Monday, January 19, 2009

Via Negativa

I’m not going to try and analyse why this should cheer me as much as it does, and it has to be said that I was already dosed up with cheer from last night: for we went to see the daughter play piano and sing, youngest brother on guitar with his songs, and various other young, gifted and energetic on a barge in Battersea; and for uplift and cheer it doesn’t get much better than that.

Perhaps there is a connection to be made, and I am not about to make it intelligently, for which no apologies. And I have also to refer to recent dialogue with my sister who, seeking to do me some good, sent me a list of Ten Steps to Happiness. Me, a veteran of Lightning and other Processes that seek to change your life by reprogramming the way you think about things! Me, who gets up each morning (circumstances allowing, and lets not be too literal anyway) and says ok world, what shall we play today! Me of the two-fingered salute that delivers equal amounts of fuckyous, peacebabys and hey kids, lets get creative and party! "Have you been practising the Ten Steps," she asks. Have I been practising! Sister, not only have I done the advanced course, I have re-written the whole programme. And to cut a swathe through volumes of verbiage (which might have made me a bloody fortune), much of it can be summed up in the above image and by the old adage of Do Your Own Thing as long as it doesn’t involve giving me Good Advice and telling me like it is.

Lets get radical and practice a bit of negative thinking along the lines of Life is Shit And Then You Die, actually quite liberating when you think about it because from that point, everything else that isn’t a complete slap in the face is a bonus, and it’s more rock an roll which by anyone’s standards is a good thing. Not to mention that one of the best friends I ever had was a miserable, pessimistic sonofagun who had a poster of a naked woman all tied up in barbed wire stuck on the wall by his bed (whereon the sheets were never washed) and he still grizzled about it looking too much like Ideal Home. But he had a mind that sparked and sparkled and gave money to every beggar who ever begged for whatever reason on the grounds that if he were ever in that position it would be the least someone could do. Nice is not necessarily Good, and vice versa. And Positive Thinking does not necessarily amount to a creative life well-lived.

I reserve the right to change my mind about all or any part of this tomorrow.

Thank you.


Anna MR said...

Hear hear, Seester Signs.

May I also say hello to Ms Pants - hello Ms Pants. Love you Ms Pants.

Thank you both.

x x

Zhoen said...


I mean, nurturing gloom is a sort of trap, but so is only seeing the nice. Some of us just see the darkness better, lets the bright spots shine more. Depth allows us to grieve as well as exult.

Collin Kelley said...

Positive thinking is, sometimes, WAY overrated.

It sounds like you had a good time this weekend. Music always brings light into my life.

Kahless said...

Hear hear
(though I see Ms Anna has pinched my line already)

Reading the Signs said...

You're welcome, Sees, and you certainly may. Pants? Mwah!

Zhoen, I like how those capital letters leapt out at me. Thanks.

Collin - hello NOVELIST (and congratualtions again)! Yes, a good time. Which allows me a bit of leeway on the Negativa.

Kahless, it's fine to hear it again.

Cusp said...

Oh I love a good grump and a well matured (as in wine or cheese)moan. Good on yer ! Don't let nobody tell you how to live your life baby. Do your dance and be proud.
(Broke out of the nunnery and legged it down the boozer for a lock in and some smokes !)

nmj said...

hey signs, i left a comment yesterday evenng but i think it got chewed... just to say i love your friend with the barbed wire.

Reading the Signs said...

Hey Sister Cusp, you're getting neither grump nor moan. Pure rockanrant, this. Have a couple for me while you're at the boozer.

The work ver leprechauns seem to get hungry, NMJ. He had a bit of bedcover pinned over the window. I think he thought too much daylight was bad for the system. Anyway he was never up before 2pm.

Ms Baroque said...

Yes but how do people pay the bills, sleeping till 2pm? Well, maybe they work at night.

I was cheered as soon as I got to Ms P's bed. Looks like she's fine down there.

As far as happiness, I guess it's whatever floats your boat - Wallace Stevens lived a full creative life, working in an insurance company. But let's not forget all those people who have had great big full creative lives, and shit lives. Well, again, it's whatever you want. I guess the main point is that energy spent raging against the machine is energy wasted...

Reading the Signs said...

Mature student grants, Ms B, once upon a time.

Wasted energy? Apparently not.