Wednesday, July 28, 2010


On Being Read

Here's the thing: I think about you, my readers, probably far more than I care to admit. Late at night, quite often, when I wonder if I'd get to sleep faster if I told you about what's going on in my head. Even when all that's going on in my head is the horrendous feedback loop of wondering what's going on in my head. I wonder where and how you read me, and why. In an office, on the bus on your iPhone, in a college computer lab, on a rickety laptop on the couch as you growl with frustration at your slow connection (that's usually how I do it). Or as you watch football, as you drink, as you grin and grimace, as you pick your nose, as you go through someone else's blogroll out of sheer boredom. As you confusedly land here by googling song lyrics I've nicked for my post titles, as you follow someone else's twitter link and then stop and wonder if life isn't a mite too short to be on Twitter if this is where it brings you. And I'm fascinated by the very notion of being read in far-flung parts of the globe, and constantly wonder what it is that I might write that tickles someone's fancy in Laos just as it turns someone off in Laois. If some of you are just hoping that I'll pick another fight, or that I'll write a little more about love, as love happens to me.

I'll think of you, dear readers, even on Thursday as I get married to the loveliest creature I've ever encountered. Or at least in the immediate aftermath. And on Saturday, when we do it again more publicly. I'll think about how I'm marrying one of you; how we first recognised a kindred spirit through each other's words. How a few more of you will be there to celebrate with us as friends.

How I'll tell you all about it (and the job interview sandwiched on the Friday in between) when I have words that are good enough, if there are any. How good it is to have been read, then seen, then loved.

Photo taken, like most good photos, by the wonderful Annie Atkins

Friday, July 9, 2010


What others were feeling like today #16


'He has found a purpose in life for himself in his children'. So that they in turn may find the same in theirs? But what point is there in this endless procreation? We care so little about other people that even Christianity urges us to do good for the love of God. Man prefers to punch his fellow man in the mouth, and is such a fool that to give himself an object in life he has to produce a son.

I like this one a lot. Pavese manages to get such a wealth of ideas into a few lines of writing. I haven't been able to find out where the quote he opens with comes from, but while googling the phrase I learned that Usher, that most anodyne of popstars, said much the same thing a couple of weeks ago. Attributing all your 'purpose' in life to your children is a dangerous thing to do, as I see it. Surely it can only mean that you've given up on finding any meaning in your own life and are now only seeking to do so vicariously through your children. Or is it just something vapid that people say? If merely producing humans to produce humans to produce humans ad infinitum is our 'purpose' in life then it is really no purpose at all. I very much hope to have children some day but I'd like to think that even without them my life might have some purpose, and that if I do have them I won't subscribe wholeheartedly to the cult of the child.

Extract taken, as always, from The Assassin's Cloak.