Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter

Life, Writing

Day 99

For weeks now, I have been meaning to make a list headed Cause & Effect to work out why my body is malfunctioning so much at the moment. At its most basic, it’s all about hydration. Lack of hydration causes lack of throughput causes back pain. It went again last night in the wine aisle in the supermarket. I suppose that’s not the kind of hydration I’m talking about. At its most complex, the list would contain all the bad habits I have acquired since I was a baby and be a guide for stripping all those bad habits away and starting again with a clean slate, with a clean body. But life doesn’t work like that. Nothing does. We can’t make everything better that we’ve done wrong in the past, can’t reverse the effects of decades of living. Even if we’ve been the most clean-living person on the planet. Which I have not.

The words push themselves out with difficulty this morning. It’s a repeating record, for all of us who write, this question as to whether or not the words we do manage to spew out have any value whatsoever, to ourselves, to others. I think I too often underestimate the impact the world around me has on my moods, my well-being, my health. Even if I ignore the news most of the time, even f I try to be optimistic about the world’s future, it’s a fact that the wars are still there, that the mistreatment of the poor by the rich is still there, that the lies of the politicians are still there. And the most cynical part of me insists that even if we had a peaceful revolution, anywhere, some individual, or group of individuals, would put themselves at the head of that revolution and usurp it for their own benefit, and the whole cycle would start again. Ad infinitum.

I met a political historian the other day who has been looking at the development of the state in England in the 13th and 14th centuries. I can’t wait to read their book, even only to confirm my suspicions and certainty that all machines of state have come not from the need to develop laws which will allow universal benefits to all people but from the desire of the few to conquer and rule the many. A simplistic certainty, no doubt, but the simplest grains of fact are inevitably the greatest truth.

I now need to lever myself out of this chair, have some breakfast (to paraphrase TSE, ‘… time to wonder, “Do I dare eat the last croissant,” and “Do I dare have jam on it?”‘), and then document what Aggie decides to do next in whatever quest she is on.

It’s Saturday, and time is not standing still.




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