I go to loud places to search for someone to be quiet with, who will take me home

You go to loud places to find someone who will take you higher than I took you

Didn’t I take you to higher places you can’t reach without me?

I have never reached such heights

I see music in your eyes

I go to those places where we used to go

They seem so quiet now, I’m here all alone

You go to new places with I don’t know who

And I don’t know how to follow you

http://pitchfork.com/news/58982-jamie-xx-shares-loud-places-featuring-the-xxs-romy-madley-croft/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=general&utm_campaign=news

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I’ve been in Brazil for 8 weeks. One thing I missed, the only thing other than my dog, was music. And I’ve returned to some beauty. The above tune awakens the romantic in me. Beautifully produced and sung. I have a lot to say about Brazil but for now, I think my feet are steadily finding ground, like a feather floating from a few hundred miles up. There will be no crash landing, but hopefully a peaceful recognition of what the hell it was all about. Wow. I’m in awe, and currently stuck in between varying emotions. Brazil, I miss you. Freedom of spirit, I miss you. Not caring about who I am, I miss you. Exploring exciting, wondrous places, I miss you. Random people who made me smile, I miss you. Life away from here, I miss you.

He came to visit. He travelled from lands afar to meet and greet, indicated my family with a ceramic bowl, stroked the welcoming, yet sometimes glaring, head of my dog. He made a good impression on them and on me. We explored the city, some parts of which I hadn’t seen for so long and all of which he hadn’t ever seen or would have imagined he was going to see. He entered my safe haven, which wasn’t made any less safe by his arrival. He fitted in, he washed his dishes, he hung out with me and my sister as we watched on in pride as our family friend, sometimes referred to as our baby sis, sang shakily in a local, trendy bar to a receptive and generous crowd. We moved from action to action smoothly, naturally, at ease, as if we had known each other for years, as if this wasn’t the first time we had met in the flesh. He tried the “exotic” food of my mother, who fed him like he was her own. “Eat. Eat more.” Typical Indian hospitality. We walked the dog around my leafy neighbourhood and watched the route of my bus journey, strolled up and down Oxford Road and skated on some ice. He seemed impressed by my ability. He watched me as he took little strides, watched me as I went from holding on like a scared child to sprinting as fast as I could, absorbing the moment, allowing the fresh icy air to cool down my exerted efforts. We shared a bed, although unlike a new bout of passionate lust, we took it steady, making sure that we continued to follow suit, to not rush…. as per our journey so far. It had taken me over a year to let him in for fear of pain and even as I write this I do wonder, in a reflective manner, how I came to be so guarded. Shouldn’t an experience like this, and my life in general, make me feel content? If I’m questioning him still, should I be pursuing this? Why do I have to ask so many questions?

We slept easily after my volcanic eruption, like a felled tree lying heavy on the moss. Laughter happened – and that is most definitely the way to my heart.

I’ve got that feeling all up in me. One that has been inspired by a wholly unbelievable experience at a gathering of like-minded souls at the Southport Weekender. It happened last weekend and I, as well as my friends who accompanied, cannot get over it. I almost feel as though I can’t put into words what I feel but it’s a feeling of awareness, of self-awareness, of waking up to the plans of which I envisioned at the beginning of this self-proposed change. One of growing up and of focus and of achieving all that I want to while I’m still young and free and able.

The festival. I completely underestimated the effect it would have on me and the absolute grandness of what it would turn out to be. It was like a utopia, a congress of souls that all for a short period of time converged to unify as one. The music was like nothing I had ever heard at a festival before and the spirit of the place was alive and buzzing, depicted through every smile and every random burst of unified dance move. The funny thing about this is that even though I make bold statements about how amazing it was and how beautiful the atmosphere was, one thing I can’t escape from is the fact that it was held in Pontins. Yes, Pontins. This drab, grey, institutional British family getaway destination was the host of the complete opposite of what it stands for. That aside, the music was incredible and I’ve never been to an event that hosted music that I’ve always been interested in, soulful house, jazzy beats, afro house, Latin beats, strong percussion, divaesque vocal house and good old plain soul.

Perhaps it’s cuz it’s so late, it’s 4:50am, even after the clocks having been turned back an hour. I’m sitting in my big blue comfy office feeling a sense of yearning after listening to some music through my phone. This music pinged at me through a Facebook status, friends of friends within a group message sharing tracks of a festival gone by. And then I did that thing where an artist reminds me of a song by said artist and the inevitable click culture on YouTube begins. As I get this yearning, this feeling in the pit of my stomach, a sort of swirling of emotion centred around what could potentially be a chakra or just the plain ole gut, I look around my bedroom seeking somebody to share this feeling with. I then wondered whether I’d ever share such a feeling with someone or, as I’m considering as I type, whether it’s a feeling made just for me. Even if it were, I’m not keeping it to myself because of this urgency of wanting to share. Thoughts drifted forwards to a more day dreaming sense of future. I don’t even know if what I’m typing is making sense, but nonetheless, music, my vice, my love, has done this to me again. The after effects of a huge festival are definitely still all up in me.

And deep breath.

I’ve been made to question myself and my beliefs. Each person grows up in their respective countries with different stories, different upbringings, different experiences, different parents, different culture and different identities. It is this that I must take in to account before I spawn a load of feel-sorry-for-myself one-sided argument.

The issue of race and ethnic origin runs deep in my veins. My story backdates to a time when I was constantly forced to recognise the different shade of skin colour that I was born with, within a small working class town that had yet to experience or get to grips with such diversity. Generally, my younger through to my mid teenage years were positive but there is somewhat of a dark cloud that hangs over them in the form of racism and prejudice. Sure, these things happened to me through no choice of my own but it is now, during my late twenties that I am starting to realise that all of these experiences make up a person and they can either mess with the mental stability of a person or make that person stronger. I’m trying for the latter, but I’m well aware that there is still a chip on my shoulder. I haven’t really let go of those experiences because some of my actions and decisions are sometimes affected.

A “friend” of mine, someone who I’ve been getting close to, has challenged my very being and the manner in which I think about this subject. To be honest, the subject of race has been put to rest as a period of my life that happened because it was a part of my story. The whole of me then and now. I try not to dwell on the past but I guess it’s occasions like this that make me remember such things because I draw upon the knowledge of which I’ve acquired through experience.

This person is not from Britain. He is from a European country, one that is still growing and is poorer in a general sense, one that submits to the fear of radicalism and is traditional in its thinking. Of course, this is a stereotype and a massive generalisation and it isn’t true of every person who lives there, much like it isn’t true that every single Brit drinks tea to solve a problem. Although a lot probably do.

He is trying to make me question my views on equality. He is telling me that I am the same as someone who holds prejudice views on race because I also exclude people in the same manner that they do – that I don’t want to associate myself with people who are prejudice against someone, particularly Muslim people, which in turn makes me the same as someone who holds prejudice against a Muslim person or somebody else because they simply don’t like them.

I have tried to explain that I am open and liberal and all for equality, an opinion that has in some way been shaped by my past experiences. I explained that in no way have I blamed the whole of white Britain for what a few people put me through when I was younger, yet in contrast he does actually feel contempt towards Muslims because of what he reads and because his country isn’t as integrated.

I am not saying that multiculuralism is a method that works all the time. It has its problems. But I wouldn’t change it because without it I wouldn’t have been able to be the person I am today and the person I’m working towards being. I’m always grateful that my parents and their parents chose to settle in The UK. Indians have had it slightly different, given the positive relationship between The UK and India throughout history. Well, mostly.

After having typed this out, I have come to some conclusions actually. I probably need to be more understanding of his point of view. Perhaps he feels attacked by me. I am not a person to fight my corner by making someone else feel bad about their opinion but from his reaction today, perhaps I’ve been a bit too much. But calling my point of view “extreme”, or “dangerous” is shocking to me.

My friends and family all co-exist on the notion that people must live side by side and for the most part, race goes unnoticed. There are obviously going to be times when race becomes prevalent, but not always in a negative manner. I love Britain for having integrated immigration laws in to society and for enabling people of all races, genders, sexuality to be equal. I mean, by law, it certainly is the case but I won’t deny that it has its problems.

I did claim that he was projecting his views of himself on to me. But I think the friends he surrounds himself with pretty much share the same point of views. It’s sad in a way, that young European guys have such a viewpoint led by fear. I tried to get across to him that I like equality and that my opinions are borne from love, or an attempt to love everything and everyone around me. It’s a loved up theory that can’t always be applied but in my opinion it’s a nice way to live and to keep the mind healthy. In his opinion, he thinks I’m deluded and obsessed with this notion of multiculuralism.

It’s a tricky situation but I feel better for having typed it out. My thoughts are more clear. I think he’ll just have to think what he does of me. I think what I do of him – which is a man who reminds me of the people who used to be in my past, ignorant maybe, but not racist. I’ve met racists and they aren’t a nice bunch, but he’s a good guy at heart. I just don’t enjoy being told that my view on acceptance and tolerance is “dangerous” and that I tried to put him on sides. He has an opposing view to mine, it doesn’t make him racist but he doesn’t share the same opinion. He said that I’m calling him a racist.

Well… there was an occasion when he said “I don’t like black people.” But, this will sound strange as I’m not trying to justify his words, he said it in a way where he didn’t think he was saying anything wrong because it’s more accepted in his country. So is it an evolutionary thing or should each person consider what he or she is saying by searching inside of them? Not everybody can think like that though, without trying to sound patronising. Not everybody can reason outside of their boundaries and limits, and perhaps I need to listen to myself? I’m really not sure. He has absolutely frazzled my brain.

One thing I do know is that I am not a bad person for not wanting to hang around with people who hold prejudice views on race. I’ve had enough of that in my life. I’d cut them out just like I’d cut out violent people or people who are rude for no reason of people who make me feel bad for no reason. Or am I here to teach these people something?

I will think more about it. But less than I have done tonight.

Today has been a peculiar day. I taught a student of mine privately, in the usual manner. Everything was as normal, we sat in our usual city centre cafe, I bought a coffee, the third of the day up to that point, and we conversed. We spoke about his move from place to place, his English language acquirement, he described his walk from the city centre to his new place, you know, the usual. I monitored what he said, took notes of any mistakes or any pronunciation issues and he continued, as usual, by asking me questions about specific and detailed English language queries. He’s proficient in English so now he’s learning the nitty-gritties. You know, the usual. 

After two hours we walked from the area we were in and through the city centre for about 5 mintues to another cafe, a livelier coffee shop branded in franchised red and frequented by a hugely diverse and international crowd. It was, and is always, busy and noisy and today in particular there were kids fighting at a table opposite us while we sat amid a group of middle-aged Arabic ladies who seemed to be enjoying themselves, relaxing together, taking time away from their families and gossiping, perhaps. 

At the end of the third hour and the lesson, my student proclaimed something that at the time I overlooked. Tiredness consumed me so, after he told me, I avoided eye contact for a second, probably selfishly, as he looked on awkwardly towards me. I couldn’t stop thinking about him this evening and I can’t help but think that I’m here to help him somehow, not only with his English needs but in other ways too. I’ve already somewhat coached him out of a lack of self-confidence in regards to his English use. He hasn’t really compared himself to any other learners and doesn’t recognise his ability, steep progression and detailed knowledge of the language, despite my continued efforts. I guess the teacher’s job is never over. At times I have felt a little protective over him. He has opened up recently and it’s a peculiar situation because I have to maintain professional, without becoming emotionally involved, but it’s not within my nature to not help, particularly after having built a bond over the past six months. 

I have yet to decipher what his real issue is but he has said many different things that could allude to how he’s feeling. What struck me most was his question about the language:

“Do people say ‘Drink yourself to sleep?'” 

“Yeah. That’s correct.” After an uncomfortable pause I queried: “Why?”

After a brief chat unrelated to that comment he said: “I think I’m depressed.” 

Today has been a peculiar day. I taught a student of mine privately, in the usual manner. Everything was as normal, we sat in our usual city centre cafe, I bought a coffee, the third of the day up to that point, and we conversed. We spoke about his move from place to place, his English language acquirement, he described his walk from the city centre to his new place, you know, the usual. I monitored what he said, took notes of any mistakes or any pronunciation issues and he continued, as usual, by asking me questions about specific and detailed English language queries. He’s proficient in English so now he’s learning the nitty-gritties. You know, the usual. 

After two hours we walked from the area we were in and through the city centre for about 5 mintues to another cafe, a livelier coffee shop branded in franchised red and frequented by a hugely diverse and international crowd. It was, and is always, busy and noisy and today in particular there were kids fighting at a table opposite us while we sat amid a group of middle-aged Arabic ladies who seemed to be enjoying themselves, relaxing together, taking time away from their families and gossiping, perhaps. 

At the end of the third hour and the lesson, my student proclaimed something that at the time I overlooked. Tiredness consumed me so, after he told me, I avoided eye contact for a second, probably selfishly, as he looked on awkwardly towards me. I couldn’t stop thinking about him this evening and I can’t help but think that I’m here to help him somehow, not only with his English needs but in other ways too. I’ve already somewhat coached him out of a lack of self-confidence in regards to his English use. He hasn’t really compared himself to any other learners and doesn’t recognise his ability, steep progression and detailed knowledge of the language, despite my continued efforts. I guess the teacher’s job is never over. At times I have felt a little protective over him. He has opened up recently and it’s a peculiar situation because I have to maintain professional, without becoming emotionally involved, but it’s not within my nature to not help, particularly after having built a bond over the past six months. 

I have yet to decipher what his real issue is but he has said many different things that could allude to how he’s feeling. What struck me most was his question about the language:

“Do people say ‘Drink yourself to sleep?'” 

“Yeah. That’s correct.” After an uncomfortable pause I queried: “Why?”

After a brief chat unrelated to that comment he said: “I think I’m depressed.”