we were doing impressions of cats
and I did an impression of you
as a cat
picking up the phone
in that voice you always use
when you pick up the phone
Do you know that you sound afraid
when you pick up?
I see your eyes like dinnerplates when you say hello that way.
I get the sensation that I ought to be doing something
I find myself in an awkward position here; although feeling distinctly liberated from the shackles of enforced patriotism/ nationalism (in its traditional sense, as opposed to jingoism), I can’t say I’m not enjoying it. However it has revealed to me a strange phenomenon that people on the individual scale believe in purely, and that is the existence of common national interest, national pride, and a love for the motherland and its contents.
I suppose that this notion flummoxes me to a greater degree than most because I was reared not only as a Polish girl, but till the age of six I resided with my family in Switzerland. Returning to the UK (I was born there), I was presented with a reality exactly as JG Ballard described it: a “small, grey, tired little island, very dark, where it drizzled perpetually.” Naturally, I was not enamoured with the place, yet the alienation extended far beyond the meteorological lugubriousness; the attitudes, the social customs, the simultaneously minute and grand scale of everything – these were all bizarre to me and instantly generalisable.
As a kid, I couldn’t help but feel the language and social attitudes to be a reflection of the weather. This was one of my pet theories. It was only when I reached double digits, the era of my life that provided my crashing introduction to great literature and contemporary music, that I even began to feel grateful for being there, and the utopia of my youth – the cowbells, the incessant yodelling, the jagged violence of the mountains and water and light – faded into a distant dream.
(I’m spending less time on posts these days as I’m kind of busy, and I’m hoping that writing the ideas down in an experimental way at least will help to solidify certain things in my mind. I haven’t bothered researching anything or backing up my ideas with actual philosophical foundations, but we shall see whether life goes on in the absence of lofty quotations. Expressly: standards are slipping.
“I’m also trying to enter more narrative into these whatever they ares,” she said, putting down her espresso cup, laughing in irony at all of life, teeming outside her cold silent writing room, that she is attempting to capture at the expense of experience.)
If I put down the booze and the Danish butter biscuits for long enough I manage to immerse myself in more artistic endeavours than this, my incessant snacking. Just eat a bit more at meal times then you won’t get hungry, says my inner monologue. What I produced during this most recent experiment in crayons and watercolour was surprisingly fruitful and pleasing to my aesthetic sensibility. Having been on a surreal jaunt through the junctions of the information superhighway, I realised that most of my inspiration comes from an era during the 20th century, say the 1930s to the 1950s, that I view as a golden age in abstract and expressionist modern art. And I wondered: if I had been born and awakened during this period, would I see myself nestled like a fledgeling sparrow, like a tiny shoe amongst shoes in a shoe cupboard, within the bosom of my artistic contemporaries, or would I be harking back further still to decades past, which I would view as the golden age from that contemporary perspective?