I started writing this post, the first in over 4 months, on April 8th, 2013. Margaret Thatcher passed away earlier today but more importantly, at least to my immediate family, it’s my brother’s birthday. I open with this gambit simply to give you some form of personal historical context. Setting the scene even further I’m scribbling into my newly unsealed notebook (pictured above) whilst sat upon an uncomfortable barstool in a non-descript Fulham gastro-bar. Manchester United will play their derby rivals, City, in just over half an hour, which will be streamed live via the series of flat screen TVs peppered around the perimeter of this particular gaff. Such an Orwellian arena of televisions resembles a 1984-esque dystopia to me, albeit for the fact it isn’t yet mandatory for viewers to simulate any displayed sporting prowess. It soon will be though, I’m sure of it.
I’m sipping a pint of Coca Cola, the ice was assumed, and it cost me £3.50. Three pounds and fifty pence. It’s an extortionate amount for what is essentially 18 fluid ounces of carbonated corn syrup topped up with ice (assumed) to reach the full 20, however it reads even steeper when one doubles the costs and measuring units. £7 for 2 pints of Coke. Seven pounds. See?
Anyway, why am I mumbling-on over such fleeting, unimportant descriptors? Well, as pointed out in the opening sentence, it’s been 4 months since my last post and I’m flummoxed by where to start? I could have posted an album review (whilst the flow of my writing might have recently seized, my listening certainly hasn’t) but this would have been a cold start to 2013. They say (whose they? Well, Mark Twain actually) “write what you know,” so what could I be more knowledgeable on than my immediate thoughts and experiences? An ambulance, lights flashing and siren blaring, just drove past the window I face down the Fulham Road.
Another, less sardonic and thus more genuine reason for such a contemplative start is because I have taken an active interest in Meditation since the New Year. The awakening of the self, total awareness of ‘now’ and retraining ones thought processes so not to focus on immediacy and compulsion but rather contemplation and reflection, has been, cliché granted, very fulfilling. I seem to have wandered on to a path forked from the ego driven course of general modern British society. Society, quite an apt word in the wake of Thatcher’s death. Of course there is, and always will be, such a thing as society, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a united, socially-conscious, unselfish and all-round pleasant place to live. Yet I’m discovering with meditative introspection it’s easier not to reduce oneself to the occasionally anxious, irritable, compulsive London boy I so easily and willingly played prior. I’m far, far from Zen, and to be honest I’m sure I wouldn’t want to be that harmonious anyway, but I’m gradually becoming more at peace with, well, everything.
So there we go, the first post of 2013. Let’s get things moving though, eh?