Friday, 28 March 2008

Gardens and Fathers

The following snippets were both written during long train journeys, which are great for reading, writing and musing, as well as spending hours just staring blissfully out of the window. On one journey I saw from the window a few gardens on the outskirts of a small town and the owners seemed to have all bought the same garden furniture, which evoked the following:

Look across the rooftops of a Mediterranean town at the monotony of the buildings - that's similarity born of necessity. Then look at the towns of England and see how each little enclave looks identical - that's similarity born of unimaginative consumerism. People pay stupid amounts of money to express their individuality and end up looking the same. It's a shame to see such precious resources wasted on something so immediately pointless. Everything is ultimately pointless as life is only short, but some things are worth the effort. A lot of it isn't.

The second one just presented itself during a moment of daydreaming:

Us 'Fatherless' sons spend a lot of our time looking for male role-models, father-figures whose lives we can ape so that we can become 'men'. We also spend a lot of time bemoaning the damage our fathers caused us by their absence, even if we do all the complaining entirely in our own minds and never mention it to anyone else. But do boys from 'complete' families really have it any better? Some do, but not all. Sometimes there's no guidance, sometimes it's fundamentally flawed. A lot of the time our fathers didn't receive any help from their fathers so how can they guide us? They were making it up as they went along. That's what we need to do, but in a more focussed fashion: picture our ideal world and then turn ourselves into people who deserve to live in it.

That's it. Neither of those was exactly earth-shattering, just a couple of pages from an old notebook that I didn't want to lose.