Imagine if you will, somewhere quiet, where you can hear the creak and tread of boots or shoes across old boards. A man is there, up in the attic say, and he hasn't been there in a very long time. Let's say, thirty years.
Say it with me- "Thirty years."
And he's dusting off an old guitar case, and pulling out a never forgotten, but not played on forever guitar. Life, gets in the way you see, makes you forget sometimes. He looks it over, and falls in love again, with the curves, and the colours, and the manly tough parts like the old humbucker in the bridge, and his whammy bar. He plugs it into an old noisy amplifier, hears the buzz and crack as the line goes live, and he starts to play.
As his fingers drum across the fretboard, so too, do my fingers on this keyboard.
And in exactly the same way as his music may be great, or it may be bad, so too may my words be. But it feels so good to play it again, privately, in this dusty creaky attic, of abandoned cyberspace.
I don't know if this means I'm back, it's been such a long time. And I have to let a few of you down and tell you all this post has nothing at all to do with William Gibson, other than to gush a little about how great and inspirational his writing is. And now I've said that, we're done with him.
I haven't been back here on purpose. I haven't read your blogs either, and I have to admit, when I read about 'this' or 'that' blog in the newspaper of a Sunday, I kind of grunt to myself, like "Blogs...how pathetic." But really I mean, "How do people keep up a head of steam like that...just keep going?" I'm impressed, I really am.
I was scared to come and write. Sounds stupid, I know, but there it is. Like, knifey can turn a simple blog post into a melodramatic opus. At least in my own mind! In a way I think it's because the person I am isn't much like the old one, in a lot of ways. In a lot of ways that matter. Maybe time was my way of punctuating my behaviour? Like, a tangible sort of dot-dot-dot, so you might take me more seriously? I'm not sure. But I have been busy, I do know that.
I have a Rhodesian Ridgeback, and an Egyptian Mountain Goat, and a Portuguese woman to do my cooking, have sex with, and live in my house with me. I guess you could say we're together, then. Of course that's not an easy thing to maintain, especially as we've been together since Christmas last year. I say 'especially because", because the longer a thing goes on for, the less I am inclined to keep up. But I'm doing my best, because she really is the best sort of person, and I don't ever want to find another. I've settled down. My guitars have all been gathering dust, I never touch them any more. As a teenager I would have been horrified, had I been able to glance into the future and see myself. But what do teenagers know anyhow? I did have a guitar student for a while, but to tell you the truth, I had to stop teaching her, as she was so hard to reach. I had foreboding thoughts of being so old 'the kids' can't talk to me any more, and that thought was way too much, too early. I figure I'll cross that road if I have a daughter, and even then a good ten years after the fact.
I opened a shop, of all things. We sell choppers, of course. It's called Hellbourne Choppers, and we sell all the cool bikes, and make or fix the rest. It's going incredibly well, and I'm doing my best to build it sensibly, so it can grow into something a bit bigger and better than the original idea was, so I don't get bored, or have to go work for anyone else again. I even have staff. How utterly alien. Now that I have said all that, my identity will be google-able to all the people I didn't want to ever read this blog, like young cousins, ex girlfriends, and horrified aunts. But hey, a new beginning, right?
I guess the spirit that moved me to write again though, was that I didn't just want to leave this as it was. If no-one ever read it, that would be fine I guess, but now I'm in the National Archive forever and ever, it ups the ante a little, and I'm just the kind of person to care about what some random person may think of me ten thousand years from now. (Hi if you're reading this!)
I have written endlessly about being lost, despite the best of intentions. I have written a lot about hope, too. And red guts honest things like rage, and heartbreak, and other emotions your little sister may frequent. I tried to keep it honest, and be warts-and-all about it. And I think what I came here to say, was maybe a little Fatherly-type advice.
I know I had connected with a lot of people through this medium, because on some level or other they were able to relate to, at least parts of, what I had to write. And so with that in mind, I'd just like to write something here, and those kinds of people can read it, and the rest of you can be awesome and generous, and just kinda twiddle your thumbs for a minute. If you're not sure how, just wing it. Who knows? You may come up with something even better!
So here it is...
That's it. Instead of stressing out and turning purple trying to get this or that done on time, have a think about what would make you happy instead. And on a deeper level, instead of simply reacting to situations, look a few moves ahead, and work out what's going to make you happy further up that road. Life is so short, and there's no guarantee you'll get to live as long as your friends, or as long as you might like. Your life is yours, not anyone else's, so find YOUR happiness. Don't just walk past the things that may have made you happy once. Don't let that guitar gather dust, if you're not finished with it. Don't fall out of love with your dreams. Don't forget to go swimming in the ocean, just because it's tax time. Pat a dog. Close your eyes on the toilet and remember 'that time when...' Talk to your Mum.
Because if you can't find it, no one else will be able to, and no one will ever walk up and just hand it to you. The only way to maintain joy in life, is to reconnect with it regularly, by keeping focus on those things that bring you joy.
When I die, I don't mind any more if no one comes to see me off. I don't mind if I'm buried or burned, or where. I just want to know, that when I'm dying, I can know that I was EXCELLENT.
Just that one word.
Rich or poor, unknown or celebrated, old or suddenly, that I was the best person I could have been, in my time with you.
And I think if we all went in that same direction, well...I don't even need to say it.
Let's give that one a try.
This is knifey, from 'the internet'.