Roller Coasters and Carousels: The Boy Behind the Glasses July 21 Update

Rollercoasters and Carousels A Boy Behind the Glasses Update

I haven’t written an update for an age… really it has been more than a while!

Reasons…

Well fundamentally it is a bit of laziness and it is hard to know what to update. I am not running a poetry or writing blog as such, this is an archiving project and therefore, there is only so much I can say or reflect upon.

But…

I do feel like I need an update or maybe I feel the need to share? I think I am about halfway through my writing collection. It looks like that when I look at the writing pads I have left, given I have been at this already for a couple of years, it shows you how much longer I have to go.

It might sound a bit like I am being down on people when I say I am not running or creating a poetry or writing blog. I am of course, but not for promotion, or because I want to be a writer. I have been a writer, I have written for local newspapers and magazines but these days, life puts other demands on me, and it can be hard enough to find time to sit down write anything. I don’t knock others for wanting to promote themselves and their voice but I have never seen myself as a, ‘poet’, I was just a person who decided to start putting some words down in a writing pad because it helped, it helped me have a voice and it was a safe space long before I knew really what safe spaces were.

So where am I up to…

Well I have never had an order; I pick a pad at random and start writing. I look at the dates, I think about my life at that point and I start reading it and then I start writing it up. It is always a emotional roller coaster and I have been forced, through this process to have a real reckoning with myself, my attitudes, my behaviours, they are all there, recorded and written down, and through the benefit of older eyes, there is no hiding place. I simply have to look and often, what I see, as in, what I see of me I do not like or I feel sad, ashamed, guilty, as I said, it is an emotional roller coaster with a crazy carousel thrown in for good measure. It does take a toll and if you wander why I sometimes share and post current pieces, it’s because I need a break. The whole process has forced me to revaluate parts of me life, particularly those through misty eyed memories I have romanticised.

Does that mean there is no fun in it, no of course not, amongst the writing I find parts of me that surprise, poems which I suddenly remember writing or have a significance. I also find bits of me that are unexpected, some determination and awareness, on occasion some emotional intelligence.

It’s 1999…


At present I am ploughing through the fertile field of early 1999. I guess if there was an age of reckoning this was it. My life was hardly a world beating fireworks display and I felt there was more to be had and more in me, but I was stuck. Once upon a time when I was younger and I thought about destinations in life, I just assumed I could never afford the fare. Now, at 24, I knew I could afford the fare, I just did not know how to buy the ticket. It’s always tempting to chop up your life into neatly arranged phases. It’s a useful way of managing things, reading back on my writing, it’s rarely like that. But there is a cut off from that point in 1999 at the age of 24 to a couple years later when I had met someone, had my own flat and was working steadily. 24 is my, I am really fed up of my instability. Instability and perceived chaos are much more fun when you are younger. But part of being younger, for me anyway, was experience, wanting to grow and learn. I did not want to miss out and that fear sort of drove me on.

This was an age where I start to find a bit more comfort in actually writing things. It looks a bit clumsy now, but I started to experiment more with the words, look at layout and just try to present the writing as one cohesive piece. I also started to be more confident with the wordplay and try different things. Interestingly the period I am writing now, early 1999, is the period I have probably spent most time editing. I do edit my work as I go, and I have no qualms about that. I always have the original scanned in and available to view. I am comfortable taking my older work and adding bits or changing it here and there. I am not editing the pieces in 1999 because they are awful. I am editing them because I feel they have more potential.

I have conversely left pieces purposely quite uneven, sometimes there is a value in just leaving something as it is. There has to be balance between capturing the time and reflecting me against subtle improvements.

I was only 19…


I also recently found a two complete writing pads from 1994. I had no idea I still had these; in my mind I had a pad from Christmas 1994 then my collection starts about 1995. What is frustrating is that I wrote the first pad up and I had to work out the dates, which I thought I had done. Then the second pad was completed dated, nearly everyone poems. So, some adjustment had to be made. These, ‘poems’, from 1994 are as basic and crude as they get. It took deep breaths to get through them. And it was from a time when I wrote everything down and I was literally writing a couple, sometimes more a day. I do feel blessed and lucky to have this writing, but it is not always comfortable. As I typed and read my writing from 1994, I really wanted to go back to 19 year old me and put an arm around them, sit them down and say, calm down, it will be okay, just do this, don’t do that and have some belief in yourself. It’s strange situation you find yourself in, as if your 19-year-old self is writing directly to you but you are powerless to do anything.

When you are younger you are self-absorbed, you don’t have worldly experience as a rule, and you live off your own creative fat. It is fascinating to read as I move from, childlike teenager through to young man. Experiences flood my writing and there is no dam that will stop it.

And like the Forth Road Bridge (without the paint) it does not stop, I am still writing today. I wrote two poems today in my latest pad, ‘Find Someone to Sing Along’(I have added a picture) and ‘Capital Letters’, it never ends.

Thank you for continuing to read my, ‘stuff’, I know there is a lot of it, but it is always appreciated as are the comments. I wish I could get time to read other people’s work, I do try. But don’t be afraid to nudge me if you want me to look at something.

Thanks again,


James

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