One Hundred Tears Of Gratitude

One Hundred Tears Of Gratitude

Gabo was a friend to Castro. He was a Nobel Laureate. He was an outspoken critic of the corruption of the Colombian government - a dangerous thing to be, especially in one's own country. He was, in many ways, a modern day Simón Bolívar, with a pen instead of a sword. His books contained a source of magic and his language a lyricism which it is impossible to reproduce.

It is strange to love novels which have at their heart a profound sense of the loneliness of life - and in many ways, of disappointment. But this is the way of true life, and it was the way of Márquez's own life. He drew from what he knew.

Many A Slip Twixt Cup And Lip

Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all.
— Charles Bukowski, The Last Night Of The Earth Poems

Those who read this blog (thank you, all three of you. You know who you are, and I love you very much) may have noticed a fall off in the number of posts recently. There's a very simple reason for this. 

I have been ill.  Wretchedly, horribly ill.

It's a common malaise. Many people suffer from it. It's endemic to those who profess to put words on a page for a living, it is heartbreaking in its severity and can cause symptoms as wide ranging as glugging wine straight from the bottle, headbashing on desks, throwing laptops across rooms and screaming randomly 'sod THIS for a joke!' and storming out of the room.

I refer, of course (I don't even want to say the words) -   

To Writer's Block

Sometimes the muse deserts me. Hell, she doesn't just desert, she goes on a bender in Vegas, wins big at the tables, gets comped a suite at Wynn and next thing I know she's married Prince Harry and I never see her again.  

For those who write, the need to put words on a page, or a screen, or on the back of an envelope is overwhelming. They need to get out of your brain somehow before it turns into the Woolworths parking lot on Christmas Eve. But that doesn't mean they are worth sharing with the world. And for me, the last little while has been a case of frosty wind making moan in my thoughts - every topic which has sprung to mind has ended up in the mental shredder. 

Until last week, when thankfully, discussions with two witty and wise friends brought the neurons back into a semblance of cerebral celebration. 

The relief at feeling words starting to flow again cannot be underestimated. And this is not about thinking 'maybe someone will enjoy reading this' - because quite frankly, I don't actually write for anyone but myself, and I think the day you do start concentrating primarily on what other people think, then the words will dry up for good. Nope, it was 'man, I am really loving just getting this out of my noggin'. 

And that is why this is a gratitude post. 

Gratitude for two people understanding that sometimes words - they don't come easy to me, to quote an old(ish) song; and even more gratitude that with a bit of verbal Drano, the blockage was no more. 

Whether others will be grateful remains to be seen, but as for me... 


In an annoyingly loud voice. 


Terms Of Endearment

“You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.”

— F. Scott Fitzgerald

I was writing an e-mail last night, and for some reason the way I had started it made me stop and think about the words we use when we are blathering on the page to our close friends and loved ones.

For example, I have a very bad habit of giving people strange nicknames, which they then for the life of them can't shake (enter the Panda and Dread P). Someone I think even described me as a 'nickname virus', which sounds vaguely unhealthy, but I hope was intended to say that when I give someone a nickname, that's it - they have no hope of ever getting rid of it.

Great. I am the equivalent of an STD for pseudonyms.

Hee hee.

Seriously though, the language of like and love is something that I feel very grateful for. I like expressing how I feel in words about those who matter to me. I like very much the fact that they express the way they feel in return - but I don't expect the return. For a reason.

It's as simple as writing to someone 'you are gorgeous', because they are. Using affectionate expressions is something many of us seem to be afraid of, because there is a chance we will be rebuffed in the return of call. But unless you express, you'll never know.

If you think someone looked beautiful, tell them. If someone made you happy, tell them that. If someone needs to know you care, for goodness' sake tell them. And don't go into it with expectation of acknowledgement, or because you think you should be saying something for the sake of it; if you do, then you are doing it for self gratification, not because you truly want to make someone happy.

I am massively grateful every time someone I love takes the time to write a word or two of sincere and expressive emotion. It's not gush or guff; it means they simply had to get onto the page - or the screen - that they were thinking of me at that moment in time.

Terms of endearment. They may not be conventional ones, like 'darling' or 'sweetheart'. They don't have to be between lovers. They are simply words that need to be put on a page because not to would be a disservice.

If anyone ever calls me 'nice' however...

That I would not be grateful for. And terms of abuse may become de rigueur instead...

Come On A Surfari With Me...

“We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them.”

— Steve Jobs

Something was really brought home to me last night; it really is true what John Lennon sang in Beautiful Boy - 'life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans'.

We are often so caught up in the day to day, that we don't notice the momentous until we sit back for a breather, and realise how much things have either changed or progressed in a short period of time.

You may well ask what on earth John Lennon has got to do with a Beach Boys lyric and a Steve Jobs quote. Well, apart from the six degrees of separation issue (Ed Sullivan called The Beatles 'England's answer to The Beach Boys' and of course there was more than one Apple once upon a time) - not a hell of a lot. Aside from the fact that all of the above pieces of rubbish float around in my head where useful information could actually sit.

What Steve Jobs and surfing have to do with this post though - now there is a different story. Everything. For in their own ways they have been a part of the life that has happened to me recently, almost without any volition.                                                 

Because after a lot of what one, if one were honest with oneself, would call dithering, I have found what suits me in terms of work. How I work, what I do for work, and whom I work for. And the answers - to virtually (ha) all of those Jeopardy categories - finally come easily.

Most people can answer these 'what do I want to do when I grow up?' questions a lot earlier in life. They are extremely lucky. And they may not have had to deal with weird diseases hitting them at odd times and making them re-think their working ways.

So now I live in cyberspace to a large extent, and get to write, write, write. And then write some more. It may not be the type of surfing I envisaged as a 13 year old, but that doesn't make it any the less exciting.

And far better in the long run for my complexion. Because let's face it, my dreams of the freckles joining up to make a tan were fairly unrealistic to start with.

So today - I am grateful for the chance to weave an interweb. It turns out I am not too shabby at it. Considering my handicraft handicaps, it was a surprise to me as much as anyone.

Surf's up.

And I am very, very grateful.