Some days I wake up charged with ideas and passion, unable to sleep as I mentally write the day’s blog. Other days, I’m like the Marion Keyes’ character in “The Woman Who Stole My Life,” who, while trying to begin a second book, finds herself spending hours in front of the keyboard, only to finally type just one word … arse.
This is an arse day.
Oh, I have lots of thoughts reeling through my mind, on many subjects. I’m trying to parse my feelings about the Charlie Hebdo massacre, and reading compelling follow up articles that have different takes on the ongoing siege and tragedy. I’m listening to what others have to say, whether they come from a militant or pacifist angle.
I’m receiving mail and messages commenting on the role of empathy in a democratic society, and decrying the position the Far Right has taken in regards to the less fortunate. The loudest voices always seem to demand more for those that already have so much, and less for those with basic needs.
I’m contemplating the ‘bad eggs’ in society, those who continually get away with actions that would land an ordinary citizen in jail, but whose allegiances with corporate or political factions keep them safe and in powerful positions. And, despite the world’s embracing of the “I Am Charlie” manifesto, and the vaunted demand for freedom of expression, I’m a little frightened myself to talk against those in power, for fear of reprisals.
I’m inwardly chuckling over people who use their 15 seconds of fame to insert their feet so thoughtfully into their mouths. What would we do without the Rob Fords, Sarah Palins and Kardashians of the world? They seem to exist solely to play the role of court jester in the mainstream media.
I’m mulling over how easy it is to be misunderstood when presenting one’s ideas. With few cues in the printed word beyond exclamation marks and emoticons, communication can become muddied through what is written, and how it is perceived. A simple sentence, tossed away in easy face to face conversation, can be taken in social media as a declaration of war. Perhaps the pen is indeed mightier than the sword.
Certainly there are days when a winky smiley face can defuse a hothead.
I’m also feeling very grateful that I can count so many intelligent, creative and fascinating people amongst my friends, both on social media and in real life. Not everyone agrees with what I have to say, but that’s a good thing – if we all spent time in complete agreement on every subject, we would soon be bored. The key to understanding any part of life is listening to all sides of the story. As long as we can listen to other viewpoints without losing our tempers and stalking away, we keep the dialogue open and let fresh air into our minds.
So perhaps it’s not so much an ‘arse’ day as it is a day to regroup one’s thoughts, and decide where energies should be concentrated. Writing clarifies thinking, and concentrates random concepts so that they can hopefully be understood both by the writer and the reader. In order to present ideas that are ideally both important and well-expressed, the odd ‘arse’ day may be as necessary to a writer as a mental health day to those more gainfully employed.
At least that’s today’s excuse. (insert winky smiley face.)