Ever get the feeling that a big wave of change is coming your way but you haven’t got a clue what the change will be or where it will lead? I don’t mean because of world events, that happens to us more times than we like to acknowledge, I mean something personal to us as individuals.
When I was an aspiring musician in my teens and twenties I had that sort of feeling quite often and half the time it did seem to precede a period of personal transformation. When you’re a writer maybe there is a tendency to look back on words written in the past as somehow foretelling later events and forget the steps already in place to bring about those events at the time of writing. But it can’t all have been self-delusion. Now and then I must have genuinely had a sense of premonition about my own immediate future, vague and unhelpful though that premonition might have been in the moment.
Yes, I am pondering this because I currently have that sort of feeling in my gut once again. I’m also trying to deconstruct the element of desire for a change to come from the possibility of a less self-interested emotional glimpse ahead.
There are events on the near horizon which could usher in transformation, not least the first session with a new therapist on Friday, but currently I think (I hope) I’m sensing greater change than has taken place for some years. The last great change came in 2011 when I returned to Exeter. Grateful as I am to call this lovely city home and to have good, loving friends here, I fear I am beginning to stagnate. Or rather, that I have stagnated and have only just noticed the extent to which this has reduced my creativity, my aspiration and my determination to achieve certain goals.
It’s a tricky one. I am comfortable here and a degree of comfort is necessary in managing my health issues. But too much comfort can dull my creative responses. Travelling to three other countries (two of them rather briefly) over the last year has proven to me that with due consideration my health does not entirely preclude exploration of the new but last year I came back from both America and France with initial plans to work on new projects that faltered once I fell back into the comfort of my regular, less eventful domesticity.
Or there is another explanation. Maybe I’m full of shit. Maybe I just have stupid ideas and don’t follow up on them. Maybe I’m all mouth and no trousers. Maybe the concerted, almost tunnel-vision determination I possessed in my younger days has departed along with my actual youth and self-belief? Maybe the failure of my last great aspiration – to use my doctoral thesis as a springboard to university teaching in other countries – which was scuppered because of my health, has disabled my capacity to aim myself at genuinely transformative experience?
Oh look, a bunch of unanswered questions. As if a metaphor for my internal world were required…