An experiment

Languishing as I am back home, Bali still in my thoughts, ill and in pain as usual and weak, I am considering what of a thousand things I might bring up for assessment and cogitation.

Firstly, now that I have appeared to have made an effort to crank up the blog, I must say how grateful I am for those first five comments, left so long ago now, which followed the publishing of my little essay. I should have thanked their authors for the kindness in writing them, and initiated a conversation.  In fact I think I may have made some grateful remarks which upon rereading seemed a tad precious, and I removed them.

I would be very grateful to hear from any of my readership, within certain bounds of course – I’m allergic to abuse – and more than happy to conduct a discourse on almost any suggested subject. I find increasingly, as I post, that I crave feedback and response.

And speaking of abuse, I reached a point at which, in reading the news, and following links online which revealed what atrocities and horror, what lies and misinformation, what utter frigging hell is going on in the world, I had to regard, by the impact it had on my well being, all this information overload as a form of abuse, and shut it out of my life. I determined not to ruminate on these things, and not to let it keep getting in to form grotesque and terrifying images in my head, and angry outrage and fearful anticipation of things to come. This isn’t to say that terrible things aren’t coming – they’re surely coming if current indicators are any guide – but my destroying what remains of my health over concerns and worries and fears with which I won’t have to deal yet is seriously counterproductive. Some people can absorb all that stuff with sang froid but it ain’t me.

For the same reason I threw out the television set. Rearranging the living room without that hideous black screen to which most of the seating was pointed, and which inevitably becomes the focal point of the room, was a greatly liberating thing to do. Having accepted all of the infirmities imposed on me by fibromyalgia, I had come to integrate the television and the programs I watched as a part of my life and thoughts. A month in Bali had given me time to take up reading again, and I have been consuming books at a rate of knots. I haven’t the faintest idea what politician said what to whom, what evil skullduggery the empire’s minions are getting up to, whose economy is on the point of collapse, which Hollywood star has been photographed on super telephoto lens with her cellulite showing, or what dire pronouncements talking heads are making, and frankly I couldn’t care less.

Muting the ads before the smarmy voice-over or the abominably annoying jingle had a chance to make any imprint on my little grey cells, had I the temporary insanity to watch something on a commercial station, became something approaching a sport, but not one which was providing any benefit to mind or muscle. Now, in the silence of the night living room, or at least the kind of electric fizz and ringing of tinnitus which sufferers such as myself laughingly refer to as silence, I recall what it was like in the various epochs of my life in which I possessed no television. All my time was my own and I was creatively productive. Contrary to what most would think who’ve made television the source of their entertainment and news, one does not sit and twiddle one’s thumbs. No. One has thoughts – you know, those things which originate who knows where and take up residency for brief periods in one’s conscious awareness. And one says to oneself I think I might drag out the sketch book and draw. Or one hauls oneself out of one’s chair and stands before the bookcase perusing titles and selects a book one hasn’t read for three or four decades and marvels at what utter crap one used to think was interesting. Or one picks up one’s guitar, tries to dust off the accumulation of household grime, and runs through a few nifty exercises only to come to realise the importance of daily practice. At this point, if one weren’t so seriously and deleteriously affected by alcohol as to be struck by a raging headache lasting several days the very moment one had consumed four or five sips, one would take to the bottle, muttering expletives and saying the world be damned and all its tortures and delights, insist on getting up a bit of a party and reminisce about the good old days, of which there weren’t any, when the world was innocent and yada yada yada…

Which brings me, in a circuitous and barely perceptible way, to this: it’s only in retrospect that we can get any understanding of the impact our words and actions had in the past, for obvious reasons. It’s part of the folly of youth and the pathology of the narcissist that the consequences of words and actions are unconsidered or considered irrelevant. I look back on my life and see with clarity the things which had been mysterious, or which were so outside the realm of my experience that there was no perspective from which to see them and no frame of reference in which to recognise them. Understanding little and reacting to everything, particularly in places in the mind where damage was done, I said and did a great many stupid things which impacted the lives of other people. In coming to understand that, and seeking forgiveness, I determined to be only a positive influence in the lives of others, no matter how remote. In examining my thoughts and writing them down the importance of using the right words and only those which as closely as possible expressed my meaning became acute. And I became aware that the words I used in my inner running monologue to describe me and my life were of earth shattering, life and death importance. Read The Bible for a strong statement like “Life and death are in the power of the tongue,” and Richard Bach’s Jonathon Livingstone Seagull for this: “Argue for your limitations and they’re yours” and meditate on that for a while.

But regardless of whether one has contemplated these things or not, everyone impacts on everyone else, either directly or indirectly. And regardless of whether one is aware of it there is sowing and reaping, or karma if you prefer, and the harvest of all the hatred and fear and violence in the world is utterly inevitable.

However, I seem to have brought this little post to a rather glum and dispiriting conclusion, when I think what I first intended was to recommend everyone turn off or turn out his/her television set, cease permitting the machine to shape and mould the framework of ideas and thoughts within which it wants you to be confined, and begin to have an interior life which allows new and unfettered concepts and thoughts independent examination and appraisal.

Should anyone take my advice, do let me know what occurred, won’t you?

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4 Comments

Filed under A Bit Of A Bitch

4 responses to “An experiment

  1. Toby Montgomery

    Love the blog. Unbridled cynicism with lashings of contempt for our “civilised” society. Though I do love the TV a little too much to throw it away. Or to move it from pride of place, dominating my lounge room. But I do try to leave it off as long as possible to get other productive stuff done, like practising the guitar etc.

  2. Thanks for your comments Toby, and I’m glad you like the blog. I’ll probably write again on the subject of social engineering whose tool is television…

  3. anonymous

    Well written, as usual. It’s good to shut out all the negative drip feeds. Give your mind some time to relax and be creative. Feeling disturbed about the horrible stuff happening all the time keeps you pumped with stress chemicals and is going to screw with the management of your condition and actually make it worse. Shutting off the news along with a lot of shitty programs is a good idea. Staying informed is okay but sometimes you need to take a break from it.

  4. You’re so right Anonymous. Thanks for an understanding response.

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