Monday, October 24, 2011

Three Small Things and One Big One That's Preying On My Mind

I am reading ROOM by Emma Donoghue, and it is quietly blowing my mind into a thousand little pieces.

I invariably spell pieces wrong.

But I can spell invariably.

I bought a copy of Vogue. Which I haven't done in a long while. But I saw it on the rack and the stark black letters on the white called to me.
And I read it. And I felt sick with myself and the world. I consider myself to be a feminist in my own quiet way. I've taken a gender and women's studies class, I would have taken more if they hadn't cut them. I've read The Beauty Myth.
I think I've always understood the principles-- I mean. But I've never really felt them before.
Theoretically I've been opposed to magazines only showing one type of woman, unrealistic standards blergh blah I don't need to say it, you've heard it.
But, I must admit, that I've always put pleasure before principle.
I like pretty things. I like beautiful clothes. And I was pretty good at looking past the ideological issues, through to the prettiness.
The fashion spreads existed for me as an escape from reality, and so long as I refrained from accepting them as a realistic standard, I was okay.
But this time I found myself really looking at the women's bodies and feeling uncomfortable.
I really for the first time questioned the idea that they were "beautiful".
I am not saying that a woman who is naturally tall, thin, even featured and possessing an angled face surrounded by a perfectly styled mane of hair is not beautiful.
But none of the women in my Vogue, looked even a little bit like me or the people I love.
I really do want to see different types of beauty celebrated. Real beauty, not "beauty" the product.
Like who gives a fuck about cellulite or stretch marks or weight or height? When I look at the beautiful, exquisitely lovely people around me I don't notice any of these things.
And yet I tear myself to pieces when I look in the mirror.
I don't know. I lost my point, I'm rambling.
I actually started this the other day and then the computer started making funny noises and I got scared and turned it off and lost the end. Which was rational. I think.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Beloved Katherine

Here is a pic-a-ture I drawed. I'm baby talking because I feel nervous about sharing it.
And I'm not allowed to say the things that are wrong with it. But I wrote that so that you would know, that I know, that there are things wrong with it. Silly.
The scanner did funny things and I tried to compensate for them and got muddly, so it's a bit under exposed. And blue. It's not actually blue. But never mind.
I have a hymn stuck in my head it's a bit weird and disturbing.
Mum: "God might be singing to you."
Me: "Well he could pick a nicer tune."

Monday, October 17, 2011

Possibly my favourite sentence of all time

Probably not, if I gave it serious thought and scrabbled through a pile of books. But I like it very much.

"Delirious with joy, Florentino Ariza spent the rest of the afternoon eating roses and reading the note letter by letter, over and over again, and the more he read the more roses he ate, and by midnight he had read it so many times and had eaten so many roses that his mother had to hold his head as if he were a calf and force him to swallow a dose of castor oil."
-Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love In The Time Of Cholera

I love the contrast between the utterly hopeless romantic, compulsively consuming flowers, and the brutal practicality of his mother, forcing him to swallow down his love, with castor oil.
And the language is deliciously sparse. It actually makes me feel a bit like I want to eat it. Or just bite someone.

My book is a relatively new copy, but page 79, is completely dog-eared.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Actually I think I will have a little portrait of Katherine (we are on a first name basis these days) in a little frilly cameo-ish frame on one arm. And then maybe one day when I have extra money I will add Mr Gaiman to the other (We haven't been introduced yet, and I don't want to take liberties, but I don't think he would mind. I hope).

I have little flashes of the future-as-I-will-make-it stored in my memory banks. They are a little bit like dreaming. You see things, but you don't. In between flashes of grey light. Smoke, wavering tendrils.
And so I see half of my thigh, over exposed reduced to light and little shadow, papered over with words I love. My wrists carrying comfort, familiar sounds.
My back tells the story I loved most when I was small.
I am a book, I am a page, I am everything I loved most and have been shaped by.
I have halfway crossed the border between the place I was born and the world I have lived in.

It might happen. I might decide that I love my virgin skin. I might fall into a vat of silver oxide in a freak accident and emerge a bruised blue and spend the rest of my days travelling with the circus*.
But it might happen.

*blatant borrowing from The Five People You Meet In Heaven, the imagery appeals to me today.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I have been scribbling in my new sketch pad all weekend. I am covered in ink a bit and feeling pretty happy and contented. Maybe I will scan them in later and do a "weekend in pictures" post?
I don't know, they are pretty flawed. But I make no claims to be an artist of any kind so--
no matter.
I will go and eat popcorn until I feel braver.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Today my head is being a bit mean.
It is saying things like you are boring. And not even a bit pretty. AND NO ONE LOVES YOU OR LIKES YOU.

What a bitch.
That last one was me, not further head abuse.

I danced to Billie Holiday by Warpaint with a beautiful little deaf boy and a helium balloon, and now I feel better.
We are going to go and feed my lunch to the ducks.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cleanliness is better than Godliness.

Hello October, when did you get here?
Oh I'm sorry I must have been busy in the kitchen, but the door was open and you obviously just walked right in and made yourself at home.
I've been feeling reasonably quiet lately. By lately I mean as far back as I can remember without brain-effort. So yesterday. A bit musey and contemplatey and all I really want to do is read books, and take baths and snuggle under sheets feeling snugglywarm and clean.
Clean is such a lovely feeling. I think it's my favourite.
And maybe that sounds sterile and slightly obsessive compulsive, but it's not actually about being germ free. It's about slipping between a pair of sheets that are white enough to make everything else look old and dingy, sheets that have never, ever been used by anyone.
And they're perfect and new. It's ok to overstate newness, things only get to be new for such a little time.
And you've just spent a while covering yourself in warmth and sweet scented bubbles, which perhaps were rose and cardamomy and scrubbed off everything that happened that day.
Until there's nothing left but pink new skin and possibilities.
New sheets on new skin. And wet hair on the pillow.
Best feeling. Best time of the day.
And if someone could arrange for it to rain while I fall asleep, thank you.