You can’t go home again… and other facets of denial.

Moving out of my childhood home was a gradual process. I’m a gradual process person. Not cold turkey; a “weaner”, if you will. When things happen suddenly, I forget Douglas Adams’s best advice…. (Read: I panic.)

I get stuck in an odd state of shock only calculable as a sick ratio beyond my mathematical skills that involves variables such as “deer,” “headlights,” “fans” and lots and lots of “shit.” There’s something within that state of shock which is the quintessential form of denial. Like Pure Extract of Denial, if you will. It’s this core belief that somehow, somewhere deep within this giant cesspool of bullshit, there is a safe place. There is still somewhere where you can go where you float freely in some kind of womb-like structure. But that doesn’t really exist, does it? But were we ever to let go of this deep-seeded belief, we’d surely go insane. We have no choice. We must believe. (I think I’m on to something here, regarding the foundation of religion and other myth-making, but that’s really beyond the scope of my blogging escapades at 2.45 on a Friday afternoon.)

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Excerpts from an Interview with Myself

Okay, exciting, I know. Transcript/rip-off of my interview with (from sometime last spring). I was discussing my writing process with someone today, and it made me want to blog about it (naturally). Then I remembered this interview, so I thought I would share this instead. I wrote all the answers, so I feel no guilt in repeating them here.

What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
I first read the back of milk cartons. But I mostly just looked at the pictures. It made the story easier to understand. Even at such a young age, I got it. The cows like eating daisies, they smile, while blinking their pop art eyelashes. They are happy to have their teats violated for me. I think from here I moved on to picture books, but those memories are all a little hazy. Must have been all the Children’s Tylenol I was jacked up on.

I began to write in kindergarten. I had just learned a new skillset: the proper etiquette for eating paste. I was a sick kid (all the paste, of course) and spent about three weeks in hospital, during which I completed my opus. It was magnificent; something about a dinosaur. It glittered. I made a cover out of cardboard, which my mother had to sew together as the doctors had banned all paste. Continue reading “Excerpts from an Interview with Myself”

A Mental Health Year

It seems to happen every four or five years, doesn’t it? That cycle of personal growth. Quarter-Life Productions started in 2005 – a mere four years ago. Perhaps that’s a testament to my advancing age (advancing, not advanced), that four years seems a small speck, a blip in the otherwise murky waters of my sea of emotional instability. Four years. That’s nothing. Four years from now I’ll be a thirty-year-old. A thirty-year-old I’m slowly getting acquainted with. Four years ago I was twenty-two. A small baby. I don’t know that kid anymore. But in tracking the chronological path of Four Years, it’s within the scope of cognitive recognition. Like when you were a kid on a camping trip, and you’d shine the flashlight at the stars, just to see how high up that beam of light could go. It didn’t reach the sky, just like now, at twenty-six, I have no possible way of casting any light on who I will be or even what I will be when I’m old and grey (if, indeed, I ever get there). Yet now, thirty is the trees on the edge of the campsite; close enough for the flashlight to reach. I’m not entirely sure who, or what, or where I will be, but the closer I get, the possibilities narrow.

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Peaks and Troughs and Tweaks and Prods

There is a theory of evolution that argues that, rather than evolutionary change happening at a constant rate over a long time, changes happen quickly – remoulding the population at a relatively quick pace – then followed by a long period of stasis. Visualize the path from single-cell organism to human being as a set of stairs rather than a long, sloping ramp. I’ve always thought of the development of one’s self, one’s personality, as analogous to evolution. Certain traits are selected for and developed – education, love, humour – while other traits simply still exist because there was no strong enough force selecting against – neuroses, bitterness, etc. Just like evolution, there is no divinely prescribed endgame. You’re not working towards anything. You die out when you die out. You don’t always get more complex, although that’s the pattern these things tend to follow. But you’re not the same person at the end of your life as at the beginning. And these things just happen fairly randomly. You can’t really control who you are, can you?

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