Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow.

That is a quote from Oscar Wilde. 

My first Blog on this page was on 5 July 2006. Three and a half years and five computers ago.

I had been thinking a lot at that time about why the number three seemed so significant to mankind.  Mystical.  There has to be a rational explanation for that.  I was going to explore the theme and perhaps bring together in one place all the history, references and theories I could find, and perhaps explore some of my own insights that I have developed over the years on why things are the way they are, or better, why we see them in the way we see. them. 

I don’t know, maybe I really hoped this would become some form of budding philosophical work that might substitute for the thesis I never attempted.  A way to prove that one does not have to have a university bestowed PhD to be capable of intellectual accomplishment.  I saw also it as a way to practise an art I admire and to which I have long aspired.   I thought perhaps I would polish my writing skills, attract hundreds or even thousands of fans, and become an acclaimed writer. Just like that. 

This blog has really turned out to be a load of old cobblers.  Really.  Apart from one or two little pieces I believe to have a germ of originality or at least a little potential, it is nothing more than a diary of events, travels, random thoughts and pretentious ideas.  With recipes thrown in, for pity’s sake! 

Why did I expect it to be more?  I am no deep thinker.  I have occasional insights, some empathy, and a whole deep morass of shallowness and superficiality.  Did I actually think otherwise?

The blog does have one benefit, perhaps.   I might have some hope that some future generation will know of me and my life, in a way I do not of my own great grandparents’ lives, or those of my grandparents’  or even, to some extent, my very parents’ for that matter.  Their lives, their aspirations, their motivations and even their activities are a hidden mystery to me except where they interacted with my own life.  I know for the most part these antecedents did exist, for otherwise I would not.  I know little or nothing else about them; who were their siblings and friends, what they did, where they lived, who they knew and loved, places they visited, where they worked, what they accomplished, whether they achieved renown, acclaim, celebrity, distinction, glory, honour, if they won medals, saved lives, or fought in wars, and if so how they fought and even how they died.

What that tells me is; any immortality
we may ever hope to have as an individual, rests on someone, some long
time hence, recognising our existance for something other than being just a
progenitor.   Otherwise we are nothing more than a forgotten name on a gravestone or memorial plaque.
If that is what we shall be, is that what we are now?

Better to be remembered for at least something more than having once lived, and reproduced.  Even planaria do that.

At least this blog records the fact that I am a human, and describes the mundane and the special events that constitute some seemingly significant part of my life.  It just does not reveal too much of me.  The real me, The me I feel I am.  Though that may well be only the me I imagine, not the one that stares at me in the mirror. I have never admitted before that the person who looks out of the mirror is not actually the me I believe I am.  But I digress. 

This meandering record of my life and thoughts may possibly be all I leave behind at the last. The only record of my existence.  Perhaps I need to store it in a safer place than on the ephemeral internet.  I could end up a 404 page not found error, my tombstone erased by virtual wind and rain. 


I took this photo near Quin Abbey in Quin, County Clare, where my Irish ancestry lived. 
Was Patrick Hannon a relative, or a friend or lover of someone in my family?

My epitaph, when the time comes (not yet – don’t worry dear reader, if
you are still out there -I am not depressed or suicidal, merely being
unduly and shamefully publicly frank with myself) should be "He could have accomplished much – but he
was too feckin lazy".   Perhaps that is what I need to set out and change.  I
had ambition once.  But I was too feckin lazy.  Not afraid-of-work lazy, but
afraid-of-failure lazy. Take-the-path-that-is-easiest lazy.  A path that has ultimately not proved to be that easy at all.  So here I am – failed for lack of attempt.  What I have done counts for little when I consider what I thought I might do.
 

Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.

Sydney J. Harris.



Writing, it seems to me, is a matter of exposing oneself in public.  Probably someone else has said that too. Be that as it may, here am I doing exactly that.  Published words put before others are as revealing as an open fly,
but cannot be zipped away again if it turns out they are just too embarrassing.  One has to get used to the idea of
everyone knowing one’s thoughts.  Perhaps laughing at them, or worse, feeling scorn.  Mayhap I did not believe my thoughts were
really worth that risk. 

The good thing about this page is that I can pretend that I do not know who is reading it, if anyone still is. It has allowed me to imagine an anonymous reader who does not know me at all. 
It is for that person I write.  I imagine he is myself reading Bill Bryson,
who does not know me, nor I him,  save through his writing.  What does Bryson care what I think?  What do I care? 

One of my more embarrassing memories is the fatuous conversation I had with the late author Robert Heinlein in my callow youth. He was gracious, encouraging.  In some way I feel I have let him down. But it is myself I have let down.  And I digress once more. 

You know what is the main problem with this blog?  It is instant. Write and publish.   It is not carefully crafted and edited.   One cannot, as Oscar Wilde said – and I misquote –  "spend a whole morning considering whether to insert a comma, and an afternoon considering whether to remove it".  

So what am I saying here?  It is an
anonymous reading version of me for whom I write.  So. I am writing for myself!
The
question is – as a reader, am I satisfied with what I have read so far? 


No.


I am glad I sorted that out.  I am too old for this angst.



I have decided what I want to be when I grow up.

Not me. More me.  Less me.  Another me.

Something like that. 

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About Alan

Alone in a sea of spinifex.
This entry was posted in Life, don't talk to me about life!. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow.

  1. Alan R says:

    Good. It is practice… For the day when my light burns brightly.

    Like

  2. Glenn says:

    No.None of us are reading it.

    Like

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