Monday, 1 June 2009

My state of mind #2

A flaw is present in these my state of mind posts: they aren't an accurate representation of my state of mind throughout a whole month, because I write it at the beginning of the subsequent month. You get an insight into my emotions during quite a narrow period of time. Nevertheless, I shall try my hardest to span across an entire month, and to attempt at presenting a more well-rounded portrayal of myself.


The month began with the nerve-racking prospect of exams. With college work, my commitment goes through phases. I either am very, very lazy or quite proficient. Unfortunately, I got lethargic just at the wrong fucking time. At the beginning of the month when I needed to revise, I just lied about and did nothing. To make matters worse, I hardly attended any of the my lessons throughout the first week of the month. Instead of making me become more active and energised, exams had the opposite affect of me. I kept procastinating and putting things off. This resulted in a week and a bit that was very uneventful.

Around this same time I had quite an annoying - and somewhat disturbing - dream. My unconscious, for some fucked up reason, keeps picking on one of my teachers. In a dream she holds my hands as she goes through a computer screen which shows my weaknesses, and she keeps reassuring me of how great I am. I also had another dream in the past with her, and this was quickly followed by a dream where she was horrible and mean to me. Fortunately, when I thought my lessons with her would get awkward I had another dream where she screamed at me - thank god! As another example of how waking life and dreaming life converge, I saw her walking across a steet in Sheffield and going into a train station. In my first dream I had with her, I saw her walking along a multiplex cinema that solely showed arthouse movie... I don't know why my unconscious has chosen her for some of my dreams as I don't even find her particularly attractive...

Eventually, I finally got around to studying for the exams. I didn't revise as thorougly as I could have because I left it for too late. My film studies exam was good in places and mediocre in others, my language exams was fucking disastrous and my literature exam was the most successful of all of them. Fortunately, my grades at coursework were quite high, so this may boost the result I get. During my exams I didn't designate any time for myself, so this result in a lot of anxiety and desperation for craving the 20th of May when my exams ended.

The 20th of May finally came, and I celebrated it by watching 'A Man Escaped' by Robert Bresson. I greatly anticipated this day, as college has deeply supressed me over the past year and has hardly left any time for myself. This isn't because of the workload, it's because of my stubborness. After this date I wanted to become very active, but I haven't always succeeded as I've been interrupted by several things. It seems to me that my parents are the cause of this... I don't mean to critcise them as they're very nice people, but whenever I'm on my own and have the house to myself I'm able to focus and get things done. I had the house to myself in the Saturday and Sunday following this exam, and this was a period of time when I was most occupied and accomplished the most.

I stopped reading for pleasure for practically a whole month. I started William Faulkner's 'Absalom, Absalom!' and it's motherfucking titanic, wonderful novel. You need to have had experience of Faulkner in the past, as he develops the themes he explores in his previous books. Unfortunately, I have been finding it difficult to submerge myself in the text. It requires great levels of concentration, and I've only been able to read it at moments when I feel right for it. I have read it mainly at night. It took me about 4 hours to just get about 20 pages read (but I did stare into space for a substantial period of time, though)! I hope to get really into it in the forthcoming days, or it will take me months to finish...

Another thing I could return to that was left aside for too long was my walks. Like my reading, I didn't do any of it for weeks with the exams going on... On wednesday I went to Graves Park, and I walked throughout the whole enormous park with a coffee in my hand. I read a bit of T. S. Eliot in the various benches scattered all around it. On Friday I set out on an epic walk that lasted for 7 hours. I went to the valley, and this visit culminated with me stopping at the enormous pond. I enjoyed the beautiful tranquility (which words can't really do justice to), and I read a smidgen of Faulkner. This valley is wonderful as it's just for me - no-one else goes there... It is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

I finished writing my short story 'The Desolate Valley' quite a while ago, but I only finished typing it up yesterday. My creative writing was yet another activity that was interrupted by the exams. I read it yesterday (it's about 11 pages long), and I was very pleased and satisfied with it. It is not necessarily my favourite short story I've written, but it is the most 'complete' and 'total' work I've produced (as I mentioned in the previous 'state of mind' post). Today I'm going to attempt to start a short story called 'The Prostitute's Customers', and it isn't as ambitious as 'Desolate Valley', but it will be extremely difficult to write... Well, I won't know that until I start writing it, but that's what it seems like in hindsight.

I turn 19 on the 7th of June... I'm such a self-centred bastard that I'm only looking forward to my presents :). I wrote down a whole list of potential presents for my parents and I listed many, many things including paintings by Hieronymus Bosch and Willem De Kooning as well as a Bunuel box set.

There are many events at the moment of people who may die soon. Elliott Carter is coming to England, but I won't see him as I have scheduled two other events to see :). On the 14th of June I'm going to Huddersfield to stay with my sister (she lives there), and I'm going to see Mark E. Smith in conversation. He may die soon despite being in his 50s :p. At the moment I'm thinking of a question I could ask him. On the 19th of June I'm going to go down to London to see Ornette Coleman. This isn't a regular Ornette Coleman concert, it's going to be a reflection on 'The Shape of Jazz to Come'. This should be a monumental event.

I awoke this morning from the strangest of dreams... There were a whole group of people in my house that persuaded me to commit a crime (can't remember what kind of crime), but I escaped and went to the house of my aunt in Santiago to phone the police. I then went to a house where there was a cocktail party of black people, and this really strange guy had a conversation with me. I feared that the criminals in the house would nick or destroy my book collection, but as I arrived home it was there. :) They had also left my house, but the police hadn't made an effort to chase them.... Around the same time as the dreams I had with one of my teachers, I had a dream where Damo Suzuki was performing a concert in my aunt's garden and that a whole load of Chileans turned up to attend it....

Every month I buy 5 books with my pocket money. :) This month I bought 'Confessions of a Mask' by Yukio Mishima, 'The Immoralist' by Andre Gide, 'Walden' by Thoreau, 'Queer' by William Burroughs and 'The Periodic Table' by Primo Levi. The previous Monday, after my piano lesson I went into the town centre and bought a book that looks extremely, extremely appealing - 'Atomised' by Michel Houllebecq. During this day I had a coffee at the cafe above the book shop and read about my favourite directors in 'The Rough Guide to film'.

The previous week was a half-term holiday, so I had no lessons. This week I don't have any lessons either as it's study leave and have no exams! :) I aim to make the most out of all this free time I have, though... I will have to do as much as I can... I look forward to watching a film that is apparently on a par with 'Citizen Kane' - 'Bicycle Thieves'. I will watch it on a Wednesday as usual. :)... I will have to try my hardest not to waste any time in the upcoming days... After the this week, there are 3 weeks of AS to A2 transition classes that I will have to attend.


Jenny said...

Your talk about exams brings back some memories as I was always procrastinating and wasn't very focussed. I didn't really believe the exams were real til I was in the middle of doing them - thinking it might just all be a dream made me think revision was pointless.

Simon King said...

Great to finally see you posting a comment, Jenny. :)