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BE THE LEAST YOU THAT YOU CAN BE

I live here in the hills because I don’t want to be anywhere else. There are 9 million people in London, 3 and a half million in Berlin, 8 million in New York, 21 million in Lagos.  That’s a whole lot of people, a whole lot of neon, an army of cars, mountains of plastic, oceans of oil.  That’s a whole heap of trouble right there.  I’m not saying it’s better or cleaner or less trouble out here, but it’s definitely quieter.   I’m outnumbered by animals and plants and that’s a good thing.  I’m surrounded by furred and feathered and leafed neighbours.   I live amongst them and mostly we get along.  I try and be the least I can be.  Bring the least disruption, the least intrusion, the smallest footprint, do the least prettifying; shut up and be still.

I lived in London, I lived in New York.  I moved here to not be there.  I came here so I could make a certain kind of art and music, so I could write a certain kind of book.  If I lived there I would write about there and there’s too much written about there already.  I didn’t want to be rich or successful or fulfilled or content or admired or loved.  I wanted to be here.  I wanted to be cold and not cold and lonely and not lonely, happy and not happy.  I wanted to be amongst an unhuman world.

So now I write books and make prints and release records. I have an affection for a great many things. It’s not good or bad, it’s not noble or corrupt. It is what it is; a life.