Author Topic: On Writing

On Writing
« on: July 26, 2021 »
I've written elsewhere about my relationship with my muse, my present muse, that is.  He is very young, a drug addict for over half his life.  An he dont take no shit from nobody.  So, how can he inspire me?  Who amongst us is not familiar with the 15th century poet Thomas Rowley?  Dead by his own hand at the age of 17 years, 9 months.

Being the self-destructive soul that I am, but not able to contemplate arsenical poisoning, I find solace in seeking to prevent the self-destruction of others.  I have counselled enough people with mental health problems and suicidal tendencies, both anonymously online and in person, and I am familiar enough with addictions of various kinds, to realise that it really does take one to know one.

My muse and I are in the process of rehabilitation, of cleaning ourselves up, with the full workings of the modern welfare state behind us.  We seldom meet, but it is always in his milieux.  I have been 'mistaken' for an addict myself, either as a junkie or an alky.  But it is not a pretence.  I have been on the skids before.  I find no shame in being an outsider.  After all, what do we see when we look 'inside' the circles of privilege?  A refuge?  Or an asylum?

One of the best books on the subject is Colin Wilson's 1956 extensive treatise The Outsider, never out of print since its initial publication.  It was essential university reading for angst-ridden existential students in my day.  Once we read that, our next book was invariable Hermann Hesse's Steppenwolf.

My muse shall recover, I most likely will not.  But in his salvation is my redemption.

Re: On Writing
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2021 »

My old and very dear Air Force buddy from my West Berlin days, Alton Shulz, now a professor of Slavic Studies in America, has written often to chide me about my lack of love for cats.  He and his wife, the sister of one of the Spice Girls, have run a cat shelter for many years now.  Aside from the occasional visits of deer and raccoons, their lives are feline.  I am happy for them.

So imagine my glee when I could report to them having seen "cat sausage" in the local salumeria. Salami Felino looked innocent enough, yet I was not so innocent as to imagine no one ever eating cats.  I had had a survival training week in which, inter alia, we learnt how to tell rabbit meat from cat meat, were there to be any doubt. Still, I hesitated, and, in the end, put it back on the shelf.

Back at home, before writing to Alton, I did a bit of research.  It seems that Felino is the name of a Pokemon character and a Canadian luxury sports car.  So, on to the salami, which is best served not too thinly sliced and hot! The reason for the slicing is the presence of whole peppercorns in the meat.  The recipe dates back 2000 years in the Bazanga Valley area of Emilia-Romagna, where a special breed of pigs - PIGS?  Wait.  Felino means cats, right?  Well, not in this case.  The village of Felino, whence the salami, seems not to have any feline etymology at all.  Damn.  The word comes from the Latin for pottery, the soil in the region being particularly suitable for making bricks.

My short-lived ignorance was short-lived bliss.  No matter.  I can get blissed out in other ways.