I’ve always thought that living is a process of learning how to feel. There’s no point in chasing that feeling, you should spend the time learning how to feel it.
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It was a really weird decision on my part to name the episodes the year I made it and then the episode number. I didn’t really think about it at the time. It’s just the way I tend to name files if I know there’s going to be a lot of them. We’re now into season three.
But as this run of episodes has gone on, every time I’ve looked at the episode name, I’ve thought about the year, and what it represents.
We’ve slowly been grinding through:
2001, my GCSEs, joining my first serious band and recording our demo.
2002, My Crohn’s disease diagnosis and everything that came along with that. That summer spent on the beach breathing fire and getting really quite good at diabolo.
2007 Moving to the area I live in now, and my Nanas death,
2008 Sitting on my sofa eating yogurt on my lunch break watching the financial crisis unfold in real time, knowing that the queues for northern rock were just 15mins walk away.
2011, My granddads death,
2014 My grandma and grandpa’s deaths,
2015, My 30th.
And here we are at episode 2016.
I’ve been thinking about the group trip to the spa hotel for Eve’s birthday. The wedding in deepest Devon we went to. Where I’d forgotten my suit and rented one from a fancy dress shop in the village down the road. Our basement flat, and all the weird shit happening at work.
Next week of course the show title will evoke even closer more recent memories. Moving to the flat where I live now. All sorts.
Eventually, we’ll reach the present day. The 2020 pandemic episode number will fall in May. Maybe I’ll still be indoors? But then what? Do I run out of memories?
I don’t think so, I already have future place holder memories for some things. My Dad’s 70th episode is 2022. But as the weeks roll on, things will become more and more vague. I made 38 episodes last year. There’ll probably be more this year, but I have no idea what 2038 will be like, or what i’ll be doing, where i’ll be, or even what the world will be like.
I’ve never really set myself massive goals from what I want from life. I prefer in some sense to trust in trust in providence. Leap from opportunity to opportunity as they appear despite the relative dangers.
Perhaps I try to surf the chaos, confusion, and grace that is the experience of being alive.
Unlike say jack sparrow however, I don’t have a goal in mind.
My Black Pearl has always been an emotion or a feeling. Since i was a kid i’ve known exactly how I want to feel about living in this world when i was older.
I’ve always thought that living is a process of learning how to feel. There’s no point in chasing that feeling, I might as well just spend the time learning how to feel it.
I had a moment recently in the last week or so that took me a step closer to feeling that feeling more completely.
I was laying in bed in the darkness with the bleep.
I was running todo lists, loose plans and activities though my head. What it’s like being in lockdown and all the possibilities there are to create when you own a laptop.
And I realised that There is literally no one telling me what I can and can’t do. I can, when I sit down in front of this laptop, do anything I want creatively and there’s no one to stop me.
I’d seen earlier that week acquaintances who orbit the ‘mo goldsmiths mo problems’ art world leaping on the problematic nature of productivity and labour during lockdown. Sure, but critique is a cul-de-sac as Michael Oswell puts it. And we all know productivity bros and purveyors of hustle porn are all idiots anyway – so they can be ignored.
It was a weird realisation though. I could do, make, or think anything.
On reflection. I have been paralysed by this fact for a number of years. Whilst I’ve gotten over myself in terms of trying to produce, write, and make things and I’ve talked about that on the podcast before. I think I’ve been stuck by the sheer fact that I haven’t had anyone to tell me what to do and when to do it. Everything I do currently is because I can or want to do it. This also included accepting freelance work.
But in an instant this was a feature, not a bug. A benefit not a detriment. It suddenly meant I’m excited to create and make again. I can just make and do whatever I want! No approval needed!
Now I wish everyone was making loads of stuff too. Blogs, podcasts, art, music, photos. Collaborating, and Creating. To not do so cedes creative and cultural ground to those that are making things. If you don’t like what someone else is making or producing then I’m afraid to say that the only option is to make and create something of your own. Not wait for someone else to make the thing that meets your own aesthetic or political requirements.
Who cares what the audience thinks? You create for you and you alone.
The unknown future dates of my episode numbers are fast approaching, and all I can hope is that they are filled with the feeling:
Create more, collaborate more, do more, discard what doesn’t work!
We have a world to walk into!