I know by now that if I start writing, something will form, even if I’m telling myself I don’t have much to write about today. Life is rich and even a day spent in contemplation (aka pottering) can yield material. I’ve done this unbroken for over 1200 days now, somehow. Lots and lots of words.
My friend Mel, the snake owner, is still stuck in New Zealand, now living in a caravan in somebody’s garden, earning her keep by making limoncello and stringing together fairy lights. Before that she was living in a brewery on the Coromandel Peninsula. “You should be the one writing a blog,” I tell her. She doesn’t like the idea. I tell her I’m moving to her place in Hampstead on Saturday. She’s pleased. “At least somebody will be getting some use out of the rent I’m paying,” she remarks. I’m lucky to have the option to shift base. It’ll be good for me, and it’ll help my neighbour not worry.
We forget that our normality is still unusual for people in a different idiom. Time and again in the years I’ve done this daily record, the things people have been activated to communicate about haven’t been the well turned phrases, but the glimpses of weakness, the flashes of vulnerability. The things I find hardest to write about.
I’m sitting in my living room, half tidy half not, still listening to the top 100 nineties albums in reverse order – (after a sabbatical when I just wasn’t in the mood to listen to anything.). I’m on Guns and Roses now but earlier this evening it was The Fugees and Wyclef Jean painfully reminding us as things go up in flames all over the world that things were just as shit 30 years ago. George Floyd. I haven’t seen the video because I know it’ll upset me deeply. This stuff keeps happening. I am so safe from it and it’s confusing to contemplate the difference in experience between being me in my nice flat worrying about trivial things and being someone in a developed country who has to worry about going to the store in case a policeman takes badly to him and actually kills him.
After this hibernation it’s a good time for rejigging old systems and throwing out patterns of thought that don’t help, and we all have generations worth of unexamined assumptions that we need to try to pull out and examine. It’s a lifetime of work, but its never too late to start and nobody is completely free of it.
But debate is getting harder and harder online as propaganda bots polarise and stoke rage and confusion seemingly just because they can. Now the ghost of “deep fakes” is starting to haunt the edges of fake news and the logical next step is to say “If you want to trust it’s me, you have to see me in the flesh” and then it’s the fecking Nuremberg rallies all over again.
I roasted a chicken and ate most of it on my own. I’ve made enough gravy to feed an army so there’ll be casserole for a week. Good things can happen.