Why is it I never say what I mean. Thats three people who think they caused my last entry. Everyone did and no one did. But mostly, I did and I am.
I don’t think that people need to travel to feel validated, hell I don’t think I need to travel to feel validated. I validate myself (when I remember how).
I love this town. As with all relationships involving love in my life this is a difficult one, a fraught one. Why do I love Lancaster? Well for starters it’s pretty and I like pretty things. But why do I love this town? It’s different and strange and it has weird things pretty much covers it. Also it holds good memories. I do not like Briery Street. I do not like… no actually I think that’s it. The rest of the town I love, a lot of my friends live here, this is also good. I think it probably says a lot about me that in the moonlight at the Ashton I sat alone with my arms around a pillar and was simply happy. Lancaster is not home but it’s a nice place to come back to.
How do I feel about everyone who stayed? It depends on how I felt about you ever. Do I like you? Do I not? (Are you Archangel?) Are you one of my ex-lovers? Are you one of my closest friends? Did our spider-light shine brightly or have we spent the time that we’ve known each other constantly missing our chance to talk?
And you and you and you and all of you who are reading this, do I love you? Of course I do. So many people live here with such spark and the ones with spark are the ones who are doing things. But I know people who I love who are crushing themselves because they have no aims. The sole purpose is becoming, hang out with friends and be pretty or whatever. And it kills me to see friends acting like this. When did I say you have to live like me to be real? Gods no, I don’t want anyone to be like me. Snowboarding topless is as empty as staying in Lancaster forever, there is nothing inherantly cool about me or anything I have done. But when I’m alive I like to think it’s because I’m thinking and loving and perceiving and being with every part of myself.
I’m losing that. So I can see more easily all the other people losing it. All the other sparks being put out all across the city. Dousing our flames together and losing all point.
People seem to think I’m popular. I can’t imagine why. I like a lot of people, they seem to like me. Popular is some sort of myth made in high school. I’m a girl who used to know who she was and knowing who you are means other people feel comfortable with you – if you like people then when people feel comfortable with you and you get talking things go well. I can’t be doing with ‘popular’, it’s empty. What I want, what I love and what I’m lucky enough to get more often than not, is a spider light and I want it with you. Yeah, that’s every you that reads this. If I don’t know you then mail me. If we never have time to talk then call me. I want our spider light. If you see me dancing then dance with me because we might never get another chance. Tomorrow is such a long way away and I’m losing who I am, when I’ve finally lost her then it’s not going to be so comfortable to be with me. Dance with me while I’m still here.
When I say that there is more to life than these people and this place I am not refering to my obsessive need to travel, to go, to leave, to escape. Every single person I know needs to find themselves, discover what they really want and go for it. Me included. When I watch people I love stop, give up on themselves, forget themselves beneath a shell of alcohol, or coke, ket, e and weed, or e and speed, or every Saturday down at the Bobbin, then I feel like a Jehova’s Witness faced with someone who isn’t a member of the elect. Someone who could have been and just couldn’t be arsed. It’s killing me. You, with all your wonderful sparks, you who could be anything you dream of, you gave up your dreams for something that should constantly change, for a situation that works in memory but in actuality should be anything but static.
Let us create a community, let us remake society, let us do… but stop with the words and with the nothingness. It’s killing me. I love this place but I feel so crushed, so hopeless and I’d found myself out in Japan. Avondale Road took almost all my certainties, I got them back again and now here I am and Lancaster again, there I go, vanishing into the clay and I can see so many of us going and I can’t cope with this. All these possibilities coming to nothing.
No, not everyone in this town is losing themselves. Just the people like me who are trying anything and then we give up because it’s all coming to nothing and the grail is far off in the distance.
Fuck off all of you. Let me curl up and leave by myself. Let me be, just promise to go and really be yourselves. Doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, don’t let the Bitch have a hold on you and prevent your own self being heard. We can change the world. All of us. Lancaster is weird. Different and we’re all freaks living here. So where is our reality? Where is our changed world?
Is loving the place you live unreal? No. But sitting and being plastic. That’s unreal. Staying here out of lack of thought. That’s plastic.
Leave me alone. I was so much nicer when I wore Kiki T-shirts and the clay hadn’t enfolded me in it’s embrace. Be who you were supposed to be, wonderful and perfect and earth-shattering. I left years ago or am leaving now, perhaps. At least when I lived in Avondale I could feel as if someone had forced me into a corner, pushed me somewhere, made me no longer believe everything that had once formed my sense of self. Now, no such pushing, I’m just here and unable to function and what’s worse is that I’m not the only one.
Please don’t stay here. By here I don’t mean Lancaster, I mean the Slough of Despond, the clay, the unbearable place where no effort makes any difference. Please leave as soon as you can and find the underlying reality. I don’t care what pills you’re taking, I don’t care what makes you tick, I don’t care but fly free and create and make and for gods sakes be.
“Look well at it, my darling,” the old man was saying, “and tell me how you like it.”
“‘It’s just lovely,” cried Sylvie, delightedly. “Bruno, come and look!” And she held up, so that he might see the light through it, a heart-shaped Locket, apparently cut out of a single jewel, of a rich blue colour, with a slender gold chain attached to it.
“It are welly pretty,” Bruno more soberly remarked: and he began spelling out some words inscribed on it. “All—-will—-love—Sylvie,” he made them out at last. “And so they doos!” he cried, clasping his arms round her neck. “Everybody loves Sylvie!”
“But we love her best, don’t we, Bruno?” said the old King, as he took possession of the Locket. “Now, Sylvie, look at this.” And he showed her, lying on the palm of his hand, a Locket of a deep crimson colour, the same shape as the blue one and, like it, attached to a slender golden chain.
“Lovelier and lovelier!” exclaimed Sylvie, clasping her hands in ecstasy. “Look, Bruno!”
“And there’s words on this one, too,” said Bruno. “Sylvie—-will—-love—-all.”
“Now you see the difference,” said the old man: “different colours and different words.
Choose one of them, darling. I’ll give you whichever you like best.”
Sylvie whispered the words, several times over, with a thoughtful smile, and then made her decision. “It’s very nice to be loved,” she said: “but it’s nicer to love other people! May I have the red one, Father?”
The old man said nothing: but I could see his eyes fill with tears, as he bent his head and pressed his lips to her forehead in a long loving kiss. Then he undid the chain, and showed her how to fasten it round her neck, and to hide it away under the edge of her frock. “It’s for you to keep you know,” he said in a low voice, “not for other people to see. You’ll remember how to use it?”
“Yes, I’ll remember,” said Sylvie.
“And now darlings it’s time for you to go back or they’ll be missing you and then that poor Gardener will get into trouble!”
Once more a feeling of wonder rose in my mind as to how in the world we were to get back again—- since I took it for granted that wherever the children went I was to go—-but no shadow of doubt seemed to cross their minds as they hugged and kissed him murmuring over and over again “Good-bye darling Father!” And then suddenly and swiftly the darkness of midnight seemed to close in upon us and through the darkness harshly rang a strange wild song…
– Sylvie and Bruno by Lewis Carroll
4 thoughts on “Circles”
Mish, I think we need to talk. I’ve been where you are, and it’s not a pretty place. I can see one reason why it’s happening, I know why it happened to me, and I can’t bear to see it happen to someone else.
Well, as someone who is currently in the process of a major re-evaluation of the raw materials at my disposal from which to build my life, I’ll heed your warning about Lancaster’s clay, but stay in it regardless, at least for the time being.
Stagnations a killer, sure: I’ve seen it happen to people before, and it’s not nice to see.
But the clay that chokes you I feel can be used to build great things.
The connections that make up our own individual groups support as well as strangle, and some of us are being brought genuine happiness from them. As for those who are not… well, that’s their problem, and feel free to help them out, but please, make yourself happy first.
I don’t begin to understand most of what you’re saying, but we are escaping Lancaster very soon. 🙂 And we will miss you.
Stagnation strikes me, when it does, through heart, not hearth.
But I think that’s the peril of my particular vocation.