There’s a video of X-Ray Spex performing Identity that sticks in my mind. The video is live footage, and described on YouTube as 1978 Revolver Out-Take. The first time I saw it I was watching it on my new smartphone while visiting my mother. I knew the song from an album I had in the 90s and always liked it because I thought the lyrics were Identity, it’s a great big crock of shi’… (well you can guess the rest).
I was sitting on a sunken sofa in a small house in Leeds where my mother had recently moved to. And the thumbnail of the video appealed to me. Because it reminded me of how my mother looked in her wedding photo. I felt so excited; I loved this song and it was the first time I had seen someone who looked like my mother in the media! I thought finally we’d have something to bond over. Which is a weird thing to say as an adult about your mother.
I was going to show her the video but I stopped myself. Because I remembered that she got half of her looks from her biological father who she was estranged from. My whole life she referred to her step-father as her father; Papa. I wasn’t aware of this in my youth. One time I sketched a portrait of my mother in 1993. She had just discovered Tetris and was playing that. She loves puzzle games. I drew her; her downcast eyes, her wrinkles, her mass of curly hair. When I showed her the portrait I expected her to congratulate me on the likeness. Instead she asked; “Am I really that ugly?” I felt sad. A decade later, when I found out that Papa wasn’t my mother’s biological father, it made sense.
I sat back in the sofa and put my smartphone down. We watch Long Lost Family and my mother starts crying. She wants me to find my biological family so I have someone to care for me after she passes away. I say I don’t want to. She says that there’s a link of love between my biological mother and me. I tell her that she is my mother. She cries more and I spend the rest of the episode consoling her. When she stops crying we repeat the conversation. I remind her that biology does not matter, and question whether I should mention that she is also estranged from her biological family. I don’t say anything.
Making a montage Binded with safety pins Collages of a life A name, a new name, a screaming girl Holding out an olive branch To a tanned protagonist Still hiding Behind graceful lashes Casting shadows over the line of sight
This is full of meaning and so emotive and complex, it reminds me of my own fears and uncertainties.
You write with such a wonderful narrative flow and passion.
We need to collaborate as we are speaking the same lost folk dialect of poetry making meaning of the day. A poem about toast and tea can sometimes align a misaligned day for me this is like moving out of a day that feels like a kaleidoscope to one of value and meaning.
This is a perfect start.
So I will respond…..
I break time, time breaks me
A boy stands waiting at a window, but this is a recollection of a memory that has been played with and changed. It has been in the hands of the subconscious charlatan.
Can I believe my own memories…?
Why is time painful? why is it such an issue and why do I keep looking at the clock when asked challenging questions by the therapist?
We are broken by the choice we make and broken by choices made for us. There is a lethargy that builds and an acceptance that its almost acceptable and predictable that people will be unkind, and they will always be looking to gain a position of power.
Tick and tock as Schopenhauer suggested is the sound of worldly time passing us in a state of pain or boredom. But I have an upwelling a sense of a point defined internal. a place that is mine and mine alone. Like an upwelling magma.
This is my true self statements and I call others to do the same. This is not a shadow of the voices of others that echo with the soul chamber. These are my places of thinking, my eccentricities, my loves, and they are not for judgement, not defined by social norms, rights and wrongs, gender identities. These are the points of my adventure the compass bearings made by me.
That’s the point of the Poetic heart, the community of butterflies. It’s a place to allow for self-realisation, transformation, rest, care, love, a reality defined by creativity. No learning needed this is a place of being and unlearning.
We as a creative community call out.
It has been a while since I spoke. I feel lost for words, though I know I have plenty. They are beating away against the dam in my throat, seeking a point of weakness. I’m waiting for them to pour through, but right now I am reinforcing the dam. I need five more weeks of steadiness, then I can break. And I will.
But the dam Let me tell you about the dam It's my source of pride Sheltering all below A few hours/days/weeks of respite Eventually it'll overflow But the moments in-between Are beautiful I see growth Movement, albeit slow Building, plans, a hop-scotch of intentions Parking and riding A picture-postcard stating "Wish you were here"
The tide whispers into my ear, a friend a friend I call out into the still night air, Nothing changes but a ripple on the glassy waters of the lake, I call out that I am broken now and tired, The chill of the winder seeming to touch my bones as i lay down, My past is dying as is my future self, I simply just need a moment of quiet, Just one moment amongst it all, To balance the clanging and the pain, The screams and the in breath, At least, I have that friend, I tune my ear again and say thanks as I fall asleep.
The pinnacle of human evolution is the creative community (Damasio). We seem to be moving away from understanding how important this is and we are deconstructing and de-evolving as a result.