March 21st. Something of a blogging fulcrum (which sounds like a fruity insult – ‘a rich epithet’, as an elderly neighbour of ours referenced last week, in relation to a phrase which had fallen from her lips), by which is meant for as long as this blog has been alive, there’s been something to say about this date. Tom Waits Day, I’ve previously styled it. The calendar’d context of A Town With No Cheer, with its hummingbird trapped in a closed-down shoe store – remaining for me one of the great lyrics ever penned. Today, this year’s version, is blinding in a miserable March 21st… or, otherwise put, it’s well-lit.
On a beach – our favourite of that region – in North Wales, there’s a moment in the pre-storm when I look up from the interesting branches, and find that in all directions there are no people to be seen. I am entirely alone. Whether this is the weather, or the final weekend of the rugby, I don’t know. But not a single dog-walker, no walking dog. A train goes by behind me, my new ears makes a stranger of the sound.
I continue beachcombing, foraging for fascinating pieces, and I realise that I am completely, thrillingly, everlastingly-in-this-moment happy. I want to do this forever. Sometimes the wind just stops. The sun appears. My phone dies, which, but for the loss of its camera, I don’t mind. B. will reappear from the West Shore. Our friends live just over… there.
Before the phone rolls a six I get a snapshot of the skies. Between then and now I push further into Inky Conditions, readying the project and myself for a first exhibition of sorts. And today – this blinding (sun-in, sun-out) March 21st, I free a newly-rusted cycle from the pile of bikes in our lean-to, and ride up to the big farm; talking to the horses as I walk the last of the hill.