In July 2007 I went to Lisbon with my Super 8 camera. It was a beautiful time - great city, incredible cavernous underground, cool air countering the hot summer days, polished cobbles leading down a huge wide promenade to the harbour, tiny narrow streets in Barrio Alto, a warren of incredible tree-root like streets in Alfama, surreal seaside in Caiscais, and a stunningly dramatic beach with giant rocks protruding from the sea at Adraga. I'll always remember that trip as the time I truly got to grips with my Super 8 camera - a Braun Nizo S800.
The reason for this post, nearly 6 years later? I was having a clear-out of things in the bedroom and I came across a bundle of bright yellow pages of hand-written notes, and I immediately recognised them as my notes I'd made that summer in 2007. I thought about tossing them away, but then decided to read through them just in case, and I'm glad I did, because it felt meaningful to me, reading over those notes - my feelings I could suddenly taste again, my thoughts I could smell. How beautiful an ability is memory!
So here is a little extract from my notes, maybe they'll interest you a little or give you some pleasure. I hope so!
"Francoise Sagan writes love and all its complexities profundities and colours tastes rhythms incessantly artfully, accurately and poetically. She captures the height of that brief and burning mania as well as its lulls and delicious limbos better than any writer ever has. Her femininity really comes through, and its flavour I love, as well as respect. She alludes to 'Wild Palms' in her novel, and mentions hands a lot, confirming my belief in and extending my comprehension of the 'manual' element to Wild Palms - hands roving over the body of one who infatuates you, one you desire deeply and seemingly without limit. I must make a film called 'Wild Palms'! It has just hit me! I should also make my mermaid/sea film. Wild Palms will have excerpts from the book in it, filmed and read out loud. It will show palm trees on time lapse, and in slow motion, and 18fps, and in b/w and colour. It will also show hands on flesh, grasping, groping, kneading, needing, frantic, slow, caressing, finger circling a palm, finger tracing a lifeline in a palm, hands in prayer, hands holding each other, fingers trailing down a mouth, tracing tissue paper tickly lips. Hands making something - bread, origami, clay. Maybe I should make my own soundtrack, write my own poetry/piece for it. I could film it, hand-written...
... Francoise Sagan writes in 'La Chamade' that anxiety, even more than jealousy, hastens the demise of love...
.... I was considering the term 'enjoy' yesterday, and how it means to be in a state of joy! How nice is that? (probably from the French 'en joie'). The old guy at this cafe has only just got around to taking my order, but I was happy just sitting here writing, and happy that he was cool with me sitting here so long not having ordered! Something that strikes me about being alone is the friendly amusement and benevolence and surprise I am greeted with. I wonder which Capitalism prefers - taking coffee together, or alone? Cam reckoned the lonely consumer was worth more, because of lack and substitutes, hunger. But, together at a table you drink more, don't you? A lonely person can emit a sort of odour, one which frightens those who are frightened of being alone themselves. We seem to be cultured to need company, sometimes I think.