(2003 to 2005)

Be the change in the world you want to see.

Mon Nov 29 14:34:00 UTC+1100 2004


Over the past few days, and particularly the last few hours, there have been many things that I've felt like saying, but haven't.

Obviously I'm upset about Mark's death, and as usual I remain tortured about Mick's death. I probably wouldn't say that, except I have the advantage of being drunk.

Sometimes I feel bad speaking of serious, or emotionally loaded things in this forum, particularly given its sporadic frivolity and its general public nature.

Earlier, I had felt like writing a 'plea' to all my existing mates that if they are ever thinking of suicide that they ring me. I'm always at home. I'm always awake, *especially* at 2am. I don't care that we haven't spoken for 10 years. I don't care that we've never previously have a 'deep and meaningful'. I won't make you feel weird 'the day after'. I won't tell anyone. And so on..

But so often you hear that, and you have to question the sincerity. Or wonder about motivations or repercussions. I won't think you're a gutless whining pussy; but you don't know that. I won't tell your friends and create a social problem for you; but you don't know that. How do you know that I really care about you? How do you know that you're my mate?

Anyway, I've had an idea, and I think it's a good one.

One thing that I'm often frustrated with about my blog, is that I regularly use it to complain, bitch, or whine about the state of the world. That is, when I'm not otherwise engaging in ( somewhat tongue-in-cheek ) shameless self-promotion or noisy, barely-informed, soapbox antics. Usually such stuff is 'storm in a tea cup' material. It's not really important. But it's negativity, or arrogance, nonetheless.

I've decided that I'm going to start a 'Mates' section of my blog. Once a week, I'm going to write a story about someone, and explain all the good things about them, and why I consider them my mate. Perhaps I'll reminisce about a particular incident, or encounter. Perhaps I'll speak in general terms. The format is yet to be decided, and likely to be 'somewhat soppy'. That's OK. Hopefully I can keep from being too corny. I think 'corny' tends to spring from insincerity anyway, so I should be able to avoid that. At any rate, I'm gonna grin and bear it. I won't necessarily know how they feel about me, but that's OK, perhaps they'll tell me.. :)

I think it's tragic that we tend to wait until we're dead before we say how we feel about each other. There are so many people that I know and care about, that I just don't have the necessary time or 'excuse' ( or, let's face it, 'convenience' ) to stay in regular contact with. Just because I don't speak with you regularly anymore, doesn't mean that I don't still think about you, care for your well being, or sincerely value even seemingly trivial interactions that we may have had in the past. It's cliché to talk about how "you should make that call" or "you should tell them how you really feel" but people don't do it. The reason is mostly because it's uncomfortable. It's compromising. It's unusual. It's difficult to gauge sincerity. It's 'pointless'. I can't change that.

Unfortunately there are also grim realities concerning the amount of time you get to spend as the sentient being we refer to as human on this rock called Earth in this space called the universe in a configuration known as 'you'. Owing to the nature of time, the limitations of space, and demands of survival, it is difficult to engage in the regular feedback loop that is typically synonymous with friendship. I can't call everyone I know every week just to say 'hi' and after a year of no communication there can be a bit of a stigma that makes me feel 'weird' if I do. However, there are people who I haven't seen for 15 years, who I still think about, who I still care about, and for whom I wouldn't think twice about risking my life, or getting in the thick of a fight for. But I guess they don't know that.

I'm going to try very hard to make sure this is not a 'political' thing ( even though that is unavoidable to some extent, owing to the fact that people are involved. What I mean specifically is that I'm not going to lie, or bullshit anyone ). What I say will be sincere. I have no intention of making anyone feel bad. I have no expectations of a response. I don't want anyone I mention to feel like they 'owe' me, or that they need to subsequently treat me any differently to how they would otherwise. I'm not going to be exclusive. At 'one per week', owing to the number of people I care about, if you're my mate, you very well may have to wait 20 years before you get a write up. All the more reason to keep yourself alive, in my view. ;)

I think by making a 'public' statement, as opposed to a private statement, I can remove some aspect of the 'discomfort' that might otherwise be inherent in such a communication. Also, if I do manage to 'institutionalise' the practice for myself, and if I can be inclusive, rather than exclusive, then I think it can be valuable. If you think it's tacky, that's OK. I still love you. :)

I think it's a cool idea, and I hope it works out. I'll kick off some time next week. It'll take me a year to simply get through my close family!

Copyright © 2003-2005 John Elliot