Tuesday, I walked all the way around Clapham Common. Can you believe I haven’t done that yet? I live 10 minutes from the common and have done so for 11 months and yet it has taken me this long to walk all around the common.
It’s not to say that I haven’t walked on the common. It’s not to say that I haven’t walked PART WAY around the common. But I haven’t done a full circle. The west side of Clapham Common? Pretty. Much more artistically overgrown than the east side. Jenny approves. When it comes to landscape design, I am a romantic, not a classicist (when it comes to poetry, however, those romantics tend to really piss me off).
I had been working all day in front of a screen and then I headed home and found myself in front of a screen again, finishing off press releases, replying to emails etc. etc. When I finally had everything done (dinner, press releases, social media for this theatre company I used to be involved with), it was about 8:45pm. ‘Ok,’ I thought to myself, ‘Time to sit yourself down and write some more of the racist play.’ My heart sank (not just because I’m worried the play is racist). I realised I could not physically force myself to sit in front of a screen for another two hours. So I didn’t. I checked what time the sun set that night and I charged up my iPod and I headed out to Clapham Common.
There is nothing more wonderful than going for a walk at dusk. The day has cooled down, the colours of the sky are all soft and creamy, the traffic (both car and pedestrian) has eased and the people out and about on the common always seem to be a lot more charming. I don’t know why that is. Because there are less of them? Because all the kiddies are tucked away in bed? Because we’re all in this together at 9pm and the smaller amount of people out and about make it seem more community-like? Who knows. But its nice. Its calming.
I walked for 45 mins or so listening to this. And only that. I tried to listen to other songs, but none had the same deep, calming effect on me. Its something about those way-down low drum beats that seem to grab me somewhere around my middle (just above my stomach, but not quite my heart. What would you call that?) and hold me still and content. I think I over-identify a little too much with the lyrics. Which is understandable on some levels (I jumped the first train I saw, it’ll surely take me home; If I had a mama, at least I’d have a place to go) and not so understandable on others (I steal my meals when all else fails – can’t say I have ever done that).