A reminder of things to come.

This will be an unusually introspective post. Although I guess a post of any sort is unusual, these days.

I’ve had the kind of day where things go right, but regardless you feel numb to the positives. I’m usually a shower kind of person, but after dinner I decided to have a bath, since I didn’t feel like I was going to achieve much else anyway. So I went on 8tracks and put on some playlists tagged “bath”, and grabbed the Murakami book I’ve been getting around to reading (A Wild Sheep Chase) and for the first time, decided to do that thing that other people say that they do, where you lie down in the bath and read a book.

Personally I’ve always thought it a terrible idea, as my common sense says that it’s a wet-book disaster waiting to happen. But this evening I did it anyway. And then I read this:

I was twenty-one at the time, about to turn twenty-two. No prospect of graduating soon, and yet no reason to quit school. Caught in the most curiously depressing circumstances. For months I’d been stuck, unable to take one step in any new direction. The world kept moving on; I alone was at a standstill. In the autumn, everything took on a desolate cast, the colours swiftly fading before my eyes. The sunlight, the smell of the grass, the faintest patter of rain, everything got on my nerves.

I remember having to stop for a moment at this, shutting my eyes. Balancing the book above the almost-still water with one hand, pinching the bridge of my nose with the other. He’d got me, in a crystalline moment etched on a page. In that way Murakami has of making the ordinary extraordinary, of freezing a moment like an amber-trapped moth. Understanding me without ever having met me.

Alone, that wasn’t enough. I carried on reading. After a while the water began to cool, so I carefully tossed the book onto a dry patch of floor and plunged my head under the water, letting it tease out my hair. The entire time, 8tracks had been selecting songs for me to listen to, even if I hadn’t been paying much attention over my book. When I surfaced, there was a song by Daughter playing, Medicine, which I had not heard before. And again, another moment of clarity.

You could still be,
what you want to.
What you said you were,
when you met me.

I felt both hopeful and sad. To be honest, since first becoming depressed I’ve not really been able to cry properly – tears just don’t come. Today though, they almost did.

As my catharsis ebbed, I got a flush of ideas. A short story. Two alternative ways to write the short story. An attempt at thinking how to write a more surreal piece; something that I have not tried before. A need to write in my diary for the first time in years, or my blog. I felt, well, how I thought I should do. I felt like I’d been given a glimpse of my potential.

I felt both hopeful and sad. Sad, because I deeply miss being the way I used to be when I started this blog. Hopeful, because maybe I can get some of that back. I don’t want to be the same, because I realise well enough that the clock can’t be turned back. But there are parts of my mind that I feel need reclaiming, that are buried under the silt of numbness left when the rain has passed by. I want to dig up the little music boxes in the sand, clean them off and have a listen. At the moment all I have is an echo scattered amongst sea shells.

But that’s enough to make me smile.

I’m not even sure if anyone reads this anymore, but I wanted to write it down. I’m going off to write that story now. It’s been a while, but hopefully this blog entry has knocked the worst of the dust off my keyboard.

If all goes well, I’ll be back soon.

Qc.

Blue Monday.

It’s unusual for me to write about negatives well, at all, really. I tend to find them to be more personal, the kind of stuff you keep to yourself because no-one really wants to know that, now, do they?

When I started this blog, I wasn’t exactly in the brightest of places. The whole point of this was to force myself to look for points of light, constellations to guide me through my own, very personal night. Looking back on it now, it’s obvious that I needed something like this, and still do. I’ve just re-read The Spark – I can’t believe it was over two years ago that I sat down and wrote that, my first blog post. I feel aimless now, cast adrift, lost in the doldrums. Time passes by my window without throwing me a second glance. Cause and effect seem grey, inertia chains me to myself.

Just the very fact I’ve decided to come back to this blog is a quintconsequential for me.

And now that I’ve got this off my chest, to work. I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep anytime soon, so why not? Why not.

Right.

I’m not going to lie. I’m quite hit-and-miss when it comes to this blog. As soon as anything in my life starts to slip, this blog goes sailing out the window faster than a liberal canary. But yes, I’m back again, and hopefully will be sticking around for the foreseeable future.

And this time, I have a question for you all.

What do you think about writers and social networking? I’m curious, because a lot of creative people seem to use services like Twitter (the main example). I’m just posting out the odd thing here and there on these other services, but how do the rest of you use it (or not)? Are they a distraction, a menace to the imagination? Or a haven for like-minded wordsmiths and artists?

Qc

Scouring my mental alleyways.

I’ve been keeping a writer’s notebook for a little while. Or, as I sometimes call it, my ‘Little Black Book’. And now feels like a good time to look through it, for some blogging inspiration. I invented a word, and now feels like a good time for something organic and freeflow: More

Long live the Quintconsequential.

And I’m sitting here, curled up at a laptop, letting the day curl up and die. The night turns like a tide of stars, the swash the smears of scintillated light from the heavens.

But this is London. So there isn’t much of it. And the ground is soaked from today’s thunderstorm, so going outside to watch the sky doesn’t feature high on my agenda.

I am writing, though. Which is nice, considering the amount of time I’ve been spending on the mundane of late. My hands across the keys, of my notebook, aren’t as fluid as they were before, but I’m getting there. One thing at a time.

If you’ve been following from the beginning, then you may have noticed the departure from the original theme of the blog. At that time, this was to be a tool, to recover myself. And for a while, it worked. I was able to pick out the little moments of grace which we experience from day to day. For quite a while though, it has been more difficult. I am hoping that, by kickstarting my writing and this blog, I might be able to regain a little of the paradise found in the act of creation.

And sitting here, at almost 1am, listening to Regina Spektor, thinking of the last few weeks and getting back into something I love… I have to say, I have a good feeling about the future.

Long live the Quintconsequential!

The man in the mirror.

And the man on the other side of the window was shouting himself hoarse, banging the heel of his hand silently against the glass, so very hard. So hard that I could see it shaking… or was that me, shaking? His spittle ran down his side of the transparent cell;  tears fell down mine.

He was like me. But younger, more optimistic. He started to kick at the impenetrable barrier as I hung my head. He knew I’d given up. I could feel him flinging his whole weight against the silvering as I turned and walked away. I turned my back on him, my reflection. His silent screams left my ears ringing. No-one had died, but I covered all the mirrors in the house anyway.

I tell a lie.

Someone had died that day. I had killed off a little part of myself.

I never saw the  same man in the mirror again.

I know it’s not the brightest piece of writing, but this image came to  me this morning and I felt I had to share it… It was one of those moments where, as an artist of sorts, you wonder if you’ve stumbled across something profound. If I look back on this in a few months time, I probably won’t feel the same way about it. But now, in this moment, I feel I’ve if I’ve crossed some imaginary border in my head, and returned with some sparkling jewel.

So, yeah. Critique, enjoy, go out and do something fun and off-the-wall. And perhaps you should listen to your own man, or woman in the mirror. The one you see on sunshiney days, who tells you just how amazing you are. After all… they have a very good point.

It’s not the end of the world…

Well, it seems the Rapture has passed us by, for the umpteempth time. Students here have been worrying more about their impending exams than the end of the world, at any rate.

Lately, I really need to follow my own advice about looking for quintconsequentials. As I said in my last post, life has been getting rather stressful lately, and the little things have been getting washed out to sea by my own personal, rising tide of exam stress.

I’ve had a few today, though. A blackbird sang to me at head height, not two foot away as I walked to the library. Hearing just how much noise such a small bird could make was amusing.

I know it’s a sudden change of subject (this is a blog, after all) but I had a look at my site stats today. It was a little disheartening, but hardly surprising considering the amount of time I’ve been putting into my writing lately. I’m using my break from writing lab reports as an excuse to write this, and I’m very glad I did. It’s calmed my nerves already; it’s brought a small, satisfied, cat-like smile to my face. It’s nice. Nice to be able to have a little eye-of-the-storm where I can put down anchor for a few minutes, before being swept up again into that maelstrom, Life.

In writing this, I’ve just reminded myself that perhaps it’s not the end of the world, after all.

Positivity.

It isn’t always the easiest of things, being an optimist. For those of you who have been reading this blog (considering the number of gaps, Heaven knows why) you might have felt an optimistic vibe from the general style of writing.

At least, I hope that is the case.

Sometimes, people need a push in the right direction. A kick start. A Spark, if you will. Something to motivate, to drive us to do. And sometimes, that little something is difficult to come by. This was originally meant to be an exercise in observation, to keep an eye out for these butterflies of hope and release them to a greater audience.

However, lately I may have been overlooking these moments. Stress and studies can damper these thoughts, and it can be an effort to keep on looking for glimmers of colour in amongst all the white noise. But today, at this moment, I am smiling. An impromptu invitation to visit a friend can do that. Of course, this is not the only positive tidbit that has happened lately: if it were then my life really would be a sad state of affairs. But I noticed it to be a quintconsequential – my first for quite a while.

So here I am.

Safe in the knowledge that I haven’t forgotten how to think positively.

I hope you remember, too.

Moonlit musings.

Good morning everyone, I do believe it’s stupid o’clock.

I’m involuntarily pulling an all-nighter since my brain is refusing to curl up and sleep; so what better to do than to write? I should really be using it as an opportunity to knuckle down to some physics work… But an extra ten minutes procrastination never did any harm, right?

Talking of procrastination, today I finally decorated my room at University with photos. With only about eight weeks of term remaining. Still, better late than never, and I’m planning on recycling them for my room next year, so all is well.

Derailing that train of thought like a well-aimed cow is guilt concerning my lack of writing. As you may have noticed from previous posts, I have been intending to write some more poetry or fiction for a while now. However, there is a rather unhelpful veil between intents and actions which I seem to have gotten tangled up in lately. The fact is, I’ve been finding it difficult to write. Entries like this don’t pose as much of a problem, but they’re not nearly as enjoyable as an act of creation. I’m not one to believe in Writer’s Block, as I don’t feel as if I have a block specifically where writing is concerned. It feels much more general – as though a mixture of tiredness, illness, work and other obstacles continually pop up between my pen and the page. And everything else I find remotely interesting.

To other writers out there, tips to help ensure regular writing will be much appreciated!

I’m planning on trying to getting into the habit of writing morning pages (for those who have not heard of this exercise, have a look at http://www.theartistsway.com/ or the original book by Julia Cameron). However, in the past I have found it extremely difficult to cultivate as a habit, as I’ve found that writing three A4 pages of stream-of-consciousness can be a challenge even at the best of times.

For now, perhaps I should concentrate on climbing my ever-increasing pile of Physics-related work. Hopefully, I will be back soon… watch this space!

Haunted by love.

Memories are like ghosts.

 

They walk where you did, everywhere that you’ve left a little part of yourself behind you. Breadcrumbs. A trail that can’t be followed. And when you return to those places, they peek around the veil and watch you pass, afraid of what they’re going to become. The weight of them fills you up with sheer longing.

 

And then you keep walking, and they fade. Melting back from reality as your shadow recedes. They must sink down through cracks in the pavement, slide through ageing walls, burn up in the sunlight.

 

Gone, but not forgotten.

 

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Disclaimer:

'Quintconsequential' is a word of my own invention, despite the definition in the style of the Oxford English Dictionary featured on the site. By all means, use it, whisper it, shout it from the rooftops. But please, remember that you heard it here first!