A while back, on my previous blog From London With Love, I started a regular column called ’My Week in Words’. It was a random collection of words I’ve seen, heard or read during a week that attracted me like a moth to the flame, all scrambled together in an effort to see if there was perhaps a common theme to my week. I know, it’s silly, the human brain finds reason wherever it looks and I certainly found mine, every week. But that was soon to be abandoned, I was still only a shy apprentice of life, finding it hard to stick to anything that didn’t threaten my life if I hadn’t. I had parties to go to, work to moan about and generally newer shinier projects to go chasing, like a dog who’s just seen another stick being thrown out into the air and starts running for it, wiggling its tail.
Anyway, where am I going with this, you wonder. So am I… But let’s indulge in this thread of though and see where it takes us.
Yesterday I went for a long run through the Highgate Woods, in preparation for my Royal Parks Half Marathon in October, and I found myself thinking, stride after stride, about the things that I found interesting this week. And that maybe I should revive that ancient idea of whether the words one encounters as she/he goes about her/his business, don’t actually carry some sort of transcendental message. So I decided I should start babbling away again at my computer about the words that maybe mean something.
And since I’m reading like a monkey (a few books at the time) I noticed something great. That words do come to us in a twisted intertwined magical way. It’s like receiving a telegram from God.
Take ’Fuck it!” for instance, the ’Ultimate Spiritual Book’ by John C. Parkin. I’ve read a lot of spiritual books in my life and I’m getting a bit bored with the same old phrases. Yes, I know I should renounce my ego and replace fear with love and things like that, but often, in practice, I find myself still reaching for the same old tools I’ve been equipped with from infancy and I’m still a spoiled brat sometimes that wants things done the way she expects them to be done. But what I liked about ’Fuck it!’ is that it’s like the principle with no beginning and no end, you can say fuck it to all that too.
The book tells you to read it like this: open it at random and just see if you find anything there worth your time. And I found a very appropriate chapter about self-discipline.
I’ve been so incredibly hard on myself and feeling really bad about not waking up first thing in the morning and going for a run, or not writing another chapter, or not doing my meditation, or not going to the gym enough times, or not having made the most of summer etc. Boy, that means I’m missing out of the present and you know what, fuck it! I’m not having any of that anymore, I’m going to try to live guilt free from now on.
And then strangely enough another devilish character entered my world: Hunter S. Thompson. I went to see ’Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ at the Battersea Power Station and learnt with this occasion, once more, that maybe we, the citizens of the year 2014, are just a little bit too refrained and stuck up! Inspired by the film, I started reading ’Kingdom of Fear’ and started laughing out loud from the very first pages. I love how irreverent and non-PC he is and how good it feels sometimes to just call things by their names, like “Politics is the Art of Controlling Your Enviroment” or “The brutal reality of politics would be probably intolerable without drugs.”
Maybe breaking the rules sometimes is not only ok, but it’s a moral duty. Inspired by the psychedelic writer, I felt like graffiti-ing the Asda banners outside the tube station for being green and pretending that they care about the environment when they have a van with the motor running outside of the tube station all day from Monday to Friday!
Anyway, maybe these words mean something and maybe they don’t. Maybe we do run around life reading poems on the underground like Meg Ryan’s character in Jane Campion’s film ’In The Cut’ looking for the magical in the everyday profane and failing. But it’s absolutely nothing wrong with trying!