Wednesday, August 31, 2016


It is quite bizarre how things almost don't happen.

I wasn't supposed to be writing this.

It is Amy Burvall's fault.


I have work to do.

It might not have happened.
I might not have noticed.
I did.

Her blog post:

Ephemerments: Transient Beauty Spliced with Sound.

caught my eye and sparked my imagination...aagh.

She clearly has nothing better to do than to notice.

God damn it.

She noticed light dancing, passing clouds, palms swaying, kite surfers surfing and then went and filmed what she saw.

Not content with that, she then went and spliced the images together with music and then...


She went and shared them on her blog.

I shouldn't have noticed it this morning on Facebook.

I really have better things to do.

I have lost another couple of hours to play.

How many bloody hours do I "lose" to play?

Light playing on a kitchen wall and I am stuck for hours.

Light playing on the sea surface and I have to go and change my avatar.

It's inattention, that's what it is.

I do concentrate, but not on the right things!

I probably need some sort of medication to make me more productive...

If it had been just the pretty images that Amy posted, I might have resisted the temptation.

Unfortunately, it was the sound spliced with the video which got me.

I went and dug up some more or less frequently used sound apps.

AudioCopy which I use all the time for sound recording.

Figure and ThumbJam for beats and music making.

I uploaded a series of images (which I used for a recent Apehazard blog post) to iMovie which works pretty seamlessly with AudioCopy/Figure/ThumbJam.

I uploaded the resulting sound/music to Soundcloud if any wants to play with it.

If you have some tracks I can play with let me know :-)

Cello track made with ThumbJam

Beats/sound made with Figure

Beats/sound made with Figure

Version 1

Version 2

Version 3

Thanks to Amy, I shall now be wasting more time on not just collaging images but sound.

She has gone and created another hashtag: #ephemerment.

I shall resist this distraction.

I have work to do.


Monday, August 29, 2016

Laboratory rats.

“These creatures you call mice, you see, they are not quite as they appear. They are merely the protrusion into our dimension of vastly hyperintelligent pandimensional beings.”

Douglas Adams.

It was the mouse which brought me to computing.

Little did I imagine that it would become a protrusion into my own privacy, a threat to our freedom.

Learning management.

I looked at the data available to me on the learning management system.

I tried, I honestly did try, to see if I could do something with all that data to help my pedagogy.

I quickly gave up, I didn't have time to teach, I was an unwilling or incompetent data analyst.

How the hell were clicks more telling than a learner's pace of breathing, posture, expression, smile, sigh?

The data came into its own for those who had the ear of the management.

No doubt they had less time for sighs or smiles and more time for numbers.

Who, after all, has the time to really listen to each student, to each teacher?

I have a feeling that I am failed as a teacher (that should read ambiguously).

Data brokerage.

I was reading up on the deal I have "agreed" with Facebook.

"98 Personal Data Points That Facebook Uses To Target Ads At You."

I have come to the conclusion that as far as the silicon valley is concerned  I am a lab rat.

I am:
  • a Facebook Lab Rat, 
  • a Google Lab Rat (but not a Google certified teacher), 
  • a Twitter Lab Rat. 
  • an Amazon Lab Rat. 

I can even choose the feed I get from Facebook by editing the info they have on me.

Oh joyful squeak!

I get to modify the feed!

I suppose this is "personalised learning."  

Erggh..spit, spit.

I am:
  • a well trained Lab Rat.
  • a MOOC badged Lab Rat.
  • a Life Long Lab Rat.
Which good researcher/marketer/government agency is extracting the data?

What the hell is the difference between a researcher/marketer/government agency?

Aren't they all part of the same system?

Aren't they all "vastly hyperintelligent pandimensional beings"?

I go and install the Ghostery Extension on Chrome.

I know that it won't be long before I trash it again.

It feels oppressive.

I watched with horror a short documentary about data brokers.

For which data brokers are we lab rats to?

Aren't we all lab rats to some agency?


I fell upon a page of quotes from George Orwell 1984

"Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting  both of them."

Doublethink:  I am a servile lab rat banging on the cage while expressing 'freedom' of speech here.

"Ignorance is strength."

Ignorance, Isn't that the most comfortable state? Doesn't a critical mind make you weak?

Ignorance, Isn't it that which is enabling the rise of racist, populist, fascists?

I read Foucault.

“The strategic adversary is fascism... the fascism in us all, in our heads and in our everyday behavior, the fascism that causes us to love power, to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us.” 
Michel Foucault

"Fascism in us all?" I prefer to ignore it.

Ignorance - so much bliss.

"The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind happiness is better."

Freedom: Do I seriously want freedom? I am not so sure.

"Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until they have rebelled they cannot become conscious."

Rebellion: What is the price of consciousness? How can one rebel while remaining a lab-rat? (one can't)

"He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past."

History: Who controls this history of mine? Who is aware of my fingers tapping on the board?

"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever."

Picture: Do I really want to be conscious to such a picture?

I am somebody's lab rat.

I find a quote of Foucault.

"Maybe the target nowadays is not to discover what we are but to refuse what we are."

"Freeish Speech".

I go and find a panel discussion between Noam Chomsky, Glenn Greenwald, and Edward Snowden (in a distant unspecified location) on the question of privacy.

I refuse to accept happily being an ignorant lab rat.

I am weakly conscious of my state.

I shall bang angrily on the cage.

Photo Credit:

Saturday, August 27, 2016


Nightmare Ape?

There, emerging the shadow.

Its stare fixed, nostrils flaring.

There, it stands, wolf-lizard howling.

Are those trees ablaze?

An army marches silhouette.

What conjures those scenes of horror?

Let's call it "aphazard".

Whether writing or drawing, I let my pen, my mind wander.

I am transported elsewhere.

I  scrape off the surface in an attempt to look beyond the obvious.

I relish what appears while hacking haphazardly.

The image above came from simple questions.

'What comes from abstract texture rather than form?'

'Does texture reveal stories?'

'Might apps be combined in autosubversion?'

Sitting on the leather sofa, I took my phone, found a surface sculpted by light and snapped.

Now, I had my raw material - simultaneously canvas and painting.

Then came the research.

I took my palette of banal apps:

Picplaypost, Fusion, Distressed Fx, Prisma, Strip Designer..

I played with that simple leather rectangle.

It reveals itself impressively complex.

I am reminded an instant of Brando's Kurtz.

We are shadow skinned animals...

I shared an initial discovery with the #clmooc Facebook community.

What emotion, reaction might my sofa leather reveal, I wondered?

I got an immediate response.

Fred Mindlin had see beyond the couch:

"Looks rhizomatic, tendriliferous, and a bit like cosmic primordial ooze."

Yes, it must be rhizomatic.

Are we the ape, appearing from that cosmic ooze?

Meanwhile, I take the research a stage further....

Layering, form, light, colour, texture I attempt to plumb secrets hidden in the pixels.

I play.

I remember night-time fears and curtain-shadow monsters.

Emotion flows, new worlds are lit to story.

Is that torchlight in the cavern?

Are those colours a Bacon palette?

Are those veins throbbing on the walls?

Are those roots clinging triffid-life on the ceiling?

What lives hidden in the darkness unseen?

I tweet a story written with application.

I read:

'Everyone has a story to tell.'

Everyone has a story to tell?

This story comes from the void.

It comes from the shadows.

It demands to be written.

Please write it with me.

Alone, I am afraid what it will reveal.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

His Master's Voice.

I blame the owners.

It's a dog's life.

There are dogs that seem remote controlled.

They sit, they jump, they do somersaults, they skateboard for Youtube views.

There are dogs which clearly demonstrate independence of mind, spirit, and a healthy sense of adventure.

We have a Tibetan Spaniel called Jazz who has a finely developed attraction for the wide open spaces.

We should have called him Houdini.

During the holidays, I searched high and low for him, until I discovered he had escaped to the beach in the company of his newly selected companions.

On seeing me, he adopted that look of that dog who says "Never seen him ever before in my life."

On preparing myself mentally for the start back of the university classes, I have been thinking (again) about the Domain of One's Own question (amongst others) (as one does).

It may appear to be off the track to what I should be doing but I tell myself that it is a good intellectual warm-up to get me back in the swim of things and it is important for me to map out how I feel as regards the tricks that I will be teaching students...
(that is just a weak excuse not to face the term starting...)

I have already rambled around this question a number of times.

As ever my feelings about stuff change.

A Dom of one's own.

Another cycle

Russian dolls.

I have spent a fair deal of time thinking about this and associated issues.

En attendant la révolution

To nobody.

Nagasaki mon amour.

There are those who think much more clearly about this. (know what they are talking about...)

A recent talk from Martha Burtis.

"Making and breaking DoOO: Rethinking the Web in Higher Ed"

A recent blog post of Maha Bali's set me off again.

"I don't own my domain: I rent it #DoOO"

And then there was a post by Audrey Watters

A Domain of One's Own in a Post-Ownership Society.

Back to the dogs.

Are we as teachers interested in training for dependence or educating for independence?

Dog A.

placid, perhaps endebtedly rabid automatons?

Dog B.

autonomous critical thinkers who demonstrate agency (question debt) and social responibility (ditto)?

I have the distinct impression that through much of educational history the emphasis has been on reproducing automatons of some kind or other.

Some of them admittedly should be more high level, managers, others - working dogs, can be quickly replaced by nonhuman automatons.

The drive of technology has largely been dominated by questions of power and domination.

Dogs, strays, treats, kennels, top dogs, bitches etc.

The problem with the job of teaching for many teachers is the student.

The problem with the job of education minister for many education ministers is the teacher.

The answer to the problem of expensive, demanding, union-affiliated humans is easy in our "modern" "globalised" world.

We replace humans who consider that they are irreplaceable with other humans who are less fussy and whose dwellings (kennels) are far enough away from the master's house to not create olfactory or other inconveniences.

"We" increasingly live ("we" are told) in service (dog eat dog/servile?) economies/societies.

Put the factories a long way away from the sight of pesky people with a moral conscience and the need for being humane to well trained operatives/bomb casualties and the problem is almost solved.

Solution to pesky humans - replace them with machine automatons/drones etc.

Solution to pesky human drone teachers - replace them with algorithms and machines.

Solution to remaining pesky humans - reward small group to dominate others - make them fear being replaced.

Solution to pesky whiny humans who see wealth and get jealous - build gated communities or buy an island which can only be accessed by private jet.

Make them believe that they can win in our lottery too by letting a few get rich entertaining the others.

Make wealth "aspirational".

Make greed "desirable".

Make sure not to mention capital accumulation too much, or mafia connections.
(Thomas Picketty shut up - your book is too long anyway).

Make sure that you have the army on your side.
(Remember coup d'états in Turkey).

Employ sniffer dogs and guard dogs.


Oops. I had almost forgotten that I was writing about DoOO...

So, I am all for the idea of enabling a maximum number of people to understand how they are being screwed and giving them the means to reassess and then perhaps (not optimistic here) redress the current economic and political system which is currently destroying the planet and leaving countless infants in unassemblable body parts around the globe.

Things ain't going to change without doing something first.

We have to start somewhere.

I am OK with the idea of students learning how to develop their digital presence via a "a domain of their own" and getting them to think about how digital technology and platforms are exemplary of the very systems which need to be changed for the greater good.

Indeed I am for critical thinkers rather than willing automatons.

"In part, I think we resist through education; we help students and scholars understand how new digital technologies work, how these technologies shape and reshape and are shaped by culture, politics, money, and law."
Audrey Watters

I am not sure how much DoOO is an effective means of "resistance." 

I am far from sure that it is any means of "resistance" at all.

It might have to do as a starting point.

DoOO and Top Dogs

Getting a DoOO is not much of a threat to Facebook/Google/Amazon/ etc.

The Top Dogs won't worry or they will leverage a buy out.

A few questions.

How many people do I know only via their websites?

How many people do I know via Google/Twitter/Facebook?

How many people do not use either a smartphone from Apple or Google to access the web?

How many people do not use either a computer with a Microsoft or Apple operating system?

Well we can at least help people understand how they are being screwed. I agree with that much.

They'll be able to blog about it on their DoOOs.

DoOO, Ownership, Maps and Power

I am sure that we need to unpick ownership.

We need to connect science, education, discovery, economies, with dominating power structures.

"The Death of Neoliberalism and The Crisis in Western Politics."

What place is there for pesky teachers who may rock the boat of an institution which is dependent on corporate patronage?

How far can you get without corporate patronage?

The boat may capsize - make the teacher walk the plank.

I have just finished a book entitled "A history of the world in 12 maps" by Jeremy Brotton.

What I take away from Brotton's book is how maps are intimately tied to the desire for knowledge but above all to the desire for power and thus ownership.

Google (maps) is the world mapped not just physically but socially for profit.

What is the web if it is not a representation of the world?

No map, no web is neutral, whatever the slogan "web neutrality" might suggest.
Is the web being used to accelerate equality and justice or privilege and impoverishment?

Er...don't answer that.

What can be said about Google's representation of itself?

"Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."

What might one say about the words "the world's information" ?

"The world" does not have any "information" of itself.

How can "it be universally accessible and useful?"

Couldn't this vision of "useful" be a problem to some?

Google's mission is to make massive profits.

I am fairly sure that information to dominate is only interesting to those with the means and the desire to do it.

Who owns the platform?

Who owns the globe?

Much energy of mapping has concerned ownership.

There is a wonderful story of the king of Spain and the king of Portugal using their new fangled world map to divide it into two halves - half for Spain and half for Portugal.

There was an ongoing dispute as to which map to use as to enforce "ownership".

I wholeheartedly agree that "ownership" as a concept and as a practice needs to be frequently discussed and analysed.

But what does individual ownership or small share-holdership or citizenship add up to?

I would suggest - not so much.

What is the interest of ownership if those in power can trample over the ownership rights of people?

What the hell does it mean to say that Native Americans are "occupying" their land in protest against expropriation by dollar thirsty corporations?

No amount of DoOO's are going to avoid impending doom.

"Occupying the Prairie: Tensions Rise As Tribes Move to Block Pipeline."

While encouraging silent voices to be heard thanks to DoOO may well be commendable, what of the voices of those with no means or no desire to be present in digital spaces?

"We amplify silenced voices by listening. By making space for them to speak. Not safe space, necessarily, daring space. Because it’s never safe to speak."  
Sean Michael Morris

How are we supposed to listen to those voices who are not present or simply want to be left to keep their peace?

"Do the worlds 'uncontacted' tribes deserve to be left alone?"

I wonder for a moment at the choice of the word "deserve"...

Might drawing attention to silenced voices actually result in the acceleration of their demise?

"'They're killing us' : world's most endangered tribe cries for help."

What good did learning their invaders language do for indigenous peoples?

Might widening access to digital spaces result in destruction of ecosystems and result in the acceleration of our demise?

"Toxic 'e-waste' dumped in poor countries says United Nations."

While we enable the agency of some digitally, what of the miners in the Congo, the workers in the electronics industry?

"Children as young as seven mining cobalt used in smartphones says Amnesty."

"Modern day slavery rife in Malaysia's electronics industry."

What does it mean when 'we' say 'we' should "make space for them to speak"?

Whose 'space' are 'we' referring to?

Yamacraw Creek Native Americans meet with the Trustee of the colony of Georgia in England, July 1734.
The painting shows a Native American boy (in a blue coat) and woman (in a red dress) in European clothing.

En attendant la révolution..

"The cornerstone of an “ownership society” is privatization. The cornerstone is a dismantling of public infrastructure. Costs and risks are thus transferred to the individual." Audrey Watters.

If DoOO may well be a useful model for developing individual agency and critical thinking it can also be a lure.

We should not oversell DoOO when students are already receiving classes on how to set up their individual websites on hosting providers as part of their courses.

We should criticise uncritical training of students to set up their individual domains.

I feel we should see DoOO as one of a number of means to enable students to conduct an enquiry into their place in the world and how they are interconnected with others in other countries.

They need to be able to question the system within which they are to become - it is hoped by the few - responsible, empathetic well informed citizens.

How can they contribute to society?

How can we work with them to change societies for the public good?

Public Good

We can not talk about the importance of individual rights and responsibilities without talking about the community in its widest sense. This is what concerns me when we focus on individual agency.

As I understand it, DoOO is embedded in the idea of cooperative knowledge development, sharing, and connected, co-learning.

This must be stessed.

This is probably why we need to place any talk of DoOO in its wider context.

Individual agency counts for nothing if the society doesn't respect each individual's contribution to the community.

Is it not this which must be the focus of attempts to enable education systems to evolve?

By community I include organisms which go to make up our ecosystems.

If mapping has for much been about "discovery" "exploitation," "control" "military" domination,  it can also be put to good use to understand our essential interdependence and how we might "unmap".

What must be challenged is the pursuit of greed and the primary interest of the rich over the poor.

We must readdress the question of personal and therefore personal responsibility to the communities in which we live.

The idea that certain privileged might be encouraged to avoid contribution to societies is a scandal.

Ownership of a DoOO and one's data is one thing, the real question is who inherits what values.

"Why the Duke of Westminster Will Not Pay Billions."

Ownership of a DoOO is one thing, struggling internationally to change corporate mentalities is another.

"Us Corporate Giants Hoarding More Than a Trillion Dollars"

Are there any means of reasserting the need for public "goods" - education, prisons, libraries, parks, gardens, seas, oceans, fauna and flora, water, air?

Are there any means of reasserting public space within which one can be free from tracking and targeted advertising?

Are there any means of reasserting the need for protection of our planet?

A room of one's own.

Audrey Watters talks of the "need for a place to write and create without fear".  

Who needs such a place? 

What about those who don't want to write?

Is such a place an institutionally defined "student space"?
What is the interest of such a space if current grading systems are in place?

What is the interest of such a space if the current educational training systems remain in place?

Is such a safe space public?

I fail to see how having a DoOO reduces fear of abuse, surveillance, attack, rather the contrary...

"These Bangladeshi Bloggers Were Murdered By Islamist Extremists. Here are Some of Their Writings."

"Saudi Blogger Ralf Badawi May Receive Second Set of Lashes on Friday."

Back to the dogs.

I return to more immediate concerns...

Are wider webbed issues just too much to think about  to do anything about?

Do we just accept to turn a blind eye?

I suspect the top dogs are counting on such feelings of helplessness.

Are we as teachers interested in training for dependence or educating for independence - make that interdependence?

Do we want autonomous critical thinkers or placid, perhaps rabidly endebted automatons?

Do we want internationally standardised educational "wars" or peace to learn to be who we are together or perhaps apart.

Notes to self.

I must get back to thinking about what's in my Google docs... as term looms.

I shall share this on Twitter - you never know someone might read it. 

I must occupy myself on that CLAVIER domain when I find a spare moment and a soupçon of energy.

Only one month to go before that article deadline.

Back to the dog.

Where would I be without my dog?

We have become interdependent now.

Where the hell is Jazz?

Stuck upstairs again - bloody Houdini he ain't.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Fix youse.

I read Mary Anne Reilly's post "Seizing the perimeter" 

and the nervous tension of the past few days got the better of me. 

I am reminded of Kevin Hodgson's concern that I would take his comic badly.

We can never be sure of how others will read us.

Life is neither neat nor tidy nor polite.

It leaves you weeping then laughing uncontrollably about total crap. 

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."

Yeats quoted by Mary Anne

Notes to self.

[Maybe this indicates that porous perimeter of "lesmauxdesmots" - a question suddely comes to mind. I note it there haphazardly for future reflection.]

I remembered the inappropriateness of our behaviour when confronted by the void left by my father. 

Things don't go to plan.

We were hopelessly ill-prepared for the seriousness of it all.

We convulsed into fits of giggles, tears and/or randomly accessed anecdote.

The beer didn't help.

The lemonade did the same.

The fucking walnut veneer, that brass handled drama freaked me out.

It was much too dressy for my dad.

It was all too much for me.

Hilarious really...

We were completely off the edge.

Moments of desolation were punctuated by moments of ridicule.

It was joyful really, us being together like that around that presence which was that void.

Others looked on at us sternly us laughing like that, black-tied and noisy.

It wasn't done.

Oh for Christ's sake it was our father..damn it.

"We'll do it better next time."

"We'll have had more practice."

ça crée du desordre...
en effet...

I felt I could no longer fathom nor give respect to the care with which Mary Anne had stretched out towards new horizons in her writing.

Or perhaps I didn't understand what I had understood.

Horizons are mirage.

Our ancestors live in their death beside us...

They laugh, or give stern looks when appropriate, when inappropriate.

A sort of rythm plays out free jazz-like between these lines.

There was no aforethought here.

"Right, this evening I'll knock off a blog post about how family funerals and Dreyer and Motherwell and Coldplay get all mixed up with Seizing perimeters. And then I'll not be sure if I have to apologise for it, and whether it hurts someone's feelings."

I was struck by a vision.

It made me laugh weakly.

I tried to make it go away.

It fucking wouldn't.

I felt confounded by the absurdity of what came to my mind from just a few of  Mary Anne's words. 

It was a crass vision that perhaps fermented here:

"What happens when we transmit the repeated message, You are broken, here let me fix you? or worse, Shh, let's ignore all it and be happy?"

I fell ill at ease. 

"What happens when we transmit the repeated message?"
"What happens when we transmit the repeated message?"

I remembered an instant my parents' irreverent laughter on seeing Dreyer's silent masterpiece for the first time, I imagine perhaps on their honeymoon. 

I see myself writing unquestionably 'silent masterpiece' 'cos that's what people say to introduce Dreyer' film.

I imagine my parents couldn't cope with the melodrama of it all when they were taken up in joy.

I recognise that joy. 

I have really no idea where this memory comes from.

Surely pure invention.

I don't believe in pure invention.

A thought made me feel better.

Inappropriate love.

It was long before I was born.

Others no doubt looked on them sternly in the cinema.

I find resonance here:

"I've become quite practiced at emotional surges and drops.."

And here:

"We tend towards disorder."

So here is a sickening jingle that entered my head with an accompanying vision. 

I don't know why. I am sorry. 

I really hate this fucking song.

Inappropriate Visions.

When you try your best, but you don't succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse
And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you
And high up above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you
Jeanne De Motherwell exerce son droit de réponse a Coldplay.
"Wave yer bloody Zippos then.
Ignite my bones?
So then yer gonna fix me? 
Oh yeah sure thing babe.
Just give over yer wet blouse."

With apologies to the French nation, Carl Theodor Dreyer and Motherwell.

Film director Carl Theodor Dreyer never settled on a score to accompany his 1928 silent masterpiece The Passion of Joan of Arc. Will Coldplay prove a more fitting soundtrack?

Post Script.

The jumbled collage came to rest an instant.

We know no borders, they are beyond our ken.

Thank you Mary Anne.


“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.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Beating about the bush.

He destilled his pain repetitively.

It might have read pen.

He had scratched that out.

He distilled his pain...

There was no point.

Just a dull throb...

Was there no way to rub that out?

Just pain,

Which kept him up,

And she let it drop.

No borrowed blades.

No resumption.

No conclusion.

Dorothy Parker

No beating about the bush,


Don't you go and dress it up now.

Only colour,
Only colour,

Will do.