Sunday, 14 February 2010

That Was January That Was

January has been a strange month. It appears my ability to concentrate has taken a holiday. Focus is a better word. My ability to concentrate is dissipated across a spectrum of associated subjects every time I attempt to focus on the one. Even writing this, I am thinking whether anyone is really interested in a diary entry; if so how to deliver it; to what extent that consideration, the awareness that what I write here will be read by others qualifies the text as a diary entry; whether life is 'the luminous envelope' as described by Virginia Woolf, 'surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end' and how I could translate that idea here in a style both contemporary and relevant.
(If you wonder why such thoughts should trespass, there are reasons. Indeed, my head is full of philosophy at the moment.)
January has been an empty month filled with intent drained off action. I overflow with promise. My conversations are filled with plans and all have received cross-party support.  Despite that, I have failed to submit even an outline proposal to the planning sub-committee. And time is limited. Deadlines draw close. Elections loom.
I know I am being cryptic but superstition catches my tongue – I do not want to talk of my ambitions for fear they will be extinguished faster than a fireman's illicit fag.
For all its snow, January was not the cruellest of months. I was prepared for the blizzards. As I last posted. I knew I would be negotiating foreign terrain and with each day it becomes more familiar. Moreover, I have not stumbled. The absence of tobacco has not been missed. (A tremulous boast whispered through crossed fingers.) My strategies seem to be working.
The absence of alcohol has displayed different characteristics.
There is so much theatre, such ceremony, so many words involved in the pouring and downing of a glass of wine or pint of beer, its absence leaves a real gap. Not only are you, the novice teetotaller, unsure how to behave at the moment the sun crosses the yardarm, neither are your friends. It is like attending a mass where the celebrant has forgotten the order of service.
This is the social issue for which I have yet to devise the means to make all comfortable.

Postscript 

Lane has just written of the difficulties of concentration for the new non-smoker here, so I am not the only… what was I talking about?

5 comments:

JJ Beattie said...

Well, I've never been a smoker but I'm as good as a teetotaller - drinking rarely in tiny quantities because of how ill it makes me - but I do really understand the theatre you talk of. Other people's reactions to you and your not doing it are also confusing.

Continued good luck to you.

DOT said...

Thanks for your continuing support JJ.

Years ago, a friend, who had been in a worse place than myself, took up Lego (can you take up Lego?) as a replacement therapy after he stopped drinking. I can't afford to follow suit but will write as soon as I have the ability to do so again.

ChrisH said...

Well done to you for keeping going on the no-smoking front my profound admiration on the no-drinking front. I can just about make it through the week without alcohol, but have yet to conquer the weekends. Good luck on the whatever it is you're afraid to hex front, too!

Lane said...

I wish I could remember who it was who said his writing was never the same again after he gave up smoking.

I worried about this for a bit but I think my writing is the same level of gumpf as it was before:-)

Good luck with the drinking. That's a hard one.

Stuart and Gabrielle said...

Your blogs is like dem London buses, wot yu don get anyfink like, den too comes along at wunce.

Great image: did you like Photoshop it youself?

An dif you wan drink Lego insted propa wine like, heres a bottle Lego wine:

http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/s/2056887_lifesize_lego_bottle_to_toast_james_mays_house