From time to time E has had to listen patiently as I roar frustration at Whitley Bay. Its not being London. My alienation from it. I dip low - not into depression exactly, but there's definitely a cycle of moods. And E asked, early on into this blog, 'What will you write when you're down?'
Well, I'm down. Yesterday and today. So yesterday I stuck two posts up, and objectively, you know, they're not nearly as bleak as I feared they'd be. But today I want to try and dredge the mood a little. Pull up a few images and word them, so that they become handleable.
So this is me earlier today, walking on the path up our street. I'm feeling the concrete. I'm feeling the absence of grass. A part of me yearns through the soles of my shoes, down through the paving slabs, to be flat-footing the mud. Whitley is like everywhere - everywhere named - because it bears the mask of human culture, thinner than cellophane, over it. I can't punch through this plastic - it smothers everything beneath it, and I did not choose for it to be there.
When I was seventeen, once on the way to school, I imagined the roads in Barnet being torn up by the life force in the earth they covered. Part of me willed it. Non-violently, and in a controlled manner, I'd still like it to happen. It's part of what I think a reparative society might do - a society that draws its satisfaction from the constructive process of unmaking the excesses of consumerism. Removing some of the ideological cellophane of culture, as well as its objective bricks and barricades.
I suspect that we are going to get a reparative society. But we are in a period of transition. I'm dedicated to smoothing this process of change. And when I'm down I see the size of the hurdles ahead - sense the intractability of our present society, allow myself to explore its pain (which is my pain too), allow myself to be daunted.
That's not the end of it, though. At my height I sense the potential inherent in our present culture, just as much as in all possible future variants. Then on my walk down our street I delight in the terraced houses, the flagstones, the funky cars and the funky people in them. And with these two poles in mind, the high and the low, Whitley utopian and holed in the bow, I begin to be realistic again.