The rhythm of this second pilot residency has proved to be totally different from the first, back in March this year. We hadn’t really considered the effect of having to be up and alert for sunrise and sunset: in June this has meant a 3:45am start each day and being upstanding for the last light of the day at around 10pm.
Mel has fared much better at this than me. Past the watershed I am lucky if I can operate a door or window, let alone take sound recordings, write log posts and generally be all creative and poetic. I now have a huge respect for shift workers, farmers and anyone else who manages a job with unsocial and ungodly hours. I salute you all and now have a deeper understanding of the price you pay for the work you do.
Of course I am a townie and a bit of a softy but being in residence is always demanding as an artist: we are required to respond creatively to our environment and “make art” in all manner of circumstances. In March I started a new sequence of poems that I am now working on; this time round I have managed a few journal notes and imagery ideas.
Everything’s been a bit overwhelming, and that includes the scenery, the wildlife and all the birds at the estuary: what a sound they make as they rise in response to predators or some other threat (listen to Sunrise audio associated with this post, or visit the ayib archive on SoundCloud). This morning we walked there in the burgeoning sunlight and even though I was moving on autopilot for some of the way I know what an honour and a privilege it is to be an artist. This coastline, this place, this sea of ours here in Northumberland is nothing short of miraculous and I can only hope – as our project develops and expands – to do justice to it with my poetry, writing and collaborative works.
Kate Bush wrote a song called “Be Kind To My Mistakes” and it somehow seems fitting to think of it while writing this. I am not sure what my mistakes are: maybe they’re aren’t really mistakes but re-imaginings and re-interpretations of the world around us. I can’t get that song, or the lines of Carson’s Under the Sea-Wind out of my mind as I work here in Beadnell. Today’s poetic offerings are:
1. a new concept for a poem “fours hares and a kingfisher”
2. a description of the beach as a “cold morning desert”