Tuesday, August 23, 2016


“I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I am still in love with life. This ridiculous weakness is perhaps one of our more stupid melancholy propensities, for is there anything more stupid than to be eager to go on carrying a burden which one would gladly throw away, to loathe one’s very being and yet to hold it fast, to fondle the snake that devours us until it has eaten our hearts away?” 

It was a comment of Daniel Bassill that set it off:

"I've followed Simon's posts for about half a year now and they are 'wide ranging'. Mine are more focused. If we have a problem, how do we solve it? Who needs to be involved?" 

I thought about that term 'wide ranging.' 

I felt downbeat at first:

"Daniel is right, wide-ranging, rambling,I should be more focused."

Then I thought back to an old school report.

"Simon clearly has his ups and downs." (or words to that effect)

Christ, every little thing makes me feel down beat at times.

It occurred to me that what for others appears 'wide ranging' is in fact for me focused.

I map mostly feeling.

I am at times all at sea. 

And then I hit dry land.

If I have a problem, I attempt to solve it.

When it remains unsoluble, I find that difficult to accept.

It gets me down, unreasonably.

Being alternatively sensitive and insensitive is a fierce mixture.

If I feel, I attempt to write for better and for worse.

Writing keeps me grounded.

I write to thrive or to survive.

Sometimes when I am not writing I am barely surviving.

Sometimes when I am not writing I am absolutely thriving.

Sometimes I thrive and barely survive the same day.

I try to figure out who doesn't need to be involved.

If I am feeling my way around in the dark, this place can be a last resort.

I was a humourless wreck in the early hours.

I struggled to keep afloat.

Beating about the bush.

I struggled to keep afloat.

Yesterday afternoon:

I couldn't have been more focused.

Seasonal Amnesia.

I couldn't have been more focused.

I was wrighting my ship.

I was digging for good humour to keep me going.

The amnesia wasn't a joke.

To fight it I found humour.

There was no other path forward.
There was no other path forward.

Kevin helped me lighten up.
Tania helped me lighten up.

Terry helped me lighten up.
If there is any sense in this 'digital half-life existence' it is you, a company of full-life friends.

You pull me back up.

There are times when I am too deep under.

I am sorry. I go away and find a hole for shelter.

I thought back to Daniel's comment.

I remembered the work that I had done.

I remembered the grief that drags me down.

I remembered the priority that I be well.

It was that which Daniel's comment brought me.

I shall attempt to row less and sail more, to wait for a fair breeze, to batten down the hatches when the storms unfurl.

I yearn for calm.

Oh fuck it. Oh shut it.

Surf your waves of sarcasm Simon.

I sit down and listen. 

Let the others take out their oars.

My youngest daughter is reading a favourite book.

"Peace at last."

Nothing else matters.


  1. You are right to invoke Candide. "I invoke the spirit of Candide to represent." I am not strong enough but he mos def is. Yes. I invoke the spirit of my deceased father-in-law, John Churchill Digges,when I have to fix something. I invoke the spirit of my wife's Uncle Dudley when I have to dicker over the price of something, I invoke the spirit of my Mother's best friend,Bonnie, who was the best at saying FU to the world and meaning it. I invoke the dead and the living and the fictional because no one makes it out alive but until the second law of thermodynamics takes me I am going to need all the invocation I can manage. I invoke the oscillating soul of Simon to be-still the world's incessant demands and to help me sail the ship of fools we call "Feeling". I hereby invoke. Take that world.

    1. .....and invoking Terry who is pretty good at the WTF?, Huh! at any rate.

  2. I'll just surf that there roller a few months Terry.

    Thank you.

  3. I wonder about the Candide quote. Perhaps the will to live is fueled by what we don't know and how not knowing is edgy: possibility that is tempered by what we think is emerging. I'm suspect of emotionally neat lived. Emotionally steady and neat seems rather impossible given the last year I have had. For me, it is feeling that cleanses. This can be scary, sad, joyful. Aren't we all more range than single point?

    1. Yes, now you come to mention it. I don't do much 'holding it fast', I do a fair amount of not doing anything much feeling as so much flotsam and jetsam. I'm equally suspect incapable of emotional neat lived. Feeling is all. Not much hope for us if we are unipoint :-)

  4. This network of internet friends, including you, helps keep me afloat, too. Take a deep breath of life and experience another day.

  5. These people you invoke, people who then appear in my online universe - thank you for these people. I read glimpses of them and you through the words you all use as if you're painting. Abstract Expressionism? Now I'm invoking you, Terry, and others.

  6. invoking the oscillating soul of Simon

    of all-of-us ness

  7. "If I have a problem, I attempt to solve it." The diversity of the voices here have helped me many times to solve-it, or get-over-it, or laugh-at-it. If it wasn't for people in this thread I wouldn't now be reading Candide!
    "...their ship been scheduled to sail from Surinam to Japan via the Cape of Good Hope..." Ch 20.
    Keep the mainsail raised!