Eleventh Blog: an explanation (of sorts) for all this rubbish . . .

I didn't have much of an education.

Our family led something of a peripatetic lifestyle and I was in and out of this school and that; sometimes with long gaps between.  My first employer insisted we all attended college - day release it was called - and there we had three compulsory subjects: English (taught of course by a Welshman), British Constitution and Social Economics. There was space on the timetable for one other subject and so, with some misgivings, we were all enrolled in something called 'General Studies'.  It was to be something of an awakening for me.

The class was taught by 'Contraceptive Evans'; a name we gave him, to distinguish him from the other 'English' Evans, based on the subject of his first presentation, which came as something of a shock to us sixteen year olds (this was still the sixties after all and mainstream education was a long way from leaving the fifties).

There were no exams involved, nothing to learn so to speak.  We would just turn up and find ourselves watching a slide show of art or modern architecture, listening to recordings of plays or avant garde  electronic music,  sitting through lectures on the different types of insurance policies and their uses or once, watching a documentary on 'Skinheads; (an English invention that didn't get exported to the USA).  The idea was to expose us to a wide variety of experience with little or no guidance as to what we were to make of it all, that was up to us, and it is an idea that has stayed with me all my life.  If I discover something new or unusual or maybe simply interesting, I pass it on, laying it out at the feet of whatever poor soul happens along.  Maybe it will mean something to them, maybe not.

Hence the raw material for my little blogs; I am just passing things along.

I'm still under doctors orders and my physical world has shrunk dramatically in the last couple of years.

I spend much of my time with a computer (which I dislike) on one side and a TV (which I positively hate) on the other.  In between I am gradually turning a pile of old magazines into a mountain of collage, finishing off several projects that have been hanging in the air for far too long, and tapping away at my second book of short stories.  The world is still very much with me in my imagination and I seem to be doing more and better work now than I have for several years past.

So while I am waiting for literary inspiration, or for another acre of paper to dry, I put things up on IUOMA that may interest or amuse (never bore, I hope?), on the off chance that someone else will discover something new, something useful or simply something to fill an empty moment.

All that is probably more of an excuse than an explanation but there we are; isn't that life?

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Comment by Robin Jeree on September 28, 2019 at 5:31pm

Mary Anne -- the kaleidoscope and your description -- what a beautiful metaphor.

And to whatever you may share or pass along, I say thank you and carry on!

Comment by Mary Anne on September 26, 2019 at 10:16am

There is a concept prevalent throughout western culture and beyond that life is a tapestry, that our doings and our life's history is woven together (usually by the Fates or some such) and fixed for all time; part of a pattern that will only be truly seen at the end.

I find, more and more, that nothing is fixed least of all the pattern.  Life seems to me to be something of a kaleidoscope.  Every day almost, a new event shakes the little coloured glass memories into new shapes, new patterns, revealing connections and similarities not before seen,   Of a sudden bad happenings can seem beneficent and then, just as suddenly, bad again just because of a trick in the light or of perspective.  A state of flux perhaps?

This experience of the past informs my present.  Nothing is really good or bad it just is.  Those Buddhist chaps might just have it right after all. 

Some of them that is; not all.

Comment by John Gayer on September 26, 2019 at 8:08am

This entry is simultaneously entertaining and most touching. Amazing how age allows one to look back on life's thread, see things in a new light and draw from those experiences - despite the obstacles! thanks   



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