CHRIS DIFFORD: In The country

Chris wrote ...

Today we saw just below 9 hours of daylight we wont see that figure again until the end of January, two months from now. As we enter the tunnel of Christmas and December things become claustrophobic. Most years this would be a time of touring and travel, shopping for presents and staying in hotel beds, not this year. Here in the shed things are feeling tight and deep as i speak with friends who are musicians like me that only know the amp in the boot of the car and the guitar over the shoulder. I hear desperation in voices where i once heard only song and optimism. Not everyone finds the standing still a place of love, and i think i know that feeling, as the light dims i feel more and more at sea. Even though i have much to be grateful for i can rub myself up the wrong way by seeing no light let alone a tunnel. One minute its 7am the next its dark and its 4pm, then its 11.17pm and its bed time. In between the hours a walk, a breakfast, a day a lunch, a think and a sit at my desk. A few hours of the day to be in the light the rest of the time in the darkness or by electric light, screen light or sometimes night light. There are voices that only speak in reflection, i mirror the feelings of the people i speak with constantly, i feel the same way but i wont let the first grain of quicksand cover my toes. I need to be gentle with myself and hope that soon this will all be gone. This time next year Rodney….

A vaccine is on its way, a fire engine coming down the street ready to put out the flames of this Corvid 19, i will be in line as an over 65 person, someone who will get the jab in the first few months, so age plays its part, a hats off situation if this is to be believed. Aside from hope there are things to be done. For most of my day i have been listening to Sade, not by choice but because i have been on hold with my bank as i try to update my records, three hours in total today and two last week, and it seems like i may have another two tomorrow. I hope she gets paid. Normally in other times this would be seen as outrageous but everyone i get to talk to is at home on a PC you can hear the tap tap of the keys and the sound of an empty room somewhere in someones home. They are kind once i get to speak to them, but when you cant answer the right questions you slide back down the Barclay pole and have to start again. The good news is that the vaccine is on its way, i can hear the sirens.

Across the pond my friends in America are on the cusp, who knows where all of this will lead, i watched it on CNN as Joe Biden won the election, simple, no not at all. Now i wait to hear how the ego will play out, most egos never let go, they hang on until everyone gets shit on their faces, its a weird time, and a wonderful time too if things go as they should. The virus is like wild fire cutting across every state, one day at a time. Its so heavy, the mask the social distancing and the washing of hands surely will help save us, will there be music will there be song next year as a whole country tries to live with the passing of so many people. Empty chairs at tables, families all over the World losing loved ones, a War by any other name. I hear people do not wear masks in Nashville and wonder why that would be. I have no place to know. I love America and thats not always been the case but today sitting here i miss America so much, our touring heads have been frozen in time for now ate least, until this passes, and they say all things must pass.

Life is good, life is a challenge but life is good, i work hard on words and where they may fit within the musical structure of my life, the life that is good. Once there was the ambition to make records and create a noise, its not like that anymore. I have been binging on words, each night and sometimes during the day i feast on ideas old and some new, i read, and re read i gauge my partnerships and deploy calm, as being eager would only ever validate the underlying expectations of self. I write like i alway write, with words that meet stories across a screen, a coming of age, even now. I have to take into account that i will never be famous. A lovely velvet suit of experience hangs from my being as time marches on, and on, like a flamboyant dandy inline for a summer of slow motion videos. Its wonderful to have my arse on this chair. Love is all around me. As the final third pulls into view i recon i could just about get another pudding in before closing time. Words are there each time i reach out for them but they are hard acts to follow, and being judged its not easy to satisfy all. If i fall happy with my work then job done, my bar will be set. “Chris Difford is fully occupied with an important project, and it is both impossible and inappropriate for him to respond at this time.”

Despite the darker days, the sitting still and the car without a journey, which will look amazing in a years time, im settled here by my fake fire. 2022 will be the year of all revival a time to smile and be ever so proud of your place in the World, bounce back time. I feel confident that things will be swinging once again, until then we are all here on this page. Space face and hands. With this refreshed website i hope i can offer a small window into an open field where we can all enjoy song, Zoom and more. Somedays are better than others, my energy to create is sapped by the low light and the fear. I have no way of knowing if i will hit the mark again as a writer, its not everyday when i have tons of confidence, i have been bitten so many times and the scars run deep. As i have said everyone is suffering and everyone is on a knife edge, even with the good news about the vaccine, so where is the spirit of redemption. The rising of the phoenix from the ashes of a shallow flame, where is the moment when i will dive into the vocal booth to sing with my voice, the one i own. Inside there is a chapel, a neon church and in that church the windows let light shine down on the ones i love. In this space there are prayers, prayers for the passing days, the stepping stones across a stream back to a life left behind. In this space there is hope and tradition a sense of being and grounding where home is forever the place where i feel safe. I hear a choir sing softly in this space, together to praise the Lord and all he has given us with our daily bread.

Gratitude is a hidden gift often hard to track down in the daily routine of the hear and now, but the list goes on forever. I wish i could share mine. Family and friends, although how do you define a friend. Someone who cares and calls you, and you call them, you write an email, they write to you. At school there were few but they were close. At home there were many, close but often vacant. In early musical days many, close and reliable. As i got older and as the music progressed, less so, but i feel eternal gratefulness that the journey of friendship was there when it was meant to be. Today after two long lives, i have few friends. As the ship heads into dock from a voyage as long as mine has been you get to see and feel the gravity of earth, the foundations of a day well spent, a moment to treasure even if the lockdown bares down like fog.

Of all the things this year i feel so grateful for is letting go to see where i would land, and i came down softly with over 100 songwriters on my Zoom calls, and my emotions carry the weight of love given to me in their harmony and commitment. I feel so lucky to have played so many nights on Zoom to many many people and helped raise money, i have seen so many living rooms and felt the community of friendship. All of my guests have been giving and loving, i feel proud and lucky. In April when it all kicked off i was scared like so many of us but i took a leaf out of John Lennon’s mantra, “Something will happen” and it did, and it does.

When you’re walking in the city,
and you’re feeling rather small,
and the people on the sidewalk,
seem to form a solid wall
you’re gonna find me, out in the country.

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