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Year View| Summary| Highlights| Month View| Monday 12 June 2006 (Day View)
12.06.2006 – Monday 12 June – The Queen’s Birthday
- • I woke up, had some breakfast, then some lunch, and watched a pile of old “Merrie Melodies” on Briz 31, and that was my exciting afternoon.
- • I went for a walk, looking for more treasure. I didn’t find much, ending up at Maz’s, having called him to come and have a look at some SCSI photo scanners and various computer bits. I watched some Futurama with Maz before walking home again, picking up a base for Bronwen’s baseless light on the way.
- Afternoon, take two
- • He’s just had a talk to Clint, about writing—and about how few people—himself included—write anything well anymore. He said, the reason he writes so rarely in his journal, is because nothing of any interest ever happens, and when it does, he hasn’t the time to write as he’s then busy with the interesting event. As he said this, he realised it was nothing more than a hollow excuse really—it’s not as if he hasn’t the time, or even that it takes any longer to write well. He thinks he’s a reasonable writer, in that if he has something he wants to convey—he can. He has no problem writing a five-page email that will put into words his exact emotions, and successfully transmit his message—but he’s not sure about the technicalities.
He’s worried; can he use two levels of dashes like that, as he did in the first sentence, or a semicolon like in this one? And if he can’t, if it’s something that just isn’t done—why not? He thinks, writing is writing—it has to be readable by whoever is supposed to read it, and in this case, he’s the one that’s writing it for himself, so he’ll write it however he wants. That is, after all, how writing developed—back before it was formalised. So, he’s going to rewrite today—sadly not in the “rewriting history” way, but in a purely English way.
He woke, rested, but worried that half his day had already gone. Worried that time was passing too fast, that the weekend had gone and he still hadn’t done all the things he had meant to do. In some deeper, more alarming way, he worried that time was running out. Running out for what, he wasn’t quite sure—but it was running out, that he knew. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but he felt it—the feeling that he hadn’t done something, something that he should have done. Exactly what he was supposed to be doing he didn’t know, and the things he was supposed to do—well, they were all out of his control.
He was supposed to be looking for work; he was supposed to be working by now, really. He had never considered that it would be difficult to get work, and that’s probably why he found it difficult. He started looking too high—thinking he was too good. He’d read that this was typical for the so-called “generation X”. How he hated those generational tags—sure, generations probably do distinguish themselves in various ways, but where’s the cut-off? People aren’t born in ten-year cycles. He thinks it’s probably all part of some diabolical scheme to keep control, to stop the young from learning from the wise. He’s getting very cynical, but surely it’s true—the world is not a good place, the deeper he looks, the truer that is.
He’s gotten distracted—gone off on a tangent. That’s how his mind works—it thinks faster than he can type, and it thinks in parallel. By the time he’s finished thinking one train of thought, another—one that started somewhere in the middle—has already added itself to the output of the former, changing the whole direction, and before he knows it, he’s gone off on another tangent. It’s inefficient in some ways, concentrating purely on one thing would seem to be the way to do it—but, there’s always the larger picture, other things he hadn’t thought about—he likes to think it’s probably a sign of intelligence.
He’s heard that people, when they reach retiring age, don’t want to retire. He can understand why, even though he wants to work for a living, not live for working, he realises that people need clear goals—they need something to look forward to. In a way, that’s why he bought his torch. It was something to look forward to. When he was at uni, he could look forward to finishing uni, or in the shorter term, exams, the end of a course, holidays—and the large, endless future that came after uni—that he could ignore. Deep down he had an uncomfortable feeling that ignoring it wasn’t the right thing to do, but there was always something in the present to take his mind off that.
Now, now that he’s in that big future, he finds he has very little to look forwards to—not in the depressing, shallow-minded “nothing to look forward to” way—but in a simple, matter-of-fact way. He looks forward—to what? Tomorrow? Tomorrow never comes, so the saying goes—but it’s just one of a whole host of rather stupid sayings that, while they’re great in the context they were designed for, are horribly overused. Tomorrow will come—tomorrow. As it always does—and that’s his problem: every day is the same—there’s nothing to distinguish one from another, nothing to look forward to; there are no defined dates of any significance coming up, nothing that he knows about that’s going to change his life in any way. He thinks about it. It’s not that there’s nothing coming up—he’s confident he’ll get work sometime soon—it’s that he doesn’t know when, or really if, that something is coming.
People, he thinks, not only need clear goals—they need precise, matchable targets. They need short-term dates, things to divide their lives into small periods, things they can work towards and see that they’re making progress. Things that, when they reach them, they know there is another stage that follows. But at the same time, he thinks the idea of a life pre-planned, a life divided into little chunks, each one with a start and end date, is deeply disturbing—somehow contrary to the very concept of freedom.
So instead of thinking, he watches “Merrie Melodies”, in an attempt to avoid the nasty feeling that he’s avoiding something—which is self-defeating, if ever anything was.
That, he thinks, is probably enough writing for now.