I am proposing to upset the general order of things by disregarding my total insignificance. I am going to ‘write myself up’? My level of importance to the world is practically as low as it could be, about the level of your average Buffo buffo out of the mating season. Even my own son on being informed of this project retorted “Why? What have you done?”
The answer of course is nothing, nothing to quote the poet Shelley, “worth the pains of putting into learned rhyme”. But there is, in my son’s response, the very reason for doing it. My ‘nothing’ is in fact a very particular ‘nothing’. It is my 'nothing', my one and only shot at this great privilege called life and although most ‘nothings’, however original or unique they might be lapse into obscurity I have decided that mine need not. If that is pretentious, even grandiose, so be it. Being grandiose and pompous is me all over which makes an assault on a metaphorical Everest a most fitting thing!
I have no expectations for this effort beyond the pleasure of doing it. Being without sufficient discipline for either a journal or a diary it has to be in the form of a scrapbook and how it works out, how much of it works, if it works out at all is of little consequence to me. When I am dead, it’s done, by definition.
All lives are works of art and this is mine, a scrapbook of my life, collected together as a hodge podge of images, articles, poems, write-ups, opinions and data.
I believe that our singular selves, put together and maintained often under great duress, are the only genuinely original works of art worthy of that epithet. The greatest writers, sculptors and painters follow in an unending train of artistic evolution, subject to the personal and human frailties and joys around them, are more than the sum total of their work when taken as an individual selves.
Using our faculties, talents, freedoms and rights and employing them all gainfully and properly whilst respecting the truth should be our grateful response to being giving the privilege of living our one life. We all, therefore, being the sum total of our choices and actions are artists and philosophers busy on our one great work, our non-corporeal self, the person that we are, our mortal soul.
OPVSCVLA is the name I have given to my soul. Whatever it becomes, in the end it will have been made complete by my annihilation, finito!
This material is from my book and will be progressively updated. Notifications of updates, thoughts and commentary can be followed on an associated blog at Spindriftpages - The Blog). I do hereby consign my soul, as long as the hosting fees are paid, to the comforting vastness of cyberspace. I wish it bon voyage!
I will not be deliberately upsetting anyone directly but be aware that I have been through some difficult patches and I do not intend to hold back. If you identify yourself from oblique references and it worries you put me down right away. Any offence is unintentional but will not have been due to dishonesty. I would like to know if you think I have been guilty of such and if proved I promise to make corrections.
You might actually get to know the real me instead of the "me" you might have wanted me to be. Persons of a sensitive disposition might be offended in which case I suggest that you set me aside and work on yourself. You will not find much of self doubt in here.
I am getting on a bit, in my 71st year when I started this, so I find myself well down the incline of advanced years. To express myself less euphemistically, I am physically and mentally knackered! Do-ability is therefore a key aim.
Expect contributions from anywhere. When I include contributions from others they will be acknowledged.
To maintain focus, (I have tended to start 4 or 5 new projects a month!) I have formulated an overall objective. Some things are complete, others are in progress and some remain ambitions at the time of making this statement. I do not intend to add anything. Time presses and I have no expectation that spare time will ever become available. I have thought carefully about what I would like to do with the rest of my life and this, apart from loving and caring for my dear wife, who will always come first above all things, is it. I made this minimum promise to myself Testament
Update. Unfortunately Sars-Cov-2 (Original) wiggled it's way past my considerable defenses in November 2020. After 10 days the coughing stopped almost as quickly as it started and I thought all would be well however long Covid followed with continuous breathing and concentration issues which have rendered me near to useless ever since. In consequence there has been hardly any progress on this work since then and it is now February 2022! I have no intention of giving up but as a result I have chosen to add some content to this web version in the form of links to PDF texts and articles to reduce the amount of coding involved. Onwards and upwards (after a little sideways distraction) and, in the words of Julian of Norwich, "and all manner of thing will be well".