Under the current

 

Writing for me is like swimming in the ocean. Drifting beneath the surface with my eyes closed, feeling the current beat against my body like the heart beat of the earth. Overwhelming peace, overwhelming complexity. A swell of colour and ideas forming into life and shape around me like a shining coral reef – the more I think the more I see. But then the sheer expanse of the picture grips me like a brutal rip tide: I can see everything surrounding me but nothing in detail, nothing sufficiently in focus. Then that terrible feeling as the words swimming around refuse to form fully enough to be written down. And so my dip beneath peaceful waves becomes a struggle against their power. I kick down one the ocean floor to propel myself upwards to the surface. Oxygen burns my lungs as I emerge and I put down my pen, resigned. Today will not be my day for writing then.

 This piece is really about how sometimes I start writing and am overcome by the sheer detail of what I want to get down but don’t seem able to, and the corresponding confusion and dejection as I find myself giving up. I know it is a matter of discipline and concentration, but it is not a skill I have yet mastered. 

I spent the day in Leiden today where I will be starting my masters degree in September. My best friend and I sheltered from the frequent rain in local cafes and shops, discovering the wonderful corners of the city. I wrote this while I waited for her in what I hope will become my new regular coffee house!

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Where do fallen angels go?

Aren’t we all angels?

And what we think angels to be are merely reflections of who we want to be?

And when angels fall, isn’t that us falling from our idea of grace?

Angels are an embodiment of perfect goodness, a personification of the divine.

“Angels are in a better place”

No. Angels live among us. Some more disguised than others.

Lack of self-knowledge will lead us to believe that we are evil, and what a horrible word that is.

And though an angel may fall from grace, the abyss into which they fall has no end called evil – just loss, loss of self.

Evil was invented to represent that which we fear in ourselves…

So now we have angels and devils

Two extremes of a compass

What we want and what we don’t

– Are we the in between?

I wrote this piece a long time ago and just rediscovered it. It was just some ideas which came to me as I was sitting waiting for someone, staring out into space. At the moment I’m just working at night and sleeping in the day, so I haven’t had much time to go out and find inspiring things to write about. And the weather has been horrible, so I don’t want my writing to reflect my resentment at this so called summer. I don’t have a photo for this mainly because I wrote it so long ago, and I like to place photos with posts that are linked to them in some way, either by subject matter or what I was doing or feeling at the time I wrote it. So I’ve kept it simple. Have a wonderful Sunday everyone!

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Thoughts on love

But I might lose him”

Yes, you might. But I might lose you – should I love you any less?”

“I heard, that you settled down, found a girl and you’re married now…”

Love is an amalgam of our own complexities.

“Time flies, only yesterday was the time of our lives”

Love like you’ve never been hurt – for hurt can be as permanent or transient as love itself, and love is more fun – so why use one to measure the allowance of the other?

“So tell me when you hear my heart stop, you’re the only one who knows”

I don’t presume to write knowingly on something such as love, but these are just some ideas, some ideas of a wandering mind on a night time stroll.

“Know that when you leave, by blood and by me, you walk like a thief”

“Hold on, hold on, let me get these words out before I burst”

Love must always be tinged with doubt – how can we ever be truly sure of something which we have nothing against which to measure? We can never measure by the love of others, it might be that love is entirely different in each person…even though heart break and recklessness manifest the same…

I know this is a bit of a crazy post, but I was sitting listening to music and some of the lyrics of the songs just caught my attention. I wonder if anyone can identify where the quotes come from? To me they each have a little something to say about love, about being hurt by love. They just spoke to me and I thought I would share. 

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Timeless Writing?

How do you make your writing timeless? I read fragments of books which mention today’s biggest brands: Uggs, Starbucks… Will these references to images of the present compromise a work’s hold over future generations? Or will is make their impression stronger by providing a peep hole into a world which existed long ago and whose history fascinates readers in the future? Perhaps it is like Austen to us – a timeless window into a world no one living can still recount.

But this begs yet another question: is the propensity to reference current brands in fiction a comment on society itself? It hints that we need such ties to reality to engage with a story, to relate it to our own lives…It would be sad if it is the brands a character owns, rather than deeper elements of their humanity which speaks to us from the novels we read…

These are just thoughts which came to me today, I was reading a sample of a book on my kindle (you can get samples of books before buying them! Genius!), and the references to brands was insane – it felt like the author was trying to use them to draw you in…but I just felt conned, considering that the writing itself didn’t strike me as brilliant. Needless to say, by the time I finished the sample I didn’t go on to buy the book. So now I’ve moved on to Solar by Ian McEwan, and I’m reserving judgement for now! Although the style of writing is of the more intriguing type which I prefer, compared with the more obvious intrigue of plot which this other book suffered from. But these are all just personal opinions of course. Anyway! Enough of my rambling. The picture isn’t really related to the piece, more shows the way I’ve been spending my time while not at work and while the rare Netherlands sun is out: sitting in my favourite cafe, reading the economist on my Kindle, and drinking the best iced coffee I ever tasted! 

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Solitude

I have a gift for solitude. I do not dread it like the lonely do. One is never lonely if one’s heart is soaring, expanding into the empty space which the departing others have left behind. Capabilities for thought stretch and feel into the corners of the empty house, finding ideas not previously explored. I become Queen of my domain, the domain of my mind. And so my thoughts flow through my pen onto the paper and for a while the world makes perfect sense. Not because I have come to see an impeccable order in things, but because I find peace in the lack of order.

Sink, sink down into the crevices of the mind and creativity will bubble up, flowing through a pen as a river is pulled towards the ocean – as if by gravity. It matters not really what words spring from this solitary wandering into creativity – as long as what you find is a way to understand what’s around you. After all – you need not share them.

It feels good to be writing again! Such a long absence from the blogging interwaves has done me no good at all. But uni drained me of the energy for writing, and just about everything else. But it makes me feel alive to set pen to paper again, and this piece is about those moments whenI have to sit down and write, or I feel like I might explode. I’ve been settling into my new home in The Hague, and yesterday was one of the first days when I have had the space and time to sit and relish solitude, without feeling the need to drown out the silence with TV or music. So here it is, my first post on the re launch of “ideas of a wandering mind”!

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