Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak said

The world actually writes itself with the many-leveled, unfixable intricacy and openness of the work of literature.

Likening life as perceived, the world as you know it,  to a good read is something I can embrace. And have embraced reading The Secret Garden/Frances Hodson Burnett along with the after dark cinema experience of La Belle et La Bete/Jean Cocteau, both late forties, early life gifts from PJK. In the 60’s A(B)L gave me Le Grande Meaulnes. My realisation that life imitated art was dangerously early.  My life has been the best book I’m likely to read, and it isn’t finished yet.


Walter Kaufmann suggests that Nietzsche may have encountered this idea in the works of Heinrich Heine, who once wrote:

[T]ime is infinite, but the things in time, the concrete bodies, are finite. They may indeed disperse into the smallest particles; but these particles, the atoms, have their determinate numbers, and the numbers of the configurations which, all of themselves, are formed out of them is also determinate. Now, however long a time may pass, according to the eternal laws governing the combinations of this eternal play of repetition, all configurations which have previously existed on this earth must yet meet, attract, repulse, kiss, and corrupt each other again…

Nietzsche calls the idea “horrifying and paralyzing”, referring to it as a burden of the “heaviest weight” (“das schwerste Gewicht”)[11] imaginable. He honestly professes that the wish for the eternal return of all events would mark the ultimate affirmation of life:

What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: ‘This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more’ … Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: ‘You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.’ [The Gay Science, §341]

To comprehend eternal recurrence in his thought, and to not merely come to peace with it but to embrace it, requires amor fati, “love of fate”:

My formula for human greatness is amor fati: that one wants to have nothing different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely to bear the necessary, still less to conceal it—all idealism is mendaciousness before the necessary—but to love it.


 Satisfaction with my Life Book for its complexity alone, has possibly been my undoing, if  truth be known. Too much detail not  enough plot. And it also has set up this would be author, pursuing the stuff of his reality in his art, to be a voyeur. An essentially passive activity where the means becomes the end.

A hand made mirror subtly transfiguring what it sees through the prism of self.

Literature, the text, if I read Spivak correctly, preexists the author’s extraction of its essence, for his own use, utilizing the language and resources available to the author,  to craft a story . Is it that simple?

A story for whom? What about language? What about the unique role of the human mirror to mirror – authorship? Is it a book? A performance? A blog? Is one medium more suitable, more inevitable than another when a sought audience is predetermined by the author? Having committed to the medium, the voice he must firstly contrive and then maintain is required.

A plot is a necessary facilitating device for the reader. Without it’s presence apparent from the earliest point in the text their sustained involvement is not assured. Is plot apparent in the flow of real time and memory being mined or is it a celebrated contrivance, imposed by the author, pandering to his audience? Is plot literature?

Boy meets girl. Woman meets man.

Do they live happily ever after? Do they simply live; till they die. All that time savoring the risky beauty of a chance meeting , the excruciating balances of uncertain symmetries and the overwhelming natural rightness of their – virtual – lives.

In crime fiction – death is the constant, as the precipitating plot element, many narratives begin with the outcome and spend an hour and a half connecting the dots back to it at the end.

Our story begins in a meeting at a tram stop in 2010 followed by the unexplained death of the man in 2020. Statistically women outlive men. She will die at 80+ he will die at 70+. She is 62 at present.He is 69. She has 20 years to go? He has 10? Or is it 5? This knowledge affects the moment. To live each day as if it were your last seems a less potent goad to action if you’re looking at 20 or 30 years to go doesn’t it?



Increased longevity without quality of life is an empty prize. Health expectancy is more important than life expectancy.

Dr Hiroshi Nakajima

Director-General, W.H.O 1997


A first life is the arc of your projection into the world. The second life is the contiguous arc of self and a burdening awareness of the responsibilities of a role in the world. The third life begins from the point of realization of a life so far, it’s transience, and continues the arc from there to it’s culmination at the beginning. That single point in infinity that marks a life’s singularity in the birth and death of self. The beginning and end of a memory.

The third life’s commencement is signaled by reflection on the complex  (bio)logics of an aging body,  attrition from neglect of second life contractual obligations, increasing conflict with compliance to the imperative of loyalty to others and a vacuum in your being, only marginally occupied by a love of Self.

To this traveler at his point in life’s arc –this  love is the only worthwhile burden to carry forward and nurture in his end of days. It is the theme therefore of his life and this weblog. The complexity of Self love. The simple elegance of autonomy. In being the true centre of the universe.. were wasted on him as a young Author.


Alas Margery Anne

I’ve used up all my credit sending that last text while you were having your ‘nana-nap’. I’m not going to be able to answer you if you do get back. But I hope you try. Monday ~ tomorrow I will get credit – where did it go? I will also pursue Morning Glory Cottage with George because I said I would. Now I’m going to finish that drawing of the you I see and shop for a sarong – blue – at my local supermarket. There’s so much you’re not sharing with me about the real you, that’s locked up in your privacy prison- your sanctuary. You try so hard to keep us virtual. Darling I am not a figment of your imagination. Neither am a I threat.

The truthful fact is I never stopped holding the real you close to my heart whatever my life since 69 has been. You have to believe looking at the recorded virtual me that some real shit did happen. I survived. I love my life so far. No regrets. And around where my heart is supposedly located there’s another heart getting stronger again, but then tiring from the effort to assert itself. I can’t help you be strong Gentle Annie except by insisting you be stronger in your confidence in us, and to trust in your trust of me ~ you’re in good hands. Leaning on me is ok.

I can also argue with you (gently) that without love however dutiful our commitment to loyalty and contractual obligation is, the storms of conflict you hide from will never end.

I’ll be watching my email if you want to write, before we textsux again.

Love as always


Trying to be good man.


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