Retreat, Retreat!

A few weeks ago my son wanted to listen to some music.  His friend had a little ipod and he wanted in on the action.  So I dug through that drawer that we all have in our house that is stuffed to the gills with all the crap that we don’t throw out or find proper homes for and found an old ipod nano that I had bought for Darko’s birthday (although indirectly and selfishly also for myself) back from the days where I could still run and we even sometimes ran together.rpk-tramplin

I charged it up and handed it over and he wondered around the house shouting too loudly until he was bored of it all and left it lying on the floor with all the other endless stuff that gets left there.  I picked it up to have a little listen.  Songs from another lifetime.  Because it belonged to my husband there was a lot of guitar based stuff on there.  And because it was also sort of mine there was a lot of Yann Tiersen.  It was interesting to listen to the contrast between tracks.  Then lyrics from one of my husband’s songs jumped out at me.

Retreat. Retreat. I’ve fallen at the low tide.

It was just one wee line in a song by The Editors.  I probably bought the CD for him back when we still did things like that.

But it thrummed through my head never the less. Retreat. Retreat.

Because I feel more tired than I can possibly say,  because I feel like the scales I’ve been holding over my eyes have fallen away and I’ve seen that nothing much matters really, not really, because I can no longer believe that there was a reason for it, for any of it, there is no great twist in the story, no sudden reversal where the jigsaw puzzle clips into place and makes a pretty picture.  The picture is broken, broken and it can not be fixed. Not ever.  Because the world isn’t turning to make us pretty pictures, we are just shadows burning each other as we pass by and some of those burns are going to be permeant, some of those burns are going to brand your damn skin.  Because I don’t experience things the way other people do, I just don’t.  I still want the world to be christmas morning, I am still looking for it, freshly fallen snow to cover up the shit.  But there is no snow, the weather just does it’s thing, it doesn’t mean anything either.  There’s no great message to it all, no purpose, we’re all just bubbles waiting to burst.

So retreat, retreat and shut the fuck up Stephanie because quite frankly I am annoying myself.  Just lie around and watch Jamie Fraser take his top off on Outlander or read shitty, awful books with improbable and stupid  love triangles over those somehow special girls with magical powers.  Distraction is a beautiful thing.  That’s why we all do it.

So I’ve been quiet.  Not really writing, except for rubbish. No poems. Fuck the poems. I’m tired of them.  And they are clearly tired of me.

There have been a few weeks like this.  And of course there has also been sleeping and crying (I cry a lot, it’s not really a cause for alarm, I am abnormally teary) and trying to feed my children with food that isn’t covered in  breadcrumbs. All of that.  But mostly I’ve just been done with it all.  The talking about stuff like anything really matters.

And yet here I am, waffling on again.  So yes, there was a little moment this week that made feel like writing.

It was a very small thing.

A thing that was a ripple out of something I had done a few years ago.  Nothing special, that’s important. This is not one of those moments where I say yeah, everything is so bland and ordinary but look, look at this special thing I did!  I did nothing special. I just bumped along doing the usual crap I do.  But my usual crap bumped someone else along and years later the result of that bump sparked into something else and I got to see that happen.

Small things helping small things.

So there is always that.

Later in the week I sat in my Primary 6/7 theatre class watching them dance.  We do this a lot. It’s all improvised.  They are one of my favourites because they go with this work more than most.  And we talk about a lot of things in that class (weirdly we talk a lot about how rubbish their sex education is but that’s another post for another day) but we also talk about the space we are making for each other.  About how in this moment they have the freedom to just really let go and be them.  The doors to the world are closed and therefor the doors to themselves can open wide.

And there they were, in the middle of a six minute dance improvisation and if you’ve never watched work like that before then let me tell you it’s pure bloody joy.  To watch, to do. And I thought small things.  Little sparks.  Little bumps.

I am mad as a box of frogs. I am never going to be a ballerina.  I am  never going to be most of the things I wanted to be in fact.  My life is a supermarket shopping queue.  Ordinary, dull, a lot of waiting and looking for distraction.  But here and there our ordinary things can touch, not to burn, not to  brand but to spark, maybe a little heat, maybe here and there a little fire.

So yes, retreat, retreat, I’ve fallen at the low tide. Haven’t we all. I am operating from the gutter.  But even down here there’s the odd moment where all the things that don’t really matter still  manage make something interesting.

 

John Wick: Chapter 2(2017)


Quality : HD
Title : John Wick: Chapter 2
Director : Chad Stahelski.
Writer :
Release : 2017-02-08
Language : English.
Runtime : 122 min.
Genre : Thriller, Action, Crime.

Synopsis :
Movie ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ was released in February 8, 2017 in genre Thriller. Chad Stahelski was directed this movie and starring by Keanu Reeves. This movie tell story about John Wick is forced out of retirement by a former associate looking to seize control of a shadowy international assassins’ guild. Bound by a blood oath to aid him, Wick travels to Rome and does battle against some of the world’s most dangerous killers.

Watch Logan (2017) Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

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Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)


Quality : HD
Title : Logan
Director : James Mangold.
Writer :
Release : 2017-03-01
Language : English.
Runtime : 135 min.
Genre : Action, Drama, Science Fiction.

Synopsis :
Logan is a movie genre Action, was released in March 1, 2017. James Mangold was directed this movie and starring by Hugh Jackman. This movie tell story about In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.

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Writing Well – The Little I Know

If you write then you want to write well.   We all want to be the best we can be at whatever we practice.berryjam.ru

If you are someone who has a tendency towards anxiety and depression then you also want to be well.  We all want to feel as well as we possibly can.

If you happen to write and also have a tendency towards anxiety and depression then you want to write well and be well both at the same time.

 

IS IT POSSIBLE?

When I first became unwell with post viral fatigue writing became a bit of a life line.  I had never entertained the idea of writing before.  Why would I write?  I was crap at English when I was at school, writing wasn’t even on my radar.

But here I was stuck in bed day after day after day.  No plays to direct, no workshops to go to.  If you are a creative person then the fastest way to trash your mental health is to stop creating.  Needless to say I became very low very quickly.  Writing was an accident waiting to happen.

And of course it turned into a happy accident and if my life were a film, which is sadly is not, then the film would have ended when I started to get published.  That would be a logical narrative surely, I get published, I find my voice and my health and my place in the world and get to live happily every after.

But life is rarely like a film and of course what happened next was everything unravelled yet again.  First my physical health then my mental health.  And at this point I was neither writing well or feeling well.

And here is my guess:

I am not the only person in the world who is in this position.

Other people out there must have similar struggles, must also be fighting to balance writing well with being well.

So I am interested in this question:

How do I create without breaking?

And this is the little I have worked out so far:

 

1. ROUTINE HELPS

This may seem obvious but when you are struggling with anxiety or depression actually routine can be a hard thing to pin down. If it’s hard for you to get out of bed then how hard must it be to make a fixed time to create?  If you are going through a difficult patch, for whatever reason, holding onto some kind of routine can be the only way you will ever write anything.  When it is hard to make yourself do things, knowing you have a commitment to write for an hour might just make the writing possible.  Of course this is not always the case.  Sometimes self care has to come first in which case number 2 is in order.

 

2. FLEXIBILITY HELPS

A routine can be great until it’s not.  When it becomes a fast track for beating yourself up then it is no longer helpful.  If you are failing to meet your own demands it can be easy to use this as fuel to make yourself feel even more horrendous than you already do.  Sometimes what you need is just to let yourself off the hook.  Sometimes more sleep really is the answer!

 

3. PRIORITISE SLEEP

I spent my first year getting up at 5:30 am to try and catch time to write before my kids got up. When it worked well it was lovely.  The house was quiet and the day was clean. I got my work done before the house and the kids started their endless demands on me.  There is a lot of writing advice out there that sings the praises of the early morning write.  If you want to write make time for it they say, and the best way to do that is to get up before the birds.  This is great advice as long as it serves you and for some people there can be several reasons why it might not, such as:

YOU HAVE KIDS – often my daughter would wake up when I was in the middle of writing. Cue very stressful mornings where she was tired and grumpy because she’d woken up too early (she is often in bed with me byt this time and if she wakes and I am not there then she just gets up, regardless of the time) and I was narky because she’d interrupted my writing time.  The whole thing became unpleasant pretty quickly.  And that’s assuming your kids sleep through the night, if you are still being woken up several times a night then sleep is precious commodity.

YOU HAVE SOME PHYSICAL HEALTH ISSUES – turns out if you have a chronic health thing going on, like post viral fatigue, you kind of need your sleep.  I spent a lot of time that year feeling pretty horrendous, the truth was I needed the sleep more than I needed to write.

YOU HAVE SOME MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES – this is another one where I failed to pay attention to what my body and spirit was telling me.  If I am tired I am on a fast track for feeling more anxious and more low.  I am just one of those people who does not deal well with sleep deprivation.  I might get my writing done but the rest of the day would fall apart pretty quickly because I just couldn’t cope with the demands of my day without a lot of rest.

 

4. FORGET WHAT EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING

This is easier said than done.  I have a lot of friends doing well, it’s lovely.  Sometimes it feels like everyone I know has found the work they are meant to be doing in the world except for me.  But I’ve gained nothing from comparing my life to where other people are, yes they might be carving out careers, successes and all sorts of lovely things while I am still bumbling about in the dark but fighting your reality wastes a lot of energy.  Work, instead, with just allowing what is to be.

 

5. ALLOW ALL CREATIVITY TO BE EQUALL

I used to feel quite distressed if I didn’t create something that I felt was worthwhile.  I needed to make stuff I could submit or it was all utterly pointless.  But of course you need to write a lot of shite in order to get to the good stuff.  Some days shite is all you are going to get.  It’s all part of the process and it’s OK.  Not every moment needs to be a break through.  Making a goal of trying to be brilliant is going to lead to burn out pretty quickly, learn to love the lardy writing as much as the trim and toned.  Let it all be allowed and treat it all with a warm welcome.  Focus on just making rather than trying to make magic.  The magic is not your problem, it can take care of itself.

 

6. LEARN TO LIVE WITH YOURSELF

This is a work in progress for me, I imagine it is a work in progress for most people.  If you are struggling with anxiety and/or depression then the chances are that your relationship with yourself is not always hunky dory.  But it is very hard to create from a place where you don’t like yourself much, not impossible, but hard.  I’ve lost track of the days I couldn’t stand to write simply because in that moment I couldn’t stand myself.  If you can find a way to allow yourself to just be then the writing stands a far better chance of making its way on to the page.

 

7. HEALTH FIRST – ALWAYS

No matter what is going on put your health first.  If that means pulling out of a project so be it. No one likes to step back or step down or not be part of things.  I know I am terrible for signing myself up for far too many projects because being busy sometimes feels easier than just being with myself but it usually doesn’t end well.  So I’ve made some hard choices, I’ve stopped doing somethings, stopped being part of some projects.  That can feel nippy, you can feel left out, behind, a bit more lost than you did before.  But both creativity and wellness needs space.  If your body, mind or spirit is telling you that you are doing too much then your job is to listen hard.  The alternative is pushing yourself even further into whatever pit it is you are trying to avoid with all your  busy, busy work.  So cut class, drop out, be quiet and still.  Whatever it is you are trying to fill with all the noise is going to need a chance to speak, don’t make it shout louder than it needs to.

 

So – just some thoughts, if they are useful then great, if they are not then great too, it’s always helpful to know what doesn’t work.  And there is always more to learn.  Most important of all, I believe anyway, is that you find a way to keep creating in those dark spots, it might just be the light you are looking for.