Saturday, April 05, 2008

This post is about everything. And love.

I started this blog about two years ago. Happy Birthday, blog girl. It is quite safe to say a fair amount has happened in these two years - when I started blogging, I was married in the tropics, now I am divorcing in the Arctic (okay, near enough, and it sounds good).

Now before y'all hasten to lace your congratulations with commiserations I will categorically state that this is not a miserable state of affairs, at all. Being a divorcee in the Arctic clearly suits me, is much more right for me than the other option, because I am if not happy (for what, pray, is happiness, and do people seriously expect to achieve it as a permanent state of affairs?) at the very least the shape of my life is a shape that fits, if you see what I mean.

(I am here reminded of several lines from some Finnish poets - names forgotten, sorry. One says something to the effect of "Life is given to you so you can decide what position you'd like to be dead in", another "Life is made that way so you wouldn't long to come back too quickly", and a third states that "Just as the visitor starts to feel at ease, it is time to leave." The last is a bit startling, because I am rather feeling at ease in my life - even with the pain. The pain, in fact, is okay, has been okay for quite some time, it's the sticky immobility horror that is still bad to cope with. Time to shut up in these brackets.)

So yes. My life is a shape that fits, and it's surprising to me, really, how difficult it's been getting here - although to be fair there have been times before now when my life has fitted me okay and I've given it up, either through choice or necessity. I have clutched various instructions and users' manuals on life in my time - and I'd bet I'm not the only one. They tend to state very standard guidelines, though - if you're from a cold country with miserable weather, fantasise about warmer climes, please, if you're single, hope for a relationship. And so on.

I don't mean to sound miserable or embittered here. For I'm not, gentle Reader, most emphatically. Spring has returned, bringing with it birdsong (the other night when I was on my way to the sauna, the blackbird gave me a single and piercingly lovely wolf-whistle. I interpreted that as A Very Good Sign (hello, sis). Put a spring in my step, I can tell you that for free), things that grow, and light - all good things I appreciate greatly (nothing wrong with seasonal change, though, and autumn and death-moon and all that are fine too when their time comes). But there is a certain unnameable something, a wistfulness that the return of spring stirs up in me. Particularly, I suppose, the light, that unreal light of Northern summers which seems to glow from the inside, more and more the later it gets. The further into spring and summer we get, the lighter the light becomes, in both meanings of the word, a weightless other-worldly light which makes you feel like something will come, some redemption, darkness and death are no more, Heaven will surely come unto the earth, and the feeling builds up and builds up with the light, and I can't help myself, can't help my body and soul responding to it and believing the feeling, even though this is my forty-first spring (although only my thirty-first of these my native white springs of such painful beauty. As it is, existence owes me ten more springs, wouldn't you agree? And so, once I'm dead, I will come back for ten more springs. Yes). But alas, maybe it is my age, maybe it is my nature, but while I allow myself, once more, to believe it, can't help but believe it, once again, one more time, I also know it's not going to happen, it will build up and build up and never peak, for just as you think it will, it turns and though it is still lovely it is already descending. I tried to explain this the other night to someone who, miraculously, seemed to get me despite the garblational pig's ear I made of it.

So yes. This blog is two years old, and - probably rather by coincidence than by planning - it has had a fine birthday present from the one-and-only Montag (whom, incidentally, I urge you all to visit. He cares about stuff, and is poignant, funny, angry, amongst other things, sometimes alternately, sometimes concurrently, so there's something for everyone over at his house). Although he is stupefyingly prolific on his "main" site, Montag also has another site where he posts a poem a week, because he fasts and writes poems weekly, for peace. And the present for my blog girl, gentle Reader, was a poem, dedicated to yours truly and my sisters. This is a special and fine thing and one I cannot hope to match, so I'll just say thank you again, Montag, and here - have some trees. I believe you have a liking for them.

(So, if you got this far, gentle Reader, thank you for bearing with me. To all those who have gone on at me about putting up a new post, you've only yourselves to blame (love you really). I feel it may well be I'm pretty much written out for a good long while to come. But another anniversary is also approaching, so I may have to return before too long for a few words on the Second Coming.)


Reading the Signs said...

You see? I have always said that the real stuff of life goes on in the margins - but I should have included brackets. What I have not always said (but now know) is that I am probably a Finn - or at least a Finnish poet-manqué, if not by talent then by temperament and inclination. Next incarnation, perhaps, by which time you will no doubt have incarnated elsewhere. Or perhaps I was there before you and that's why I know it all in my soul. Happiness? Pah! But oh, alright then, just a small glass if I must. Those life-coaching User Manual things, though - out with them, I say. We will live the life we're in, sister - will we not? I should coco!

All written out, you say: well here's hoping you still find much to be written in, and you'll make of that what you will (but the word ver leprechauns, Anna, say sxyamsm so just watch it my dear).

The signs are auspicious (wolfwhistle, the bird)

Pompeii poet monkey said...

You bleeding intellectual, I always knew it (hello, Sis). I had to look up poet-manqué (which is a humiliation, as I like to think I'm better than native speakers and know everything. Yes). Well yes, we'll brush that glaring exposé of my ignorance aside as if it never happened, and say hurrah, sisters again, because I am surely a poet-monkey too. Yes and yes again. You realise, of course, that we don't have any other sort of monkeys over here - the climate is way too harsh - but poet monkeys seem to be very resilient. And as for reincarnation(s), well, we've done a fairly fine job of discovering each other in this one, so I would be inclined to think we'll know each other by the toes and the bollocks, the bollocks and the toes, next time round, too.

"Sxyamsm" (thank you, WVLs) is interesting. At first it looked like a medical condition - a spasm, a paroxysm - but then when I actually read it, it clearly says "sexy am, so am". So yes and yes and yes again - this may mean I must do the S.C. post at some point. (Although it may also be that they are pointing at you, Sexy Signs, and that you may have to write the sequel. It would seem fair, in a way, too. Why should I always be the one to make a monkey of myself and have dodgy people look me up a year later on their smutty google searches? You should see some of the search hits I have. I can't repeat them, because it would only encourage more of their sort. No, actually I can't repeat them because statcounter is temporarily down and I can't access my account. Shame. They are rather juicy, some of them. Monkeys feature, as do horses. Strange. Nowt as queer as folk.)

It seems I am still capable of talking bollocks here, which is A Good Thing. It may have something to do with present company. Mwah, Siskins, enjoy your Sunday. I'm off to Pompeii.

Mellifluous Dark said...

Congratulations, Anna. No commiserations from me. (And I like brackets, too.)

Beautiful post, Finnish lass.

Wishing you many happy returns, in all senses.


Anna MR said...

Hei, Londoness, and thank you for your sweetness and non-commiseration. How are you doing? V. well I hope.

(And yes, they are brilliant, are they not? I overuse them something chronic.)

(I don't know whether the post is all that beautiful, to be honest, Ms Dark, but thank you all the same.)

Navas said...

Here's a thought. I wonder if men use brackets as much as women? I find them a wonderful device for making sure I don't miss out the little asides and extra detail that don't fit into the normal flow of things but are necessary to ensure your reader understands exactly what's in your mind. They are like the little thought bubbles of the written word and I do wonder if men's minds work in quite the same way. I really have to watch my use of brackets, as I tend to get carried away with them (some kind of bracket-addiction?) and frequently find myself re-organising what I've written to take them away.

I enjoyed your post Anna. A past of poignant pain turning to a spring of budding optimism.

I went through the divorce thing many years ago and am happy to report that there is much joy to be found on the other side, although it seems to give me the feeling of having lived more than one life.

And I just got rid of one set of brackets in that last paragraph! (I'm sure I don't use them correctly, but hey ho!)

Anna MR said...

Ha. Hello, Navas - I must say I snortled at your description of my mood as budding optimism (as would anyone else who knows me a bit) (brackets rule, okay? And I don't know whether I agree with it being a feminine vs. masculine thing, really - I see your reasoning but I would (vehemently) oppose to anyone claiming that I (Anna) use a lot of brackets because I am a woman - I would claim I use them because, well, I use them (because they rule, and I don't try to comb them out of my writing either. The thing I hate is when I get myself mixed up in them (sometimes when tired and/or in a hurry) and forget to close one set of the concentric brackets I adore). And there are men perfectly capable of beautiful convolutions, with and without brackets. Still, an interesting idea to throw into play, Navas. I am hoping for some bloodshed here, though, about male/female issues, because it would be fun). But yes, optimism. I'm not known far and wide as a great optimist, really, Navas, I must confess, so you don't get a needlessly bright impression of me. At the best of times I would honestly describe myself as a bit of weirdo prone to lability. I have my moments of faith in things to come and am rather here than in other (temporal) places in my life, but that doesn't stop me from being a miserable so-and-so from time to time (and shhhh - I don't want to do the self-exposure-porn thing, really, but this is my second d-vorce, the first one also from years and years ago (I am hot on the heels of Lizzie Taylor). And I know just what you mean about the feeling of having lived more than one life).

Right so, just needed to make sure I wasn't guilty of bad advertising. I am glad, however, that you liked the post, Navas, and hope these later revelations haven't ruined it for you.

Navas said...

I'm not actually thinking that women may use brackets more because they're women, rather that men are perhaps a little deficient if they don't. People who have bracket-free lives are definitely missing out on a wonderful way of adding thought, meaning and expression to the written word (in my humble opinion). Anyway, in the end it might have more to do with male and female brains as distinct from males and females as such.

(As an aside, I've been doing a massive spring-clean on my bloggy thing and even got around to redecorating!)

Anna MR said...

Well, having completed the male/female brain test I can now proudly announce to have an approximately 25% female brain. Phew. That was harrowing, Navas, and I don't rightly know why. Interesting too, although I don't know how seriously I take these things. But mainly scary.

(I will try to come to visit, honestly I will. I am just a bit of a hermitting weirdo still but I will be there. Soon.)

trousers said...

I saw this post maybe a day or two after you'd put it up: for various reasons however I had neither the time nor the attention span to sit with it and listen to it. I made sure I made a mental note to return to it once such a state of affairs was rectified, and I'm so glad I did.

What a lovely piece of writing for your 2nd blog birthday: all congratulations, no commiserations, and just the right amount of bloggy love sent your way from me. Bloggy love? No - love sent from one human being to another.

I must come back and read this one again.


ps - thinking about some of my conversations with you last year, it might amuse or perplex you to know that The Fall bring a new lp out later this month ;-)

Anna does her research said...

Oh, young housut, you are very sweet indeed. Thank you for the love and congratulations and the non-commiserations, too, and please don't worry - I can see why you wouldn't have had the energy to go with the post because really, it's rather self-indulgent in extremis and no mistake, and you are very kind to praise it now (wading through it twice might be a bit much, mind).

I do, as it happens, remember we were talking about The Fall, and in particular I seem to recall it attracted people's attention that I didn't know who that dude was (I think it was the singer - I've forgotten his bloody name again. I am terrible with names, housut, totally awful).

A-ha. Mark Smith. Don't ask how I "remembered" that, housut, but do look under my name, I've left you a little something there. You being an afficionado, as I recall, it's possibly not new to you, but I was charmed by the furry-moon-boots ballet, it's the sort of thing I often find myself doing (although not posting it onto youtube in a hurry, no) (and no, I don't have furry moon boots either, but still).

Hoping you are keeping well, fine legwear that you are, and I will make sure to come to the press soon. I have been in hibernatia for some while, only breaking it quite recently to go see Montag (as mentioned in the post) and, even more recently, your namesake (Pants) (and I don't count the triumvirate of NMJ, TPE, RTS, because, well, because I don't). But anyway - I will start travelling again as the spring light leads me down the bloggy paths and highways. Sorry to have been so quiet, it's not due to unapprecation, more to do with a Fenno-Ugric solitariness.

Totally lovely to see you here, and thank you again for your sweet words. Be seeing you.


trousers said...

Oh, fantastic ms mr - correct, it's not new to me: but that's only the second time I've seen that particular clip. I'm pretty sure that was from Snub tv, though I may be wrong, but the only other time I saw it was (I think) in 1989 or thereabouts. So thank you for finding that and posting it, it brings back memories of so much more than just the clip itself, and I'm very grateful.

Thanks for replying way over and above the call of duty!


montag said...


I have just returned to the scene and I am overwhelmed.
I mean, it is rather nice to have friends. I have always been told that by people, and now I see what they meant.

I started a new part-time job three weeks ago. It requires a 50 mile drive and I have been on a schedule of go-work-return-hi!-eat-sleep-awake and repeat.
The job is nasty and brutish, hopefully short. It is located-once again- in a depressed area where most parking lots are vacant and all the store windows are dirty so that one cannot tell whether they are abandoned or not.
At least, one cannot tell unless one gets perilously close...

Nearby there are 2 advance pay day stores which charge their victims 200% interest; not just 1, but 2!

At this point, I have portrayed things so bleakly that I feel like St. Augustine: inter faeces et urinam...and whatnot...
...but life is not so bleak!

Thank you.

Anna MR said...

housut, hello, glad you liked the clip. You have maybe noted I spent some time over at the press the other day but failed to open my typing mouth. Sorry about that, and happy belated birthday greetings from here to there. Lovely that you had such a busy and fun weekend.

And hey, no call of duty. I am trying to keep my replying to a different rhythm, nowadays, not focusing on speed of response but rather doing it when it feels a good moment for chatting. I hope you and other guests don't feel snubbed by the delays that happen. It's nice to talk. Hope you've had another nice weekend (in fact, that you still are), and be seeing you.


Anna MR said...

Why Montag, you are heartily welcome. Very pleased if my post and things thereof have brought you cheer. That job of yours, and in particular your description of the area where it's at, sounds so bleak. The poverty where we seem to push people is outrageous - not just the abject physical poverty, but the mental poverty, the hopeless meaninglessness of it all, that derives from it. But no, life is not as bleak as all that - and talking to you, I will have you know, always has me googling furiously for something. This time it was the St Augustine - what a wonder quote that was. Although I have allowed myself now be told it's actually from a St Bernard of somewhere or another. Whoever, whatever, I shall keep it in mind. Thank you, Montag, lovely to see you again. Hope this Sunday is a relaxing and beautiful one for you.