A few days later someone got the idea that we all had to do it again so we could take a picture from space. I remember this because I wrote about it in a poem about 9/11. The aspect of the (meta-) performativity of our “Humanity”.
I dragged myself out of bed this morning and ran 6K on a sore ankle. The marathon is in 11 weeks. At this point, I really need my mind and body to make friends. Although right now, in the bibliotekette, with the space heater blowing on my ankle, the rosemary oil burning, and the red curtains pulled, I am peaceful. Optimistic, even. The sun will be up soon, and the skies are clear. There is a sparrow calling outside the window now, actually. Which reminds me that I need to check the feeder on the porch. The magpies eat from it. Greedy bullies.
Like listening to the birds in the park without trying to identify the calls of the individual species. There’s something rather meditative about that, about not putting things in boxes, not categorising, not judging. Just sitting in a teeming civilisation of birds – or humanity – and listening to the music. And then dancing on your own.
I fear that psychiatrists might call that parallel play and diagnose me with some kind of anti-social disorder. But then, authenticity is about rejecting arbitrary boxes, isn’t it? Like I tell my students every year: “Pity the Platypus”, who doesn’t fit the man-made categories. But we should all be the platypus.
Being busy, being occupied with the ordering of things gives me an illusion of control. Once that flurry of activity is over, the illusion is broken. I feel vulnerable.
I think that is why, content as a I am in so many ways, I have flashes of envy when you share your experiences of arranging your new life. I want to move house again. Which is absurd. Instead: yesterday I decided on a new bookshelf for the living room. So you see, I need a healthy adventure soon.
I need goals. It is how I operate. External deadlines.
This time, I bought myself some new trainers, and have booked tickets to Newcastle for the weekend of the 25th of February. I am going to run the Northumberland Trail Marathon.
This will be my second marathon. My first trail race.
E. is training with me, and running with me. Well, probably not with me, though I suspect we’ll start at the same time – and meet at the castle.
A few years ago I noticed a couple of themes in my photography. One was laundry lines. In Genova, Jerusalem, Dakar, Bishkek, Kyoto, Grand Canaria… At first I thought it a bit odd that I was traveling to all these wonderful places, and coming home with photos of people’s laundry hanging out to dry. But then…
I once went to London to attend a “master class” by a famous writer. It was actually a lecture in a room with 200 or so folding chairs. When the writer was finished talking about her dog and her cottage in the woods, she opened the floor for questions. Someone asked, “What kind of pen…
Mostly, I was thinking about cicadas. Along the trails outside of Boulder, Colorado in the States. In the trees lining the narrow roads of Perugia, Italy. Electric. There is something other-worldly about these creatures who leave their bodies whole behind ever seven years or so, clinging to the branches; and whose buzzing is so loud it pushes into your sleep. Home a week, and I hear them still.
There is a bridge we had built together, between the neurons in my grandmother’s brain, and the neurons in mine. Even now, a bridge that stretches outward from my mind to wherever matter becomes energy.