Written late December 2017
There’s a gap in my posts. I thought I’d write about why that is.
At the end of September my mum got really ill. With family life, a counselling course and music it’s made my already time pressed life more difficult than ever. I’ve been working, reading, studying, experimenting and even buying myself a proper camera during the past three months. But I haven’t been recording it here as it’s been in fits and starts, and mentally I’ve been finding it hard to tie things together into a theme, even though I’ve been aware that at some level a theme has been there, either subconsciously, or emerging. Concentration is hard, following one theme is hard – I think it’s a stress thing. I’ve gone from someone who can read several books a week to someone who is finding it a struggle to complete a chapter in a book. That makes study hard, but thankfully it’s getting better as the stress is easing.
I’d found a book called ‘Ghosts of my life; writings on depression, hauntology and lost futures’. Despite an inability to finish that particular book, it’s led me in a lot of different directions that I hope have turned into a theme or set of ideas that I can use for assignment 3. A lot of things have feed into my ideas for that assignment; ideas have sprung from my feedback for assignment 2 and the follow-up work I did following that feedback, especially from watching Swandown. Reflections on personal experience have been a big part of it too; especially the experience of a serious health scare myself. In early December I found a lump in my breast, went to the doctor and she felt that and found another. Although she told me to try not to worry she handed me a letter with ‘suspected cancer’ written at the top and put me on an emergency list. Every moment around that time from early December to a few days before Christmas felt decisive and important. My future felt very clouded, like there was a very real possibility of it not stretching as far as I’d expected it to. Every moment felt very intense. Every time I picked up my violin I felt a huge connection to the past, part of a string of people who have played this music for hundreds of years. That tied in to ideas about sounds that are common to all people; heartbeats, breath, background chatter, music and went on to sounds around my past and my future. I had got a small digital recorder a few months ago and recorded familiar sounds as I was going about my day. One day I was on the London Underground and realised I was still recording; I was pleased about that as the sounds I hear there are familiar to me from my past. But at the same time I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing it for. I just felt a need to capture sounds as well as images at that time. My health scare also made me reflect on the inexplicable moments of my life, things that have happened that I cannot explain. I realised there are a lot of them. Hence my possibly slightly unusual ideas for ‘The Decisive Moment’, and my chaotic stabs at the projects in the course text.