Last year around this time I was in a rush, a somewhat out-of-body experience of inspiration moving through me and manifesting on paper. Like a fever dream shivering everything into existence. Two months later my book of essays “Things I Have Noticed – Essays on Leaving / Searching / Finding” was in my hands and published consequently with the help of this lovely community.
This year I am also writing but it couldn’t be a more diametrical process.
When my siblings and I were little and still driven around in a green Mitsubishi mini van my Dad used to do this thing that we would always request at a certain point on our journey home. It was at the very top of a certain hill overlooking fields of wheat and tiny wooden farmhouses in the far distance, rolling down he would put the gear in neutral.
If a moving car is put into neutral, no power flows from the engine to the wheels even if you press the gas pedal. We can say that the wheels and engine are, in a way, not connected. This allows the wheels to rotate freely.
In the beginning the car would move a bit slower following gravitational forces, it would pick up speed and get faster and faster towards the valley and give us enough speed to roll up the next tinier hill in front of us which would usually be the moment when my Dad would put the gear back in again and we would continue our journey homeward bound.
There was always a certain element of danger in this practice and when you looked at my Mum’s face in these moments you would have been able to see it. Because you basically loose certain means of control over your car. You cannot quickly accelerate if need be or use the gas pedal to reduce speed. The wheels are in motion, the only thing stopping them are the breaks.
Now as a child this was obviously very exciting. Not necessarily because of the danger lying in between but to feel the actual force of a car rolling down a hill, to feel the pull, the wheels rolling sort of heavier now on the asphalt, you could feel your weight.
Driving a car usually feels light, the engine makes you believe that. But rolling down a hill without it, you realise how heavy you actually are. When you take your foot off the gas, if you stop pushing your self, you might just find out that: you’re not a light weight anymore.
Today after two and a half years of writing on my novel in English and numerous attempts before that writing it in German (dating back to the first time ten years ago), I am finally starting to feel my weight. How heavy I have gotten. I am starting to feel the pull. And I finally realise that in order to do this journey justice I will have to loosen up control. It will feel slow in the beginning but I know that if I take the engine off now, if I let the wheels roll, I know this body of work will carry me home.
ONE THING TO DO
Watch this incredible documentary about women in electronic music:
Watch here: https://sisterswithtransistors.com
"I'd like the one with the non-existential dread, please."
My book: "Things I Have Noticed - Essays on leaving / searching / finding” is a poetic memoir, about the process of finding ones own voice.
IN CASE YOU MISSED LAST WEEK’S MUSE LETTER
You're not having a f**** cup of tea
Things are hard when you don’t want to do anything. Things are increasingly harder when you’re also hung-over, lying on the bed next to your partner, wailing like a baby about how you really really don’t want to do anything right now e.g. me an hour earlier when I was complaining about having to walk my dog and write this newsletter. Two things I usually enjoy doing but somehow completely resented in that moment convinced I would be unable to perform them. Two things I have by now almost already completed.
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