I have decided to post a memoir that is just gathering dust. As with most memoirs it’s better to be famous or have a really miserable memoir that you want to extract in detail the horrors of the past but that is not me, and I do not intend to go there.
While I have experienced an upbringing that had shades of abuse with domestic violence through alcoholism from my father. I do not feel that it has hampered my life to much. Admittedly I have gone through the whole drink and drugs thing which ended when I tried to commit suicide. But I have also had hilarious highs and lows in between and it’s these ups and downs that I would like to document.
As well as the bad stuff I have also experienced a Silent Retreat through the Sahara Desert with the notable Roger Housden. Many alternative workshops which were funny and bittersweet such as Holotropic Workshops, Reiki Channeling and Out of Body experiences. These experiences were at the beginning of my journey and sometimes the humor appears immature in nature, reflecting my personality at the time so I wanted to keep it as a guide for how I have progressed.
As well as the alternative workshops I engaged in Zen Buddhism for four years sitting in meditation each day and then progressing to weekend retreats and then a one week sesshin. Each of these retreats brings up memories from the past in the form of raw emotions and that is how I wanted to express my past. After the Zen I was blessed to take refuge as a Tibetan Buddhist and thus began a few more years of attending Buddhist Teachings and different types of retreats such as the Nungneys which again allows material to surface and process.
This is also not a straight memoir as I use surrealism in the form of ghosts that appear either as myself as a child while on retreat or the ghost of Van Gogh while in Amsterdam almost as an internal detour of the inner journey. It has a few twists and turns to it so stick with it.
This memoir allows me to look at the ups and downs in the context of a spiritual journey but I feel the writing is quite simple, and my humour can be quite blokeish but that is me. I can’t dust it up for the ‘Eat, Pray’, market or write a literary classic that appeals to a more noble mind. It’s just me, David, going on a journey and trying to get through life.
The other day I started another 500 piece about my first night at boarding school and I could see the difference in the style of writing. In the modern piece I reflect more on what it is to remember, and what it’s like to write a memoir. I can see how I started to weave in memories of my first seven inch single I bought called , ‘Atomic’ by Blondie, and then tied that in with the arrival of Margaret Thatcher on the political scene. The second memoir will allow me to look at my younger years and also the fashion and politics of the time which will be great fun. I will be able to see the passage of time and how I have changed but also how things also stay the same in the world.
Feel free to join me on this ride and also offer comment. A teacher at Uni said all memoirs were ‘self-indulgent and nazel gazing.’ Ouch, that hurt, and nearly put me off, but then I thought what the fuck.
As a side note. After University I had two further breakdowns and an ‘existential crisis with elements of a psychosis’ adding another frightening dimension to my supposed spiritual journey. Again as I have had all these experiences I have also pulled myself through them and gotten on with living, and I can show those who may well be struggling, that you can get through and over these difficult times. and onto brighter things in the future. As I wrote after a Zen Buddhist retreat in Uithuizen.
‘I pulled out my chair. And took my seat upon this earth.’