27 Mar 2017

A Tinker’s Cuss – Jim Wilson’s Blog

27 Mar 2017

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I did this thing when I woke up this morning, I picked up a magazine and the headline was ‘Perceive your utilities provider as a partner’. 

I’ll never do that again. There has to be more to life. My electricity supplier will never become my fluffy dog. Though I suppose that they will start to market themselves as such some day soon.

So what does it all mean?

I then switched on the Internet and everyone seemed to be clamouring and screaming to be noticed. People were sharing and trading ‘likes’. I don’t think any of the photos were true and most of the comments were obtuse or left-handed at best. The news certainly wasn’t true, but then everyone knows that now.

We are most probably alone and our lives belong solely to us and not to some politician or news outlet. If we were to be lucky, then we would merely play a bad hand very well. And, as they say, “expectations are pre-meditated resentments”. People are goofy. There are days when we are completely insane and as Dostoevsky put it, mankind does not do much to its own advantage.

On the Internet there is a brutal poet and he posts brutish posts and usually about twenty-five a day. He likes to claim that Obama used to satisfy him, but I don’t think anyone ever could. He treats the Internet like it is a brothel. He threatens to unfriend people all the time if they don’t notice him. I unfriended him. I have a hard dick for him. He makes no one’s life easier.

It’s been a while since I wrote a blog because I just never knew what to say. I tried to watch everything go past me and to not get hooked up in it. I concentrated on loving the people and the doggies that were important to me. After all, that’s the only game worth playing. People seem to be lonely. It feels simplistic to say, but people need love. In fact, all you need is love and not a hot steaming Internet account. If you are in love with your computer then I would suggest you trade it in for a bologna sandwich. You may get more satisfaction when the grease roles down your chin.

I went to see Bob Dylan in Chattanooga, Tennessee last November. The show was in a beautiful old and ornate theater, the Tivoli, capacity 1750. During that week Donald Trump had been elected president and both Leon Russell and Leonard Cohen had died. There was a big earthquake in the South Island of New Zealand. It was a very meaningful period of time. It felt like the dogs were barking for us all and one hardly knew which way to turn. Whilst all this was happening, many people were eating pie, putting the pounds on, and taking more and more selfies.

It was shortly to be winter in the USA, but it felt like it already was.

Bob Dylan played the Tivoli without a backdrop and without stage lighting apart from the very basic theater lights which didn’t flicker and which didn’t change colour either. There were no giant videos beside the stage of children getting killed in Vietnam in the 1970s. There were no guitar changeovers (not one) and there were no roadies running across the stage wearing sunglasses. None of the band spoke. No one smiled. There were no short cuts to success, just the beautiful essence of the songs and the musicians themselves.

At this time, people all over the world were debating whether Bob Dylan was a poet since he’d just won the Nobel Prize for Literature. People were fighting with words. They were being cynical, opinionated, sarcastic and bitter. Bob kept his own counsel. This was a matter of dignity.

At this time, Chattanooga was ringed by bush fires that people were deliberately lighting. The city authorities suggested that people wear surgical masks in the streets. The population wanted blood. In New Zealand, shopkeepers are currently getting harassed and beaten up by 11-year-old kids and amphetamine trades higher than Wall Street. Perhaps there will be a day coming soon when we will all be wearing Kevlar vests to go down to the mall.

My sister is still alive if anyone remembers my last blog. She has terminal cancer and she is on heavy-duty opiates. Apparently, she can take visitors for about a half hour at a time and then she needs to sleep so as to get some rest.

I’m pretty sure I know the voice she hears the most when she falls into a slumber. She hears my mother yelling to her from the bottom of the stairs at our old house on Russell Street in Dunedin in the 1950s.

My dad never yelled, never raised his voice, so I think my sister just waits quietly for him. Some day soon she might hear a lot of his voice. I do, every day. He is my guiding light. 

My father never went to high school and yet he quoted Shakespeare all the time. He said that the quality of mercy is ne’er strained or whatever he said. Often, for weeks, the only things he spoke were Shakespearean quotes. I think he knew that it was best to not offer up any thoughts of your own because life was baffling and Shakespeare had already said all that needed saying.

“Is this a dagger which I see before me?” Yes, it most probably is.

A smile from my father (once or twice a year) was worth a million dollars. It was worth more than any business I’ve ever seen. Business is full of daggers. People come to you all the time equipped with sharp ends and dubious prospects.

Here’s a man, my dad, who could break down a car engine and put it back together on the kitchen table. He’d have to use a couple of chairs as well if it was a V8 engine. He required no help and, as usual, he had nothing to say.

Bob Dylan never comments much either. I think this is learned behavior and he hardly ever remarks on that which surrounds him. He doesn’t waste words on stuff that will never change. People say what they want to believe.

In Chattanooga, Bob Dylan wore black and he led the band out to the stage after the show was finished. They didn’t take a bow, they just looked off into the far roving distance in a yearning and deep way. They stood still for several minutes.

There’s a lot of ‘acceptance’ in just keeping your trap closed as Al Swearengen might have said. The world has enough trouble. Our dustbin is full so don’t go putting your crap into it.

Recently, I got some really nice messages from a woman who knew my mother. This woman was a child when my mother was the housekeeper who looked after her and her family in their home on London Street in Dunedin. My mother was described as a glowing, warm and enthusiastic person who lit up the house as soon as she walked in in the mornings. These messages have buoyed me for a month now. That was my mother.

The older I get, the more I want to be close to my parents. Both of them are dead now of course, but each day I just get to see more of the genuine sense that they made. They didn’t see any point in crying over spilt milk, they worked hard and they were as good as they possibly could be to each other and to the world. Nothing about them was a pose and they were simple and unaffected people.

That’s worth a million likes.

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  1. George Furman March 28th, 2017 6:32AM

    Love this ” I think he knew that it was best to not offer up any thoughts of your own because life was baffling and Shakespeare had already said all that needed saying.”

  2. Dave Dobbyn March 28th, 2017 10:48AM

    Beautiful Jim x

  3. Suzy morrison March 28th, 2017 9:49PM

    Thanks Jim
    I want to time travel to Dylan in Chattanooga x

  4. Nicky Taylor March 29th, 2017 8:42AM

    Such a way with words! “Trade your computer for a bologna sandwich!” I read it to my kids then posted it on my fb wall. Stolen words – priceless!

  5. Jordache Jones March 30th, 2017 10:10AM

    Simplicity makes us happier. Thinking of the way New Zealand and kiwis used to live puts the noise of today into perspective. This made me think indeepthly on my smoko break at this Hawkes Bay orchard today .Thank you for that. My thoughts also go out to you and your sister.

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