Just as I was going to bed last night, a random thought snuck its way across my mind. In the last few days I have spent ages putting together my daily posts, and I’d felt a certain sense of frustration that it was taking me so long. What this thought suggested to me was that I look at that from a different angle. What if it was taking so long because I was actually enjoying writing more than anything else in my life just now, that using almost two hours to put together just over 1k words was actually my escape from the real world (although part of it is retelling my real world for anyone to read, and for me to remember it when I reach my dotage, or for people to remember me by when my dotage has passed and I’m no longer around to irritate people)? Even in my working hours, there is a part of my brain which is constantly active with thoughts and plots and words and letters (both those that make up words and those that make up communications), and that desire to be able to spend all day writing and thinking and plotting and scribbling illegible letters onto the yellow paper that I have favoured since I was 18. Is it a pipe dream to want to be a full-time writer, even at the grand old age of 61?
This morning, I managed to take a picture of the rising sun between the branches of the huge cork tree that rises out of the garden two houses down. Of course, I didn’t look at the sun directly, just through the lens of the digital camera. When I was 14, I remember getting up very early for a week, partly because there were robins nesting in the void between the garden gate post and the wall, and partly because Radio 3 had Vivaldi as its composer of the week, and that played out at something like 6 in the morning, and partly because the sun was casting a glorious light over that miserable part of the world that Doncaster was in the mid-70s. The time light takes to travel has always fascinated me, has raised all sorts of questions about looking into the past out there at night, if I had a strong telescope and there were mirrors on distant planets and stars, so that I, here on Earth, could look back at history being played out live on exactly the same spot that I was standing on. That’s probably another reason time travel has such a hold over me. Sometimes I even persuade myself that I am a time traveller. Nothing is impossible, after all.
And yet the future is uncertain. My plans for Aggie include keeping her in the public domain for as long as I can while I’m writing, and then pulling her away into my privacy for the last month or so of this year while she works towards some sort of ending. There are never any guarantees, though, are there, when we’re looking into the future with our planning? And that doesn’t just apply to these days we’re living through right now; it applies to any time we’re lucky (or unlucky) enough to live through. There are only so many moments we have, and it’s fortunate that we don’t know when those moments will run out.
AGGIE’S ART OF HAPPINESS – CHAPTER 38
Ren Powell22nd March 2022 at 08:43
At the risk of being too personal here: talked to B. on Sunday and it threw so much into perspective. My talk about wanting so badly to take this left turn toward visual poetry and wishing I could work only part-time and still pay my mortgage. We never know what will happen. So, I don’t know, is the wanting a waste of time? Like you – I keep writing. <3
Richard Pierce22nd March 2022 at 11:40
I don’t think the wanting is a waste of time. It’s at least partly our motivation. And, yes, the fates of our friends put things into context (as does the war), and we are fortunate to have that want. And I think the fact that we never do know what will happen makes it even more important to keep writing. I am glad you keep writing <3