I was walking across the grass today, with a sinking stomach and a sense of nausea. The grass was scattered here and there by clover flowers and leaves, pink, white and brown. Daisy heads fluttered above the short cut turf, which sprang back through each step, almost as if I was walking backwards, almost as if it was helping me to walk. The spongy mousse of the turf, full of the promise of spring; it’s a windy day, with the green leaves dancing rippling in the wind, some kind of crazy football stadium dance, the wind send the ivy leaves on the wall rippling and waving, their long branches hanging to life, seeking the sun or high fiving the clouds .I sit and struggle to think what will be, what was, what could be and what could have been. My eyes were stinging from lack of sleep, or maybe too much sleep. Smoking room, waiting room, train station smoke filled blue hazed room from the 1950’s eyes. I was so confused, lost in the woods of life, wondering at all these questions, wondering if anyone knew the answers. Of course, great people take life by the horns, and mold and mend, forge and fight. But all too often they see the responsibility of their actions in their twilight years, or not at all, and the consequences of their actions are not really noticed until long after their demise. We are all temporary, and as such, our influences should be so too. Like the big cycle of the stars, moving through the night sky, we wander through life, grasping at comfort as ants to leaves on the stream of life. Lie on the log, let the river run its course. It knows the way to the sea, and if you end up breached in life’s backwaters, enjoy the scenery.
Too much of my life has been spent worrying about what will happen now. The nextness of life. Who will govern us now, or who will be our manager, or where the next 5 Euros will come from. Searching for that truth, when all the time I was surrounded by it. One thing’s for sure, now I can take a step back and really look at life’s pathways, and decide which one to take. If I take the path less travelled by, I don’t think it will be such a bad thing. Indeed is there such a path? Frost was sure, Gerard Manley Hopkins said that the plough was sharpened by the ploughing. They never saw the heave and toil of the ploughman, or maybe they did and marveled at it instead of feeling the fear in his chest.
The clip clop in the corridor reminds me that the next student will be here soon. She’s already late, already the clip clop echoes in the hallway. She smiles, says hello, smells of patchouli oil and hand cream. Today she has painted nails, her blue eyes flit, she takes her diary out, and the lesson begins.
Slowly she plods through the text, stumbling here and there, reading the words like so many others before her, correcting herself. She reads, without expression, concentrating on the syllables. Her glasses are lattice, designer and scarlet. She struggles with numbers, like a dancer on ice, slipping and sliding, newborn baby calf, shaking like a leaf.
After, or before, I can’t remember when, when I was calm, and things lost their edge and keenness, and the ache in my chest stopped, and the blood pounding in my ears went away. I thought clearly. If the boss’ daughter runs the company, then we’ll all be out of a job within two years. We can’t rely on others for our work, but only on ourselves, it is through our own efforts that things get done. If I don’t do things then they won’t get done. I knew already though. She’d run companies before, and put them in the dustbin. She’d get given the company when her dad retires but these things are never what we want. It’s always a hassle after, and the expectations and the reality are not the same. When we get given these things, we are pleased for a short time, as one is ‘happy’ to ‘succeed’ and then we see that there is a price to pay. She’ll see that the business should have been sold to someone, or an investor should have been found. When you lose something given for free it hurts more.
The pain in my chest is quite sharp now, thumping away, burning my side. Ten years of work for that! If I calculate the money they earned off my back it’s depressing. One could say I’m lucky to have a job, or that the sadness isn’t at the gap of where I am now compared to where I would like to be, but the belief that there is a gap at all. All my life I’ve reached forward to what should be hoped, dreamed. Too much maybe, of my life, is spent daydreaming, imagining things that are flights of fancy. I walked back from the appointment, the first time I’ve walked anywhere for a while. Exploring Angers, I was lucky enough to stumble on almost the quickest way back to the office. The houses were old, all built before the second world war, homes for workers in factories long closed, or students in schools long ago. The temporary nature of a town, built around industries long since vanished. The rail links and tramway lines remain, ghost stations to factories in China. Planned a town around those industries, but forgot that companies are temporary.
A city is a place whose hinterland is big enough to allow people to become specialists, to develop skills and to live from that specialty. This is being undermined by the globality of the market.
They gave money to the banks to stop the crash, at 0.5% interest, and the banks invested it at 4% instead of pumping into struggling companies. Indeed, they bought shares in the competitors, or hedged positions that favoured the failure of companies, even cheating on rate transactions and generally fiddling the books. Banks, the vanguard of financial morality had become soaked in filthy lucre, forgetting their social role.
Crowdfunding came into play, and will become increasingly popular as banks no longer play any role.
Its very weird to see your blood go into a machine. Bright red and bubbling. Stuck. And then the nausea kicks in. We stop, and try again on Saturday.