A lot of people do not like Mondays, and I can see why, I have been that person although for much my life I did not work a regular nine till five, Monday to Friday job, in fact, today I was talking about how I had spent much of my employed life working thirteen days on and one off, and 7 years working permanent night shift. As well as two jobs on and off. Although my longest hours were, definitely, working minimum wage doing 12 and 13-hour shifts, going self-employed did not reduce the workload because for a long time I was working a paid job full time and then working self-employed full-time hours building up to the point where I could cut back my paid employment.
Looking back I can see that these long hours happened not because they were made necessary by choices I did not make. What is difficult is understanding how I was allowed to be away, but then I realised, that the job I had was isolated. I was on site, at night, with no co-workers with me. So it was secure in that I was controlled, later in life when I started my own business, which was part of my downfall, I could not be controlled, and I saw a much more obvious system of control. Especially as having my own business saw me trying to exercise control and build my dream, not her vision. I also see how she used her position to sabotage and undermine my chances of success. In short, I see how being allowed certain freedoms was a way to hide and exert control over me.
Which, sort diversion takes me and the Mouse away from this week’s creative efforts and other thoughts that have happened over the week. Me and the Mouse are still very much finding our feet on this Monday Night Reflection thing. Last week I meant to write notes to give ideas for what to include, I thought about talking about some of the process behind a poem. That did feel self-indulgent, but we could run with that. I thought about reflecting on our life, my life, the creative life, and writing down thoughts and ideas. That had more mileage in it but carries the risk of giving away my real identity. Which, when you say it, sounds rather paranoid, but anonymity is the key to the blog and freedom of expression. It is one thing to have your creative output mocked, quite another to have it both mocked and then twisted and used against you.
It also occurred to me that I could write the Monday night reflection before Monday night and schedule it, although seems a little deceitful. Although I am trying to up the creative output so that blog posts can be scheduled and saved in advance, which is trying to become a better writer and master my craft. Which is where there is congruence between the Mouse, as my blog persona, the part of me that processes the past and channels that to a creative expression, and me. I am in the transition from what I have done for over a decade, and I am very good at, to something new which, I feel very bad at because I have stopped enjoying what I am good at. The reality is that the more I have indulged my creative side, the less I have enjoyed where my mastery is. Till now learning was a joy, I am surrounded by books on my profession. My profession was my passion and my living, which made it so much easier to do the bits that were no fun, like accounts and tax returns. However, it got stale, and now it really is not that much fun at all. The transition is that, if you don’t like a situation, either you change the situation or you change your attitude to the situation.
Creatively this week has been great, letting the Mouse loose on some ideas and material from the pre-Mouse era, reworking those, what look now to be, very rough sketchy handwritten notes into poems has been really rewarding, and I haven’t finished with them yet. Only three pages of A4 but a good seam of inspiration.
This has been a positive development, because I identified a problem, in seeking to direct my creative energies away from the past, although this reflection is evidence that the past is still very present, and get the Mouse flowing in a different direction where the past is inspiration, guidance and advice for the future, and to sneak in some non-reflective, less Mousey work as well, I have started to seek out writing prompts, and am in danger of using them as a replacement for self driven. A problem made worse by the challenge of a writing prompt, which is, on its own highly appealing. The challenge of finding originality in myself is a little more daunting. What if, when I dig for creativity there is nothing there but the past and what has happened then. What if pain, abuse, hurt and depression are the only wells from which my creativity draws. I am not sure how I feel about that at all. Worse still, what if they turn out to be very shallow wells, and that not only are those the only dimensions to my creativity and inspiration, they run out and I am left in a void. Perhaps that is why “what if” questions can be so debilitating.
The disadvantage of the online world is that it can be easy to fake confidence, and even be a little abrasive and strident in tone and conduct. I know the persona of the Mouse gained confidence and that spilled over to me, and I very quickly came to regret that. It also led to the Mouse and I agreeing to boundaries and ground rules for the Mouse and how the Mouse conducts business. The Mouse has a twitter account and I do not. The main purpose of that account is to follow and learn and to engage where appropriate. I was taking over that and becoming vocal with a different agenda, perhaps some undue coquetry and definitely some anonymity driven abrasiveness. Which was not the idea at all.
Recovery is a journey, and I am on that path. It can be easy to forget that having travelled a great distance, there can still be an even greater distance left to travel. It is hard also not to be reminded of the words of Karl Marx who wrote, “The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living”, in that my past can lie like a nightmare on me.