The speed of life.

There is an apartment across from mine where the TV runs from early morning to late night. I’m trying to imagine their stress level, having those pictures constantly flashing. At times I’m wondering if anyone actually lives there, or if it’s just an abandoned apartment with a TV running. I hardly ever see any light on. Right now it’s just dark in all the rooms, save the TV proudly flashing its lights.

The TV is pointed out towards the window, almost as an invitation for us living across to peek in. If my eyesight was better, or if I had a pair of binoculars, I’d be able to tell you what is on the TV. It’s something with quickly changing pictures. But I guess maybe all TV looks quicker from afar when you can’t follow what’s happening. It’s all just pictures.

It’s like watching people you knew in your youth grow up in some place far apart from you. You can’t really understand how they ever grew into adults when you remember them as the kids you played with on the street, despite yourself growing up as a matter of course.

I rarely think about what people see when they see me, but now I’m left wondering what my old school buddies would think if we met up. I’m in the years of reunions. To think I’ve grown that old…

Will they think of me as old? Will they see some difference in me that I don’t notice? Has my hair thinned? Do I have an older expression in my eyes? Have I moved in a direction that none of them ever imagined? Or am I perpetually young? The Peter Pan of my own dreams?

The sky is cloud-streaked tonight. There’s a half-promise of northern lights later. I could use that. I’ve been focused on my visual sensations this week. Taking extra notice of trees and plains I pass, of the books I read, the design on their pages, the fonts, and now the sky as it spreads out all over me.

I remember a young girl on a bus ride once describing the heavy fog outside as “a white wall”. I felt an instant kinship with her. She saw the world and more so she saw through the world and directly into its structure. She knew instinctually of borders and possibilities.

I hope I’ll once again grow to be as wise as a child.

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Not enough lines on Mark Hollis.

There’s a new light on the horizon. Bright and up high, it outshines even the flickering lights of the hospital. I don’t know what it is, but since Mark Hollis died just a few days ago, and Talk Talk paint my living room with sounds, I’ll pretend its an honorary light set up for him, or maybe even, to open myself for the metaphysical, a symbolic apparition of him, hanging softly above the roofs of the city, as his music always seemed to do — that airy, wide-open landscape of sounds he created with Talk Talk in their last years. It still plays as the newest invention. No one has truly been able to replicate their sound or their process.

There’s an almost unbearable lightness to it all, the way it leaves so much room to be interpreted by the listener, so many seconds of silence, such sparse instrumentation working towards sudden explosions of sound.

“New Grass” from Laughing Stock has always been a favorite of mine. That almost ethereal guitar opening up, the speedy, jazzy drums in their almost torn up rhythm, and Mark Hollis lending his vocals to pull the song up, up beyond the clouds, as he had done since The Colour of Spring. It runs for more than 9 minutes and I wouldn’t want it any shorter, especially here at night, with the winter-sun having retreated westward, on to shine at new places, new people, and leaving us as prey for the Moon.

It’s a cloudless night. It’s a cold night. There are occasional aeroplanes on the sky, blinking as they pass over. There are stars from afar, their lights flickering through our atmosphere as they hover somewhere out in the Milky Way.

There are no planets on display tonight. At least not in my direction, at least not to my bespectacled eye. I miss Mars. I miss Mercury. I remember last Summer, or was it Autumn, when the night sky was adorned with the trifecta of a blood moon, Mars high on the sky, and Mercury low. And, as an added benefit, the ISS crossing the sky in clear sight just as we stood out on the balcony, gazing upwards, three generations in our own thoughts about ourselves, each other, the Earth and the universe. Trying to connect it all, and possibly failing, letting the sight provide all theorising.

Create upon my flesh
Create approach upon my breath
Bring me salvation if I fear
Take my freedom

Create upon my breath
Create reflection upon my flesh
The wealth of love
Bear me a witness to the years
Take my freedom

Light my freedom up
Light my freedom up
Take my freedom for giving me
A secret breath

Create upon my flesh
Create a home within my head
Take my freedom

Light my freedom up
Light my freedom up
Take my freedom for giving me
A sacred love

(Talk Talk, “Wealth”, Spirit of Eden)

Boxing.

I keep boxing against my own imagination any time I try to write something.

I should be able to get something out of today, out of this great open sky, the first spring day of the year, arriving much too soon to everyone’s delight. There ought to be something of interest, something of worth here.

But I start, and I stop.

I start and I stop.

I don’t know if I was ever made out to be a writer.

I know all the grammar. I know all the words.

But I don’t know how to form sentences that keep me going.

There’s forever something holding me back. A lack of experiences. A lack of imagination.

This is my mid-life crisis. I guess the good thing is that it’s coming half a life later than I imagined.

I never expected to grow this old. I never expected to become an adult.

Who knew.

On the arbitrariness of life.

I try to keep plans. I try to make them, and I try to maintain them. I strive to see them through. I like to feel there’s some sense to the things I do. That there’s a purpose, some premeditated chain of actions being set in motion. It’s always a bonus if I can trace an event back to its beginnings and find there my own will setting it into the direction it flowed. It gives me a feeling of control, of being able to form my own future.

More often than not, though, my life is directed by anything but plans. At least the parts of my life that I end up remembering years down the line. Rather it’s the unexpected that stays with me. The arbitrariness of life wins through, both in quantity and emotionally.

Despite liking plans — the comfort in them, the opportunity to shape their ways — I’ve always had a very easygoing nature towards future obstacles. They’ll come, and when they do, I’ll deal with them. I’ve never been good at feeling the pressure mounting before it’s mounted me fully.

I guess anticipation is a required skill for the great planner. I’m not a great planner. And I’m horrible at anticipating outcomes. It’s not that I can’t think ahead, I just don’t.

And so I live on the mercy of the arbitrary. I take what comes my way, and I cling on to the things that I like while discarding the things I don’t. I’m a devoted collector of random friendships, relationships and (should I ever enter the maritime market) ships.

There is the occasional case of mild anxiety when I let my life be led by chance. But more often than not, things work out splendidly. That’s also the case these days with my internship that looks to be evolving into a job. It’s pretty much the exact line of work I’ve been dreaming of, if I were to get into PR and marketing, and it’s in a small company that’s growing. I’m starting up some great new friendships here and am being given a position where I have acres of space to shape my own role. Even this early in the process I’m being given the opportunity to kinda sorta mentor a new person who’s just come onto the team. Another truly friendly soul who’s quickly becoming my work wife.

I’ve missed having that ever since I lived in Copenhagen and had my fellow study friend from Copenhagen who I’d ride the train with each morning and afternoon, spending class with and developing a closer and closer bond. She ended up naming me her work husband, and I felt great in that position. It’s a caring position, spending so much time together, working alongside each other, helping each other. I’m feeling truly inner-happy to finally have something resembling that. I’m grateful that the new member of the team is who she is and that we seem to connect really well. We’re going to spend a huge amount of hours together each week, so a strong and light-hearted work relationship is essential for our well-being.

She’s been headhunted on just as random grounds as I was. But who am I to disagree with arbitrariness when it works my way. I believe there’s a time and place for everything. And chance seems to work wonders in the windows it’s allowed to operate in.

We were younger then.

When it all comes down to it, this blog could just be a collection of The Cure lyrics.

I was planning on listening to Disintegration tonight, but suddenly I’m rediscovering Bloodflowers instead. As I recall, I might actually have fallen in love with Bloodflowers first. I came quite late to Disintegration. My entry into The Cure was Boys Don’t Cry, the movie. But I never acted on it, more than just very casually liking Robert Smith and company. With the release of 4:13 Dream I became a Cure album owner, and I still find huge joy from listening to that album. “Freakshow” is a horrible song, but otherwise it’s an album that stands with the best of their work, and truly underappreciated in the Cure folklore.

I somehow love how messed up my only ever live experience of The Cure was. Roskilde, being in love with you while you didn’t know who you were in love with, with the added layer of your ex-boyfriend who was obviously still in love with you. And so our concert, you and me, became you, me and your ex-boyfriend. And he ended up standing with you, closer and closer as the songs unfolded in the three-hour set, until you leaned back into him and he was hugging you, swaying slowly to the music. Seeing that I threw you a look of “really?” and left you two to sway on your own, making my way up through the crowd for the greatest hits ending to the concert.

When it all comes down to it, I guess that’s a very Cure-esque way to watch The Cure. On your own in the crowd, a love lost somewhere in the rows behind.

I’m sure somehow I’m still working through that, in the sense that we’re all always working through everything that ever happened to us, or didn’t happen. Now we’ve just started talking again. I’m enjoying it. I really am. I’ve missed talking to you. Not in a way that I’ve felt when we’ve had our radio silence, but in a way that I can feel now that messages are suddenly flowing regularly between us. You were such a big part of my teens, such a devastatingly heartbreaking part. But also the most comforting part.

I’m not sure either of us can really pin down what we’ve meant to each other. You were at once my greatest teen love, my most unrequited teen love, my best friend, my most heated argument. You were my smile in the morning and my tears at night.

I’m glad we’ve taken our breaks. We’ve been pretty toxic to each other at times, and I think we’d have kept that up, if we hadn’t spent time muted. We finally seem to be on reconcilable paths where we might be able to have a stable friendship, where we can be genuinely happy for each other.

Perhaps the happiness comes from just seeing us both actually alive and kicking in this world. We know each other’s weaknesses. We know what buttons to push, if we wish to hurt each other. We’re so far beyond pretending that we can’t even put up a facade anymore. We’re naked. We’ve seen all sides of each other. There’s only truth to tell. And I think that might be the foundation we’ve needed.

I’m glad to have you back. For a week or two, or for a month, maybe a year, or for good.

Whatever happens, writing about you here always reminds me of our youth. This blog really has been an outlet for the emotional turmoil I’ve had storming in my head, and for so many years that storm was centered around you. So many blog posts dedicated to you. I started this blog the first summer I knew you. Maybe it’ll die out if I ever truly lose you. Or maybe I’ve grown out of that phase. Grown out of confusing heartbreak with the apocalypse.

I’m running out of time
I’m out of step and closing down
And never sleep for wanting hours
The empty hours of greed
And uselessly, always the need
To feel again, the real belief
Of something more than mockery
If only I could fill my heart with love

(The Cure: “Closedown”, Disintegration)

Snow.

It’s snowing, and ain’t that just the most beautiful of all. Late January evenings in a room with a view of buildings, of trees, of all the darkness hides and all the paths lit up by falling crystals reflecting in the light from lampposts.

I’m not envious of the people down on the ground, fighting their way through the precipitation. Though there is something to be said for being in and feeling the natural elements, I am inherently a person who enjoys comfort. As long as the snow is coming down on stormy winds, I’m content with my spot here, my legs resting softly against the radiator, my tea warm and steaming next to me, my fingers fully functional and not bitten by the frost.

My local discount shop have been selling sledges the past week. I hope the mothers and fathers in the surrounding buildings have been foresighted and invested in their children’s joy, letting them hit the snowbanks tomorrow morning. It’s even a Saturday morning they’ll be waking up to. No school, no plans. Only the fresh snow and endless play.

The snowy winters are some of my fondest memories as a kid. I don’t know if that’s because they were truly that good, or because the snow just sets a different tune for one’s life in the period it’s there, painting all the memories white and bright, filling the days with a very exclusive set of activities.

Only in winter can you go ice skating on the lake. Only in winter can you dare your life on a sledge, going down the steepest hills, closing your eyes and hoping your luck will carry you safely around any trees in your way. Only in winter can you throw snowballs at the stupid boy and the cute girl.

So shaky, so fine
Standing up there, baby oh you look so divine
So harsh, that bright stage light
Showing the first four rows that you don’t wanna play tonight

But you know I want you to
You know I need you to
And I’ll be there for you darling
Even if it all falls through

(Julia Jacklin: “Elizabeth”, Don’t Let The Kids Win) I sometimes wish there were outdoor concerts in winter, standing in perfect slow movie snow on the first to third row, catching the lit-up eyes of a girl singing her heart out on the stage, like Julien Baker singing of her love with a rage.

What can be said of snow other than it pushes people together? What can be said of the cold other than it pulls us into an embrace? What can be said of discomfort other than it inspires us to comfort each other?