Life is such a strange thing to navigate. We desperately seek patterns. For most of us, there was a period of relative stability when we were children. The world had edges and we were mostly kept away from them. It’s partly why flat earth is a tempting parable for the limited thinkers. There is a myth of safety, a myth of meaning, a myth of predictability. But … there are cracks in the sky. There’s a waterfall into oblivion.
Different people see the cracks at different points. Sent off to boarding school across a sea at 8, I still managed to sell myself an optimistic vision. This was to be the best for “my education”. *I will endure this nonsense and all the arbitrary rules*. I solved it by breaking those rules. No mobile phones existed and no phones allowed. We wrote letters. I once snuck into my headmaster’s office aged ten and rang home from his office phone at about 8pm when they were all having a party in the library. A slightly tipsy mum answered. Rather than having the fun and illicit conversation I expected I had my mum immediately asking me where I was and worrying I’d get into trouble. I was whispering into the phone. I was enjoying the mischief and asking my mum to join it. I was ten for fucks sake. I remember saying “Let me worry about what I’m allowed to do. Nobody’s going to catch me. I took the risk to call cos I wanted to see how you are.” Mum got me off the phone in short order and was so worried that she dobbed me in.
But… this solving it by breaking the rules thing … that prep school is the same one that nurtured our erstwhile Prime Monster, mister Johnson. You’ve taken the hit on family life, and you know your parents are paying money. In some sort of fucked logic, you can cast yourself as lucky privilege person. You DESERVE. And if you start to break the rules and get away with it then that can be a platform for life as it was with him. “Cheaper household bills if you back Brexit!” Lies lies lies lies lies and today British Gas joined in with the posting record profits malarkey as we all freeze.
My first true world-crack came at 12 when THE DIVORCE was announced and I realised that the safe little bubble I had lived in was a construct. The idea of safe family life *crack*. I was about to go to Harrow which I thought would be a haven for intelligent and thoughtful humans but instead, in my house, turned out to largely be a bucketful of yobs. Another crack in the idea of meritocracy. The cracks deepened and very soon I had no means of holding my sense of a fair and reasonable world together apart from a faith I clung to, which splintered too leaving just the interesting beautiful shards of spiritual practice and acceptance. Both parents dying before I hit thirty pushed the trust beyond endurance. The world became a cruel and arbitrary mess and rather than try and ride it I let it ride my awhile. I did a pretty good job of obliterating myself for about a decade before I noticed that that was what I was supposed to be doing and turned on my own shadow on the open sea.
I came back with this blog partly. Around that time. This daily practice as a means of staving off the drive to oblivion. California heat and light and bullshit at this time of year helping me see the nature of framing reality. Crossing water and finding changes, reframing my own strange shape. Overcoming the gebbeth. Even a daily practice as pedestrian as this tapestry of words is still a daily practice. And life is about the daily repetition of small things.
One thing I’ve never really done is gone back on this blog. There’s so much of it now, all written raw in a day, of the day in which it is written. It might be helpful now for me to look at it, to see the patterns. There’s enough now that I would be very curious to feed it all into an AI and see what it comes up with, but also I would never want to teach an AI like that. I suspect I’ll have to feed it into an Al instead.
Today I’m lost in thought. There’s a melancholia in me and a sense of time and loss. The people I might have known longer, the things I might have seen, the things I might have done. But… an email came today from my agent. A casting director that knew me when I was in the wilderness breaking things has reached out with an olive branch after a decade to this new and perhaps more stable rearrangement of cells that I find myself in. A minor redemption opportunity. And maybe some work at the end of it. Joy.
Life will continue to be strange and arbitrary, but navigation gets easier with time, perhaps.
One thought on “Having a moment”
That was beautiful. It’s funny how your spiritual discipline has become my morning (possibly spiritual) practice too. Thanks for reminding us of all the things you do. It helps.