Wednesday, 31 December 2014


Tidying up my study this morning I had a quick tidy of the suspension file holding the instructions for appliances etc. and came across the access codes for DC's old Mercury phone line account from 1993. Not only is the account gone but Mercury too! We still have two phones with the 'blue button', the memory button for the Mercury access code- one now on my study desk and another now by our bed. In the days of the Mercury account the first was in the kitchen and the second on DC's desk - both in the previous address. Nothing stays the same but some things do sustain.

This post is for DC with all my love

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The wrong kind of doubt

The past few weeks I've been sitting with quite a bit. Before I got my job interview and subsequent job a lot of anxiety had started to flood in. Some of this was rooted in 'genuine' concerns but there has been a large measure of OCD in it. I know the territory well and there is nothing to do but sit with it. It's difficult, tiring and most unpleasant. There is very little that seems solid and even the slightest concern feels like certain disaster. It has eased considerably, as I knew it would but it has taken time and in part still remains. In all this I've been wondering about posting here and noticed that there was no 'voice'; nothing to say. Of course this 'nothing to say' is more accurately described as 'nothing to say to the imagined reader' And who is this imagined reader? Well, I guess that there are two aspects to that; the inside and the outside. There is the part of me that's interested in what I'm saying (the inside) and there is a conglomeration of imagined foes that might take a 'negative or judgemental' view on what I might write (the outside). The outside is of course a projection. With this particular OCD anxiety the outside assumes the proportions of a very big and unfriendly other.

I recall talking with my friend about writing in a way which doesn't say with certainty 'this is how it is'. The it being my personal experience and NOT some great pronouncement about the very nature of reality. As an engineer I'm trained in being clear, precise and definite. So, trying to write with honesty and openness about my inner life and keeping an open mind, saying something of how it seems without being rigid can be a challenge. And it's all too easy to come across as some great pronouncement of certainty about reality. Which would be absurd! It's not that I'm 100% sure - it's just that as soon as I try to say anything it sounds like I am. In fact at times, such as when my OCD is raging, I feel so uncertain of  things (except that I'm a terrible person) that I loose too much solidity. There is in my experience, a healthy 'great doubt' and a very unhealthy doubting of ones self.

Taking refuge in the three treasures and having faith that this does let one put one foot in front of the other with confidence in the midst of great doubt even when that doubt is the 'wrong kind' has been much of the challenge this past couple of months. The direction of a new job is helping in the move to the 'right' kind of doubt.

 Today, I've also been more closely faced with some of the fears I have about those 'immagined' readers.