Back: This week

6th October 2018

Picture of the book 'The Art of Falling apart"

I’ve gone cool on instagram. Again. It got to be too earnest a digital space for me to inhabit. I don’t want to consume there, I don’t want to participate in the glib, prosaic, pretty much formulaic style of copy I seemed to be actually quite ok at. Basically, I’m conflicted for a number of reasons I can’t currently find it within myself to elaborate on, but I’ve not been on there all week save to see a photo taken of me on Friday lunchtime being gloriously happy holding my friends baby. It’s weird all this digital content we can create, feel compelled to create, it’s all tied up with recognition and value/significance, I just want anyone that wants to read what I write to have intentionally sought it. Not by virtue of a follow once, long ago, on a platform that seeks to hold our attention, because you’re here. You’re reading this. It’s too difficult to explain in a few short sentences, perhaps I’ll try another time.

I also gave up on the challenge ‘a year of you’ – it got to the relationship part and the words ‘fuck this’ made me not want to do it anymore. Just being honest.

Today has been lazy. I’ve got the children all weekend and we¬†had to set out with the dog to get George to his martial arts class in swift haste because no-one was ready in time. Ruby and I then pointlessly drove round for a bit before parking the car in the local supermarket and attempting to take the dog up the moving walkway (the lift wasn’t working) to wander round London Road. He was having none of it, lay on the floor in absolute terror, resisting going anywhere near it with the considerable strength of his entire being. Like many other escalators and bridges of the past, it didn’t happen. We got back in the car and had to park somewhere else.

We then had bacon sandwiches at the cafe next door and got my fringe trimmed by my lovely hairdresser who always make sure she holds me in a hug before making me look like myself again. Since being back I’ve sat with Ruby and helped her code a rudimentary page for a science project. It’s got animated text so far and we plan to add to it over the coming days. She even created her own timeline! In between I have been dipping in and out of this wonderful book “The art of falling apart” by Christina Patterson. I delight in reading but weekends are my binge. This book has described something I have been through recently through the stories of others and although it feels quite close to the bone sometimes and I have physically felt uncomfortable during the reading, I am enjoying something sometimes only the written word can do, making you feel less alone.

Off the back of searching for everything Christina has ever written on the internet, on a link frenzy I came across these words said by John Docx on being a writer: “to give precise and enduring expression to the human experience”. I’m writing now – I don’t feel I’ve quite given precise and enduring expression to my human experience, but what I do know is that I have liked to write here in the past. I know that sometimes, the things I have written have made people I don’t know write to me and tell me their stories. That’s what we’re all doing, sharing stories of our experience. I ended up buying all his books too and then being freakishly alarmed by them arriving and being handed to me hours later – bloody prime, I’ve got proper tsundoku at the moment, piles and piles of material to read. It makes me feel content in a way that a full freezer does.

If you’ve ever felt your life has hit the skids, accompany your demise by reading this book, it covers all the horrors of what can and perhaps will unfold in any human experience. It will prove the human ability for resilience. It will make you want to believe in the words by Brad Meltzer.

Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.


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