16 September 2011

Singing my own Song

Twitter occasionally sends me something good.

Today I received a quote from Osho, who is a very interesting and entertaining man. I use the present tense even though he is dead. There's no problem being interesting, entertaining and dead all at once as far as I'm concerned. That's what us writers are all about.

Osho wasn't a writer, he said stuff which someone wrote down and produced loads of books from. One of my favourites is "Compassion" which includes a rather off putting (at first) dvd of the great man sitting in a big chair talking sibilantly through his beard. Once you get used to him, he's fine. He does take a bit of getting used to, though.

In "Compassion" he tells me that the basis of all love is love for oneself. This is not what I was taught at school.

Today's quote involved Zen. "It does not argue, it simply sings its own song."

That's what I want to do, sing my own song.

Anyway, check Osho out on You Tube if you haven't already. Then read all his books.

Another, less bearded and much more immediately agreeable man who also has a lot of good sense and inspirational wisdom to impart is my friend Christian Pankhurst. He's not dead, on the contrary he's very much alive and you can get free live access to him by clicking this link:


7 September 2011

In the Wrong

If you're anything like me, you probably can't remember the last time you were wrong about something.  As for admitting it, well, that's not going to happen.  Ever.

Imagine my surprise and consternation on discovering something I was wrong about and am willing to admit it.

It all started when I went to put a few tins of beans in the big cupboard in the utility room.  As I pushed the tins onto the crowded shelf, they displaced several empty jam jars which threatened to shower down a hail of deadly glass projectiles and injure me terribly.

I complained loudly to my wife, who was responsible for carefully washing and saving every glass jar we emptied.  "They're taking up valuable space."  I complained "There's no room for my beans or any other nutritious foodstuffs for that matter."

Now you see where the stilted dialogue in my novels comes from.  I am only reporting the pedantic way in which I carry on a conversation.

Grumpily, the only appropriate disposition for carrying out household tasks, I decanted the glass items into several cardboard boxes and dumped them in the conservatory.  The effort of actually chucking them out proved too much for me and they remained cluttering up the place until very recently.

A neighbour's tree has a branch which hangs over our garden.  This became replete with green plum-type fruit which began to litter the unfinished decorative stone surround to the geodome.  The rest of the stone has been ordered from Frankie but he has been in Kent for the last few months and hasn't got round to delivering it.  That's OK as we will probably change the design to incorporate growing beds instead.  It's more in keeping with our permaculture design ethos.

Anyway, these plums needed picking up so I threw the rotton ones onto the compost heap and made jam with the others.  Seven pots of delicious jam.

A friend has plum trees and so we made some jam with those.  The courgette harvest has been a particularly good one and yielded huge amounts of chutney.  When we were at Brands Hatch last week, the hotel car park had crab apple trees which we took advantage of and made crap apple jelly.  More pots were needed for this.

The boxes in the conservatory are emptying fast, at this rate I may need to buy some jam jars.  They cost £1 each!

So, I admit I was wrong.

I suppose there has to be a first time for everything.

1 September 2011

Snappy Titles

Pick the title, then write.

I do recommend this approach.  A good title can inspire and provide focus. 

Sometimes, I find what I write veers off the title's intent but that's fine as well.  As long as something's getting written.

Here is a list of my titles:

Completed Novels:

Technical Difficulties
Acceptable Behaviour
Divine Intervention
Due Diligence

Work in Progress:

Proceeds of Crime

Short Stories:

By The Light

What do those titles conjure up?  What can they possibly signify?

Aren't you just dying to read them?

Be patient.  Or ask nicely.

Isn't it a Shaman

Couldn't resist the title. Cheap shot you might think but there is a deeper thought behind this execrable pun.

It's about me actually living the life I am meant to live, to the full, to the best of my ability.

Instead of that, I take a few choice words of wisdom and regurgitate them when challenged. Here I am, in the present, in the moment, embodied, living in the now. You get the picture?

Thinking about it is good. Learning about it is good. Reading about it is good.

But living it is what it's all about, and that's a different thing altogether. Knowing how to do something is useful. Being able to do it is an entirely different thing.

However, the key for me is getting it wrong, falling short, letting myself down, acting like a giddy kipper and not beating myself up about it. Not even regretting it. Not feeling I haven't progressed, will never get it 'right'. Only observing, not judging. Being real, not wrapping my actions up in some old story.

This may sound a little bit odd but I am trying to explain how I am at this very moment. Writing, letting the words flow and not being judgemental regarding their meaning or merit. OK, I know what they say, I know if I like it, I know if I regard them as valid or well written. I have the choice to be like this or not. I have the ability to switch them off and on. I can even decide to erase the lot of them.

I suppose you are already aware of the outcome, after all, you must be reading something.

The title gives an example which made me think about myself. I am what I am, as Popeye reminds me, and that's all that i am. A shaman I'm not. No matter how many weekend courses in shamanism I attended I can never be a shaman. I might learn a bit about what a shaman is but no amount of information can change my nature.

I'm me. The sooner I get used to it, the better.

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