mago

Wet Cardboard

I wanted to write about the Interesting Woman in waiting, but it did not work. It is a shame. I collected my links, read through them, checked dates ‘n stuff, an outline of the text has already formed in my head – it is the way it works.
Years ago when I had to write more or less regularly in a small kind of gazette on topics related to a certain company that happened to be my contract partner, it only worked when I had the stuff sorted & the plan in my head. And when the deadline was very very near. When I reached the “oh-damn-that-sh**-and-write-it-down-now-zone”.
Also, when I was teaching ages ago, I prepared the topic – like a student – only the day before, read what had to be read and wrote notes ; sometimes it formed itself just when I was already on the train and had to face the audience two hours later. Sadly the efforts of the students were only seldom up to the point that was to be shown, they often missed and I amended their papers, but of course that was why I sat on this side of the table.
Or it was my fault at all, because I did not prepare them well enough, possibly.
I seriously do not know. I may have expected too much, too much oversight, too much understanding of the broader picture I tried to facilitate to them.
Today I feel angry. Angry at meself. It is like I would bonk against a soft wall, like a box of wet cardboard I can not hit through.
I get lost in links, I follow distractions – damn Wikipedia – I find meself doing a puzzle.
This is exactly why my doctoral thesis never took off – I never finished the collecting phase : I wormed myself into the secondary literature, followed links to far out texts that would be hard to reach, even today, despite the scanning orgies of google, despite the efforts of libraries around the world to bring stuff online, there is a lot still on the fringe, exactly there where it becomes murky, where things start to fall apart, where biographies become “interesting”, barely bearable sometimes, where people/authors simply vanish, where the fog starts … there is always fringe.
And in moods like these, I look around this book repository I call my flat, and for the tenthousands time I swear that I’ll sell the crap off, knowing perfectly well that nobody will buy this rotting ammassement of paper.  I hate it.  I hate it, and can’t without. I hate the dust, I feel stuck – I am stuck.
Writing applications is a kind of sport nowadays ; I am over fifty, have a coloured working biography with some blanks, and accept no shit no more, it may shine through sometimes.
This sounds ridiculous from a bus driver. And this is exactly what I am, an employed bus driver who transports handicapped children twice a day for statutory minimum wage in the lowest possible income group ; “no skills required” as the job description says.
And it’s all right, I do not complain. In fact I like the company of “my” “handicapped” boys more than … some other’s. They do not lie.
They can’t.
I just feel the need to change what I still can change. When the cardboard’s dry again.
Please accept my excuses & apologies, the mentioned Interesting Woman, and Rudolf the old anarchist, will be treated soon, I just felt not up to task today. Blame the heat.
Now that you read through this silly prattle, be awarded with some music : Give it a chance, King Crimson’s Starless. Let’s escape for twelve minutes.

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6 thoughts on “Wet Cardboard

  1. “look around this book repository I call my flat”

    Same here. I look around my place and see stuff that may well have some monetary value, but no meaning to anyone else. Recently I have been discarding some of the more ancient peripheral things, with more to go. I will be left with my core collection of stuff.

  2. I understand what you mean by feeling stuck and wanting something to change. I miss my old jobs where I was on the road a lot. I quite enjoyed it. But circumstances and duties prevent me from doing so at this time. And some days, I feel stuck, even though I like my coworkers and the job itself is so much less stressful and easier than what I used to do. But I miss the action, the challenges, and, as crazy as it sounds, the excitement and adrenaline. Someday, I’ll get back there.

    But until then, I try to focus on what I do like now, like more time off and less stress (no stress, really, compared to my last positions). And I like being able to have plans to enjoy time off. Who knows?

    When things have sorted themselves out, I’m sure I’ll be in different place, probably, hopefully by next year. But life is always unpredictable. So I hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

    And always, I remember the Serenity Prayer when things get frustrating:

    Grant me the Serenity to accept the things that I cannot change,
    The Courage to change the things that I can,
    And the Wisdom to know the difference.

    Have a good weekend.

  3. I feel like I should visit and help you declutter…. which I’m sure will be easier than sorting out my own ridiculous clutter.
    I have heaps of junk. I’ll make the heaps into sculpture… or curtains.
    Sx

  4. YES – right to the point LẌ, the meaning of things. Objects charged with meaning – but it is only in my head, in nobody’s elses. Those things were in the possession of people I knew, I was related to, who are now all dead. There is simply no one else left who has an idea of what this thing means to me. For other people it is just a more or less “nice” object.

    Again, right to the point Eroswings – the need to recognise the difference, and the guts to actually act on this insight !
    I really wish you all the luck, that it comes true what you are working on, that you’ll find yourself in a better place over time. But as you mentioned, life has its own ways. And the longer one lives, the more one (hopefully) gets prepared for the “big surprise” : Viel Glück !

    Thank you for the offer, dearest MsScarlet, but I gently have to decline it. I have to take things in hand, take a strong look, and get rid of it (or not – but there must be a good reason). And I am sorry, no textiles stored – and I doubt that my holey t-shirts would make nice curtains in your study …

  5. There is so much information on the internet, but sifting through it and collating it, and checking its accuracy, seems harder than ever. It’s fine for satisfying curiosity, but doing real research is very hard.

    Books, oh dear. I took about 400 to the second-hand bookshop three years ago – and regret a couple of cookery books, for the sake of one recipe in each – but there are thousands I’ll never read again, or have never read, as well as those I will. Yet I value them more than anyone else ever will, as is the case with many things here. I don’t mind getting rid of my past, but links with the past are harder. I sympathise with you and recognise the stuck feeling. I hope it’s passed now, or that you’ve decided what to do about it.

  6. Apologies for answering so late, dear Z – thank you for the kind words and the sympathy. Of course the mood passed, I feel better now. It is a matter of perspective I think, of ambition & aspiration too – after all I do not write professionally here, it is not an article in a periodical, it is something I do for the amusement of my readers and myself.
    It “all” came together, and my mood darkened, but nothing a few days in the sun in good company could not cure. After all I am not overly melancholic, but sometimes something scratches a bit.
    One day, when I will move out of this place, I will take every book in hand and decide over its fate. SOme of them are “links with the past”, some objects here are – well, it is just postponed, I know it very well.

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