I realised yesterday, on my way to Brighton, that for the last thirty years I’ve lived within touching distance of the sea. Now, I’m possibly as detached as I have been – but if I walk up the hill at the back of our house and climb to the top of the university library that stands there in amongst the heinousness of the other university buildings (it isn’t a place I like) there’s an aisle of books I’ve found from where I know I can see the coast. Continue reading “The Seaside”
I’m not sure about fashion but I do like clothes. I like the clothes actors wear in French films: Michel Piccoli in Le Mepris or Jean Paul Belmondo in Pierrot Le Fou. Jean-Luc Godard’s actors. It’s something about how he likes to see things, and it must be something about how he likes to see himself. I can barely watch a scene from those films without feeling myself on the edge of something extraordinary. Bridgette Bardot; Anna Karina. The island in Le Mepris. The garden around Jack Palance’s house. The studio where Paul, Camille and Jeremy watch Fritz Lang’s Odyssey. The room with Sam Fuller in Pierrot Le Fou. All of the sea and the sky around Marianne and Ferdinand. Continue reading “Clothes”
Every few weeks empty your bag out. Mine’s one of those leather courier bags and it can hold a surprising amount. Organise whatever’s inside into three piles: essential, questionable and unnecessary. Do this quickly, instinctively, then leave the piles for a while and find something absorbing and unconnected to do (set an alarm on your watch or phone to remind you to think about your bag, so you don’t have to keep thinking about it). When you go back to your bag, and I’d leave it alone for at least a couple of hours, glance at each pile and see if anything seems out of place. It might not even seem in the wrong pile – there may just be a feeling about it that makes it stand out a little, or draw your eye without you knowing why. Continue reading “Travel Light”
Beware people who appoint themselves as the voice of reason. Reason can be a defence against life as it happens which leads to us not noticing what’s actually going on, whatever the reason for it. It’s easy to get caught up in trying to work out what, perhaps, a course of action means without even touching on what it does, what its effects are and how it leaves people feeling. Why would someone want to be the voice of reason? Continue reading “The Voice of Reason”
Perhaps you like keeping things to yourself. It may be that you feel life will spin out of control if you talk about it too much, or that you might jinx it, spoil it or take the fun out of it. Sometimes these things can be true but be careful about holding onto secrets. If people around you detect something about you is unknowable they’ll find it very hard to trust you. Relationships need trust if they’re to offer us the things we hope they can contain.
Next time you’re feeling anxious, irritated or sad (although it might also do to try and remember this when you’re feeling happy …) notice the way you are sitting, standing or lying. What are you doing in relation to the thing that’s on your mind? If you shift yourself at all, maybe uncrossing your legs or moving your arms, what happens? It may feel unpleasant, in which case go back to how you were! Continue reading “Shifting”