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Michelle Ridings & Belinda Chapman

Monday 26th October 2015:

We’re back in the making space once more.

It’s a day of working on and through some of the text. A chance to move through, take a walk with it, fumble around, to focus in on its interior world. We make lots of discoveries and ask a lot of questions about it.

Sometimes it doesn’t make any sense at all.

This isn’t dialogue. Not as I usually write. It is something else.

Nix thinks the text opens up a sense of pain, of loss and of painful separation.

What does this tell us about the work so far? The darkness of the material returns to the space through the text. We knew it was there lurking. But there is something about words that just seem to heighten something else today.

I am trying to understand something new. Whilst maintaining the poetry, whilst sinking down into the nerve ends of what I feel about this situation in Russia for LGBT people. The Russian authorities have just announced that they are working on legislation that will fine or jail anyone publicly announcing they are LGBT, and this could involve sitting in a cafe having lunch and being overheard. Pushing people further underground. Into places of shame, and danger, even more danger. This establishes a dark mindset. What fuels this kind of hatred? This kind of fear? For it is nothing more and nothing less than fear and hatred.

It cuts me to the quick, and it is just some kind of surface we are marking here as we are not in it, not in Russia, not under threat. But it is dark stuff we are addressing here.

So there must also be light, and lightness and hope and joy. Because there is amidst all the danger, love that people share and we must articulate this too. And in love there is always hope. Belinda Chapman keeps reminding us of this as we search through the words. It’s dark. I hadn’t taken it so much on board. Sometimes there is a moment as a writer where you become immune, out of tune and today I am tuning back in, hearing the performers read and be playful with the text.

Today was about feeling the content of the words.

How so few made can make an impact:

This is a beginning
This is the end
This is the beginning
This is the end
Of a safe life

Emotions were quite high today in the room as we felt something new come in. Beyond an aesthetic, beyond play, beyond the patient beautiful detail of the work with the sheet. Something else took hold. Content in a new way. Layering the physical work and explorations with the sheet. Connections started to get made in a new way.

I left the space wondering how then do I write about love now?

NM / 1st November 2015