Wow, it's not easy to come here.
Last time was 20 years ago, in 2001.
This city is also linked to Nick Cave whose music helped me a lot when Rachel was ill. An it's unpleasant to go to a place that is so familiar, so close to you but where you have nowhere to go. A stranger at home.
I wonder if once you're an adult you can never really feel at home, if it's a feeling only fully experienced by children.
Funny to think some places are so packed with feeling, it's not the same as with objects or letters or photos because they belong to you. Of courses houses and land can belong to you too but I'm talking more about public spaces, they belong to everybody (or are supposed to) and at the same time you can have a very personal relationship to them. There are real dialogues between us and some spaces, so much so that these dialogues being sometimes too painful, I've had to avoid these spaces:
- Avenue Charles de Gaulle in Auxerre
- Quai Saint Antoine in Lyon
- 8 Midanbury Lane
Do these spaces contain the feelings, I mean do they actually get to feel them or their vibrations or are they completely neutral and unaware?
Partick Keiller actually takes this much further - although he then said he wrote it as joke expecting people to laugh at that moment, they didn't, they took it rather seriously:
"If he looked at the landscape hard enough it woudl reveal to him the molecular basis of molecular events."
Robinson in space, Patrick Keiller
It's not only the sight of course but it also about smells and sounds and the feeling of the air.
I chose to not stay in Brighton at first but in Hove along the beach. I first went to see Penny Gobby House. My parents decided to move back to England when Rachel was nearly 3 as my mother had found Penny Gobby House, a really good school for children with Down's Syndrome. She was obliged to leave before my father or she would have lost the place she had obtained for Rachel in this school. Rachel was only in the school for one month as my father had decided he did not want to return to England just for her sake, he wanted to continue his life in France. My mother who had also started to work as a physiotherapist again decided to go back to France. A difficult decision!
I then walked towards Lewes Crescent where my grand-parents lived but could not go all the way, I was feeling too emotional and slowly walking along the beach, taking the time to look at it with new eyes was already beautiful as such. I listened to Nick Cave's Skeleton Tree album while walking, an album that accompanied me through Rachel's illness, especially the last days when I listened to Distant Sky while I was hugging her and we met in an incredible dream on the other side of the world. In this dream Rachel and I walked among ruins and when I woke up it was like it had really happened. Listening to Nick Cave's music and poetry taught me that some kind of kitsch has an incredible power when it comes to overcoming and undersatnding grief.
I then listened to Bright Horses from the Ghosteen album and to the beautiful magical thinking it contains. The movement of this song helps me to write Back to reality.