A reminder of things to come.

This will be an unusually introspective post. Although I guess a post of any sort is unusual, these days.

I’ve had the kind of day where things go right, but regardless you feel numb to the positives. I’m usually a shower kind of person, but after dinner I decided to have a bath, since I didn’t feel like I was going to achieve much else anyway. So I went on 8tracks and put on some playlists tagged “bath”, and grabbed the Murakami book I’ve been getting around to reading (A Wild Sheep Chase) and for the first time, decided to do that thing that other people say that they do, where you lie down in the bath and read a book.

Personally I’ve always thought it a terrible idea, as my common sense says that it’s a wet-book disaster waiting to happen. But this evening I did it anyway. And then I read this:

I was twenty-one at the time, about to turn twenty-two. No prospect of graduating soon, and yet no reason to quit school. Caught in the most curiously depressing circumstances. For months I’d been stuck, unable to take one step in any new direction. The world kept moving on; I alone was at a standstill. In the autumn, everything took on a desolate cast, the colours swiftly fading before my eyes. The sunlight, the smell of the grass, the faintest patter of rain, everything got on my nerves.

I remember having to stop for a moment at this, shutting my eyes. Balancing the book above the almost-still water with one hand, pinching the bridge of my nose with the other. He’d got me, in a crystalline moment etched on a page. In that way Murakami has of making the ordinary extraordinary, of freezing a moment like an amber-trapped moth. Understanding me without ever having met me.

Alone, that wasn’t enough. I carried on reading. After a while the water began to cool, so I carefully tossed the book onto a dry patch of floor and plunged my head under the water, letting it tease out my hair. The entire time, 8tracks had been selecting songs for me to listen to, even if I hadn’t been paying much attention over my book. When I surfaced, there was a song by Daughter playing, Medicine, which I had not heard before. And again, another moment of clarity.

You could still be,
what you want to.
What you said you were,
when you met me.

I felt both hopeful and sad. To be honest, since first becoming depressed I’ve not really been able to cry properly – tears just don’t come. Today though, they almost did.

As my catharsis ebbed, I got a flush of ideas. A short story. Two alternative ways to write the short story. An attempt at thinking how to write a more surreal piece; something that I have not tried before. A need to write in my diary for the first time in years, or my blog. I felt, well, how I thought I should do. I felt like I’d been given a glimpse of my potential.

I felt both hopeful and sad. Sad, because I deeply miss being the way I used to be when I started this blog. Hopeful, because maybe I can get some of that back. I don’t want to be the same, because I realise well enough that the clock can’t be turned back. But there are parts of my mind that I feel need reclaiming, that are buried under the silt of numbness left when the rain has passed by. I want to dig up the little music boxes in the sand, clean them off and have a listen. At the moment all I have is an echo scattered amongst sea shells.

But that’s enough to make me smile.

I’m not even sure if anyone reads this anymore, but I wanted to write it down. I’m going off to write that story now. It’s been a while, but hopefully this blog entry has knocked the worst of the dust off my keyboard.

If all goes well, I’ll be back soon.

Qc.

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The House That Jack Built.

It’s my first time here for a while, I know. Writing hasn’t been coming as naturally to me of late. When I actually do it, it feels great; but being able to actually sit and write something worthwhile feels like a Herculean effort for the most part. My original intention on sitting down tonight was to begin a flash fiction entry for this year’s Inktears competition (something I’ve been intending to start for about two months). However, the blank screen stared at me until I changed tack, and started to write this post instead.

The problem with having no limits is that it can leave you feeling rather lost. You are in the situation of having to stake out your own frontiers, guarding your little corner of civilisation from the terrors of the unknown. Where do you start?

I’ve been having to do this in a much more general way, too, I now realise. Since about Easter I’ve been at home, trying to work out what to do with my life. Not in a bad way, as such, but I have been finding it rather difficult to live in the middle of a void. I’ve very suddenly had to deal with sorting out my own life, without much in the way of outside influences (i.e. the day-to-day responsibilities of a University timetable).

It’s been difficult.

So I guess this is me, trying to create something from nothing. Making my own way of doing things, my personal house of cards. I’m getting the hang of it, maybe. But we’ll see. We’ll see.

The Post Office:

Disclaimer:

'Quintconsequential' is a word of my own invention, despite the definition in the style of the Oxford English Dictionary featured on the site. By all means, use it, whisper it, shout it from the rooftops. But please, remember that you heard it here first!