Dolly Parton is on the One Show giggling like an infant and dancing like a nana at a wedding whilst some hapless civilians sing Islands in the Stream wearing pink glitter stetsons and Dolly bullyies Sebastian Coe into the jiggly equation. I can barely move.
It’s not Parton’s poise, or her southern twang, or her carefully constructed panto-glamour that’s gluing me to the screen and the soft furnishings (although I’m a massive fan off every aspect of the woman – ‘Jolene’ is the one of three songs that I wish I’d written. It’s completely remarkable to me, to be able to write a song addressed to the person who has taken away the person you love, and to do so from the phenomenon of being the betrayed one who can speak without anger, but with a pleading sadness and twisted, gracious eloquence that’s transcended pathos and found some new, sublime pain in the romance of tragedy, incredible writing…I also love her total ownership and sense of awareness around the particular choices that she’s made about her body and image “It costs a lot of money to look this cheap.” I also have the following quote on my wall: “When I wake up, I expect things to be good. If they’re not, then I try to set about trying to make them as good as I can ’cause I know I’m gonna have to live that day anyway. So why not try to make the most of it if you can? Some days, they pan out a little better than others, but you still gotta always just try.” That was a massive aside. Apologies.)
So despite my endless admiration, my catatonic state isn’t because of Dolly. It’s lassitude, plain and simple.
I’m fine really. I am just a bit of a husk after what amounts to two months of constant moving around. I’ve just mentally calculated that I have slept in my own home in Baildon nine times since I came back from a month in Nepal (which warrants a separate blog post), over a month ago.
Time has been spent working on the music and devising for two theatre shows – Lands of Glass which will be at the Edinburgh Festival in August (http://wefund.com/project/lands-of-glass/p59900/) and We’re Not Going Back (http://www.redladder.co.uk/whatson/going-back/) a three-woman show about the coal miner’s strike in the 1980’s.
So: rehearsing, arranging, writing and then partying in Gran Canaria with my lovely family, making new friends in Pembrokeshire with the most wonderful, loving and generous people, flitting between Yorkshire and Newcastle to work and spend time with my closest friends and musical collaborators, and then delivering vocal/repertoire training to teachers and musicians in Bradford, whilst also trying to find somewhere new to live and writing new songs with Sharks Took The Rest, has left me feeling a little…..fucked! And also quite displaced.
PHOOPH. It’s been a precious epoch, but PHOOPH. Bit tired now. Own bed tonight. YESSSS.
It doesn’t escape my attention throughout all this that I am well. The difference in my energy levels since the start of the year is startling when I think about it. In january I really was a husk. Since then, daily yoga and meditation, losing a stone and a half, trying to drink less along with a continuation of the Sertraline seems to be helping to reign in the out-of-control train of brainnoise. I don’t feel numb, I don’t feel slow. And gladly, I don’t feel low either. But I feel. I do. Good and bad. And I’m grateful for that.
I enjoy being a hobo, it brings me joy and a sense of rootlessness which amounts to freedom for me. People tell me to stop renting, that’s it’s been years of throwing away money, but I really can’t conceive of having a mortgage. Mort is ‘death’ in french, and I can’t be tied to a place in such a fixed way. Not right now. Maybe not ever.
Not having a car (and choosing not to have one back right now, has been surprisingly liberating as well. I am early and on time more often than not, and my journeys – on my folding bike and on trains – are more peaceful and productive than they could ever be in a car.
I’m also ready to move on from IMAGO. Rather backwardly, I’m releasing You Keep Flooding In as a single (along with a fantastic remix by Dom P and a video by www.pinkybinks.com) later next month, but that will effectively be the bubbly breaking against the bow of the boat as she sails off out of view. After that, it’s time to make some new music.
I’ll be doing a month of songwriting – a songathon – whilst I’m in Edinburgh in August (get in touch if you’re going to be up there and can spare an hour or so to collaborate)
I’ve been reading this book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Joy-Living-Unlocking-Happiness/dp/0553824430 (kack title, great content – am becoming more intrigued by neuroscience)
And I’ve been using this app: http://www.getsomeheadspace.com
I switched channels half way through writing this to a programme about John Ogdon, the British pianist. What an awesome musician. What a poorly human.
Now listening to Peter Donohoe play a tribute concert to the late Mr Ogdon and it’s really wonderful, so if you have access to BBC Four or can watch again, I recommend having it on – even in the background – because it’s sublime. Sleep is coming.
I can feel my eyes getting into their eyelids and my breath getting into it’s pj’s and my wandering focus is silently ushering in an early slumber party. Will write again soon.
Thanks for reading, friends, and thanks for the messages of love for the IMAGO – six months old now! http://beccyowen.bandcamp.com/album/imago – and compassion in finding and expressing resonance with the last few blogs.
Down here I’d like to ramble on a little longer and thank Rupesh and Pranamaya yoga, Nepal, and Fran and Mike Gaunt and their beautiful girls, and all of my friends and family for being for me and with me over the last six months and for eating my constant batches of Dal. It’s not just the pills and the yoga: I AM WELL TODAY BECAUSE YOU EXIST. THANK YOU. x