Very much just another blog

What the typewriter ribbon says

with 5 comments

There’s this Michael Rosen poem I read when I was a kid that I was reminded of recently. In it he imagines what it would be like if you were given a typewriter ribbon which had recorded all your mistakes. Think of it: dark wet inky print marking out every last error of judgement, every last thing you should have done or shouldn’t have done. The things you didn’t mean to say but said anyway, that time you lied, the important date you forgot, the person you let down – any of the things you fucked up. Shitty list, huh. Shitty things to do, to be fair.

I was delivered something a lot like a piece of that ribbon at the weekend. One way or another, just recently, I had marked the ribbon fairly heavily. And then I marked it some more. Eventually it was given back to me, at pace.

The first thing to do was apologise. A lot. I meant this apology, properly meant it. I’ve apologised before without really believing that someone could be so very upset. This was not one of those times. Then you have to find a way not to dwell and not to linger and not regret because surely that is wasting time twice.

I decided to put my energy into something other than being willfully miserable and watching opportunities disappear past me. Ridiculous when you think about it because my life is truly mine to fuck up. So I made a choice: I can get up and do something or I can sit down here and waste it. I’ve chosen to seize the day. Yes. I’ve carpe diemed the shit out of everything. First up a ten week long evening course at St Martins. It’s a beginners course in Graphic Design. I’ve always had a slightly weird obsession with French signs from the middle-ish part of the last century, and various other things I won’t wang on about here. Then I had my eyes tested. And not just because, as a metaphor, it works neatly as I begin to look ahead. Actually I left my glasses on a plane about five years ago. I hated how I looked in them and they were never replaced. That turned out to be a really shit idea, because of the seeing issue, mainly. I have some glasses being made up for me right now by someone with many skills in the glasses making department, as you might imagine.

Finally I extracted two pieces of advice from my past, both essential. The first was delivered by my grandmother and for this, feel free to imagine a Yorkshire accent:

Pick your face up, lass.

Good, isn’t it. It’s about not being willfully miserable and it’s a direct hit.  Yorkshire people like that. I like it (I am half Yorkshire, and half total mongrel but that’s quite another story) and I’ve put it here, in my pocket. The second, weirdly, is from an email my friend showed me that I had sent her many years ago and she had kept. I wrote it when she was enduring a fairly heavy and repetitive amount of shit from life. It was a long email, most of which is just for her, but at the end it reads: Even when you don’t see it there are people, like me, thinking of you and knowing that the best is yet to come.

And that’s the bit I’m taking with me; my new mantra: The best is yet to come.


Written by elikafm

January 13, 2010 at 10:53 am

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Responses

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  1. Powerful thought, beautifully written. It is better to move on and take the challenges than mop around. It is time for me to say to myself, “Pick up your face, lad”


    January 13, 2010 at 11:17 am

  2. From one mogrel to another…one foot in front of the other. But not to close or you trip.


    January 13, 2010 at 1:29 pm

  3. You have a great talent for beautiful writing, I throughly enjoy reading your blog posts – keep them coming!


    January 13, 2010 at 2:08 pm

  4. Beautiful stuff…

    Mat Riches

    January 13, 2010 at 2:34 pm

  5. A great message, nicely expressed. Consider this face picked up. Cheers!


    January 13, 2010 at 4:26 pm

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