The Art of Standng Still...


A little over a month ago I posted this 'Bird Song'. I had wrote it to express my relief at finally being able to stand still after an intense year of... well not being still. Little did I know that I would still be traveling at such pace now. Still. But I am not standing anymore, it has become difficult to stand. I am jobless and without money, oppressed, I am being forced to remain here, inside my house, alone. Do not misunderstand, I am active. I am involved in a couple of projects, I am not letting my creativity diminish. Neither is my mum. Although my mum seems to have misunderstood the situation and confused the word 'creative' with 'laborer'.
"Oh well seeing as you can't pay me any rent yet you'll have to earn your keep," which is fine, absolutely fair, no problem, "It won't be that bad, in fact, you are creative and there are plenty of creative things you can be doing..." These turn out to be: helping to put up coving, dying the dining room chair covers black (I have not done this yet as we have no washing machine), painting the dining room chairs black, removing some canvas's off their frames and re-stretching them over new ones (she claimed my book binding skills would come in handy for that one...), assembling flat pack furniture... Today I spent the morning on my knees in the kitchen trying to remove the stuff that sticks tiles to the floor. Now this stuff was clearly never meant to be removed from the floor as it is still there. I have chiseled, hammered, scraped until I relised that my fingers were covered with blisters and bruises and also did not seem to want to grip at the hammer anymore. So I ate my dinner and gave up for a while.
What happened? When did everything just stop for me? I keep losing sight, the bigger picture. I am supposed to be saving to study an MA in a years time, but how can I save when there are no jobs? Everyday I wake up feeling heart broken, I force myself out of bed, I shower, I go to my mac, I check my emails, I sit and do whatever I need to do (like I say I have got a few projects), I can sometimes sit here all day, it goes so quickly. I look forward to my fortnightly trip to the dole office. I read books. I watch films. I live through others. I sit and eat my dinner. I remain still.
In front of me there is a box. It is a large box that contained a flat pack sofa bed (which I assembled last week). It reminds me of being a child. When a box meant hours of fun. I climb in it. It turns out to be a time machine.

Yesterday I was younger. The box is in my garden, only it is no longer a time machine, it is a space ship. It is a place I am destined to sit in for hours upon end, exploring the depths of our solar system, encountering aliens, maneuvering the card board walls through meteor showers (12th August...) and space junk, traveling beside crooked astronauts determined to ruin my missions... My controls are made of polystyrene and pens. There is even a space scene in front of me, I have drawn it in red felt. Then one day the box was no longer there.

I return to my living room but remain still inside the box.

Yesterday I was younger. I was sat in my room listening to my sisters Wham! CD (What? I was cool!) playing playstation games. Driver. Only I am not playing the game, I am cruising the streets making my own game up. It does not distract me it feeds me. My bedroom isn't like this anymore, there is stuff everywhere, shelves and stuffed toys. One day, we redecorated, my mum asked me to pack up everything on the shelves. I pack the soft toys into a cardboard box.

Then I am older. I am still listening to music, but I feel different. I feel sad. I am alone. My room is still full of stuff, no soft toys. I am fiddling with a lamp, trying to make a shade out of cardboard... the box.

I am back in my living room. Suddenly finding it hard to breathe. I am panic ridden and lower my arm to the floor to steady myself.

Yesterday I was very very young. My mum and dad are still together. That means I am younger than five. I am playing mouse trap on the dining room table with my mothers cousin Carrie. She is looking after me. We are the only ones in the house. We are listening to Queen. She says she hates Queen. I say she is wrong. 'Under Pressure' fills the room. She says she much prefers David Bowie over Queen, any day, he is great. I say she is wrong. Freddie is the best. (hmmmm). We put the game back into it's box.

Then I am older, but still much younger than today. Still at the dining room table, but it is my Dad's house now. I am playing chess with my friend Karen. Karen doesn't know how to play. I am angry. I have horrific pains in my legs and it is really grating. I toss the board in anger. Later we are in bed, my legs feel better. We do this thing in the dark where we look at each others eyes until we both turn into demons. Our eyes dark and hollow and other features shadowy. We laugh and turn on the lights. "That is scary!"

Then I am a little older. I have made a moon scene. This involves layering, flour first, powder paint second. The idea is to drop items from a height onto the layers to create craters. The scene has been created in a cardboard box.

My living room is still. My head is light.

Yesterday was younger. But I was feeling more myself. I could see his eyes. They were still able to stir up my soul, to give me energy, to elate me. Watching this scene the elation turns to a lump that I am now finding difficult to swallow. I pack up some work into a box.

Yesterday I was bookbinding. I was at ease. The bindery was empty apart from me. Mr Letterpress wonders in and makes a fuss then he leaves. Someone else enters the room, it is... this is not a real memory... It cannot be summoned...

Yesterday I was doing homework, was living in a different house, was playing football in the garages, was obsessed by someone else, and someone else and someone else. Yesterday I was longing to be older. Today I am.

My time traveling continues. Inside the box there are no polystyrene buttons, no windows, no magic, no imagination. I am not in control of where the machine takes me. Memories just appear before me, they are either unwanted or I yearn for their moments. There is one place I wish to go, but the machine won't take me if I will it there, I cannot force these moments. It lies so fresh on my mind anyway. I long to be in control of the machine so I can change things. So I can interact with my past self. So I can stop it.

Stop time. Even though today I am still, it is time itself that causes me a problem. Being still whilst time is still means not a second is wasted. And if it were still I could explore unnoticed, I would be an invisible visitor to a series of frozen moments, of photographs. If I had control of the time machine I would not travel through time, I would pause moments and absorb them. I would visit other peoples memories and I would find happiness there. I would pause time so I could be still without guilt. I would stop it so that I could cross oceans without getting my feet wet. I would pause it so that I could out wit arse holes. I would pause it so that I could hold someone without them knowing. I would pause it so I could screw with peoples minds. Similar to that film where the angel's comfort mortals, (I forget its name) I would hold onto people when their moment is paused in sorrow and hope that when time starts again I have somehow effected that person. I would pause it to do good, to be selfish, to gain control.

I step out of my time machine. Memories still flood. It wasn't the box, it was me, it was time itself. Standing still whilst time lapses, too much time to think, too many moments gone. I seemed to have relived my life in a month. Once upon a time I had the imagination to turn a box into a spaceship, today I have no imagination, just a lot of time. I find it hard to breathe and collapse to the floor for a moment. On the floor I realise that my enemy is not time but my self. Time is destined to tick on. It doesn't stop. What is it's fault if all it can do is move forwards? I stop. I need to keep moving. I need a job. Then I regain composure and head back to the kitchen to remove the rest of that stubborn stuff they use to stick tiles to the floor. I need to start living again...

I am going to work at Pizza Express in Crawly for a month or two. My sister's Gavin runs the one down there and seeing as it is the only job offer I have had I will take it. It is a new adventure. And it is right between London and Brighton. And I will get tips, I will get tips because I will be sweet and smile. If all else fails, I could always asked to be moved into the kitchen - I am an excellent cook you know.

A Beautiful Song


Everyone needs to hear this song. I am obsessed with it.

I will stop posting things about the Arcade Fire now.

A Birthday Wish List

It is that time of year again, my birthday exactly two weeks away.
I have been updating my amazon wish list for the past week. This year is the biggest it has ever been (did I mention I have a lot of time on my hands?)
Hopefully books, music and films galore will find their way to me.
Now, I am not expecting anything off you, your company on my blog is more than enough for me to treasure... but if you did want a peek....

A m a z o n w i s h l i s t o f a m a n d a k. g o o d i e r

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