For a long time at the really low part of feeling sad, when I was still hooked up to Slimewell’s drip drip drip of bullying I didn’t know how to get out of it and so I cycled around erratically one day and possibly thought I would like to get hit by a bus. *spoiler alert* I didn’t. And I looked up how to join the army and then the police. I didn’t know why I was doing these things until only recently when I heard Sarah Millican talking to Richard Herring about it on his podcast. She talked about wanting to be hit by a bus. And it wasn’t actually about wanting to die - it was just so SOMETHING would happen to make everything change somehow, so everything would suddenly in one big go be different in your life. Like suddenly joining the army. Oh no I’m in the army, my life is different. And suddenly this is happened to all of us. We have all been hit by the bus and everyone’s life is suddenly instantly different.
I started to write down these thoughts originally to document my crawl back out of mental health shambles and back into a more sunny part of my brain - and to look back at them a year later and see if there was improvement. I am only writing from my own perspective and about my own thoughts here, I’m writing these thoughts down to document my own mental health process. And so because something has suddenly happened to me - as part of this thing that each of us is experiencing in very different ways - I feel peace and I feel calm and I feel there is the pause I needed to shut out all the shouting and box-ticking and funding and not-getting-funding and deadlines and suddenly - oh I can just make papier mache dinosaurs and slow down to my own rhythm and I can see that happiness again. I am thinking a lot about should I type this out and say it - is it glib to think about your own happiness when people are dying and having a horrible time all around you. Maybe I will feel differently next time I write - but I think what I mean and what is important is that all these thoughts will come in their own time. Being a writer and being an artist is not about pretending, trying to write what you think people want to read, what you think other people you assume are thinking you should be thinking. And so I quietly listen to podcasts and make dinosaurs and mobiles. They all take so long to make I don’t even think I can sell them unless a rich maniac wants them.
John Prine died yesterday. He was one of the first writers that made me want to write the way I do. His songs are all stories and they are all funny and poignant and unique. I think about him a lot and I listen to him most days in my studio. I’m sad he’s not on our planet any more because there was only one of him. Like there was only one Ivor Cutler and only one Dan Hicks. They’re all out there in the universe but it’s weird to think they’re not here on this planet (earth). John Prine wrote songs about what it would be like when he died, giving his arms to the Venus de milo and even the possibility of finding some kind of softening to critics - those parasitic syphilitics - and letting them have a drink in the pub he’s planning to set-up in the next life. So it makes me excited because I am one of what he was. I am doing my first live internet show on Saturday and I will be thinking about him and ordering a little red wine at his bar.