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Archive for October 24, 2011

Writing About Your Life Can Debilitate

October 24, 2011 2 comments

Do not get me wrong: this post is not aimed at the casual contributor that occasionally wishes to write a few words about their beloved Deerness Valley; it refers to the likes of me, the one-time persistent contributor that spent far more time that is healthy on pontificating, or illuminating, for the doubtful benefit of Ushaw Moor readers. All this dwelling on the past does threaten personal enterprise and ambition. Yes really!  I have written words on this site that amount to the size of an average book; just think what I could have done with the time I spent doing that.

Although I have enjoyed contributing to the site and hope that some people have found my efforts interesting, it has come with problems. Recounting those tears that spilled outside a dance hall on a wet Workington night can bring sadness. Recounting my mother’s life was, on reflection,  a little upsetting. Such incidents can result in too much dwelling on what has gone and it might even lead to a harsh self assessment of one’s past.

Turning to the present, I recently read a very interesting article by the Independent newspaper journalist Christina Patterson entitled ”Lessons in living from a man on the bring of death’. She writes about  Philip Gould who is suffering from terminal cancer and informs us that he told Andrew Marr that he considers himself to be ”in a death zone”. As I understand it he views the zone as being an intense, powerful and positive experience.

I  have mentioned the ‘thrill of mortality’ before; it results from the acute awareness that our time is rationed and life is to be lived to the utmost. I can understand that such a feeling, when in time of mortal danger, would intensify if the mind and body allows it.

The conclusion I come to is that snippets, photographs and the occasional long article are fine. Please try and ensure that Paul’s site is enriched by them; however I feel that you should not dwell too much on the past if the cost is too high in terms of lost joys and opportunities in the present.

WB

Categories: Memories