‘Mange and skin and bone’

‘As in everything else they do, there’s an overpowering sense of earnestness and vulnerability that makes it work.’

‘It borders on critical malpractice to call the Wonder Years a pop-punk band at this point—not because that term is a pejorative, by any means, but because it implies a creative stagnation that couldn’t be farther from the truth.’

From a Pitchfork review of Sister Cities.

I was going to start this post with something along the lines of questioning how I’d slept on this new Wonder Years album for so long but then I realised I actually heard the title track the week it was released.

It might not have been intended the way I received it but it felt apt and pushed some tears from my eyes as I was driving away from a team who I loved and who I felt loved by. Over a couple of years they helped to make me into who I am when it comes to work and bent the skills I had to work for me and showed me my limits and how to push them.

I’ve always appreciated the way Campbell uses geography, it felt intimate even when it was a place I’d never been, Philadelphia. Now when he’s singing about places I know and those I want to be in my future it feels even more immediate while still being about sitting on the outside and feeling far removed from places you might also want to be.

I think the emotion it conjured in me also came from a place of relief for T and I to be permanently in the same place after a year or so of a little distance between us most of the time. He often shows me how to be a better human being in every environment, thinks carefully, plans methodically. I give in to impulse too easily sometimes.

A couple of years ago I was thinking that if I can’t hypothetically justify a decision I had made to my Grandad Patrick, who saw so much good in everyone, then it was bad judgement and a bad decision. Now i tend not to make too many AWFUL decisions but thinking about what my peaceful best friend would understand me doing is another helpful gauge.

I was just mange and skin and bone

You took me into your home

Kept warm on a blanket from your worn out winter coat

I’m laying low

A stray dog in the street

You took me home

We’re sister cities

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Dented like a little bruised plum

My mother brought me a photocopy of the first chapter from Laurie Lee’s I Can’t Stay Long and it’s wonderful so I’ve ordered the book.

‘To have for her horizons the banks of woods… and to be accompanied on her walks by the coloured squares of fields…’

‘Have an antenna for the responses of others, and learn that though animals are much easier to love than men…’

(I’m reading men as human beings…)

There a couple of longer posts in the pipeline but for now I just need to record somewhere that it’s 2335hrs and I got into bed at 2100hrs and I’ve basically been consistently quietly crying while finishing reading A Little Life. When I started the book this is not what I expected and I think that’s what’s so good about it. There aren’t ‘twists’ or ‘cliffhangers’ just the unexpected waves slowly churning by in a complicated life. The idea of the loss felt by so many different people from different angles but so keenly portrayed by the loss of a loved best friend and ‘comrade’ through it all, I imagine, is a prospect that cuts deeply into the fears of the majority who have read it.

I want the roads back to me to be safe.

“…And hope it isn’t me whose left behind…”

Patron saint of hope and lost causes

Book 7 is wonderful so far but I’m only a third through on my kindle. It’s long, which, now I’m further into it, I’m pleased about. I think the quantity ahead is one reason why I’m so ready for holding a heft of paper again. (I almost bought a hard copy too!)

I knew nothing about the author until I read a bit about her today and found this photo. I really like the colours working next to the second version of the cover (this cover is another reason I came close to buying it 🙈)

To satisfy my need for a tactile experience of a book I broke my rule and bought two (there was a deal) for once I’ve finished this story and because they were on my mind.

‘The pound of flesh which I demand of him Is dearly bought. ‘Tis mine and I will have it.’

I just watched Seven Pounds and I’m having some significant thoughts and feelings about, and stemming from, the film’s content of morality, goodness and human beings as moral currency. I enjoyed the dog and the melancholy.

What I am having few feelings about are the condescension, the ‘testing’ of an individual to see if they’re ‘good’ by unnecessarily ridiculing their deliberate or accidental characteristics and the fact i’d sort of cracked it within a few minutes (not a mean feat but I like a puzzle).