Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Talking To Myself About Myself

Another thing about my grandfather: he entertained the fantasy that I might grow up to be prime minister. I suppose that was his way of projecting his own ambitions forward. He'd come out of the slums and acquired an education somehow and ended up as a company director and hoped his descendants would build on that. It had very little to do with who I was.

I've tried on a number of identities in my time but politician wasn't one of them. I don't have the skill set- or the ambition. I'm neither a leader nor a follower. I'm the chap who sits at the edge of the crowd, hears the Messiah out, then goes away by himself to mull it over.

I've done a little light protesting- and that's about it. I never joined a club or an organisation or a party that I didn't want to leave shortly thereafter.

I reckon that you have to be one of two things to be a successful politician- either a true believer or a sociopath. The same applies to being a successful priest. I tried that one- and lasted ten years- most of them unhappy. I had a colleague who was plotting his advance through the hierarchy and reckoned he ought to make it to rural dean or archdeacon and I thought, why on earth would you want to be either of those? When I left the church- and published an article or two about it he wrote a piece in his parish magazine calling me a "Judas".

I was flattered. I had no idea I was so important.

I have never been able to do the things you're required to do to be successful because they always involve falsity and humiliation but I've always been able to do what it takes to get by.

This is one of my favourite pictures of myself. It shows me at eighteen with my pilgrim hat and my pilgrim's pack, getting ready to walk to Glastonbury. You can't photograph the soul but if you could then mine would look something like this

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