The title is from a very short piece of prose, that I first read thanks to Warren Ellis, who is one of my absolute favourite writers.
No, he’s not the dead one from the Village People.
No, he’s not the one from Nick Cave’s band.
He’s the writer.
Anyway, he put the poem in one of his regular newsletters ages ago, and that last line burrowed it’s way into my head and won’t shake out. If you give me a minute or so, I’ll see if I can find it on t’internet…
Another day down the mines of our lives. We drink ’til we stink and smoke ’til we choke because that’s how we get things done, you and me. Spending our lives making things and making things out of our lives, because anything else would be dull as hell and we’re damned if we’re going to sit at the other end of whatever years we get saying, “well, what the fuck was that for?”
Years of scars, lipstick and tears, and every day the dawn comes on, we turn our eyes up in surprise, saying, “There’s that goddamn sun again.”
It’s that last line that really chimes with me: “There’s that goddamn sun again”. Especially at the moment. Very much a case of “another day to get through”. The whole thing really chimes with me at the moment, because I’m currently trying to make sense of my life. I’m definitely looking back at my teaching career and saying, “Well, what the fuck was that for?”
It’s not the only thing, either. That level of introspection (twisted as it is) comes with depression. You find yourself going back over your life, questioning everything, and that can be absolutely crippling. You can’t move forward because your brain is making you look back and dissect every decision you ever made and finding the bad in everything and showing it to you.
That’s kind of where I am at the moment – there’s part of my brain telling me, quite forcefully that I’m totally fucking useless. It’s hard to argue right now, because I’m unemployed with not even a sniff of anything in the pipeline at the moment. As is usual at this time of year, the supply scene has dried up, and it looks like Tameside College aren’t really interested in getting me in until the end of term.
And you wonder why I’m feeling down at the moment? Take a look at everything above. No job. No career. No hope. Can’t… just can’t.
So I was reading this today, and it begins with a piece that made me think “wow, that’s exactly like I feel sometimes”. But then I keep reading and pondering the mood, which is obviously low and see this:
“I’m definitely looking back at my teaching career and saying “well what the fuck was that for?”
Well, I can give you at least a part of what that was for.
It was to bring inspiration to young and impressionable minds.
It was to introduce people, particularly emotionally vulnerable teens, to the concept that things aren’t perfect, but its OK, because you’re human.
It was to help them see themselves as something better than what they thought they were or could be.
I’m not speaking exclusively in terms of education, you’re a teacher of life as well as of science and math.
And I can say this from direct experience.
Yup, I wonder exactly when in my life I began to give a crap about myself, and NOT give a crap about people who belittled or bullied me? I wonder who first introduced me to the concept of RPG where you can play out the best and worst parts of your character without worrying about the consequences, thus helping me vent much of my youthful frustration?
Who encouraged my alternative music taste? Who made me realise it was OK to be different than everyone in school, because school is just a phase and real friends haven’t been made yet?
And who exactly made me feel like I was worth something, when my peers made me feel like nothing?
Oh yeah . . . That’d be you
I doubt I’m the only “wyrd” wayward stray you’ve helped
So there you have it
What was it all for?
It was for everyone you met that needed you to be . . . You.
So from me to you