The current issue of The Guardian’s Weekend magazine includes the transcription of a conversation between the authors Marlon James and Jeanette Winterson. This extract struck a chord:

MJ: What I find, particularly with young writers and readers, is that they don’t want complicated feelings. 

JW: But they’re young. And I feel sympathy with that. I’m happy to not know what I think about stuff; I’m happy to change my mind. But it’s relatively recently that I’ve been able to apply that to feelings. I used to like to know what I felt. I didn’t want those feelings to be complicated or muddled or clashing.

I’ve been young (yeah, really, I had hair and everything) and I feel like these days I’ve made the transition they’re talking about in writing, reading, feelings, work and life.

And while I see that I also referred to age when I wrote about something similar a couple of years ago I don’t believe the opposition here need be about that, although the experience and empirical evidence that can help to usher in the realisation and acceptance necessarily takes time.

For me, now, the key is recognising and processing uncertainty and finding productive ways to operate in the face of it. And that’s an intellectual exercise, not a birthday present.