A man speaking sense to himself is no madder than a man speaking nonsense not to himself. TOM STOPPARD.
Sometimes I turn, there’s someone there, other time it’s only me. BOB DYLAN.
The original tagline for my first blog, Dick Jones Patteran Pages, ran thus: A patteran is a coded configuration of leaves, sticks and stones left at the roadside by Gypsies to communicate with each other. This is my digital version, left for any passers-by… It was pretty much the first message that I launched into what was then a very sparsely populated blogosphere and it carried with it a sense of the tentative, the hesitant – an overture proffered more in hope than expectation. I couldn’t have anticipated the sheer speed and magnitude of the coalescence of bloggers around common interests and the mutual babble that came about during the following few years. Nor could I have imagined that 12 years on I would count a number of those early pilgrims amongst my closer friends.
Circles turn; ends become beginnings. The houses are all gone under the sea. The dancers are all gone under the hill. I find that once again, in a sparsely populated corner of the blogosphere, I’m proffering the spirit of that tagline tentatively, a little hesitantly. Who’s left? Is that an echo or another voice?
Well, no matter. This time round what I post here will be simply a graphic extension of the talking to myself that fills the silence as I push the daily broom, make the beds and sort the laundry before buying myself a little time to write. If there are eavesdroppers to my out-loud dialogue then by all means join in: a three-way conversation would be welcome…
excellent, Dick. We’ve grown so lazy over these years with Facebook and its Like button. This is a lovely venue and I look forward to following along. I’m glad you’re giving it another go. I’ve made some attempts recently but am not up to speed yet.
Glad to have you aboard. The trick is genuinely not to need the ‘audience’. To be delighted when it becomes apparent that there’s someone else out there cruising alongside, but to press on regardless simply for the sake of recording the passing scene, within and without, for its own sake.
I’ve always struggled with the role of the reader/listener in literature. Who am I talking to and who, exactly, is doing the talking? This is something I’ve found myself exploring in my new book. I say:
If not my progeny who carry my inheritance watered down in their loins then what? Only my writing and even there, the thoughts are diluted, hidden amongst the many words. Only you, my concomitant friend, know what I am trying to say and only you can assess its true worth. Good company is so hard to come by. Any company. We make do or make, by which I mean make up.
A writer is never without an audience. We have an inbuilt one, albeit a made up one. Or maybe it’s the other way round. So many times I’ve felt like nothing more than a scribe as if someone inside me—I call him my subconscious but I think that’s simplistic—is dictating and I’m just writing the stuff down as quickly as I can before I forget it. I get to edit it afterwards. Well, whoopee.
When I first started posting I’d given no thought to people commenting. It came as a great surprise when people did but after a while I started to judge my work by the lack of—often nonexistence of—comments. When did I get so dependant? Never used to be like that. I always had “my concomitant friend”, the part of me who was always happy to read whatever I’d just written before the ink was even dry; he was enough.
Good thoughts as ever,Jim. This time around it’s that ‘inbuilt audience’ that I shall address. And if old friends & new ate in the auditorium with me, so much the better.