Dinner finished, I head back upstairs to the study to focus on my pinhole camera. I have time to relax and stay on the sofa with my partner but there is an urgency that pushes me to keep working. Soon I will have to go back to work and time will be reduced to dedicated chunks at either side of the day.
A headache is growing on the left side of my face as I pour chemicals and invert the developing tank. It has nothing to do with what I’m doing. I know this headache, it comes every month. First it creeps behind my left eye before descending to my jaw, settling there in a dull constant ache.
My chest tightened and tears welled in my eyes in the following days every time I thought about Brexit. I felt empty and lost, rejected by a country I so fiercely love. I had fought to come here, I had fought to stay here. I came crawling and wounded to London ten years before and had risen to become the person I am today. And all of that meant nothing at all because I was foreign now, not of here, other.
Findings - Week 17
One of my aim for 2020 is to be more conscious of the time I spend reading/listening/watching new (to me) creative projects. I want to actively make time for other people’s work and creativity in my life. One way of achieving this has been to be more focused with my time but as the year gets busier, I am going to to lose that focus. To combat this, I am going to publicly share a list of works I’ve been enjoying on a weekly basis.
If you follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed that I am exploring pinhole photography of late. To learn more about it, I have been researching other photographers who work with pinhole cameras. One such photographer is Nicole Small.
Amongst other things, she takes self-portraits with pinhole cameras, allowing movements to be part of the image. Sometimes serious, sometimes playful, her self-portraits are always captivating.
What have you been enjoying this week?
I close my eyes and rest letting my thought drift away from me. It has been a long week filled with turmoils and doubts, unaided by my body getting ready for my period. I think of all that has happened, of racism and Brexit, of the trip to Berrow sands and the tears I cried, of the stress on my shoulders and the restlessness of my mind, of the walk in Westonbirt Arboretum and the release I found, of Queer Out Here and the voices of people in the outdoors, of…
The shutter closed I stare at the paths, my feet glued to the spot and yet itching to go, to walk on, follow the arrows through the countryside until it is time to get back to work. It doesn’t matter that I have no gear with me, that no pubs are open for a rest, and that I am wearing slightly too big sandals on my feet. I want to go, to walk, to disappear into this English landscape I have come to love.
I normally take time with e-mails, read my messages multiple times over before sending them but not today. I am unsure why. There is nothing to be done now, so I try not to think about it and go about editing Queer Out Here.
All day, I walk around the house groggy. I fall asleep on the sofa after lunch but this has not cleared my headache. Under the cover of rest, it has grown in intensity, making the right side of my face throbbing. I swallow some paracetamol and return to bed in a vain attempt for sleep.
I am angry at the world. I am angry at the government that is making a farce of this pandemic. I am angry at myself for not being happy to be here, for feeling scared, for wanting to flee. This right here is a space where I should feel safe. This right here is a space where I should feel free. Instead I am paralysed and the realisation of my loss makes me cry.
Some colleagues have returned to the office today. My friend sent me a photo of her at her desk, the familiar photo on the wall hanging behind her. She is smiling in the photo. She is one of the few that has been working throughout this entire lockdown. I picture myself at my desk but who I see is someone else, the person I was before lockdown.