Isn’t everything a conversation? I

Isn’t everything a conversation?
I remember the first time I really got into live chat on the internet. I struck up a “conversation” with someone who I knew I would never meet, living on the other side of the planet, with no concievable connection between us other than the fact that we were both sitting at computer keyboards connected to the internet.

Once we had got through the a/s/l pleasantries it quickly became clear that this woman was going through a rough time in her marriage. I started asking some genuinely interested questions and getting more and more full answers. As this process continued I realised that I was in effect counselling my “friend”, the paragraphs of writing appearing on the screen from her got longer and more powerful as time passed by. By being willing to listen, being non judgemental and caring, I was helping her sort out her problems. I remember thinking at the time that it was a bit like talking to yourself but better.

Sure “markets are conversations” but then isn’t everything? Don’t we define ourselves in relation to the conversations we hear around us when we are young, the conversations we have with others as we grow and become more independant and even the conversations we have with ourselves as we constantly chatter in our own heads. It is surely through these constant dialogues (even the monologues are dialogues) that we prove we exist and what that existence means.

Isn’t this what is so wonderful about the internet – its power to connect us across physical or cultural barriers in such an intimate way that it feels like talking to ourselves but better!

I thought he’d be good…..and

I thought he’d be good…..and he is
Thoughts, wrote Nietzsche, are shadows of our feelings: always darker, emptier, and simpler than these. And the written word, it strikes me, is but a shadow of our thoughts.

I’ve been working on this piece for nearly an hour now, writing a clause or two, thinking about it, writing another, going back and changing what I’ve written, moving things around, deleting, deleting, deleting, and yet all it probably took you to read it is two minutes. How different it would seem if we were talking. For it appears, reading back, that I have a certain point in mind and am taking the shortest route available to making that point, when in fact I’ve been discovering things as I’ve gone, not knowing what I would find.

from oblivio

Me and my mate Montaigne

Me and my mate Montaigne
Storming a breach, conducting an embassy,ruling a nation are glittering deeds. Rebuking, laughing, buying, selling, loving, hating and living together gently and justly with your household – and with yourself – not getting slack nor being false to yourself, is something more remarkable, more rare and more difficult. Whatever people may say, such secluded lives sustain in that way duties which are at least as hard and as tense as those of other lives

Montaigne The Complete Essays (from The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton)

The reason I called my blog “The Obvious?” was that it is me stating what to me is obvious (and because someone else had already called theirs “Stating The Obvious” first).

I am more and more convinced that the world ends up the way it does because other people say loudly enough and confidently enough that it should end up that way. If we all overcame our reticence and stated what to each of is obvious then we might get somewhere good. The web gives us the chance to do this in the complex mix of equally valid paradigms that Dave Weinberger refers to in Joho the blog.

Yes my blog is about me, as Chris Locke says, but it is also very much about my perspective on the world.

Fitting words I’d been trying

Fitting words
I’d been trying to think of some appropriate words to go with this picture


taken on my walk this morning. It was a beautiful, cold, clear morning with everything crisp and fresh.

In A Dark Time found them for me.

The Darkling Thrush
I LEANT upon a coppice gate

When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky-
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land’s sharp features seemed to be
The Century’s corpse outleapt,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware

Thomas Hardy – December 1900

Oh goody Found what looks

Oh goody
Found what looks like a v interesting blog:

I have a theory. My theory is that the parting is contained in the greeting. Is this a theory? No, it is an observation. My observation is that one knows from the beginning why a relationship will fail, that the problem is plain and yet one pretends not to see it; or perhaps one admits to seeing it but downplays its significance. The flush of love, or attraction, or simply of hope, is a powerful hallucinogen, one that causes us to see things that are not there and to fail to see things that are. A relationship does not begin in earnest until the effects of this drug have worn off.

oblivio via diveintomark

I didn’t think I’d be

I didn’t think I’d be doing this……..
But here I am at 1.30am on the 1st of January 2002 writing in my blog.

I feel slightly uncomfortable quoting a few lines from Anthony Robbins’ book “Ultimate Power” as he still feels to me to be one of the cheesiest of success writers. The uncanny thing is that he has been more “right” and more true to the mark out of all of the self help writers I have read over the past few years.

Anyway here we go …this felt very appropriate for New Year’s Day.

Every religious book on the planet talks about the power and effect of belief on mankind. People who succeed on a major scale differ greatly in their beliefs from those who fail. Our beliefs about what we are and what we can be precisely determine what we will be. If we believe in magic, we will have a magical life. If we believe our life is defined by narrow limits, we’ve suddenly made those limits real. What we believe to be true, what we believe is possible, becomes what’s true, becomes what’s possible.

Anthony Robbins Unlimited Power