I wrote about love, right after Neil Gaiman did.

Neil Gaiman wrote about love yesterday, I read it today, it was gorgeous. Words of silky smooth sweetness touching my soul. I had already planned to write something about love and got three-quarters of the way through writing this entry below before I read Neil’s words. They are far more accurate and far more true and far better-written words than mine but I thought I’d do my best to write what I think of love, at least for the moment.

“Being in love is like being in a constant state of nauseous nervousness.

You don’t want to annoy the person you love and yet all you can do is be a pile of awkwardness, clumsily grasping for straws. Your stomach becomes a highly trained acrobat when they’re around you and does high aerial nose dives if they touch your arm.

You’re delighted when you talk to them because everything else slips away. They become the focal point of the room, the day, the month, the year. Something for you to focus your madness on.

For their imperfections become perfections. The curvature of a smile and her often nervous laughter are the only two things you’ll ever need.” 

I wrote the above poem (I think it’s a poem. I’m gonna say it’s a poem. Yep poem it is) some time ago. When I was smitten. Smitten reallllll bad. It was an interesting time. I wrote it after going to a formal with the girl I was infatuated with. I didn’t actually go with her (wasn’t cool enough for that let’s be real), I went with someone else, she was pretty delightful. I did, however, take the girl to my formal, and that was when I decided my feelings. Then it was two long days wait till this other formal so I could see her again (and I use a very mythical, regal her). 

 

I wrote it when I came home from the formal because I felt all those things while I was there. I felt awkward sitting away from her and awkward coming close to her. It was the first time I’d ever felt it. 

I finally truly understood the term lovesick. 

I was truly maddeningly lovesick, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep without talking to her. I was captured under a spell of my own creation. Love is like magic. It really is. It’s this weird strange thing that overcomes every rational thought and every part of your soul. It makes you do dumb things and think stupid thoughts. It makes you giggly and bubbly and stroppy and slow. You get energy from love or you get depleted by love. It can turn on a dime from sweetness to sadness. 

I was talking to my dearest, darling James the other night. He was asking a question I so often have asked myself in relation to love: “Why do I do this to myself?” Ahh, the age-old question. James frustratedly asked that question aloud, hardly expecting me to answer (which for the record I didn’t because I was thinking about the same question myself), he asked it several times, in a sobbing little manner. Then he laughed at himself. We all do. 

I think an answer to James’ question is a very simple because it feels good.

It feels good to be loved and to love. there is nothing better. I promise you. There are two things I know: 

1. There is no better feeling than loving someone and being loved. 

2.  There is no worse feeling than no longer being loved when you still love someone. 

Love, as my Dad said to me earlier is all we can do. It’s the best thing that we can do. 

 

PS. A link to the wonderous journal entry from Gaiman. http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2017/10/wedding-thoughts-all-i-know-about-love.html

 

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I didn’t know what to write so I wrote about you

I don’t know what I want to write but I know I want to write something. It’s not that I can’t write. I’m not some writer who’s retreated to the forest or a house like I’m a character in a Stephen King novel. I just don’t really have a topic for today. Usually I write about something, usually, it’s a book or it’s an idea or a film or more often than not a girl but I think today I’ll talk about yesterday.

Yesterday I watched Girl Asleep with a dear friend. It was nice. It was the peculiar situation that only ever happens when you watch something for the first time with someone who loves that thing above all. Girl Asleep was her favourite film.  It was the typical situation of you watching a film while they watch you watch it. Constantly wondering if you’re enjoying the film as much as they do. I’ve done the exact same thing. Last Christmas I Watched

Last Christmas I watched Fantastic Mr Fox with my family (well one half anyway). It was me, my aunt, uncle, sister and mum. My sister and mum had of course seen Fantastic Mr Fox before and had both loved it (I think). Aunt and Uncle had different plans. They were not charmed by the sweet sound of George Clooney’s voice or the exacting rhythms of Alexandre Desplat’s wonderful music. They did not appreciate the specificity in every frame or the quirkiness of the puppets and the camera movement. My Aunt simply said “What a strange movie”. My Uncle’s only opinion after the movie was “That Fox was a bit of a dick wasn’t he”, he had missed the point entirely.

So I know what it’s like to be sharing something you love.

Watching Fantastic Mr Fox (probably my favourite film to just sit down and watch) with people who I wasn’t sure what would think about it was the most nerve-wracking and uncomfortable experience I’ve ever had watching a film (other than Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! of course). You keep waiting for them to laugh when you laugh and cry when you cry. To get into and grin and smile and enjoy it. But that didn’t happen. I don’t think I can describe the feeling of waiting for someone to laugh in a moment you find utterly hilarious but the entire audience is silent. It’s the worst.

So sitting down, on my friend’s sweet little grey couch, putting on her favourite movie I could imagine how she felt. I made sure to watch every frame and note every little clever line and every bit of imagination.

She asked me after we finished it what I thought and I answered but I didn’t really say much. So I guess I’ll use some of this post to actually give a proper opinion. I didn’t say much because I was kinda in awe of the film because…

I loved it.

It gave me so many Wes Anderson vibes it wasn’t funny. Except it managed to stand on its own, it was a great homage to Anderson’s quirky idiosyncratic tendencies but also a beautiful piece that completely found it’s own style and voice. It was a touching coming of age story done in a way I’ve never seen before.

The kids were all terrific.  I definitely identified with the main boy a little bit too much (it was like watching 14 year old me wander around the screen being only a fraction more awkward).

It’s meshing of reality and fantasy was absolutely divine, in the vein of Where the Wild Things Are. The costuming made the 5-year-old who loved running around in his own fantasy world jump for joy.

I love so very much that my friend wanted to share such a precious heartfelt film with me. It warms my heart how much she loves Girl Asleep because it tells me so much about her, and it’s very kind for her to be open like that. I can see why she does, because its a beautiful mixture of fantasy and reality all wrapped into one just like her.

 

 

The Magic of Reading – Hogfather by Terry Pratchett

I’ve been meaning to write something about Sir Terry Pratchett for a little bit now. I’ve read 4 books from his Discworld series: Small Gods, Weird Sisters, Moving Pictures and most recently Hogfather. He’s the type of writer that takes you away to an exciting land full of ideas and possibilities and frivolity and laughter. But for me, he’s also the kind of writer that’s hard to write about, because any words that I write about him aren’t ever going to be as clever as his own. Any sentences I write are vastly inferiorly constructed than his. My paragraphs aren’t as complex and my ideas aren’t nearly as insightful.

How can you make insights and notations on one of the most incredibly insightful people to ever put the pen to the page (or their fingers to the keyboard). I don’t really know how. I’m making it all up and I have a feeling Sir Terry would appreciate that honesty.

So I will go on making it up and do my best to sound like I know what I’m doing. In the vein of Neil Gaiman’s advice ( the personal friend of Pratchett and also a writer I adore) I shall pretend I am a person who can write about Terry Pratchett and then pretend to do it.

To me, the magic of Pratchett’s writing and his books is that when you open it and read those first lines and get lost in his complicated paragraphs and words and ideas you can almost feel an actual magic emanating from the writing. There’s this amazing interaction of character and thoughts and words that all tell you a magician (in this case Pratchett) is pulling a great big trick and you have to read on to see how he’s going to pull it off.

The thing about Pratchett’s writing that I love above all is that it has something to say. All of the books I’ve read (and it is very few compared to his entire library of books – my lord that man wrote a lot, and thank god he did) are about something. I mean that his books are about us. They’re about human beings and human ideas. And what’s important and different about us. Why it’s important to know who we are and why it’s important to think deeply.

Pratchett’s Discworld almost serves as a huge playground for him to take any idea he chooses; be it (in the books I’ve read) theatre and magic, the belief in gods and the creation of gods, the film industry and notions of reality or the belief in Christmas and things that are not real and why this is greatly important. He chooses an idea and then examines how that idea works or why that idea is important. He has things to say about magic and belief and the power of belief or how films warp our sense of what is real and what isn’t.

Needless to say, I do not know any of these books well enough, nor am I especially smart enough to tackle and deconstruct the sheer number of ideas and intricacies of those ideas but I feel it important to point them out. I point them out because they’re what make the books mean something to me and to anyone who reads them. Because when you’re reading a Pratchett book there’s a part of your brain activated that I swear isn’t activated at any other point in your life, except for when you’re actually creating something.

Somehow the great magician Sir Terry Pratchett reaches into the plunges of your mind and engages you to think with your creative mind. To create these gorgeous ideas. Pratchett’s Discworld is an invitation to play, (that’s how I look at it anyway). He invites you to play with these things we take as solids, asking you to reimagine them in a different light.

And he has fun. Above all Pratchett is always having fun, he is rarely serious and rarely stern. The things he says have great meaning but they are always dealt out with a softness that relaxes the reader and makes them laugh.

For instance in Hogfather (which may be my favourite of the four I’ve read mainly because I love Christmas and anytime that Death is in one of his books I feel actual electricity run through my body) he takes the idea of Christmas and childhood and belief and wraps them all up into this neat little bundle and then starts analysing them. Picking at them like a child would a little house, trying to figure out why each part is important. This book has so many quotable parts (especially towards the end) that I basically now have a sticky note on almost every single page for the last maybe 20 pages. It is especially precious and dear to me. Hogfather is about childhood and how children see what we cannot, that they see things and believe in things with such strength they become real. The only reason death exists as he does is because we believe in him. The book is about (and this is just one of the many things it’s about) how we, human beings, shape the nature of the world just by believing in things. With our belief, we create the world as we see it. We create justice and order and love and laughter because we believe in them. And that is the most powerful message and idea I have ever had and it was all because Terry Pratchett thought of it then wrote it down and left it to be discovered.

Little Rhyme For You

Everything I’ll ever write will have been meaningless if I didn’t write some of it for you,

So without further ado here is a little rhyme that is just for you:

“Staring at your eyes, staring at mine, locked in a loop couldn’t be more divine.

Looking into you looking back at me, the locks deep down I wish I had the key.”

The Sound of Life

A night full of music and songs is a night of life.

Life flourishes in every chord,

In every note.

The tiny intricacies of existence twisting and turning in the percussive waves.

Words filled with heart, and soul resonating so perfectly.

Sounds so pure and simple, so true, they seem out of place in the crazy randomised chaos of the world.

But here, on this couch in this yellow light, hearing the sounds of life the chaos fades away.

And you just sit and you listen, to the repetition, to the old and the new, to the words and the beat.

You just listen.

 

Crying Wolf

Day One

I wake to pounding in my head. I’m surrounded by coarse sand reflecting the heat from the sun, blistering my

skin. My eyes struggle against my commands to open. I concentrate pulling my attention away from my

burning body, a deep breath, finally a flutter; open.

Around me is chaos: body parts and shrapnel of torn up metal litter the ground. The sand is dabbled with

crimson red, plumes of smoke cover the beach in a tight thick haze. I hear the cries of the injured as I

stumble to my feet.

As I rise for the first time I feel a gash along my forehead. A steady stream of crimson starts flowing as my

heart starts pumping blood, people call out to me as I stumble to the forest that seems miles away. I see the

refuge of cold shade, the forest…

Day Two

I’ve found a cave, it is the cold in a world of fire. The beach is already beginning to stink, I tried going back…couldn’t.

Day Three

Nothing.

Day Five

I wake to the sound of cracking in the forest, it still feels foreign. My senses not sharp; I clumsily climb to

my feet a poorly crafted ‘spear’ grasped loosely in my hand. My body tenses as I wait, for some predator to

take me, sweat rolling over my ash-covered body. But it never comes.

My body relaxes and I touch the wound on my head. Having assessed the damage in my reflection I figure

I’ll escape infection. It’s a proper red hole, my skin left behind on the metal of the boat. I haven’t been back

yet. I won’t be going back.

The past two days I have stayed in my infantile cave, avoiding the stench of dead men, trying to sleep,

drinking from the pool next to me. Trying to survive.

Day Six

I haven’t eaten yet. My hair feels longer, longer than it should be by now. Beard’s coming in too.

I splash my face every morning, trying to create some semblance of a routine. To keep me sane I talk to

myself, nothing of note, just little things here and there. To make me feel normal.

My stomach’s almost always growling now, a low rumbling bass to follow the melodies of birds and the thin constant rustling of the trees; a fitting island soundtrack.

Need food.

Day 8

I’ve taken to going on daily walks, careful to avoid the crash site, everyday feeling more at home. It feels comfortable. It’s shocking how quickly I start feeling at comfortable. I’ve fashioned a bed out of palm leaves.

Still hungry. Still, need food. Doing my best to ignore the hallucinations. I’ll be fine. I’ll be fine.

Day 10

Managed to find some berries yesterday. No idea if they were dangerous, didn’t even think. I’ve been tracking a boar, following it around the island since last night. I watch it as it eats, planning in my head a way to get to it. It leads me around the island, teaching me in its own way about how the island functions. I start making a mental map of the island…of Home. My cave the centre point of which the rest of the island spirals from.

I know where the best watering holes are. Sometimes I lose the boar. Not sure where it goes, I’m not the best at tracking its prints. But today, today I am prepared. I’ve been watching it by the waterhole for two hours now. It’s been enjoying itself in the radiant sun. I take a deep breath, it is ragged, hopeless. I need this. Now. Spear in hand, a proper spear now with a real point (I obsessed over chipping away at it with a rock) I charge at the boar. Sprinting full bolt at the creature: my meal. Adrenaline takes over. My body starts ignoring the aches of malnourishment, my muscles reverting

I take a deep breath, it is ragged, hopeless. I need this. Now. Spear in hand, a proper spear now with a real point (I obsessed over chipping away at it with a rock) I charge at the boar. Sprinting full bolt at the creature: my meal. Adrenaline takes over. My body starts ignoring the aches of malnourishment, my muscles reverting

(for a second) to their former strength. This is my moment. As I get close the boar turns. Unmoving and

unafraid it stares me in the eyes; an unblinking mass of grey and I…

Stop.

Momentum gets the best of me pushing me off balance and I tumble towards the ground. Reopening the head wound. Scraping my knees like a schoolboy on the pavement. I lie there, for a second listening to the boar charge off into the scrub. The adrenaline leaks out of me, slowing being replaced by hopelessness. Defeated tears force their way out of my dry eyes, filling in my cracked skin. Slowly I turn over, my body wracked

with empty sightless sobs. I lie there staring at the sky, a blue mass of promise. My lungs burning, ribcage expanding and contracting.

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

Melbourne – Some first impressions from a cafe

Melbourne a place I’d never been but had for some reason always wanted to move to. A place I had heard a lot about. That it was a place filled with cafes and hipsters. After being here for two days and writing this whilst sitting at one of those many outside cafes, a cappuccino in a quaint blue cup to my right, I can say the things I heard about Melbourne were true.

Firstly I like it here. I really do. I haven’t been here long but it feels welcoming and accepting to outsiders. It’s…a relaxed city compared to other places I’ve been. It’s a place that feels structured. Like every street and house was placed with purpose, it’s a nice change of pace.

The air feels clearer here and people look happy and smile at you.

There are two main things I noticed. 1. Melbourne takes the little alley’s and nonessential streets that other city’s look at as something to ignore as an invitation to play. Alley’s become places to admire rather than begrudgingly walk past. It seems as though around every corner there’s some delightful treat of attention to detail. Of care for design and simplicity. And 2. Many Victorian’s don’t give a shit about crossing roads.

A Happy Poem

So rarely do we get to write poems that purely come from joy. What I mean by this is that finally I am going to write a poem that isn’t trying to get something. It isn’t trying to get someone to like me. Its isn’t trying to get someone to say something. It simply isn’t coming form a sad, tortured desperate place. This one is just joy, plain and simple.

Here we go:

You have delightful curly hair, I really must say. The kind of hard that when one looks at it they can’t help by smile. Hair the flows and crinkles in such a pleasing way.

You have a gorgeous laugh that explodes from nowhere and makes me grin.

Sitting with you in the cold and holding your leg and having your hand rested on my arm is such a perfect moment I wish I were a better writer to capture it.

When we walk I wish I could hold your hand.

And finally when we inevitably have to say goodbye we hug.

And you hug like I am the last person on earth.

You pull me close and I feel you refusing to let go.

I feel the small of your back as we part, staying there, wishing for the moment of never end…

And then one last hug. A second goodbye. And this time, this one, I don’t want it to ever end.

I want to stretch the seconds into eons, because you give hugs I never want to end. Never.

The Book of Mormon or (A ridiculously good time)

I don’t even know how to begin. There have been a lot of things said about this musical and a lot of people in the world have seen it, but finally tonight I got the incredible chance to sit down in a very average theatre seat in a very beautiful theatre (the Princess Theatre) in a City that I do not know at all and watch the most incredibly fun musical I’ve ever seen.

I seriously didn’t stop smiling the entire time. From the first beautifully timed ding! of a ‘doorbell’ to the final huge full cast note I was beaming from ear to ear like I had been conditioned at the same school the Mormon’s had been.

I cannot begin to explain the amount of ridiculous frivolity that is to be found in this show. Listening to the music is one thing, a thing that I have done many times and it’s always made me laugh. But pairing the music with unbelievably precise dance moves and unwavering smiles and sheer ridiculousness of attention to detail at every corner really takes the entire show to another level. Watching a song that like Two by Two about how the Mormon kids are going out there to ‘fight the good fight’ but having them burst into the most ridiculous movement that I can only describe as some kind of precision ‘walk-dance-thing’ has a very particular giddy feeling to it.

Also the play starts with Trey Parker and Matt Stone doing some of the most hilarious voices for God and Jesus and Ancient civilisations that you know straight away what you’re getting into which is nice. It’s nice to feel their sensibility at every turn. It’s almost like a 2 hour long South Park episode with higher production values.

I feel like it is important to not that with Trey Parker and Matt Stone the show is the most obscene, ridiculous and possibly very offensive piece of theatre you’ll ever experience. But it MUST be experienced.

It’s a true magical treat that will leave you beaming from ear to ear and have you bobbing your head and tapping your foot throughout. It soars from one song to the next and feels like a classical musical that whilst being showy and ridiculous on the surface actually constructs a character driven masterpiece that has important things to say about religion and the nature of believe and truth.

The songs are unforgettable, the choreography is eye candy, the jokes never miss and ultimately the entire musical will stay with me for a very long time. It left me wanting to walk right back in, ready to watch it at least 7 or 8 more times.

A Word on James – and the new

I think that I am finally at the point where I can attempt to write about new friends. I am constantly nostalgic and forever looking into the past. Forever wishing ti was yesterday. Wishing that I was 4 again running around without pants with Winnie the Pooh strapped to my back. Hoping that I could go back to when life was more simple, where things make sense. Where you don’t have to travel 2 hours to see friends and you can just walk round to your best friends in the world, sit on their bed, open your respective can’s of V, play diablo and talk about all your stupid teenage bullshit.

But, I find myself ready to talk about new things, for once. A once in a lifetime offer to the new. Let me write about you. (Ha! It rhymed).

So I think today, that I will write about Jame. The first of my ‘Sydney friends’ to enjoy the long road to my home. The, as he called it, pretty much only coloured person I know. So, let me begin about James.

A couple weeks ago, I went round to James’ house to take care of him. He didn’t really say he needed taking care of, and I’m not really saying I actually took care of him. But he was…one would say a bit stressed out (an understatement screams James as he reads this). So I made the hike, I packed up a bag and fled towards my friend who most certainly needed a big old hug and a pat on the back.

It was a very surreal afternoon, not just for the fact that I felt like I was asleep for half of it. Here is a rapid summation of what we did: played Game of Thrones the Tell Tale game, remembered James had to be somewhere for an interview, got on the wrong-bus and arrived late for aforementioned interview, rocked up to interview looking like an old married couple, finished interview, went to friends house to collect fake blood, left house, got to station remembered hadn’t gotten fake blood, walked back to friends house, got fake blood, went and got ‘post date’ gelato, got on train, listened to music, left each other.

It was lovely.

What I want to talk about though is something that happened on our wrong-bus ride. We, for whatever reason, decided to play strengths and weaknesses (a game I have just now made a name for and I am almost certain it has never existed as a game anywhere else apart from on that bus). Basically the game would go that we named each other’s strengths and weaknesses (many times they doubled up). It was simple, and incredibly strange.

I have never been so open about a friend, to their face before.

Honestly it was a strange sense of liberation that washed over me.

I cannot perfectly recall what James said my strengths were or my weaknesses and I cannot remember what I said his were. I wish I could but honestly that day has been replaced by a strange sense of cloudiness and a constant pondering of ‘did I actually leave the house that day or was it all some strange dream?’.

So I want to say something about James, (something nice) something that I hope will give him a grin and make him laugh in the big healthy Islander-Arab way of his.

I will say this: James’ biggest strength is that he loves people for who they are and not for who he wishes them to be. He is the first person I’ve ever met in my entire life (which is arguably not very long and not much has really happened yet) that will love you unconditionally.

He is a person who believes in the good of his friends and a person who simply just believes in his friend. I owe James a great deal. In the small time that I’ve known him he has enlightened me to the world of adulthood. Giving me a new perspective (slowly I’m not quite there yet) on life, friends and love.

James is the only friend who, having known me just six months (a tiny amount of time in the great scheme of things and especially when compared to some of my other friends) who took no corralling to love me for me.

Although my constant positivity and life life to the fullest mentality surely drives his pessimistic downbeat view slightly mad I have no doubt in my mind that James secretly enjoys my optimism. James has been one of the only people I’ve ever met that I haven’t had to pretend to be liked by. And by that I mean I’ve never once had to perform myself in a certain way. James has taken all my ignorance, naivety and energy and decided that he loves it and he doesn’t need anything else.

I’ll end with a word of advice. If you ever get a friend as special as James. A friend who asks of you nothing and gives you their everything. A friend you know loves you so completely for being you. For not being smart of clever but for being who you are. They love you for the who you are and not who you pretend to be. Never ever let them go.

Never.