Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Lightening ?

It is a dark and stormy night and I thought it was time to put up another blog post. Why this should be I can’t quite say as nothing remarkable has happened in the world of Signs or, at any rate, nothing that I would care to properly identify, though I should perhaps mention that the poet Collin Kelley, who I invited to a Poetry Café at Lewes Library, gave a splendid reading last Friday, even though the number of people that showed up was disappointing, and this in a town so chock full of poets you can hardly move for bumping into them. But no matter – the ones that did come were glad to be there.

I have a silence in my head. I am not sure whether I want to hear something or not: on the one hand it is disconcerting to drop a stone into the deep well of the mind and find that there is no splash, no echo; on the other hand when the sound that comes back is not a splash but a strange sound that makes one back away from the edge, the silence is not necessarily such a bad thing. I am not in the vein to meet Grendel or his mother.

I have been re-reading bits of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road and find I am still carried away on the sheer energy of the writing as he (whoever) travels from east to west and from north to south, hitch hiking, scrounging petrol, drinking, smoking. It is the progenitor, I suppose, of all the road movies and strongly romantic. There is something about the beat writers and their lives that has always drawn me, a vicarious pleasure I get from the vitality that drives them – perhaps because I myself have never been what is called “robust”.

I have signed up to do a certain Process in December to see if I can bring about a change in my long-standing Condition. You will notice how coy I am being about naming anything – this is because I would rather not draw a host of desperate, hopeful or angry googlers; there has been much heated debate about the various Processes currently around that are meeting with varying degrees of success. There seems to be a belief that it may be possible to reprogramme oneself, or at any rate the hypothalamus, so as to bring about extraordinary changes in the body’s responses.

I have nothing to lose but a few hundred pounds. When I told my mother that she thought I was planning to go on some kind of crackpot diet – in which case it would have been a story of the incredible shrinking, not to say disappearing, Signs. And I have no intention of doing that – yet.


Anonymous said...

It sounds like quite the opposite of "silence," dear Signs -- novels, poetry, thinking of the upcoming "process" -- an active inactivity perhaps.

I am behind you in your belief that a change can occur -- as long as it is possible, then it is not impossible. And as long it is not impossible, then why not? Why can't it be achieved? I wish you great success, as always.

Kahless said...

I too wish you every success in December; as you say, what have you to lose except a it of money. ut look at what you could gain. I am sure it will be challenging, but I will be thinking of you dear Signs.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Silence of the mind - a wonderful opportunity to just listen to the stillness and see what rises.

As for Processes - ah yes, been there, done that, got a bundle of ticket stubs... You'll find what's right for you and yes, we can reprogramme our bodies and parts of them, but one has to know and understand why one needs to ie what has made things go wonky in the first instance - and getting to grips with that can be a whole other matter.
Good luck with the Process, you will always come away with something - and sometimes you need a collection of somethings for the whole to come together - she said talking in riddles. :-)

That's so pants said...

Hi Signs

This is such a wonderful piece. You understand yourself so profoundly. I'm in awe. Perhaps the Condition allows you to fine tune in a way people with average fitness can't do or even imagine doing.

Perhaps people with the Condition are like athletes - except at the opposite end of the physical fitness spectrum - in terms of how tuned in they are to what their bodies are telling them.

This is all coming from the top of my head, (where there is a rather unattractive clip holding my messy hair in place), so you might be cringing at my crude analysis.

However, I DO think that the principles of the Process you're describing and the mental disciplines that athletes practise are probably not a million miles from each other.

Kerouac - love him. Always have. Did my undergrad dissertation on him. On The Road is still my favourite book - ever. It cheers me more than any other book. If I were about to embark on a life changing adventure, it would be the book I would choose. In fact, I'm taking it to India with me along with The Inheritance of Loss (which I haven't yet read.

Work hard, be well.



Reading the Signs said...

David, good words as always, blogfriend, and yes, that is what I'm putting my money on, so to speak: the idea of the possible not being impossible.

Thank you, good Kahless - and if thoughts can travel then yours will come and help the Process.

Hi Vanilla, I understand what you are saying, though I probably do not have as impressive a collection of ticket stubs as you. But this particular Process, so I believe, does not require one to much in the way of psychological/emotional delving. It is something quite mechanical that one can supposedly learn. I think this is what impressed me about it.

Thank you, people.

Reading the Signs said...

Dear Pants,

Your words have done me good - again. I like the notion of the athlete at the opposite end of the physical spectrum, and the fine tuning.

A bulldog clip, is it? I have one of those. Very serviceable, as Miss Brodie would say. Use it all the time.

I want to hear about India - you will, I hope, be telling us like it is - on the road?

Collin said...

For what it's worth, I wasn't disappointed in the turnout at all. It was such a lovely little audience and I loved hearing their poems. Thank you again for having me. I definitely want to come back. :)

Fingers crossed for the Process.

fluttertongue said...

Here's a happy little flutter that you are going to take the plunge x

Reading the Signs said...

Thanks Collin and Fluttertongue

NMJ said...

Dearest Signs, I have a copy of On the Road that a medical student gave to me years ago in San Fran, I am going to look for it now. Both you and Pants have made me want to read a few lines of Kerouac's... I know only too well the maze you have been through to improve your health - I think you are maybe a grade up from me, energy wise (not that it's a competition!) but I know the hell you have been through (and go through) and hope with all my heart that you can get some relief. There is def something dodgy goin on with our adrenaline levels, I have no doubt about that.


Reading the Signs said...

Dear NMJ,

D'you know what - after all these years I still don't really know what fuck is going on. It's a bit like how I am with my car. My present one actually functions quite nicely but I had a couple (Metros) that spent half their lives in the garage and kept kind of dying on me. I never got to grips with what the matter was and I doubt if it would have made any difference anyway.

And appearances can be deceptive, can't they?

Looking forward to reading your book - splendid achievement.

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