Tranquil Afternoons


It's clear by now that my main interests are wearing pyjamas and feeding birds. Preferably both at once (that's when I'm in my ultimate form). The air itself seems to have its own kind of domesticity when I go outside for a walk, or for some fresh air, or to see the crows fly back and forth between TV aerials. I always think I could live in all sorts of different places because I don't feel super attached to any one specific area or building or life, even. Maybe part of that is to do with living in London and experiencing how different all the boroughs and streets and pockets of life are, but I'm sure a lot of it is to do with feeling more connected to the external surroundings and the constant familiarity of the immediate outdoors.


There are always birds and branches. There are always clouds and skies and rain and sun. The air feels nice.  All that stuff feels most like home to me.


That's why I love going for walks, because it feels like coming home. It feels like being my most lucid self. In those moments I know myself in my simplest terms. Amongst the trees and local creatures (because I'm a local creature too).


I guess I also have a familiar feeling in familiar spaces, so that's what's echoed in all these different outsides - the pleasant domesticity of feeling like I belong amongst all the pigeons and semi-detached houses with red and brown roof tiles, and the bushes and mud and pavements, and the corner shops selling Space Raiders and lots of variations on Kinder eggs.


Outside we can all be animals, tracing our fingertips along lines in bark. Inside we can be curatorial. Building birds' nests of hot water and light coming through blinds and casting stripy shadows. Both belong to each other, but everything is formed of outside. Everything is a small part of the world.


Socialising with non-human animals always feels magical. Like when I when I would crawl into the spinney at my middle school and sit with the damp piece of wood that all the wood lice lived in. I loved watching them and just being with them and smelling the woody, leafy smells in there. I honestly felt a kinship with them and I wanted to stay in there all the time and become one with the insects instead of doing times tables.


Since I never really discussed that feeling of being in awe of all these tiny sensory elements of nature as a kid, it was as if it was a secret magic all my own. I would watch ants crawl up trees by the school fence and feel so delighted and gently impressed, and I would feel as if I had been offered a secret gift by nature, alone in a loud playground full of shouting and running, singularly separated to share my consciousness with the trees and the ants.


Those feelings have never gone away, and I have cherished them all this time as the best thing about living. If you ever meet me at a party, please don't be alarmed if I start crying because of a leaf or something. That's just me. I'm enjoying it.


Go watch some ants, breathe some fresh air, trace lines in the ground with your toes, run though the forest as if you're five years old, make mud pies and draw pictures, organise your kitchen, hang up a painting of a vegetable, look at a flower, make yourself a drink.


I'm gonna go drink a lot water and curl up under a blanket.


11 comments:

  1. Un relato precioso!!! Me encanta pasear y contemplar la naturaleza mirando todos los detalles de mi alrededor. Un abrazo.

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  2. Un relato precioso!!! Me encanta pasear y contemplar la naturaleza mirando todos los detalles de mi alrededor. Un abrazo.

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  3. You are a wonderful photographer, Lil! Very nice photos. :-)

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  4. This post is truly beautiful, also amazing photos, so talented as always <3 :o)

    Moth And Poppy

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  5. I think I told you on one of your videos we lost, as in past on both my cats, the were brother and 15 and 16 years old when the went. Well the bird house we have had on to of the fence for 10 years has a Starling nesting in it, no cats so the bird are triumphant and just a 3 second flap to unlimited food. I have put my endoscope in but there is to much nesting material to see. We are also being visited by a pair of huge crows which can and do eat half a coconut shell filled with fat and have worked out how to unhook it and fly off with the coconut. I hoping to see the baby Starling out the nest soon and video them. Happy pj sitting and bird spotting ☕πŸ’€

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    1. I, too, would like access to unlimited food! There are so many birds everywhere all the time, I love them.

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  6. Your photographs are stunning and original. You're a true photographer and a true writer. I love your thoughts and stories. Keep going!

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    1. Thank you so much! You're so sweet!

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