Sunday, March 31, 2013

An Easter present for you, dear Reader


Reading the Signs said...

Oh - you've been posting again, and no-one told me. Can you believe this? I can't. I must now add you to a List (do I still have one?) otherwise I am missing out, and why should I do that? I have heard nothing like this before at Easter, so thank you. Is it better than sex, though? This is the question that will be on everyone's minds. All I can say is - it depends. Lets just say I've had better and I've had worse.

Good to see you, Schwes x

The WVLs are saying "rsedecid". For them, at any rate, the arse has to decide the question of whether better than or not - which is just downright rude, if you ask me.

Anna MR said...

Oh-oh. I must admit I am finding the WVLs message funnier than I ought to.

As for Lists – the only one I've ever used is The Reader (google thingy right), and recently I was given the message that they're closing down services. Can you imagine? The audacity of it all.

Very good to see you , Schwes.


trousers said...

HI, Ms Mr, and many thanks for your comment on my very quiet blog. Yes, I still sign in and check for any activity every so often (that of others, clearly I have been less than active in any bloggy respects).

Yes, I'm doing ok, and taking the rough with the smooth as always. It's those other people who are responsible for the roughness, and not just for me either.

I do aim to do more blog-posts - I do have something specific in mind which it would make sense to write and post in the near future. And it would be good to catch up with such fine people as yourself - I do think about my bloggy pals even though I've been so quiet.

I have been active in other ways, however. Feel free to have a listen to some of my musical scribblings, here, but certainly don't feel obliged.

Many thanks again for your comment, and I do hope life is treating you well. Perhaps before much time passes I'll catch up with your blog and be able to find out for myself. In the meantime, my very warmest regards, and it's always good to cross paths with you.


Anna MR said...

Goddamn those Other People, my dear young housut, for it verily is always them causing the roughness. The worst roughness, at any rate.

Delighted to see you here, and thank you for the music link. I have a window open on your site, and will sit down and have a listen sometime soon. Due to various contingent factors, however, today's not the day.

Do remember that writing new blog posts is by no means a prerequisite for visiting other blogs, should the mood for blog chat grab you. You are always welcome here, posts or not; but, as I have done the disappearing act fairly regularly myself and know from the inside some of the feelings which may be associated with it, I hasten to add there is no sneaky pressure squeezed into that statement. Merely a welcome-if-you-feel-it-would-be-fun type thing.


trousers said...

Hi again - yes, me, twice in one day. Who'da thought?

I do see much sense in what you say - there's no reason why I can't chat whether I've blogged or not, yes. Good point. It occurs to me that I've always anchored such things around my own blogging, purely because that was what I just did.

The fact is, I'm intending to post something anyway, and looking forward to doing so - so perhaps a bit of bloggy chat here and there will help me to re-familiarise - it's been a while after all :)

I appreciate your kind encouragement, it has to be said (well, technically speaking, I don't actually know whether it has to be said or not - nonetheless, I've said it).

Oh, and another point on the music - thanks in anticipation, for whenever you might listen. Just as I certainly don't wish you to feel at all obliged, neither is it a problem for me if you find little (or less) in there that you like - I'm aware that it won't be everyone's cup of tea after all, which is exactly how it should be.


Anna MR said...

Well now I do feel properly spoiled Indeed, sweet young housut. How perfectly lovely and delightful that you came back so soon.

Yes, one can get into patterns of "how it's done" without really ever satisfactorily explaining to oneself why it should be done thus. Chatting in comment boxes, however, certainly has no rule of first being prolific on one's own blog. You can take this from me; and you yourself must remember how, when we were all young and the blogosphere was the thing and so on, comment threads could and indeed would carry on to over a hundred comments, some of them of astounding length, complexity, and madness.

(It was fun, wasn't it? Oh for the olden golden days of yore, ubi sunt the neige of yesteryear, and so on.) No, for real, I feel proper bittersweet nostalgia over that time.)

Actually, just between thee and me, this wee conversation of ours here now has sparked a something in my mind that may well land up as a blog post. It feels almost like I'd had sudden insight into something. Goodness me.

(I am intrigued to hear your music. I feel no obligation, but it must wait for the right moment. I have understood it is – for want of a better word – unusual. I like things being unusual; their unusualness per se, even if the details of the particular type of unusualness are not my cup of tea. So in at least the general sense I can already safely say I am fully supporting and rooting for your stuff.)


trousers said...

Yes, they were indeed heady days - the thrill of something new, a little like when I wrote letters regularly for the first time, when I and other friends had moved to different parts of the country to study: enjoying the whole process of transforming memories and recent experiences in to words, and putting those words into a letterbox, and getting a reply a few days later.

I still miss letter-writing, in fact (I do write the occasional, er, analogue letter, mind you) and perhaps blogging is one of the closest things to that as regards this social media lark (excepting email). I note your latest post, and along with this sudden correspondence here on this thread, I'm recalling the sheer novelty of our little community that would sustain me in different ways - some obvious, some subtle.

I think I know what you mean when you use the phrase 'bittersweet nostalgia' - indeed, I do have fond memories, but they're far from rose-tinted. A few times at least, it was as fraught as being a teenager and learning how to handle grown-up emotions and being quite awkward about it.

Oh, another word about the music - 'I must wait for the right moment' - absolutely, I tend to find the same myself. Anything else just wouldn't do.


Anna MR said...

Well, young housut, I listened to "Wolverhampton" and lo, I liked it. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised – you had played it up to be rather harder to like than what I found it (I was perhaps secretly a bit worried that it would be the sort of very, very loud "Art of Noise" type stuff, which, whilst working sometimes for sure, is sorta out at this period of my life). So I will be listening to some more in the near future – and I must say I totally adore the title "A Sockful of Saturday Morning", which, therefore, will likely be my next sample of the Musical World of Housut. There is something almost Tom Waitsian in the title – his sense of left-of-centre humour, perhaps. At least that's how it feels to me. And there was, I found, more than a hint of St Frank Zappa in the sudden changes of direction the music took. So yes, I liked it rather a lot.

There is something in transferring one's thoughts into words that just simply feels good – and the inability to do so, when one would like to or, even more so, is absolutely dying to blurt out that certain something,whatever it may be, to exorcise it from one's system, to externalise it and have it out there somewhere – that, of course, conversely feels mighty bad. Perhaps making music is analogous to that? I don't know, for I don't (make music), but maybe you can ponder on that and enlighten me.

I am sure the desire to externalise and express may also have at least a contributory effect on the lure and drive of writing novels. I spent fairly large swathes of my late childhood and early youth writing fiction – terrible fiction, of course, but what can you expect from and demand of someone between ten and fifteen years? – but then I absolutely dried up. Nothing, nothing, nothing to say; nothing that I would like to make up; nothing to say or make up to which it would feel worth my (or anyone's) while to give existence. Go figure, for sure; and, when I first started blogging, there was a gradual opening up of the feeling of "okay, I actually wanna say this, whatever it will become [for one doesn't always know beforehand, does one?]". I still don't feel like writing novels (not implying that I could, mind you, but I have no proper desire to, either); but the occasional (sometimes very occasional) blog post simply feels good.

As do these correspondence exchanges. So thank you for exchanging, housut my friend.


trousers said...

Well, thank you very much for your comments and thoughts on 'Wolverhampton' - and I do appreciate you listening. You'll find 'A Sockful...' rather more frenetic, it has to be said. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing or a good thing, just a thing.

Yes, I probably did play it up to be a more difficult prospect than it possibly is - some of them have their moments in that respect, but I tend to go back and forth between melody, texture and noise.

I do think there are some clear analogies between writing and music making, yes. It's still very much that transference, that sense of making something real and tangible that was previously going round one's head - and everything that's involved in the process of externalising what was previously internal. In fact I would say that what you've written in your last comment, about writing, holds perfectly true for music - so yes, the thoughts and feeling you describe are a direct equivalent, and hold just as true, in my experience at least.

I suspect there will be many more similarities than differences, in the process and principles at least, regardless of the obvious formal differences.

I note your last paragraph, too, and it's probably worth pointing out that I nodded in recognition at many parts of it. Not that I necessarily had the same drive to write, but I recognise the territory and have my equivalents, as it were. As such, one of the primary reasons I actually started blogging was that I hoped it would start to lead me back towards creative activity, something which had lain relatively dormant for a couple of years or so. I certainly did find that blogging helped me to reconnect to such ways of thinking and expressing, in a suitably modest (by which I mean non-daunting) way. Of course it's had its own value both in and of itself, but helped to serve as a catalyst, too.

Yes, I'm enjoying this return to conversation too - and the thoughts that we're discussing - therefore, my thanks in turn :)


Anna MR said...

I sometimes think how, when we were children – like the children who are children now – we would engage in all manner of creative activity. And how that oftentimes, almost always, for many if not most of us, comes to an end as we approach adulthood (or even puberty). Self-criticism sets in, "oh I'm no good at drawing" or whatever, and, in a puff of smoke, all that wonderful self-expression is lost. It is a steep price to pay for being a grownup and being allowed to decide when and where one eats chocolate and so on.

At its best, the blogland thing inspired me at any rate to go for it and play again, like a child. I learned to cut and paste photos, for instance – very poorly, but regardless, and it was fun. I am perhaps aiming to have it back, becoming as I am more active here again.


trousers said...

Yes. I really oscillate between self-doubt and self-confidence in most aspects of anything involving self-expression - and I think I always have (like when I got top marks for drawing and went, frowning, to the tutor, convinced he'd made a mistake somehow). I think 'play' is one of the most important things to aim for - having fun with it all, pushing things around like a naughty cat will.

I occasionally find a point, however, at which things find their own momentum, beyond my doubts etc - this being further on in the process when I've managed to create something tangible enough despite all the self-criticism etc. It feels/seems that the work from that point onwards subtly shifts to be more in relation to the external thing itself, rather than to my internal impulses. If that makes sense.

But yes, play - it's crucial if you ask me. More so as time wears on.


Anna MR said...

Oh that is quite funny, in a touching fashion, you going to the tutor to complain about too-good marks. What did they say? Not lower your mark, anyway, I hope.

But yes, I think you are describing a certain flow-experience with how the things find their own momentum and just move towards – whatever it is they move towards. But certainly without the cognition-centred self-doubter squealing and whining and wailing loudly. Which is a major hurrah, to be sure; for that creature is highly annoying and just simply in the way. In the way of us just getting on with doing the things we like and love and want to do, in the way of us playing. Bad waily creature. Or, well, this is a bit psychodynamic and mummy's-apron-stringsy, but perhaps the waily whining creature is the self we should comfort and reassure, rather than slag them off like I've just been doing.

However. This from wikipedia (you must first find the correct "play", of course: Play (activity), enjoyed by animals and humans. I love that, you know? Activity enjoyed by animals and humans. Mmm-mmm.):

"The National Institute for Play describes seven play types: [all good stuff, but pay particular attention to number 7, young housut]

1. Attunement, which establishes a connection, such as between newborn and mother.
2. Body, in which an infant explores the ways in which his or her body works and interacts with the world, such as making funny sounds or discovering what happens in a fall.
3. Object, such as playing with toys, banging pots and pans, handling physical things in ways that use curiosity.
4. Social, play which involves others in activities such as tumbling, making faces, and building connections with another child or group of children.
5. Imaginative (also called "pretend" or "fantasy"), in which a child invents scenarios from his or her imagination and acts within them as a form of play, such as princess or pirate play.
6. Narrative (or storytelling), the play of learning and language that develops intellect, such as a parent reading aloud to a child, or a child retelling the story in his or her own words.
7. Transformative (or integrative), by which one plays with imagination to transcend what is known in the current state, to create a higher state. For example, a person might experiment to find a new way to use a musical instrument, thereby taking that form of music to a higher plane; or, as Einstein was known to do, a person might wonder about things which are not yet known and play with unproven ideas as a bridge to the discovery of new knowledge.

Verily, we should and shall one day become the Einsteins of blogspotland and soundcloud…

I've played at working really hard this afternoon and evening, and my eyes are quite, quite square, and whilst it's been enjoyable, I have to stop looking at the computer now, or those square oculars may just burst in flames (and whilst that would be quite spectacular, there might be some nuisancy aspects to it, too).

I'll go and walk the dog. Unfortunately I've allowed it (the evening, not the dog) to go dark; the evening was lovely, long and light like they are starting to be this time of year at these latitudes; but like I said, I've played at working or worked at playing or whatever. Hope you are well this fine evening, housut my friend.


trousers said...

Yes indeed to all that, and as you rightly point out, to number 7. Fantastic and informative reading, all of it.

Number 5 was also immediately evocative, too - I did much of that, though perhaps predictably it was more soldiery-type stuff and Dr Who adventures. Oh, and I still do plenty of number 3 - I tap objects to see what noise they make, quite frequently.

Thanks so much for posting that list, it was also relevant in a work-related discussion, about the power and importance of play right through one's adult life.

You mentioned the dog - still Dogot, I take it?

Hope you're well.


ps one of the word thingies is 'hypnotic'

Anna MR said...

I am glad you liked the play information. I think it's worth all our whiles (and especially the brilliant ones of us who are on our way towards einsteinship) to think of the varied nature of play, once in a while (as an educational scientist, this comes close to my "academic" interests, too). (And what is music-making if it isn't finding out what sounds can be made?)

And yes – it is still Ms Dogot, the most beautiful dog-girl in the world. She sends her regards, very chuffed that young housut remembers her.

I'll do, as they say – and I hope you're very well too.

(Hypnotic is pleasing.)