My Thoughts On…On The Road

Standing at the foot of the scroll, stretching out in front of me into the distance, towards the horizon, it all makes sense. I see the road. It’s continuous. This life. There’s no time for creating structure, adding control, order, because as we try, the journey continues and it either bunches up on us, weighing on us as we turn to make sense and justify it, or we just have to turn towards it, and travel down it. Seeing that endless, continuous document, a sacred parchment, is like seeing life, lived and documented, in that way we constantly document as we go, and have done since time began, but it also creates a sense in me, of the last 19 years, since I read the book, at a time when my young mind was at its most pliable and vulnerable. Seeing the film introduced by someone who claimed to have not even finished the book and wishing us luck with our viewing saw the 16 year old me clamber to the surface defiantly and screech ‘it’s not for you, this text, leave it alone, leave us alone with it, don’t be scared of it because you don’t understand it, walk away from it’. And so we watched, and the disjointed, unstructured, confused, narrative of sorts unfolds, it’s quick then it’s slow, it stops, then it goes. It thinks, it dreams, it asks. It proffers little, but then what can it? In it, I see myself and the war that wages within. I work because that’s where I come from. I want to write, and call myself a writer, so I write, but I don’t call myself that. In that declaration is a pretension the journey of life saves me from facing. Always moving. Always going forward. Seeing the confidence with which Moriarty embraces his desire for life is enthralling, as much as seeing the world crush that desire is saddening. Salles understands the journey, he understands that moment and has made a film that mines the same soil as Anderson’s much more lauded The Master and much more than jus containing Amy Adams. Man, young man, post global, cataclysmic, psychological change, searching for meaning, knowing the old ways are not valid anymore, knowing it’s different, unable to articulate the difference because of the newness in the face of the scared, weak, old, brutal ways that cling on. We live voraciously in our vicariousness and become damaged, having no pure life of our own, feeling scared to declare. So we head down into books and down steps into darkness where beams guide our way only to a screen. Always looking for the courage to say, you know what, my work ethic is as good as yours, and if you can’t see that, if you can only equate work with material outcome, then it’s your loss, and you are the cancer that feeds on the spirit required to bring freedom and enlightenment to the surface. 35 and stepping away from the scaffolding. We don’t find ourselves looking back at three clear acts.

If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery — isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.

– factotum by charles bukowski

Hospice (7)

I said I wasn’t going to start research until we heard from the Arts Council but David, bless him, is just a little ball of excitement and thrust some graphic novels under my nose, so I have started.

I’ve finished volumes 1 and 2 of Akira now. And just wow.

It’s weird. I think I’m an idiot. Assuming it would take a time comparable to novels, or at least short stories to read. The images dance through the mind so rapidly, dialogue is punchy, and sometimes not needed, I just raced through and now, as I type this I see it so vividly. 

I’ve never seen the movies either, so the movie in my mind is created entirely from these incredible pages. 

Volume 2 is basically an action film. Non stop attack on the eyes. Wonderful.

As I was reading, I realised how much Hospice research I could do around my doctorate research as it such a quick, yet rewarding process. So I will be calling on friends with books, and thanks to some sage advice from a friend, joining Luton Central Library who apparently have a great selection.

I’ll be documenting my thoughts on each book here, for my own process as much as anything.

Next up is Cyril Pedrosa’s Three Shadows as David hasn’t given me the next volumes of Akira yet.

Excited, to read them, but also to create something that is in a completely new vernacular for me.