From within the din of vagueness,
I will give it to you straight.
The change has long been underway
and we have all arrived too late.
The time to double down your chips
along with our hope
our sense, our calm.
We did not inherit the earth
but instead shape it only with our pains
to hold it in our hands as clay
and disgrace it
for our gains.
Our cloying platitudes
cover a sea of discontent
drowning the balance of nature
that which Time will long lament.
You may have your pound of flesh
you may have it, blood and bone and all
and in the moonlight naked
all of us: accountable.
What I wish for: That feeling – the focused hunter in the thrill of the chase. Not for joy, but necessity, everything depending on the kill; survival at its purest. Most of us will die without ever knowing that feeling. It’s in us to feel it, I think. We are so disconnected with the earth, we should be more attuned to nature. It is evident in our daily pursuits that we are trying to find some deeper connection, some heightened state of belonging – through following hobbies or in our working lives. How wonderful the feeling would be to stand on the world, truly free, and feel its pulse through the soles of our feet as we revolve in harmony along with it.
What some people think: The objective is to get the job done, and they forget that sometimes the objective is really the act of doing it. Concentrate on the moment, instead of the eagerness of its passing.
What I do when painting the skirting board: Paint the carpet. The previous owners did the same and so my paint covers really well.
What oil-based paint does not do: Come out of twice-painted carpet. It will stay there forever, a prickly testament to humour our soft-soled feet.
What I wonder when I’m painting: Who are the people who work behind the scenes in documentaries, going ahead of the likes of Bruce Parry to introduce their alien equipment and western ideas to baffled, wary tribesmen? What a job that must be… Even complex language cannot save you here, they must use something even more natural, almost primitive; palaeolithic: instinctual.
What men would do if they were wild: Make water atop the hills as the distant sun rises over the crest of the world and drink in its beauty like it was the last gulp they’d every take. How many days of a modern man’s life are spent staring at a wall, what a waste; they could put a decent picture up at least.
What the vacuum cleaner does: Blow its fan air high into the corners of the room, thus confusing the tiny house spiders into thinking they have caught a tasty morsel in their shaking webs.
What I ponder about – apropos lifespans: We consider a small being such as a nat to have such a small and insignificant life, but to the nat, its life may seem as long and as full as a human feels his life to be. If this is so, then the interpretation of time must vary considerably between beings. So I ask, what is the true worth of time if it is so brief and yet so vast all at once? How insignificant and small must we seem to the great elm or oak, and how brief Earth must seem as it passes in and out of existence in the blink of the universe’s eye.
What my mum did when she was young: Go to the doctor’s reporting that she had lumps all over her tongue.
What the doctor said they were: Tastebuds.
What I do every time I think about her telling this: Smile. There is nothing more humourous than life itself.
How I feel sometimes: Too common, inadequate, almost. The words that come out of my mouth sound different to the ones spoken in my head, and I find myself preferring to listen than speak. If I do speak, I tighten my tongue and lose all of my character; I lose the things my wife fell in love with. Damn confidence. Trust in yourself, and have more confidence in your convictions.
What happened when I got through to an answer phone: The voice said the butler was away and was unable to take the call.
What I know: The “butler” is a dog, and the woman has ideas above her station.
“Be compassionate to yourself. That means being gentle to yourself at times when you feel like being self-critical. Think what you’d say to encourage a friend in a similar situation. We often give far better advice to others than we do to ourselves.”