‘Clutching at straws’

= to be willing to try anything to improve a difficult situation, even if there’s little chance of success.

The etymology of the phrase, clutching at straws, is thought to have originated in the work of Thomas More called, Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation (1534).


See More’s Utopia on this blog.


The idiom clutching at straws is therefore meant to refer to a drowning person grasping for anything, even a straw, to save their life (straw, like wooden logs, floats on water but, whereas a log wouldn’t sink if a person were to hold on to it for dear life*, straw probably would sink). Nowadays, the phrase has come to mean something like this:

to act or make a decision, usually in desperation, without there being much hope of success.

desperate
Desperate, I am.

p.s.
* British English 🇬🇧 is full of references to the sea because, being an island, have a deep relationship with the seas and, if you were at sea and had fallen overboard (off of a boat or a ship) you’d hope not to end up in, Davy Jones’ Locker
.

Davy Jones’ Locker is an idiom for the bottom of the sea: the state of death among drowned sailors and shipwrecks. The phrase then is used as a euphemism for drowning (at sea) 🏴‍☠️.

✍🏻 How I Yearn 4 U

[ . & your perfect smile . ]

    I burn beyond belief
    I crave u desperately
    You’re my opium & oxygen
    •
    u say:
    (( the last fight killed me ))
    (( I’m broken ))
    (( I’m now a different person ))
    •
    But, i need u 2 no:
    2 me u r u and, u R u
    U 2 me r utterly irreplaceable
    I live only 2 be with u
    U R my One&Only
    ~ My Heat
    ~~ My Heart
    ~~~ My Happiness
    ~~~~ My Heaven-sent Heroine
    •
    Your honey IS MY heroin.

4ever
From here to infinity

📙 Fleabag

“The Scriptures”

In case you haven’t heard, Fleabag is a British TV show created and written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who also stars in the lead role. Well, anyway it lasted for two seasons and went out on a high (it was kept short and sweet). Well anyway (*II) she’s just launched a book which is basically the script of the TV show:

It is very funny in a dark and frank way but as a critic did say, “long after it’s pulled you in with its irreverence and jokes about sex, and beguiled you with its cutting wit and messily human characters, it reveals that it’s actually a tragedy.”


flea___bag
portraiture, often best when in black & white

 

✍🏻 The Pain

is so truly limitless

  I‘d read about love on many an occasion
  Love, they said, could kill without any exertion
  Until last month this was abstract exposition

  Inconsolable now; I’m “dead on the inside”
  Love so pristine, which I’ve now rendered denied
  Unless I can make mends, pure heartache will preside

  Irreplaceable: You are a unique snowflake
  Love so pure flowed between us; let’s not forsake
  U R the only one, of this, make no mistake.


📙 Love in the Time of Cholera

(Gabriel García Márquez | 1928–2014)

The power of love is limitless.
A poignant meditation on the nature of desire, and the enduring power of love

It is enough for me to be sure that you and I exist at this moment.

In Love in the Time of Cholera, the protagonist, Florentino Ariza, is a hopeless romantic who falls passionately for the beautiful Fermina Daza, but finds his love tragically rejected.

Instead Fermina marries a distinguished doctor Juvenal Urbino, while Florentino can only wait silently for her. He can never forget his first and only true love. Then, fifty-one years, nine months and four days later, Fermina’s husband dies unexpectedly.

At last Florentino has another chance to declare his feelings and discover if a passion that has endured for half a century will remain unrequited, in a rich, fantastical and humane celebration of love in all its many forms.

“The nearest thing to sensual pleasure prose can offer”
Daily Telegraph

“A celebration of the many kinds of love between men and women”
The Times

Gabriel García Márquez was born in Colombia. He is the author of many novels, including One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) and The General in His Labyrinth (1989). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.

Think of love as a state of grace; not the means to anything but the alpha and omega, an end in itself.

There is always something left to love.

They were so close to each other that they preferred death to separation.

Gaius Catullus

(Roman | 84–54 BC)

I hate and I love
Why do I, you ask?
I don’t know, but it’s happening
and it hurts

Gaius Catullus was a Latin poet of the late Roman Republic who wrote chiefly in the neoteric style of poetry, which is about personal life rather than classical heroes

Let us live and love, nor give a damn what sour old men say.
The sun that sets may rise again, but when our light has sunk into the earth it is gone forever.

W.O.L.O., dearest J

Lesbia, I am mad:
my brain is entirely warped

by this project of adoring
and having you

and now it flies into fits
of hatred at the mere thought of your

doing well, and at the same time
it can’t help but seek what

is unimaginable–
your affection. This it will go on

hunting for, even if it
means my total and utter annihilation.

Kisses r sumptuous & life sustaining.

Lesbia, you ask how many kisses of yours
would be enough and more to satisfy me.
As many as the grains of Libyan sand
that lie between hot Jupiter’s oracle,
at Ammon, in resin-producing Cyrene,
and old Battiades sacred tomb:
or as many as the stars, when night is still,
gazing down on secret human desires:
as many of your kisses kissed
are enough, and more, for mad Catullus,
as can’t be counted by spies
nor an evil tongue bewitch us.

📙 The Secret Sharer

[Joseph Conrad | 1857–1924]

The Secret Sharer portray’s a young men at sea confronting a turning points in his life.

Joseph Conrad was a Polish-British writer who is now regarded as one of the greatest novelists to write in the English language. Conrad’s exploration of the human condition as reflected by the men who toil at sea — or deep in jungles — can be considered as profound as most philosophical works and musings.

The Secret Sharer is a tale about a new captain who is piloting a ship in South East Asia. He is not very popular with his crew. To complicate matters, he willingly shelters a stowaway, a chief mate of another nearby ship. This stowaway is accused of killing another sailor. The captain develops an affinity to him, sees himself in him, hides him from search parties, and eventually steers his ship to a small uninhabited island so as to let the stowaway — the “secret sharer” — silently swim away and escape being punished for a murder that he was adamant was an act of life or death self-defence. The deep point is this: does the stowaway actually exist at all! Or is he but a figment of the young captain’s imagination?

We live as we dream – alone…

“I had immense plans,” he irresolutely muttered.

W B Yeats

[Irish | 1865–1939]

William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature.

I have spread my dreams under your feet.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

U R my moon ‘Secret Sharer.’

For he would be thinking of love
Till the stars had run away
And the shadows eaten the moon

The pool, the not fit for purpose outfit, the thrill & the excitement. Then, then came the pain, the god awful pain and desperation… my empire of hurt; it cuts way way beyond the bone.

A mermaid found a swimming lad,
Picked him up for her own,
Pressed her body to his body,
Laughed; and plunging down
Forgot in cruel happiness
That even lovers drown.

📙 I, Claudius

(Robert Graves | 1895–1985)

On Rome
A brilliant account of the madness and debauchery of Ancient Rome…

I, Claudius brings the ancient world of Rome to life with startling clarity and meticulous realism. The book focuses on Claudius who was despised for his weakness and regarded by his family as little more than a stammering fool. Claudius quietly survives the intrigues, bloody purges and mounting cruelty of the imperial Roman dynasties. The novel is written as if it were Claudius’s own autobiography. He watches from the sidelines to write down about the reigns of its emperors: from the wise Augustus and his villainous wife Livia to the sadistic Tiberius and the insane excesses of Caligula.

The book’s author, Robert von Ranke Graves, was a British poet, historical novelist, critic, and classicist.

On other writers:

The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he really is very good, in spite of all the people who say he is very good.

On love:

Love without hope, as when the young bird-catcher
Swept off his tall hat to the Squire’s own daughter,
So let the imprisoned larks escape and fly
Singing about her head, as she rode by.


p.s.
Here is a wonderful article by Brad Leithauser in New Yorker magazine that compares Graves to E E Cummings:
“A poet of piercing valentines.”