Thursday, 2 January 2014

Take 3. Take 2013.

This year: goddamn.

In the grand tradition of this post and this post (in the grand tradition of Januaries everywhere) I wanted to look back upon this year and take stock of all the things. I wanted to look back and say, holy fuck, 2013, what did you do?

Here is the truth: the first half of this year I spent with my head shoved under the surface of a aching, stagnant pond, discovering new and startling capacities for pain. I watched the person I loved more than anything unravel and shatter on the city’s concrete; I watched the life I thought was crafted of steel beams and soft skin drop out from beneath my feet. Like stepping out into a glass-bottomed corridor, looking down and realising just how far it is possible to fall, and the moment your brain accepts this is the moment the floor begins to crack.

If I didn’t talk or write about this much it is because I believe that stories are the spells we use to craft our own realities and that some things are too much to look at directly (if you have no pinhole camera, don’t trust in the eclipse of the sun). And because we’re not supposed to talk about mental illness, because mental illness is embarrassing, because other people’s brains are not our stories to tell.

Well, my story to tell is that I did not slip and shatter with him, even though at one point I thought I might.

Perhaps instead I can tell the story of the second half of this year, when the city opened like a rare jungle flower and I stepped inside to let the pollen dust my naked thighs. I started saying yes to everything and fell into a Berlin that was feral and giggling. I gave up playing housewife and fit into a new role that curled snugly around me like the stitches of silk gloves. (Except, you know, not a new role at all...)

I learned how to pay my own rent in my own penthouse.

I made my way by helping other people write stories while drinking Guinness in the world’s most beautiful bookshop.

I wrote when things were very very bad and I wrote when things were very very good and

I learned roller derby and

got money for playing cello (which still seems like a wild, impossible thing) and

one morning in Sweden I found three four-leafed clovers in the grass outside the summer house.

I swam naked in a Scandinavian lake under a supermoon and I swam naked in the swimming pool of a sex party with glitter in my hair.

There were delicious new friends and even more delicious old friends, friends who brought me all the things I needed when I was cracking, who helped me get back the parts of Jane that went missing for a while.

There were things published in beautiful places and interviews with magazines and collaborations with old friends.

This time around, my resolutions are mainly:

to say yes to everything that takes my fancy

to take more holidays

to give up on recriminations and hangovers and morning regret

to finish a story every month

to publish a book before I’m thirty


to find a cure for irony and make a fool out of god. 

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