Saturday, 28 May 2011

I'm new here.

Sometimes a song just knocks you sideways. I've just listened to Gil Scott-Heron's "I'm new here" for the first time, and I'm still reeling. A friend had posted a link to the video, as Scott-Heron's just died. I'd known who he was, but now I realise that's not enough. I must, must go find all his music and listen to it, NOW.

Here's the video. Listen to it.

I've been reflecting a lot these past few weeks on how I am right now compared with about a year ago. I'm trying to come off the anti-depressants that I've been on since last May. I guess I thought it would be easy - I'd been feeling really good - but storms can blow up in minutes on my personal weather map. So much of my thinking has ended with me feeling as though I've gone in a circle and that somehow I've not progressed at all. I've felt frustrated and trapped, as though I've failed. As if self-knowledge is a sort of test I can pass or fail. Gil Scott-Heron sings to me about the freedom in the circular journey. You arrive where you started, you get the chance to walk the same path, but this time with new knowledge: of yourself, of the world, of other people. Or perhaps, with nothing at all: free of preconceptions (misconceptions?) about the things you thought you knew.

I think that is what I need to remember. I'm not slipping backwards, because life doesn't have a direction in that sense. Let's see if I can hold on to that thought.

1 comment:

  1. This reminded me of something I wrote back in 2006 (below) when we were studying together. But now I look back I can see that it was not a circle but a spiral, where I was progressing forward with each twist until I sprang off the end into a different way of life and thinking! Don't lose faith - I hope that 8 months later you might now be starting to see your upward spiral too :) Love from the Lady R x

    Why have I arrived

    I am returned to
    Feelings Familiar,
    Angry with these circles
    I trace from past to future,
    Disappointed with myself.
    I am not who
    I hoped to be.
    I remain eternally
    That little girl
    Balancing on the
    Concrete edges of the playground.

    I can't explain
    Or understand
    My lack of success
    At making progress.

    Why do I sometimes
    Really believe
    I have moved forward
    Into something else
    Then discover
    It's just old territory?