Seedbed of regrets

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Lostness   (44)

 

The sensation of a room as empty
once alone inside it
akin to psychic negative space.

 

Here I sought to transmute my pain into art.
Though, recently, there is so much more pain than art.
And even that seems insignificant.
Must I also lose an alienated hubris?

 

Questions without answers, again…

 

I knock at a door, which remains closed.
After the problem of what to do
or the lethargy of unable to do
lies the remorse of “if only”.
While, in my head, a silent voice hates me.
Requiring someone to blame.
Can I stop hearing a tape, if my brain keeps playing it?

 

I search for the roots of unhappiness.
And find more unhappiness.

 

Is it woven into my being, or DNA?
How to picture life beyond such a state?
I write: aiming toward freedom, yet create only
variations upon darkness.
Could one construct some aesthetics of suffering,
mined for its beauty or poetry,
redeemed in creation?

 

But I weary of chronic illness:
and am taking it badly
lacking great heart
like those cheerful victims
beloved by media
who face up to
all privations
bravely.

 

Sickness sows a seedbed of regrets.

 

Where I languish
finding alternate descriptions
for inertia
but still strive to imagine
being at spiritual peace
from despair
in its closed
circle.

 

 

(Mar-April 1989)

(philosophy/psychology/depression/mental health/thoughts/writing)

 

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Deviant loneliness

 

 

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Lostness   (43)

 

I have lived a life of feelings.
Yet what remains
once they are gone?

 

I suppose the life of action might leave more behind…
As things stand, I am left a mind filled by memory and emotion.
But no-one to share it with.

I cannot find the exit from barrenness.
Or a way to untie those knots which bind me in insignificance.
Purpose remains hidden. Motivation fades.

 

Being “in touch” with feelings, shades into being oppressed by them.

 

I think about how sexuality has blighted my existence.
Through one-sided fascinations with women.
Where, unable to bridge that aching inequality between the desired and the undesired,
I have craved the company even of some who despised me.
Or wanting love so much as to fear resentment from indifference.
Again, perception perhaps distorted by self-hate: those attractions for women utterly different, which would probably never work.

 

If only I were content in this obscurity.

 

Instead, there are wishes to reach out, from deviant loneliness, toward a mirage of recognition that might well prove unsatisfying, while doubting my abilities for such an undertaking.

Should I aspire to form a tiny locus of generative suffering?

 

 


 

 

Drifting off to sleep a quote came into my head:

“the unexamined life is not worth living.”

Very well, I thought,
But what if the examined life
is not worth living, either?

 

 

 

(1988-9)

 

(philosophy/psychology/thoughts/opinions/mental health)

 

 

 

 

A Leper’s squint

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Lostness   (42)

 

Discontinuity calls us to consciousness.

 

Awareness working against entropy.
Art selecting from a chaos of impressions.
Though, once theory and context are forgotten, objects will perhaps revert to potential fecundity in the unexplained.

Could one see text as “matter” for literature, and matter as “text” for reality?
With criticism or physics attempting analysis across both realms.
Language, being so fruitful, may need restraint not to ramify beyond control.

 

 


 

 

Influenced by feminism, I ponder when arousal might be permissible.
“Alone in a sperm bank!” responds an inner voice.
Daunted by genetic responsibility, I shorten this to one word:
“Alone.”
Appropriately, isolation is the very situation where I experience these effects.
Which somewhat relieves the conscience, but leaves loneliness untouched.

 

I worry, thinking about myself,
that I will end up with only myself to think about.

 

Remembering certain old churches had small holes, called a “Leper’s squint”, cut through their wall, allowing undesirables a view inside: this struck me as analogous to the perception of outsiders, exiled from normality.

 

 


 

 

Methods to avoid thought remain useful, hence the popularity of bias.
People seeking offence find it everywhere.
World-views are partly composed of preferences.
Would organisms survive a hostile environment without partiality?

 

Returning to my own case…

Even knowing life is not a rehearsal, it still feels that way.

Consequently, where consideration makes optimism too demanding,
I shall try to proceed
in an absence of hope.

 

 

 

(1988)

 

(philosophy/psychology/writing/thoughts/ideas/opinions/mental health)

 

 

 

 

Forlorn lucidity

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Lostness   (41)

 

 

At times I feel so unformed.

My “becoming” experienced as drifting.

Perhaps such shapelessness constitutes a price of freedom?
Hence, while freedom is curtailed by the liberty of others, or biology: I wrestle, in addition, with lack of direction.
How to advocate a lifestyle even I may not enjoy?

For me, any hopes to produce something worthwhile carry a suspicion of fantasy.
Whatever I concentrate upon leads to an imaginary complaint from neglected possibilities. Thus my shifting between art, poetry, prose, music and philosophy.
Yet these urges to “keep options open” might work against the commitment required for achievement in each area.

 

What I do, today, is more important than what I intend to do, tomorrow.

 

Writing can be lured toward an ideal:
a certain beauty, via vivid sentences, lit by clarity, evocative as distant incense, hinting at transcendence, through the web of art.

Or, in the present case, while living isolated and unknown:
a dream that people I cannot meet might still be touched by my words.

 


 

 

Forlorn lucidity

After the telephone call
turning
into that gloomy front room
lit by a single electric button, glowing
red and insistent,
under its display panel,
though daylight’s blade
slicing between almost-closed curtains
smears one white fleck
across darkened glass

I stand
perceiving some discomfort
in the head
from neurons alert
with forlorn lucidity
while self, sensed
spirit-like, lingers
where conflict had been,
on the site
of my defeat.

 

 

(1986)

 

(philosophy/psychology/mental health/thoughts/ideas/poem)

 

 

Psychic residues

Lostness  (40)

 

 

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Might we somehow partake in immortality?

Consider the atoms from which we are made, old as stars, though
apparently lacking that crucial element: consciousness.

I still enjoy my meal while nearing the last mouthful; yet life may feel
marred because it has an end.

 

Disillusion as a price of knowledge?

If an optimist finds a doughnut and a pessimist finds a hole: the optimist is more liable to end-up with indigestion.

Will our extended sensibilities one day reach to technological offspring?
(Perhaps leading to an “Android Liberation Front”?)

Should we perceive a certain narcissism in attempts to control creation, and where reproduction, which once required contact, now also results from masturbation?

 

Other levels of disenchantment:

Things I never found at parties…
interesting conversation; new friends; going home without disappointment.

Even while asleep, traversing many dreams the way I pass through life: as a bemused spectator, I seem barred from any wisdom of experience.

Forgetting, too, has benefits. When we struggle to regain our innocence.

Recently I woke telling imaginary listeners: “Orgasm clears the psychic residues.”

If dreams were meant to be remembered, would nature have made it so difficult?

 

Next morning

Surprised again, by daylight,
I lie leaden with drowsiness
faintly sensing a barrier slid
across an exit
as the cavern
of my unconscious
seals itself behind me

What happened to inspiration?
How little was dredged-up
from all those feverish nights.
Now just questions remain…

Will I ever
be cured
of poetry?

 

 

(1985-6)

 

(philosophy/psychology/mental health/writing/thoughts/opinions)

 

 

Paranoid virtue

Lostness   (39)

 

People who condemn power are rarely referring to their own.

 

If power corrupts: how would deities avoid corruption?

Even urges for truth and justice have led to evil, as well as good.

Idealisation of the oppressed might permit excess.

Identity itself becomes divisive.

 

Extremism grants paranoia the status of a virtue.

Intolerance within belief can make it toxic to its own culture.

 

Desire for authority is sometimes matched by our resentment toward it.

Whether externally based, in law; or internal, via morality.

Where divine images carry influences from parental example: a victim of childhood abuse could find them tainted by negativity.

Inner harshness perpetuates punishment.
Addiction to suffering: rather than relief.
Obedience approaching some quality of sin?

 

Being able to forgive anyone except oneself is also an injustice.

Do we feed faith with alienated self-love, or self-hate?
Projected and personified?

Will others help, when we remain convinced of our worthlessness?

Clean revenge upon one that harmed us arrives through attaining happiness.

Yet this glad emotion is what such past actions made so fragile.

 

And beauty
may still shine
like a reproach
on those who feel
forever excluded
from its light.

 

 

 

(1985-6)

(philosophy/psychology/mental health/thoughts/ideas/aphorisms/poetry)

 

Blogging and not blogging

Reaching my 100th post I thought I would attempt something new…

(“Start successfully blogging?” says a voice in my head.
I ignore this, so it adds:
“Getting more than 10 views?”
But I am not engaging with an inner critic, now.)

…namely, putting the first images on this blog.

 

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For anyone reading…

(“Both of you!” Quips the voice)

…who may be unfamiliar with my situation :

I am struggling really hard to keep going, through severe levels of chronic illness (see Losing my Muse ).
Being down on one post per week: I experience difficulty managing even that frequency.
A great deal remains for me to do: in placing my unpublished writing online. It will take at least another year, probably longer.

My computer is so old I cannot find a scanner to work with it, for uploading artwork.
Never had a camera, either. Hence I bought my first smart phone.

Unfortunately, due to neurological symptoms, it is tough learning new things. Short-term memory is affected, and the ability to follow sequences of instructions.

Thus, despite knowing that photography involves terms such as “ISO, f-stop, aperture, shutter speed,” etc: I am unable make them cohere together in my mind. Therefore I have been reduced to a basic point-and-click approach.

Looking for beauty in my environment I decided to take a few flower pictures.
Here are some initial efforts, as a total beginner:

 

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It is often breezy in the West of England, where I live. I had not realised how much flowers are moved around by the wind, until getting close up to them.

Though once an artist, I have no confidence at all with a camera.

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I hope to return next week: with more normally abnormal philosophical ramblings.

 

 

(daily notes/photo/photography/lostness/mental health)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The profundity gap

Lostness   (38)

 

Asymmetries of passion disrupt equanimity.

In couples: regarding proportions of love.

Anxiety around a profundity gap, overshadowing romantic encounters.

Questions arising later: “Did our time together mean as much to her, as to me?”
“Am I feeling too strongly, or too soon?”

Presumably, those with higher expectations from relationships might experience greater dissatisfaction?
Though exclusivity excludes: looking for potential mates does not always cease after one has been found.

Certain people, by their inconsistency, refuse to make appraisal easy on us.

For the truly insensitive most behaviours become possible.

 

What aids perception may also blind.

The lens of a world-view.

Hence ways of living, fashioned from misery, yet still clung to, until something better arrives. In failure: victimhood as a sop to self-esteem.
Or ridicule and laughter, without understanding, defending ignorance.

 

All positions seem questionable.
Including the position that all positions seem questionable.

Who gets through existence with clean hands?
Even walking on grass normally kills something.

Once the soul revolts against injustice, an unhappy life is usually available.

 

So here I am. Alone with books. Having no friends.
Sexless in a barren limbo.
At arousing women I fear ranking second
to a slightly mouldy courgette.
I frown before the bedroom mirror
from behind this predicament of a face
stressed about appearance
and how I will be judged.
If only by myself.

 

 

(1984-5)

(philosophy/psychology/poetry/mental health/thoughts/opinions)

 

 

Apocalyptic gratifications

Lostness   (37)

 

There can be situations so far from beauty they give apocalyptic fantasy an air of gratification.

 

How to know whether I am moving on the path of light or darkness?

 

Are divinities merely hidden; or absent from this world?
Studying nature does little to reassure us about any supposed creator’s kindness.
Would as many desire to worship a transcendent cruelty?
Might higher beings care for us much more than we care for insects?
Imagine our planet a now discarded toy from god’s nursery…

Sceptics could take the view that millennia of effort have failed to produce a fully convincing religion; while disasters are as liable to spring from excessive belief as from doubt.
Certain cults poison perceptions of external society: to ensure that leaving the collective becomes unthinkable. In such ways it is possible to be stunted by faith.

 

Yet will we ever permit deities not to exist?

 

One part of us may mock what another part yearns for.

 

Thus I cultivate my emptiness
while, across fuzzy boundaries
of feeling and recollection,
writing makes play
ideas flap around
seeking coherence
I hold up sentences
by their ragged ends
toward philosophy
in its abattoir of words.

 

 

(1984)

(thoughts/questions/opinions/psychology/lostness/mental health/poetry)

 

 

Time-stained

Lostness   (36)

 

How do believers in an afterlife know they are not already dead?

I gaze at time-stained photographs of those long deceased: Victorians remain posed forever, lips still wet with saliva.

Through memory we may even come to haunt ourselves.

Moments when I feel ghostly in a self-haunted existence.

Returning to these images: how many are judged instantly, from a look or stance?
In the same way, something about us gets liked or disliked, and rationalisations follow.

Aesthetics precedes ethics.

 


 

Other, unrelated, questions came to mind:

Would saints deserve more praise than divinities whose perfection is unlaboured?

Virtue without power might be mocked, yet can virtue survive power?

Should we close our eyes because others are blind?

Equality is not always justice.

 


 

 

An elementary example of inexperienced youth speaking at cross purposes:

“Let’s not get serious.”
“OK. Shall we just go to bed?”
“I see you as a friend.”
“Good! I want to sleep with you, as a friend.”

Living the material of a joke need not appear funny.

For those managing only platonic relationships, a sexual one can seem to approach the form of an unattainable idea.

I hope to avoid: “He was really nice, but…” as a suitable epitaph.

Perhaps life has said “no” to me, more than I have said “no” to life?

 

 

 

(1983-1984)

(philosophy/psychology/sexuality/writing/thoughts/ideas)