Tuesday, 23 June 2009

play me, i'm yours

Image from el_rapsoda_mut via Flickr

"Presented for Sing London and the City of London Festival, 30 street pianos have been installed on streets, in public squares and parks, train stations, and markets. Like a creative blank canvas, the pianos are there for any member of the public to play and engage with. The pianos will be in place until July 13th, after which time they’ll be donated to local schools and community groups."

so lovely! time to dust off fur elise.

Monday, 22 June 2009

the first of many

soon, there will be something exciting. until then, there's this.

Friday, 19 June 2009

o, to be able to draw

it must be amazing, really. to look at something and have it translated through your hand. to look down and see, like a seismograph, the pen moving almost involuntarily, the ink lines unfurling across the page. to see a thing emerge: a person, a tree, a singing bear wearing a sandwich board.

this week i am very much enamoured of matt dorfman’s odd, dark, funny drawings. his wedding invitation was a thing of beauty and is all over the interweb, but actually, the secrets of his sketchbook are what have me gaping.

is it possible to learn to draw? anyone? don’t go giving me false hope, now.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

the magic faraway tree

(image copyright henry adams)

i never had a treehouse as a kid – maybe that’s why they light up my heart so much now. a treehouse of my own? That’s definitely on the life list. In the meantime, though, I’m very excited about the treehouse gallery in regent’s park.

besides the beautiful-looking structures perched among the leaves, there are going to be art installations, winemaking classes, printing and weaving workshops, and all sorts. sounds crunchy and thoroughly up my street.

what would your treehouse look like? (mine has a swing and a big verandah with a rocking chair and paint on the floors…)

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

porno for pyros

burning down the house: in the mood for both the song and the sentiment today. thanks again for the metaphor, astrobarry, you all-knowing muddyfunster, you.

i second deth p sun: please be brave.

and if you’re putting the kettle on, I’ll have a jar of coffee and a wet spoon. thank you.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

the big quiet

feeling a bit off-colour and sad and generally meh after saying goodbye to my mum and stepdad and little sister until next january. until i get my chin up again, here are three things that are making my wobbly bottom lip turn up at the edges a little bit:

1. this sweet, sweet picture from the obamas' wedding (via people magazine):

2. tommy's beautiful guide to paris:

3. ...and the fact that i get to GO to paris with this mister.

don't forget to get enough sleep. it's very important; trust me on this.

Monday, 1 June 2009

just because

love is a place
& through this place of
love move
(with brightness of peace)
all places

yes is a world
& in this world of
yes live
(skilfully curled)
all worlds

-- ee cummings

(i bow towards you edward estlin cummings)

tell the right stories and we live better lives

In four months and eight days I acquire a new age, a new year, and a new decade. I’ll be 30. Until today I felt more or less fine about it: it’s just another numeral flicking over into the next. But today it’s taken on hall of mirrors-style horror, all warped and weird.

Thing is, it’s not really just another year. It’s a big landmark on the roadtrip from here to there, the kind of thing you’d stop the car to have your picture taken beside; a Tropic of Capricorn on the unspooling road north. And while you were there you’d maybe hop back and forth across the line a few times, knowing it’s just a painted line indicating a fairly arbitrary location, but wondering still at all the distance you’d come and all the way still to go.

I thought that by the time I turned 30 I’d be good at something, really good, that I’d be recognised for the Thing, that people would be talking about the Thing and someone would say, ‘Let’s ask Clare, she knows that stuff better than anyone’ and everyone else would nod and feel reassured that the Thing was now in my good hands. I thought I’d have a book with my name on the spine wedged between Ali Smith and something I like a bit less than Ali Smith.

I thought I’d have a house. And a garden that I’d have finally learned how to be patient with and committed to so that it wasn’t a tray of drought-stricken seedlings I never seem to have time to plant out.

I thought I’d have a home, that somewhere would feel like home, that saying, ‘I’m going home now’ would be a place and a meaning and a sweet feeling.

I thought I’d have worked out how to be lovable all the time. That I’d be good at loving all the time, that I’d met somebody who thought I was all the world’s best magic and run down the aisle to marry them.

I thought I’d maybe have babies, bobbing in a bicycle seat behind me as I pedalled along the canal paths.

But I know that this is what I do: worry that there isn’t enough; turn the world into an empty pantry in ration time and me too hungry. I have a tendency to tell myself the wrong stories.

Actually, I have a lot. I have a beautiful, funny-shaped family that looks out for each other and mostly manages to love each other exactly as is, and I understand more and more how rare a gift that is. I am in love, fiercely, and when I let him, I’m loved back. I have a job that pays me enough money to have adventures and fresh food and new shoes. I’ve made a whole new life for myself, by myself. I’ve had cats and best friends and faraway friends and chance meetings that I’ve loved, and loved, and loved.

Lately the pace of things has been too fast, too many things that aren’t the things that make my world juicy, too much muchness, and it’s given me a bit of life-sized car-sickness. Maybe I’ll pull over and watch some clouds instead of pushing on towards that stupid line of latitude, and make up some stories about plans that didn't quite come off and about not having a plan at all.