Friday, 27 February 2009

Three Twenty-Five Random Musings (I May Have Lost Count)

(This title might grow over the course of the night - might end up 29 random musings, etc, we'll see how it goes. Have a look-see in the morning.)

Aggression. - Some people blow off the handle. Think of throwing a pot (on a wheel). You go to pinch in the top as if making a bottle or vase, and the whole top plops and careers off under the pressure of your fingers. Others shape the clay into a great big pointy spear, harden it with a blowtorch and pick up the entire wheel and hurl it at the object of their anti-desire. Others still headbutt the clay, then kick the wheel til their toes are all broken. I've been in all camps.

CPNish Freudian Foot and Mouth. - My CPN was asking me about my relationship with my father. I told him it was probably more healthy than my relationship with my mother. But I didn't mention I'm married to my sister. (Joke. But actually we've been mistaken loads of times for siblings. Sad eh? Some by incredulous yet friendly strangers, othertimes one can tell by the look of disgust - this is all pre-kiddie memories).

Fatherhood. - Speaking of children. Being a father of three small boys is a bit like being a rat in an electrified cage, wearing the negative contact on his testicles. If I slump down down down and crumple, zap goes the current, and zap and zap and ZAP APAAP ZA PAZ AP ZAP PDA DDY !!Z APX AP ZAP! = I get up again. I shiver and shudder and judder to imagine what life could be like without my perpetual get up pull-your-socks-up-machine that is called being a father, therefore responsible. I am very lucky. And I feel sick to my bones remembering a year ago, wanting to die, not caring about the effect I'd have on them.

Pottery. - The greatest pleasure is the learning through destruction. You make a bad pot. You cut in in half to look at the thickness of the walls. It's dead. You throw it in the bin for all the old bad dead pots. Gone. Bad drawings, bad writing... they hang about, you can learn from them. Dead pots, you kill, you learn, you say bye-bye.

Learning. - I always like to learn in parallel, not in series. I've made a bad pot. I'll make a handle and attach it before killing the pot. I've made two bad pots. I'll cut them on a skew, join them, make an ugly pitcher, form a bad spout, attach a handle, then kill it. There is nothing worse than waiting till you can do something well before progressing to the next stage - because then you'll break your own heart with your cack-handedness all over again.

Walter Benjamin. - Was a very wise man. A gleaner par excellence. What is left to humans but to sift for gold in the past? What is left for us but to re-infold all experience back into the past and into the present? Or to show the blind and deaf how the churning (oh shit, back to pottery) clay spirals back into itself. Eternal recurrence? Perhaps. Have a link.

Writing On (or off) The Hoof. - Can't you tell?

Fighting. - I never cease to be amazed how often I meet people who haven't been in a single fight since their schooldays. I never look for trouble, and indeed I can honestly say I generally try to avoid it, but somehow it always comes home to roost. You have to take my word for it that justice is always on my side, and that a situation has developed where an honest and upright man cannot hold his tongue, nor curb his flashing eyes. In other words, they didn't like my face.

Love. - A word everyone knows, yet has a thousand meanings. But if we qualify the word, it is demeaned by the qualification.

Form. - If you stand outside, and look at the horizon, and raise your arms halfway to horizontal, then your fingertips are pointing at the widest part of the globe below you. North and South are banished here.

Being a Jack of All Trades (Or Renaissance Man, as one would rather be known). - It is extremely satisfying, but one loses all credibility.

Love revisited (i). - True love. The love that is fated, that grows, that passes the years without vanishing. The love that is firm at a depth in the coalmine which can ignore any weather going on overhead.

Wine. - In truth, etc, well, perhaps. Unsluices the reservoir of unsaid, unthought, un, un, unnessess. Hic.

Artaud. - If any of you haven't read his Van Gogh essay yet, The Man Suicided By Society, then please do so at your earliest convenience.

Love revisited (ii). - Love of same sex friends. My oldest friend and I have always joked if we were gay, or if one or the other wasn't a man, we'd be married (come on, we have been together twenty years). Well, that's the way the cookie crumbles. I'm happy - he's happy - just another cosmic shrug and belly laugh I'm afraid. Still a wry smile at another possible past/present/future that was not. In another universe, it's a reality. ;-)

Cigarettes. - Are killing me. In fact, the only reason I went mad was to have an excuse to smoke again. On a serious note, there's a book called Cigarettes Are Sublime, which is a good read. Actually, it isn't. But it's a good book to pretend to others is a good read. I must try to give up again. My oldest boy keeps demanding I do or die etc... I smile reassuringly.

Religion. - For my sins, I was christened a Catholic. If my mummy and daddy weren't such awful sinners, I might have got to Confirmation, and then I might be very happy now. Mwahahahaha. Actually, I'm so glad they were dreadful sinners. :-) As it happened, I turned into an atheist on the balance of all the evidence at the age of six, and haven't looked back since. (Apologies ma and da - you were just normal sinners, not dreadful ones. Dx)

On the Internet Kiss. - Oh the etiquette! It used to be easy, but then a plague spread, and now it is all so difficult. I would rather say 'mwah', but that sounds so sneery, and not the intention. Irony in an internet kiss is hard to convey. For the record, if I do an 'x' (or should that grammatically be a 'x'?) then it means eXtra sympathy, solidarity, and love in the sense of... oh see love revisited iv.

Depression. - I've felt shit the last few days - but mixed. I've shouted at the children a hundred times more than I wanted to; I've been foul to live with. The only bloody reason I'm writing this shit down is to try to bump-start my brain into being 'up'. Not a bad BAD down. Daily suicidal thoughts, yes, but that's not what I would call bad. Not plans (though I know what my current options are), and not actions, nor actionable actions, nor actions that back in the day would be actionable either. So I am safe enough. I just want to pull myself out of the stupid pit. Writing blather and shite always used to do it if I kept doing it. (New topic, but continued.)

Mixed States. - Mania and depression are not two sides of a coin. They are two separate rivers. They flow and meander as they will. It is as easy to predict the next flood in Worcestershire or Norfolk as it is to predict what mood-state one will be in next month. Just imagine though... two rivers fighting in one riverbed. It would be pretty hellish for all concerned I would think, especially for the dim suckers who bought houses on the floodplains.

Psychiatrists. - May they rot in a hell of their own diagnosing.

Love revisited (iii). - Love for non-same-sexed friends (assuming orientations, etc). It really shouldn't be a problem, so long as morals and ethics are observed.

Equatorial Shenanigans Again. - Ok, relax your arms. Of course you all know from school that if you draw four lines within a circle all the same length you end up with a square, or am I just showing my age? (I'm 84 you know!) But, it is a very bizarre and sobering thought to be pointing your fingers at a 45 degree angle from your body through the ground at your feet, and simultaneously realizing that the world curves gently out out out out out out out out out round out round out round out round out round out round out round out round round round round round round round round round before it hits your own personal equator. There is an equator for each of you. It is simply the widest point below you. Think of Leonardo's Vitruvian Man. And think of him stood on top of a globe, arms 45 degrees down. There you have it.

Love Revisited (iv). - All of you bloggers. I don't mean it lightly. I rate you as high as my favourite landscapes, my favourite memories, all the things that are detached from the now and the real. You've all been grand over the last nine months or so. So thanks.

Conclusions. - I'm tired. How many? I've lost count. Count then. No, I can't be arsed. Make up a figure then. How many? Let me contemplate. Hurry up. All right, the figure should be twenty-five. But that isn't as many as I thought it might be when I started writing! Who cares... I don't, you don't, and everyone else will feel they got off lightly.


I've had enough.

Night all. D x (yeah, an internet kiss, but it still MEANS SOMETHING)

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

A Disagreement.

I heard someone declare that Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground (or Memoirs from the Mousehole as a more accurate translation would have it) was "crap".

Well, great books are great mirrors. If all you see is crap, then look unto thyself.

Or, more prosaically - shit in, shit out.

The first and perhaps greatest existential novel. Here follow some very random thoughts half-remembered while smoking furiously in the garden and looking at the unfeeling stars.

What is existentialism?

It is the realisation that you exist - and there is no particular reason for you being here. You are here. That is all you know, and all you can rely on. There is no wrong or right, no good or evil. There is just here.

We are like plants, growing, pollinated, breeding our young where the wind takes them, dying, rotting away to the soil. We are the consequence of a runaway chain-reaction of chemistry that had the lucky knack of perpetuating a certain complexity that either thrived or died according to its ability to thrive.

We still feel, hurt, weep, and bemoan our lot. To be US, and to be so meaningless. We feel so strongly, so deeply, and it is all for nothing. How hard is that to accept with a laugh and a sprightly walk?

The whole world is a ghastly lie set up to pretend it isn't so.

We smile, provide for the future, as if it makes any difference. We care about our children, as if it makes any difference. We destroy the future for our present gratification, as if it makes any difference.

And then, and then, and then, we still have to exist. How do we exist? Why don't we get out?

We find ways. Humour. Comedy. Laugh at the ridiculous void. Laugh at the distance between the hope and the truth. Black laughter. It's all we've got.

Pleasure can be taken along the way, but the store of dishonesty, or cowardice mounts up daily.

We're here because we're here because we're here because we're here. (Old WWI song).

So we may as well stay here as long as we can.

Almost any misery is better than death. In fact, to a gourmand of misery, I would scratch out the almost. Even agony is still the only existence we have.

There are still, however, plenty of good reasons for trading our store of existence in for the benefit of others who may be more innocent. Self-sacrifice is another lie, but one of the most noble ones.


But keep fucking laughing at the whole caboodle!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And try to be good, because it helps other people keep their eyes closed.

And finally, sometimes I think we who are all supposedly damaged goods, are simply the ones whose scales hath fallen from their eyes.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Terminal Terminological Logical Terminii

Bored with 'tired but wired' -

how about 'screaming but gleaming'?

Dribbly and wibbly?
Fitfully witful?
Bouncing and trouncing?
Headfully Dreadful?
Funky but spunky?
Clunky ol' monkey?
Adrift in a slushpile
Caught in a cogwheel
Washed with a stonespiel
Fed with a watchword
Hungry for sleeping
Steadily weeping
A pox on this greeting
And whinging and moaning
I'll sew my false mouth shut
And steadfastly blink not.

Oh well, that passed five minutes. I'm grand, just bored with me and who I am, and how it all manifests. And still determined to just be me.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Blogging and Commenting Etc...

We are probably the best and worst support group in the world. We'll be there when we can be, and won't be when we're not.

Also, our own replying idiosyncracies come into play all the time. Speaking for myself, I'll reply if I'm spurred to by concern, or else because the post was interesting, or for a completely random and unforeseen reason. Completely different urges. Dangerous to read anything into frequency of posting. Which I do, and therefore assume you do on occasion.

You all should have my number, I posted and deleted several times, but here it is again. It will stay up for forty-eight hours. It is there to be used, else I wouldn't post it. Oh Seven Nine Three Nine, Five One Three, Nine-To-Five. Use it any time. I can't promise the phone will be charged or anything as practical as that, because I'm shit at that sort of practical stuff. But anyway. There you have it, ladies and gentlemen.

I'm ok - I think. :-) I'm just in ultra-honest mode. And since I am, I'll stop now. Take care everyone. D x

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Après Shrink

Well, rotation has been and gone, and a shiny new happy psychiatrist. Seems a decent chap, once the robotic standardized official advice and treating me as if I had learning difficulties had been disposed of.

Result of interview is:

i) Ok, I trust you're getting better
ii) You seem to know when you're going up too much
iii) You feel strongly you are recovering better under your own steam
iv) You can carry on screwing around with your medication (yes, I admitted it)
v) We're here to help if you need us
vi) See you in three months

So, pretty much what I wanted to hear.

On the downside he didn't seem to have heard of Koukopoulos or Akiskal - both fairly eminent in mixed-state research which made me raise my eyebrows. But that's a quibble.

I pointed out the worst side effect of the pills was the oh-so-unimportant one of flattening my affections and vice versa with my family, which made things worse than dancing around the illness itself. Also pointed out that no amount of 'family therapy' would convert them into draconian pill-pushers on the MH services behalf.

I hate these things - a cross between a job-interview and a court appearance. You have to argue with passion, intelligence, and stubbornness if you want to get what you want, but you have to do it so carefully, lest they simply write you off as 'high'. That moment when their 'listening' face changes to 'concerned' face to 'plotting' face to 'is he likely to be a danger to himself or others' face...

Well, I danced my socks off on the high-wire for half an hour without falling off, or seeming to take too many risks, and now, apart from feeling wiped-out, I seem to have got them off my back for now, and they now know that my recovery has largely been without the benefit of medication, apart from the worst couple of moments since last May.

So, I'm pretty pleased. Out later to play music. Looking forward to that!

Take care all, D x

Off to See the Shrink

And I wish I wasn't feeling angry, nervous, agitated, but I am. I don't know why. Well I do - it is because I don't know what tack I'm going to take, what lies I'm going to make, what state I'm going to fake - hell, I don't even know if the last psych has been rotated and there will be a new one, or if it will be the young boy so wet behind the ears the vernix is still clinging to him. I just want to be shot of them all. Which of course is liable to be interpreted as 'illness'.

Oh god, wish me luck.

What a strange, demented feeling it gives me when I realise I have spent whole days before this inkstone, with nothing better to do, jotting down at random whatever nonsensical thoughts that have entered my head. Yoshida Kenko, circa 1330

Friday, 13 February 2009

A Year Ago

Either tomorrow, or the day after, or the day after that... sorry I can't find the diary... but I tried killing myself with the rope round the neck. I can't believe now that I was in that state. It's one thing to propel your carcass over a parapet and catch yourself on at the last second - and another to numbly put the apparatus in place for extinction.

But let's forget about all that, because it's gone, pffffffffffhhhh blown off the palm of my hand like the dirty cobweb memory it is now. Pfffffffffffffffffffhhhhhhhh. (Taking a bit more blowing I'm afraid.)

Ok, that's that gone.

Btw happy birthday to my ma tomorrow, and my da the day after.

A platonic photo for all of you on Valentine's Day - the print is probably 19th Century - very slim chance it's C18th. Go to large size and look near the peg. K and I were stripping the roof of a very cute Norman tower, and found this stuck to a tile... and it blew away in the wind as we looked.

The heartfelt and melancholy intentions cry out over centuries.

Molly Bloom

I was always curious to see how that 1967 film of Ulysses handled Molly's soliloquy - never thought it was on youtube.

For the impossible, it does it pretty damn well.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

High but Hopeless

Not in a particularly bad place... just 'tired but wired'... and can't see it will ever change. Sleeping badly, but still getting some at all times of the day. Circadian rhythm is fucked to hell. At least I'm getting some, which is more than some of you have been recently. Not feeling too happy in general. Weary of the whole caboodle. Just one foot in front of the other, I know, but feeling antagonistic towards the concept.

On a happier note, this made me chuckle:

Also, from the light entertainment dept - I should put a Trigger Alert on this I suppose. I took these photos a month after nearly jumping off the west front of a famous cathedral in 2007. Black humour.

Keep safe one and all.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Cotswold Life

I believe this quaint Cotswold carving is a ritual object, probably involving the drinking of spirits. However, judging from the number of agricultural students in the area, there may well have been a sudden epidemic of Kochdropov's Syndrome at Cirencester Casualty this morning.

Strange though, all the children wandering about... "What's that lady, mummy?" It shouldn't be allowed, I tell you!

Update! News just in! Conflicting reports of an obscene vodka luge have been categorically denied. Apparently the said sculpture 'evokes' the Transitory Nature of Form and the Ideal Hegelian Gullet.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

The Mutual Worry Machine

Do you ever worry about me? Well I often worry about you.

Anyway, here is a special dispensation from the Pope (Il Papa) of Abysmal Musing Land - you don't have to worry about me. Signed, moi.

That is all.

(It's alright Ma)

(House of the Rising Sun - best version ever apart from Nina)

The Chastisement of the Flesh

I'm sure I must have Finnish or Russian genes.

Rolling naked in snow during a blizzard for a full count of sixty seconds does wonders for the constitution. I pity all of ye without back gardens. Or snow. (And I apologise for the repeated motif, but one must make the best of the weather, eh?)

But the thing is, here in England, that behaviour would be classified as mad. In Finland or Russia it would be classified as healthy.

Go and fucking figure, as the saying has it.

Take care everyone.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Wabi Sabi

侘 - Wabi: despondence, emerging or decaying from nature, earthy, subtle, transience.
寂 - Sabi: loneliness, melancholy, flawed.

I've been immersing myself in photos of Japanese tea bowls, and learning about the aesthethic of wabi-sabi.

It feels very similar to the Western concept of transcending angst.

The sleet falls quickly
Ragged shawl blown in the gale
Drifts cover footprints.

Corblimey, never wrote a haiku before.

Take care everyone. Abysmal Frozenballs.

p.s. I'm giving this twitter thing a go. Not sure what it does yet, but apparently you can follow me if you wish. It might keep my excruciating updates out of the blogposts and in a more transient place where they belong (over there on the left below the Wickerman Rangerover Disaster).

Moon Update

Very strong, very intense, especially on all the snow. But I'm not flying, which is a relief. Restrained myself to a very brief naked bounce on the snowy trampoline. That is all, ladies and gents.

Hmm. Moving to the south of France sounds better and better after that.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Drink, Snow, Sex, Power, Thanks, Moonlight, Bogart, Pagination, etc...

A few vague honesties.

When off the pills, I would say it would be fair comment to declare that on certain weeks I like to have a drink. I can't get a single doctor or pyschiatrist to tell me I have a problem, so perhaps I don't? But anyway, sometimes I do drink a bottle of wine with the missus, and if I'm a really, really lucky boy, there might be some whisky lurking in the house for a nightcap. Anyway, the weather here in the Cotswolds is bloody cold. A stack more snow, and now it's all frozen and set to be so for the next five days or so. Black ice everywhere. Car driving is 'possible' but not prudent. No, I still haven't got my licence back yet...

[New paragraph] ... but one of these days surely! How 'mixed' can one be for being roughly sane? They've had it for over a year now. The BASTARDS!!. I repeat: THE BASTARDS AT THE DVLA!!!! Hmm - that'll increase the google hits. Anyway, we've been semi-stranded, and it's such an irritation to me, after being obviously the mover and shaker and the doer and the I'm-going-here-er, and the got-the-new-contract-er, and the everything-else-er (apart from having three babies!) for the last few years, and I can't even drive the car 3 miles to the bloody shops...

[New paragraph] ... which really does my head in. Perhaps a male thing? Loss of power, potency, and speaking of which, guess what was the secondmost important factor in giving up the Depakote this time round? Yeah... like a limp strip of soggy clay. The foremost factor was just simply my wife and children really didn't like the stranger that was dozing on the sofa all night and day. But as for the anorgasmia - it's no joke - it all gets hard work and boring after a few hours. And then the anorgasmia began to turn into the old favourite: FLOPPIDONG! I must hasten to add, this was a novel experience for me. Even when depressed that part would work when cajoled. And don't ask about when I was up. I'm sure you can guess. A while back I posted something, then deleted...

[New paragraph] ... because it was too crude, and cacophonated too much of blowing one's own trumpet - hmm - no, I'm not a contortionist, the statement was metaphorical - anyway, put it this way, the refractory period vanishes. What have I covered so far? Drink, snow, sex, power, what's next? Thanks. Oh yes! Thanks to LOOPYKATE for a glowing review on I should have put this at the top, but I'll highlight it in glowing colours. Moonlight? Oh yes...

[New paragraph] ... after living in the sticks for four and a half years, I realised I'd never walked to the nearest town. Realising we were 'snowed in', or iced-in would be more precise, I set off under the moonlight through the snow. It was gorgeous. I really needed to let off steam with some hard exercise after looking after all the kids while K got some sleep all afternoon - and by god they were getting stir crazy too - but the baby etc... and the cold freezing wind, and the boys wouldn't go out and play in the garden, so... Anyway. Stomping six miles cross-country through the thick snow provided the exercise. I managed the round trip in...

[New paragraph] ... two and a half hours, which included mooching around the supermarket for half an hour. So not such bad going. Was haunted by the idea as I walked that I wouldn't have thought twice about doing it in my early twenties, but as age creeps up, society expects different behaviour from it's trammelled, flogged and shackled minions. Shame at bucking convention swells with age. (That said, simple fear at having one's head blown off by a poacher at night comes fairly high on the list - sounds like the Somme around here after dark all year round. THAT IS AN EXAGGERATION!) Got back...

[New paragraph] ...and we watched In A Lonely Place - I agree, perhaps Bogie's finest hour. Oh well, plenty of horrendous stuff for embarrassment here, but I feel perfectly in the mood for handling embarrassment tonight. I say this knowing that various family members and friends drop in from time to time.

Keep safe one and all. D x

P.S. Just been outside for a ciggy. The owls are hooting like mournful souls frozen in the deepest pit of hell. The moon - O fickle mistress - gleams with ghastly come-hitherness on the snow. The snow has begun to turn to the southern-english version of néve. A gorgeous night, in other words. Perfect for Gerald at the end of Women in Love if this was the Alps.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

I need to scale back

So if I'm not around as much, it's not that I've vanished. I just need to get my own head together more. You're all too damned interesting! I've been losing track of keeping an eye on myself. I'll probably still be about as much as ever, but I'm just saying etc.

p.s. Finally broke my last remaining new year's resolution. I think that's a good sign.

Take care all, D

Tuesday, 3 February 2009


Just lying looking at the fire and remembering things.

When my youngest brother's twin was murdered in utero by his father (not my father) by a kicking to the belly of a pregnant woman (my mother) I went to the train station with a carving knife wrapped in a tea towel in a rucksack, bought a ticket, the train came in, the train left. I went home.

Yes, I did know exactly where he lived.

What stopped me? "Insight?" Spit spit spit faugh faugh faugh.

No, what stopped my seventeen year-old self back then was selfishness, because I had my whole life to live. I didn't want to live it in prison.

The bizarre thing is... if I was a rural Cretan in the 50s, I'd probably have been murdered myself for not getting on the train. (Joke. I'm going by Zorba the Greek here.)

All this psychiatry, this bloody miserable false wiping at the stains of the 'ideal' society... it's just like ineffectual lion-taming. All they can do is kill either the lion outright, or kill the lion's spirit, which is just as bad.


This probably doesn't sound so good. But I'm actually on fairly good mettle at the moment.

Dreamers of the Day

The first quotation I scribbled on the wall of the first room I could really call my own. (Sorry Juliet the landlady - I did my best to scrub them all off when I left).
This, therefore, is a faded dream of the time when I went down into the dust and noise of the Eastern market-place, and with my brain and muscles, with sweat and constant thinking, made others see my visions coming true. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible. T. E. Lawrence - Seven Pillars of Wisdom.
I was going to post about many things, but part of me is thinking why? I could ramble on, perhaps even be entertaining, but is it self-indulgence? Perhaps I'll indulge, and ramble anyway. After all, "How do I know what I think, until I hear what I say?" as the quote from the woman from the book I can never place in mind has it.

We drove down to Poole and back to pick up a potter's wheel I had rashly bought on ebay for K's birthday. K drove - still no news on the driving licence. The roads were wonderfully quiet: the media hysteria had obviously put everyone off getting out of bed. On the way back we stopped for lunch at a pub called the Half Moon, which seemed apt. Very nice - so rare to be out just the two of us. We did our usual - scanned the menus, picked two dishes that would compliment, and then exchanged half each to make a balanced meal. Oh all right, if you must know, roast vege and linguini and pork ribs and 'fries'. What is it with 'fries'? Why can't they be honest and call them slim chips? Then this evening we tried watching a dvd from lovefilm called Ugestsu Monogatari - but the bloody thing froze halfway through! It was about a 17th C Japanese potter caught up in the civil wars. Rape, murder and pillage, and all they care about is the kiln and is it hot enough! Why do coincidences happen like that? And why is lovefilm so shoddy? (We don't have a telly, so we allow that little indulgence of a film a week).

Ok - I am boring myself so badly I feel like retching. I will stop. Normal service will be resumed tomorrow.