What can be done? Say who you are, really say it in your life and in your work. Tell someone out there who is lost, someone not yet born, someone who wonít be born for 500 years. Your writing will be a record of your time. It canít help but be that. But more importantly, if youíre honest about who you are, youíll help that person be less lonely in their world because that person will recognise him or herself in you and that will give them hope. Itís done so for me and I have to keep rediscovering it. It has profound importance in my life. Give that to the world, rather than selling something to the world. Donít allow yourself to be tricked into thinking that the way things are is the way the world must work and that in the end selling is what everyone must do. Try not to.

The obvious solution was not to throw my hands up but try to find myself in a situation where I was doing me, not someone else. Do you. It isnít easy but itís essential. Itís not easy because thereís a lot in the way. In many cases a major obstacle is your deeply seated belief that you are not interesting. And since convincing yourself that you are interesting is probably not going to happen, take it off the table. Think, ĎPerhaps Iím not interesting but I am the only thing I have to offer, and I want to offer something. And by offering myself in a true way I am doing a great service to the world, because it is rare and it will help.í

As I move through time, things change. I change, the world changes, the way the world sees me changes. I age, I fail, I succeed, I am lost. I have a moment of calm. The remnants of who I have been, however, hover, embarrass me, depress me, make me wistful. The inkling of who I will be depresses me, makes me hopeful, scares me, and embarrasses me. And here I stand at this crossroads, always embarrassed, wistful, depressed, angry, longing, looking back, looking forward.

So you are here, and I am here, spending our time as we must, it must be spent. I am trying not to spend this time, as I spend most of my time, trying to get you to like me; trying to control your thoughts, to use my voodoo at the speed of light, the speed of sound, the speed of thought, trying to convince you that your two hours with me are not going to be resented afterwards.

It is an ancient pattern of time usage for me, and Iím trying to move deeper, hoping to be helpful. This pattern of time usage paints over an ancient wound, and paints it with bright colours. Itís a sleight of hand, a distraction, so to attempt to change the pattern let me expose the wound. I now step into this area blindly, I do not know what the wound is, I do know that it is old. I do know that it is a hole in my being. I do know it is tender. I do believe that it is unknowable, or at least unable to be articulable.

I do believe you have a wound too. I do believe it is both specific to you and common to everyone. I do believe it is the thing about you that must be hidden and protected, it is the thing that must be tap danced over five shows a day, it is the thing that wonít be interesting to other people if revealed. It is the thing that makes you weak and pathetic. It is the thing that truly, truly, truly makes loving you impossible. It is your secret, even from yourself. But it is the thing that wants to live.

We donít have to be. We can say who we are, we can assert our right to existence, we can say to the bullies and conmen, the people who try to shame us, embarrass us, flatter us, to the people who have no compunction about lying to us to get our money and our allegiance that we are thinking Ė really thinking Ė about who we are, and weíll express ourselves and other people wonít feel so alone.

Itís weird to be a human. We get to think about things, we get to wonder. It seems like quite a privileged position in the universe. And I wouldnít give it up for certainty because when youíre certain you stop being curious. And hereís the one thing I know about the thing youíre certain about; youíre wrong.

Itís always a mistake to settle on any explanation for anything, because whatever you settle on you will be wrong, even if youíre right. Everything is ephemeral; everything is in a constant state of flux. Thinking past any conclusion youíve drawn will reward you with a more complex insight and a more compassionate world view. This is something Iím constantly trying to learn and re-learn.

Your dreams are very well written. I know this, without knowing any of you. People turn anxieties, crises and longing, love, regret and guilt into beautiful rich stories in their dreams. What is it that allows us the creative freedom in our dreams that we donít have in our waking lives? I donít know, but I suspect part of it is that in our dreams we are not constricted by worry about how we will appear to others. Itís a private conversation with ourselves, and if weíre worried about it, this becomes part of the dream. I think if we were better able to approach our work this way, the results would be different.

John Garvey: ĎI am increasingly convinced that the need to be right has nothing whatsoever to do with the love of truth, but to face the implications of this means accepting a painful inner emptiness; I am not now what I sense somehow I am meant to be. I do not know what I feel from the bottom of my heart, I need to know. The beginning of wisdom is not to flee from this condition or distract yourself from it. It is essential not to fill it up with answers that have not been earned. It is important to learn how to wait with that emptiness. It is the desire to fill up that emptiness which leads to political or religious fanaticism.í

I donít understand many things, I donít know as much as Iíd like about anything, but Iím a human being and I wonít be in competition for the right to be treated decently. I wonít play that game. Nor should anybody have to. In turn, I will try not to use whatever access I have to the publicís fear to sell things, including myself.

The world is very scary now. It always has been. But something grotesque and specific to our time is blanketing us. We need to see that it is not reality; it is a choice we are making or allowing other people to make for us.

...weíre starving, all of us, and weíre killing each other, and weíre hating each other, and weíre calling each other liars and evil because itís all become marketing and we want to win because weíre lonely and empty and scared and weíre led to believe winning will change all that. But there is no winning.

I will do this to communicate that you are a waste of time as a human being. It will be an ugly thing for me to say. It will be intended to hurt you. It will be wrong for me to say. It will lack compassion. And it will hurt you. And you will either dismiss it or take it in, but in either case you will hear it and it will affect you. And you will think about what you can do next time so you can be more lovable, and with that your wound will be buried further. Or you will think about how hateful people are and how your armour needs to be thicker so that you can proceed as planned with your ideas. With that, your wound will be buried further.

E. E. Cummings: ĎTo be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best night and day to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.í