Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground

The demons have been out in force this last week or so, nibbling at my toes all day and climbing on my pillow at night to whisper in my ear. Such nonsense, really, but I can’t get away when I am asleep and in the morning it is difficult to dismiss everything that’s been said.

Part of what has brought them out of the woodwork is that the end of the year is hurtling towards us out of the blue – it feels like it was only September five minutes ago. And that’ll be another birthday and another year gone in which I haven’t managed to finish my book. Which I find depressing – would easily find deeply depressing if I thought about it for too long. It is so important to me, far more important than any thing ought to be in a person’s life.

The demons are eager to point out my many other failings; things I meant to do, things I said I would do and didn’t get done or got done a whole lot later than I said I would. Meanwhile I am seriously behind on both electronic and paper correspondences. They tell me I am constantly fucking up and I am.

Looking after [...] has only compounded this feeling. It is hard enough work doing the necessary things, but I drop things, I spill things, I break things, I lose or forget about things. All this doubles the amount of time and energy it takes to do things like cooking a meal. And it is impossible not to curse myself because I might have applied a smidgen more attention at that particular moment in time and saved myself a load of work.

See, it is obvious why they are here. They are here because of approaching landmarks and feeling generally disorientated about the time of year. They are here because I am very tired, not sleeping well and having to push harder than I ought to. They are here because of a mild case of the unbloggibles. They are hear because of a few misunderstandings that have shaken me up a bit. And they are here because I have been spending money, which always makes me feel guilty.

Oh, I'll feel completely different in a few days.


ben said...

walked out this morning, and i wrote down this song...

That song is an old friend of mine, and i hope it treats you well. Nothing like it to bring out the melancholy, but nothing like it to help bring me through it, too.

And you'll finish your book when the time is right.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that I should be admitting this in a public environment, but I have this all too frequent dream - and it is most definitely a dream, not a nightmare - in which I dance on the heads of my demons. Loudly. There's a very satisfying sound of skulls splintering under my feet.

Er. Look at the pretty flowers, everyone! Look at the pretty flowers!

And then I go and spend money too. Amazon love me, they really really love me.

The Goldfish said...

Sly, yes indeed. And thank you. :-)

Unreliable, I'm all for imaginary violence against demons. They're not particular concerned with your own personal safety, after all. Do a little jig for me next time.

I think you'll find Amazon love me more. They have a shrine to me in their warehouse where they burn those super-cheap Penguin Classics as a sacrifice to my credit card details. (Well, we had to buy a new printer and some books as Christmas presents).

spotted elephant said...

Ah, another year, and how many people have you touched, have you taught, have you made think? (Count me as one!)

I don't mean to be little Miss Sunshine when you're struggling, because that is incredibly irritating. Just trying to offer another perspective.

Mary said...

I suggest you tell your demons to get to fuck. They may get directly to fuck, without passing Go or collecting £200.

Everyone feels a bit like this, what with the clock ticking for Christmas, the inevitable self-assessment of the year drawing to a close, the daily sunlight being reduced to four hours of cold and dismal cloudiness and so on.

I prescribe plenty of light and a lot of snuggling up on the sofa in Big Jumpers, with a steaming mug of hot choccy, possibly with cream and cocoa powder on top, thinking about how good it is to enjoy being properly warm and comfy. Be decadent. :D

Anonymous said...

At this time of year everything is a challenge. It is the worst month possible to chart progress.

But no matter how hard it gets you mustn't stop doing what defines you.

The book isn't finished yet and you're experiencing self-doubt. But it's closer to being finished now than it was a year ago, and more importantly, your understanding of the writing process has grown.

Sometimes we don't meet our goals and it can be incredibly frustrating. But goals can be re-set; although it can be very hard, we can move forward from our perceived failures.

But as I said, this is the worst month possible.

Someone's just told me I'm catering for 26 meat eaters on Christmas day - a vegetarian with one oven, four rings, and a small fridge. I had been hoping for some peace and quiet this year. D'you think I could sell Christmas off on eBay?

Anonymous said...

"They tell me I am constantly fucking up and I am."

Show me someone who's not. Seriously. If you think s/he isn't, it's just that you can't see the fucking up from where you are.

Hm, I just realized that though I intended to help you put it all in perspective and feel better perhaps pointing out that every single one of us is a fuck-up swimming blindly in a sea of fellow fuck-ups might not be the most effective path. But at least none of us has to feel lonely about it, right? ;)

Anonymous said...

Anything said by others to someone who is having a rotten time runs the risk of sounding glib or preachy.

However, just to take that risk for a moment and echo the Spotted Elephant, your blog is one of the highpoints of most of my days and meeting you and AJ in person is in my top 3 favourite events of the year. I can cite several others who were much made up by your visit to London and found your company delightful.

Just trying to say that in the last year you have been (and continue to be) considerably more influential and successful than you probably realise.

Chin up (and all the best to AJ in his lumbar predicament).

Not quite the same I know, but consider yourself virtually cuddled from afar ;<)

Dude x

The Goldfish said...

Thanks everyone. Quite a bit happier today (Friday). You're all very kind and your comments very much appreciated. :-)

Sally said...

I am late in echoing, with much personal feeling, all already said above - your achievements through your blog reach many who keep on keeping on knowing they are not alone. You are well loved - all over the place ! Best wishes to AJ for continued recovery.