'PATHWAY TO PEACE' Why so damn anxious? Think you're a big fat failure? Not giving enough? You feel left behind? Useless with a flabby mind? And no direction? If you can... relax. Things happen when they happen: To each a season. Don't seek approval: Our only judge and jury Is simply ourself. On the road of life We don't race anyone else: Move to your own beat.
The blogpost where Buffy tries to be all clever and pretend he's a bit wise like Socrates, but convinces no-one.... This is expanded from a comment I made in response to the excellent and erudite Mindfump. [He's great. You should go read his stuff.] 'DIVERSITY OF MIND' At the risk of sounding particularly smug, I pride myself on having impeccable taste in friends... indeed, without exception, all my friends are delicious and fabulous people. They also all rate extremely highly in the compassion stakes... one of the biggest reasons, really, that they're my friends. They're also all more clever than myself [it's not hard, to be fair] -- it's always good to have wise and clever friends. They raise us up. However, this circle of friends also has a wide diversity of political and religious viewpoints -- from hippie liberals to stodgy socialists to curmudgeonly conservatives -- sometimes dissimilar to, and occasionally at odds with, my own. Though of course, these disagreements are always chummy... if possible, I do everything in "chummy" fashion, as is my way. I've always liked to debate in the fashion of the "Socratic Dialogues" of ancient Athens... albeit in a much less erudite fashion, and with much more wine [as is the way at Chez Buffy, or my local pub]. I definitely welcome this chummy sense of disagreement and debate: after all, if my friends all had identical or even very similar views, and furthermore always agreed with me, then that'd be the most direct route up my own arse that I could possibly take. Possibly due to my sense of duality, I'm also firmly of the belief that, agree with them or disagree, the majority of the UK's political parties have their angels, and have their demons. Certainly you won't find me turning my back on anyone for their political views [within reason... he added, quickly covering himself]. Also, my own political views are quite fixed, but they can get moved a little depending on new facts/arguments I encounter. That's good. It's evolution. But is being welcome to a diversity of views going out of fashion? The more I read about politics and hear the comments of people online, the more bigoted, polarised, and restricted are the views that I hear. This has been happening for some time, I think: the voting for, and reaction to, both President Trump and Brexit may have firmly underlined this mutually antagonistic tribalistic mentality, but it didn't produce it. Is tribalism the nature of online commenting, or does it reflect the UK at large, the USA at large, and the world at large? A while back, out of weariness I had to turn my back on both Facebook and twitter. My reason? It simply wasn't fun the way it used to be. I felt like I was drowning in a deluge of bigotry, emotive exclusionism, elitism, virtue-signalling, and more bigotry. Socratic it ain't. So... -- Is it wrong of me to be jaded? -- Is it wrong of me to be intolerant of intolerance? -- Is it OK that I want to believe in compassion and good sense and democracy and progressiveness and patriotism... but at the same time, am very suspicious of people who bandy those words around as if they're going out of fashion? And, as with so many things, I remain confused. Heck, will I even be voting on June 8th? I suppose I won't know 'til June 8th. But, for the time being, I'll be proud to encompass diversity of mind. For me, that's where Utopia begins.
Hmm, in a subtly romantic mood, eh Buffy? How peculiar. And it doesn't seem to have been the wine, either... Anyway, it makes a refreshing change, preoccupied as I have been with anxiety and the wellbeing of chums recently. This has its genesis in an intriguing conversation with a lovely and inspirational lady in a beautiful country pub this lunchtime... sometimes the country pub days make the other days bearable [!] 'ROMANTIX' Let me see True Love: The sweet nectar of one soul Poured into twin cups. Grown ups? They settle. The sane, sensible option: So I won't take it. I've settled before: It brought misery to all; My heart not in it. Love with all your might: The heart, mind, body and soul Must all be adored. I'll love, unreserved: Immature yet absolute; For that's who I am.
'IN THE MIDST OF THE ECLIPSE' Foulness in the air. The heady aromas of awfulness. Bitterness surrounds. Dark days. Dreary days. Days of ice cold apathy. So? If you've any energy left at all? For fuck's sake: smile. Even if it's a bad one, Or a slightly embarrassed half-smile: If it has warmth in it, it'll do. Give out as many smiles as you can. Because, after all? For some people that you smile at? It will be the only warm thing They'll get in their life today. Be the pinprick of starlight; Be the stab of blazing light; The blazing light of sweet humanity Amid the freezing darkness. A single smile is a flame That sets souls and dreams alight.
'LEISURES' Sweet Easter weekend? A languid, reflective time; Believer or non-believer. Appreciating life; And what we love Or have loved. Four days? Four moods: Hopeful, hearty, Stressed and sad. These moods? Sometimes consecutive Occasionally concurrent. For now I'll be content To be inconsistent. Hot handful of friends; Many mirthful words, Thoughtful phrases, Delicious nonsense And a few small drops Of lusty Socratic wonder. Lashings of saucy cider; Whimsical whisky later: Drowning in the delight Of a balmy British spring. Days of jubilant joie de vivre; Heady laughter to drown out The steady hum of darkness. The final day begins: Time for WordPress? Not enough. Time to enjoy the company Of blogging chums? Not nearly enough. A most happy addict, me: Wanting more of my fix.
Phew... and what an April it is. Don't get me wrong; things are nowhere near as bad as they were in January-February, but that's not to say they're fabulous. Far from it, indeed. My mind is ever-fuzzy, and the anxiety comes in waves; none of this being helped by my ongoing task of the week. A lot of my everyday life consists of emails and communications, but at the moment I'm trudging my way thru a complete proofread of an 88,OOO-word manuscript. The thing about such extensive proofreading is that I end up temporarily going what I often call "text-blind"... words themselves cease to have proper meaning, chunks of text just go blurry in my mind, and I get fed up of "words". The worst part of this? I've lost most of what I like to call my creativity. Proofreading really crushes the creative spirit. I know it won't last forever, and I know [and am content, indeed] that my own literary or poetic talents are modest ones: but two things can be noted clearly from all this over-charging of my mind:  How much I dislike the 'fussy' element of editing and the like. Perhaps because of a certain finicky nature, I find such things stifling. I'm content to avoid such things, if possible.  How important creativity is for me. I do believe it makes all the difference between a healthy mind, which focuses on the good, and an unhealthy mind, which obsesses and gives myself a hard time from dawn 'til bedtime [and that's assuming I sleep]. I'm assuming point  is pretty much universal... particularly for anyone with a sensitive mind and soul. But I have to say, for all the tribulations that my own mind brings me, interacting with kindred creative people is worth its weight in gold. So anyway; be creative, mes amis... and remain so, just as much as you wish. 'MISTER PROOFREADER' Drowning in red ink. Rubbing my weary, red eyes. And red mist rising. Words clog up my mind; Literate suffocation. Time to get fresh air. But I love stories; Keep me clear of minutiae And all will be well.
'EPHEMERALITY' Misty, cloudy mind; I feel too disconnected. My thoughts need order. I understand now: "Out of sync" and "out of reach"; Two perfect phrases. What would I give, now? To feel attached to the world? A priceless feeling. The mistake I make? In feeling fleeting despair To be permanent. Each day? It brings gifts: Hope and possibility. So we must reach out. Write yourself a note: DESPAIR IS EPHEMERAL. Stick it on your fridge.