a few days ago i camped at gooloogong & saw darren hanlon play, then drove back in some middling, desultory drizzle, my wet camping gear stuffed in the boot functioning as an olfactory memory aid. this was the fourth time i’ve seen him play & i’ll probably continue to seek the shows out. i’m a big fan of his unaffected yet incisive writing.
the final song darren played was ‘home’ off his album of a few years back. it struck a chord with me (aha – literally & metaphorically) because i’d been listening to it & thinking about it quite a bit in the days leading up to the gig. it’s the narrative of returning to the place you grew up in & feeling simultaneously connected, but also ‘other’. i’m not sure how much i identify with the situation but i do somewhat, at least a little bit. the story of being punched in the face also never fails to have me mentally summoning up every such incident that has occurred to me. there’s not many, luckily. the worst happened in wagga many years ago. (wagga, of course.) after being unexpectedly knocked to the ground i remember lying on the tarmac for what must have been a good 20 minutes. partly it was a defence mechanism, waiting for the guy & the group to be well gone. but i also just lay there looking at the stars. nothing was fair or made any sense. eventually i went home alone.
i only want to live in places with big skies. that, and a river running through. i think if i have these things it will be all i need. these landscapes mollify my sense of some over-arching universal injustice.
i’ve been pondering exactly how the uptake inhibitor is affecting things. i guess it’s important to monitor. maybe. there’s some sense that maybe i’m trying to observe the impact from inside my own head, a sort of impossible position, & so, who knows. but then again.. there seems to be a slight difference. often on waking i completely forget who i am. does this happen to you? to everybody? i find it kind of blissful. i’m born into the world with no memory, no thought. there’s just sensations, like the textured feel of cotton sheets, the warmth of the early light through the window. but of course things flood back – memories, anticipations, things you need to dwell on, things that might demand action – everything that makes you ‘you’. i think at the moment the daily flood is provoking less of a physical reaction. less nausea & accelerated heart beat. at other times of the day too. it’s a weird kind of detachment almost, like, you can still think about something but you’re not as much ‘in it’. if that makes sense.
having said that, it’s not completely impossible to upset things. the tendency lurks. i’m quite good at structured long-form rumination & gosh it can be negative. i’m doing my best to avoid the spiralling. i’m about to set off by myself to see some more country & that always helps.
i received the latest Overland in the mail today, featuring one of my poems. it’s been a curious thing this 12 month gestation period, from composition to publication. & now i’m trying to focus on other themes. but if i have nothing else though i’ll always have the initial reaction that poem provoked, when it was posted in draft form. & i’m keeping that just for me. nobody has ever said anything nicer.