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24 May 2022

Limbo

The last session of Crow’s Nest before half term began with the prompt to describe our previous week as headgear & a texture. Responses from everyone were:

  • a Rambo headband (pressurising the forehead) but made out of tacky melted marshmallow
  • a fish-bowl astronaut’s helmet made of forcefield energy
  • a blindfold (because I’ve slept so much this week)
  • a bike helmet that gets tighter the harder you try to undo it, which is the texture of a white linen dress
  • a fedora with nails jabbed into it (it hurts)
  • a brick falling onto my head

We then prepped ourselves for a jukebox free-write, where we write along to music tracks of our choice. We chose songs based on this term’s theme of liminality. These were our choices, with the reason the song recalls liminality to us appended in brackets:

  • The Family Madrigal from Disney’s Encanto (the introduction of characters)
  • Faded by Alan Walker (it feels like an empty house that’s been abandoned)
  • Hiding tonight by Alex Turner (lyrically, it’s about waiting until tomorrow to do anything)
  • Death Valley by Fall Out Boy (it feels like the space in between life and death)
  • Tit by Bun (it’s based in samples: little extracts of lots of things sampled together)
  • Institutionalised by Kendrick Lamar (because the song before this was when Kendrick Lamar was at his peak, so this is like a space in between)

Listening to the tracks, we wrote in response to what we heard, factoring in the changes in the musical dynamic song-to-song, in whatever form we liked – prose; poetry etc.

Here are some insights into how the task felt for us:

  • My writing was very disjointed
  • I picked up on the feeling of the time in between things which became a theme
  • I changed halfway through
  • I got a fixation on a lyric that became a motif in all the writing I did

Here was Conrad’s writing:

A mountain. 

Held high with pride and power, the rocks and jagged peaks slice through the troughs of smoke and air to reach to the sky, fighting against the ruthless battering of rain and rubble with a core of diamond, a skin of glass. The birds sit and peck at the loose bugs and scraps left by the others, then they leave, looking for a place suitable to sustain them. The few caves that are - are sitting close by the ground, charred by the last centuries troubles, battered by the last world's seas. The peak tumbles in its frost, dragging its breath from the ice that sprinkles white across its features. 

On the middle, a lone man sits, weary from his travels, drained of his breath from the same frost that gives that great mountain its beauty. The man looks back and sees that which lies back down. Back at the safer end, back where he could live in safety. 

But he knew he could not return. 

As if he did, he would never make it to the other side.

Next, we pondered liminality – or, “limbo” – and its causes, looking at the liminal spaces we crowdsourced in the last session. What causes someone to be asleep on a bus, or in an ad before a YouTube video? How might the cause be different for different people?

Our task was to write, with the question ‘What causes someone to end up in limbo?’ in mind.

Crow’s Nest breaks up for half term next week, returning on June 7th.

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