(Image courtesy of my beautiful, beautiful friend Vanda, at La Rondine.)
It’s not often that I inaugurate the end of something a whole month ahead, but this is going to be one such moment. As far as I’m concerned, we’re not in 2009 anymore.
This I mean more on personal, and less on theatrical terms – Dancehouse is still going strong with the most beautiful dance of the year, I have some coveted tickets for Meryl Tankard next week, and I am receiving orders for some tickets for Hayloft Project’s B.C. from as far as New York. No, the theatre is going strong. It’s just the life part of the year that has wrapped itself up.
I’ve written, by my conservative estimate, about 21,000 words in the last three weeks, on such topics as Sasha Waltz, literary pornography (to be distinguished from erotica), and development policy in Africa; with it, I’ve finished my degree, making me the first person in my family to get through the tunnel of tertiary education, and upward mobility personified. Big deal. Very big deal. I’ve had two days now, a whole weekend, of nothing but the laziest leisure, trying to make up for the last two-three months of work bordering on too hard, and two consecutive bouts of bronchitis that followed. It was useful fatigue; purging, necessary. Makes me wonder whether there are years abrasive enough to scrub the human being completely clean of the recent past, to speed up the natural regenerative process (by which, as Agnes Varda claims, at the end of every 8-year-period we are made of completely new cellular matter), to turn us into someone else. I live somewhere else, I look something else, I work somewhere else, my friends are other people and other people are my friends. I am going to Berlin soon; my heroes are new; I know things I didn’t know; I think differently. I am also, I hazard a guess, in love. Things are better than they have ever been; more importantly, things are good.
It has been a good year by any measure, but a tough one, in which the excitement of the good stuff only weighed heavier on the stress of the bad. A good year I wouldn’t wish on a dear friend. But, just like it sometimes happens that you wake up and realise some particular pain ceased a long time ago, so I woke up today and noticed that things have been nothing but bright and easy for what seems like a long time. And that, furthermore, they are unlikely to get anything else for as far into the future as the eye can see.
Recently, while packing/unpacking, I discovered I have been carrying a love letter in my wallet for a couple of year, oblivious to its explosive potential. It was folded, an address scribbled over, and it did not occur to me that inside was a declaration of bright hopes for the future, and some small sentimental melodrama. It was a good letter, a persuasive one, and had I read it at some other point in my life it would have probably made me very sad: all the squandered good intentions, you see. But something has changed (what with the hazardously-guessed falling in love), and I’ve become more aware of how much we make our own lives: in that list of future directions, all enticing and all impossible (I haven’t seen that person for so long I can barely picture him in my mind), I could now see my own future directions, which the writer of the letter was strangely parroting back to me. Or, perhaps more accurately, something that was always more mine than his, something returned back to its rightful owner. I stuck it on some fairly public wall, to keep me alert.
There will be, in the days to come, a lot of writing here. I have lots and lots and lots of notes to get out of my head, and GS has been undeservedly neglected of late. Before Christmas with my sister and new year in Lisbon and revisiting the performative turn in geography, and clothes-shopping and macaroons with girls and shopping at Ikea.
For weeks now, I’ve been living on a strange diet of persian feta on bread, occasionally broken by fine dining. I got up at 4pm, and Melbourne was bright and sunshiny, with people eating ice-cream on the street. It’s raining now, that funny sort of summer rain, and the window is open to let the cool air in. I am thinking pastel thoughts.