Seeking the slime II

File:Ruin at Ardmenish.jpgThe great mass of human beings are not acutely selfish. After the age of about thirty they almost abandon the sense of being individuals at all — and live chiefly for others, or are simply smothered under drudgery. But there is also the minority of gifted, willful people who are determined to live their own lives to the end, and writers belong in this class. Serious writers, I should say, are on the whole more vain and self-centered than journalists, though less interested in money.
George Orwell, Why I Write

Well, at least at the moment I am not smothered under drudgery. With Jacques Mesrine, I am not being told what to do. This doing nothing is the only way I can see to “live my own life”. I write here, I read a bit, I meditate less than I consciously intend, and I “play” Spider Solitaire. I could practise the piano, and don’t; I have picked up three or four pieces to learn in these two years, and mastered none. would be nice, perhaps, to have the heart-impulse to do something more, and then do it. Is it possible?

I resigned because I had been given an ultimatum, a “reasonable” instruction and a final written warning, I had not complied and was going to be sacked. After two years’ unemployment I think it unlikely that I will get a job of the responsibility or interest of which I think I am capable.

During the Hoffman Process I saw clearly for the first time one of my characteristics which I saw as particularly harmful: seeking out stories of why I should be frightened of the World, in order that I should hide from it. This seemed abominable, and I labelled it shit-hoovering.

File:Feolin Ferry, Isle of Jura.jpgLast night I was weeping because my dear friend lost half her capital in a fake investment scam- spent it on moonbeams and rainbows, a false hope of an impossible return. And her emotional reaction to this gets in the way, a year after we found it was a fraud. Someone should have prevented the scam, it was well-known: I tell her the lie is half-way round the world before the truth has got its boots on, and the fraud was set up in order to be difficult to prosecute, and I am not certain she can take that in. Her anger and her knowledge of what should happen gets in the way of seeing what is, and how she might avoid further loss.

You see I know this story, and I know the truth of it, and it miserifies and horrifies me and makes me want to turn my face to the wall. With other stuff. And the world really can be an awful place, and my friend’s pain is real.

6 thoughts on “Seeking the slime II

  1. I agree, you feel misery and upset, but please resist to bring on board “all the other stuff” at the same time. That just keeps it going round and round in the spinner. Just do one sadness at a time. Feel it, pray about it, then remember that beauty is real too.

    Bless you, always! xx 🙂


    • For that moment, abandoned in my misery, what goes through my mind is entirely irrational. The sadness loses its bite, over minutes or hours, and I am clearer, and the sadness is this one issue. Now (days later) there is miserific stuff bubbling, and I can do one bit at a time: the joy is more of an effort, though an effort well worth making.


  2. I love George Orwell – he is truly a god of words!
    “I think it unlikely that I will get a job of the responsibility or interest of which I think I am capable” My ‘career’ is very similar to this. I think about it like this – if I find somewhere where I enjoy spending time with my colleagues, it’s a good place to be. Difficult to find, I know, but in my so far hundreds of jobs (almost) there have been some gems. Almost everyone I know who has ‘a job of the responsibility or interest of which they capable’ hates their job – they are stressed, they are bored and they are trapped in this cycle till retirement. Freedom, variety and less of an opportunity to overvalue material possessions are much preferable.
    On an unrelated note, I’m planning a post on transgender issues (apologies in advance for any clumsiness) and am hoping you will comment and follow the links. I hope you don’t mind if I do a pingback or two.


    • ;There are consolations in most situations.

      I am interested to see what you will write on trans issues (I have yet another terminology post coming up) would be delighted by your pingbacks, and will say anything I find good to say.


  3. Clare,

    I agree with Violetwhisp. Jobs like that suck the soul out of you. Long hours, meetings, travel – okay if it’s a calling and something altruistic, worth dedicating your life to, but I can’t think of many jobs like that. On the upside the pay is better of course, but the modern workplace can be a hell-hole for anyone of a sensitive disposition, because it requires no soul and wouldn’t have use for the talents you display in your writings here. I trust you’ll eventually find your way through to a position where you feel both financially secure and intellectually fulfilled.  Wonderful pictures of the Isle of Jura by the way – I spent a memorable week there twenty five years ago and have been longing to return ever since.




    • There is a great deal of creativity involved in using double taxation treaties and apportioning profits between countries within multinationals, for the avoidance of tax. I found myself envying that kind of lawyer. I think acting must be a wonderful job, if you can make a go of it. Ach. Something will turn up. Meanwhile, I find some use for my talents among friends.


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