inside is feathers


Blog-journalling for reflective practice, for me, is a bit like cooking.

Sometimes it’s okay to acknowledge that you don’t have all the ingredients, that you’re subbing in cashews where the recipe says almonds. You’re not failing at your recipe, or doing anything “wrong”, you just know that today isn’t the day for achieving Julia Child-level success. You’re just being as gentle as your mind needs you to be today*.

But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking on the body, running in the body, riding with the body, riding in and out on the breath. Trying to meet Chantel somewhere in her training commitment reminds me ever more keenly that “waiting for your turn to speak” is not an art form and a commitment to listening, to watching and to thinking are as integral to the creation of a poem as the actual sitting down and writing or standing up and performing. I’ve watched intense amounts of ballet, been drowning in sound and living in hope. And wondering just how hard you can write and still make it look simple, to use natural language, to engage people with the gentle revelation not the fist to the cheek.

But I’ve also been reading and thinking and running with Rhyll a bit this week – just a snippet here, a text message here, and a call and answer as a part of play and preparation for the women’s feature at Words or Whatever on the 16th.

I was thinking 32, she’s feeling 22.

The body became a rush

of singing electric.

When the drugs wore off

years later:

The bones creaked,

a whole skeleton.

Rhyll and I don’t work the same way; we don’t look the same way; we don’t write the same way. But the great delight of collaboration is to place two things side by side and see each it its own beauty.

Today, I get to speak with Chantel about her arms moving in and out.

*never record your poems at 2am at regular intervals. you will gradually go quite mad.

By Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer, cyclist, writer, gal about town, feminist, freewheeler, and friend.

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