It’s difficult to put into words (I wrote nearly a thousand trying to explain, but it ended up a garbled mess of old memories and confusing metaphors), but this last week has been… weird. Like my head is thick with fog. Every word, sentence, phrase, feels like it’s extracted from my skin. It’s almost excruciating, layering letters on paper.
Maybe it’s the moon, or maybe I haven’t been eating enough spinach or something, but yeah, it’s been weird. Dazed-weird. Been listening to Allie Michelle’s voice and she makes things make sense, and the passion fruit is so sweet right now, and 10 000 emerald pools sounds like honey, and so many people are making beautiful arts publications, and things will make sense eventually !!
We changed our logo. And our website. And our instagram bio, I think. We’re going through some phases but it’s all part of being free, you know? More on that later. Here’s my December favourites. – Abby
Glee – Season 4 on DVD for Christmas means you know I’m not moving from the couch for a solid week.
Love Actually – We don’t have a lot of Christmas traditions – or any traditions, really – but this movie, every December, is one to cherish.
Robert Fiorella – Surf vids, and the occasional original song (all of which are pretty awesome).
Jusuf – There’s something so clean and fresh and grounding about her videos (so here’s a few of my favourites to refresh and motivate you. Re-watch whenever necessary!!)
Rare Visuals – (peep our interview with Liv!).
Never Grow Up, Claire Michelle – Long, long-awaited was this short film from Claire – but oh, so worth the wait.
Em – I think it’s best to leave this blank xo
A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle – I think this book requires more focus than I have been able to give it, but I’m working my way through these pages steadily, and soaking in – finally – a complete overview and explanation of the ego and the self, and how to understand both fully.
Just Kids, Patti Smith – I know I’ve mentioned this one a few times before, but I just settled in for a re-read, and I cannot recommend enough. Patti takes pieces of her and Robert Mapplethorpe’s life in New York City, circa late 60s, early 70s, and weaves it into a story thick with drugs, rock, homosexuality, art and love.
Semi-ok Collective Zine – Basically, a heap of art, beautifully formatted. Even the editor’s letter is practically poetry.
Childs Play – An online publication by Emma Childs. Issue 4 is all about intimacy – physical, intellectual and emotional – and it’s filled with the most beautiful, heart-aching pieces.
Ink Skinned – One of my favourite tumblr writers to exist. Decapitalisation, a lack of punctuation and overuse of ‘like’ create flash pieces so real and raw it punches you in the stomach, repeatedly.
13 Artists Give Advice to their Younger Selves – I really liked this.
WaitButWhy.com – One of my favourite discoveries of this month. I spent a whole day of classes reading through Part One and Two of his essays on the Artificial Intelligence Revolution, to the utter bemusement of my friends. Other favourites (after a further all-nighter spent trawling through his content) include 100 blocks a day and Taming the Mammoth in Your Head.
Them – a wickedly witty and beautifully honest website, for the queer teen. This sort of publication – with famous and influential contributors from all over the world – is indescribably important in supporting questioning or queer youth, and an enjoyable and educational read – I think – for everyone.
In truth, for most of this month, I was in school uniform, and when I wasn’t, a pair of bathers and a flimsy top sufficed. Here’s a brief summary:
– Bare feet cracked at the heels
– Throwing sweatshirts over thin orange dresses to run to the supermarket
– Tan lines from the twine wrapped around my ankle, tattered
ribbons hanging from my wrist.
– A black jacket from the boy I met the day before, wrapped around my
shoulders at dinner the next night
– Vintage Adidas shirt that hangs near my knees
– Low-cut tops the colour of leaves pressed from autumn
– Checkered black and white one-piece bathers
– Pants that flow like skirts
– Denim shorts from markets that hang off my hips and fray badly.
– Black slips sourced from dollar bins with straps that are falling apart
@sadgirlsclub – Aside from being a fantastic community and source of empathy and support, Elysee and Em conduct the most insightful and amazing livestreams, discussing specific mental health issues they’ve experienced.
@purenowhere – Music and art by the beautiful Kyla. For a constant stream of good photography & good bands, they have you covered.
@princessnokia – Um, I still believe that time she threw hot soup on a racist old guy was the best moment of 2017.
@unityskateboarding – Queer skating. It’s as awesome as it sounds.
@sydneytosantacruz – A blog publishing multiple rolls of really good film every week.
@tavitulle – Dissecting long-winded articles on the influence of teenage girls in adult culture, posting screenshots of quotes (that are, like, actually interesting) from her phone notes, and sharing her favourite books and vintage jewellery. It’s exactly what you’d expect from the Rookie founder – amazing.
@plantifulsoul – Claire pours her soul into instagram captions and instagram stories, and having followed her journey over the past year – her transition from LA to Hawaii, and the beginning and realisation of so many of her dreams and manifestations – I cannot truly explain how much of a guiding light she becomes in your life.
Your Own Magic – Podcast by Allie Michelle & Raquelle Mantra. I have no words. Listen to the first episode (find them on iTunes Podcasts) and you will understand. 54 minutes that changed my mindset completely. I’ve never resonated with a podcast so deeply … usually, the words fade from my memory within minutes. But Allie and Raquelle’s voices and stories linger in your mind and feed your soul.
But other than that, this month we’ve been listening to…
10 000 Emerald Pools – BORNS
Drive – Gretta Ray
Fields of Gold – Eva Cassidy
Marinade – DOPE LEMON
Notion – Tash Sultana
Breezeblocks – Alt-J
Paint – The Paper Kites
Heal – Tom Odell
Brother – Jack the Fox
Cigarette Daydreams – Cage the Elephant
Way Back When – Kodaline
The Breach – Dustin Tebbutt
The Dream Song – Nathan Reich
Wade in the Water – Eva Cassidy
Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
And a bonus – oceans like these, a 50-song playlist by me, all about those hazy summer evenings, guitars and soft tones, thick with cicadas and salt and tea-tree oil.
Speaking – I’ve always insisted I found it easier to organise my thoughts on paper. And I do, generally – in to-do lists, in journalled notes, and when exploring specific topics. A youtube video never works for me – I have to write an article. But the connection between voice and soul is something I am only just figuring out. Try recording more voice memos. Take ten minutes (I promise, you’ll go overtime) every day to record yourself just talking, about whatever you need to talk about at that moment in time. It’s insane what you can figure out.
Passion fruit – Hard grey shells litter my desk most days. Obsessed.
Tiger Balm – We bought a tiny gold jar in Thailand, when I was suffering from aching shoulders and sharp headaches nearly every day. This red ointment is a lifesaver. I still keep it with me constantly, though I rarely use it. Makes me feel much more organised and put-together, you know? Like the people that always have a band-aid at the ready. Sore muscle, anyone?
Tea-tree Oil – I am obsessed. I always have a bottle near me – in my bag, by my desk, on the windowsill… rubbed into my wrists, or smelled deeply when I need to focus.
Imaginary Friends FB group – a Facebook group founded by Alex Jago, all about the soul. Higher consciousness, creativity, self love, vulnerability, stepping into your power, creation, destruction, expansion, spirit, ego, sustainability, connection… all just a few of the themes she explores in raw videos and overflowing posts. With over 200 members, and personal questions posted and answered each day, it’s like a mini spiritual support group in your pocket.
Oil Burner – My sister bought me a beautiful little white lacquer one, and several blocks of christmas-inspired oils to melt down. Late at night, the sweet scent and flickering light is so calming. I have, of course, already spilt half the hot oil down my desk, but that’s neither here nor there.
Forget New Year, New Me. 2018’s not about remaking yourself. The loves and losses and fuckups and mistakes and triumphs and achievements and pain that have made you who and what you are today – they matter.
The New Year has only ever been about growth. Read more. Listen more. Speak more. Watch more. Learn more. See more. Feel more.
If ever there was a time to re-make yourself, it’s, like, February 6.