Listening to Lydia

I have not been blogging for over a year, this is true. I have been moving home, I wrote a new novel, also the film script for The Panopticon (I will write about that later this week) but the truth is I’ve not been blogging in part because I have had this quite definite sense of silence. Other than the words. The Writing. The seeing friends. The daily living. Sometimes that happens. The world is so curiously round and we as a race so ever-onward, ever-absorbing, what is going on with this planet is not something that moves around me.

I have felt a silence because there is too much out there and I often wish we were all born with a fundamental humanist right to safety, education, food, shelter. The fact that we are so far removed from that and when I turn on the internet all I see is everything and somehow nothing because there is a veil between what is real and true and what is observed, or fetishised, or even passed on as gossip. Anyway. This is a terrible first blog (in a year) my fridge is being overly loud, I have a novel to read by a new writer who I am mentoring. I am off to London next week for meetings about my new novel and the film. I have committed to getting two cats (when I find a home I can settle in) I have a real yearn for a dog called Hank but I think he might be two or three years away.

I read a great article by Lydia Lunch recently, she has been giving empowerment weekends to women and one of the things she said was: Pleasure is The Ultimate Rebellion. I love this! It seems a mantra to living, an antidote to fear, a way of approaching this gift of life. So, I am looking for it, in the sun on trees, attempting to bake, seeing friends in person rather than online, cultivating authentic connection as a way of being, those kinds of moments go a long, long way.

The other Lydia I listened to recently was at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, I ran all the way from my house with a wonderful writer friend and I really wanted to see Lydia Davis in talk with Ali Smith. We made it there just as they closed the doors and miraculously (this never happens) they opened up for half a second and ushered us in. Lydia was as amazing to listen to as you might imagine or if you haven’t read her stories do, they are stunning. While I was sitting up the back in the dark watching Lydia and Ali and the audience and listening to everything I wrote two short (extremely short) stories. I will post them below. From me. To you. Back in blog. Bought new books. Getting a train. Playing records. The clock is ticking but it never tells the right time. I’m okay with it.

My fridge just went silent ….

The writer on the stage does not look up to see the audience listening to her
in the dark room — yet each has a light shining around their head.

The writer does not look behind her, but all across the stage her ancestors
are strewn, drinking and smoking and picking at their nails and they too are
so absorbed in the words that none of them see the eldest of them all, standing

right on the front of the stage.

The eldest of all the ancestors does not look at the writer as she reads, he does
not listen to a single word either. He stands with a little pea shooter poised, and
when someone drifts, he blows a little arrow of light, right into their heart.

The other scrawl:

Everyday at 6.10am a ship goes out into the fog and honks its horn for
a blare longer than sleep and she is the only one who wakes to hear it.

She gets wearier each morning, and really it is no ship, just a broken
shower upstairs that her neighbour climbs into for the dawn shift at the
hospital, every, single, day.

In reality it is possible her neighbour doesn’t work in a hospital.

Each day when she comes home with her groceries she looks at her
neighbours door and wonders if he will ever move on.

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