On anti-imaginative theatre: the rub of all tickets...
Were I to reflect on the disappointment of the year gone past then I would speak with all the airs of a theatre critic: a lip-licking, tooth-sucking scavenger revelling in the scent of a fresh carcass. With what other poise can one remark in genuine bewilderment on the fact that so little has been made of such tremendous materials! In spite of the abundance of tinder, followed by the actual setting of our world ablaze, the very cries of Fire! Fire! throttle themselves at the throat and fold back into the Great Placation sometimes affectionately called modernity.
I, myself, made not nearly enough of my own stellar afflictions: the titanic crash of my research program, one or two serious scandals in love, the perfectly turbulent psychic landscape of a pandemic, and these ongoing months of solitude in a very dark London town (eight months and still counting). These are the not insubstantial working materials I have kept well at bay with my palliative regimen: I have licked my wounds, nodded silently, fooled myself into a tryst with comfort and banished the life-force of any innate curiosity. Cabin'd, Cribb'd, Confined, bound in! So says the old poet. I have no more than a few times stepped beyond the perimeter of inner-Bloomsbury... an ineffectual ripple polished into the gentrified grain.
And perhaps I write these words in hope of stoking new fires. Of compelling the very corners of my eyes to narrow in self-criticality. No lucid estimate can be made of the accruing damage to our prospects of healthiness, nor any map of political-economy in which the obstacles are unbelievable enough to be believed, or the tremendous silence of a subscription model to which I am turning over these pages of my life. But, in our truly psychedelic fashion, I regard these outwardly matter only insofar as they continue to starve the soil of my own imaginative garden. How much of myself have I relinquished under the guise of genuinely fearing for my mortality? How much of myself is to be readied as tinder for the many clearing fires to come? Only as I realise the dead weight of my experience do I tremble. Just how much of me will be utterly forgettable from the moment of awakening my own imaginative gaze. I mean 'awakening' as attitude: to turn the End-station into a way-station. Only a vigilant sense of play can work any transformations hereon in.
So I will go on laughing fiercely, walking with the city foxes and I continue to write my songs.
#writing #imagination #vigilance #theatre #reflection #psychedelic #letter #London