Wednesday, 29 October 2008

a snap shot type picture painting of a modern day Icarus

Just another day.

Today is not so different. The glaring sun shines down on the busy streets, sharing the sky with nothing but one small, mournful, black fluffy cloud. And people continue their lives.
On the ground, a man casually leans against a wall as a Sheppard would his crook. His body language screams volumes to the girl blushing, as they engage in flirtatious banter, and playful looks. His manner works wonders and she salutes with one hand, to shadow her eyes from the beaming sun. Out in bloom are rose tinted sunglasses as the busy streets stir with the tide. A stranger on a motorbike rides by and sounds his horn. Many heads turn but only one-person waves to yesterday’s lover, or the one that got away.
A man ploughs the road for litter and trash. Today’s fish’n’chip paper blows by in the wind, ignoring yesterday’s news.
Over the street, café-goers take advantage of the sun and seats outside. It is full with tourist whispers and local’s gossip, chitchatting and unawares, everyone continuing in their lives.
There is a woman at work sitting sombre at her desk, considering a past reality. She thinks of a life of laughter, love and dreams. On the floor above, her boss does the same. Head is in his hands, elbows on the table; his mind is heavy with regret.
If only they knew.

On the roof above them all stands a boy, a stranger, a future myth.

The people below are miniscule to his height. They hover and slide like creatures from another time. Looking down from god’s eyes, he has found the edge of the world, and it is his, if only for today. For miles and miles, there are nothing but rooftops and noise. The voice in his head has gone. Feeling the strong, warm breeze on his body, the boy sheds slow motional tears. He is sad to be leaving but glad to have found a reality that can only be his. There is a simple smile on his blank face and a heavy glaze over his eyes as he waits for the change in the wind. That will be his cue.

Elsewhere his dad is in a panic, regretting letting go. Blaming himself as a father would. He created the world around his son and he made only one escape. Talented and creative he made his world, he made the wings and now…now the boy wants to fly.

Opening his wings as far as they can stretch, he glances at the sun.

Then he pauses.

Finally, he sees the world from where he wants to be. High above the earth he feels alive. For one beautiful moment, his realities combine. He thinks he has found the answer.

Flying soon turns into falling as his hit runs out. The wings have gone. The burning sun melts his tears but he feels no regret. He feels no feelings at all. In his mind, he is as light as a feather. Detached from its wing he floats with a gentle certainty.

From the ground, an object plummets from the sky. Spinning and spiralling, it is somersaulting out of control. But nobody notices.

After an age, or just a few seconds, the fast fall’s reality sets itself in a sea of stone.

The next morning the café finds its morning crowd. The ploughman reads the greased up chip paper, and the girl salutes from the man’s bedroom window. As the powerful sun starts another day.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

"There's nothing wrong with love"

I had just left a local cafe where I had sat eating lunch, reading the paper and drinking coffee. I had been reading about Christiano Ronaldo’s ‘love’ and respect for Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson and all the staff, as well as his slightly more controversial (to United fans) relationship and view, of Real Madrid.

This was a cafe where a mother, on more than one occasion, called her curious and inquisitive three year old a ‘twat’, and told him to shut up whilst holding her puppy on her lap and wolfing down a ‘curry of the day’.

A cafe where, as I stood to leave, a lady (and her dog) asked if I was going. I told her i was. She told me that she wanted the sofa I was sitting on, because she ‘loved that sofa’ and was waiting for ‘someone’.

I left this small cafe and began the one minute walk back to my flat.

It was pouring with rain. I pulled up my hood and ventured with a steady pace toward my home. I walked the two hundred yard walk along 'the plains' and as I turned a corner, stepped on to a piece of pavement that somehow splashed filthy dirty rain water up my bare leg (I was wearing shorts) to heights that surprised me, including my face. Wiping my eye with my already wet sleeve I noticed two of the local homeless standing in doorways down the side alley. One whom once, after I gave him some change, told me he was polar bear and for the rest of the summer he was going to wear layer upon layer of jumpers, no matter how hot, in protest for polar bears. “This is how they feel”, he told me. “They’re sweating their nuts off whilst we melt their home.” He continued to speak of issues personal to him, morally, social and political before being distracted to silence by an attractive lady. Completely forgetting what he was saying or even that I was there, he turned back to me and said, “Got any spare change mate?”

He was standing facing the wall, just beyond him sat a woman, his friend, who acknowledging the Adidas jumper I was wearing, gave a rendition of the mock meaning ‘All Day I Dream About Sex’. After a short pause, she lost her smile that offered her worn, heavily stained teeth (as well as empty spaces where others once were) and said, “There’s nothing wrong with love…nothing wrong with love”.

She made me think. Made me consider the simplicity of what she said. It stuck with me largely because of the contrast between the contexts of her paired comments, one joyfully and with humour, the next serious and poignant.

I instantly thought of the woman calling her young child a 'twat', the puppy, the lady waiting for ‘someone’, and even Ronaldo and his football career.

As well as other things.

'There’s nothing wrong with love.' She’s not wrong.

Friday, 4 July 2008

With these wings...

"When all else matters but nothing else exists. He sat. No real reason to fly. "

So here it is. My first words, in my first post of my first ever blog (the title, like with my essays, I choose to write last) and I start with a quote from my own work. Nice.

This is a line from a play I wrote as part of a project when studying at Dartington College of Arts (R.I.P). The piece itself was an enquiry into context related to my work. I set myself rules and boundaries in order to attempt to record the change of context, the influence it had and the relationship that then grew between it, and my writing. For too many weeks I bored myself senseless with a routine in order to try and create text. And despite my close encounter with boarders of sanity, the piece became a small success. A deep, layered, emotional and, on occasion, amusing monologue (performed by the amazing Reiki Dave) became the product of this journey. The quote I have used to open this blog is a representation of many aspects of circumstance, context and my life (to a degree).

I remember writing this line. I remember sitting in a dingy little hole that I was living in at the time. One room. No windows. A single bed, right next to a tiny cupboard with a 'Russell Hobbs' hob on top as my kitchen. Just beside the 'kitchen' was the toilet and shower. The room itself was not big enough to be called a double bedroom (You couldn't even squeeze a double bed in it and I had my kitchen, toilet and shower to fit in!) I remember watching some birds outside through the door to the cave. I remember thinking about a million different things I could have been doing. But I had to stick to the rules I had set for this project, so therefore had to continue this particular routine based on walking. I also remember considering where I was. The cave, Devon, Dartington College of Arts, just generally considering my surroundings.
I moved out very shortly after, got a first for the piece and eventually my degree.

'He sat. No real reason to fly'
Now, the reason I have decided to use this quote as first impression for my first blog is represented by this short, breezed over tale.

I was reminded of the quote, the play and the situation behind it when filling in the 'about me' section of this blog site.
In it I have given a short burst of information, obviously, 'about me'. Where I grew up, before coming to Devon and a little bit about the in between.
I went to Dartington, largely as an escape. I had lived a life for a couple of years that were not the nicest, I had had enough. I realised I had wings, and decided to use them. On this occasion a couple of half arsed A levels and a creative mind. I had reason to fly. And did, four hundred miles.
Whilst at Uni, I found myself watching the birds that had made their nest in the bottom of the hedge as close to the food put out for them everyday as possible. they didn't fly. They didn't have to. I did. about one hundred yards away but a million miles in many ways.

I set up this blog because it was advised. I am in the process of setting up a website for the same reason. A year after I graduated I am looking at the birds again. This time I am standing behind a bar, pouring pints with my first class honours degree.
If you have read my 'about me' you may see that I am about to fly. Not far. Down the road to Cornwall where I am about to do my Masters (not in pint pulling).

The question I have to ask myself is, why do I have to wait to see the birds before I decide to fly?
Maybe I am not alone in wondering, but certainly for me it seems I wait too long before I make a move to better myself. Is this the way we learn? And maybe more importantly does it really matter if we get there in the end?