I want to clear out my mind, refresh and attempt to find a new me. The continual monologue of doubts and doom that have been clouding my days must become a thing of the past. To not be controlled by the mind and to feel relaxed in my own company. To be aware of the reflections of the world around me and smile at the stuff. Throughout my thoughts around this subject is the circling threat of my dire consciousness: a thing that wants to interrupt any flow of creatively productive work and put instead inside me a gnawing pain and mental threats that should be really unimportant to the beauty of the world around me.
Now as I write this I am returning to Leeds from a journey to Wetherby undertaken to collect another selection of items for my physical comfort and to add to the feeling of retraction out of LS22 – I literally have moved half a mental distance away to LS11. A distance and a new locale I feel will draw a line away from the struggles to raise my head from the solitary pillow prior to 9.00 am. The warmth that traps me there; Wetherby is like the womb – I have crept back into the origins of my existence to retreat from the possibility of moving forwards. I am still attached to the umbilical cord as every single attempt to move away from there has been thwarted by the mind I have been beholden to most my adult life. The tightening circles of emotions within Wetherby make for a very unhappy feeling; constricting, chocking and smothering any passion I want to have for the world we inhabit.
I responded to the distractions of New Year’s Eve up in Fryton, North Yorkshire by grasping against the chocking hands I’d suffered in Wetherby for a long time. It is strange to think I blame Wetherby for the way I struggle with the world. I blame its one dimensionality : one street fundamentally absent of anything remotely engaging with the world beyond its A58/A1 round-about. When I walk the dog from my door and strike out, beyond its invisibly tall almighty barriers, into the surrounding countryside I want to shout out for the sense of escape I get alone beyond the tensions of all roads leading back to Braine Road.
When I went to bed at 1.00 pm New Year’s Day I needed no more of the past 2 years. The waste I’d played in my life and the wasting influence I was having on my mind, body and ‘soul’. With a finality I ate and drank to poison my veins and corroded my neural transmitters: with a blanket of ethanol and fats. I laid in the hot tub and starred up at the free stars sparkling their glory down upon me and allowed the frigid gathering breeze to blow clear my dust covered creativity and traversing self. They may laugh that I got nude in the pool, but I felt I was freeing myself to the universe and leaving behind the paranoia and the voices in my head. I lay there between contemplations of drowning myself and running screaming in to the freezing cold night to sink in the drowned lands we’d discovered on the second day as we, grumbling, marched across the barren wind swept valley between Slingsby and Hovingham.
We had arrived sodden and thoroughly disparate at the Malt Shovel. I led the way bravely sinking ankle deep, soaked and muddied across the route with words of ‘this isn’t the right way’ ‘do you know where you’re going’; I didn’t care I wanted to walk to forget the year I had just hated. I would have walked daubed in brown and grey and dripping wet forever; with the rivulets running down my face I thought I’d written nothing in a year of any merit. Nothing. I’d vanished to a place I’d not known since I could remember, whether the immature poetry of my youth or the angry ‘Jew-bucks’ vengeance of Street Lane and the B’ageists (the beige aged individuals – colourless pensioners and customers repeating colourlessness; the same blankness of the falling sands of time in a vast human aged hourglass) of Help the Aged, I had lost it all.
Daubed in mud like paint and wet to the skin I walked towards another alcohol fuelled afternoon knowing this wasn’t what I wanted at all, but unable to find another way to feel the days meaning surrounded by the sounds of Richard, Jason, David and Daniel; the dog(Chester) was silent, fretting against being unable to drive to this short space in time separated from The Hay Barn, Fryton. We dwelt in the moment before walking back, one pint later, along the dry main road to our happy huge barn; four days and three nights in the grip of fear.
I was asked by Dan J did I enjoy the days we spent at The Hay Barn? Perhaps? Sometimes, but not enough to return on the 1st of January feeling that £210 wasn’t well enough spent. Claire brought a book to read (Cheryl Cole: My Story) and made sure she dissolved into that consciousness at all times; I felt a certain jealousy and Daniel recalled our trip to Tenerife and The Riverside Chaucer – the single most important piece of fiction ever written IMHO – which I brought along to remind me of the brilliant creative universe outside the repugnance of the tourist Canary Islands in 1996. I did enjoy sharing the time with people I have known for ever…
At the time of our sojourn over New Year I had not enjoyed reading to the point of not reading anything much. When I did I pick up a book I felt nothing and can recall nothing of those I consumed recently. It is true I was simply more interested in the fresh, young and nubile female librarian . She has a thing for a definite shade of green: not an earthy green, but a slightly bluer green. I have currently been trying to engage her in a quest for the perfect novel and moaned that the current book group run in Wetherby is covering a novel appealing to a feminine persona – ‘where are the sci-fi book groups in Leeds?’ She didn’t know; the cold shoulder of dislike struck me and I haven’t been back since prior to Christmas.
I knew that 2013 has to be different and I must take control of myself. Last year was a waste of effort and came nowhere near to the expectations I hold in personally. I was languishing in self pity and forming thoughts of suicide and how this might be accomplished simply. While retreating towards disengagement, doubting any smiles and feeling no inner calm. I was tossing and turning in bed, never switching off. With the 24 job roles I have applied for this year I am consciously attempting to work to engage with other human beings. Yesterday I attended The Hop, Granary Wharfe quiz on Tuesday with a couple of guys from the www.meetup.com ‘Leeds City Social Group‘. We three came second.
(I warn you to stand-by for some thoughts which might offend and what I write here is hard to put into clear words.)
Here I am sat in the Starbucks, within the corporate bulk of Brigewater Place, and I am trying to accept myself for some of strain which seems to be assailing me here! To stay positive against the comings and goings, the opening and closing of all doors; whether the toilet to my right and its intense rush of screaming hand drier or the blast of prickling icy air that invades from both of the interior and exterior entries; it is an Arctic night ahead. It so invades my free thoughts.
Equally I always prejudice Starbucks against for its corporate Jewishness, and not its tax evasion. As I continually turn over in my mind what is happening to us in the west as we are continually engulfed by corporate capitalism in a society which seems dominated and controlled by vast <i style="font-family: inherit; font-style: inherit; line-height: