Fear of feeling: avoidance of pain and denial of life

Sadness and deep trouble–like a chili bubbling on the stove; a feeling of being out of control and anxious for what might come. We can wish time away, desperate to feel more often. Why else do people risk hurting someone they love with an affair? Sometimes we can desire the pain that made adolescence so vivid, we wish that the feeling of being alive was more common. In a sense it is wishing to feel something out of the ordinary, something that was of spontaneity‘s creation rather than routine’s.

But then comes the second part of the process: the arrival of the feeling one has lusted after. Cognitive behavioural therapy posits that there is an interpretation of danger over depression or sadness. But the perception is the key to the cycle. What is it that one is feeling? Fear of the danger of being weak and in confrontation? Is it a masochistic introspection that generates adrenaline? Does it give us a buzz? A thrill? We watch TV, film and theatre; we get addicted to boxsets and binge watch seasons of shows. But it is not real and whilst this is a truism, it has a profoundness that it is easy to miss: we pay to feel. But realise that the feeling is false! We put our own experiences outside of ourselves and watch from afar. Watch from safety. But life is not safe, and life does not happen at a distance.

Comfort: the antithesis of pain, the sponge of life. As the daylight disappears before 4 o’clock, primal impulses to nestle grow. And in so doing we erect a shield, a buffer or a safety net. If we continue through life with a distance and a moat between ourselves and our experience then we are denying ourselves the joys of the human condition.

What we ought to do, is bring our two eyes into focus: our animal instinct and our abstract awareness. We ought to look through both eyes at the same time, at the same thing, and see the entirety and understand that nothing beyond matters.

“What’s the point?”–a conclusion to skate around when one confronts the state of the Great British identity

Is there a war on liberalism in Great Britain? With mentions of Jeremy Corbyn, or socialism, come what seems to be inevitable sneering and jeering and “lefty liberal” mockery. And it feels like the right hand is spiting the left but forgetting we’re all a part of the same body. It also feels like we’ve been here before and we’re just going around in circles. But then we are, aren’t we? Politics is transparently cyclical and without the great leveller that was the world wars will the “lefties” will have their voices heard? It seems unlikely. Voices of honesty and integrity are bland, it is only the grandstanders and the spinners that take the soapbox and only the sensational that get the headlines. The power of change is left in the hands of the many millions of non-voters, the third of Brits who are apathetic to their own lives, let alone the lives of others, and if they’re not voting now they’re not going to for the unspectacular Jeremy. Or at least that’s the fear. It is not a fear of left-wing defeat, but a fear that reality–truth, is not going to be outed. Without truth we’re just ice skating on jelly and hedonistically splaying apart our country. No one can react, grow or solve when the ground we’re building on isn’t understood. And as for change: proportional representation is never going to happen, it’s not going to be a thing, the Green Party will not be heard, JC will split their 2015 success and the environment will disappear further from the front-pages. The chinese will build their nuclear bonfires and George Osbourne will sell our integrity to whoever finds a way of finally botoxing away the distant bemusement that he can’t seem to hide from his face.

And it’s not new, it’s Thatcher, and its voices of the seventies that I hoped wouldn’t resurface. It’s emphasis placed on businessmen and women; cash-flow over humanity. It’s pretty fucking disgusting and it keeps leading to a question: what’s the point?

Remembrance Sunday, war, tolerance, and community

Today I am respecting the war dead, and living too, hopefully you can take some time out to do so also. remembrance poppy Sometimes I think that war is so much more honest than most of life. Once you ignore the propaganda and strip it down to vital days like today, it’s stark and unambiguous; it says ‘this person is dead’, ‘this person died’ and there’s no way anyone can argue with that. But how we got to that point is through dishonesty and disrespect, trying to pull societies somewhere that we have no right to pull them; feeding voters spin to elicit legitimacy. So it’s more important than anything to respect the living and each other, to be tolerant and understand that this isn’t a competition. Life is not dog eat dog. War is not good. Fighting is not kind.

29 (and ten years ago, I)

spent a month by the dockers and the Saints,
then lusted after pricey trainers in the Lanes.
Came home to the old place but no old friends,
felt old new pains start again.
Lost hope and grip and chance and love and self respect.
Pressed stop, ejected, then tore up the tape.

Gave up

Bottomed-out, took baby steps and left the nest.
With prickly nerves, I lived a foot above my head.
Met people kind enough to take me as I was,
though geeks discern none – they see with no ‘because’.
My jump was higher than I honestly believed,
but I still spent a month sure I’d been deceived.

Got paid and found that nothing really ever changed.
Nearly lost the reigns and put on loads of weight.
Found myself and cried and gave the boy a hug.
Looked for reason, found a song, fell back in love.
Now I’m looking round but ought to look ahead,
’cause Google thinks it’s forty years until I’m dead.