Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Started reading  Fear & Trembling yesterday. I have profuse regard  for Kierkegaard's torment ; here is a dedicated writer.

Not long ago , at the back of the village church, where they stock exhausted  paperbacks for 50p, I invested in The Journals of Kierkegaard 1834-1854; small outlay  for someone to turn to so often, that the hoary cover has fallen off.

The anguish  of being a wordsmith.

In 1843, the year F&T was published, Kierkegaard ponders :

"The hardest trial of all is when a man does not know whether the cause of his suffering is madness or guilt." 

Must get on

Posted   pictures yesterday to a magazine that is publishing an article I sent-in  on suffering. That gives me until February then to complete the accompanying book; my third spiritual work.

It opens doors if you can hot-wire your submission to a just-published  article.

Wow, the electrifying  poetry of Alice Oswald; a dear friend has gifted me Woods etc :

"Please realise, friends. Time is moving in this neighbourhood.
This is Dawn, the unspeakable iridescence of all swiftness,
impatiently brushing past, be quick...."

from : For Many Hours there's been an Old Couple Standing at that Window.

As an adventurer ;   my toes are tapping.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Point Vierge

When we lose control, when we lose our power, when our eyes can see nothing, writes John O'Donohue (Eternal Echoes p. 173), this is how suffering makes us aware of our own inability.

We hustle to make sense, as I have tried in this blog, of our understanding of failure.

Of who we are .

Like a lusting  man, I have returned to Thomas Merton this morning,  fingers dry as dust for insight. It is that most precious of times, the "point vierge" of the dawn;  when "creation in its innocence asks for permission to be ".

The point of nothingness in the middle of being.

The profound emptiness.

The "incomparable point of contact with mystery."

This is where suffering leads.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sailor Sam was just passing by

..what a great title for a book. Maybe that is that is left ;  after my heavyhearted experience with the writer's colony.

It has been weighing me down, forcing me , painfully , to question my (slipping ??) grip on the world .  There are two alleyways of meditation. One is the realization, as if I have been asleep, of what I have done. Here is an online gathering of kind, supportive , creative souls, and I, I in creepy contradistinction to all that I affirm, so hold dear, have reacted, almost instantly,  to their kindness in the most derogatory way. I have operated  not from a place of peace,  but with an astonishing anger that many have found  disrespectful and hurtful.

I do recognize a hackneyed aspect of myself  here and it pains me. This terribly  fragile ego, this child who never fits in, this onetime worn-out somebody. No longer.

Stripped naked in the recent snow though, I do not feel the cold wind on my body. Driven by  the same lust for life that spoke to itself, up against the playground wall and in the loneliness of the railway station , one more kid who will never be cool,  I will always seek, in a self-destructive way, depending on your point of view   the solitude of the garden  and the company of  the old sea salt;  the Captain ,who knew a raging storm and survived to live with  starfish and shells on the sand, forever smoking his pipe  near a magic cave, presumably in Kent,  where it is always summer-time. That  is where the bears go .

It has always been so.

Friday, November 26, 2010


 So , there's an insight in Transactional Analysis called a "Stamp".

In my efforts to improve things for my wife I have grown disheartened with  online "advocacy"  groups that substitute posting stuff on the web, for actually creating  change in the real, hard world. 

I have grown intolerant of the puffed up egos that  work against real commitment.

With my back to the wall, I am raring to get my book published. I don't have  any appetite to mess or be messed  about.

But,it was unfair of me to burst in on Litopia ;I am so touched and moved by all the messages that I have been receiving, bearing such a large Stamp.

I have received so many supportive messages; however I have upset so many more. That I regret, very much..

So apologetic, bashful, blushing: am I ??

Well no.

All I have done is state my truth - a valuable and brave truth as far as I am concerned; I stand by my experience and the tender  insight that comes with "new eyes". There is always a critical choice to be made between  game-playing and engagement ; all anyone can do is make their own mind up on that.

Apparently I am in a minority , my acquaintance with the Colony is not a shared one. As I said I am prepared to take responsibility for that; my involvement is no doubt clouded and I definitely should have given it more time.

Trouble is, the author part of me is far too  wild, ferocious, raging, raving , unrestrained and truculent ; too busy clambering up moonbeams,  to dicker  with any connotation  of  balderdash, baloney and bananas.

My  path  is  a  windswept, desolate, undomesticated , berserk one. When the aberrant author is out; better get out of the way. Sailorsam, I think, is probably  better off  being left  to drift  alone  on the high seas, with his love songs and dreams.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Just like in  other online communities, the author's "colony", I have found out very quickly,   has its share of those sad, certainly  lonely  individuals,  who think it is so terribly  witty, presumably, or impressive on some hard to fathom, probably   pathological  level, to plaster serious and sensitive discussion threads with their want-to-punch-them-on-the-nose brand of shouted shallow smugness.

I have no time for  this terribly  odd nastiness that appears to contaminate the online world.

I was looking forward to refined  discussion with fellow authors, seriously intent on exploring our craft together. Instead I find the kind of  yah-boo  point-scoring, dripping off  the message boards  like spit,  that the rest of us grew out of in Primary School.

So the learning, as elsewhere online, is to avoid most of what goes on;  those who pontificate so,  are not authors, in any sense, serious about getting published.

Back to my Garrett and candle I run.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Outstanding !

It has been   a brave move joining an online writer's group. Writing is such a solitary occupation, to put yourself out there in front of your peers takes some doing -  terrifying...But, how stimulating !!

Last night someone asked on Litopia is it okay to have 9 Points of View (POV's) in one chapter. So, going for it I wrote :

"9 POV's .. tutted the Vicar's wife; that sounds like rather a lot
Well said Henry that depends on your view point
Sounds as you use your brains messin' up people's cats said Douglas bitterly.
I think it could work well in a murder mystery plot said the policeman who was ofa credulous disposition.
Oh yes that's a point said the doctor having examined his patient.
Robert paled.
I guess said the Russian Prince it could be factual in which case 9 POV's could be very informative, but that's not the same as being a Bolshevist.
I like the idea of 9 different takes on a situation said Sir Gerald taking a firm hold of William's ear.
I think I'd forget everyone's opinion except the last one by the end of the chapter said the blonde beauty whose name, by the way, was Clarinda Bellew.
Yes I am not too good at remembering characters said the Major. A short stout stick taken from the hedgerows completed the effect.
You could give them 9 different accents, that would make them more memorable said Ginger's aunt.
Bet ole Hubert won't have anything like that said Ginger."

..and that has attracted some great comments. Outstanding said someone. This has  really lifted  me up this morning.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Lucy Jordan

Listening to Marianne Faithful on my iPod; early morning cycle ride.

She sings :

"..and there were 
oh so many ways
for her to spend the day;
she could clean the house for hours
or rearrange the flowers
or run naked through the shady streets
screaming all the way..."

I am writing a book on being a Carer. Would it be more real,  I wondered this morning ,   if I ran naked through the streets screaming ?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Song Sung Blue

What is it  about those letters that I send out to Agents that is so quiveringly, shrinkingly , knee-tremblingly terrible ? Goodness sake.

It's not as if I don't spend a long time  cultivating every nuance and tone, trying to convey a sophisticated air of - what...?? Arrrrgh......

My first "LP" was Hot August Night, so  I always watch, with nostalgia  ,Neil Diamond when he is on the TV;  his concert, you know,  was the best I have ever been too. Something he said though  the other night  has  just whacked  home.

You wouldn't think it ,but apparently it took Neil Diamond an age to learn how to do what he does on stage. The key,  he said,  is getting to know who you are .

I have these  flickering notions   of who I am as a husband, an activist for the rights of the sick and disabled, some  kind  of  blogger in the ME community - but who  am I an author? I do not know....

Even though I've actually had two books published,  by mainstream publishers , the fact is  I  never think of myself , when I go to bed,  in the early hours or   when I get up, as an "author". Whatever that means ...

Getting two  books published has,up to now,  seemed to be, well,  one of those things; clearly that's poppycock, my Lycra-clad self -on-a bike promulgated this morning , nothing but fields and seagulls.  Most people do not "just"  get two books published .

Never mind those other  two books, this one is my life's work, my  passion. I've got to believe in  it and in me - or go mad.

Hence this Blog.