This is something I’ve seen before and always wanted to do.
I found an old book for 5p the other day and have been taking a page at a time, redacting sentences and sometimes whole paragraphs to reveal a constellation of words that when connected make poetry (that’s the theory anyway).
Even if nothing comes from the page I’m finding it quite a soothing activity; on my breaks and when my brain is being too hyperactive to focus on my own work, this has helped keep me a little less off track.
Here is a little one from a page today.
Breath felt somewhat mad but relaxed,
Denying her beautiful until time revealed disappointment.
Tears, shut eyes.
Suddenly everything completed.
One of the best things about the internet, for music lovers anyway, is how easy it can be to stumble blindly onto a band that feels tailor made of you. Scrolling through Instagram the other day I flew past clip of Pinegrove’s bassist Adan playing in the Audiotree studio. It took a moment for my brain to register what it had seen so I scrolled back up hoping to find a new Pinegrove session but when I turned on the audio, what came through was something entirely different: Half Waif.
Nandi Rose Plunkett, also in the Pinegrove family, has an incredible voice that cuts through everything with that haunting, beautiful quality like Kate Bush or Bat For Lashes. It’s the kind of voice that stops my thoughts for a moment, everything else falls away. I immediately downloaded the EP ‘Probable Depths’ on Spotify with the kind of excitement I had as a kid holding a new tape on the bus home from town.
‘Probable Depths’ is a stunning and varied release from start to finish but it is the finish that broke me, specifically the closing track ‘Tactilian’. Opening with a stark piano line over programmed drums, reminiscent of an audibly filled out James Blake, this track had me hooked before the incredible vocal melody even swooned in; Plunkett’s voice layered on top of itself to the point where it almost sounds like a choir. The song shifts halfway through from the hook ‘think I’m a bit sick of holding on’ ironically making me want to never let go of it, to a moody, atmospheric second half that wouldn’t be out of place on a Bon Iver record. The combination of winding down song to the repeated phrase ‘I know I’m not going to be back for a while’ calming its way to the close of the record left me short of breath, desperate for more and with an odly tangible sense of hope rising in my chest.
Portrait photography is one of those things that I have never been all that comfortable with. The whole idea of telling someone how to stand while trying to capture that natural expression at the same time, I’ve always found it really stressful and invariably infuriating when I get home and hate all the images. That said, I have been focussing on portraiture this week to try and improve my confidence and limited skill.
I am very fortunate to have lots of lovely, creative, patient friends who let me take their photo and don’t get cross with me. This week, friends and photography have saved me in more ways than one.
Lex – Writer extraordinaire and extraordinary friend. She works for LUSH digital and writes a blog at the link.
Georgia – Photo bestie. If a show is happening she will almost certainly be there taking dreamy snaps that make me jealous.
Kathryn – Nicest of nice punx, Kathryn plays/writes/sings music in FRESH.
Louise – Fellow book nerd and the kindest witch I’ve ever known.
Stop. Look up,
from the phone,
Scroll, like, tap, tweet,
It only makes you feel more alone.
Stop. Get up,
leave this bed
Live, be, do, see
Everything you’ve always wanted.
Stop. Let go
Taps, oven, lights, door
I promise there’s nothing you’ve missed.
Stop questioning yourself.
Be happy in yourself.
Stop believing you can’t.
“I just can’t deal with you anymore.”
“Deal with what?”
“Your vain, narcissistic belief that you are some kind of genius. Always talking like you’re on a chat show in the future, doing things now so they could make amusing anecdotes in the future where you assume you’re famous. It’s exhausting being there for you, the dramatic highs and creative lows where you turn into a needy child in search of validation, your ego deflated to a dangerous level. It’s just too much. I want someone, normal. Someone who asks me about my day instead of being so wrapped up in, oh for Fuck sake, are you kidding me!? Stop writing this down. Why can’t you just live the moment you’re in for once in your fucking life? One day you’re going to look up from that pen and see that everyone is gone.”
I stopped writing, looked up and she was.