Sunday, 30 August 2015
Friday, 28 August 2015
I am applying to become a telephone support worker at Parentline. I have to fill in an application form and on the form is the question "What do you do for yourself?". Feminist Rachel says: Think. I think for myself. But what else? I bake and write and read and play with clothes and like you, I listen to so much music.
Love has always been on my bucket list and it still is. I will write on music and love at length as time passes, I'm sure. Maybe even in my next letter. And I will keep you firmly in my thoughts.
With love, Rachel
Thursday, 27 August 2015
It has often been said that it is one of life’s tender pleasures to reconnect with friends from earlier stages in our lives. Catching up with you in July was remarkable. Not simply because you’re a friend from a very happy time in my life, but because it has been most satisfying seeing the awesome things you have surrounded yourself with. Trees, water, fluffy hair, chocolate, handsomeness, calm.
I told someone recently that I wasn’t forty, I was Michael. My younger self would push current me down and fart in my face given half a chance as my values and worldview has scuttled all over the place in the past score years. I was prudish, naïve and prone to giving a toss what people’s opinion of me was. It took a lot of slog and emasculation to realise that nice guys don’t usually make the podium. More can be said about this and will probably slip out over the following weeks. There have been a few things which have remained in me. My adoration of music. My love of being outside. My respect for good people. The thrill I still get from riding my skateboard. The way I can’t sit still – I need to touch things and people all the time. Is that neurological? Pages could be written about the concerts I’ve been to. The famous voices I have heard and the feelings which were unexpectedly aroused.
A few years ago I flew from Kuala Lumpur to Perth for a show. Pearl Jam, Ben Harper and Relentless Seven and Liam Finn shared the stage for five damn hours of some of the most beautiful music I have ever known. It was a tough time in my life as I had just started what would become the worst job imaginable. Ben Harper thumped out a tune, Shimmer and Shine, which was my son’s favourite. To hear it live chopped me up and left me in a puddle. Listening to music as much as possible is fiercely embedded into my chemistry. I wonder what music means to you? How’s Billy Bragg these days? Which shows would you fly to Australia for? Another thing which has been on my mind a lot the past few years in love.
I don’t get it, to be honest. It’s not on my bucket list although people seem to bang on about it like it’s blueberries or something else we must all have galore. A songwriter who builds the most deeply moving and sweet, loving music I know is Eddie Vedder.
I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life
I know you’ll be a star
In somebody else’s sky
Why, oh why can’t it be mine? – Black 1991
Today, allot some time to listen to Pearl Jam’s Sirens with the words in front of you. Be ready to feel feelings which may leave you spent. At eighteen I was a great guy, but I knew zip. Now, I am a bit of dick but a smarter one. I am more self-protective and less caring. My reasons are sound and I’ll argue with Zeus at the curly gates if needs be.
Hold those dear boys/men of yours close and tight.