Thursday, January 19, 2006

Moving things.

I have written about how I would not, could not listen to music after July 7th. One of the things that was damaged after the train journey I still haven't finished. Anyway, I reckon it is time to re-engage. I can run and run and work and work and write and write and do whatever I can think of, keep moving, keep on keeping on and never ever go back to what I feel after the bomb, but that is a half-life. I have learned new things, and I have remembered old lessons.

The more you avoid it, the worse it gets and one of two things happen. You get deadened, you harden up. Or you get haunted and exhausted by fighting the ghosts, keeping them at bay.

This is where I want to get to.

Grief melts away
Like snows in May,
As if there were no such cold thing.
Who would have thought my shrivelled heart

Could have recovered greenness? It was gone
Quite under ground; as flowers depart
To see their mother-root, when they have blown;
Where they together
All the hard weather,
Dead to the world, keep house unknown

Some of the commenters, Sean, Bob, gave me some ideas following the post about the Berekah Project and talked about what to do when I wrote about being scared to listen to music because it was too much. And thank you to them, because they inspired this post, and me asking for help and ideas.

I wanted to ask visitors to this blog this:

if you knew you needed to cry,
or just stop, or think,
or feel sadness, beauty, anger
( any, or all of these things)

and you could recommend
something to listen to,
somewhere to go,
or something to read
( any or all of these things)
that would take you there - what would it be?

What makes you melt? What makes you weep? What medicine do you feed your soul to thaw it out and feed it up and break it down and lift it up?

UPDATE: I have been bowled over by beautiful suggestions. BIG Thank you x x x


Blogger Ally said...

Oddly, I was thinking of you as I was visiting a blog I read sometimes, written by a teacher from New Orleans. Then I saw that you'd posted and came and read this. Her name is Melanie, she is a beautiful writer and she writes about hope.

Me, I go walking in the hills.

January 19, 2006 3:57 pm  
Blogger Mike said...

I read my battered 20p paperback copy of Waiting for Godot.

Massive and small, full of meaning and meaningless, funny and deeply serious and happy and sad all at the same time.

Genuine soul food.


Dizzee Rascal always makes me smile. Does that count?

January 19, 2006 4:28 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Rachel...I've just come across your blog. I've not had a chance to read it yet, but I fully intend to, and I'll comment on it where appropriate. :) Well done for talking about your experiences - I'm sure it's helped a lot of people.

I've got a blog too, and I was at work on 7th July when the bombs went off - I work in the London Underground Network Operations Centre (Network Control Centre as it was then), and was closely involved in the management of the immediate aftermath, although I was remote from the scenes at the time.

Do drop by and take a look sometime, although almost all of what I write is unconnected with July 7th these days.

Looking forward to reading more.


January 19, 2006 5:23 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I put this mp3 player and play list on my blog last November. It was my summer / autumn play list.

It starts in grief but finishes in purpose and commitment, a journey a lot of us took last year I think.

Listen when you can

January 19, 2006 5:48 pm  
Blogger The Great Blandini said...

I watch my son, and think how much I love him.

Alternatively, I turn to the sky - God's canvas - the best, most emotional TV I could ever watch.

January 19, 2006 7:32 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few weeks ago - despite the cold - I found myself sitting in St Paul's churchyard in Covent Garden, listening to The Ship Song by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds on my iPod and reading the conclusion to Atonement by Ian McEwan. That was it, really.

January 19, 2006 8:52 pm  
Blogger Ham said...

For beauty, solitude and contemplation I would choose to walk around Furzey Gardens in the spring, early morning before anyone else arrives.

To help adjust to the lemonade of life, I would listen to Pete Atkin's Perfect Moments (I will keep an MP3 here for a few days)

If I wanted to bring a lump to my throat I would read Ray Bradbury's A Story of Love, out loud, even if I was on my own.

January 19, 2006 10:48 pm  
Blogger michael the tubthumper said...

i go walking in the mountains. then you get to see things like this and nothing else seems to matter for as long as you are there.

January 20, 2006 10:56 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remembered a poem this morning, I think it's by Voltaire:
"Come to the edge."
No, we will fall..
"Come to the edge."
No, we will fall..
They came to the edge.
He pushed them.. And they flew.

and just found this on the net..
When you come to the edge of all the light you know and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly. -Patrick Overton

January 20, 2006 11:05 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

Thanks you all for your beautiful and inspiring comments and suggestions.

I feel very lucky to have such ace readers.

I am more cheerful today, I have been asked to write somethign for the Sunday Times News Review



This is excellent and I am very pleased about it.

It is about my Feminist Disco POle Dancing Classes.

January 20, 2006 11:22 am  
Blogger zefrog said...

Although I am not generally a great fan of Mozart (it feels all a bit samy for some reason), I find that the Requiem is unexpectedly a great piece to bring me back up from the depth when I am there. Although is it music for the dead, it is so full of life and energy...

January 20, 2006 11:50 am  
Blogger boneycdr2 said...

the moving on gathers pace and a new career beckons. Good for you! I've put a link to your Moving Things on my site. Hopefully you will get one or two good suggestions from there. I've got loads but I want to have a think before I send you some suggestions. Presumably, we're talking about songs for all seasons - broken hearts, lost friends, etc. The whole gambit of the musical soundtracks to our lives?

January 20, 2006 11:52 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

Thanks Sean,
yes, soundtrack to your life, soul food.

Anything that moves you.

And thanks for the link.

January 20, 2006 12:00 pm  
Blogger fjl said...

I think there's nothing like surprising yourself with new or slightly familiar music for new inspiration, but it will take you to where you don't expect. This is the point of music and poetry, but you might need a hand to hold if you're traumatised. x

January 20, 2006 5:28 pm  
Blogger Holly Finch said...

congratulations to my favourite roving reporteer.....look forward to reading it....the journey is only just beginning

January 20, 2006 6:16 pm  
Blogger Ceridwen Devi said...

If I need to cry I just cry. If I need inspiration that is secure as well as uplifting I listen to Beethoven, in particular the 5th piano concerto slow movement, and the violin concerto. Mozart's clarinet concerto lifts my spirit, as do the poems of Blake. When all else fails I hug my green Tara and pray. At Christmas I listen to the Pogues and John Lennon. Hwyl fawr! Ceri

January 20, 2006 6:17 pm  
Blogger Clare said...

Rachel that's great you've been asked to write about something else :). Congratulations.

January 20, 2006 7:39 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

I have been looking up some of the suggestions in the comments and I wanted to say thank you again. There are some really beautiful choices.Today has been a much more hopeful day, I have realised that I have been thinking of July too much and feeling really angry about it and venting my anger and it is just futile. It just makes me more upset. It is exhausting trying to engage with debate about July 7th and sod it, I am tired of all this.I don't need to do this to myself.

It is not doing me any good. I should be focusing on more positive things and looking to the future, and so I have tried to make some small steps today to disengage, because I don't think it is good for me to think about it so much.

J and I are going to go away for a long weekend for my birthday soon, get out of London which is somethign to look forward to. Tomorrow I am visiting mum and dad and seeing my brother and his wife, and my uncle too I hope. Mum and Dad have moved house! So this will be the first time I see it. And it is Mum's birthday soon. So it will be lovely to celebrate.

And I'm still in shock that I got asked to write something that was just because the paper liked the way I write and not because of being someone near the bomb and that feels really amazing. It's just a silly piece but it is someone wanting me to write just as me and not as a 'victim' or a 'survivor' or as part of a big news story. Just me, writing. It's a big moment, well, it feels like it to me. I have never thought of it before now but maybe I had to lose music for a while to find writing instead? It feels like this is a time of change and this is a big change. A year ago I would never have thought any of this would have happened.

Work is really interesting at the moment too. Everything is still knackering but it is starting to feel a bit more hopeful.

Bought the second half of series one of Lost so that will be something to look forward to. Joined a gym and been swimming.

And tonight I listened to some of the MP3s.


Thank you SO much.

January 21, 2006 12:28 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

Half an hour of listening to other people's music was very inspirational.

January 21, 2006 12:39 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rachel, I am glad that your writing has been reconised for what it is. Darn Good!

Your blog entries are always thoughtful, intresting, and inspiring. (And spelt better than my comments :) )

AS to the music, I wish I was able to offer a suggestion.. I understand the feeling that "they took the songs away" if only from the "broke up" stage of a relationship, but.. in time, I was ok. Mind you, I do listen to "Weird Al" Yankovic, so.. go figure.

Truly, as you have begun to find, the music, the songs and the ballads will slowly regain a place in you. AS crass as it sounds, time.. you know the rest, I am sure.

Again, am looking forward to learning all about the "Feminist Disco Pole Dancing Classes" and, many more articles.

I know I may seem a little flippant in this, or.. not serious with my comment, but that is me... and I do really like odd/weird/funny music

Mind you, I am odd.. funnyish and weird too :)

Take care, good writing, and remember that a critic only is one voice :)


January 21, 2006 1:28 am  
Blogger The Moai said...

Read 'On St Agnes's Eve' by Keats, and listen to 'Au clair de la lune' by Debussy.

January 25, 2006 12:06 pm  
Blogger Kate said...

I've been reading since you started this blog, but this is the first time I've commented, so hello!

I can't really think of any music to suggest, but I can suggest a book - Green Angel by Alice Hoffman. It blows me away every time I read it and always makes me feel both calm and energised at the same time (if you know what I mean).

Take care.

January 25, 2006 7:35 pm  

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