This page describes something about where I am coming from, not in terms of geography you understand, nor genetically, rather intellectually and spiritually.
In my teens I wanted to study fine art but the art school rejected me at the end of the first year. This was at the time a surprise and a disappointment but turned out for the best; it forced on me the opportunity to live my art and not be sucked into the system.
And what is art? (visual art that is, in my case). It is expressing your message, the message of: Look at this! Look what I can see! I have been able to promote that message out there in the world, not having the baggage of being labelled as ‘artist’, and mercifully not needing to produce pictures for any client.
As I go about my periodic round, two things are persistently impressed upon me:
1. There’s an awful lot of people in the world.
All around, in every part of every country, people are going about their daily business. For the most part, they are, I believe, unaware just how many others there are in other places, who are doing essentially much the same as them. Not exactly the same as them, for in every region of the world, people are thinking about things in ways that are different from those in other parts, at levels from the subtly to the entirely. But for those of us who are privileged enough to see these things, we know that there is lots and lots to see and be.
2. I am immensely privileged to be generally invisible.
A saying widely (but incorrectly) attributed to Margaret Thatcher is that anyone over the age of twenty-six who finds themselves on a bus can consider themselves a failure. Whereas a saying not at all widely (but correctly) attributed to me is that anyone of any age who finds themselves on a bus can consider themselves privileged (with the possible exception of the driver). I say this because on a bus, you are among the people on their daily round, you are in the exalted position of being among them and of being able to share a little of their lives. And it’s especially satisfying if no one takes the slightest notice of you.
What I Learned at School
At Highbury County Grammar School for Boys in north London in the 1950s, the teachers repeatedly gave us advice: keep a pocket notebook, they said, and then when something occurs to you, write it down, that way you will not forget it.
What they failed to tell us, however, is how to remember, after we had made these jottings, where we put the notebook.
There Are Two Sorts of People in the World
When I tell some people of my difficulty with notebooks, they say well, if you get yourself a good quality notebook, and then file it neatly with your belongings when it fills up and replace it with another one, what’s the problem?
Ha! These are the enviable people who in some way or other manage to rise above the obstacles that the world places in one’s way, who can exert their human superiority over the perversity of life that dictates that the important piece of paper is, way beyond the realms of statistical coincidence, the one you cannot find. As yet, I have been unable to reach their heights of achievement.
Hooray for Technology!
But with blogging software and the internet, at last everyone has the means of overcoming the childish pranks that life plays on a person, at least in this respect, and to this end I am in the process of transcribing those bits of diary that I can find, and entering new writings direct, to Google Blogger.
At first I kept this site as just my private writings, but then I thought, well why not make the diary writings public and if no one wants to read them, nothing’s lost, and if a few people do find them mildly interesting, then possibly that’s a manifestation of expression. Though I take a pure artistic approach on this. You can take it or leave it, it’s my expression.
Unlike many other people who write blogs, I have no wish to be a writer, in fact not only no wish, no time; the blog is a work in progress, an exploration of ideas.