Friday is going to be a difficult day. Friday is Sam’s birthday. He’s going to be 23.
I’ve always considered myself the luckiest person I know – never more so than when compared with my brother. He’s so good about things that so often I forget what the reality is and imagine that he’s quite alright. But the truth is that, this birthday, Sam is at exactly the same point in his life as he was last year, the year before that, the year before that, for seven years. He’s barely left the house since then.
He said at dinner tonight that he doesn’t want to celebrate his birthday. He doesn’t want to be reminded of something that to him is such a sad occasion. And why would he? But tonight, once again, I am understanding the pain that I see suppressed everyday, and I am crying for the first time in a long time.
I am so unmotivated today.
Mat Kearney – All I Need
I’m in the mood of this song. I suppose you could call it inspired, though I’m not quite sure what it is I’m breathing in or what it means for me. I’ve always been an optimist, perhaps because it’s a charmed life I’m leading, but I’m quite convinced that the only thing as good as sheer, overflowing happiness is the recognition that you’re in a dark place and the strong, sure hope that one you’re going to be free. And I’m not really either of those at the moment, but that’s what this song means for me, and I guess if I had to sum my soul up in one piece of music, then this could be it.
How would you sum up yours?
Still not working…
In Classical Greek, οι Σπαρτοι (a plural proper noun, pronounced ‘hoi spartoi’) does not mean ‘The Spartans’, as you might expect from the pronunciation. It actually means ‘The Thebans.’
This is because in Greek the adjective σπαρτος (‘spartos’) means ‘sown’, which suits the Thebans because of the myth that they had sprung up from the ground where Thebes’ founder, Cadmus, had sown a dragon’s teeth.
The Spartans could be called similar something similar (οι Σπαρτιαται), but were more normally known as the Lacedaemonians (οι Λακεδαεμονιοι) after the area of Laconia, where the city is located.
Source: my dictionary, wikipedia and general procrastination.
My dad just now, before he and Mum set off for dinner.
“We’re popping out now, Hetty.”
“Okay. Have a nice -”
“Well, quite a long pop actually.”
“More like a – puuuuuuurp.”
My Sophocles translation is making me lol. Yeah, I’m cool.
“Aye, the seer-tribe hath long trafficked in me, and made me their merchandise!”
The unfortunate truth of it is that Jebb’s translation from 1904 is a lot more helpful than any other. Johnston’s 2005 version is nice for sense, but takes far too many liberties with the original to be a good translation model – and it’s probably bad form, but I do always use a model. Anyway, I’m keeping Johnston’s on hand as well, because sometimes I just don’t understand Jebb’s English. but it has its charm.
I am listening to takk… and ágætis byrjun tonight, and getting very excited about November 21st. For me, this music is the most life-enriching kind I’ve ever heard, breathing new life even into the 995th line of Sophoclean verse. I can’t wait to hear it live, in that place, with those people, on that date.
Anyway. You’ve heard little from me because, short of a few blips, I’ve been shutting myself away to get on with the work I’ve needed to do. I saw my DoS on Saturday, actually – turning up in Cambridge to sing in a wedding I’d hoped but hadn’t known was hers – and all she said to me was ‘do your reading’. But I know it meant a lot to her that I was there – she’d asked me to be, last term – and it was pretty special for me too, getting to see such a different side of her. It was a nice day.
I also went down to Gosport/Portsmouth last week, which was the reason for my absence. Matt and I had a few days on Dad’s boat with him. It was strange and new, sharing something with only my Dad, but it was rather lovely to have that time, and especially because Matt was there to share it too. We were there two nights, and after we’d been out we’d go to a restaurant and drink wine together and put the world to rights. On our way down and back up, Matt and I also got to the Hadrian exhibition at the British Museum, and Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth (awesome in the most literal sense), and we sat on the lawn next to the London Eye and watched the sun go down together. It was hard to say goodbye.
Back to the Greek for now.
When you’re out there on the road through several weeks of shows, and when you scan the radio, I hope this song will guide you home; They will see us waving from such great heights, ‘Come down now’, they’ll say: but everything looks perhap from far away – ‘come down now’, but we’ll stay.
My whole history exists in lyrics I used to listen to. And I’m glad. You’re still a part of me, my passenger seat, and I’ll still love you.
I am shy. I am quiet.
I guess these things are obvious to other people, but they’re two adjectives that I’ve always hated to be associated with. I have never described myself that way – not because it’s a secret, how could it be, but because I’ve always been ashamed of them. I always hoped I’d change.
But I’ve been trying that for quite a few years, and it’s never worked. I am not yet an extrovert, and actually I never will be. My task now is convincing myself introverted is not inferior, is not duller, is not inept, is not less lovable. And that’s difficult, because – even though almost all the people I love are introverts too – I realise I still don’t believe it. I guess that’s why at nineteen I’m still trying to express and understand a basic, essential part of my nature for the first time.
One day I will love my quiet, introverted self myself just the way I am.
I’m going south for a few days – back proper on Sunday.
I’m not sure what drove me to do it, but I’ve been following the fashion weeks this year. It was Olympus/New York’s last week, where Project Runway has its finale, so I’ve already seen photos of the final collections. But I think the producers realised they couldn’t keep the content of these a secret for the three/four more weeks before the finale airs, so they actually had six collections showing – the three real finalists and the three as-yet uneliminated ones as decoys. It’s all edited out in the show, of course. But this year it’s abundantly clear which three have to be eliminated in the next three episodes, there being three lovely collections and three hideous ones.
Speaking of hideous, I’m all for models having a pared-down look – all the better to showcase (certain types of) clothes – but nothing prepared me for the grossness in Alexander Wang’s show. There is something wrong with anyone successful enough to have models like Jessica Stam in their show and blind enough to instruct hair and makeup to make her look like a sweaty, strung-out basketball player.
So yes, it’s definitely an education. Being not the target body-type (as in, actually having breasts) means I would suit very little of anything, so it’s only escapism and idle interest. But all the different shapes and colour palettes are really lovely.