Almost half way through the year and, because the first quarter was largely taken up with travel, it was difficult to then assess what the most difficult parts of this challenge were.
(The new Laura Marling record, Short Movie, is on the turntable. It didn’t come with a download code. How did people in the 70s ever get by without having music wherever they went?)
Lyndal has always said it would be hard for her to not revisit old books during this year. She continues to have that difficulty. Recently she started reading the start of the children’s sci-fi series The Tripods, by John Christopher. She had to stop during the first book because she couldn’t recall if she had read it as a child or just seen a TV series of it.
When Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan‘s fates were still unsure, Lyndal had asked for a special dispensation in the event that they were executed. She felt that Gilead by Marilyn Robinson would be the book to help her make sense of the world. It was my recommendation that she not pursue that train of thought. These are the difficulties of this challenge. Sometimes we need that easy comfort and it’s just not there.
In a lighter situation, when news came that a found manuscript by Harper Lee was to be published, Lyndal’s thoughts went to rereading To Kill a Mockingbird for the -lost-count- time.
In music, she misses PJ Harvey especially and has probably found herself repeatedly listening to Sufjan Stevens’s Carrie & Lowell to fill whatever hole Polly-Jean has left. To be fair, the day Myuran and Andrew were executed, we both listened to that record on repeat. There’s so much emotion there.
As the subtitle of this site shows, I thought I would miss Sonic Youth most of all. For the past 24 years their song have been my go-to for comfort, understanding and desire.
But I haven’t missed Sonic Youth or any of my other at-hand, play-it-because-I-can’t-think-of-anything-else artists like the Beastie Boys. Those bands and artists that were such a part of my every day are still with me because they were with me every day. I can basically recite all of Paul’s Boutique off-by-heart.
I also haven’t missed some of the newer music in my life, because after a while it was pretty easy to replace the music with new sounds.
I’ve missed the TV and movies that I like to embrace when the mood strikes. When we were in Germany I wanted to rewatch Top Secret just because one line kept repeating in my head: "I know a little German. He’s over there."
There’s another project that I’ve been working on about they way we live and I’ve really wanted to rewatch The Wire to get remember the passionate thoughts of a need for justice that coursed through me when I watched it the first time.
Sometimes I just want to watch a film again to see if it’s as good as I thought the first time. When I first watched David Lynch’s Inland Empire I was blown away by its existence on the edge of the subconscious. But that was when we had a CRT television. Now we have a big LCD screen and I really want to watch it again.
I have these hankerings to rewatch shows and movies. Some of them are for comfort and some of them are for my own interest but I have to stop myself every time that thought comes up. I keep thinking about what January next year is going to be like and wondering if I’ll have an air-conditioned screening room where I can lock myself for weeks.