Very much just another blog

A passing thought

with 3 comments

Sometimes you meet someone, almost in passing; a brush against your life and then an imprint so you don’t forget. I have met such a person.

Don’t misunderstand me: I don’t believe in fate. I don’t believe things happen for a reason; I believe you make reason from that which befalls you. And I met someone who leaves a few words with me from time to time. Often they mean no more than the rest of the day. And other times, like right now, I think on them more closely.

He writes. I have always been drawn to those who do, as you know. I don’t know why. It could be as simple as it impresses me when people can express themselves beautifully; if their words are compelling; if they make me remember something, or feel something. It could just be that feeling those things feels good.

When I was doing A-level English Lit. – oh, Jesus, so many years ago – we studied a poet called Adrienne Rich. You may have heard of her. The first of her poems we read was Diving into the Wreck. In it she explores her past to begin to find a way to her future. Or so I gather from it. She uses grammar to insist that we read the piece on her terms, redefining the space as her own as she goes. Anyway. There are two lines which I remember most vividly:

The words are purposes.
The words are maps.

Reading this man’s stuff reminded me of these lines. Because he once described what he wrote as something outside himself, but it’s not; it’s him. The words are him, a map of him. As mine are, or your’s.

Obviously it’s not just about writing. This weekend I saved an old unit of 1960s beech school lockers from my father’s workshop. They are awesome. Heavy as anything, complete with Sean 4 Janit scrawled on the inside. And I spent the weekend sanding. For hours. What was therapy for me I suspect may have been a migraine for my neighbours, but I found this rhythm and an hour went by, then three, then five… then the light went.

If you look at it one way it’s just about me not wanting to buy IKEA furniture anymore (feel free to look at it that way; it’s a very important part of finding a way to being an INDIVIDUAL). Or you can you see it from where I stood yesterday; in an overall several times too big for me and a mask that made me look like an alien ant of sorts but, and importantly, self-actualising my arse off, just like my friend. Just like, I suspect, we are all trying to do.


Written by elikafm

January 18, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Hey Ellie, it’s not the shelving that makes you an individual, but the books, CDs, DVDs and home-made nick-nacks that you fill it up with. Having said that, it’s always better to recycle. And in snoxworld sanding is one of the few genuinely rewarding repetitive tasks along with a big pile of ironing. Bring on the steam.


    January 18, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    • You’re quite right, of course. Now I have reading glasses the world’s my happy oyster.


      January 18, 2010 at 4:31 pm

  2. My favourite and oldest-standing analogy for the whole writing-thing is wittling away at bits and pieces and then putting them away again in the barn, garage, workshop or wherever until the next time you wander back in to see what you’ve got and how it may fit together – so soxworld’s probably got a point, though I for one am less partisan to ironing.
    If you should tire of all that sanding and lugging may I instead recommend fishing – my second favourite analogy, stolen from Ted Hughes – who likens the entire process to a meditation on what might rise to the baited line beneath that bobbing float..


    January 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm

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