Self-censorship doesn’t merely happen in the moment just before the words hit the paper, or the immediate moment afterwards. It happens all the time. I have developed this unfortunate capacity for cutting off the stream of words in my head when I think something else that needs doing is more important. Sometimes it’s because I think people will be tired of hearing what I’m thinking, tired of reading what I’m thinking, that the physical manifestation of my thoughts and ways of thinking is monotonous. The only problem is that a lot gets lost that way, and that I’m curbing my creativity in some way. But (and even having moved the cursor back a few words to correct a typo just now) I’m trying to balance the significant demands of my job with the demands of my creativity with the finite time there is. I do criticise myself for watching too much TV, but at the end of most days I’m too tired to even produce (or should that be reproduce?) words coherent enough to make prose or poetry or journal. And I feel that sometimes I do actually need to keep up with the news in moving pictures rather than text and still pictures.
This morning has turned manic. Dealt with some urgent work emails first thing. Realised I’d forgotten to charge my phone overnight, so plugged that in while having breakfast and my early-morning reading fix (crime novel this week). Then I pick up my partially-charged phone to see messages from four separate people telling me the news has broken that Shackleton’s Endurance has been found and filmed (and was actually discovered on 5th March), so scrabble to catch up with that news, because the whole Antarctic story is so important to me. The thought scurries through my mind that it’s about time to find a publisher for Ice Child, the sequel to Dead Men, which is all about Shackleton’s aborted Nimrod expedition in 1908. That’s another action point for today, I suppose, to add to the list of things to do. It’s at times like this that I think writing this daily journal/blog/draft/madness is yet another unnecessary burden I’ve lumbered myself with.
In the background, a war in Europe simmers, and other wars crowd in on my consciousness that illustrate the inequity and isolationism in which we live, deliberately or accidentally. On some levels it’s deliberate. On others it’s because our thoughts can only stretch so far geographically, because we limit the functionality of our minds. I did say to M the other night that it’s a source of great regret to me that there isn’t a pill that can keep me awake permanently and counteract the adverse health effects of sleep deprivation. Just think what I could do with 24 hours a day instead of 17.
AGGIE’S ART OF HAPPINESS – CHAPTER 25