We used to do it all the time as children. So much so that my elder sister often used to wet herself. It usually started at times of stress, or when we were cooped up, inside or at the table or at a funeral. It would drive my mother to distraction. Not just the noise, the hysteria of it, but the fact that it kept her out. It was private mirth belonging to our childish world. She was doing the same. The dancer that came into the studio to do various interviews. She came in with her co-star and they, she, giggled all the way through it, pausing only to talk. They all reckoned it was because she was enamoured of him, he, after all, was making her laugh with his ‘snap chat’ antics. We could hear them in the office, through the external speaker. It was a high-pitched squeal, rather out of control. Giggling like that is exhausting and what a come-down when it is over.
The other morning we were having coffee in Ta Med Da before work. We’d seen several girls dressed up in their body-hugging finery walking through the car park. It was too early in the morning for night clubs and cold to be without a coat. There were more in the canteen, and boys too in fresh suits. He asked one of them. Oh, he said, its our summer university graduation. They’ve been here over the summer studying, a kind of high-brow summer camp. There was the very tall girl who flapped around noisily with the wasps, she must’ve been one of them. The boys looked like boys be-suited by their mothers, hair dampened down, the girls looked older with their bordering-on call-girl chic. To them it is beautiful. To them it is important. But they looked so cold.
We sat out there yesterday, even though it was shut. Avoiding the hoards down on the Prom. Quiet. I watched a magpie. The sun was warm. We talked of Bernard McClavery’ s novel, A Midwinter Break, that I’d listened to on the radio that morning. A gentle piece. We talked of Ireland and its troubles. I said how I’d found myself listening to it as writer, word by word, sentence by sentence.
I often see her as I walk in the early mornings. She is out on her own. Always the same sweatshirt top and plastic carrier bag. Usually she doesn’t give me eye contact but today she looked up. Is she an amnesiac. Is she going to the 24 hr SPAR?
It is never completely silent when I walk at that time. I eschew headphones and music for the paying attention to what is. From the town there are distant sirens, the hum of generators, gull screeching and kids shouting. Down by the harbour the boats’s rigging rattles, the wind winds and calls. Today there was the sound of a siren.
A police van was parked outside the Peer Pressure Nightclub. They were just watching. Two queues of people still waiting to get in at 3.30 am. A raucous crowd, much jostling.
He wrote about Julian of Norwich and her cell. To not move. To be willingly incarcerated. Another poet wrote about the meditators of Asia (I can’t be more specific because I cannot remember) being holed in for three months and three days. To be alone, to meditate, to think. I cannot conceive of not moving, of not striding out, of walking, shifting the body along. But that devoutness, that austerity, Julian only a had a bed) appeal.
I worked steadily yesterday, though progress is slow. I think about making that kind of work. How does it feel to work a hobby-ist project into something that mattered? The approach is the same, the concentration, the diligence. And though the doing of it, watching it develop is gratifying, the end result is disappointing. I want it to shine, to be luxurious. It’s not the thing but the process, don’t forget. But alas the desire to make the beautiful, the shocking, the amazing is so strong. Now I must be off to get on with my other project. The repeated sewing of ‘work’. Just to see where it takes me. It’s uncanny how what I listen to while I work imbues itself into whatever it is that I am making.
More Moth Radio Hour? I’d love to do that kind ofstand-up, to tell life-stories. I thought about my work as I walked this morning. I’d like to find a way of filming myself. Its a kind of discovering, an intense watching, trying to find what my practice is all about. What I am about. Hire a cine camera, perhaps? Can I set it up in my studio? Wait to see what it captures….perhaps in Super 8 where it goes all juddery. Think about it. Off now. Go.