Instructions for Dancing

Wednesday September 30, 2009

a heart full of rubberbands

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 6:32 pm


My new room is still filling me with joy so I thought I’d take photos. HAVE A DESK.





And you should also know that all three rooms are currently filled with the smells of the beef casserole I’m cooking for dinner! Well, I hope that’s what it will be, anyway. it smells good at least. I have (perhaps optimistically) invited Ev round to experience it with me, so if it goes wrong we can have TOAST. and popcorn: tonight we’re going to see Julie and Julia. um. I think my life seems to be revolving around cookery.

and a note to myself: Ovid’s Metamorphoses are not so much unforeseen transformations as a divine push down a garden path already undertaken. But does ‘protometamorphosis’ really happen, or does our foreknowledge of the coming event predicate these transformations onto their subjects? ahh, I am already a little in love with Ovid and P Hardie.

Tuesday September 29, 2009

farah drives with her eyes closed

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 5:52 pm

Tried to walk past ridiculously good-looking friend without him noticing me but it didn’t work. He’s more ridiculously good-looking than I remember. We’re having coffee tomorrow. WRRRRY.

Anyway, I’ve been dissertating today, and it was while I was walking back from the library that we bumped into each other. As P Hardie tells me, “this Ovidian quality should be understood as an intensification and thematisation of a dialectic between absence and presence that can be traced in many other areas both textual and non-textual.” it’s my ambition this term to write 10,000 words entirely comprised of sentences like this.

In other news, I’ve finally got internet working in my room, I have mushrooms emitting a delicious, warm smell from my slow-cooker, wine cooling in the other room and Merlin and Match of the Day to catch up on*. this should be a good evening.

(*except, um, MotD doesn’t get onto iPlayer. damn.)

Monday September 28, 2009

always one foot on the ground

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 8:15 pm

Hi internet.

I’m back in Cambridge. This, so far, is a much nicer thing than I was expecting. But then, term hasn’t hit yet – it’s not until next Saturday that everyone else gets back and the fun starts. It’s a quiet life until then – Ev and Em are the only others around at the moment, so aside from seeing bits of them I’ve just been ‘hitting the library’ and admiring my beautiful beautiful rooms. I’m a responsible third-year now, so I have one large room for work and socialising and two smallers ones for my bed and for cooking. Such a separation of functions feels like ultimate sophistication – no more balancing a kettle on my desk! – especially now that I have a table to eat my meals at as well. This makes me practically an adult.

So yes, I’m enamoured with my new room. It does make me feel like I have something to live up to, though, and that’s a new feeling. This year already feels similar and yet very different to other years; all the more so when I walk through second court and look hopefully up at Charles’ old room, now deserted, or when I meet new first-year students. There’s so much past here now, but I still have so much left undone that I want to do. Everything’s starting to feel rather final.

Anyway. Life here is pleasant and only lacking excitement and pressure. I should probably make the most of this.

Friday September 25, 2009

where are you now

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 2:11 pm

Why yes, please do tell your ridiculously good-looking friend that I shall be in Cambridge all of next week and he’s welcome to invite me out to coffee. It’s great that you have no insecurities whatsoever, but this is ridiculous.

I am packing. I suspect I can fill an entire suitcase with just scarves and dresses…

Thursday September 24, 2009

two quarters and a heart down

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 8:10 pm

I was here going to describe why I’m feeling (for the first time) really nervous about returning to Cam, but I’ve decided not to. When I write about things they tend to become more true, which is good for dealing with stuff but not very helpful for this. Instead I will say, I’m very lucky to have made/regained friends at home that I’ll miss, and I’ll remember that, while I’m still breathing, it’s not too late for a new start.

I miight start packing tonight, but I’ve made a list and now I’m minded to leave everything contained therein until tomorrow. A sense of urgency helps me pack.

Everything Is Beautiful from a Distance, and So Are You
by Michael Blumenthal

The young clarinetist, playing Mendelssohn’s Sinfonia #10 in B-minor
in back of the orchestra may be exceedingly beautiful, it’s hard to know
from here, just as I, to her, may be gorgeous myself and the day, in

retrospect, divine, as all the past loves of my life have been, and that boring
evening in County Derry as well, oh yes, they are all beautiful, now, when
I look back upon them, as, no doubt, my life will seem from some calm

and beautiful distance, some rapturous perspective, but here in the here
and now let me say that it’s midafternoon, my lover is on her way over,
it’s been a long chilly day in Budapest, what I thought was a herniated disc

is not, after all, a herniated disc, Mozart’s 250th is behind us, as is the 60th
anniversary of Bartók’s death, and it is only James Taylor on the stereo—
sweet, sentimental James—and I don’t give a damn what anyone thinks

of my taste or emotional proclivities, I only know it’s Thursday and in
an hour I’ll be making love, and, looking up at me from the pillow,
my lover may or may not consider me beautiful, or even desirable,

but the deed will be already done, the evening before us, there
are roasted red peppers and goat cheese in the refrigerator, I’ll be
as far from death as a man can be, oh can you imagine that?

Wednesday September 23, 2009

in loving memory

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 1:31 am

Some nights, a hot cup of tea and my teddy bear are all I need.

I think, now, I get what funerals are about. Charles’ served that purpose. The hardest part of his death is accepting the reality of loss, however unfair, and stepping into that scary, unknown future I never planned. It’s not fair (at all) that he’s left us, and it hurts a lot to think of us carrying on without him. The kindest part of a funeral is that it doesn’t just make me face that reality, but it gives me all the other people who loved him and don’t want to face it either (a hard acquisition in the summer holidays) and who also need bad jokes and irrelevant conversation to bring them out of themselves. and I can do that. Today has been okay.

Summer’s ending, term’s beginning. Tonight I’m feeling more alone slash independent slash okay than ever. I’m praying for the strength to continue the way I’ve begun. No compromises.

Monday September 21, 2009

your heart was right

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 11:02 pm

Man, for fifteen minutes this evening my laptop killed itself and I thought I’d lost everything. Sam’s diagnosis after five minutes of prodding things was “you’re either screwed or you’re fucked”, which was an eloquent piece of black humour but not very comforting. but then it suddenly righted itself again, because my brother is actually a superhero. First thing I did afterwards was log on and back eeeeeverything up.

I don’t know what I should wear for the funeral tomorrow. This is silly and pretty irrelevant, but that never stopped me before, and it’s good to have some distraction from the real meaning of tomorrow. I want to wear my clothes, not some starchy black things I keep for concerts only. I’m going to go take a hot shower then figure it out.

Friday September 18, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 11:15 pm

but please remember me fondly
I heard from someone you’re still pretty
and then they went on to say
that the pearly gates
have some eloquent graffiti
like we’ll meet again
and fuck the man
and tell my mother not to worry

Wednesday September 16, 2009

in love with the chance

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 9:46 pm

[                                   ] For even sorrow
Seems bearable when studied at a distance,
And if we speak of private suffering,
The pain becomes part of a well-turned tale
Describing someone else who shares our name.

Poems mean different things to different people. I find, too, that my favourites mean different things to me, depending on when I read them. I read this one just now, and this stanza struck me while I was thinking about how I deal with grief and why I find words so comforting. Writing about something helps me to distance myself from it, in the same way that sharing a problem does. This way, though, I get to carefully frame it in a way that I find reassuring, and to remember it that way ever afterwards.

I got to rereading poems the first night after Charles’ death. I was trying to come to terms, I guess, and music only made me worse, but as I stood by the kettle making my hundredth cup of tea, I remembered the words I’ve got to tell you how I love you always I think of it on grey mornings with death in my mouth the tea is never hot enough – the first stanza of Frank O’Hara’s Morning. (It also contains the line a very real humor you’d be proud of, which is quite literally my favourite line ever.) Anyway, I read this, felt a little better, then worked through my poetry folder looking for others. I have over 100 bookmarked and I worked through all of them, and I also found Edna St Vincent Millay’s Dirge Without Music, Adrienne Rich’s For An Album, and finally, Dana Gioia’s The Lost Garden. I’ve been reading them a lot.

It’s this last one that I reread today, and while on previous days it was the first and last stanzas that really worked for me, today it’s the above one. I read these four poems out loud and recorded them that night, filing them away for the future, I guess, when memories of now might be less vivid. A few days ago, I was so sad but much more afraid of ceasing to be sad, of accepting. When I recorded this stanza then, ‘distance’ was a much dirtier word. Now I read it and I think how true it is.

anyway. I think this was a longwinded way of saying POETRY HAS SPECIAL POWERS. and speaking of ironic use of capitals, Em’s coming tomorrow \o/ Londoners always love Ashby, we are so much more fast-paced and exciting than what they’re used to.

Monday September 14, 2009

one true tune

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 5:10 pm

Susannah makes me smile always. She sent me this and this, I countered with this.

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