speaking as someone already waist high in the same shit another writer’s sold for a fortune, objectivity becomes the defining feature for absolutely everything. If I was holding the keys to a massive nuclear arsenal, I’d fucking demand other people made me accountable. That’s not happening right now, and needs to change. Toxic behaviour is no longer acceptable, however fucking rich your books have made you.
It is possible to put everything in place and it still to work.
Some rich, white people will be casualties. Whether there are enough of them, and whether the right ones are quietly shifted aside remains to be seen. Psychological warfare is the tool they have used for decades to subjugate others, and if we’re being all biblical here in terms of revenge then one good tooth extraction deserves reciprocation.
Except these aren’t the white people who will turn on us and attack our friends. That’s far more likely to happen in a supermarket or a public space. It won’t just be extremism from one direction any more. It’ll be everywhere… except, of course, that’s been the case in certain places for a long time. Maybe that will be noted and dealt with.
There are more problems here currently than solutions offered.
You won’t know me, but I’ve been here for a while. It’s been a long, difficult journey to finally start blogging: lots of courage, a fair measure of faith. However, circumstances have dictated change: starting tomorrow, this is how things work.
Neophyte Me could tear the book up and start from scratch, but that would ignore a lot of very good work undertaken over the Summer. It is no longer possible to pretend everything is the same as it was at the start of this year because… nope.
Instead, truth’s a better bet.
The first plan after illness was to ensure September’s exercise output exceeded August’s, which is now done. In 30 days, exercise happened in 20. Next month that will increase to 25. I intend to *gasp* do a third Blaze class on Monday evenings. I have new, workable goals to exceed and then, after Christmas, we’ll see about some redefinition.
I also want to get back to Zwift-ing. Three times a week is the first checkpoint.
My husband is still in Hospital. We should tomorrow know what exactly is preventing his return home, and all things being equal I’d expect to see him back on Tuesday. This has completely destroyed submission plans for the end of this month, because being both mum and dad to a 14 year old plus maintaining domestic sanctity is fucking hard work.
On that front, disappointment versus realistic expectation will be Monday’s writing blog. It’s National Poetry Day on Thursday so that’ll gives brain summat to look forward to. Plus, Think-tober starts on Tuesday. Everything will find a level.
It is all doable, eventually.
As to being the new girl, and what that means?
See me in the morning.
No, it’s not Endgame but having seen this movie yesterday I can categorically state this is, without doubt, the #1 Best Movie about a Videogame by quite some distance. It uses the source material without treating it like the Holy Grail, it doesn’t worry too much about taking the piss out of itself, there is absolutely no romantic diversion to detract from the point, which is Pokemon. There’s enough plot twists to keep you guessing, and the last one I didn’t see coming, which was ultimately most satisfying of all.
Accents were nicely spread, London doubling as Ryme City became indivisible from it’s CGI face-lift, Diplo and Rita Ora’s performances were good enough not to stand out as being shoe-ins and even though Bill Nighy ‘phones in his turn, he’s believable. Honestly, truthfully, you could not ask for a better movie, especially when the Pokemon take front and centre. As a barometer: a pack of Bulbasaur moved me to tears. This film did the job. If you enjoy catching them all, honestly, there’s at least one moment you’ll get won over by.
14/10 please make the sequel just as good, because they’re already planning one.
I needed the distraction yesterday: it’s been a tough couple of weeks mentally, which only now is beginning to manifest. Good sleep is essential for me, and nobody else in the house is particularly doing that right now: lots of early morning get ups and movement due to stress and illness is taking it’s toll. Science is spot on when it states that sleep deprivation is a modern day malady. Two good nights this weekend has done wonders.
I’m using Strava to track my relative effort on the bike rides and this puts me right in the ‘recommended’ training zone’ area, so we’ll keep doing it whilst building strength as we go. I had thought about doing some weights today but actually we’ll just do another ride and possibly a walk with the belt: if I can put in a bunch of press ups and mountain climbers before and after the ride, that will do as upper body and core. As tomorrow is Body Image week (poetry being written) there’s a lot to say about how I look and feel.
Right now, it really is very good all round.
See you in five weeks :D
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Anyone making money off the Internet cannot afford to upset anybody. The plan has to be, like it or not, that anybody’s money is good right up to the point where people get hurt. That certainly seems to be the case with Gab, a social media platform ‘that doesn’t police hate speech’ which had the rug pulled out from under it by infrastructure providers after one of their number went on a shooting rampage in Pittsburgh. With each new outrage comes the call for other places to crack down on hate speech. Without strong leadership from places normally meant to provide such guidance, individuals and organisations are taking matters into their own hands.
This month’s #Narrating2018 soundtrack on the IoW site covers great speeches from movies and TV, and for my last entry… there’s two films that do some very good work screwing with the fundamental set of rules and beliefs for a proportion of religious folks in the Western world. Bruce and Evan Almighty might seem like fluff, or an excuse to make God even more contentious, but inside both movies lies a significant, beating heart of enlightenment. Can you really change the world without massive organisations behind you? Of course you can, you just have to want it enough.
It may seem sometimes like there’s a massive mountain to climb in terms of changing people’s outlooks or opinions, but there’s always a way if it matters enough. That’s the key, of course, why God laughs when Evan complains he doesn’t even know how to build an Ark. None of us are born with the tools required to overcome our lives. EVERYBODY has to learn. Your willingness to do so is a measure of our flexibility as human beings and demonstrates a desire to grow. Those who can only see their own inflexibility, narrow minded thinking or are constricted by fear… well, we all know what happens then.
Giving a platform to hate is utterly unacceptable. However, ignoring it is, at present, probably a greater sin. Hoping somebody else deals with the issue isn’t going to work either. So, whilst some’s response is to filter out noise and ignore the issues, people are dying. Although there’s an understanding of why having a quiet life would be lovely, the reality remains that nothing is not an acceptable response to your way of life being slowly eroded. It might mean some of us have to work a bit harder than was previously the case. I really don’t see that being a problem.
So, how do you know what works? Good question.
The best way to start, undoubtedly, is to admit there’s an issue that needs solving in the first place. Pick a side (in my case education and truth) and away you go. Nothing will happen if you expect someone else to do the work.
Starting with random acts of kindness is as good a place as any.
I had to wear a jumper for an hour this morning. I’ve missed that.
I’m also still on the first cuppa of the day, thinking about what happened yesterday and trying to work out what should be written about. At 5pm I found myself in East London when the heavens opened, and it is easy to grasp why such biblical scenes become inspiration for poets and artists. It was glorious, watching the World (as I saw it) cleansing itself so suddenly and brutally. Then I got home and was reminded that my view of the World is not everybody’s and that sometimes, it matters to understand the bigger picture when you’re talking to an audience.
When it all gets a bit fraught, comprehension can be a problem.
Occasionally I’m sitting watching my feed and am quick enough to see someone Tweet something, clearly think better of it and then delete it. When you see several people do this on the same subject (as was the case last night) it is a clear indicator that tempers are running high and the sane people understand they gotta be careful. This is why I don’t run an abbreviated feed either, because to really get how people think, sometimes, you appreciate it when they do make a mistake. It doesn’t make you bad or wrong, just human.
It’s also a worrying state of affairs when someone won’t feel comfortable enough to stand by the courage of conviction and would rather leave a conversation completely than be a part of it. It shouldn’t matter what you think, it really shouldn’t. People can and ought to respect that diversity. You don’t have to agree with each other to be friends. The irony in all this (from where I stand) is in this particular argument I’m quite happy not to agree with people. My enjoyment is not being impaired by doing so, as it transpires there’s a lot more satisfaction to be had just by being allowed to disagree.
Holiday is coming up, as of Monday it’ll be travelling and Italy, but rest assured I am thinking a lot about the Worlds not only inhabited but that will be left behind.
On my return, I already know that things are going to change.