“It’s so good to be home where I can potter around, make healthy meals and listen to the radio. I have it on as a soundtrack to my cooking. Like the classic Morecambe and Wise breakfast sketch where they dance to the striptease tune, I move around to the music. Taking a side step and sliding my other foot, Tango like, to join my first, before opening the cupboard door. Reaching for a pan and twisting to the hob and placing it deliberately on the beat. My every move is a dance, connected through the fabric of space, to the rhythm of the Universe. Even when the radio is switched off, I still feel the pulsing of life taking me as its partner.”
I met Norwegian Performance Poet, Artist and Love Activist Åsmund Seip at a poetry evening in Totnes.
I was impressed with how he came to write his book of poetry: He wrote one poem every day for 10 days—a practice of honesty and vulnerability. 10 days became 100 days, which eventually became the book 100 Days of Love.
My ears pricked up when I first heard the line ‘I just want to be Normal!’ I’ve thought the very same thing. Towards the end of each episode, I just want the whole ride to end and feel normal again. I want to get back to work making films and going to the cinema and hanging out in cafes. Each episode lasts up to six weeks, and during that time I have to keep away from the crazy fast paced world of modern human industrial life. I’m best communing with the awesome power of trees and animals.
At the end of the poetry reading, Åsmund gifted each of us in the audience with his newly published book. This inspired me to make him a film for him. I hope you enjoy it!
Here’s the final instalment of the reading of My Beautiful Psychosis planned for the Kingsbridge Inn event which was cancelled. This is actually the first chapter I wrote of the book. But then I realised it needed a bit of background to the insomnia hence chapter 1 and chapter 2. What do you think? Is this a better place to start from?
This is the next chapter that I was hoping to read at the cancelled event in November. The narrative voice is changing. The plot moves on a little and I set up the first fall to/from Grace. It points towards Cannabis as being the original culprit in the whodunit of my so-called Psychosis. Cannabis skunk is so much stronger and more psychoactive than ‘normal’ weed. This is where a lot of readers may get stuck and imagine that the rest is all because of this. Maybe it is…maybe there’s more to come…
My questions is – is this a better place to start the book from? Is Chapter 1 necessary? Please let me know your view as it will help me construct the book so that it works best for you – dear reader! Let me know your thoughts…
So here’s the next instalment that I was hoping to read at the Kingsbridge Inn on 7th November. Again it’s another query about whether it’s a good place to start the book from. You might feel it’s not relevant and just titillating but I can assure you there is good reason to start from here which will be exposed later in the book. Opinions please on this blog or Facebook comment very welcome. And again I’m feeling very vulnerable to share this because it’s of a sexual nature but a smaller audience now is great help for a wider audience later. If you started reading from here, given the book’s title, what would you think? Irrelevant? Teasing? Get to the point! Remember there’s mostly a readership related to mental health interests…
Today I start filming My Beautiful Psychosis the documentary through my production company Green Lane Films. It’s an authored film and will be different from the book because it’s mostly focussed on making sense of my experiences. I’m shooting a conversation with Kimberley Jones who had an awakening/crisis when her mother died. She’s always felt that she was receiving the download of her… Read more →
I’ve just sent off my next 10,000 words to Elizabeth Diamond to critique. This means I am now a third of the way into the book. It doesn’t feel nearly as daunting as it did in the beginning. I’m well into episode 3 of 7. I have bullet point notes that I made after each episode to jog my memory… Read more →
Here’s another extract with reference to a piece of music in. This time a classical number. Another one for the Booktrack soundtrack to my ebook.
“We’ve booked tickets to see a string quartet performing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, which isn’t the kind of thing either of us would normally go to. But it’s so cultured in Venice that a classical concert feels compulsory so the poster stood out. It’s one we both know. Who doesn’t?
“It’s a fairly small space and the audience is sitting at the same level as the musicians. As the music begins, I try to picture a spring landscape so that I can connect with what Vivaldi was trying to portray. But it’s no use; I’m distracted, searching for the advert I’m only half remembering. Maybe it’s an airline company. Marco Polo Business Class with Cathay Pacific? Definitely something trying to get across a sense of class. I lure myself away from this thought by deliberately imagining a fawn frolicking in a woodland. But that doesn’t work either. It’s usurped by an image of a bunch of people dancing around a Baroque Ballroom in 18th Century grey wigs and too much white face powder. Then faint memories of another commercial steal my attention away again. How am I supposed to enjoy this? The music has so many associations my ears are too biased to hear it properly.
“I decide to stop trying so hard and instead I focus on the musicians’ bows moving in unison: two violins, a viola and a cello. I watch their fingers moving quickly across the strings and let out a sigh as I relax in my seat.
“Around each player is a purple glow, the same colour auras I saw in the hospital years ago. When I tense up they disappear but when I relax they appear again. I deliberately tighten up and let go a few more times to test this theory. I can definitely only see them when I’m in a relaxed state. They can’t possibly be hallucinations.”
Another musical extract that hasn’t been through the critique process for you this week.
“Back home I feel great. I put on a Nitin Sawhney album and stand in the middle of the room listening to the evocative sounds of the Indian instruments. A weird banjo like thing slides into a bluesy guitar. Then a male voice hums alongside a contemporary beat. A high female vocal in Hindi joins in, followed by a distant New York rapper.
“What do we do in these crazy times? I grab my synthetic white feather duster with a plastic handle and dance. A soulful woman’s voice takes the lead.
“Down by the river, Life flowing deeper, Tide growing stronger, No, you can’t hold can’t hold the river. The Hindi singer repeats her refrain between each verse bringing the sound of India into my living room. I stand with my feet wide apart and my hips pulse to the beat. There’s a strange pull in my lower belly, like a trickling stream made of air. The river is flowing through me.
“Inside my head I can hear it talking to me, Like the river to the ocean, I can feel it growing in me, And all day, all night, in the rhythm of the city, From the dusk to the dawn I can feel it flowing through me. I raise my right arm up to reach the cobwebbed corner above the stereo with the candyfloss like duster. A silky, liquid, golden, river of light flows from the handle to just below my belly button, where it is anchored. As I move the duster upwards, the ribbon grows longer to follow it. The gold is shimmering multi coloured, reflecting pink, purple and orange light like oil does on water. It looks like Computer Generated Imagery in a movie. I move my hand back towards me. Graceful folds take up the slack of the excess ribbon. It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. They are perfectly spaced, sized and curved, the way a silken ribbon would curl and bounce.
“Down by the river, Life flowing deeper, Tide growing stronger, No, you can’t hold can’t hold the river. I dance on through to the kitchenclearing away the cobwebs. My body feels light and agile, a magical ribbon dancer.
“A jolt of fear rushes through me. What if I’m hallucinating? And the ribbon is gone.”