Who am I? This is the proverbial question which can demand a philosophical response, a physical description, an historical tour, or definition via time and context.
Upon reaching Abyssinia, the existentialist traveller, Arthur Rimbaud, seeking to merge perpetually changing external experience with internal consciousness, asked, seriously or mocking I don’t know, “What am I doing here?”
GOWM. That’s me. Grumpy old white male, albeit with social awareness. Well all baby boomers have, haven’t we? We launched the social revolution that broke the scourge of McCarthyism. That gives us the right to justifications, rationalisations and denials. Don’t blame us for the neo-liberalism that proclaims ‘there is no society’, or for leaving the most abhorrent of legacies namely a climate in crisis. I didn’t vote for it.
It’s become a modernist cliché that everyone must have a ‘bucket list’. I am the product of a system that sought to drive the thought of creativity out of my being. One that declared your life is only fit to spend in a factory. Defiance sent me on a Rimbaud like journey where the urge for expression rose and faltered till it reached number one on my bucket list.
So now I have some space to focus on trying to capture all those random threads and ephemeral wisps, the chemical reactions that constitute thought, and bring them together into a coherent form. There is anguish when it falters, despair when a piece is cast aside as junk, the irritation of going in circles, joy when a flow takes over, exhilaration when a concept becomes whole, and sheer unadulterated pleasure when it is that some original thought was achieved.
Am I self-obsessed introvert? Sure. Add a dose of arrogant attention seeking? Quite likely.
Maybe this is aspirational and delusional, yet when asked ‘what do you write about?’ I respond with “John le Carré meets Dune and Frantz Fanon”.
Expect a mixture of opinion based on fact, of pure fiction, and hybrids. Covering journeys from the past to the future, with elements of surrealism and fantasy, references the profound, the profane and the eccentric, and homages to those I consider have made a valuable contribution to life on this planet.
Welcome to the peripatos.
Peripatetic is a transliteration of the ancient Greek words peripatoi, meaning colonnades, and peripatetikos, which refers to the act of walking. It is a reference the school of science and philosophy formed by Aristotle. Legend has it that Aristotle walked beneath the arches as he lectured, and his school was known simply as the Peripatos.