Just a few words from me. I’ve been busy and I haven’t felt like writing. I’ve got a name for it – ‘noble tiredness’*** – though I stubbornly refused to acknowledge it. No apology or explanation, but I’d like to restore our connection.
Beginning to write a blog is like coming into the world. It is being born. It’s exciting and immediate, and, caught up in the experience, you don’t really think about the World that you’re giving to, the World that’s receiving you. You are so caught up in yourself.
Dear World, you received me so graciously when I started. I didn’t know who you were, or who I was writing to. You came into the picture gradually, or maybe I mean suddenly; and it was quite unnerving. I did not want all of you to read me at first. I wanted the rest of you, yes, but not You.
Beginnings are easy. There’s the euphoria of starting something new, all the ideas that crowd in and fight for pre-eminence, the excitement of seeing letters cross the page, form words, sentences, and pretty pictures in between.
People read and comment. Looking forward to their responses…it’s fun; even more, it’s delightful. It’s hard to imagine anything changing.
But it does.
For one thing, you turned up. It got harder. Self-consciousness, an old pattern, reactivated. Thanks for showing me that one all over again. Extremely deep-set and so hard to eradicate.
What starts out without a history, just becoming in the present and making the future, gets weighed down by accumulated experience. Becoming a crustacean – both hampered by and protected by that weight, that experience.
And so then I found I was writing to you, and I told you what was in me. I thought you understood, but did you? We had a bit of a wobble. I couldn’t say a word. Silence is easier sometimes, and then becomes a new habit.
Writing to you here is a little like tiptoing across water. Walking lightly so as not to sink. And the whole screen is like an old-fashioned television full of pixels blurring into infinity. Or is that just my screen-saver?
There is so much I still have to say to you. Sitting here in the room with you, I realise it. But I hardly know you as you hardly know me, and is this the way to acquaint ourselves? It’s been hard work to come to this point, and yet I feel the hard work is just beginning.
You hold a mirror and you ask me few questions, offering the occasional comment. I am grateful.
Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
Thy mists, that roll and rise!
And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag
To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!
But never knew I this;
Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart — Lord, I do fear
Thou’st made the world too beautiful this year;
My soul is all but out of me, — let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.
I would like to say simply this. It is worth doing nothing and having a rest; in spite of all the difficulty it may cause you must rest Vasco –otherwise you will become restless!I believe the world is sick with exhaustion and dying of restlessness. While it is true that periods of weariness help the spirit to grow, the prolonged ongoing state of fatigue to which our world seems to be rapidly adopting is ultimately soul destroying as well as earth destroying. The ecology of evil flourishes and love cannot take root in this sad situation. Tiredness is one of our strongest, most noble and instructive feelings. It is an important aspect of our conscience and must be heeded or else we will not survive. When you are tired you must act upon it sensibly – you must rest like the trees and animals do.Yet tiredness has become a matter of shame! This is a dangerous development. Tiredness has become the most suppressed feeling in the world. Everywhere we see people overcoming their exhaustion and pushing on with intensity—cultivating the great mass mania which all around is making life so hard and ugly—so cruel and meaningless—so utterly graceless—and being congratulated for overcoming it and pushing it deep down inside themselves as if it were a virtue to do this. And of course Vasco, you know what happens when such strong and natural feelings are denied—they turn into the most powerful and bitter poisons with dreadful consequences. We live in a world of these consequences and then wonder why we are so unhappy.So I gently urge you Vasco, do as we do in Curly Flat—learn to curl up and rest—feel your noble tiredness—learn about it and make a generous place for it in your life and enjoyment will surely follow. I repeat it’s worth doing nothing and having a rest.Yours Sleepily, Mr. Curly XXXLetter from Mr. Curly to Vasco Pyjama in “The Curly Pajama Letters” by Michael Leunig