The Arts or Artifice? - (content changes daily)
Sifting through, 'the vagaries of time'; I came upon a poem, "The Lion and the Thistle", written, one assumes, for the forebears of the poet - but no name, nor note, was attached.
I began to read this paean to the parents of the writer; marvelling, as I did so, at the similarities between myself and this author from a bygone age.
His history and the story of his parents were like a letter that I might have written, once upon a time, when I, less jaded and cynical, would put pen to paper and explain the true love story between my Mother and my Father; and shed tears, as had this writer, that had dried upon the sheets of paper, that I now held between my fingers.
A word becomes a sentence, and the sentence handed down is.......life. But which?
Big fish, large pool? Big fish, small pool? Small fish, ocean? And why should life simply conjure up my fear of the sea? Or is it a fear of what's in it? And how long do I have in which to make a decision upon where or what I might do? Although that decision has probably already been made:
"You my son, will be someone who puts the letters of the alphabet into a certain order, enabling others to read those 'words' and, perhaps, allow them to escape to somewhere other than the existence that they know today; and, if you're very, very lucky, in the future you may be able to do the same with pictures. But I wouldn't place money on it!"
Ahhh! The confidence of parental care? I've never known a parent who hasn't lied to their child; for whichever reasons they might deem sincere (or correct). Perhaps that's why we learn to lie so young? We have no other option? But that's nurture, not nature. It's not natural to lie; and, perhaps, that's the reason why I write.
The excrement that pours forth from the nib of my pen, is but a pale shadow of that which issued from the mouth of the man that sat to my left. Profanity, followed curse word, followed oath, all uttered in the name of the county in which he proudly took residence.
And then he stopped........took breath.......and then began afresh.
His audience, shifting uneasily in their seats; giggling, reeling, giddy and astounded, as this vitriolic barrage broke in waves about their ears. Casting glances to each other, in search of affirmation, of what they all might do; and deciding to do nothing. For apparently his heart was good; though his mind, completely gone.
The writing process.......different for everyone.... I imagine.
By process, I mean: What time you get up, your writing implement of choice (pen, quill, nail)? What you write upon, paper, back of a cigarette packet (we all start somewhere!)? How long you write for (is it amount of words, or time)? Daily/Weekly/Monthly? Does it fit around your life, or is the reverse the truth? Do you have a particular voice and style, or are you still searching for that elusive lyric, tone and blend? With music in the background, or an outlook through the window? With coffee/without coffee (something stronger)? Cigarette smoked, or simply burning in an ashtray? In silence (with your inner voice)? Or with the everyday sound of life, quietly playing in the background (half-aware/not aware)? Do you multitask or juggle? Step away and walk around, step back, work, then step away again. Are your words a picture, a sound or a taste in your mouth? Tuesday/Chewsday/Choose Day?
As I see it, the only real option available for a boy who sings soprano; who is now no longer a boy (who sings soprano); is as a court eunoch.
To be honest, I don't really see either as an option (at least not anymore); not so much due to the actual matter of castration, but more to the actual mental imagery that occurs whenever I tend to think of the fact.
Christmas, round at the grandparents, a wooden bowl full of assorted nuts and a fearsome set of metal nut crackers, tailor-made for crushing and splitting the shell of a walnut.
It's the sound, as much as anything else.
Although I have had the privilege of watching a man in a bavarian bier keller crack those nuts between his bicep and forearm; I couldn't get over the feeling that he must have doctored those nuts in some way; because when I later tried it at home, it certainly didn't have the same effect; all I ended up with was a purple/blue bruise and an achingly sore muscle.
People often ask me - (Actually, they don't)
But if they did (often ask me); 'what is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you, whilst on one of your many adventure travels':
In fact, if you were to ask me, "Stephen, what is....". Although you don't have to call me Stephen; it could be Mister Singh, Mister Knight Singh, Steve, Stevie, EssKay, EssEss, EssKayEss.... anything that you like to be fair - which is probably what you're doing right at this very moment. Then I would have to say; "Well...... (and then use your name; because I feel that's a more personal thing to do, which would then undoubtedly bring a closer connection between the two of us, which I feel is very important for these kind of questions and conversations; I may even lean in a little toward you - not invading your space, of course - but to convey an intimacy, and that you are the only person that I am concentrating upon. Unless of course it's a group; in which case everything that I just said, has just gone out of the window.
There was a moment when I'd lost track; several moments, to be fair; when my life had taken unexpected turns, twists and some jarring, convulsive movements; that had eventually juddered to a halt; and left me stagnating and crumpled on the bottom, (or was it the top?), of an 'escher-like' stairwell.
Not complicated; simple really.
I was moving in circles and getting nowhere; and that was my choice; or the only choice that I felt that I had.
Crossroads; of which I'd had many, in my shortish span of life; and the turns that I had taken from them, always led back to the same place. Desolation, dissolution and displacement. Twenty-seven, and only three years left; if I were to die before I got old (and thirty was the key age, for entering that superannuated epoch); and here was I, living, still confused and no hope to turn my life around.