Friday, 30 September 2011

I have a CAS...

...a fantasy. To help me through reality. But, this isn't ABBA. I actually do have a CAS. Cheers, guys.

Everything came through today, and it even looks like I'll be in Wales on the 12th October 2011, just three weeks late which, all things considered, isn't bad.

It's a funny world, though. In all of this, there have been dozens of people involved. People with the loan office, people with the admin office at my uni, people with the International Office especially. People, people, people. Hey, even I had a small part. But the thing is, the one who did the most, did the best, did, in a way, it all, won't ever get any credit.

I will probably never be able to tell him this in person. I'm just too weak. I'm too much of a brown turd. It's the way I've been for almost two decades.

I did my bit for the CAS; I did it a long time ago, and I sat around and waited. And I worried, and I made calls so that I could go to university because it was my dream and I wanted to follow it. The International Office and the admin office, and the loan office, and all the other offices did their bit for it too—and I'm the first to acknowledge it's been a pain in the rear and that Dr. Higgins and Ms. Brown have done above and beyond the call of duty for it. But see, they get paid for it. They might be personally invested in me, and I've no complaint to them—I love them. I really do. I have no such affection for the bureaucrats at the loan office, and maybe I'm not being fair, but they seem to have done a bit less than they're paid (by our taxes) to do. But, well, that's water under the boat. We've all done our bit, because we get paid to do it, or we get something out of it. Much as I'd like to think I did it for others, it was always about me. It was always about an education, or a job, or whatever reason those offices had to keep working at it.

Mainly, though, it's the Pops. Cause, he never got anything out of it, and he won't still—but from the very beginning to the very end, he made calls. And he gave money. And he gave time. And he made more calls. Then he yelled at some people cause I'm a wimp and I can't do that. Once that was all done, and he'd done everything that he could, he did it again, and he did it a few more times, then a bunch more, then at the very end of it he did it one final time and it came through and things happened. I won't ever thank him properly; I haven't done much properly at all in that respect. Everyone will be proud of me for what I did; they'll think the offices all finally pulled through and then God will get the credit from those in my circles. That's all good; it's fine, it's great. It's the way it is. I could change it, but I'm too weak.

Because it's well and good to do something for a dream. I don't recall the last time, though, that I spent that much time, money, effort, and ruthless persistence to fulfil the dream of a spoiled bastard who doesn't deserve a lick. Or the last time that I cared enough to do half of that for someone I loved. I would, probably; or I'd like to think that I'd like to do it.

It sure is a funny world. It's not a nice world, but it is funny. It's messed up, too. It's cracked, it is. All the same, whilst I wouldn't say there's hope for humanity, I suppose it says something about where you come from, and shouts something about what you've got to live up to. Well, what I've got to live up to. Here's trying, and failing. And the first few hundred times I fail I guess I'll just have to remember the dear old CAS.

Thanks, Pops.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The Murder of a Dream

It was the cold, brutal murder of a dream, nursed close to the chest.
No swift killing, and no bed-rest.
Cut down in prime, with no chance to test
Just slaughtered on a whim, because it was "best".
It's just an old, dead dream now. Lay it to rest.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Watch

I watch them run, and laugh, and party
Whilst I stay home and grind my teeth.
But there's so much worse I could be doing
So much to life I still have left.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Interesting Chocolates With a Sprinkle of Cynicism

I have discovered the secret to an interesting blogger or diarist. The key is to lead an interesting life. This I will proceed to attempt, solely for the purpose of becoming a more interesting blogger. This will gain me followers, which will raise my self-esteem, thereby helping me achieve a completely unworthy and useless goal, pushing me further toward the height of stable insanity. Ah, life, how I have missed thee.

Forrest Gump once said, "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." He was quoting his mother, but let's not quibble. I'd like to agree, with an amendment of my own making: "Life is like a box of chocolates after the fat kid got to it. It smells nice, but the rattling you hear when you shake it are just the husks of long-consumed truffles and nougats, milks and darks. The wrapping is pretty, but the promise of hidden delight is stifled with horror when, upon opening, you see it was just the memory of something good. You never know what you're gonna get, because maybe, just maybe, the fat kid left a half-eaten Mars Bar behind. He didn't, but you can always pretend."

Thursday, 15 September 2011

The Sap Runs Through the Trees

The hardest words we ever say
Come freely, several times a day.
But what they mean we'll never know
Till death us part and to heaven we go.
So often I would like to utter
Those three words; but I just stutter
And back away, because I've said
Them once already and it's now dead
The love I had, the one I needed,
The one I saw, that time my heart seceded.

So. "I love you," there I've said it, soul. You happy?
Well, did I mean it, is it real? Am I just being sappy?

Jane Eyre

I have never read Jane Eyre, the book. As with all well-known classics, bits and pieces of the story have floated into my hearing, so it was not without any knowledge of the train of events in Jane's life that I began the film.

It portrays an England that is as empty and lonely as Jane's life. Even when surrounded by the few people that make up the characters, there is a bleakness to it reminiscent of another Brontë's famous work. The image of Jane, alone on the moor, stays with us as a symbol of the life she lived, and seems destined to remain in.

The pieces were there; the locations, the actors, the script and score—and the direction was aesthetically very pleasing. Something was missing. I think perhaps it is a little too like the novels of the Brontë era. One way of saying it is that too much was told and too little shown. We know that Jane and Edward love each other because we are told so. We see very little time pass but are expected to know that it has. There was nothing unenjoyable about the depiction of events, but, perhaps indicative of the director's ideology of the times or story itself, there is a constant stiltedness of circumstance, wherein we view an emotional journey in broken pieces, as if the story were a collage providing the key results but not the important moments in between. As viewers we are given no chance to care for the relationships that grow, for the camera and story are shy, giving us a glimpse and then, as some self-conscious gift-giver, drawing them back so that never are we let fully into the story itself. For all its penchant for explanation, there is much the script has not given us, things that we are expected either to know of from prior reading, or things we are simply not to care about.

Do not misunderstand me. It was a grand film, and much in it is there to love. But I cannot do so unreservedly, for I feel as if it were a very long trailer, or detailed dissertation on Jane Eyre without being a story with blood and heart and raw emotion. I cared, but I could have cared so much more; a story-telling crime it is, to create potential and spoil it through misuse or lack of understanding.

A crime, yes; but a crime that is paid for by the beauty of what is left unmolested.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The End of an Era



The pipes they played their ageless tune,

As we drove away into the gloom.

One journey ended, another begun

One song closing, one to be sung.

I wept not to say goodbye;

I walked away, my eyelids dry.

Bittersweet my memories,

The tunes I learned—the mistakes I made.

And through it all, we continued on

But no more. Our song is done.


In death there is a fond farewell

But I hear in life a more final knell

What will come, who can tell?

I fear it more, the hollow shell

Of what might be, but never was

Of lives un-lived, and love unloved.

Do we meet again, when all is said?

When paths diverge in our yellow wood?

God didn’t say, so I don’t know

Still...I’d like to think—somewhere, somehow—that it might be so.


I hear the voice, I hear the war

I hear the sound on a distant shore

I feel the spirit of yesterday

I touch the past, when the pipers played.

The pipes kept playing, for you and me

They kept on saying, “You’ll soon be free”

And your soul will never fade away

You’ll live forever when the pipers play.

And yet, in those fond words, I find no hope:

A cliff and a scaffold. At the end of it...rope.


From that day on, where’er I went

I didn’t play—my song was spent

I didn’t sing, my life was sung

My musical soul on a gallows hung.

But in the far reaches of memory,

I sometimes recall, just to see,

The way I feel, the way I felt

The cards I had, how my hand was dealt.

And as I remember that long ride home

I can hear no pipes, and no snare drum.