Weeell, as you may know, I have been hammering away at the Next Shiny Thing, another novel (CODENAME: Not-so-cozy) and have had to set it down to have a long think and reorder. In the meantime though, the Cityverse has some iiinteresting things in development, and for my own projects I appear to be writing Ecology/Joanna Macy inspired spoken-word/slam poetry.
Breathe, I remind myself.
I’m standing on the uncompromising concrete of some western town, surrounded by glass and stop lights and hurried, tight faces. The world feels cold, and cruel, and small.
No, REALLY breathe, I have to say. Right down to the gut and back. Let it out slowly.
There. It feels better, don’t it?
I have to do this. I have to give these little moments to myself, to sprinkle them through the day like wildflowers. I like to think that there’s a thing that happens when we remember the gifts we carry: that the world feels more open somehow, more comforting, more exciting.
I’m thinking about that old stanchion tree I used to visit in the local duck park; the same park that me and my boisterous sister used to run screaming around. In my teen years I sat at the tree’s feet and smoked cigarettes.
Or I’m thinking about standing high on the ridge of Kinder Scout, looking at the blanket of hills all around me and with no end to the sky.
It’s easy to forget these moments, it’s easy to feel lost sometimes in this world of capitalism and grey, of debts and refused spaces. So–I try to nurture my memories. I have to hold them as close to my heart as if my life depended on it – and –
on some days it really does.
There’s an ancient woodland of crooked trees and mossy boulders in South Wales;
There’s a fierce gale I was pushed laughing through, when walking the South Downs;
There’s a friend’s small backyard garden, where every plant is loved;
There’s walking the field-ways with my grandfather;
There’s the sun-gleaming seas and the feel of tiny white shells under bare feet.
Coming back to those concrete streets and the hurried faces – and the world feels bigger than it was just a moment before. And I am a part of it, and it is a part of me.