Have you read John Green’s latest book Turtles All the Way Down?
I read it in one night, which is something I hardly ever do anymore, but always end up doing with John Green’s books. His characters are funny, sincere and eccentric, which means they feel like the very best version of humans. Or, as my friend Rachel puts it, ‘Not quite geek, not quite normal.’
Aza, the main character in the book struggles with obsessive thoughts and describes how these thoughts, that she can’t control, repeat in her head more and more intensely, in a tightening spiral. I completely understood what she meant by that image; how it feels some days like your thoughts are unstoppable and are closing in on you.
My thought spirals are not as powerful and paralysing as Aza’s but they do feel overwhelming and often lead me to anger or tears or both. I think I need to print a poster to put over my desk that just says, ‘Calm the fuck down.’ To remind me of the spiral. Then maybe I can take a step outside of it and remember that ‘this too shall pass.’
Have you ever watched John Berger’s Ways of Seeing? If you have, I bet it was a long time ago. I first watched it while I was studying at Sussex University, in Brighton and I only vaguely took in Berger’s hypnotic voice and strange poetic sentences. I watched the four episodes again this week and loved it. You can watch it for free on Ubu Web and, really, it’s worth your time. Not least for the incredible beginning of episode 2 where John Berger talks about how women always feel as they are being observed and can only exist in two metaphorical states- walking and weeping.
I hate football. (Sorry, not sorry.) And one of the main reasons is because they exaggerate and dramatise and waste time. This Vox piece on why they take dives didn’t diminish my frustration… but it’s interesting nonetheless!