Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Ruminations on a treasure map…

They say no man is an island, although there’s always the Isle of Man, but maybe that is the exception that proves the rule.

Now from that starting point this post might go in any number of directions. I could write about the Isle of Man, its parliament, the Manx triskelion or tre cassyn "the three legs", the symbol of the island and interestingly enough also of Sicily- and that gives me even more choices – Rolf Harris, The Godfather, Jake the Peg, the Mafia – which could lead me to Gypsy fortune tellers, horses heads, false legs, prosthetic limbs, exoskeletal and endoskeletal, transtibial prosthetics - the artificial limb that replaces the missing part of leg below the knee, transfemoral - the artificial limb above the knee, transradial - the artificial limb that replaces the arm below the elbow, transhumeral - the artificial limb above the elbow…

Or I could focus on the exception that proves the rule, quoting exceptions; for instance the Penguin. The problem with the Penguin is that there are other exceptions - Ostriches, Emus, Kiwis. I think that you can guess the rule. And from here I could go marsupials, hat manufacturing in the nineteenth century, ancient and celestial units of measurement…

No man is an island. That’s the thing with blogging, sometimes you start out at one point and end up at quite another. It’s like following a treasure map, only you don’t know what the treasure is until you find it, and when you do find it it might not be treasure at all, or what you expected it to be, it could be transtibial, or there may be no it there at all. Of course from here I could go on to continue with my currently reoccurring theme: Pirates - by way of Long John Silver, not having a leg to stand on, Pretty Polly, etcetera, etcetera, ecetera.

I don’t know why Pirates are a theme at the moment - they just keep on cropping up, and now that I come to think of it – isn’t there a leg theme beginning to develop with the Isle of Man, false legs, Long John Silver? Isn't everything interwoven, synchronistic, and did a butterfly just beat its wings by my ear? But I digress; I shall stick to ‘No man is an island’ as written by John Donne who went on to finish that particular nugget of wisdom with therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee...’ - almost as cheering as limb loss.

Thinking about it though, it isn’t that easy. I’m in crisis. Which way do I go from here? Do I go on to follow the road leading to the metaphysical poets, write about fleas, abrupt openings, paradoxes, dislocations, argumentative structure, and conceits? Do I go down the path of bells, writing about the fact that the crack in the Liberty Bell was caused as it was forged in the foundry by uneven heating and not at the instant of some great American historic event (I don't know which one of the two though), thus dismissing a romantic notion that seems to have become lodged in my head from God knows where? Or, in my generally pig-headed way, should I dismiss the map altogether, trusting to my pig-headedness, and rely upon my internal navigational instinct that (given that it isn’t very good) could take us all absolutely anywhere – to the edge of the world, even to the gates of Hades and across the River Styx itself; led naked by the hand of a Boschian flightless bird?

I was talking in the virtual world with a fellow blogger early this morning; let’s call him MAWH, and he hit on something about my blog. I knew that he would, he has taste, sensitivity, he’s a twenty first century John Donne - abrupt openings, paradoxes, dislocations, argumentative structures, conceits, fleas. My blog (I told him between him and me) isn't a blog at all; it’s a piece of art, a statement, an installation. I think it should win the Turner Prize or at the very least I should turn the blog into a novel about the blog – but I digress once more.

No man is an island? Maybe si, maybe non.

‘Myself’ is a country, an island that I am only now beginning to explore, and I’m doing it through this bloody blog. As JD (he of flea fame) said, ‘No man is an island; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main’. I may not have a map, I may not always follow the most direct route, but I’ll get there in the end - wherever the end may be, and you are the main - thanks for continuing to read my rubbish.

And what the hell was that about?

Perhaps I should have stuck to Jake the Peg after all…or marsupials. Tie me kangaroo down sport.


  1. Hard though it was to follow that was an interesting and illuminating thread.

  2. One question, sorry I forgot to ask. Are the Shakey Wakeys at the top of the island hills and does the island McDonald's do fries with that?

  3. Si, it is Bosch and it is Dali.

    Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad.

    I like the line of the walking, both man y el demonio.

    I am Dali.

  4. That's JD being clever again. Does he mean that every man is part of the main as in one body corporate or does he mean that we're each a piece of the land and a part of the sea?
    I can think of better epitaphs for your blogs than being grouped with a dead film star (1999 - better than the bed I suppose), half a pregnant sheep (1995) and "the worst artist of the year." (1993)

  5. Hi there akh (and thanks for the namecheck although I'd never even consider there's any truth in the comparison you make).

    Interestingly you mentioned to me today that "Myself is a country I am only now beginning to explore" and then start to think about maps...

    I like that kind of leaping!

  6. That post was a tough journey and getting it to end up where it did was a struggle. I truly believe that everything has an effect on everything else - the problem is that it is hard to control everything. Small differences in the initial condition of a dynamical system may produce large variations in the long term behavior of the system.

    Hence this post - despite it appearing random and unconnected just the opposite is true, I'm hoping that the small differences I can make will have an impact on long term behaviour.

    Well I can hope can't I?

    What happens when a butterfly beats it's wings I wonder?