Monday, 15 October 2018

Day 171: Monkey

Oh I don’t want to write tonight. My inner child is throwing a paddy. Fran is over and we’ve eaten Indian takeaway and watched the first four episodes of Fleabag, and now all I want to do is lie in bed and watch more Fleabag and go woozy by the radiator and play on my phone. But I can’t I have to do my writing.

I don’t want to do my writing! I want to march up and down the street banging pots and pans with a wooden spoon. Tra-la, tra-la, boom boom boom. I want to build a den or a treehouse or possibly fly in a hot air balloon. I want to show Fran my curry belly and burp in her face.

But I gots to do my chores. My chores. Stupid chorey chores. Stupid dupid chorey chores.

Writing is tough because you can’t let your inner monkey-kid be in charge, because then you’d do nothing but eat ice cream in your pants and nap through the day. Monkey-kid is a bad project leader. Very disorganised and flakey and unpredictable. Poor time-management skills. Poor self-discipline. Not one for routine.

But he’s also where all the playfulness and curiosity and energy comes from. Without him anything you create would be dry as chipboard. Without him you’d only ever make what you set out to make. There’d be no spontaneity, no exploration, no bizarre midnight tangents. No creativity, in other words.

So you have to find a way to get monkey-kid along for the ride, and to give him space to play, to scamper, but also make sure he knows he’s not running the show.

How do you do that?


I spend many days letting monkey-kid lead me off into procrastination and misadventure, and then it’s 1am and I’m forced to scribble down some nonsense and post it to my blog. But I guess at least I’m doing that, which means at least once a day I’m taking control and telling the monkey-kid who’s boss, and yanking him back by the tail every time he tries to slink away. But also you’ve gotta just… indulge him a little. Tell him that he’s not having all his own way, but within your way he can have whatever control he requires. He’s a horse that you’re riding (a monkey and a horse and an inner child? Yeah whatever) and he has to go to the field to which you lead him. But when there he will be allowed to gallop and canter and trot, to let off steam, to be the wild horse that his wild horsey heart desires.

You’re not enslaving the animal within, you’re taking it to places it could never have gone by itself (your human brain can lead that horse around rocks and ravines it couldn’t navigate alone) - and it in turn is helping you.

It’s a relationship, between different elements of the self, and you have to find a way to nourish all the parts.

So I don’t bang pots and pans, I do my chores - but in my chores I get to write about banging pots and pans, and that turns out to be almost the same.

And now the chores are done for one more day and it’s time for Fleabag.

Fleabag is good. Very good. Both me and the monkey-kid approve.

1 comment:

  1. Your imagery is frivolous and fabulous. Hug your monkey child horse.