"It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see."
– Henry David Thoreau
For those who do not feel the need to make sense of the world, it serves them well. For others, the poets, the writers, the artists, they tell their stories in an attempt to make some sense of the world they live in, if only for themselves. This, in small part, explains how art is born.
Find a quiet dark spot and listen to Beethoven’s 14th, the Moonlight Sonata, or, if ever you’re in Madrid, take a trip to the Museo Reina Sofia and look at Picasso’s Guernica, or pick up a copy of Camus’ The Stranger to get an idea. They were all composed as the artist was attempting to make sense of the world.
The writer may have come to their craft because they’ve realised that, at heart, they are outsiders, their immediate world is alien to them and they therefore need a method of expressing that alienation. Other endeavours act merely as weigh stations until the realisation hits, too late, that the time has come for them to try and talk themselves out of it.
For although everyone has a story to tell, not everyone has the facility. Sometimes it’s given to others, knowing that the stories must be told, because we need them, subconsciously we know we need them, to sustain us.
What is certain is that while some are busy making the most of the world, there are others trying to make sense of it. What is also certain is that the talent being applied to this effort can overcome almost anything, even encouragement.
Journies Worth Taking
At university I studied, I use the term loosely, Economics, known, for good reason, as the dismal science. My tutor once asked the class I sometimes attended for our definition of the subject we had enrolled in.
My Father taught me a few things, without of course, knowing that he was teaching me in the process. One of them involved my first post university job, or the attempt at landing one.
There is a place I go, a not necessarily pleasant place but it is, all the same, necessary that I go there. It’s also, ironically enough, a place of solace.
Poems Worth Penning
There’s a ghost selling memories down by the shore
as a jury decides its fate
there’s a man of religion knocking at my door
I need to lie down, he can wait.
Stooping down and listless still
the rain, the pavement scarried
the men they took my food and oil
and all that I had carried
Princes priests and diplomats
are trying to explain
The times that we are living in
the rumbling in my brain
Stories Worth Telling
Floyd Collins sat on the hood of his Dodge putting on his walking shoes. The “hood” is a much more appropriate name to describe the flap that opens up to the engine than what the English would refer to as the “bonnet”, which is what you put on the head of a one year old English girl who’ll grow up to marry a gentleman of the aristocracy.read more
One wet, cold September night some years ago now, a boy was born. It was late, his father, a veterinary surgeon, was out tending to another birth, a cow, in a time when it was hardly expected that a father would be in attendance for the birth of his child, he would be much more likely to be asleep, or having drinks with friends, than with his wife about to give birth.read more
Patrick Allen bent down, the brown paper bag lay on the ground in full view. He picked it up and he looked inside. It was money, a lot of money, crisp new notes. Someone’s betting money Patrick thought. Maybe it’s ill gotten gains, he had no way of knowing, it was a racetrack after all and gains were there to be had, both ill gotten and legitimate.read more
Guess I'm Doing Fine
Songs Worth Singing
Great Australian Dream
Wisdom Cries in the Street
Places Worth Visiting
It should be pointed out, before the story of Giftland, Lokta paper and the generosity of my Nepali hosts is mentioned, that some things are done differently in Nepal. We in the West could learn a thing or two from them.read more
My final day of visiting people affected by the April 25th earthquake made for an uneasy embrace of what it means to be denied a Western middle class upbringing. I had one, these delightful children have an upbringing only in the sense that they are not living on the street.read more
The village of Barabesie, in the region of Sindapowlchuk, north east of the capital Kathmandu, was at the epicentre of the April 2015 earthquake. The village was flattened, almost destroyed. It’s people are resilient, they are rebuilding.read more