I apologize for not writing in here for a few weeks, and on personal (ie. non-dream, non-abstract thoughts) matters for even longer. My plan to write in a cafe at the same time each week hit a snag mid-month, partially due to bad weather, partially due to boredom with the routine, and partially due to energy levels.Read More
I’ve been trying to come up with a personal blog post for a little while. Maybe this comes with the trap of having an online space signed with your name, but I’m afraid of posting what I truly feel because I worry about how such a post will reflect on me. Every time I consciously try to write something I end up generalizing things so much to the point where it rings false.Read More
The last few days since I got back into Halifax weren't especially good for sitting down and writing, for some reason or another. I really didn't like it, but I don't know why I just didn't sit down and power through it or shut off all the other distractions I had going on in the background.
In the last week or so, I came up on a few reminders of the past: a script from a summer-stock production of Annie; an old website profile with a list of mix CDs I compiled, some for other people... All these mementos of the person I was, the things I thought I wanted, and the people that drifted in and out of my life over the years. Quite a few are still around.
There's a yearly multi-venue art festival in Halifax called Nocturne: I ostensibly went out to it tonight, but didn't really feel like checking it all out. I love what it represents, and that it brings so many people out to check the different installations all through the city, but I think I only peeked at about three or four of them. I was more invested in meeting up with one of my old friends who was in town.
I could make this a long treatise on my changing motivations and desires, but I'm still trying to figure all that out right now.
I'll be honest; I'm feeling a little blocked tonight, so I'm just going to get all meta in this post. I've been thinking about the following: Do I keep using this space for first-person navel gazing, or should I try to attempt to break out of talking about myself in the coming 20 days? Should I work dashed-off pieces of fiction and abstraction into the mix? If I mention people I know, should I come up with decent aliases? (Let's just say I have a lot of friends with interesting names).
You know how sometimes a specific piece of music takes you back to a specific time and place? I actually remember feeling that with a particular episode of Saturday Night Live a while back. It was a show that aired years before I started watching the show myself, but when I put on a VHS recording of a cable rerun of the Bruce Willis / Neil Young show (originally aired September 1989), it brought me back to Miramichi, NB, spring 2000, and everything I felt around that time seemed to be embedded into the experience of watching Neil Young do takes of "Rockin' In The Free World", "The Needle and the Damage Done", and "No More" that made the album counterparts seem a little too polished and clean. I remember that was a difficult winter and spring, but that particular year brought me to a lot of the people I've been fortunate to remain friends with for over 15 years. For someone who moved around quite a bit when growing up, it stuns me that these people have been a part of my life for almost half of it.
I don't know if music (or other media) has the same power to root itself to specific memories in the last 10 years, though, which is the length of time I've been out of university. I also ended up buying too much music in that period of time before I move to Halifax three years ago, so that may have something to do with it. It still happens, though; the last year is going to be tied to these specific songs (links below take you to Spotify, except for the last one):
- "Coming In On Time" - John Martyn
- "You Are Beautiful" - Chic
- "In The Gold Dust Rush" - Cocteau Twins
- "Bad Man's Song" - Tears For Fears
- "Voyager" - Daft Punk
- "Hot Knife" - Fiona Apple
- "Casualties of Glass" - Martha & The Muffins
- "The Wire" - HAIM
- "Methods of Dance" - Japan
- "She's Not Me" -Jenny Lewis
- "Higgs Boson Blues" - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
- "Ada" - The National
- hell, anything by The National (particular the SNL version of "Graceless")
Do any of these songs evoke anything for any of you? Is there a common thread, atmosphere or mood that holds this list together? I know this is a bit of a fish for comments, but I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.
Hell, I managed to work through this block after all.
I didn't do too much yesterday. I think my mind was focused on getting this "30 in 30" project off the ground and trying to get some photos edited while the cat was asleep, but it just feels like the details of a whole block of time just faded away. It tends to happen whenever I don't make plans with anyone or go out, or even if I can't decide what I want to watch (the perils of having such a ridiculously large DVD collection), but periods of inaction make the weekends seem quicker to slip through my fingers more than if I were to keep my social calendar full. I could be resting, but my mind's always on all these things I should be doing to fill the time.
Today was busier; I spent the afternoon visiting a friend I hadn't seen in a while. We had coffee at his place before going with his partner and their two dogs to the trails at York Redoubt. I don't think I had seen them in almost a year, despite living in the same city. I had another friend over at my place on Wednesday, and we hadn't been able to spend time together in almost six months. It's mostly my fault: I'm terrible at making plans with people, and usually assume that they have better things to do, especially now that a lot of my friends are Responsible Adults (some with children). Making plans is difficult in the best of circumstances, but even moreso whenever I'm exhausted from work or otherwise feel my sociability is compromised in any way. Whenever money was thin, I would use that as my main excuse for not going out more. I usually overcompensate for this whenever I have money or the sudden realization to reach out to other people, then tire myself out from being over-social, and the pattern repeats.
I got a letter from a friend on Friday; an actual letter delivered by our gutted postal service (home delivery has been scaled back in favour of "community mailboxes", but my apartment building still gets mail delivered). There are things you can really only say in letters that don't really work over social media or even in e-mail. The act of letter-writing feels more deliberate than sending an e-mail, even though I agonize over drafts of the latter just the same. I love getting mail either way, though, so this was a nice boost; I just need to find the time and space to work on my reply.
What do I want to achieve with this 30 in 30? On one hand I need the discipline to write regularly, but I also hope this actually leads to new and renewed connections and meaningful conversations with other people. Otherwise this is just the equivalent of thinking out loud.