Monday, 31 January 2011

One Regret

I'm just back for a walk around the area of my old home and old street and I spent a lot time thinking about the person I was and the person I could have become. It's something that I've used in my writing a lot, especially in the recent chapters that I did for the new novel, where I focused on the idea of regrets.

I don't think I have many regrets in life, at least few that I would seriously consider give up the person I am now to fulfil; which is ultimately what it would mean: nothing could be changed in my past without changing the person I am today. But there is one regret I have that I'd think about giving it all up for and that would be young love.

"It's only love, that can wreck a human being and turn him inside out." - Billy Bragg

I've been in love, but I was long Jaded before I found it. I look with awe and envy at movies of young couples discovering love together before their fresh young hearts became tainted by the possibility that it might not be forever, before passions were tempered by practicality. It seems that there is true beauty in such an experience and it's one that I have missed out on and the one thing that I regret more than anything else in my life. Breaking up with past loves, losing friends, even my parents separation. Nothing compares to the longing I have to change this in my life. I can't explain why this is. Maybe it's true that we regret the things we don't do more than those we do. Maybe it's because I tried so hard to have it and in the end, failed.

The logician in me says that this is just another form of craving and that I'm painting a prettier picture of the ideal that would the true reality would have been. That even if it had happened to me that I would have a whole different set of regrets - and this is true. But my heart still wishes otherwise, even though it knows that to wish such a thing is silly at best.

I doubt if I would really give up everything I am to live out a life where I got to know young love and maybe my acceptance of it as a part of me will, in time, allow me to let it go. But for now it will remain the darkest spectre of the past hanging over me and one which will continue to phase me into moments of dry melancholy.

It makes me wonder what regrets others carry with them and how much of themselves they would be willing to give to change their own history. Would you change everything about yourself to change one thing in your past?

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Endings: the winters of our lives.

       It's hard to really appreciate a place until it is time to leave it behind. It won't be long before I'm heading back home to UK, before making my way back to China. It's really got me thinking about my life here and the things I'm going to miss, that I might not have considered were I going to be staying here a long time. Knowing that a change is coming has forced me to really reflect on the things I'm going to be without and the things I will be glad to leave behind.

       I would be lying if I said that Japan was the place for me. In many ways I find it too western and too work oriented; at least the side of it that I have seen. However, I am going to miss some of my lifestyle here: quality food, cheap dental and medical care, a place to go running, a wage that translates alright when I head back home to UK. Probably more than that though I'm going to miss the people. I've made some friends here, both foreigners and Japanese, and I have developed some connection with at least a few of my students; I even got a going away present from some of them. It will be a little sad to say good bye to everyone and I wonder if I would have realised this, were not for the time limit on how long we have left together. 

     I think that's the great thing about leaving: about knowing that the change is coming. I've been trying to practice mindfulness for a while now and never has it been so easy than when change is just beyond the horizon. The thought that is soon going to be gone makes you really focus on the things around you. But I'm not fully in present. Part of me is looking forward to going home to see family and friends. Another part is looking to China and is already planning spring bicycle trips and I glad to have the excitement of the new place that is waiting on me.  

     I'm sure, in time, I'll be looking back to Japan and remembering only the good things and wishing I could have some of them back. Maybe if I enjoy this leaving time now, in the future I wont miss it anyway near as much as I would otherwise... maybe.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Abandoned Towers

The interview with Abandoned Towers is now available on their site:

Abandoned towers is a short fiction magazine which also includes interviews with authors along with a whole bunch of other stuff. They have some free stories available and others that you have to subscribe to in order to read. Have a look round their site. You might find something that interests you.

Hopefully in the future I will get some short stories posted with them as well.

Big thanks to the people there for doing the interview. A few of the questions made me think!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Splashed out on a dalek

Ever "splashed out on a dalek"

Been having a good day today writing while listening to Radio 4. A couple of good series have restared and have lost none of their origonal greatness. I think Mark Steel is funnier than ever before:

News Quiz:

Mark Thomas manifesto:

Well worth a listen if you are looking to get no work done.

Friday, 7 January 2011

The Secular Buddhist

Just finished the interview with the Secular Buddhist:

Big thanks to Ted Meissner for having me on the program. Was a lot of fun and I look forward to hearing the final results. Will send out and update when it's going.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

The comming interview

I have the interview with the Secular Buddhist coming up this weekend:

I'm quite looking forward to it for the most part, but I'm getting a bit nervous as well. In preparation I decided to look through some of the podcasts that are on the website; that's what made me nervous. There seems to be a lot of heavy hitters on the program, which is a good thing, but it does make me wonder if I'm qualified enough to be on there. Still, I'll give it a go and hope for the best.

Any advice would be appreciated!