Today’s post will heavily feature the words of other writers which currently make far more sense to me than my own.
Today I attempted to write a thank you card for youngest’s teacher. He’s been an especially marvellous teacher, drawing out the daftness of the boy to the point where he can now confidently get himself into trouble most days. I wrote something like that in the card, but on re-reading, saw that I had missed out words and also used my other child’s name and also crossed out a word, then drew an arrow to it and wrote ‘bollocks’ next to it. As if I were writing a card to my best mate. As if I were an insane person.
So if this blog is making sense so far, it’ll be because of spell-check. I wish I had a life-check option, a button I could press that would immediately highlight all my mistakes before I hit ‘publish’ and make them anyway. It would also give me concrete alternatives, correct paths I could rely on to be the right ones.
The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu wrote: “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
Easy for him to say. He was a right obstinate arsehole. Legend has it that Tzu lolled about in his mother’s womb for 62 years until she finally gave birth to him, a fully-grown fella with a beard, whilst leaning against a plum tree. Talk about resisting the natural flow of things…
The tricky bit is that even the most spontaneous changes require decisions to be made. You can be just going along in life, same, same, same forever and then…BAM; something happens to upset your apple cart and you scrabble around, frantically trying to pick up all your organic Granny Smith’s and stick ’em back in the cart when you suddenly stop and realise, hang on – why am I even dragging this thing around all the time? I don’t even like sodding apples. I need to get me some bananas.
Are you following me? I’m talking about life…
Novelist Walter Mosley wrote: “We are not trapped or locked up in these bones. No, no. We are free to change. And love changes us. And if we can love one another, we can break open the sky.”
Which sounds smashing, but makes love sound as easy as peeling a banana, when in reality it can be as hard as peeling an apple using a bread knife and then, several hours and three cut fingers later, remembering you don’t even like sodding apples.
Bukowski wrote: “Your life is your life / don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission / be on the watch / there are ways out / there is light somewhere.”
Dank is such a good word, meaning unpleasantly moist or wet. Or unexpectedly wet. Like when you reach into your handbag for something and your fingers brush against a surprising wetness and you peer gingerly inside to find a forgotten half-eaten apple, turning brown, rotting and dank in amongst all your most precious possessions.
After quoting all these fellas, let’s have some words from a woman called Jodie Whittaker, who has just brought about a change so momentous, so apple-cart-upsetty that men all over the world are currently frantically gripping onto their meat-and-two-veg, whilst weeping at pics of Tom Baker in an outsized scarf…
“Doctor Who represents everything that’s exciting about change. The fans have lived through so many changes and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one.”
Let us not fear the new Doctor Who with the vagina! Let us not fear upsetting the apple cart! Or, as another living legend wrote, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes well you just might get what you need.”
Which may well turn out to be a banana. Or y’know, something more profound…