Closing off the blog and the year with a post from “A Star is Born”. I saw it “at the movies” on Friday evening. Lady Gaga for the Oscars & Lady Gaga for President! The country needs her. Bradley Cooper can be VP.
This wretched feeling has struck me again and left me at the mercy of the city. My footsteps have found themselves again, they have recognised the pavement, the sound of the streets, the parks. My brain has been inundated with the feelings and memories of all my interrupted stays in New York City throughout the years. The stopwatch of this new stay is on. One. More. Time. I take a deep breath. Life resumes. Welcome home. Where I am whole.
This is born in my heart, born in the pain of ending one life and beginning another, born in the excitement of continuing the search for life’s meaning. Some people do not have to search – they find their niche early in life and rest there, seemingly contented and resigned. They do not ask much of life and sometimes they do not seem to take life seriously. At times, I envy them but usually do not understand them. Seldom do they understand me.
I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy but neither are we content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach. We are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motions, its mystery and its unspeakable beauty. We like the forests, mountains and deserts, and hidden rivers – even the lonely cities. Our sadness is much part of our life as is our laughter.
We searchers are ambitious only for life itself for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we want to live and be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor lock us in prison walls that will take us for that little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or to compete for love.
This is for wanderers, dreamers and lovers, for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life’s everything good and beautiful. It is for those who are too gentle to live amongst wolves.
San Diego, 1970
I must have been born to a gipsy father and a fair lady who would not be allowed to marry the love of her life and collapsed in sorrow. Together my birth parents decided to entrust me to the parents who actually brought me up as they knew this union would be safe by societal standards, my father a cheeky bugger who would only have it his way and my mother – well, the best mom in the world.
Otherwise I cannot explain the desire I have always had to get lost in the world and travel and travel and always go away. The drive I have to burn and demolish everything at the moment either and start from scratch again – in London or in another part of the world altogether, sell everything I have got and live off everything that remains. I should have spent less time with The Minimalists.
My souls is pretty much gipsy. My manners have always been 100% so.
I ventured South of the river.
En route to White Cube in Bermondsey, I discovered little quaint corners that shone brightly in the autumn light, underneath the brown and yellow leaves.
I said to myself Bermondsey could be an option should I decide to buy a flat in London and settle. It’s close to the centre and retains a village-y sense, too.
I found this exact sense in East Village of Bermondsey, a coffee shop that I walked into as soon as I left White Cube. I let the decorum and the design lure me in, as the place reminded me of Marlow & Sons in Williamsburg – home of a lot of almond lattes consumed on the occasion of Saturday brunches – and Freeman’s – another coffee shop where I left a lot of money, tips, exchange rate and bank transfer fees.
I immediately felt like I wanted to sit at the bar, which I almost never do because it feels impersonal and unnecessarily lonely – but this time I went straight in, pulled out my Monocle and started leafing through it ordering an espresso and spicy grilled squid (“What a combo”, I said to the hostess) and thinking how many kilometres I would have to factor in in the month of October ahead of travelling to New York for the marathon and hopefully smashing it there.
And then my creative juices started flowing and my train of thought made me ask the bartender for a pen that I used to scribble down this post while using the White Cube press releases as my canvas.
And as I looked at the people at the bar, ordering and enjoying their food and drinks, I wondered what made transition places like bars, hotels and airports so appealing and special. It’s probably the illusion of your own space and the intimacy of being in others’ company, I said to myself.
Then as I slowly made my way home I knew I would spend some time trying to decipher my handwriting, which a colleague recently said he found beautiful, but unreadable.
That makes two of us, R.
That makes two of us.
Saturday afternoon at a seafood restaurant in Covent Garden where I decided to go because the memory of their food as served in Portsmouth last summer, when things were still sweet, continued to linger in my mouth.
I look out the window and notice the people sitting outside at the brasserie across the street. There’s a lady puffing a cigarette looking bored and a couple of guys seemingly chatting to each other. A black cab crosses the street and it appears to be carrying four people at the back – I can tell and I can count. A suave mademoiselle cycles down the junction – she looks half French, half nonchalantly Brit.
Everywhere the rain is falling and I wonder if the air outside is purified and fresh. I have water on my mind.
I liked it better in Portsmouth.
The food. I mean.