Feline Focus

Feline Focus
My latest puma, July 2016


Beloved companion to Sarah, Nov 2015

Window To The Soul

Window To The Soul
Watercolour Horse, June 2015

Sleeping Beauties

Sleeping Beauties
Watercolour Lionesses, Nov 2012


"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."

Groucho Marx

Snow Stalker

Snow Stalker
Another snow leopard - my latest watercolour offering - July 2013

18 September 2016

Seriously Humourless

Hello, I’m back.  Fret-ye-not, I’m still here.  I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, or into a black cloud of internet doom.  Or any kind of doom, actually.  Though I have to admit that part of the reason for my absence of late has been due to one of my tediously frequent world wide web wanderings.  

But that’s not all that I’ve been doing.  No.  I’ve also been getting myself entangled in the words of a post I’ve been labouring over (labouring being the operative word), which I finally worked out was not coming together because:

a) I was being literal in my interpretation of the words of the quote from which I was working;

b) I was thinking too much, and too hard, about the meaning of the words, and what I should write; the resultant dodgy combination equates to ‘me + thinking = catatonic inertia’;

c) I appeared to have misplaced my sense of humour.

This last point in particular is most important, as without it I’m only half a person (not literally, of course.  Think how weird, and confusing, that would be).  

I am extremely serious by nature, but God has seen fit to balance this out by bestowing on me a sense of humour.  It may be dry, irreverent, and impenetrable to a lot of people, but I’ve definitely got one.  I’ve checked with Someone Who Gets It.  It helps to keep me sane - as much as that is a possibility with a mind as loopy, and prone to depressive donkey mode, as mine (think Eeyore, without a balloon to cheer him up).  Can you imagine what I would be like without it?  Dead, probably.

Unfortunately, I sometimes forget that I’ve got one, and then life becomes REALLY hard work…  

And you can see when I’m suffering from a humour-bypass because it manifests itself in my writing.  My blog posts turn into laboured, tedious, repetitive, formal, clod-footed, minutiae-obsessed lectures.  

This particularly happens when I’ve decided that the topic on which I want to write is meant to be serious.  Like recovery, for example.  Hence ending up with the pompously meant-to-be-clever-but-is-actually-pretentious sounding title of ‘Recover Your Self’ for those segments of my blog.  Shoot me now.  (I am going to change the title.)  

It sounds like the name of one of those awful self-help books with which I used to be so enamoured, with titles like Dying Of Embarrassment (yes, that’s a real book - and totally useless for an autistic with anxiety); The Drama Of Being A Child; and all of those endless Co-dependent No More books with their sequels, prequels, and off-shoots - like one of those film franchises that never end, which are so prevalent now. 

And sure, recovery is important, but that’s not the same as serious. Don’t ask me what the difference is, because I’ll give myself an aneurysm trying to work it out.  I just know that it is.  Even reading the two words gives me a different reaction.  ‘Serious’ just sounds really heavy, and doom-laden.  I feel the weight of expectation in that word, and in that ‘Recover Your Self’ title.  And I never work well under those circumstances.  

All creativity flees screaming from my being when confronted with expectations, and seriosity (no, it’s probably not a real word, but who cares?  It’s my blog, and I’m in charge).  I’m beginning to think it has more sense than I do, the dodo who goes boldly (and stupidly, not to mention repetitively) forward to embrace such things as have been proven to be anathemas to my soul.

We have a quote in AA for this (we have a quote in AA for everything): “Recovery is to be enjoyed, not endured.”  (This can, of course, be interchangeable with the word Life, for those not in recovery from something - is there actually anyone out there who isn’t?)  

The point is, it tends to get forgotten.  I certainly forget it.  Oftentimes I’m not even sure what it means…  “Enjoyment?  What’s that when it’s at home, then?”  And off we go on another existential tangent, seriously contemplating the meaning of joy.  An oxymoron waiting to happen if ever I heard one.

And the other reason for my absence from my little corner of the blogiverse is that I have been on a retreat from all things computer-related.  Again.  I have spent the bare minimum of time on here (which has meant one hour, three times a week, for my Skype sessions with my sponsor/best friend).  The rest of the time the computer has been switched off.  

I was intending doing some blog writing - just the ‘old school’ way, with pen and paper, ready to type up on the computer so that I wouldn’t be spending as long staring at the screen - but I haven’t felt much inspiration.  Instead, I’ve done a lot of journal writing, reading, and sleeping.  Yep, I give up the computer and, rather than the promised better sleep (in all of those articles I’ve read about digital ‘detoxing’ - now there’s a word that conjures up seriosity), mine goes to pieces.

Despite the sleep thing, I have felt better.  I’m always amazed at the difference in me when I manage to stay away from the internet, in particular, for any length of time.  It’s like a fog is lifted, one in which I wasn’t even aware of being engulfed, and I start to think clearly.  

It’s phenomenal.  I have my own thoughts and opinions!!  What the hell am I doing reading about the best jobs for your zodiac sign?!  Or the life-cycle of the lesser-spotted, three-legged, antipodean, ridge-backed newt?!!  Or how to cook lentils twenty different ways (I already know how to cook lentils; I don’t need twenty alternatives - having more than one option confuses my brain.  What, in the name of arse, am I doing)?!!!  

But then I forget what happens to me, and I want everyone else’s thoughts as well - except that it seems I have to let go of mine for theirs to replace them, because they can’t cohabit.  A bit like me.  It’s why I live alone.  Put me with someone else and I disappear.  

So, there we go.  Or that’s where I’ve been.  And now I’m here, but I’m going.  If I can manage to bring this to an end.  Which, at this rate, could take a while.

I wish you clarity and peace of mind, and time in your day to retreat from the world (especially the web part of it).  And may you find the humour in everything, to lighten your way.  (Sounding a bit Yoda-ish now.  Definitely time to go before I start sprouting tufty ears.)


Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
An experiment in watercolour and gouache

Quotes Quota

"Do you believe in Magic?" asked Colin.

"That I do, lad," she answered. "I never knowed it by that name, but what does th' name matter? I warrant they call it a different name i' France an' a different one i' Germany. Th' same thing as set th' seeds swellin' an' th' sun shinin' made thee well lad an' it's th' Good Thing. It isn't like us poor fools as think it matters if us is called out of our names. Th' Big Good Thing doesn't stop to worrit, bless thee. It goes on makin' worlds by th' million - worlds like us. Never thee stop believin' in th' Big Good Thing an' knowin' th' world's full of it - an call it what tha' likes. Eh! lad, lad - what's names to th' Joy Maker."

From 'The Secret Garden', by Frances Hodgson Burnett


Copied from photograph of the same name by Roberto Dutesco

Quotes Quota

"There is no way to happiness - happiness is the way."
The Dalai Lama

"If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything."

Malcolm X

On The Prowl

On The Prowl
Watercolour tiger

Quotes Quota

"What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step."

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind."

C S Lewis