Saturday, 14 January 2017

Emulating Jacob.

'Marley has been dead these seven years,' Scrooge replied. 'He died seven years ago this very night.'

By an odd coincidence, or rather a paltry contrivance, this blog echoes the fact by having been born seven years ago this very night. That’s why I’m making this post: seven is my favourite number and I decided that I should be abdicating my duty to my foibles if the blog failed to reach the seven year milestone. So what, you may ask, happened on 23rd November to cause the locomotive to run out of steam, stop dead on the tracks and fall into premature silence. Well, it’s like this:

The process of blogging amounts to standing on a platform and talking to the wind. The platform is one’s sense of self – which is what drives all of us to communicate – and on November 23rd all the various selves which occupy what I still like to think of as my mind fell asleep. The overseer which stands over these minions and determines which shall speak and which shall not was suddenly bereft of workers, and had no option but to shut up shop and occupy the consequently lazy hours with reading, wrestling with crosswords and sudoku, and watching such TV shows as might be found tolerable. (To prove the exception to the rule, you might have noticed that on 8th January the minion which specialises in enigmatic asides woke up suddenly in the aftermath of a troublesome dream and rushed off to give vent to his inclination while the overseer was watching a re-run of The Avengers or Inspector George Gently or some such, and then fell asleep again. The fact remains, however, that no platform means no blog, and so the hiatus has persisted.)

That’s part of the explanation, but there are also the dark issues which have been washing over me like the dingy sludge from a cesspit for some years now. They’ve been coming thick and fast with little respite. There have been too many of them for too long and their accumulation has suddenly become so enervating as to produce a state of mind which isn’t conducive to communication.

And therefore I have to consider the question: has this blog run its course and come to its natural end as all my other focuses have done before it? I’m not the sort to have a lifelong focus, you see, any more than I’m the sort to have a lifelong career or a lifelong partner. I don’t generally do lifelong things. Focuses, like careers and partnerships, need to have a certain intensity about them if they are to be worthy of the title, and intense matters function like fires: they burn hot until the fuel runs out, and then they die to a cold nothingness, never to return. It’s why I never go back – there’s nothing to go back to except a pile of ashes and some memories. And I suppose it’s why I live alone in a rented house at subsistence level and have so few assets that the selling of them would hardly buy me a new winter coat. People like me acquire little in life that is material, and accumulate even less. If you’ll excuse the paraphrase, I have nothing to declare except my genuineness.

The fact is, I don’t know about the blog yet. I still feel disposed to write occasionally, even though I’m becoming inclined to suspect that nothing I want to say is worth saying, and it seems reasonable to suggest that the best reason to write is not to inform, entertain or provoke consideration, but simply because it’s what you want to do. So maybe it's still alive, or maybe it isn't.

And this post is hopelessly incomplete, rather badly written, and probably pointless, but it’s going up anyway because I said it would. And I did say that it would be massively and unremittingly self-centred, didn't I, so maybe there's a little irony being served at least.


Anonymous said...

So glad you're back. You were missed.

Did Madeline tell you we now have Mr. Dog II?

With all best regards,


JJ Beazley said...

Not necessarily back, Nancy, but your sentiment is much appreciated. At the moment one of my primary phobias (I can boast several) is being prodded with red hot needles on a daily basis and functioning is difficult. (The psychological and physical fallout is genuinely worrisome, but I've had quite a few such crises and survived them all so far. It's just that I'm growing tired of the strain and coping is becoming more difficult.)

But to the more important issue: No, Mistress M has not deigned to impart the wonderful news. Shame on her, but maybe Renaissance women just get so busy that they lose their sense of priority sometimes. (She really is incredibly talented, isn't she? But maybe you shouldn't tell her I said so. In spite of her denials, I suspect that my repeated enthusiasm for her accomplishments causes a little embarrassment.)

I really am delighted that Mr Dog II is gracing the Kearin homestead, and I hope there will be a picture forthcoming before too long. JJ says hello and welcome. Maine beckons, maybe?

And best regards are both appreciated and reciprocated. I assume you're one of those who will be boycotting the Inauguration.

Anonymous said...

Well, I hope you're back. And I'm sorry about the phobias, I suffer too, in that regard.

Mistress M. has been very busy lately. We're hoping to be graced by her talented presence this weekend and I'll ask her to send you some photos of Dougal D. Dog. Maine definitely beckons.

And yes, boycotting.

JJ Beazley said...

I fell to considering the name and wondered why Dougal didn't have parity with the cats by being Dougal De Dog. I wondered whether it was a case of elegant variation (but in that case Dougal Le Dog might have been more appropriate.) Eventually I realised that Dougal D. Dog vocalizes better and is entirely justified, so congratulations. You have my approval, even though it's none of my business.

My feeling about the blog at the moment is that it's in temporary stasis rather than dead. Time will tell.

Thank you for your friendship, Nancy. I doubt I deserve it.