Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Navelgazing for 3 minutes

For Troubadour in particular – who worried I had been a bit silent recently.  I’m ok, just thinking!

The truth is that I’ve been wondering for ages, really, whether I’m still meant to be a writer.  I have no doubt I WAS meant to be a writer, before boys, before too many hormones got underway.  Rollicking through me and rearranging my brain in a way that made me think doing was more important than imagining, being, recording, singing associations and words together. 

Suddenly it was all about…what my nipples might feel like one day.  And that mad day when I looked in a mirror (like a thousand girls before me) and wondered if I looked any different now I’d had sex.  Now my little personal energy field, that essential BlackberyJuniperness had been so literally pricked and entered by someone else.  Did I glow a different colour?

It’s weird to think that doing things, and having experiences could be ‘wrong’ ever, when chosen, and not harming others (for the most part – how far do you want to Domino Effect your actions?  How much responsibility for others is yours – an argument I had many a time with Troubadour).

Maybe I don’t mean wrong.  It’s just that in all the doing, I lost the much needed equilibrium of being, seeing, recording, revising, sifting, understanding.

It’s like I cut off an arm, and ever since, I’ve been puzzled as to why I can’t hold the proverbial Cup of Life in two hands.  Why am I surprised?!

I think my writing was a link between my left and right brain.  By storyfying things I understood better objectively.  Subjective helped the appearance of objective.

Without the writing, I’m left in the land of the subjective only.  The (sometimes) horrible endless present moment that I can make no sense of, no larger picture, no point of any kind.

In that sense, I NEED to still be a writer.  I need to have these times, sitting at my desk, pen humming, or keyboard puttputting.  I need to bring me out and objectify, validify[1].  Get rid of, or make a cake of.  It’s all a scary unfinished soup otherwise.

And if I made some ‘art’ or money along the way, wouldn’t that be splendid?  Otherwise, I will sink in what Raymond Carver called ‘this position of unrelieved responsibility and permanent distraction […] every waking hour subject to the needs and caprices of [his] children.’[2]

I will sink.  I have been sinking.  (Fluffhead has been unwell again, a while.)

I have to open my mouth and blow the bubbles that will save me; make the hand gestures that will enable me to float.  Maybe even gain some direction, some momentum.

Apparently I’m a writer if I write or not.  More to the point:  I get a bit headsick and ill and unsteady at life if I don’t.  Can’t have that.  Only get to be this BlackberryJuniper once.

[1] Some of my best conversations with Fry and Alias True do exactly this: help us to understand what the hell we think and mean, a lot better than before.
[2] Fires, by Raymond Carver, London: Picador, 1986, pp.32-3.  I recommend this book to anyone who wants to write – he had an ordinary life to fight against, it will ring bells.  A grand struggle consisting of family, low paid jobs, drinking and such a need to write stuff down.  Brilliant book.


  1. This made me think about why I write. It's something I have always done, since I was about eight years old, a natural urge I cannot imagine life without. But that doesn't explain the why. On the other hand, I have a horror of navel-gazing, so I may pop my clogs without ever knowing the answer. This may be a very profound comment. Or not.

  2. Aha! Thank you!


    novel navel gaze
    alias Troubadour
    muffeking relieved

  3. Of course you're a writer. You will struggle and there my be long gaps filled with fluffhead but you've started the path and you will continue.