Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter

Life, Writing

Day 90

One of the reasons Bregman says to stay away from the news is that it only ever focuses on the extraordinary and the awful rather than the mundane and normal, the beautiful banal. That it only ever highlights what’s wrong with the world rather than what’s right, or ordinary, about the world and people. I’ve extrapolated this a little in my mind over the last few days. Isn’t art often just like the news? We only write/draw/paint/sing about the extraordinary/bad/sad/depressing things in life rather than the ordinary/good/happy/uplifting/normal things. Perhaps this is where my wish comes from to write a book without a plot. There may well not be an audience for such an uneventful book, just like no-one would want to watch a news bulletin about nothing, but we need to somehow shape the world differently so that there would be audiences for those books, those goodness bulletins.

Yesterday, I ripped the garden study apart to reorganise it, to stop my keyboard overlapping two separate parts of the same table, to move all the Radio Stradbroke studio equipment out of my eyeline and into a standing desk arrangement. My writing and work machine now has the desk to itself rather than sharing it with anther computer, and I must admit, this morning, sitting here, centrally, at this table, I feel a lot more centred (and don’t keep moving the keyboard around so it stops rattling over the crack in the table where the extension leaf begins and the table ends). L emailed me the other day reminding me that my discomfort at the desk is yet another of my HSP traits. I keep forgetting about that, and often resolve to note down all these different aspects of my life so that I can get a whole picture of myself, and then promptly forget. It’s a mark of what I see as my general laziness.

It’s snowing here this morning, big fat flakes of snow. I have always said the seasons are shifting, and so it seems again. Extraordinary heating events in Arctic and Antarctic, and snow in Middle England. I like snow, just not when I’m hoping for spring and some indication of heat, and when I know the English will be panicking and wondering how to deal with a slight smattering of the white stuff. I could go off on a whole jokey routine about white stuff, especially bearing in mind the appearance of Johnson in Parliament yesterday when many commentators were suggesting he was either high on illegal substances or very hungover, but I won’t. Snowy England is a laughing stock is the bottom line.

Just before bed last night, I think I finally found the bridging paragraph (or part of it) to push on with The Mortality Code, so maybe I will make progress on that today. On the other hand, I have an optician waiting to sell me some new varifocals an hour’s drive away.

There’s a disaster waiting to happen a few gardens down. A man in a high-visibility vest is standing in a tree in high winds with a chainsaw in one hand, clutching at the tree trunk with the other and shouting very loudly to someone below. I daren’t watch or listen. This is life.




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  1. Ren Powell

    3rd April 2022 at 09:05

    I wonder sometimes – why we crave the things we fear. I know there must be loads of books on this by “experts”, but I figure we are all the actual experts on this kind of thing. Why we need to pay people to tell us to watch fish swimming in aquariums to lower our blood pressure, so we book a trip to a huge aquarium and jostle the crowds every step of the way. Deplete our bank account. I might buy a single beta fish. … No. I would probably kill it. Sending calmer thoughts your way!

    1. Richard Pierce

      3rd April 2022 at 16:03

      I think we crave those things we fear because in some strange way the fear makes us feel alive, seeing people away from us suffer makes us feel safe. Maybe it’s a self-preservation thing. I was never much into self-help books or programmes. Bregman’s analysis of humankind is riveting philosophy of a sort, but there are no real answers, not that I was expecting any. And you know me – I’m not very good at calm thoughts!

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