The Christmas edition

Yup. That one. The obligatory post about the joys and hells of the seasonal period. Shame how everyone does one … but if you can’t beat ’em …
In the 365 days since the last one, I have changed a great deal. I have been challenged and grown, in ways I wouldn’t have imagined. I am creatively enjoying a happy time in my life, and the love of a good woman, and though I know it may well turn crap again eventually, I am enjoying a little of the Christmas spirit for once.
See, I am not a Christian. I am a Buddist by practice, and understand that all this wanting and craving for experience is mostly empty. But to deny the children their gifts-under-the-xmas-tree thing would be just too cruel. Opting out when you have children just isn’t an option.
Which brings me to the point of this hopefully not too cloying Christmas message. That to understand Christmas properly, you have to be a parent. You have to brave the snow, for that one last toy. You have to pay that little more for the treats that will light up their faces. That thankfullness is only realised when you have something to loose, by your own actions or inactions. This year I have done well. And I am thankfull.
So, Happy Doctor Who Day, to one and all!

Stuck in the middle …

This week, if I believed in horoscopes, there must have been planets crashing together in the houses governing the family ties.  At least, that is how it feels.  This week I experienced crushing anger, mind-blowing despair, and hilarity of a newly played game.  Seven days, the whole gamut of overblown emotion.

The first was my second daughter, who suffers from an Attachment Disorder.  She has a penchant to kick up a fuss at the drop of a pencil; the frenzy can last hours, and stops all normal processes in the house.  It came to a head this week, when I lost my temper and stormed out of the house, to pace in the garden.  She is only eight, but seems to know every one of my buttons of annoyance, anger and despair.  She also revealed that she has been lying to her therapist for the last year.  I smoked a cigarette in quick lungful, recited some OHM NA PADME OHM, and then re-entered the fray once again. 

I gain grey hairs and crows feet, but I still feel like a seventeen year old.  This, as I’m sure every aging person has ever thought, sucks bigtime.  She cannot help it, she cannot stop, yet I and her siblings, suffer for it.  It is the way it is.

Next up was my eldest.  She is ten, bright for her age, a reader of books and quoter of Harry Potter facts ad infinitum.  Having begged to be allowed to go to town by herself for months, I finally  relented on Sunday, giving her a small sum of money, and a time by which to return home.

I paced, worried, and fretted.  I could not have guessed how it would end.

At the time when she should have been home, I receive a phone call from my mother.  She, in all unlikelihood, had found my poor neglected daughter wandering a supermarket by herself.  My mother proceeded to grind down my daughter of all trust, responsibility and maturity, by issuing rules and regulations concerning how a young woman should behave.  My mother then brought her home, in tears.  At my grilfreind’s front door, she gave me a stern talking to, about how she could have been kidnapped, how she was too young, and how I didn’t know anything  about parenting.  She then left.

I gound my teeth, I smoked a cigarette in one supra-deep lungful, wrote an angry text message and then deleted it.  I began to feel like the filling in some kind of hellish sandwich.

And tonight.  Having watched the two aforementioned daughters in their christmas nativity, with my son sat on my lap, we came home.  They played on the Wii for a while, and then I prepared them for bed.  While settling down my son, who is five, I hit upon a new game.  It is called Catch my nose.  The rules are simple.  The child tries to catch the parent’s nose, while the parent is only allowed to move the head from the neck, whilst singing ‘You can’t catch my nose!’ 

It is funnier than it sounds.

This regained my sanity, blew away the cobwebs, and made for belly laughter the like of which I had forgotten somewhere during the week.  I will be playing the game again, with many addendum rules.

I have a 3000 essay to write, Christmas shopping to finish, the Vesuvius of laundry to wash, and possibly the beginnings of an ulcer.  Yet I find that I am really, really lucky.  There are people out there that only have one hundredth the luck I have.  Though I wasn’t for the whole of the week, I can say, just for a few fleeting moments, that I was content, and that little more could make it any better. 

Thats all.

World Literature Blues

I also have  coursework to do, which does put a crimp in my plans for literary world domination.  The subject is fun, though, and is hopefully, giving me more tools with my writing. 

But flicking through a pile of books looking for that one quote, watching the word count climb slower than a sloth on a bank holiday, and forgetting my initial argument,  all conspire to leave no time or patience for write.

(Having read through the last two paragraphs, I suddenly remember my media lessons.  Too many clauses.  Must think like Heminway.  A lot. More.)

So, the subject is something-I-decide, on some World-Literature worthies that-I-decide.  Chances are I will go for Chinue Achebe’s Things Fall apart, Ahdaf Soueif’s The Map of Love, and Joe Sacco’s Palestine.  The theme will be resistance-writing, and the three different voices, and how they capture the struggle their books embody.

Or something like that.  My problem is that I rarely know what the end product will look like.  Time to get the Celtx quecards on, and shuffle dem cards!

Somewhere on the text frontier …

Status report, Number one?

Communication link seems stable.  Other avenues seem likely within the near future.  Ennui-drift variables currently locked, so we are stuck here for the moment.

Engineering, how are those engines looking?

I’m still locked out, Captain.  The creative-drives don’t respond.  I think something from the entity is masking the inspiration feeds.  I’m running a level four lightbulb-moment now, sir, but until I get a positive response, we are stuck here. 

Security, options?

The entity seems … alive.  But it is hard to tell.  There is still much interference.  Sometimes patterns seem to appear, but fall back into background noise, random symbols.  I am intensifying my efforts, Captain.

Suggestions, Number One?

Continue attempts at communication, and reigniting the creative-drive.  But  I think that finding intelligent patterns within all this noise is … a long shot, sir.

Make it so, Number One.  I’m off to my ready-room to quote Moby Dick.  You have the Con.

… In Medias Res … (kinda)

… Ellie and I we were sat in the library, where the students go for their free wi-fi, and she told me all she had done in the last few months.  She has editors in America and Ireland who are interested in her work.  She has an illustrator who will draw her children’s book, and she also has the contact details of a BBC commisioner for Childrens drama.

I sat agog, the coffee turning acrid in my mouth.

In the same amount of time, I had done nothing.  Not a word written, not a piece set anywhere.  No one contacted, no forums-posts made.  Nothing.  Once again, Ellie, the one who seems to finish everything she ever starts, has trumped me back into the place where I should be – creating.

So this is where I am now, and why I starting this blog.  Again.  Those of you who might have come here before might be surprised to find that it isn’t an art-blog any more.  This is me telling myself off.  Feel free to join in.

© G.M.Jones and Grumphy's Blogararium, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to G.M.Jones and Grumphy's Blogararium with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.