philosophy

Switchfoot and Running Away

I have this dream.
If you know me well, I’ve probably talked to you about it, because – well.
It isn’t a bucket-list kind of dream, or a recurring nightmare, or even a far-away “I’d like to do this but I don’t think I ever will” kind of dream.
One day, I am going to do it. I am going to take some cash and essentials and pack them into a rucksack and run. You know what? It could be any time. It could be in ten years. It could be tomorrow.
Don’t say so-long, you’re not that far gone 
Don’t spend today away 
‘Cause today will soon be gone.

I don’t know when. But one day I am going to get onto a bus and go all the way to the end of the line, and then I’ll get on another bus and do the same, and just keep going and going until I don’t need to any more.
Because there it is. There is this need inside me to run away, to get out. I don’t know where it comes from and I don’t know if running will make it go away. But I am determined.
I’m breaking away from the world of money and fame and status and standing.
do we know what life is outside of our convenient Lexus cages? 
I might run away from a stable job and finances. I might run away from a life that seems ideal. I might run away from a situation that makes people think, how did she stay there so long? 
But whenever it is, I know it’s going to happen. One day, I’m going to run.
She said he said live like no tomorrow 
Every day we borrow brings us 
One step closer to the edge.

Have you ever felt that? A deep-seated certainty inside you that makes your heart shiver behind the bars of your ribcage?
There is a distinction between running away and running to. If I were running to, I would know where I was going, or at the very least what I was searching for. But I don’t. I only know that it is not here, and that if I want to find it I have to really, actually look.
And I guess what I’m trying to say is that the cage that I’m breaking out of might not seem like a cage. Not at first.
But we can’t have the urge to break free if we aren’t trapped. And yet we distract ourselves with these petty problems – I lost my mobile – he broke up with his girlfriend – that test went badly- and sure. They’re important, in their way. But listen:

She told him she’d rather fix her makeup
Than try to fix what’s going on.

We’re all there. Trying to fix the things we know we can fix instead of the things that are a little out of our comfort zone, a little beyond us. Maybe that’s what I want to break free from. Maybe I want to change the world.
Let’s change the world.

*this is simultaneously a post about running away and an excuse to use and analyse Switchfoot lyrics.

Advertisements

Mirrors, Musings and Glastonbury Tor

I have received two emails from WordPress recently, both telling me to get my head out of that essay and write a blog post.
In response, I browsed Pinterest and Twitter and Facebook and checked my email a bazillion times before finally arriving at a blank page again.
Why is it that some days my mind is overflowing, brimming with wonderful plans and ideas no matter how down I feel, and other days I am perfectly content but something within me, or perhaps without, has sapped my creativity and my curiosity and torn them to shreds?
I don’t know.
Today I am neither perfectly content nor vastly down, but there are words nevertheless. Transcribed memories, maybe. Senselessness will probably ensue, but I will try to say what I want to say.
I remember some years ago we went to Glastonbury. Not the festival, but the place, stayed in the van there a few nights and went into pretty little hippie shops. There was one shop that sold mirrors, and the mirrors were all over the walls, flashing and throwing distorted images of me around that little room. They all had beautiful frames. I remember them now like the tacky kind you get on 99p hand mirrors, except well made. It occurs to me that tacky things are often lovely things poorly made, like a recipe gone where the viewer can only see what should be.
The other thing I remember about that trip was that we climbed up Glastonbury Tor and it was the most beautiful thing I think I’ve ever seen. There were a few people there, and one was a guy with a drum who just sat there and played the whole time, sort of absently, and it was amazing.
I went and watched the world moving from up there and there was something so still and wonderful and quiet about it with that guy playing the drum.
I’m probably romanticising it in my memory. There were probably horrible parts to that trip I don’t remember. But isn’t it a little amazing that I only remember the good parts? When I’m older I probably won’t remember all the problems that are so important to me now. I’ll remember that I wrote a novel and went to a book club and not the tearing-out-hair moments in between all of that.
I don’t know if I want to forget the bad parts. But they aren’t forgotten, exactly – they merge into the happy parts and make them richer, truer. More.
It is sort of lovely.

Sort Of Deep

Somebody asked me what the date was yesterday.
It’s a common enough question. But this time it made me think.
It has been two seconds past ten minutes past sixteen hours before. It has been the thirty-first before. It has been January before. It has been this time and this date in this month before. It has been this year before, has been this year for thirty-one days.
It will be all of these things again.
But it will never be exactly this time today in this month this year again. And every minute that comes will never be repeated.
Every second that passes is a second that has never been lived before.
That seems sort of deep.

Inspiration

Image

I had an idea today for a scene between two of my characters. Unfortunately this idea came to me in the middle of an exam.

Inspiration isn’t something that you wait for. Inspiration does not obey the whims of humanity, true – but if it isn’t calling and you need it, then get up and find it. It’s true that inspiration comes and goes as it please, and it’s true that I like to think of it as a subtle creature on a radar that not everyone easily tunes into. But it is also true that saying you are “waiting for inspiration to strike” is as dangerous as saying “I’ll write a book — one day” or “I’ll be an artist — one day”.

Point being, it won’t happen.

If you were to wait for inspiration, perhaps it would come and perhaps it would not. Perhaps just seeing something triggers a flash of an idea that blossoms into flower, so that you feel the overwhelming urge to sketch or scribble immediately. But if that happens? You were lucky. You were in the right place at the right time. Don’t rely on that. 

When you are having difficulty tuning in to inspiration, there are many things that sometimes help, like honey to attract insects. What does inspiration like? Music, and words, and the natural beauty that lies all around us. Go out, immerse yourself in inspiration up to the neck. Take a journal with you and write and sketch everything you see into oblivion, and see if you can call it inspiration.

Unfortunately for me, when I am struck randomly with inspiration I tend to be otherwise occupied, like I was today. That scene is now sitting on my phone, waiting for me to type it up and (although it’s out of chronology) put it into my document. 

That makes me happy. Writing makes me happy. Being inspired makes me happy. But I did that. I got here. I decided that I wanted to be a writer, that I wanted to write, that I wanted to be inspired.

You decide. Don’t let your happiness be dependent on something so fickle and flighty as inspiration.

Me.

Me.
Who is Me? Arguably, I am Me. But you are You, aren’t you? And you would say, “I am Me.” So who is Me?
This Me answers to Tori, in general. There are other names, of course, from my meandering around the Internet and/or meeting people with name-giving tendencies – Persephone, BookFanatic, Ivy or wildfirepen, to name a few – but in the long run, my sense of identity is not defined by my names. Rather, my names are defined by my sense of identity. Every name I own, I have given to myself, or chosen to accept, which is unusual but true. So each name I have means something different to me. Some are more important than others.
I like books. Strike that, I love books. I love to read, and I love to write. I love art of most kinds, and I employ the oft-touted ‘lowest form of wit’ on a regular basis. I like psychology. I like philosophy. I like photography. I like things to be grammatically correct. I like to be alone. I like to talk.
But do any of these things define me? I am more even than the sum of my experiences.
I need to write. I need to write about things other than my novels and my stories, to throw my words into elegant and not-so-elegant sentences and put them somewhere that millions of people can see.
Not that they will. But the point is still valid.
So here I am, fumbling along the road of life like everybody else is.
Welcome to my world.

PHILOSOPHISING OVER THANK TESLA.

Okay. So if you skipped all that and are now wondering who the heck I am, hi. My name is Tori. I live in the UK. I write novels, mostly about faeries. This blog will detail my writing adventures, my reading explorations, my crazy life in general and whatever else I feel like talking about.

Oh, and I have a poetry blog. Read it.