Bruce Frederick Cummings (MS Trust)


‘And so you read Pragmatism,’ he mused, ‘while the fate of the Empire stands in the balance.’

‘Yes,’ said I, ‘and the Paris Academy of Sciences were discussing the functions of θ and the Polymorphism of Antarctic diatoms last September when the Germans stood almost at the gates of Paris.’ (1948, p.199)

Armed with the flippancy and intellectual conceit which were second to none, W. N. P. Barbellion recorded a future ceaselessly spurned by sickness and circumstance. Born in 1889 in Barnstaple, he aspired to be a naturalist and began keeping a diary at the age of thirteen. His lust for life antagonised by his social class and ill health stationed him at a uniquely tragic standpoint from which he witnessed fin de siècle.

The Journal of a Disappointed Man vividly highlights the universality of human suffering during one of the greatest and most devastating turning points in history. By pitting his own ambition against an increasingly industrialised world, Barbellion’s diary poignantly portrays the economical, sociological and political climates of the years leading up to the First World War.

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You probably have never heard or listened to this indie band called Monni. And because of that, you probably haven’t heard of this song. It’s beautiful and sad. But not too sad. Just enough so that you feel a little prickling. A bit heavy in your chest. Nothing too sad. The song sings about the boy when he gets older, in this kind of way:

When the boy grows up and learns about people
All the unwanted expectations and cruel lips

When the boy grows up and learns about the world
His white heart will become darker and there will be many sleepless nights

When my today goes by it will become a small part of my sad memories
Time I cannot grasp passes me by like falling raindrops

If only I can abandon my foolish self

When my today goes by
Time I cannot grasp passes me by like falling raindrops

If my tomorrow comes I will become a small song and make the boy’s dreams come true
Today, time I cannot grasp leaves me yet again with no regrets

The song, it feels nice. Like dying. A hope that’s dying and is trying to resurrect itself. Struggling to breathe, to keep going, using outer things as an anchor to stay afloat. Because there is no hope left for myself, I hope for someone else instead. That kind of feeling.

5-Minute Eye

I was messing with my newly bought pen today, and this was the result. This is Jot Pro, the tablet pen. It was easier to use than I thought, even easier than a graphic tablet. I used this on my iPad. Personally, I think the result of a five-minute doodle came out alright, it’s not the best due to my rustiness. But wow, it’s a breeze to use.

And since I’ve always been wanting to get a tablet pen, ever since my colleague showed hers to me, I was quite excited to use it. Now that was almost two years ago, and I only just bought it last week. My loss! Should’ve got one sooner, it’s awesome.

When I draw, I don’t have to think. And it makes me feel at peace for a little while. Sometimes, I even think I’m happy.