I love it when a song comes on and my brain is AWOL enough in that moment for me to know I recognise it but not remember who the singer is or what they look like or when it was written or what it’s particularly about. It feels like a fleeting, second chance to see if I really like or dislike the music, with any possible preconceptions disappeared, and I enjoy it and I always hope to string out my not-knowing for as long as possible (always an image of the singer drops back into my mind, like a dream you try to remember by not looking directly for it, which then emerges as a surprise). Effectively, it’s an abrupt little test of my own tastes – the freedom of no context. Does anyone else experience this? It’s a bit like those occasional moments when I see a photograph of myself that I’ve modelled for and for a moment (somehow) don’t register that I am the subject, and so am completely free to see the subject (/myself) as another might, or without any attachment (I am often kinder to myself in these circumstances; more generous and open; perhaps modelling over the years has been a discipline simply in seeing what others see).
Twice today my own reflection in a hotel bathroom in peripheral vision (the mirror is to the side of the entrance) has made me jump. I am wearing an embroidered, red, tie-dyed dress today, so am buoyantly alarming.
Amusingly, a link to an article came in an email newsletter I looked at today: 18 Signs you have a poorly developed sense of self (+ what to do). It’s a gruelling list, and ‘scattered priorities’ is in there. Humph. If I’ve got a poorly developed sense of self (but developed enough to know it should be hyphenated), I’m open to that new identification (and I say this as someone who only wore one contact lens for a short period this morning, so don’t say I’m not open to new ways of seeing myself) but surely it’s only true to the extent that I acknowledge I have five million versions of myself. Enough selves, in fact, to have just re-read the article and realised my sense of self is actually pretty well developed. I’m still deciding which version of my self to employ in order to ascertain whether or not I think this is a good thing.
A list I wrote on my phone here in Bangkok of possible materials for my latest idea (I’m going to create paintings with words from my own poems, paint images & compose objects; these mixed-media pieces are the absolute epitome of notes to self, and it’s been a while since I last did it):
Broken jewellery parts
Paperclips, drawing pins
Letters/notes to self
Cut out words/pictures from newspaper/magazines
I’m about to fly back in time, travelling from south east Asia tomorrow afternoon for an elephantine weight of hours, and arrive in the UK on the same day as though absolutely nothing is unusual here at all nothing to see what could be more normal. I still don’t know how planes stay up, though was once sent this diagram: