Putting the pieces together


In recent months I have added to this blog erratically, and occasionally with large gaps between posts. I have excused some of that by being too busy to write, or even consider writing. That’s true to an extent, though not nearly as much as I inferred. More true is that often I’ve no inclination to write, or even to reflect upon the things that would lead me to jot down my observations or thoughts. Basically, because of other reasons, that particular brain activity has been absent. If there is a third reason it is that so much has been discouraging, or dispiriting, that I had no desire to compound the situation by writing further on it.

It has been an interesting 18 months, and in particular this last 6 months pretty tough. For much of this time I have felt outside of things, separate from the great bulk of the human race. It’s almost as if I’ve had an illness that has quarantined me from the world and which has inflicted upon me a set of symptoms different to what I’ve ever experienced before. For much of this period I’ve resisted – ‘I’m not sick!’ – and despite the evidence to the contrary tried to live as normally as I ever did before. This was not possible, no matter how much I might delude myself into thinking it was. At other times I have simply subsided back into bed hoping for a cure.

I’m not cured, and won’t be until what afflicts me is excised. That’s quite an operation. That’s my main, if not sole focus of my life right now, but even so, I realise that there are other things I can do to ease up on the symptoms of this affliction.

One of those is to write. It seems to me by retreating from these pages and from the words that so customarily fill my head that I have made things worse. While in many ways this blog has the appearance of a personal diary, the act of writing things out here remove these things – if only in part – from inside me (where they can fester) to a place external if not completely outside of who I am. It is good therapy for me to write. Additional to that is that words, writing, is my natural medium, how I express and in some ways brand myself. To deny this outlet denies part of myself, and shuts down a source of oxygen.

What this means is that I hope to post here more regularly than I have recently. I need to get things out there at the same time as I slip into that familiar groove. To continue with the earlier metaphor I am ill still, but doing this is the equivalent of getting out of bed and taking a turn around the hospital grounds. It re-affirms an essential part of my self-identity also. This is no small thing.

I’ve lived a very fragmented existence these last 18 months, with little pattern and vague purpose. That has only worsened this year with the death of mum and my relocation from home. The self, and perceptions of the self, have consequently suffered accordingly. Without any fixed point it’s hard to maintain an idea of who you are I’ve discovered. I’ve surprised myself with how resilient I am, and how persistently acute that innate ego remains. It exists though disconnected from my life. There is nothing to feed it, no reason to justify it in the events of real life. On occasion this has led to actions intended – subconsciously – to bolster that idea of self, almost in defiance of the reality about me. Perhaps I’ll write of that another time.

I suspect the best medicine is not these occasionally silly acts, but rather to engage with the with the habits that self is familiar with – in this case, to write. The road back (and yes, I know I’m mixing my metaphors) is best traveled step by step, slowly, and not in ill-conceived leaps. The basis of that must be continuity. To do these little, but important things day after day, again and again, and in so doing maintain that thread of self and build upon it. If you’ll allow another metaphor, it is to remain calm and focused inside despite the storm raging without, to be and do regardless.

On that basis I hope to write here again each day, and quite possibly to explore these things in detail. Or perhaps not at all. Matters little I think – it is the act that counts.