Some weeks ago I wrote about the odd shoes that, of late, I have begun to encounter all along the edges of our nation’s otherwise pristine highways. (You can read it here) I don’t recall being conscious of them before, but it would now seem that many others were. I have come very late to the party. The internet is full of all manner of discussions, blogs and photo-journals, about this abandoned footwear. I was blithely unaware of all of this until it was pointed out to me, and quite suddenly I began to wonder how come I had never noticed it before. Lord knows, I am no stranger to the ‘vacant trawl’ through the internet. It occurred to me that I could have been equally remiss with absolutely every other subject I have ever covered in a manner I hitherto considered my own.
I realise that no-one, most particularly me, is capable of completely original thought and that, anyway, people only really find things funny if it strikes some chord of recognition within them, but I couldn’t help but wonder if I wasn’t actually looking in all the wrong places for my ‘inspiration’. Each week I blithely remove and transcribe a tiny piece of my head onto WordPress. It isn’t pretty (nor, it now appears, dreadfully original) but it is all that I’ve got. If I need to find something else, I need to know where to look. There is no point in scanning the news; everybody does that. What are my chances of finding a different way through that lot? There are big topics: Brexit, Covid, The Human Condition, which I can steer a bit of a course through, but most of the time it is the minutiae that sets me off. I sort of bounce off the edge of things, chipping bits away, before I’m bounced off elsewhere, to find something else that is linked only by the gentle crunch of my cranium. I see my blog as the scalp that holds all of the bruises together.
Anyway, I thought, for a little while at least, that it might be a good idea to try and find if some of the other things I have ‘discovered’ and written about have, themselves, already been discovered and written about by others, possibly much more adept at doing it than I. I say, For a little while, because I realised quite quickly that this, almost certainly, would be the case in a whole lot more instances than I would actually care to consider. I write this thing to keep myself sane. To find out that I am little more than a hollow echo of everybody else is not going to be the greatest of crutches for my self-esteem. The last thing a delicately plastered limb needs to see coming towards it is a circular saw. To discover that what I have just seen for the first time has been on the cerebral iPlayer for years is probably not going to help me when I am clawing about in here for somewhere new to go. Ignorance is probably my best recourse: my most adjacent route to bliss. I think that I am, possibly, very good at ignorance. And if I don’t know that somebody else has got there before me – if I haven’t seen solid proof of it – well then, it simply doesn’t exist, does it? If I cannot see it, then it doesn’t exist, and if I can see it, then everybody else must have seen it, but never thought about it in quite that same way before. Does that work?
Okay, I’ll sleep then…