Over the weekend I finally got my 99 words project completed. For those of you who don’t know, 99 words was my attempt to find 99 words in my head, scoop out the picture that I thought of when I considered the word and put it on to paper. That’s the bare bones, simplest way of putting it. In truth it’s given me a lot to think about and become much more than 99 silly words with accompanying images.
For a start, it’s given me space to think about my relationship with words. I love words, I love writing them, I love playing with them, I love making up new ones, I adore putting them in a useful order that explains ideas and stories to people. As I went through the list I had compiled I noticed a few things. I had put words that sound similar next to each other as though I was trying to rhyme them (Lotion and Potion for example). I was telling myself, if no one else, a story. When it is spelled out in images, that story is much clearer and more obvious than I realised. Taken separately each piece represents only itself. However, as the work progressed I felt that I was subconsciously giving myself hints about things I was unhappy about. As it stands, 99 words has seen me through a massive break up, career anxiety and the cancellation of a performance that had been hard fought and fraught with difficulty, (but felt nonetheless exactly how we we intended it to be.) Throughout all of these events, 99 words still waited to be completed and as I leafed through the finished collection I saw these difficulties in the pieces. These challenges were reflected back at me in the abstract and not so abstract.
For me, the strangest and most amazing part of the creative process is the recognition of yourself in the work you have made. Sometimes this only occurs days or months later, but it is there. The piece of the whole that you put in because it looked right or it read nicely or it felt good while you were doing it or some other, completely different reason becomes a marker that you will recognise when you reach it again. Any creation you care to name gives clues to it’s creator and so each work gives the artist room to grow and actually confronts him with his stupidity and ignorance and blind judgements, forcing him to account for them. And if he cannot then he must go back to the work and learn from it, letting it, in some small way create him in return.
There are days when people leave. It’s not always nice and sometimes it’s not even obvious until much later. But there are days when people are just not there anymore. Whether it’s because they had to go and follow their own path or because they had run out of time to do so. There are days when people leave.
It’s not always easy to deal with. Depending who it is and where they’ve gone. Following a foolish notion that maybe they’ll be on the bus one morning or out walking the dog, as though waiting to be noticed and embraced back into the fold. Sometimes when they look across and eyes meet, there’s a moment where they might say hello. Sometimes it wasn’t even them, it just looked like them from behind. It’s not always easy to deal with.
It always feels like tomorrow it will be easier. Some days it is and some days it isn’t. When there is a realisation that holding on to the last memory of them speaking is doing more harm than good, causing more tears where there used to be smiles, it’s time to let go and say goodbye to that memory. They will not be forgotten, but they won’t be front and centre, accompanying every decision and every idea and understanding. There will still be mornings where their face leaps out from the remnants of a dream and it’s all that can be done to settle the heart and breathe again. There will be evenings where their voice could almost be calling out from the dark silence on the other side of the much too big bed. There will be afternoons where accidentally falling down the stairs seems like a sensible option. Tomorrow will be easier.
To those who had to leave, I wish you well.
To those who are still with me. Let’s do something.
I don’t know what i’m going to write and i’m not going to spell check it apart from the four times I have just done so. I meant seven. I mean nine.
There’s a wird moment where the part of your bain that thinks it knows what it wasnts decides that it’s been wrong al along and just packs in. It stops completely and says “Fuck it. YOuu’re on your own my friend.” walking away into the sunset in the back of your head that gibes you igraines and stops you from sleeping. There’s that precise second where the song kicks in and the lyric drops out of the singers mouth and your realiseation catches up to what your brain was just bout to think. Everything makes sense and you wish it did not make sense/
OPenn doors make the worst barriers. Lights left on let burglars know that you’re actually not there at all, but have paid your neighbour two pints of milk to take a spare key and take a piss in your bath and leave the light on when he leaves. Junkies used to be so trustworthy. Not any more. Now we live in a time of…hld on. I need to change the record.
Now i;n listening to a song that I used to hate, but decided was amazing when I foujd out that she liked it. She is the person that i’m always writing to. The girl that I let get away time and time again. Leaving the door open to let her slip out quietly in the night with a note left on the pullow that says “Who are you really?” I open the note with a shaking hand and know exactly what it will say and pre empt the misery by punching myself in the kidney and pussing blood for tthe next four weeks, letting my eyeballs know exactly who is in chargge. It’s not me, and it’s not them so it must be god. god with a tiny little g. god who only turns up on wednesday afternoons to remind you that there is no such thing as an afterlife and maybe this whole idea whasn’t really worth pursuing. There are no second chances. There is no second chants. DOn’t make me repeat myself again.
An there we are. Waiting for something that isn’t ever coming on a wednesday afternoon. A word from the almighty that the experiment is ov er and we can all o back to ourr normal lives. But it doesn’t ever happen that way. The day that you expect god with a small g to do you the favour of sticking to his routine is the day that god with a small g tells you to close your eyes and spits in your mouth.
Let’s imagone, for a second, that this is ust me talking to myself. Or you talking to yourself. What makes you think this day might be any different from the last one? Do you think that there might be something to change the record? Something that will sjip ypou on to the next track? good. That’s the correct answer.
So here it ends, this little tired tirade into the ether. We sit around this glwoing campfire that connects us to each other and read the words of a man who has nothing to lose by writing exactly what coms out of his head. DOes that mean that any of us have gained anything ? That’s the real question. Is there anyting else to be gained by reading the words of other people rather than wriitng them yourself ? Can there be any real growth as long as someone else is there to grow in yoiir stead? Does it really matter? Fuck it. Pur another drink and roll another cigarette. Let’s discuss something really important like our place in the universe or what the meaning of life might mean.
actually. let’s not. It’s late and your eyes are glazing over. My fingers are getting fuzzy and my tongue is going awkward. my eyes are breakig into little slices and we are really not understand each oter anymore. I wat to get back to the groups that have rejected me a thousand times just in case they have changed their minds and want to see just how cool I really am. You want to go to bed or watch tv or play a game or listen to the radio or paint a picture or write a song or maybe write something. If you have decided that you want to write while you were readin this then i sppose i have succeeeded in some way. Let’s call that a victory.
Here’s one for victory.