Thursday, May 14, 2009

"all by yourself in the moonlight"

It’s really dire when it comes down to blogging about blogging, isn’t it? Perhaps it’s akin to writing poems that are about writing poetry – some publishers actually include that in their submission what-not-to-send guidelines, but do I care? I wrote one of those and not naming any names but a certain ex-editor of Poetry Review thought it was brilliant, which just goes to show that you should always write whatever you want to write and people will either like it or they won’t.

Having said that, I’m not about to say anything brilliant and insightful about blogging here, I’m just going to reflect a bit. This is really why I began blogging in the first place – to reflect about creative process, life and stuff, I had no particular agenda and was open to whatever might emerge, as long as it was clear (it probably wasn’t always) that whatever did emerge of a personal nature was not a plea for emotional support, reassurance or advice. I appreciate all (well most) comments, but the ones that please me the most are those that either take some kind of pleasure in the words I’ve put up, for whatever reason, or those that take off and turn into real conversation/debate or a bit of seriously playful nonsense. Regarding the latter, there have been some truly exquisite times in the comments section where we have made it up as we went along. I do like that kind of thing, and remember how when my daughter was little the games she liked were always about making things up – creative play in action, not knowing where it might lead or what may unfold. That’s actually the way I tend to write, for better or worse – it does sometimes help to have a map of where you might be heading; novelist writerfriend, if you are looking in: I am working/planning to work on this.

So, but: I have M.E. and have said as much in my profile. The fact of this is so huge and affects so much of life that not mentioning it would really be like trying to hide the elephant in the room. This is a place where I have sometimes lamented, spoken about the loss that comes with a condition such as this, but I have also on occasion stood back and simply looked at what it might mean in terms of creative process, how one thing might affect another. Having it has perhaps made me more of a “ditch poet” (one who looks at what is close up and near by) than the other kind of writer I might have been.

It has recently been levelled at me that I tend to sit on the edge of debate about M.E. – that I don’t get involved with the ‘dirt’. This is quite true and is worth thinking about. On the one hand I could say that it simply doesn’t draw me, it’s not what I do nor do I think I would be as effective as many of the people whose names appear on my sidebar, so I leave the activism to them and will sometimes lend my voice in support and offer appreciation for their efforts – we would be significantly the worse off without them. I was that kind of feminist also. I never went on marches, never put myself in the line of fire (writing a couple of poems for Spare Rib really doesn’t count) and I benefitted from the work of many brave and energetic women. It wasn’t laziness or cowardice, it was simply not the kind of thing I did, my gifts, such as they were, lay elsewhere and I never felt informed enough about particulars to offer something significant to any debate. The support I did give was more of the “ditch” kind.

I don’t offer an apology. I come here to do what I do and I don’t have an agenda so sometimes it’s a bit of this and a bit of that, and occasionally I shine a torch when the moment feels right and the fire is there to do it. Also, it was never my intention to be an M.E. blogger in the sense of that being the primary focus. If I had severe M.E. this might very well have been the case, but I am, as a blogfriend recently put it, sometimes “on the shitty end of moderate” and at other times just moderate – one of the more fortunate ones therefore. If I write about M.E., the point (for me) is really about the writing of it, whether the words are working in the way they should and giving utterance to something or other. I don’t always know what that something or other is when I am writing it – that goes with the territory of reflective practice I reckon.

I wanted to put up a youtube of “All By Yourself in the Moonlight” by the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band from years back but can only find the original song they took it from. Bonzo’s version had rude words and was funny, but this will have to do:


willow said...

As someone who loves words, images and creativity I enjoy reading your blog entries Signs....I reckon a little vicarious joy is in order what?:)

Reading the Signs said...

Hey, thanks Willow. Suddenly hoping that I didn't come across as trying to fish for compliments, but ach!

Vicarious joy? Sounds good to me.

Spirit of the wood said...

hello signs !! ( from another one with the " bastard illness " )

glad to see the bonzos :D

have bookmarked you

sam x

Reading the Signs said...

Hi Sam - this isn't actually the Bonzos because I couldn't find the one I wanted of theirs. But sounds as though you know their version too.

willow said...

Signs, I didn't view it as fishing for compliments at all! Just thought it an opportune time to tell you that I 'happened' upon your blog and enjoy reading it. If you like you can view it more as 'appreciation' than a 'compliment' :) I hide my illness in 'real life' and spend all my time trying to keep going, so, to sometimes just sit down at the PC for a daily dose of good writing is vicarious joy.

Zhoen said...

I love when writers claim they have nothing to say, then say so much, so well.

nmj said...

... which just goes to show that you should always write whatever you want to write and people will either like it or they won’t .

you are spot on, signs.

hope you enjoy your time in london.

Cusp said...

A lovely contemplative post. The good thing about blogging can be the little communities that spring up and that's what I like about coming and meeting the other folk I 'know'. It feels like a little village square.

Kahless said...

It is good to reflect.
I enjoy listening to your Signs.
One of the reasons I come here. I like what you write. I know you blog for you; the most important reason to blog methinks. Airing whatever you want. Or not want.

Reading the Signs said...

well mwah!, folks. Seeing all these lovely comments is like drinking a glass of good red wine - which I have just done, actually, and feel a bit pissed. But genuinely appreciateive nonetheless.

Pants said...

Hi Signs

I'm on the tail end of a good red myself. I always feel when I read your posts that I've been told something quite precious and very, very true. Thank you. The word ver is 'spign' - and you have plenty of that.



Reading the Signs said...

Come the revolution, good comrade Pants, it is the likes of yourself I will be calling on, Larrikins End or no.

Have taken your words to heart.