Minutiae

I know that every single person with the ability to string two coherent thoughts together has reached this conclusion before, but today it's hitting me with a renewed sense of ouch.

Time, the beastly yet beautiful thing, can never be grasped. When you have too much of it, it goes slowly, dragging its hands through the mud and threatening to grind to a halt completely. And when you don't have enough of it, it's gone before you even had time to glance at the clock. 

Time, after all our measuring and aligning and rushing about, is really only an illusion. Yet we cannot exist without it, which leaves us straining to understand, walking around with time-telling devices strapped to our wrists so that we may never miss one millimetre of the second hand's measured dance. It gives a rhythm to our days that we would otherwise long for, and gives us somewhere to slot the minutiae that we are made up of.

It's always alarming to realise that we have so little of it, to realise that as we get older, days and years will pass by comparatively faster, and that while we want some uncomfortable things to be over as soon as possible, for others several lifetimes would never be enough.

Therein lies my problem of today, as I have hours to fill until I can sleep again, and the expanse feels unusually empty.

Yinshi

I've been ravenously devouring The Book of Life in quiet moments, and have been half-heartedly contemplating becoming a yinshi, which in Chinese culture refers to a recluse, someone who leaves everything busy behind them to go and live up a mountain.

Of course, I'm not entirely serious, but this poem entitled 'On Drinking Wine' by the original yinshi Tao Yuanming had me craving green silence and only mountain goats and books for company.*

Plucking chrysanthemums from the eastern hedge
I gaze into the distance at the southern mountain.
The mountain air is refreshing at sunset
As the flocking birds are returning home.
In such things we find true meaning,
But when I try to explain, I can’t find the words.

*I've decided this is not a realistic goal.

Unbelievable

We have reached the sort-of-depressingly-sad section of my quote notebook. Yippee!*

*I take this back, as I realised there are plenty of rather hard-hitting ones scattered across the quote library.

Knitted

Sorry I didn't get around to another 'animal in knitwear'. Perhaps tomorrow when the existentialism has gone it will be possible to take myself seriously again.

On Unwriting

Or why writing (often nonsensical) things allows me to think less and live more.

Words keep me moving.

For me, writing is like late breakfasts.
Like swimming in deep water.
Like changes in temperature.
Like staring at the ceiling.
Like the bitter taste people can leave behind.
Like the cold shoulder.
Like pressing the wrong buttons.
Like the unwelcome truth.
Like refusing an offer.
Like sharp teeth.
Like well dressed.
Like exactly sixty seconds.
Like knowing too much.
Like clean sheets.
Like keeping warm.
Like never quite remembering.
It is introductions.
It is disorientation.
It is letting in the light.

I love writing about the things that matter and the ones that mean nothing. I love writing down ideas at 2am in the dark and then trying to actually read them in the morning.

I love that I can never write enough, and that even seconds after drawing a line underneath something, I know I’ll never write those same words again, because I’m already someone entirely different.

How I must break the rules to (almost) convey what I mean.

And how there is never a suitable ending.

p.s. This was written and posted a long time ago, but it's ringing true today & shaking me up inside.