2017 minus 03: erm…

Posted: 29 December 2016 in 2017 minus

Well, it had to happen, I guess. I’m just glad it didn’t happen until now. 

I expected it to happen weeks ago, a couple of months ago, to be honest, but no. It’s today.

I started this blog entry with something in mind, got 100 words through it, then realised that I had nothing really to say on the subject that I’d intended to write. OK, that’s happened before. Not a problem. I try something else. And, indeed, something else when that entry petered out as well.


Nope. It’s not there. Today… the words aren’t there. And that’s what I mean about having expected it to happen some time back. Because when I started this seventy-five day countdown to 2017, I wasn’t actually convinced I’d be able to do it. I figured something would occur a third of the way through it, or maybe half-way through and I’d find some excuse or another to take a few days off. It’s happened before, and it wouldn’t have surprised me at all for it to happen this year.

But it didn’t. There’ve been seventy-two entries thus far, one a day, every day. 

Until today.

When I have just three entries left.

Odd thing is that I have tomorrow’s and Saturday’s entries pretty much blocked out. Neither is completely written yet but I know what I’ve planned for them, and I know what I want to say in each. It’s kind of amusing in one way or another that the final ‘unplanned’ entry is the one that lets me down.

I’ve nothing to add on UK politics right now. That’s not quite true; there’s plenty I want to say, but nothing I want to write right now. I’m tired of British politics this year, and I’m happy not to write anything more on the subject until next week. Same applies to US politics. The idea of President Trump still makes me sick up a little every time I think of the orange poltroon being inaugurated, but there’s plenty of January, three weeks or so, in which I can express my upset and anger.

London? Well, I’ve written a bit about London over the past few weeks, and there’s plenty I wanted to write about – including some stuff on the London Underground… but I’m really not in the mood today.

Part of it is just that I’m tired. Not of the blog, which in and of itself surprises me, but I’ve had a few bad nights’ sleep and that’s probably got something to do with my head being a bit foggier than usual.

But I’m suddenly reminded of a question I was asked once upon a time when I did an #askbudgie hashtag on Twitter. Possibly knowing of my friendship with a Mr Gaiman, I was asked

If you were one of the Endless, which one would you be?

My answer at the time was truthful. 

I think like most people, I feel like different aspects of each of Endless at different times… As a general rule though, I don’t ever really feel like a character created by someone else. I’m more of a self-made person who has a healthy disrespect for my creator.

I think it still applies, in the main. But only in the main, self-deprecation and all. 

But, just for fun, why not, budgie…?

So, what do each of The Endless mean to me? What elements of them do I recognise in my own character? Or at least, do I have anything to say about the concepts?

(At this point it occurs to me that some reading may not have any clue what I’m talking about. OK, very quick explanation. Neil Gaiman wrote a book entitled Sandman, in which he created The Endless, seven characters that embody universal aspects. So, Destruction does not represent destruction; if you’ll forgive the Brexit is Brexit reference, Destruction is destruction.)

I’ve never been a huge believer in ‘fate’ or ‘destiny’. To a large – though not unlimited – extent, I think it’s bunk. Note that I don’t say ‘people make their own fate’; I think that’s equally as nonsensical as to suggest that others determine your destiny. However, individuals have some say in their own decisions, as do others have influence upon individuals. Entirely free will isn’t even an illusion, as I’m unaware of anyone who thinks they have entirely free will; but habits and societal constructs restrain many from actions which other societies might encourage. And freedom of action does not mean freedom from the consequences of those actions, anyway. But no, I’ve never thought that my life, nor my eventual end was destined to be whatever it ends up.  

I can’t remember the first person I heard of who’d died. I remember being very aware of the concept of death very early on in my life, though. Ashkenazi Jews are traditionally named after those who have died, so you grow up knowing that you were named for someone who’d died. My grandfather died when I was 17, my grandmother when I was 19, but I’d been to ‘the grounds’ (a colloquialism for the cemetery) from the age of about 15. As this blog annually commemorates the death of my brother in January, I’d be a fool to deny that death has played a part in my adult life.

I rarely remember dreams; nightmares, yes, but dreams of the less unpleasant type, no. Occasionally, yes, of course. But rarely. It’s nightmares I remember, clearly and in detail. I’d rather not, to be honest. 

There’s not much. to say about that others don’t demonstrate on a weekly, if not daily basis. The destruction of intangibles, like hope, and wishes, and rights, and democracy around the world, does far more damage in every time frame (short-, medium- and long-term) than the destruction of tangible objects. It’s astonishing to me that people survive such destructions, and what’s more thrive in resistance to it. But what’s almost worse to me – as a concept – is when destruction stops short of complete, when something is permanently maimed, damaged for all time. Complete destruction allows for the cauterisation of a wound, perhaps. Stopping short, allowing a faint ember of hope that will forever be denied? That is when destruction becomes malicious, becomes cruel. And that can move me to tears. 

Desire is overwhelming. It’s not a want nor a wish, but a need. I’m genuinely in awe of people who are that open, that honest and that authentic to admit their desire for a person (or people), or a lifestyle. 

The flip side of desire, and I’m equally in awe of people who are that open about Despair as well.

What was once delight is now delirium, at least in The Endless. The latter is more appropriate for the 21st century. A long time ago, at the height of The Troubles, it was said that if you weren’t confused by the situation in Northern Ir3eland, then you didn’t truly understand it. I think the same now applies globally. It’s impossible not to be delirious if you’re attempting to truly understand global politics nowadays. Politics was never simple, but now too many regard you as delirious if you try to acknowledge complexity, let alone highlight it.

Huh. That’s today’s entry.

Something else tomorrow, in the penultimate entry of this run.

This post is part of a series of blog entries, counting down to 1st January 2017. You can see other posts in the run by clicking here.

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