POST: Collective Narrative

About

Notes from lockdown

A new canon

No is okay

Birds of a Feather

Don’t Always

Flock Together

[Next update: 29th Nov]

During a period of global pandemic isolation, Zoom yoga, intensive baking, racial movements and the potential of four more years of dusty orange men, who are the unlikely allegiances you have made? The people who have kept you grounded, sane or made you want to shout up, scream or dance? Who or what has surprised you? Who are your people now? What have you lost to this new way of living, what have you gained? How has your identity changed forever in ways you hadn’t anticipated during this intense period of momentum meets still, and who has it been by?

This feed was guest curated by Lissi Simpson. Simpson is a director, writer and designer who walks the line. In ethnicity, sexuality and whether she’s into spicy food or not. Her sense of identity moves like a body of water: from white mothers to black fathers, dating girls to dating boys and all the questions this walking the line brings. As such, her work often navigates the theme of finding an identity, and how that identity changes over time; whether it is completely individual or intensely collective. She is curious about our constant need for a home, yet constant demand to find more than what we’d previously settled for.

lissisimpson.co.uk

protected from everything

I saw different birds in different cages

a yellow field finally

BIG QUESTIONS make me feel very small.

I FEEL BIG.

Then I retreat.

I’m brave, then I falter.

I’M HARD. And I run out of disk space. 

My people are my people are my people, 

I talk more now. I tell them more, I share more, I read more. 

I try more, in the areas I see now have a future, but it’s a slow burn.

When I tried, when I shared, I settled on a little pedestal off the coast.

My people are close by and wish me well. 

The water around me is there for the groups of beings that will benefit from it.

I know who I am more, uncovered ground underneath a previous stone. 

It doesn’t feel how I expected it to feel, it’s less grand, it’s grey, moulded polystyrene and granite underneath, covered in the tiny air holes a crab might use to breathe through.

I think my struggles with my mental health have taken over the last couple of months. My eating disorder has gotten worse. Because of the isolation, it has become my closest companion. I truly value my relationship with food and it is both the source of comfort and despair these days.

I say to myself repeatedly: they will be stone birds, they will be gathered like a pile of stones; I have seen them again in the same cages from which some feathers escape. It is above all a movement of curious heads at the beginning, then an escape for no reason within the limited space: I discover myself made of rock. In the tepid sun of this beginning of autumn this is my silent point of view, touched and untouched by light and shadow, where children play to see many faces, cosy with turtledoves and blackbirds, touched and untouched by freedom.

Above the pylons I cross the flight of three birds that I do not know; a crow rushes by the car window.
I walk again, sharpening myself. Among travelling heaps of dust and torn feathers, I would like to write a sentence that opens up the world beyond this gigantic aviary.

On the road. Warm, dry night, autumn, late hour. Mountains in deep sleep. The car picks up a speed on the curved road; the road does not have an end. The never-ending road never looked so mysterious and content. Abandoned, wooden house, little black human figure behind it, stepping slowly with his head down, face to face to mountains, darkness, late hour and loneliness, stepping along the little lane – where is he heading? Why? What for? Old cemetery on the right side of the curved road and shabby monastery, all white, in the middle standing as a fallen angel. The monastery is closed, plunged and surrounded with dark clouds standing as a guardian to dead souls. The rusted iron curved crosses on the graves resemble human hands trying to catch the sharp headlight of the car running on the road. The road is lit with yellow lighters, they are sad and lonely, they also resemble to only guardians in the kingdom of sleepy mountains. Old naked tree in front of the lighter, melancholic, calm, without any leaf, facing darkness and late hour, fated to loneliness, why does it stand here? What for? Dry night. Autumn, late hour. Fire is set in the meadows. Lonely shepherds are sitting around in silence with closed eyes, warming hands, rarely saying a word. Old dog guards the sleeping flock; sheep are in deep innocent sleep not having any care. Monotonous never-ending road, still curved, still yellow lit, still warm dry night. Man in his 30ies with almost antic facial features drives the car, where is he heading? What for? Why?

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