Firstly I should explain why I am in St. Ives a day early. On each Sunday I have scheduled in a "Spare Day", this is a sort of fire break at the end of each week to keep me on overall schedule in case I get held up somewhere for a day due to extreme weather or for any other reason. However this week rather than spending my spare day in Gwithian as scheduled I decided to power on ahead to spend Monday and Tuesday in St. Ives. There is a great hostel here, so it gives me a chance to chill out, do some writing, and most importantly of all wash my clothes!!
In May 2003 I played in a big tennis tournament for the first time, I can't really remember, but its likely that I got destroyed, that I failed. This failure was acted out very clearly on the Harbour at St Ives:
I arrived to find St Ives in a thick mist yesterday. It was a beautiful sight, it almost seemed like she was sad about something (for me St Ives is most definitely a female). I knew from the "moment I arrived in a Misty eyed St Ives". This line of verse was floating around my head as I walked the tiny streets trying to map the town in my head (a nice process that I seem to go through every time I arrive in each place). However the problem here was that I feel in love with this line, with the idea of St Ives being misty eyed, I became so attached to it, that like a father with a little girl, no lines of verse or music would be good enough to put their arms around my precious offspring. However, perhaps foolishly I still tried. I had this little tune floating around my head and began to slowly merge the two together. Before I knew it, my head was so full of ideas and suggestions that I began to panic within myself, I was choking on my own idea. I had an antithesis existing inside me; St Ives seemed to be sad about something, misty eyed, by I in contrast was really happy, which led to the creation of this little song...
I consider it to be a complete failure. (I'm pretty sure I've stolen the tune from somewhere, and most of the lines are rhyming for rhyming sake - bleurgh!!) Like a Frankenstein, something that was supposed to be so beautiful, ending up in this terrible creation that smashes my mood and the mood of the town together. I had failed.
I was reminded of a conversation I had had with my friend Jess the day before about failure. We were talking about how important failure is, both for the solo artist, but also for the human race. Failure is like a reality check; it makes you stop, forces you to a halt, and encourages you to ask the question - "Why did that fail?". Its our desire to answer that question that makes I human I think. Our ambition to strive to be better, to try and again improve. That's how the human race has progressed so much over the centuries. Not by accepting failure, but by accepting the importance of failure as a way of developing understanding and moving forwards. (The first edition of the 2012 Performance Research Journal in "On Failure", if any artist friends with access to a library are reading and want to skim it on my behalf, I'd be very appreciative). As an artist failure is regular, or perhaps not, it really depends on what you class as failure I suppose. I say this because when I asses this little song in terms of my project, it is not a failure at all. Its a perfect example of what I set out to do - uncensored uploading of all and any ideas.
So anyway, today I will maybe try again, we will see, I'm happy to let it go, as I have documented its failure here - I have at least tried to learn from it. I have a whole day to spend in the magical St Ives, I am very excited! See you soon.