My first outing with my partner was in a café, the first of many. She taught me about coffee but I refrained from making it. She likes her coffee just right and I have no clue how to make different ones. I order them from a counter and they come already brewed. We followed this pattern for a long time, me peculiar about my cups of tea, her about her cups of coffee.
I remember the discussion of a few days ago, the sadness that had permeated our cul-de-sac. But today is different. There is a birthday to celebrate, the sun is shining, and we’re all in high spirits. We talk about age, about skiing and injuries. We chat about food and the birthday party to come. There will be chocolate, chicken dippers, and a takeaway.
Did you know that a fox is uma raposa and a bowtie is um laçarote? But that in french, a fox is un renard and a bowtie is a un noeud papillon (literally a butterfly knot)? I probably will never need those words, but they are a delight to say.
I have been spending a lot of time in my head since lockdown began. I have thought of who I was and I have considered who I will be. But I have rarely thought of the present. This, now, is a transient time. It is out of life and I have treated it as such.
I don’t voice my next thought but sometimes I feel guilty at not being more angry or engaged with what is going on in the world. It’s not that I don’t care about how the government is behaving or how inequalities are laid bare. It’s not that I don’t see the opportunities to bring about change and evolution in our societies. But I do not have the mental space to act or think about all this.
Findings - Week 08
Folk on Foot, Soundmarks, From up on Poppy HillOne 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.
Folk on Foot – Front Room Festival
On the bank holiday Monday, Folk on Foot organised a festival from musicians front rooms to ours. Over seven hours, music streamed, all recordings home-made and entertaining. Folk music is something I’ve been discovering recently and it was great to hear so many artists in one place.
The livestream is still available but if you only want the highlights, you can listen here.
Rose Ferraby and Rob St. John – Soundmarks
Soundmarks is a collaboration between archaeologist Rose Ferraby and artist Rob St John. Together they explore the sub surface of Aldborough Roman Town in North Yorkshire.
Through field recordings, music, drawings, and archaeology, they weave in stories of the past with the present, mix knowledge and poetry together, and explore the relationship between time, boundaries, and memory.
You can discover more about the project on its website.
Gorō Miyazaki – From Up On Poppy Hill
Set in 1963 in Japan, the film tells the story of Umi Matsuzaki, a high school girl living in a boarding house. When Umi meets Shun Kazama, a member of the school’s newspaper club, they decide to clean up the school’s clubhouse to help save it from demolition.
It is a quiet film about family, history, and heritage. Gentle and slow, it is set against the historic background of the Olympics coming to Tokyo. You can see society changing but this is not what this film is about. Instead it celebrates everyday life and experiences that get lost in history books.
What have you been enjoying this week?
Heavy with cheese and dozy from the alcohol, we say our goodbyes and retire to the sofa. We put on a film and it isn’t long until I slumber on my partner lap, half asleep.
For ten minutes, I get to know my neighbours a bit better. The short waves, the friendly smiles now extended to words and names exchanged. I want to help but I feel powerless. How do you help someone you do not know? How do you help someone who is healthy and secure but is finding it difficult to bear the mental weight of isolation?
Walking is, in part, about not thinking. My body takes over and I am free to wonder and wander. There are boundaries that keep me safe. The pavement is not for cars, the red light will stop the bus. Those boundaries are gone and a walk now requires thoughts and analysis. There are cars to take into account but also cyclists, runners, and other pedestrians too.
Today I have been feeling down. It’s not an overwhelming feeling, more of a presence hovering inside of me. It’s balanced on a thin line, about to collapse at any moment, break, and take over me. I pause every now and again and think about that feeling, that line. I imagine it stretched just right and I will the thing on it to keep balancing. And it does.