At risk of repeating myself, I will begin this blog-post by quoting Graham Greene who said that writing is a form therapy:
“I wonder how those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear which is inherent in the human situation.”
Through a wide variety of expressions, I have used creativity to make sense of and come to terms with this strange existence that we call ‘life.’ Some years ago, following a major crisis in my life, I took my life-long passion – writing – and dared to share this ‘form of therapy’ with those who cared to read, or hear, or even to publish my words. I opened up this (turret) window for that very purpose and reason.
My fiction, as I have said before, is exactly that: fictional. I’ve no intention of pre-empting everything I post on this blog with that dreary disclaimer:
“All characters are fictitious: any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.”
Art, as we know, has no real meaning beyond itself. Besides, as a friend once said to me, ‘You don't owe people anything.’ That includes my time, or explanations; nor my pointless paranoia over people judging me.
Instead, I offer, freely, my art in the shape of this blog.
It may be that it suited that friend to say what they said. Should we start to question what is true or made up; factual or fictional; artificial or genuine, we might all be found wanting. This turret window is an open invitation, to anyone who cares to look in, with open eyes. Unlike the fictional character in the next of my series of Cautionary Tales, I will not hide away.
I’ve got far too much to say.
from Charlotte & The Charlatan – and other cautionary tales
Bruce the Recluse
“It’s no use,” said Bruce, “I can’t take any more. No matter how often I beg or implore, you refuse to permit me to do as I choose – to live as a hermit.”
“You’re quite right,” said Charlotte, “I will not allow you to hide in your shell; you know very well no matter how dreary your life is, or drab, it will do you no good to exist like a crab.”
“But I’m diffident, shy; that’s why I long to be a recluse,” he said. The reason why Bruce was unconfident in public was extremely abstruse.
Lottie did not accept his excuse. “If you shut yourself off from abusive retorts, you’ll have nothing to help or defend you; the onslaughts will come in from every side,” she told him: “You need a thicker hide.”
“No, I’m happy with the skin I’m in,” Bruce replied: “I don’t care if it’s thin. It’s apparent to all those who judge by the skin that theirs is transparent by far. I’ll remain as I am, and leave them as they are.”
Lottie wasn’t persuaded. “Now, Bruce.” she upbraided: “I don’t care how far or hell-bent on your plan you are to exclude yourself; I consider it rude to keep yourself under lock and key.”
“You speak about ‘us’ or ‘them’ – but not me.” Bruce complained: “I’ve got nothing to rile me; nothing to fear,” claimed Bruce: “I’m better off here.”
Charlotte knew Bruce was on the attack, and while she was on the defensive, she thought it best not to answer back. She pondered a while, looking pensive.
An expert (self-claimed) in the understated, Bruce rated her lack of response as a shout; aggressive as Stentor: ironic; as loud as a whisper. “I know what you’re saying,” he countered her silence with vehement vocals that bordered on violence. “If I shut myself off, I’ll hide in a hovel or live in a cave, I will take self-ostracised existence as an endless curse to the grave.”
Lottie pondered a second more, and though she wasn’t sure she could find a cure for Bruce’s dream of being deprived of reality she offered a solution. “Let’s call it a New Year Resolution,” suggested Charlotte, “A Ramadan Fast or Lenten Abstention.”
“Forty days,” he conceded – “I’ll give it a try.” Believing he had Charlotte outwitted, he hid in his bunker; re-grouped his resolve to live an existence without interference. Thus he hunkered down for a season, leaving others to work out the rhyme or the reason.
Or at any rate, time ceased to make sense. At least, it seemed to slow, but no: time, meaningless and perfunctory ticked on in imperfection. Bruce reduced himself below-par, surreal; a nihilism that justified his inexistentialism.
Charlotte, in her new-found wisdom, took note of Bruce’s absurd position and, without reserve declared him miserly, mean. At the end of the forty days, she attempted to snap Bruce out of his dream.
But Bruce the Recluse was nowhere to be seen.