After a terrible time
After a Terrible Time is now available on Amazon Kindle Direct.
There is a Zen saying, “before Enlightenment chop wood carry water, after Enlightenment, chop wood carry water.” Replace enlightenment with trauma, and its truth holds, of the return to adequate functioning, despite a subtle enlargement of view. Existence can be savoured again, with an appreciation of the fleeting preciousness of a given life-time.
While this concludes blog posts and some direction to relevant information, the quest is by no means over. That is a matter for each individual to take forward, in whatever situation s/he is in, whenever something is missing or wrong. Seek knowledge, recourse, action – whatever meets the needs identified. The solution may be simply and readily found, or it may take time to remedy, but there’s satisfaction in taking back control to steer events towards best outcomes.
For the most part, I’ve deliberately used the passive voice to relay information. While regarded by many writing style experts as a forbidden and coarse mode of narration, and rarely found in current editions of guidance manuals or books of any kind, I’ve selected it because of a personal repulsion repeatedly felt at what often comes across as the presumptuous over-familiar address of the saluting titles, ‘you’ or ‘we’. It’s occasionally comforting to realise ‘you’re not alone’ but more often than not, the implied shared thought or behaviour just isn’t applicable. How could it be the same for everyone? People are so very different in their dispositions and experiences, and changing all the time.
One person at least on my side in this respect is Steven Pinker, in his recent book, The Sense Of Style: “…the grammatical ordering of words to convey a meaning may diverge from the optimal flow of ideas in the reader’s mind. A sentence’s first words should link back to the preceding discussion, fixing the reader’s attention on a familiar entity, and preparing her to learn something new about it…” The passive voice de-emphasises the doer and indicates those affected by actions in an unspecific way that can cover a larger range of circumstances. Of course it doesn’t really matter ultimately, so long as the message helps, or at least doesn’t hurt.
I intend to recycle each post shortly through the same medium, to double as an opportunity for checking that links work, that spelling, syntax and other elements are acceptable, and to complete any outstanding editing requirements. It remains for me to thank readers for engaging, to hope some benefit has been gained from messages compiled, and to wish everyone well.