Monday, 20 January 2014
no of-fence, or in my de-fence
Three guys with hoods over their heads are digging up my garden in the first dry day for a long time. Lady Luck has given me a shy smile. As they take away all the rubble, they also relieve my anxiety and the stratification of out of control circumstances that have characterised 20 years in this place I try so hard to call home. I am still half asleep after dreary dreams of fences and potential people of-fended by them. So, I decided to stay in bed and read. Oliver Burkeman, The Antidote. The antidote for positive thinking, that is. So far, the actual prescriptions or suggestions leave me quite cold, for instance the Stoic approach, which seems to me pretty grim, I prefer no approach at all, then, perfect atheism and suspension from belief. Yet, I have now entered a part of the text that tackles the sense of discomfort given by uncertainty, and of how much we always try to scramble upon safer land, to avoid the pain of uncertainty. Somehow, in my personal life, I seem to think of less uncertainty if I purchase what I like instead of just admiring it. The actual physical possession, taken from a shop and brought to my cave, seems, at the the time of purchase, to give me control. I am leading a quite nomadic urban life at the moment, thanks to all the public spaces available in this town, from the Barbican, to Southbank, Tate Modern, etc. Plus the plethora of new coffeehouses, that for a couple of extra pounds offer you star treatment in incredibly inspiring, relaxing, creative environments. I enjoy the fact that my purchase of a cup of tea grants me a couch, a table, often wi-fi, clean toilets, polished floors, new furniture and even pleasant art on the walls, not to mention sometimes stunning views. But these places are NOT MINE, and the desire for security, for constant, private access to those places, kicks in. Possessions. What exactly are the mechanisms of possession. Why would you want to own a book instead of borrowing it? I went to celebrate a friend's birthday yesterday, and I loved her flat, big rooms, nice classic furniture, a good cosy atmosphere. And I immediately thought, I want this place. Yet I had enjoyed it, yet I can enjoy visiting many friends with beautiful places and immerse myself in their atmosphere. Uncertainly will always be there. Out of positive thinking though, I want to keep dreams of a fun future in beautiful locations. Lake Tahoe being one of them. Perhaps Lady Luck will smile again. And no, Mr Burkeman, I am not giving her up for a nice parade of worse case scenarios.