I'm re-arranging my blogs - and starting a new Haiku series, so I need to move old postings around. Now by chance I had started a 'daily prose poem blog' and only managed two entries. So I'm using that Blog for the new Haikus, and moving the old entries here - perhaps with a vague idea of continunig that 'daily prose poem' blog sometime soon...
DAILY PROSE POEM - An Introduction
Why ‘prose poem’? Largely because I don’t see myself as a poet, or my writing as poetry. On the other hand I am not trying to be mediocre, and I believe that poetry is essentially writing where the quality of the style, the sound and the meaning vie for priority. Clarity, the essential component of academic writing, may be relegated to a lower position (though this is optional).
The reason for the endeavour is to keep my writing muscle exercising when the main creative process is stuck, and when the lines flow, then it will serve to warm up the cells of the hippocampus and caudate nucleus, and even generate a useful phrase or idea.
The project will also allow me to continue a specific (and non-diaritical) writing activity when I’m away from home.
A penultimate word before I end this procrastination. I address the question of the font. What? I hear the reasonable critic scream. What has font to do with writing, and how can an e-book enthusiast like you possibly impose their choice upon the reader. I know. I even agree. But I am not suggesting that the alphabet I choose to utilise, need be that which the reader reads. I am using a clear (and, unusually for me, a sans serif) font which, appropriately, is called ‘alef’. (On the other hand, as an armchair apple-enthusiast I could use Adobe Myriad Pro, Helvetica Neue, Lucida Grande or Avenir).
And the final comment. The text will be written (obviously) incrementally – which each new entry added above earlier entries. I was going to say that this is not a blog – but as I write that it occurs to me that I could well use a blogging platform which would allow easy access and continuity (but would limit the choice of font - at least I could choose Helvetica). A huge advantage of this ordering is that it will bury this inordinately long entry at the bottom of what will hopefully be a more fragrant pile of words.
And now, dear reader, read on… (the fact that I had to correct that from dead reader, to deaf reader, to dear reader, indicates the urgent need to improve the input dexterity).
New Year Contemplation
There are many reasons why the resolutions that start a New Year carry a stronger resolve than decisions and plans at other times. It is not the spare time of a holiday season (which is seldom less filled) but the difference in what we are doing. We can look back over the year, over our life in general, from a different place. We are not hemmed in by the usual restraints. And the additional alcohol (or alcohol infused atmosphere) probably increases this sense of being in a different place.
The death of the old year now brings reflections on mortality. People close to us die, and we consider our own mortality. I do not fear death (leaving aside the fear of dying) but I am puzzled by it. From a physical point in existence it is impossible to imagine non-existence. However passive or depressed a person may become, existence is always supported by a process of planning and anticipation, of hooking into some mechanisms of survival. So the state of non-being is incomprehensible. And for one whose life and sensation is essential positive this is even more puzzling.
In personal terms we cannot plan for death. We can make sure that the withdrawal of our existence is easier and less problematic for those we leave behind. Tidying up our affairs, as the modern Victorians would say. Sorting papers. Closing accounts (financial and personal). Making a will. But thinking this 'sorting' is complex. What do we mean 'those we leave behind'. The process of 'leaving behind' implies both continued existence, and a physical point from which the distance to the other can be measured. For convenience we can resort to the argument that we become, and are affirmed by, the memories that remain, the memories others have of us once we disappear.
Essential of course, whilst considering and recognising the inevitability of non-existence, is the need not to let it limit or restrict our existence. All may end, but it is at a non-determined time. Tomorrow or thirty years ahead. Even were we to get a very time-limiting prognosis the precise point of non-existence or withdrawal is unknown. So our planning and survival instinct takes over, and we continue to move forward.
So we start the New Year. The poetry will come later!
(January 03, 2019)
(explanatory note: the date here is important, for it is a few days after Jane died, and a couple of days before a family 'celebration' (in Dunoon) of her life.