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.

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Revision break.

In case you haven’t read The Spark, I am a Physics undergraduate. And in case you’re not a student yourself, at the moment it is exam season for a lot of us. So although it’s 7am now, I’ve been here in the library since 3am working on algebraic thingammywotsits for my exam later on Waves and Vibrations. (That’s a very technical term, you understand.)

And then I thought: how better to inject some joy into my life than to do a little writing? So here I am.

This is just a little ramble, to be honest. A lot of things have been happening of late, from the whole ruckus over SOPA and PIPA to more personal worries, like my marks for the semester. Nice things occasionally rear their beautiful faces, though.

Life would be nothing without its little moments of grace. Sharing biscuits with a despairing English student in the library. The realisation that, in a few short hours, a friend will be coming to visit to give you post-exam cupcakes. Sitting back to think about things like these and share them with the world… It helps to relieve the stress. It lets you smile and remind yourself:

Life is good.

Death by hedonism.

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind for me. I’ve come back to Uni and everything has kicked off all at once. Everything is happening so fast, at the same time, it’s difficult to keep up with everything… but I wouldn’t miss it for the world!

For the few nights I’ve been staying in, I’ve begun to read Murakami’s works. He’s a writer I’ve known about for several years, but have never quite got as far as reading.

He’s odd.

In a good way, you understand. His writing catches the essence of the everyday, but there is a slight haunting quality to his stories, something I can’t quite put my finger on. I’ve been reading South of the Border, West of the Sun and After the Quake. Both share this elusive feeling of something that could be a wrongness, but I’m never quite sure. It makes his stories very interesting to read, whatever it is he’s doing.

Amazingly, these last few weeks I’ve been able to cram in all kinds of things I enjoy, despite the odds. I don’t think I can keep it up for much longer to be honest, it really takes it out of you over time. Some reading, a bit of writing, a dash of guitar, a hint of circus skills, and a whole lot of partying with friends.

So that’s me, living in the moment. A car-crash lifestyle of all of the best sorts of fun.

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!

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.

More danger!

Just one of the many popular heckles at the British Juggling Convention. If you want to perform, be prepared to be hailed with friendly shouts of “It can’t be done!”, “More danger!”, “Do it naked!” or “Do it on fire!”.

And what performances! The big names were there – Wes Peden, Jay Gilligan, Charlie Dancey, Matt Hall… and many more. The last week of workshops, shows and socialising with international jugglers has been truly awesome.

So far, this may not mean much to you. I would not be surprised if you have not experienced the thrills of juggling, diabolo, unicycling or knife throwing (among others). To those of you who have, you will understand my week-long euphoria. To the rest of you… go fetch some rolled-up socks and start juggling!

I have quite a lot to sort out before I return home tomorrow, so I will leave it at that for now. Have patience with me please, as I’m having to get back into the swing of writing creatively and regularly.

The Russell Principle.

When under the influence of alcohol, sparks of genius can be found. At the time, they definitely feel like being struck by the muse.

This post is about my friend Russell. (Hi, I know you’re reading this!)

You see, he’s a Duracell bunny kind of person. He’s the kind of person who attends all his lectures, goes out and hits the town ’til stupid ‘o’ clock and still gets all his work done. Did I mention he’s a member of several societies too?

And on this particular night, we were in the pub and I asked him how on Earth he does it. He sounds superhuman when you’re sober – after a few drinks I felt like I was in the presence of something great.

So he tells me, “I like to call it ‘The Russell Principle’. Sleep one day, live the rest.”

And that is what he does. I believe his day of choice for hibernating is Saturday (although he sometimes stretches into Sunday). For the rest of the week, he’s ruthlessly energetic and up for anything. I believe he tends to use the word ‘awesome’ to describe his life and his general mode of being.

He is impossible. I definitely couldn’t follow his example, I’d die. But then, that’s hardly surprising. I’m a writer. A writer who is inspired by the work of Neil Gaiman. And he did say:

“As far as I’m concerned, the entire reason for becoming a writer is not having to get up in the morning.”

Oh… a final note of caution to the reader. Please don’t try this at home – the Russell Principle has so far only been proved to work for Russell. As for us mere mortals… well, studies have shown that lack of sleep can kill more quickly than lack of water. Just thought I’d warn you.

Fearless. (via Searching for Sunshine)

Now I feel like a proper blogger – I’ve started to venture out into that huge, undulating expanse of interweb goodness, the blogosphere!

And my first look around came with it’s own strange coincidence. Definitely a quintconsequential.

I decided to post Quintconsequential in the Showcase part of the forums, to get some feedback on my blog’s structure and similar. Later I felt it was only fair that I have a look around myself, if I was expecting feedback. So I did. And the first one I clicked on happened to have been created on the same day as mine! With a similar main theme – the title ‘Searching for Sunshine’ sums it up more succinctly than I have.

That is what I call a good end to the evening. Goodnight folks!

*P.S. to add to that coincidence, another blogger who had also started their blog on the 17th was the next person I stumbled across… and he also happened to comment immediately after me on Approachingthehorizon’s blog… AND his blog is based on creative writing… at least, I think it’s fiction, I haven’t finished reading it yet. Curiouser and curiouser.

Welcome to my blog!  I’m taking you with me as I search for how to exist ED free, finding the things that make me happy and allowing myself to smile just because the sun is shining. My world was torn from beneath my feet just a few months ago.  Taken out of school mid-semester, my very first college semester, to receive treatment for the anorexia that’s kept me trapped for so long now, I lost my sense of who I really am.  I was always the “smart” … Read More

via Searching for Sunshine

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'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!