Gadebridge Park

What is it like to be brought up in the same city that surrounded the hospital that you were born in?

Does it make you feel grounded, is it comforting to know the city like the lines on your palm?

How about if you can visit the same house which you took your first steps in?

Quite often, these are questions I am curious about. I am curious about a lot of things which influence a person’s life and perhaps more so how people might resist or adopt things which aren’t the obvious choice – whatever that is…

I was born in a town I hold no sentiment towards. There is nothing wrong with the city, I was just too young to remember anything. Last summer I visited the city, curious to see whether it was the physical space that would evoke memory – or whether I was just making the link between photos and the actual place. I still don’t really know for the most part, but it definitely did evoke something.

There was a bridge in a large park close to our old house. It stood over a stream which had trailing willow trees either side. This visit it was still white and the paint crackled, but underneath was beautifully overgrown. How could a handful of pictures and accounts from parents make this bridge which I remember only through pictures become the one tangible thing I base my very young years on?

I know we lived in a semi-detached house in a town just north of London, I know we had a very fluffy dog and I know the town had a lot of geese. Something about this bridge was significant, perhaps it was because it was the only thing from the pictures which remained unchanged in its physicality apart from some decay. There were other places in other pictures but they had been retouched and rebuilt. The bridge, like me – was still in its original form but older.

I don’t suggest that either moving away or staying connected with the city you were born in is better. But I do think having sentiment which lies in multiple cities does alter your sense of place. My sentiment lies in about five, perhaps 6 cities, with the new inclusion of Manchester in the last two years. They are different spaces which inspire different parts of me.
Some very important years were spent in the Netherlands, forming some strong friendships with others who came to find this tiny country their home. It really was home – and to some degree it still is. A house or flat is tangible, I’ve lived in about twelve of those – but certainly not all of them were home.

Home is not always singular, nor is it always tangible. It’s possible to find home in spaces and people.

Advertisements

Snehalaya – JustGiving

Hi everyone,

I made a JustGiving page in preperation for going to India next year in August. It seems really far away right now but I’m sure after the new year things will happen quickly!

My JustGiving page

I’ll try to keep the page really up to date. The first confirmed fundraising event is an absail down my university’s tallest building in April! I want to organize lots of other events too.

Have a lovely festive few weeks everyone, eat lots of food and relax wherever you are

x

Collateral – Winter 15

photo of finished cover

I finally got round to making another zine. It’s a bit more well put together than the previous ones. It has 16 pages and the binding is hand-sewn, with almost zero injuries. Inside is a collection of my poems, illustrations and the first part of a story I’ve been working on, called ‘Eight Letters’ .

If you’d like to buy one, drop me a line at jodieravina@gmail.com

Any profit made from this zine is going to be put towards fundraising for the summer project I’ll be doing with an amazing charity called Snehalaya, who are based Ahmednagar, in India – which I’ll write more about closer to the time.

 

thank you x

Snehalaya, Home of love

This August, myself and a group of other students will be going to Ahmednagar for three weeks, to volunteer with Snehalaya.

Snehalaya is a charity based in India which started in 1989, and now have a base in London as of last year.

Their efforts go towards ‘supporting women, children and LGBT to find a safe exit point from poverty and the commercial sex industry’. 

We’ll be going for three weeks, during which time we’ll be working at the long-term shelter for women and children which provides residential accommodation, education and healthcare to just above 300 children and 40 women.

The centre is Snehalaya’s flagship project but they have such a broad scope and are involved in many projects which all are amazing to read about.

I’ll post more about it over the next coming months, but I’m hoping to organize some events in Leeds, and make a few zines to fund raise 🙂

 

 

here’s a couple links if you want to find out more about Snehalaya:

Who are Snehalaya?

What do they hope to do?

The long-term shelter

Their Instagram + Facebook

two for a pound

If I was a writer, pens wouldn’t lay parched as I fumble on weighted keys.

their lids wouldn’t be lost and overlooked, waiting for walks to be footed and tea to be poured.

or for wine bottles to be drunk and painted.

pages wouldn’t be left half-written whilst flowers were potted, or whilst family were visited and plans were plotted and unplotted.

i’d not split time into studying and working part-time for one hundred and thirty seven pence less than my year-older peers .

i’d never be lost for a sentence, ever-ready to react with syntax and wit to all that I observed and all I saw fit.

 

so easily distracted, I am the empress of tangent.

 

 

Ever distracted by segregation, subordination and colour coordination.

 

too much to write something that rhymes

to be read in a society that creates the need to appease

and sells the tools to do so.

 

i don’t think the bar-dwellers sat sitting on mismatched chairs

under quirky light fittings would care to hear about the man they passed to get there

 

i passed him too.

but not without pausing

 

he sat rested on a phone box, sheltered only slightly from the wind and less so from guilty eyes

watching paid-for-plastic-bags of food seeming too full

from his eye-level view

 

i handed him a chocolate bar because I had no change, you see.

poverty is relative is what they keep saying,

both sweet toothed twenty somethings

we are at the cusp of different margins

i, with a roof

him, with none.

 

 

 

felt

damp paper

watch the margins bleed

ink from pen absorbs hastily

soaking in pigments from all directions

the paper rises like tiny sand dunes

 

felt-like and telling

 

salt tears

materialised fears in blue ovals, dotted i and crossed t

the page consumes and bares dappled wounds

 

 

 

Lidget Green


Sky blue ford with steering wheel lock

Play football in the late nineties heat

Behind our concrete square

Our terraced houses lent on each other

My friend shared the name of my mother

She was two years older

A neighbour, far bolder than I

We played house-house in the loft of our houses that held each other

And chased each other down the back street

We all live, apart from her;

Still playing football in the late nineties heat

 

 

 

In memory of Beena, a childhood friend x

bicycle spokes

talk of knitting needles forged from bicycle wheels’ spokes in Nairobi

her stories repeat and consume me wholly

her intonation changes,
if only I had a brain which could contain more than just fragments
of multiple languages I’ve experienced in depth
I cannot accept that she accepts her own mortality
perhaps I’m naive, selfish
but stories are told with such fond vitality
illustrating a city in vivid sounds, shades and scents
decades distance our post scarcity
a different kind of abundance
unquenchable and skewed
limitless wants, normalized greed
she reads and watches over and over
society drowning in itself
broadcasted
flooding our home
watching
as she becomes weary of the next ones’s motives
I anger as they dilute her trust
there is such vitality
the stories repeat
repeat and consume me wholly
my only reference
beautiful accounts in broken English
dappled in Gujarati
seasoned with Swahili
embellished with pride.