Monday 20th October 2014:

Every once in a while I feel as though I need to reinvent myself. Divest myself of the old and outworn, and don a new outfit, a new façade that will present, hopefully, a better version of me. Although I’m not sure that, ‘better’ is the word I’m looking for here. Different maybe, just not that.

I’ve had the wind knocked out of my sails lately, as I have fought the dragon within me insisting on expanding its wings to full capacity, threatening to tear the old me to shreds. What is making this difficult is that the paper cut-out that has been me for quite some time now, is refusing to budge, treating the dragon like a monstrous enemy instead of the immensely creative force that it is. I have simply outgrown my own skin, so to speak, and I seek new adventures, new ways of thinking that are less restricted by the dogma of a life only two dimensionally lived.

I am all of a sudden bereft of any feelings of self pride, I feel quite unexceptional in all kinds of ways, my mediocre hat firmly anchored to my head. The fight to change and grow has taken it out of me, but the dragon is intent on flying, as much as paper-me is trying to invoke lamination powers.

The only thing I feel exceptional at, is being me, for all that’s worth. Defiantly, clinging on to my last scrap of dignity I can proclaim that no-one is as good at being me as I am, even though I no longer know what that is, and even though it means little except to the wind that now whistles through my peripheral space. Shame no-one’s paying attention to my one-person drama. Everybody wants to talk, but no-one really listens. I want to talk, but god knows no-one has ever listened to me, and why should they when we all have our own private, selfish agendas that serve to preserve a reasonable order of pecking? I know the game, I’ve played it for years. You’ve played it too.

I feel as though I have been biting my tongue forever. Refraining from speech because, frankly people only want to talk about themselves. I’m not saying I’m any different, it just seems it takes an exceptional soul to take a genuine interest in others, to revel in their mysteries and magic like looking through one of my Nan’s old tea-chests, that were always full of toys, knick-knacks, and other interesting treasures. I have a rummage and I find a dark blue rubber ball, in a tone of blue that is reminiscent of the late 60s, a tone of blue that would now seem quite retro. I remember holding that ball in my hand, dreaming of the possibilities of play that it promised. I’ve been holding this ball in my mind for the past few days, waiting for the penny to drop and indicate what it symbolises. What is my subconscious trying to tell me, I ask myself?

On the theme of nostalgic recollections, the other day I came across the first vinyl album I ever owned as a kid, now immortalised in digital format through the auspices of YouTube. And although it was fascinating, almost thrilling to listen to after so many years of absence, I believe it triggered a landslide that has managed to pick up some ferocious momentum since, crashing through my inner landscape mercilessly, until almost every last piece of me has been covered in silt and debris. 

I sit now with the weight of the past four decades resting heavily upon my shoulders it seems, feeling instead like four hundred decades. Stress fractures already snaking through the architectural structure of my selfhood, threatening to undermine my very foundations. Part of me wants to throw my hands up and let the bloody thing collapse, burying all the years of crap with it. Part of me yet, is afraid of letting it all go completely, because it feels like I’m cutting and running again. Although, years of repeated experience has taught me there is no virtue in hanging on to things that have run their course, even if there are threads of hope hanging from their fraying hems. Foolishly you take hold, only to discover that the whole thing comes undone, unravelling with untenable speed because it was already worn beyond repair.

I am an insufferable idiot beyond merit.

My only saving grace, ironically, has been Bill and his dedicated support. I say ironically, because I struggle to secure allegiance with my daughter Grace, who should have been my saving grace too. But that’s another story.

8 thoughts on “The Recalcitrant Idiot. – Part One

  1. Wonderfully written; metaphorically masterful. You can cut and run, but you will never forget from where you have come…you cannot, because that is an important component of contemplating where it is you want to go or what you want to be. I don’t think you ever truly let it all go; that is your experience to draw from – good, bad or otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your encouragement Dan, and for taking the time to read and comment. I think as individuals we are shaped by so many factors throughout life, yet oddly we only seem to focus on certain things as being key in our unfolding. Linear time unfortunately is a hindrance when it comes to evaluating the self, because we have a tendency with that model to place too much emphasis on the past at the expense of all else. Yet the past is no more solid than the future from our present vantage points, and memories of experiences are as lucid and as transient as any dream we may encounter. In short, the narrative we tell ourselves and others is the give-away, the major clue as to the nature of our current behaviours, and I guess for me at least, it’s time to change my own narrative to something that is more desirable. Breaking familiar patterns can take a while, mainly because recognising what sits at their core may not at first be obvious.
      So it is that I write, and peel back the layers until I get to the plot of my own current narrative, and then change it from the inside out.

      Thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “I am all of a sudden bereft of any feelings of self pride, I feel quite unexceptional in all kinds of ways, my mediocre hat firmly anchored to my head.”

    First of all, mediocrity is almost always accompanied by unawareness. The fact that you recognise that there is more you want, more you’re capable of, is an indication of the depth of your capability. You are deeply ambitious, as someone with your talents should be. I visualise you at the door to a gilded cage, a, elegant purple dragon holding a hand-drawn cutout of yourself in front. You are aware that you didn’t draw the portrait, but you hold it there because those around you need to see it for a bit longer. But you will fly soon.

    Perhaps we’ve been wrong in our mythology, and dragons only fly in flocks. I call them a rage of dragons, but pride seems the better word. Dragons weren’t meant for cages or solitude. Dragons weren’t meant to flock with buzzards. Dragons get stiff when you bend them inward for so long.

    When I escaped my own cage it took me a while to figure out who I was … years in fact. I initially thought I was who I’d always been and looked for a better cage to lie about in. But in time, my true nature, wants, and needs became evident, and I reinvented myself. But the process isn’t without pain, love. You are ahead of the curve, looking back on the past and feeling mediocre. But you keep forgetting to look at your 3 best pieces of art.

    Maybe it’s time to define yourself not as what has been, but what will be. That, I promise, is not mediocre.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All I know is that subconsciously I am already way ahead of myself, that the changes that are occurring were already set in motion a long time back. It’s just that my conscious waking self is taking its time to catch up. The narrative of me, of everyone around me needs to change to something that is more conducive to positive growth. And actually, all it takes is for one of us to decide it’s all going to be something else.
      We are all so accustomed to talking in individualistic terms that I think we often don’t see the bigger picture that is always there backing us up.
      I like the idea of being a big purple dragon swooping through the air, enjoying my own sense of power. It’s taken me a long time to not be afraid of it. When I was very young it used to terrify me whenever I came across it, usually during illness. But now I understand where it comes from and what it means. Maybe all I’ve done is grown into my power, the power that was always there and was only allowed to be glimpsed when all my defences were down. The cage you speak of. Who needs a key when all you’ve got to do is flex your wings to break the bars? 🙂
      Love you.


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