Monday, May 14, 2007

Today's fleeting thoughts and impressions

When spring rain falls on the dusty tarmac streets of this city, the city of my birth, a very particular smell is released. I can't compare it to anything - it is both dusty and fresh, not at all unpleasant. It triggers memories in me older than words. It proves, in a way, that I am indeed in the city of my birth - these are the streets I have learned to walk on, inhaling this smell.

I went to pick up a parcel from the post office local to my home (from which I am a plumbing-renovations exile until the autumn). Sent from the other side of the planet, I knew the parcel contained photographs from my childhood and that of my teenage sons. The weight of the parcel on my hip felt a little like carrying a baby, but also I felt I was carrying mad sad Solange, the unloved-till-breaking-point theatrical character I am currently playing. Three more shows as Solange, then I, too, shall leave her. Sorry Solange... It is strange how the characters one plays become real, at once part of oneself, and another person intimately known, and yet all of it is illusion.

While I walked, I got a sudden urge to listen to my scarcely-used iPod. I played my friend Rebecca's song on repeat, over and over again. It is beautiful - I remember when she played it to me for the first time, I knew she was a singer-songwriter but I had no idea of how shockingly talented she was. It completely blew me away then, and still does. Dear Reader, these are your instructions - go and listen to her singing "Isadora's Alice Party" - the other songs are good too, but Isadora is very special. Listen to it and imagine the scent of the spring rain.

8 comments:

nmj said...

I just listened with my eyes closed, Rebecca is so funky, the song is sad & funny & beautiful. x

Anna MR said...

I'm glad you like it, NMJ - Rebecca's also one of the nicest people in the world. x

bindi said...

nice post Anna MR - changeable, multiple, actress identities set in contrast to biographical connections to your city and memories.

did you rock the baby? I sometimes find myself rocking supermarket trolleys whilst standing in the queue.

nmj said...

It was 'Saint Wilgefortis' I heard first time, I got confused - just saying in case you wondered why I said it was funny . . . x

Anna MR said...

Hei bindi - I didn't really rock it, but I enjoyed the long-since but still familiar feeling of a weight perched on my hip while I walked. Strange, really, as I am sure I have carried things (and indeed, children!) since my sons were little without thinking about how I used to carry my babies at all. I have no idea where the (very physical) association came from. I love the idea of you rocking the trolleys - but your kids are a bit younger than mine, aren't they. My younger son was a right screamer when he was small, and for years I'd get a Pavlovian rock reflex to any baby crying anywhere within earshot of me.

NMJ - I kind of guessed you meant the Patron Saint of Bearded Ladies when you mentioned funny, rather than Isadora. Rebecca wrote to me about writing that song while I was in Hawai'i, it is so strange to have friends who are creative like that.

xx to you both, ladies.

kurt said...

(apropos of nothing...)

I saw your post list on the left topped by "mayo" and before I noticed the months are in Spanish, I thought "My god, she couldn't have been so Americanized in Hawaii that she has 7 posts on mayonnaise..."

MrZhisou said...

You should use your iPod more.

Anna MR said...

Mr Z, dear Grockles - why? My ears start to feel annoying (or annoyed?) after wearing headphones for a while, and life (my life) doesn't seem to want a soundtrack. I like to listen to music; having it playing all the time feels like reading a book in the background, or watching theatre while doing something else. The first Sony Walkmans came out when I was a teenager (christ I'm showing my age here) and I never really got into them then either.

That reminds me of an anecdotal memory that I think I'll write up as a post. Thank you for inspiring me, Z.

Kurt - why in the name of everything are my months in Spanish on your computer?! That wins the oddity of the day award, effortlessly.