A Few Words About Me

Just a few details – I’m a 75-year-old with an English father (Devon) and a German-Jewish mother (Westphalian). I was raised in Hampstead, North London, but moved to Tower Hamlets in East London, before moving up to Stoke-on-Trent some thirty two years ago.
I once worked variously as a street labourer, a cleaner, a factory-hand, a warehouseman, a postman, a riverman, and various other short-term jobs, none of them lasting more than ten months, before finally becoming a teacher, which I was for twenty-five years before I finally retired.
My father was a fine pianist, and gave me a taste for music which led me towards classical music and jazz, but also ultimately to British traditional music, which when I was in London I was thought good enough to perform alongside of some of the great names of the day, the most prominent of whom was Ewan McColl, who taught me many lessons about music, art and life, both positive and negative.
I have over a hundred beautiful British songs in my repertoire, and I wish that such songs were better respected in our quasi-American culture. I can also get music out of about ten instruments, but the one I can say I have some mastery of is the fiddle. I have also composed two- to three-hundred tunes, which have I am gratified to say attracted other musicians.
Of course, my life was much more complicated than these few words can convey. I have lived at about fourteen different addresses altogether, having also had a taste of unemployment and homelessness. It has also been scarred by various debilitating physical illnesses and a chronic depression begun in my early childhood and persisting to this day.
I have been in many relationships, some of which are painful to recall, but most of which I remember with great fondness.
Now I live alone in a one-bedroom flat on the fifth floor of a Stoke-on-Trent tower block, facing all the struggles that ‘senior citizens’ (otherwise known as old-age pensioners) must face living in a run-down and deprived area which has struggled not only with a dying economy but also in recent times with the Covid pandemic.
I have very strong political views, which veer to the left more than somewhat, but I have never been and never will be a member of any political party since I have yet to find a party that truly represents my particular views: and in any case I have been known to change my opinions when the occasion warrants such change. I wish to retain my independence of thought and action.
But my interests have always been far wider than just the politics and the music . I have always interested myself in many different things at one time or another in my life. I own a library of about two thousand books covering just about every kind of literature there is – novels, poetry, philosophy, politics, drama, religion, history, science, art, and chess. I have, despite all obstacles, somehow managed to find much in my life that has made it worth living.
Also, for what it’s worth, I am a long-time supporter of my home-town club, Arsenal FC – a true Gooner. Come on you reds.
Which brings me to why I’m writing this blog.
Putting it simply, I intend to speak my mind on any and every topic that suggests itself to me as being in any way interesting.
That could be anything. It all depends on how I feel on the day.
Sometimes, knowing me, I will be quiet and contemplative, musing on the various wonders the world has to offer; at other times I will no doubt find reason to complain about my lot in life; while at other times I will be loud and opinionated when it concerns the great issues which affect us all.
I can do this because we live in an age where technologies such as WordPress allow us to communicate our thoughts and ideas round the world almost at the speed of light, and for those of us who are not fit to make the complicated, long-winded, and often fruitless effort of getting our works published in print, that is a boon and a blessing. And also, like most people who find themselves living alone, I need some kind of contact with the world outside my four walls. This, when I feel alone, is a good way of talking to people instead of always to myself.
So here I am, for you who are reading this to make of whatever you will.
Enjoy.

Name A Great Poet…

(‘Reading By The Brook’ Winslow Homer 1879)

Name a great poet.
You have a very wide choice,
But one name will do.

Was there a time when
That poet couldn’t walk or talk,
But then, wow! he could?

And was there a time
When that poet couldn’t write?
But then, yes! he could?

He learnt how to make
Words appear in front of him
Which others could read!

But was he a great
Poet yet? No, of course not.
No-one is born great.

He had to learn, and
There were only three ways that
He could do that, yes?

He had to look at
The world around him, work out
What he thought of it;

Read other poets,
Enjoy their work, let them share
Their visions with him;

Then he had to try
And write what he thought, find the
Words that worked the best.

That is when he learnt
That he would be a poet:
His writing mattered.

He loved to watch the
Words appear, to see his thoughts
Shine out of the page.

And so he kept on
Writing, not caring what the
Rest of the world thought.

Until one day, he
Knew he had something which he
Knew was worth sharing.

It might be his mother
Or his brother, or some-one else
Who first read his work,

And they saw in it
Something that they could value,
Told him to keep on.

And so he kept on
Until his words sang out his
Life throughout the world.

But he always knew,
However the world judged him,
He would never stop.

That is how poets
Discover their own voices,
Create their own lives.

So, name such a poet.
You have an infinite choice,
But one name will do.

The Fighting Temeraire

Living in North London, raised by parents who gave me a great deal of liberty, I discovered the Tate and the National Galleries when I was very young, and in my early teens they became among my favourite places to visit. I could not have wished for a better grounding in the subject of art, especially as I could form my own tastes and opinions without some adult telling me what I should or shouldn’t like.
During the school holidays I used to visit these galleries early in the week when there would be few people there. I developed an especially great love for certain of the pictures on display, and by going early in the week I got to stand in front of these pictures, quite alone, and look at them, think about them, enjoy them, to my heart’s content. Just for those few minutes, I was the only person in the world who was looking at the real paintings and not one of the millions of reproductions scattered around the world; just for those few minutes, I owned them. Constable, Van Gogh, Monet, Turner, DaVinci, they had painted these works for me.
I remember the picture where I first recall having this particular thought, at about the age ten. It’s ‘The Fighting Temeraire’ by JMW Turner, and it’s to be found in the Tate Gallery: there is no picture I have ever found quite as fascinating as this one, for the skill of the brushwork, the nigh-perfect combination of colour and composition, and for the story it tells.

Sunflowers

This is one of the many versions of ‘Sunflowers’ that Vincent Van Gogh painted. It’s the one found in London’s National Gallery which I visited frequently from my childhood on. It was one of those pictures I used to gravitate towards every time I visited; it was magnetic, irresistible.
I loved it partly because I had feelings about it connected with my own state of mind which I did not and still do not fully understand, but which feel important somehow: though what meaning Van Gogh intended it to convey I have no real idea. But that’s the thing about so much great art: it makes you tell your own stories, use your own imagination, beyond what the artist has imagined for you.
I also love it for its craftsmanship. The problem with reproductions in the case of artists like Van Gogh and the Impressionists of the same era is that you do not see what the original picture shows you of the way the artists’ work. With this picture, you can see every brush-stroke stand out from the canvas, giving the flowers themselves and the vase they stand in a sense of solidity, almost three-dimensional. You can imagine standing by Van Gogh as he painted and watching his brush action as he laid the paint down.
And the colours of the original are so fresh and bright, you can almost feel the warmth rising from them. It’s not a particulary realistic representation of sunflowers in a vase, but it has a reality that seems to me to be undeniable. One day I might work out exactly what that reality is.

The Cornfield

‘The Cornfield’, John Constable, 1826: another of the pictures from the National Gallery that have come to mean so much to me.
It’s an odd thing about Constable, that while we think of him as a painter of decorative English landscapes, a little old-fashioned and traditional maybe, many of his contemporaries criticised him for his modernity, his choice of subject matter and his (to them) overloose technique.
In fact, he, along with JMW Turner, were the two English artists who provided the inspiration for the French Impressionist movement, which began by outraging the French art establishment but then went on to revolutionise the whole western world’s perception of what art could do.
How could he or Turner ever know exactly what their impact on the history of art would be?
Not that I knew any of that when I stood before this painting all those years ago: I just thought it depicted a world I might like to live in. I quite envied the boy drinking out of the stream.




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A Gooner Speaks….

(Written 12.05.2022. Final result: Spurs 3 Arsenal 0)


When I last dared to look, I saw that the Arsenal were being hammered by Spurs at White Hart Lane tonight. Really annoying, and always a bit saddening when that happens.
Now I know it shouldn’t matter, but it does.
I appreciate that there are many for whom football holds no interest. But then again, they should appreciate that football is central to our popular culture and has been for well over a hundred years.
The upper-classes have their ballet, their theatre, their huntin’ and fishin’ : the working-class has football. It is a sport that people grow up with. It is part of their identity.
This is partly because of their local teams that they grow to support through watching them every other week at their home ground, the biggest theatres in town with the most dramatic shows, shows they can participate in with their noise, shows where they can shout out exactly what they think and how they feel in ways which are forbidden to them everywhere else (something they would have learned from the grown-up who took them to their first games).
It is also partly due to the ease with which it can be played, needing just a ball (or something which can be kicked around if no ball is available), and any spare patch of ground where coats can be laid down as goalposts or a goal can be chalked on a wall. Money, unlike most other areas of life, is not a defining factor, which is another reason for its attraction.
And there is also the ambition football can breed, as street kickarounds are chronically the stage for spectacular fantasy as the younger players imagine themselves in the role of their footballing heroes doing great deeds in front of cheering crowds (while the mid-day factory-yard kickarounds of workers once allowed them an expressive physical freedom their work didn’t give them).
My association with Arsenal didn’t go back so early in my life, since I was in my twenties when I went to my first game at Highbury in 1972 (Arsenal 3 Nottingham Forest 0); but I was hooked from the start, and didn’t miss a game there for the next ten years.
For various reasons, I stopped attending; but I have followed the Arsenal’s fortunes ever since, and my life would be the lesser without all the excitement, all the joys and the disappointments that go with that. Anybody who supports a team,especially their home team, will know what I mean.
So, even though tonight is turning out to be a very bad night for all us Gooners, I will still follow my team in the same spirit as all those kids do who adopt the names of their favourite players while they strive to do something worthy before their parents called them in for tea (back in the day I wanted to be Stanley Matthews: everybody did). Again, any-one who has a team they love will feel the same.

The Hill

These handsome. many-windowed houses
and their pampered tree-sheltered gardens
were built to partner this steeply-rising road;

for looking down on cool nights such as this
those who live in them can observe at their leisure
a sparkling city, a glittering mosaic of brilliant jewels.

But do they ever look the other way, to where the road
reaches up towards a vast and distant sky,
far above the highest of these towering rooves;

and do they know what is beyond the clouded ridge:
spacious moorlands perhaps,close-patterned fields,
echoing forests, maybe even another shimmering city?

I do not know; I am new to this place,
and all I see when I look to where the road seems to end
is a fading into insignificant darkness.

I have had much cause lately to think about my final end. I am reminded of this poem that I had written some years ago, which described a real place I visited in Surrey, but which also described in metaphorical form my feelings as they concern religious faith. For better or worse, I do not have one. I have a spiritual life,and a highly philosophical view of human existence, but I do not see the world and its place in the universe as the religionists see it. There are mysteries that cannot be explained, not by religion, not by science, not by conspiratorial guess-work. One of those mysteries is the experience of death. This poem is an allegorical expression of that sense of mystery as might be experienced by a non-religionist. It is not as despairing as it might first seem. I value life for what it is. As painful as it has been I have fought to use it, to achieve something with it. But I also value the thought that one day, one way or the other, I will be done at last with all the pain that my life has thrust upon me.

THE BORIS JOHNSON DEFENCE

I listened to Boris Johnson defending himself this afternoon in the House of Commons. Having heard the many and various questions which the opposition parties asked him, and having witnessed the silencing of his party as those questions piled on, I thought I’d summarise, not the words, but the substance and the spirit, of Johnson’s answers to all those questions, as well as his behaviour since the news of the Downing Street parties first broke :

‘I’m sorry.
I’m really sorry.
All I can say is, I’m sorry.
I mean it, I really do, I’m sorry. That’s all I can say.
I made a mistake. I accept that I made a mistake. I certainly can’t deny that I made a mistake. It was an error of judgment. I whole-heartedly acknowledge that error of judgment.
Can we talk about something else now?
I understand why people don’t believe it was an error of judgment. It didn’t look like an error of judgment. It looked like the deliberate act that it was. But it wasn’t. It was an error of judgment. And for that I give this apology. This heart-felt apology. I’m very very sorry.
Please can we talk about something else?
I didn’t lie to any-one. I didn’t mislead any-one. I didn’t tell a single untruth, even though they were untruths. I know that what I said wasn’t true. But I didn’t know it wasn’t true even though I did.
I wish we could talk about something else now.
It happened. I’m in no position to say it didn’t happen. It did. But I absolutely didn’t know at the time it was happening. It clearly was, which I knew at the time, but I didn’t know it was.
For that I’m sorry.
Really, really sorry. I ask you all to accept my apologies. My profound, meaningful and sincere apologies. I’ve been punished for whatever it is I might have done, if indeed I did it, which I did. That’s why I’m sorry. I’m really, really, really sorry.
That’s all I have to say.
So now, can we all, please, talk about something else?’

Heritage: A Story

His mother lilts for the dancers
when there’s no musicians to play;
she stands by the field side
on summer evenings
and faces them
as they show off their ancient art
to the darkening sky,
while the old folk sit on chairs
watching with critical eyes
and the children,
with fewer years than fingers,
sit on walls
laughing, shoving. clapping;
and he one of them,
though prouder than they
because that’s his mother there,
respected by all,
her voice as bright
as the rising moon,
driving the dancers on
till there’s no strength left in them
for dancing. There’s one tune she lilts,
a reel, fast, sinewy, hard;
it has all the force
of unyielding waves breaking on
the rocky headland
or a beater
striking a mighty bodhran;
all the drive
of rushing winds
racing through the winter forest,
or nimble-fingered pipers
tempting the trees to dance.
He loves it
and remembers it,
and when he’s alone
he plays it
over and over in his head
on his imaginary fiddle,
for it’s a fiddle he longs to have. So when at last
it’s his tenth birthday
and his father gives him
a real fiddle, saying
‘I think you’re just about man enough
to hold oneof these,’
the reel is one of the first tunes
he tries to play
where his father has sent him
so no-one can hear his racket.

But he doesn’t know
what it’s called;
so he goes to his mam
as she stands over the washing tub,
and says, ‘Mam, that tune you lilt
for the dancers.’
‘Which one?’ she says,
and he lilts a few bars of it to her.
‘What about it?’ she says.
‘What’s it called?’ he says.
‘I don’t know, she says,
I made it myself
when I was younger,
about your age I’d say,
but I never gave it a name.’
‘So what should I call it?’ he says.
‘Whatever you like,’ she says:
‘Now I have this to do, so leave me.’

A fiddler,
nostrils full of smoke,
had done with playing for the night.
He was packing up his instrument,
looking forward to a long, cold beer,
when a young woman
came onto the stage
and stood beside him.
She said,
‘That was really beautiful; thank you.
For a time there
I almost forgot where I actually was.’
‘I’ve played better,’ he said:
But I appreciate the thought.’
‘That last tune you played,’ she said,
‘I think it was a reel.’
‘Yes it was,’ he said,’what about it?’
‘Is that an old tune,
or do you know who wrote it?’
‘All my tunes are old,’ he said,
‘and I don’t suppose I know
who composed one in a hundred of them:
does it matter?’
‘I don’t suppose it does,’ she said,
‘but sometimes it would be nice to know
why a tune was made,
where it got its title from.’
‘Well,’ he said,
‘no-one will ever know for most of them:
when the people who made these tunes went
their life-stories went with them.’

She said, ‘that’s sad.’
‘Is it?’ he said:
‘Why?’

The years have passed.
He is head of his family now;
not only that but
he plays for the dancers too;
and the tune he learnt from his mother
is the tune they ask for most:
and every time he plays it,
or hears his children
give it a go – one like him loves the fiddle
while the other favours the pipes –
he hears her silver voice
as clear as if she is standing beside him,
and each and every time he says to himself,
‘By God could she lilt!’

But how can he not think of her then?
The tune bears her name.

I am a life-long lover of the traditional i.e. pre-Americanised folk-music of my homeland, the British Isles. Its great value, apart from its unique character, is that it was a truly popular music, insofar as it was free, a genuinely individual and communal art, which meant that everybody owned it and could bring their own creativity to bear on it with whatever skill they had, large or small, just for the pleasure of it; and above all, they could tell the stories of their own lives and tell them in their own language without having to accord to the accents an idioms of a global industry which manufactures and markets music as product. I have tried to tell here a story which at the very least hints at the kind of individual and communal bond we of these islands,whether Irish,English, Scots orWelsh, once had with our common culture.

A Sermon Against Sermonisers

I wrote this poem-cum-rant some years back having been somewhat insultingly condescended to by a well-meaning but profoundly insensitive Christian when talking about my depression, an illness I have fought unstintingly since childhood. Since then I have been in many disputes with evangelical and ‘born-again’ Christians who cannot understand how anybody could disagree with their view of things and yet live a fulfilled life. I respect Christians whose faith allows them to respect those who do not share that faith, just as I do Judaists and Muslims: but I do not like Christian evangelism,or any other kind of religious evangelism, and this is why:

SERMON

You tell me that you know
what is at the root of my troubles,
why I find it so difficult to deal
with my illness and pain.
You say it is because I have no faith,
because I do not believe in God.
You say
that I must learn to believe in Him,
to accept Him into my life,
to humble myself before Him, as you do,
because life can have no meaning
for those who choose to live without Him,
no direction
for those who refuse to live according to His Word;
no hope for those
who do not seek out
the kind of comfort that only He can give.
You say too,
that you will pray to God
to offer me guidance
so that one day I might see the truth of this for myself.
And then you tell me
that God is supreme over all things
and no mortal creature can ever comprehend
the true extent of His powers
or presume to know His intentions.
So can you explain:
If the contents of God’s thoughts
are as far beyond the grasp of humankind
as you say they are
then how can you know
what God wants or needs from us,
or if He wants or needs anything at all?
If the Will of God is such a profound mystery,
precisely how do you set about obeying it?
Do you yourself know God?
Has He told you all those things that you tell me
it is impossible to know?
Has He taught you the workings of the Universe
in every tiny detail?
And through knowing Him
do you also know the workings of every human Soul?
Have you searched the depths of my Soul
more intensely than I have?
Is your understanding of its complexities
more thorough than my own?
And surely you as well have been unhappy.
Even with God to help you, have you not suffered?
Have grief, anger, confusion, despair,
played no part in your life?
Are you really so content that you can instruct others
in the art of contentment?
And despite all your efforts to adhere to God’s Law,
have you never sinned against another human being,
never been cruel or mean or neglectful
or proud?
Are you so perfect that you can instruct others
in the arts of perfection?
And tell me this also:
do you really believe
that God’s compassion only extends
to those who tell Him they love Him?
Is this your idea of humility,
that our existence on Earth
is a competition
that only those who share your belief
can win?
I beg you, please, for both our sakes,
do not condemn me
simply because when I look at the world
through my eyes
I do not see what you see
when you look at it through yours.
If God exists as you say He does,
He will pass His judgment on me without your help;
and He surely will pass His judgment on you too,
when on the Last Day
He comes to weigh your actions,
and see how slight is your love for Him
when measured against your own self-love.

I Live In A Library…

…and an art-gallery too.
No, I do not live in the kind of building which is usually designated in this way. I live in a one-bedroom flat on the fifth floor of a council-owned tower-block.
But on the other hand, I have somehow managed to find space for some thousands of books – I’m not sure how many: two? three? – and a quantity of pictures and other ornaments of which I have no count.
I call my books a library and not a collection, because it resembles what is usually called a library in one crucial fashion. On the plethora of shelving in my living room, bedroom and kitchen, and in many other spaces where there is no room on the shelves, there is some representation of just about every kind of literature there is.
Lining a vast tract of the available wallspace and tucked under much of the furniture on the floor, you will find a whole world of words from across the ages: from the great mythologies which appeared at the birth of human society and human language to the fantastic folk-tales and ballads which filled the memories and imaginations of those whose struggle to live meant that they had little time for reading; from Apuleius and the Oddessey all the way to P.G. Wodehouse and J.R.R. Tolkein; from Cervantes to Dickens, from Sappho and Ovid up to T.S. Eliot and Dylan Thomas; from Aeschylus and Aristophenes all the way to George Bernard Shaw and and Bertolt Brecht; from Aristotle to Bernard Russell; from Lucretius to Stephen Hawking; from Socrates to Karl Marx.
I also possess the great religious writings of the world: the Bible of course, which includes the Torah; also the Kabalah; the Koran; the Bhagavad Ghita and the Upanishads; the Egyptian Book of the Dead; the ancient precursors to the Bible such as Gilgamesh Tao Te Ching and many others. I am not an never have been a religious man; but I do have something which might simplistically be called a spiritual life, though that is not a sufficient phrase to describe either its nature or its significance. So, althought I do not share a belief in any of the faiths these volumes represent, all of them have in some way given me an insight into my own contact with a universal force which is knowable and unknowable simultaneously; and their moral teachings have made me thoughtful of myself and the worth of my actions as no other writings have
You will find in my library many images too – and how much is covered by those simple words! What a fantastic variety of themes and styles line my shelves, ranging from such as the Lascaux cave paintings from thousands of years ago all the way through to the dadaism of the last century!
Modern publishing allows me to have so many these wonderful works, albeit in reproduced form, in my possession, and so gives me the opportunity to enjoy and to contemplate on the great anonymous artists of the ancient worlds of Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, Japan, and of the wonderful civilisations and tribal societies of Africa, of the Americas, or of Australia or the South Sea Islands as examples.I can explore the complexities of the early and mediaval illuminated manuscripts epitomised by the Books of Lindisfarne and of Kells; I can attempt to comprehend the elaboration of the baroque and the rococo; I can wander round the visit the streets and homes of the Dutch school of painters; I can join in the dramas and drolleries of Hogarth and Gillray; I can try to understand what goes in the heads of the surrealists like Ernst or Dali; I can puzzle over Piccasso’s contorted view of the world; or I can just escape into the many and varied worlds of the artists with whom I most closely associate myself: Constable, Turner, Munch, Van Gogh, Monet.
And these are not all the artists, or writers, who share my home with me. There are – I do not exaggerate – thousands: great names, lesser names, names barely remembered.
I suppose to many of the people reading this, many if not all of these I have mentioned here are just names which in themselves can give no clue as to their significance either to the world or to me. But if I tell you that the work done by these men and the men and women of so many historical eras, so many peoples and nations, addressing all the issues of science, faith and spirituality, describing the many and wonderfully varied worlds that they live in that go to make up our world, sharing all their ideas and imaginings, whether in writing or through one of the other arts, whether simply or intricately expressed, whether humorous or serious, exciting or restful, is a gift that has been given to me by history which allows me to do something glorious that I could not otherwise do.
That is because to me these are not just names: they are real human beings, who have taken their own cares and concerns and who speak to me of those through their writings and their art. They are my neghbours, my housemates, my friends and loving companions, who are there for me whenever I need them; and they do not let me wallow in my own self-regard: they are all travellers, and where they go, I may go too. They are sometimes my enemy, too, with whom I have fought, and whom, in my imagination, I have always defeated.
I have listened to the chatter of slaves and the oratory of senators in Rome; debated with wordy philosophers in Athens; stood in the crowd when a certain preacher standing on a patch of high ground spoke simple words of peace that have rung round the world ever since; wandered across plains and through rainforests with a young scientist whose discoveries changed the way humankind understood itself; stood by the elbow of a stargazer as he saw through his telescope a universe nobody had suspected was there; sat by poets as they sat in their small rooms or marched behind their ploughs working out verses which are now known by heart by millions; fought on deck alongside a mighty commander who died at the moment of his greatest victory; fought at the barricades with hungry revolutionaries in Paris or in Moscow, in the trenches or on sandblown battlefields with the British Tommy; flown alongside the Wright Brothers at Kittyhawk, Lindbergh across the Atlantic, Douglas Bader in the war-torn skies over England; lived the careless floating life in Kyoto; rolled the dice with the hoods of New York; survived the earthquake that destroyed Lisbon, the fire which burnt down San Francisco, the mighty plagues and the bombardments which murdered London, the city, my city, in which, through my books, I have lived for two thousand years.
I have travelled, too, to the bottom of the oceans, home to the strangest forms of life that can be imagined; and likewise to the outer reaches of the universe, taking in all the great marvels that fill the infinities of space between here and the endless reaches of time.
So many wonderful adventures have I had, so many wonderful sights have I seen, so many lives I have lived (what I have described here is but a fraction of what I have witnessed in the boundless reaches of my imagination) all by the simple act of every day sitting down with a book, and maybe a cup of tea, and turning the pages.
But there is a new circumstance in my life which has made such journeying very difficult now: my eyesight is failing. A combination of cataract and floaters have limited my sight to one eye, and that eye full of shapeless things that move like dark creatures swimming in a pool, always distracting me from the words on the page.
There is no remedy for this; so now my reading is severely limited to a few minutes at a time before I must stop reading, and rest till I am ready to read again. What used to be a fascination that went beyond mere pleasure has now become a pain. This grieves me especially because I am getting old, and there is still so much of my library I have not yet explored, and now maybe never will explore.
However, reading is still just about possible, and writing is still relatively easy, despite the annoyance of having these strange objects like fish in a bowl always drawing my thoughts away from where I would want them to be. So while I can continue with my voyages into the deeper and farther reaches of my own mind, it will have to be in a different way. I will have to give time to recalling as much as I can of what I have learned, and use these memories to create new and magical adventures of my own.
It will be the last major journey I make in my life (my physical health is against me venturing too far into the real world as I was once able to do), so I intend to make the best of it that I can, and see how far I can get before, the nature of life being what it is, I can go no further.