A Rose and her Little Prince

The two of them lay there wrapped in each other as the sky came cascading down around them.

Holding each other in the gentle storm, the world slipping away.

Existing somewhere, in a limbo, created for them.

A Rose and her Little Prince.

Lying under the stars hand in hand.

The world can not stop them in this moment.

Isn’t this all they need?

They tell each other their secrets and they show each other their hearts.

Tell each other it’s okay.

They lie there, the world falling away, the rain dripping down.

All alone together.

The Rose and her Little Prince:

IMG_8183

Advertisements

A Train in the Woods

Today the sky is grey, the colour of the moon’s reflection on water, it paints the clouds.

There is something beautiful about being pulled through the woods on a train.

The constant churning of new place after new place.

You get funnelled through various planes; from the tunnels that swallow the world to the vistas that stretch for miles, the rich green thickets and the rocky empty places.

All the while moving forward, on the train that forever clicker clacks.

Transported from world to world in the tiny metal cage. 

For Friends

For friends, the best of friends, who are there always:

Somewhere in the dark of night, there is a friend.

A friend that has always been there and always will be.

They’ll be there for the moments of existential dread, moments of pain and sadness, moments of joy too.

A friend to talk to you about your scariest, truest thoughts.

A friend to hold your hand in the darkness.

To squeeze your hand and tell you-you’re going to be okay.

A friend who is there for now and therefore always.

For you to whisper your secrets and imperfections too.

To tell you, you are enough.

Flowers for a Bad Day

It’s the moments when you say you need nothing that you need everything the most. Nothing will ever fix this shattered, battered, broken world we live in, but there are some things that can help:

Pastel flowers to bring life to your room.

Chocolates: plain and caramel to fill you with sweetness when the world tastes bitter.

A hand to hold in the darkness and tell you-you’re enough.

Lips to kiss with a promise of always.

Finally, some words to immortalise. Words of thanks, words of warmth, words of love. 

Words, words and more words.

But firstly the flowers.

Always the flowers, that’s how we must begin,

With flowers for a bad day.

Waiting

Waiting is possibly the worst state of being a person can be in. I did a monologue about waiting last year, It was existential and torturous and whilst on the page, it looked fun and bombastic it was hiding a deep pain that relates to all human life.

It took me a long time to understand that pain. In the end, I nailed it (with never-ending help from a beloved teacher). But even then I didn’t fully understand the depths of waiting.

Now on this day, whenever it was, I think I understand it better than I ever have (mind you still not perfect, many more days before one gets to Samuel Beckett’s understanding of waiting).

This year I have done a lot of waiting. Much more waiting then I’ve ever had to.

I have waited for trains and for buses.

I’ve waited in cars.

I’ve waited for friends that are late.

I’ve waited because I was early.

I’ve waited for days to end.

I’ve waited for days to start.

I’ve waited for sleep, that never comes.

I’ve waited for people to shut up.

I’ve waited for people to talk to me.

I’ve waited for people to miss me.

I’ve waited to see my closest friends and family.

I’ve waited for messages that will never come.

I’ve waited to talk.

I’ve waited to go home.

I’ve waited for love.

I’ve waited for so much that this list could be 30 pages long and I’d still be waiting on something.

It has been a long exhausting year of waiting. It has knackered me. Knocked the energy out of me. For the first time, I feel as exhausted as Truffaldino (the slave)  who runs from one place just so he can wait there and then run to another place to wait. I have spent a year being Truffaldino with no master to blame but myself.

It has been draining.

It has been incredible.

It has been a year (almost).

How Thor Ragnarok removed my superhero movie pessimism.

How Thor Ragnarok fixed my comic book movie pessimism:

I am going to say something that I think many people have been thinking of lately, it’s very simple, its a little controversial it is this: the world needs a break from comic book movies. Two years ago I would never have uttered those words but now I feel it important to say. Even I am sick of comic book movies and it’s not because I don’t like superheroes.

I was that geek at school who was never found without a comic book in hand. Constantly avoiding studying James Joyce by reading Batman or dodging Gulliver’s Travels with the latest issue of Justice League. I love comics. I adore superheroes. I think that comic books are forever given a terrible wrap and that they have the potential to tell stories unlike any other medium but I do think there is a problem with comic book movies.

I think 9 years ago when the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) business began, the reason it worked was that it was fresh. It was something no one had ever seen before (unless you were already a lover of comics in which case you were just seeing real people do what ink and lines had done for decades). It was exciting to see how every little piece would fit together. Watching different characters pop up and tie little things together, waiting for the post-credit sting of a future character or movie. It was all fresh. It worked because Marvel was doing something no one else had done. And now 9 years on (may I say that’s ridiculous) they’ve stopped being fresh.

I think we have reached saturation point.

Not the saturation point in that there are too many superhero movies mind you, the saturation point of too many superhero movies that are the same. To me, every Marvel movie since Guardians of the Galaxy has been the same cookie cutter plot, with the same cookie cutter quick-witted characters. And whilst I enjoy them when I’m watching them that’s about all the joy I get out of them.

What’s the root of this problem? I hear no one asking but for me. I think it’s that Marvel Studios has a trust issue. They’re scared to let a Director actually get in there with their characters and play with them, have their fun with them and create something new. Which is what makes their comics so great because you have different writers coming in at different times and they’re largely allowed to do whatever they want with the characters. They can reimagine the rogues’ gallery or a villains relationship to the hero or even change little bits of the character’s psyche whilst always be holding the core of what that hero/comic is about. That’s the magic of comics. That it’s this constant revolving door of fresh minds that create something new.

I think that’s what Marvel is missing in their films (mind you I did LOVE Spiderman Homecoming but I am first and foremost a fan of Spiderman and also basically am that nervy fast-talking awkward kid so I couldn’t fall in love) they’re missing fresh voices. They get good Directors to come in and do competent jobs with a guiding watchful hand. Which makes mediocre films. I feel like their entire enterprise is an enterprise that celebrates a lot of mediocrity. I think they make some incredible films (Captain America: Winter Soldier, Iron Man and Guardians of the Galaxy to name three) but I also think they have way too many mediocre films for people to hold them in such a high regard (I mean let’s be real does anyone remember anything about Thor: The Dark World apart from there loosely being something red called the aether and elves in it?).

So when I went to the cinema’s to see Thor Ragnarok I was beyond nervous. I felt burned. I felt tired. I felt exhausted even, but the constant onslaught of the same so-so film. I was nervous because Taika Waititi the man at the helm of the newest Thor is my favourite Director (Boy, Hunt for the Wilderpeople and What We Do in the Shadows are three of the best most heartfelt and hilarious films I’ve ever seen). So likely there was a lot riding on this film for me.

And what can I say? I loved it.

I love love love love love loved it!

It is such a fresh film. The best thing about Thor Ragnarok is that it has fun with these ridiculous characters. Unlike so many of today’s superhero movies who look at these people who can fly and not get hurt by bullets, or break the sound barrier in a single step as sincerely depressed people who hate having their powers Ragnarok looks at this (terribly) ridiculous superhero: a man wearing ancient nordic armour, with a cape, who swings his hammer around and then throws it and is pulled behind it (a hilarious argument about how he actually flies is made in this film) and just puts its hands up and goes “yeah okay this is kind of ridiculous let’s not take ourselves too seriously, we get it, it’s sort of a joke. Come on this ride with us”.

And what a ride it is. It is non-stop go from minute one. Non-stop laughs from minute one too. It is an adventure through space that doesn’t feel like anything I’ve seen before. It reinvents the Thor character and finally draws some really cool inspirations both costume and story wise from Norse mythology.

Chris Hemsworth shines as Thor like he never has before. Taika giving him the freedom to have fun and be silly and use his impressive comedic chops to create the best rendition of Thor I’ve ever seen. The entire cast is just as good. All the supporting character’s feel like fully realised three-dimensional characters with their own motivations for being involved in the story and they each have their own personal stakes. Which is something I don’t think I’ve seen in a Marvel film to date, a cast of characters that all feel like main characters but gel perfectly together.

I think a lot of what makes the ensemble great comes down to Waititi’s directing. He’s made a few ensemble films that often juggle quite a few major and minor characters but they always all feel as important as each other and that’s something that really helps this film out.

The film is also gorgeous, with some moments and frames that I want to take home and hang up on my wall. The action is better than most Marvel movies (although not perfect, would action movies please stop using so many quick cuts to pretend like something’s actually happening?) it’s clear and rarely did I feel lost like I do in heaps of other modern action films. The action is also really exciting. With a few moments that genuinely got my heart pounding, my feet tapping, the hair on my arms standing up and me stifling a cheer when something victorious or awesome happened.

Ragnarok also feels like a true Australian and New Zealand film, with jokes that only Aussie’s and Kiwi’s will understand and terms of phrase that you wouldn’t see in your typical American or English film. Yet another part of what makes it feel fresh.

I feel like the film is missing a few core emotional scenes, or when it has them it skims over them quickly and the comedy robs the emotional heft just a tad. Unlike in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 however, I didn’t find this distracting or like it detracted from the overall film. I could of done with more quiet moments, because when these moments did pop up I found myself really enjoying them and getting into the psychology of the characters only to be ripped away to another part of the adventure but I think a lot of that comes down to the film having to set up various things in the larger MCU.

Having said all that though the film does have some gorgeous moments between Thor and Loki and I think for me conveys a message of finding where you belong and discovering who you are in this crazy mixed up adventure we like to call life.

I could genuinely ramble about this film for another five thousand words I enjoyed so many specific things about it, but I won’t. All I will say to finish is that I went it not this film feeling tired and exhausted by the lack of new in the superhero genre. I felt pessimistic and grumpy (a very rare feeling for me just ask my friends).

After I came out though I felt energised, and optimistic all over again. I felt like there was hope for the superhero genre after all if they just trust other Directors as much as they trusted Taika Waititi. I felt relieved that my favourite Director got to make a film that has all of his idiosyncratic tendencies and DNA all throughout. 

If the rest of the superhero films can just learn lessons from everything this film does right I will be a happy fan of comic books, forever and always.   

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

 

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.”