Sunday 21 March 2010

Through A Looking Glass 9

photo by krissie

A couple of month’s ago i asked some folk who had been dropping into my blog to write a guest post.

I gave them the theme « Mirror » and i asked each of them to apply their Personal Mirror (whatever that meant to them) to any one of my posts, or part thereof.

These are the results.

The Mirror Series, Part Seven. SIMON

There is something about Simon that reminds me of Tony Hancock.

I first met him (Simon) in a field in Ireland; we were digging a hole that would become our toilet for the next two weeks.

I think using it has left psychological scars that make take years of writing to erase.

I was really happy when he agreed to write a guest post.

Here it is.

Read more about Simon here

Mirror Post/Simon

There were many problems for me with this exercise but my main issue, initially, was deciding where to attach my blog response. Which one should I associate myself with? Also I had to decide whether to reflect it, to counter it, to champion it, to put it under the microscope, which one? I had agreed to do all this knowing that it wasn’t my natural form, not my writing of choice and one which I frankly had a deep mistrust of.

It was from this angle I shamefully approached the task.

I also have to confess to not having read enough of the blogs to comment in whatever form necessary. This meant the task didn’t really involve writing but reading. And how could I set myself the task of reading all the blogs posted over the last however many months and years this has been going on? I couldn’t, not unless I was prepared to set aside weeks in the process.

I would have to read a few and hope that I would hit upon something that would inspire. This, however, went against the grain as I have an overly developed sense of fair play; what happens if I didn’t give all the blogs their fare crack at the whip?

I was blessed, however, by coming across the awards list, the highlights I imagined them to be. At least I had had some selected for me, such a relief as this gave me a less daunting starting point. So I started to look through this shorter list, which then lead me on and on, off the list at times, reading associated articles too.

Hours spent.

I found myself reading and reading. This is where I came upon my angle. You see my feeling towards reading is one of ambivalence, give me an newspaper article to read and I sometimes have a desire to get to the end, not because I want to, but often, in the words of Magnus Magnusson, ‘I have started so I’ll finish’.

So I read and I read with the feeling of duty rather than joy of discovery but then at wonderful moments I was stopped in my tracks with the honesty and pain of a particular observation.

The process both drew me in and held me away by equal measure. Should I be doing this or is it a waste of my time? Time better spent elsewhere?

There’s the question how do we analyse what an effective use of our time is? How do we judge? So I realised that it was my attitude towards my task that was of interest to me not a specific response to a specific blog. Though I do have to say to being drawn in by the last sentence in ‘Inglourious Basterds and my Mum’. I quote:-

‘My mother was unable to be there because, like the Commodore Cinema in Orpington time has ceased her to exist and whereas the Commodore was eventually reduced to ash and dust and replaced by a McDonald’s restaurant, my mother remains dust and ashes, and will forever be irreplaceable.’

Beautiful and worth every moment of my searching.

Also as a footnote how lovely to come across February, each day had so few words that the month was consumed in under a minute. Big tick and a well done to me. I was taken aback by the touching quality of lots of it, one word often being more powerful than a dozen. I concluded that this was at times, writing of the highest calibre and often more poetry than prose.

As a rule I don’t read blogs, my sister does one and truth be, I don’t read that either.

So while you are reading this you may ask, why should you? Why should you read the response from a self confessed luddite to this relatively new form of communication?

I can’t answer that, maybe you’ve started so you’ll finish. Maybe.

I had wondered at the world, all writing their own blogs leaving no-one time enough or energy enough to read each others. I then wondered at myself writing fiction and debating the value of one form over the other. But most of all it made me realise blogs made me feel inadequate.

Other people’s lives make me feel less than, as I look at their achievements, their sunny disposition, their overcoming great odds, their fantastic achievements.

Other people are daunting. Other people are intimidating. They set us pacing the floors, going for a run and drinking too much.

And why should I care? There are billions of us on the planet - how can I absorb any more than an infinitesimal fraction of the stories out there? Or indeed the stories that have ever been out there?

Fact is that I am lazy and wish I wasn’t. Blogs make me feel bad about that, so much so that this exercise has made me consider starting one!

It has also made me reflect on why we desire an audience to our life. Do we need people to understand us, see the world from our point of view?

Yes, is the answer. Empathy means acceptance which ultimately means survival. And survival in a global world (is there any other?) means survival on a global level. Awful then if one person’s achievements debilitate another.

I have to get over this – don’t worry I will, in fact, I did, I wrote this.

Strange really my favourite and worst time of the week is 11.15 on a Sunday morning, a time when I am both elated and depressed in equal measure. I listen to Desert Island Disks. Other people’s lives, nothing more awe inspiringly sapping than other people’s lives.


Everything you need to know about this Mirror series

Part One of The Mirror Series here

Part Two of The Mirror Series here

Part Three of The Mirror Series here

Part Four of The Mirror Series here

Part Five of The Mirror Series here

Part Six of The Mirror Series here.

Part Seven of The Mirror series here.

Part Eight of The Mirror Series here.

1 comment:

Janet Bianchini said...

I started, I was hooked by your eloquence, and so I finished. An amazing piece of writing of the highest calibre as well.