Kerry black dogsMar 21st, 2012 | By Ian Poulton | Category: Personal Columns
The Net is a gathering of strangers. Messages are exchanged, sometimes emails, but there is also a distance. The identity of most of the bloggers with whom I have communicated for a number of years remains a mystery. Bloggers sometimes appear and then disappear and one does not ask questions: people move on.
Kerryview a fellow blogger, posted yesterday, for the first time in almost two years. His absence was noticed, the link from here to his site had been removed on the assumption that the writing had been put aside. His explanation was pictorial – a photograph of a black dog.
Maybe my own black dog is more easily tamed in the springtime. The passing of the equinox yesterday means it is now a better time to be in the Northern hemisphere. In former times, when being wealthy one day was still a dream, the idea of switching hemispheres at the equinoxes seemed attractive – France from March to September and Australia from September to March. No more grey Novembers; no dim, dark days of Christmas; no January blue Mondays; no searching for signs of spring in February. A recurrent dream was waking in the early hours of a January morning to see bright sunshine all around.
Perhaps the darkness of the days is no more than an excuse; an attempt at rationalisation; a seeking after an explanation of why the world at times seems grey and far away and why no task seems simple. There can equally be moments in May or June when lightness is as difficult to find; when a heavy fog fills all perspectives. Sometimes, the clouds will break and beams of sunshine will transform the greyness; but, just as quickly, the chinks will close over and the weighed down feeling will return.
Retrospectively, chunks of time appear under a shadow. Perhaps it was because little happened to mark the passing of the days, like low lying land beyond a hill, weeks and months would disappear beyond some major event. The absurd counting of time still persists, it is 34 days until we go to Perpignan for a week, but the shadows are more intermittent.
Life never turned out as might have been hoped, but, on the whole, things are not so bad. The objective realities of life are a dream compared to friends in Rwanda, the problem lies in perceptions and the perceptions are shaped by chemical balances, or imbalances. If it is a matter of chemical processes within the brain, then there must be a way of adjusting the processes. ‘Plenty of exercise’ advised the one half reasonable pastoral response; much wiser advice than plenty of glasses from a bottle.
Life can be coped with as something no worse than an overcast day. Moments, like black thunderstorms on August days in France, still strike; a mood of happiness can be replaced a minute later by a deep despondency. Most times, though, it is manageable. Most times, the only black dog is a thirteen year old mongrel barking that it is time for dinner.
I hope Kerryview is back to stay.