Saturday, 16 April 2011


There's a story in everything, you just have to be looking for it. The birds are always in the trees, but you only hear them call when you're listening out for it. There's an awareness to be taken in everything, if you let yourself feel it in your own hands. Smells are particularly overwhelming when ill, nearly choked in the chemical products section of the discount store. Funny how taste is absent. Salt is good.

I made it out of the house for the first time proper in five days. I managed to buy a paper and ingredients without exhausting myself too much. Economics student, she asked, it took me a while to realise she nodded at my pink paper. I just like the magazines, I told her half heartedly. Walking past F Cooke's I wondered is now the time? It was, I double backed by the community garden and sloped in, unsure how I'd be received with the FT and these glasses. It was fine. A girl in late teens slopped me out a small pie (meat flavour) and mash, with liquor, yes. What it was exactly I'm not sure, a kind of watery parsley sauce. Extra salt and it was amazing.

The girl chatted about some guys passing on the street, kids she'd grown up with, look who has a job, she prided herself. They dipped into the door and I admired her power. She was sure as hell breaking the Personality at Work Act, swearing away as she swept sawdust, why sawdust, you know it's the third time someone's asked that today. Sorry I said, no don't be, I should know why it's there but I don't. She sings exact lyrics to bad r'n'b, and I kind of enjoyed it. She was one of my longest conversations all week. The first was was my parents, oddly.

I love Hoxton Street. Even if there are six police hanging out south waiting for something to come up. Even if I do feel awkward that my hair is this flowing and straight without relaxer. Despite existing in the very throes of a certain middle, I know where I'm from, I know about working. Pie and mash for half the price of posh corned beef in town, ready meals and digestives in place of homemade lasagnes and organic puddings, a whole week of iPlayer and Streetmate re-runs instead of activities I usually call culture. They're all the same really. This bout has loosened me up a little.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Slipped context

Amazing how quickly your context falls out when you get ill. You don't have to be anywhere, don't have to see anyone, so I'm going nowhere and not seen a friend for days. Is that a ready meal, she accused, and was right to, and yes there are chocolate digestives in the orange-lipped jar, and yes I did have two types of 'sauce' on my roast potatoes last night. Blurry contexts indeed. I walked past the reformed meat and Italian packages, these things still didn't break sense, but the chicken dopiaza just called out from amongst the panoply of Express atrocities.

Not normally would I eat crumpets and biscuits for lunch, and something which came from a factory and tasted rather sugary for a curry supposedly 2-chili-rated for dinner, though I did make pilau from scratch. Not normally would I watch Candy Cabs, Birds Britannica, A History of Celtic Britain, The Crimson Petal and the White, Railway Walks, Masterchef and two episodes of Eastenders. Not normally would I feel best for not leaving the house (through the front door) for two days. Not normally would I not brush my teeth or wash my face. Some things just make more sense when you're struggling to forget your body. Distraction techniques. Bad food, bad television, bad grooming. I don't need to condition my existence. I feel like shit hence I'm alive.

Strangely these are some of the things which make less sense when trying to be mindful. I spent the class on Tuesday, wishing I could leave my body, un-notice aches in wrists(!) and other parts which are normally self-governing. It felt like a taste of being old, clearing away chairs and almost needing a sleep directly. The other people there, and I'm generalising here, are high speed achievers, who just need to chill out. How nice it is to stretch, thought one, how nice it is to, think one thing at a time, another. It seemed we didn't have the same angle. I'm merging my body and mind several times a day several activities a week, and my problem is a one track mind, eating it's own possibilities quicker than I'm getting down these digestives.

The busy rushing world in which those city people are rapt, the calls of work and tasks and hobbies and people, buffers of our being, take them all away and one makes less sense. We can't talk about my lipstick, your sandwich, that record player, this event. Take it all away and you're left with your self. The same self you find shooting warrior arms diagonally adjacent over plane trail on a path in Kent, reciting poetry in a field, lying on an incline basking as nothing else matters but now. The same self now coughs up yellow and cries old lover indulgences, a lonesome example of what results when you take the extras away. This touching base with the body results in a certain elation on wellness. It would just be nice to not have to resort to ready meals.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Let problems evolve pt 2

What a month. You'll never know. It was a blur. All the time I was totally conscious of following a higher truth, watching my ego tussle with the sage, forgetting I was real and wallowing in some dark place. Trying to find value in Those Years. Options suddenly overwhelmed. Nigel said change takes time and things are sticky whilst it's happening. I'm seeing a Graham Greene quote behind my eyelids: When we are unsure, we are alive. Another one, it's OK to not have it all figured out yet, as long as you're still figuring...

There's been no middle ground this month. There's been utter despair, confusion and fright, memory lapses, skin freaks. There's been fresh freedom over rolling hills and blue skies, big boots, no make up and an air of renewing. I consulted the sage three times. The first time took me to external help, totally placed right. The second told me of shocks, there were indeed shocks, a loosening of the self, I got lost for a couple of days. It was quite scary. I took a train and ten miles. The third and current told of my quiet revolution. It's changing, just look ahead and upwards, carry on, on, let the world reform around you. What could be more comforting that that? Let problems evolve, I kept thinking.

It's changing. Not You. You is a new kind of bundle, an untied thing, not a bunch. A handful of slightly disparate parts, hanging together, wafting through an expanse of time. I watched his talk glad of it's timing; I'm loose in my being, you're not only corroborating my crazy, you're actually making it into science. I asked Science next day at work. Science indeed understood. You isn't concrete. Result isn't singular. It's a rolling collection of maybes maynots fun fear and all the rest. Not this or that. This. Or. That. But things. Let problems evolve, I said. You're not dying, it should be fun.

So I quit my job. I was unemployed for twenty one hours. For some reason I had to sleep on each stage of this decision. Job offer, sleep, quit Monmouth, sleep, accept job, sleep. I woke up again satisfied and fine. Today brought old niggles I've no longer the authority to talk down, I just watched them. I sat in the cafe, unsure, made my alternative deal to which came a happy all round result. Three heavy potentials came to one offer, one refusal, one possibility. The problems seemed to tie themselves up. I will go and browse the determinism book tomorrow. Science carried my left through and the sage twirled the right. There's no longer just one way only the way.