Tuesday, 27 April 2010


Within the hour we were already down to The Unbearable Heaviness of Not Being Able To Do Everything. I keep having these conversations, where I'm listing my alternate careers, with a sort of comic nonchalance that I don't quite believe, and wonder if anyone else detects. Air hostess, neuroscientist, ballroom dancer, painting MA. I flit like a crazy thing. He asked me yesterday if I'd seen the Goldsmiths programme, I wonder what it meant that I'd spent the same time listening to the Food Programme salivating (natch) over The School of Artisan Food. I emailed them though I didn't quite believe it, again. Cocktail bar tender. The list could go on.

We talked about repeating degrees. Said out loud it sounded silly, pointless, but kind of fragile and real. You can't go back, but can you do a Hegelian loop, back to A.2? Get me. Part of me thinks I can loop it straight back to the art place. What fires me? Well, different things at different times. Sometimes it's the perfect cookie jar, the feel of half-plain-flour dough, the new combination winner of salt-sugar-fat eat me up. Farm shops, chickens, growing greens, houses, men and babies. An end. Sometimes it's ideas, knowledge, philosophies, creation, the intangible. Art objects, art ideas, travel, new people, young free spirit. The potential I lost and mourn is always there, though I wonder if it still exists. Or am I just being historical.

What smacks is when I am sprung straight back to trains that went in 2004. This whole aphorism thing being super-trendy-over, the art writing now being a thing, foodie arty happenings. Things of which I am critical and find it easy to fabricate the pointlessness of, explained away as carelessly as that time that disappeared. Things I see myself as being a part of, if I'd been in the right place rather than the wrong one at the right time. On a good day there's still space for me there, on a bad day I'm kidding, hanging onto something long gone whilst keeping me from what could be a good thing for now. Baking bread. Is that enough? Would it dissolve the jealousy or just compound it? Was throwing pastry around the living room a sign that it wasn't enough, or merely desperation 2008?

I haven't written for a week. I've not had the words. Something is shifting in my head. I'm doing that thing that she said, where instead of writing lists, I just find myself doing things. Instead of reflecting lyrically perhaps I am actually interacting with people about the things that I am passionate about. How to read, how to lindy hop, how to drink coffee, how not to contemporary dance. Rock and rolling like crazy to forget the situation, sitting in a room for two hours to remember the situation. I certainly do love it when thinking is a Good Thing. I am trying to enjoy my time for the next couple of months, and indulge my 2010 self. Trying to pack as many facets in as possible, give myself a new go. Stop spinning Zoe! Enjoy? And if there must be spinning then maybe just take it to the dance floor? Though sometimes it'd be nice just to have someone in hold.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Going Out

I am not at all dissatisfied with my evening. I packed a small purse and ran to the main road in a short tight skirt listening to the Kinks. I sat on the bus past my stop. It got later than £5 and I didn't think it through but all of a sudden I was scanning The Book Club queue for friends. Old friends half friends, non friends new friends. I made crucial mistakes early on which meant I didn't get to dance to the Correspondents alone in some sort of euphoria, but instead ended up in a pub with a bad dance floor, via McDonald's. Apple pie secret.

I have the same feeling tonight that I had of Going Out as a teenager. A confusion for what the whole experience was actually about. Why are we painting our faces and putting on short shapes, stomping town and buying drinks, getting tired, getting takeout, getting taxis. All I know is I wanted an adventure, the scariest thing. Once my dancing plan hit the floor I didn't really have a new pull. But I liked not feeling panicked by drifting, somehow taking hold of chance by actively not committing to a single thing. It's quite exciting to make these decisions.

What was my exercise here? I found out about this gig at 8pm, and despite having other plans (that I wasn't actually hot for anyway) I decided to go looking for a night out, and try for the first time to not let not having a comrade stop me. I'm single and I can do anything, anything, by myself. Well I stood in that queue, and it wasn't that I couldn't do it, but all of a sudden, was this actually what I wanted? After three failed attempts at warmth from strangers, I found that people aren't too open to new faces in London. I imagined some American outcome, where I am accepted and embraced for my individuality and spontaneity, lauded for my bare face.

I had a super fun, unconventional night. I don't know if I will try and Go Out by myself again, but I have learnt a few tips at least. I will eye up the queue from across the road rather than stomping straight down it clumsily. I will practice tactical conversations as hooks, not let error be an option. I wasn't prepared tonight, had a mere eight pounds on me, and it was unfamiliar territory. There is no reason for a girl to not go dancing alone. If I am alone, and no-one notices me, then it's almost like I am entirely free, as thought I don't even exist. And if someone does notice me, it will provoke intrigue, and that can only be a positive thing. I will definitely try it again. Though next time I won't tell anybody about it.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

He asked what was stopping me, I got that thing where my mind doesn't exactly go blank, not like a meditative state, but draws up an image of a blank page. Its in a book with a stiff spine, about the size of a Penguin edition, one of those nicely designed series on English Journeys or whatever. My mind flicks through with it's hands, a bit Michel Gondry, I look at the pages and the spine is too stiff, and I'm suddenly back in the room, can't remember my word my point my problem.

What's stopping me, is not an easy answer. I came up with idle chat, not being surrounded by active people and work. It's closer to bad spirits, low motivation, a lack of being able to see the point in things. Oh woe is me what a very old problem. The point in things! I am usually fine for the first couple of hours of a day, and then reason sets in and I get heavy. I want to be light and full of potential, but seem to weigh it down with my creating of things not being that essential really. If I don't make an idea, no-one cares! Me, make something! For the past year or so it's been more than enough thank you to merely have an idea, never mind execute it! That brings so many more problems.

I don't know if I will make the show. I don't want to flake out, but seeing the blog I feel like I don't have things to formally present yet. I'm holding torches for old post-trendy ideas, and sadly will have to let them go. I'm sparking with new thoughts when I'm free and full of potential, then weighing them down with sandbags withing my seven day rolling repetition, always waiting for the elation of Saturday post-shift, then sad again at the close of Sunday, another week of the same ahead, a dull dread. You need to cultivate an environment for change.

Writing has been difficult for this past week. I realised the blog is only really interesting when I am. Interested. Disatisfied, bored, confused, sad does not make a good story. I need to go back to my ideas. I don't feel strong to create and be new. I don't feel refreshing. I feel flat and stale again. The School was a miracle cure, a zesty upturn to things. I wanted a revolution but guess what, I'm still me. No running from that. I wanted to be able to answer his question, sat in the present of the past, like normal, but a new version. I felt sad and stuck, and didn't think the answer was looking backwards, but I can't see forwards either. Feeling the need to personify my motivation again, not a good feeling.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Pleasure and pain

Going to bed with one de-haired leg and one full haired leg. Hoping I don't get rushed into hospital. I don't even have any matching underwear right now. What would my mother think. Ugh finding it difficult to post. Feeling heavily laden under a literary guilt trip this last week, surrounded by books of self-improvement, barely able to find the time to read a chapter of Graham Greene. It's quite difficult reading, language-wise, quite stolen and British and puts me in a Brief Encounter frame of mind. Doesn't really fit with the tube.

I was thinking about the pain threshold with the epilating. I was thinking about the pain being on my leg, following this electronic instrument around, rather than beginning in my head, or my gut. It went from my leg, to my brain, to my mouth into yelps with the occasional giggle. The pain expressed as a laugh. It reminded me of what I said to her yesterday, kind of surprising myself, that I tie up emotional feelings with a complete gut reaction. Turning bowels. It happened so much last year, a flicker of memory, a churning in my middle. Now I hold tension when I feel angry and frustrated, I feel it in my stomach. Solar plexus is a real thing remember.

A woman had a go at me in the shop yesterday. I don't know if it was because I was tired and off-guard, but suddenly there was blood in my veins and I wanted to swear and throw and scream and run and I was fizzing angry and wanted to cry with a churning, moving middle. A few sentences, a physical reaction. I didn't cry, I felt like it was bad that I swallowed the motivation, it should've come out, but it was too busy and would've been plain melodrama. I made bad coffees and imagined turning on her good leg. It just echoed this same conversation we keep having about moderating oneself in different places. Out of the shop door, in real life, a battled would've ensued to fire my day, but within the shop I bit my tongue, swallowed the salt, acknowledged and ignored the belly. (When will I get to be myself?)

A couple of times in recent months I have been subject to such warm unexpected kindness from strangers that I have had to go and cry. This worries me. It seems a displaced version of pleasure, like I am unable to distinguish pleasure and pain. Anger and elation. Crying is quite a waste. Remember when the guy smashed into the back of the Mini, and I went absolutely fucking mental, like he had broken my child, and I just felt so goddam free. Elated. The anger came right back through all the stages into almost laughter. I feel like now I need to work out the right directions and intentions of my feelings, and keep them resolutely out of my abdomen. Kind of nice to start with the legs. Seems it was even funny.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Jumble (sale)

No internet still, so I battled with the idea of turning the computer on v/s sitting in bed with a red book. I just felt my arms filled with words, ready to pour out of fingers, nothing to do with the tension of a pen on paper. It's a weird attention-seeking thing that writing onto a public forum let's call it the internet, feels, I don't know, somehow more hopeful than writing in a book using scrawl barely legible to even my own eyes. Worthy, useful. A record. Something that isn't immediately dead. Which is why it feels so strange here in Text Edit, one weird held up hinterland. I know, with a Muji, Parker, any other pen, the word hinterland almost certainly wouldn't have come.

Who's voice is it here? What is my means of communication? A conversation with myself it feels, an unknotting of daily, quotidian, concerns. At ease. We were just talking after an immense fish dinner, no small fish dinners here Georgio's, about socially acceptable moderation, the reigning in of one's true thoughts. I consistently feel I am watching myself act like an employee at Monmouth. I here my voice, a kind of mine, saying things that aren't me, wasting energy communicating over repeated issues that are no bigger than the moment. I am operating, but I'm bizarrely not doing anything. And I really want to say, your beard is the craziest thing that's been in the shop all day, and funny, you're the cutest couple, your noses appear to be able to tesselate in the most complex concave/convex manner when kissing! And I'm nearly saying this to your faces, because I almost forgot myself. Or should that be remembered myself?

It felt weird swapping between these two personalities, the School and Monmouth. I got a total Argos work experience '98 feeling yesterday, that inept newness. It makes me feel so nervous and awkward and generates it's own mistakes. I mellowed out so much in the class after the day at 'work', allowed my own responses and idiosyncrasies to out. Things I can't say out loud in the day, because I get looks of over-quirky and inappropriate, a bad case of moderation. I watched him give the talk, amazed at someone so whole and driven and purposeful and entirely appropriate. I wondered if I want to be working somewhere like the School, or whether I really want to be one of the Experts. She asked me why I was there, and I wanted to say to allow me time to think, be surrounded by thinking, a place where dialogue is worthy and thinking about thinking is actually a good wild thing. Not something that gets a funny look and a poke back behind the line, because, like, there's washing up to do and jolly to be looking.

I was looking forward to the comfy chair of coffee again today, but instead I just felt agitated and unused. I kept getting holiday flashes, sparks of possibility and achievement, the signs being not quite so jumbled. London is heavy, I even got stressed reading Time Out this morning, so much shit happening and no chance of seeing everything and being able able to enjoy it. One off double bills? Sample sales? New cafes? Dancing nights? Why suddenly do I feel so flaky and unconnected and bombarded by choice? I felt so weird, SO weird, last weekend, dancing 40s swing one night and 70s gay disco the next. I calmed myself with the fact of postmodernism, it's ok. But that feeling remains, I must choose a scene. I can't play two roles. Can I? Do I make my own scene?

We were discussing the virtues of solitude at the class last night. It was probably the most interesting part to me. I didn't speak as I hadn't yet found my feet, but I liked the idea of the solitude of traveling, and how I just feel so alive and unquestionable when I do these trips. However emotional I feel, I'm not a stone, at no point did I feel things were spinning out of control. Not once. I was reveling the whole time. But why is it, solitude in the everyday can meld into loneliness, an inability to see the right direction, a bombardment of choice, and a feeling of spinning.


Later, not striving

I enjoyed work today. Despite making a bit of a twat of myself within the first 15 minutes. Double ristretto macchiato in ceramic? Fuck I've forgotten your usual after a year and a half. Nice red bag, I said, but oh, I don't fucking know you, and I just sound like a lunatic now, and I'm all hot, but I'm not hot for you, not anymore, it's just I've been battling the condensation to not look like I've never cleaned a window before at 7.30am. Shit now he's talking to me like I'm trying to make a conversation and be cute, but I just daydreamed out of the building and slipped up, like when I charged Colin Farell for the 2000 pain au chocolates just cause I'm an idiot, and he's all flattered by my apparent celebrity mistake which just wast at all!

Apart from that, I just felt immensely calm, collected and focused today. Like I knew where the money was and where I was heading. I know what I'm doing here, but I know it's not the only thing I'm doing here. From now on, if you start talking to me as a stranger, I'm gonna have something new to say for the first time in almost a year, and doesn't that feel pretty great. Yes. Something that isn't tinged with pity or sadness or injustice or confusion or want, but something that might go forward into something else. And simply by talking now we are thinking things neither of us has ever thought before. Onwards.

Fate had me again today, with two minutes to spare. It's boring now actually, I don't think you can have an immovable crush on someone for four months and expect a good result. I see this guy daily and nothing is ever going to happen because he either doesn't have any interest in me or is plainly nervous, and the fact that I don't know which of those things it is is bad for a start. He seems to try and leave the building as quickly as possible after I try to chat. I'm not up for things being this hard. I'm not an idiot, and at coming up to twenty eight, I don't want the formation of my relationships to be based on asking a girl seven years younger than me whether her mate fancies me. It's got to get a bit better than that, surely.

It's kind of fun. It didn't cloud my day if I'm honest. Fully enjoying these 2-for-1 days now the light carries on, to be able to see a show after work twice in one week feels pretty successful actually. My mind is on and open, in a way I have not felt for such a very long time. I'm sure the dancing helped. Even if the 2 types did make me more postmodern than I feel comfortable with. And I'm thinking I might like to start some sort of art blog. Not dry reviews, but generous personality slanted art thoughts. And I think they'd be pretty uninformed to begin with, but it may set something in motion, because this blog certainly has. Maybe I agree with him that I am intelligent, I cant imagine people thinking of me that way. I wondered what he meant by intelligent? I meant books and ideas. I wonder what he meant. 2010 is my quest.


title goes here

It's been a while. And a while longer yet too as the internet's down and I'm typing in Text Edit. Somehow it needs to be in Courier to tap into the correct brain place. It doesn't feel right not typing in the blog box. I'll try, not strive...

Anyway. Talking about the writing a lot more than writing the writing for almost three weeks now, got to that stage again where you feel like you're running into your own cliche. It becomes circular, like when I was recording the diaries and then I was writing up to the day I was recording, aware of my own narrator. It dies at this point. I must read Barthes. I have been toying with the idea of Posthumous Posts Un, Dos and Tres, one for each country. And then toying with the idea that this would be contrived in itself, 'making a blog post', not true to the honesty I do. Question mark. The context I'm in here is plain and quotidian; a train trip for one, is most certainly not.

I didn't miss the blogging this time, I barely wrote much. Perhaps it was the ills but I felt quiet, rested and observant. Un-angry, though not un-moved. Just really pensive and melty and spongy and receptive. Un-knotted. Light. New. Available. Cool. Fresh. Senses. New again. I had a couple of what I might have thought were epiphanies, the sort you have when drunk, take away from the norm and things go wild. Then, in 'normality', whatever image that is, the ideas tarnish fast, and all of a sudden they're inside some sort of leather-bound prayer cushion, and I'm sitting on it, and, well it's just not breathing anymore is it. I'm actually sitting on it on purpose.

So what I've been trying (not striving) to do, is to let the future breathe. Make a space for it, like that triangle between belly button and hip bones, air happening, growth, calm, multiplying, onward! That holiday momentum, of the normal being only an image of now, based in nothing, susceptible to beautiful change. Today was a huge success. As was Saturday. As was Sunday. And yesterday. Art and thinking and dancing and baking and napping and dancing and meeting and meandering and making new meanings. The light is helping considerably, the day no longer stops at 5pm, things can come in two stages. I got up at half five, worked, collected my Nina Tolstrup lamp, saw and thought art, missed a train and didn't care because it was so pleasant, cooked an amazing frugal pasta, had some thoughts on hold. This could not have happened in the depths of winter.

I am heading into a new life! The school of life. I'm not quite sure that I'm ready, how I'm to behave. Things haven't changed (for good) for almost a year, I've been plodding with no purpose and no strength to see further than a few weeks. I'm now set till July. I feel itchy, but not worried. The world feels big and whole and available again. A show to think about. I'm growing my brain right now, I think this is what 2010 is about for me, simply allowing myself a freedom. Even now, almost a year on, I am noticing daily how open I am to my thoughts, when before I was so knotted I couldn't allow hardly anything to affect me. As for now, I feel pleasantly new, and am not letting this feeling go easily.