Happy Gnu Deer…

Woo, it’s 2010, and actually I had a pretty Tony Tiger style holiday. Currently back in Perth, chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool…

I had a couple of posts I was working on for the end of last year which were interrupted by the valve of my radiator leaking and flooding the floor, resulting in an impromptu carpet lifting and subsequent redecoration. That aside, fun hanging out here with family where I get fed, and get to play with the dogs. Oscar’s successor, Alfie, is full of energy, and enjoying the snow.

Speaking of snow, holy friggin’ crap… The last major snowfall was about a week ago now, and it’s still ankle deep. I built a snow pyramid on the front lawn. I’ll get a picture when I get new batteries for me camera. This has been the best Christmas in years. Presents were nice and all, nothing earth-shattering, but just getting a brief respite from the mundane horror of my current Glasgow job-hunt/panic has been wonderful. But at the same time, I’m feeling like I’m ready to take on 2010 with a lot more vigour than 2009 (which kind of went downhill at a breakneck pace from July onward).

Vic Chesnutt, 1964-2009Not all great stuff though, as I discovered that the wonderful singer-songwriter, Vic Chesnutt, whose music has struck a particular chord in me for several years (though I only have his two sublime Constellation Records releases), died on Christmas day after falling into a coma caused by an intentional overdose of muscle relaxants. His troubled life and times, his dark humour, his quiet resilience were all evident in his songs, though his recent song “Flirted With You All My Life” revealed, with astonishing honesty and poignancy, his suicidal tendencies. I genuinely welled up the first time I heard it, and almost every time since in fact. That his death came not because of his quadriplegia or other health complications, but instead because of crippling financial debt (often claimed to be $50-70k) to and recent lawsuit by the ridiculous American healthcare system, that is a tragedy that will continue to affect many more lives, all while the Glenn Beck Myopic Historical Misappropriation Society of White Christian America go on making their utterly absurd comparisons of a public option to the policies of Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia.

Vic Chesnutt couldn’t get insurance because of the severity of his condition. That Americans would rather the government shovel money into a big Afghanistan shaped hole than dare to try and provide an option of basic healthcare to people in their own country, it’s just utterly incomprehensible. But ignoring the political tangent, Vic Chesnutt is a man whose songs will continue to be a part of my life, and his beautiful voice and unorthodox guitar style born of necessity will remain a burning inspiration for my own clumsy attempts to articulate my emotions. Thanks.

Lots of unexpected and expected deaths this past year, or more so than usual it seems. And I’ve had many significant troubles of my own. Yet despite this, there has been joy and light pulling me ever forward. I always make promises to myself at this time of year, that I fail to keep, as I settle back into old bad habits. Time for me to stop talking, and start doing methinks. After all, things happen because people make them happen. Time to grow up.

I’m getting awfully sick of people referring to the last decade as the “noughties”, as though there’s no historical precedent for naming the first decade of a century. It was the twenty-hundreds damn it. On the plus side though, it looks like we’ve moved from two-thousand-and-nine to twenty-ten, which for some reason makes me feel happy.

I’m hoping to have something interesting to present in the next couple of weeks, finally some creation to show for all of 2009’s self-inflicted tribulations. More details then.

Here’s to stubborn persistence, and the tiny speck of hope that shines out of the bottom of a seemingly bottomless black pit.

“In training to run a marathon
Miles and miles and miles
With your Sunday shoes on”

Marathon by Vic Chesnutt

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