Happy Friday! (Is that what we're up to? Or is it Blursday?)
Life seems to be stomping by at such an aggressive pace that the weeks all but disappear into the void. The 2020 time warp is real.
So, I'm finding it useful to think about one 'shiny moment' every day and keep track of the good bits.
One. I haven't stopped thinking about this article — 'Enya is everywhere' — since I first read it a few weeks ago. Enya was an elemental part of my childhood soundtrack; in fact, Watermark was one of the first CDs my mother ever bought, a mainstay of road trips and hazy Sunday afternoons at home. I distinctly remember being captivated by Enya's animated gown in 'Orinoco flow' (how cool was that film clip, for its time?), a song that somehow held its own among other late-80s classics like 'She Drives Me Crazy' by the Fine Young Cannibals and Phil Collins's 'Groovy Kind of Love'. Jenn Pelly describe's Enya's music as a particular 'thread of pop' that is 'slow and hypnotic and restorative, with operatic melancholy, solitary strength, and a discernibly feminine sense of craft'. Yasss, queen.
Two. Whoever said that being an adult is just deciding what to make for dinner over and over until you die...? Yeah. I used to love cooking, but thinking about food at the end of a workday now fills me with a peculiar sort of dread. This super easy beef mince stir fry worked well for a mid-week cbf-style dinner (but I used udon noodles instead of rice and steamed some bok choy to serve on the side). You could easily make it with a beef substitute if you don't eat meat — or want to eat less of it.
Three. My partner and I finished watching I May Destroy You a couple of nights ago — wow. Intensely confronting, the series is loosely based on writer and actor Michaela Coel's own experiences of sexual assault: during the writing of her debut Netflix series, Chewing Gum, Coel was raped after having her drink spiked. In this series, the main character, Arabella, is also a writer on deadline, sidetracked by fragmented yet intrusive memories of her assault and plagued by questions about how and why it happened.
Yes, it makes for uncomfortable viewing. In interviews, Coel has described her explicit intention to explore the fine line we often tread between 'liberation and exploitation' in contemporary sexual dynamics, two sides of a coin it can be painful to acknowledge. And these themes are pervasive. At around the sixth episode, I caught myself wondering whether it was contrived or otherwise unnecessary to include so many intertwined narratives of sexual assault.
But that's kind of the point. As the characters observe, myriad forms of sexual assault are happening all the time — destructive in their murky ordinariness.
If you're in the right headspace to watch it, I May Destroy You also incorporates moments of levity, clarity, and unexpected transcendence. Coel's storytelling is remarkably tender and original — an important voice as Black feminist perspectives start to become more deeply engrained in mainstream media productions.
Four. London Grammar's third studio album is almost ready to drop, and the title track, 'Californian soil', bodes well for another captivating release. Sometimes I feel apprehensive when a favourite artist or band brings out something new, but I have a good feeling about this one.
Five. 'Did you hear something?' This New Yorker cartoon from Tuesday 6 October gave me the giggles.
What were the best bits of your week?