I got interviewed today by Ben Carter from Tales of a Red Clay Rambler https://www.talesofaredclayrambler.com/ Its primarily a podcast for potters but there’s a bunch of interesting interviews on there. Ben is an amazing human being, so attentive, calm and collected in his interviewing process. Ben also makes very beautiful pots…@cartepottery on Insta. We sat for two hours! Time stood still for me and I was able to talk freely and managed to not say ‘fuck’ too many times.
Ben is 6 hours behind me on the east coast in the USA so it was 2:30pm my time and he had just started his day. We launched in to my practice as an artist living with Bipolar Disorder and Rheumatoid Arthritis, quite a heavy conversation when you’ve just woken up but he was right in there with me.
It was interesting for me to witness myself in this situation. Firstly I had to change the settings on the zoom screen, I can’t bare talking to an image of myself, so he helped me make the screen split so I could actually talk to his image instead of myself. I dunno about you but I cannot speak to myself in the mirror, I have no problem speaking to myself all day long but not at myself. Last year when I was suffering with immense anxiety attacks this lovely lady Marcia, an Anxiety Coach, gave me exercises to speak gently to myself in the mirror… I never really mastered it. Anyway, I got the screen right and the interview seemed to happen very organically. Secondly I have this thing, it’s a thing, an insecurity about my story, my life as I live it. A part of me feels that it is very boring, that I am moaning. So I find myself skimming over or giving broad descriptions of instances. Sometimes I also feel like its heavy and who wants to hear about heavy in this day and age…? We live in a world with heaviness and do people really want to hear another story about a struggle? But then I have to remind myself that my story has triumphs and that’s rather beautiful.
Another thing and probably the biggest obstacle for me is that I don’t have words… I so wish that I read more, I wish that my grasp for the English language was so much better than it is. I get so very frustrated with myself, I can’t find words, I go blank. The part of my brain that holds my dictionary is very thin and pretty crumpled. I wish I had listened to my mother and read more as a child. I have feelings that I can’t put words too and it frustrates me. I am in awe of people who can tell stories, who are able to hold your attention with their words. It’s a gift my father had, the gift of the Irish.
before I knew it 2 hours had passed. Good god, I had spoken about myself for 120 minutes solidly and the strangest thing was that I hadn’t smoked one cigarette! I hadn’t even thought about it. That’s a first for me. Seriously. We wrapped up the interview and for a moment I just wanted to stay inside this safe bubble Ben had created for me but the reality is that we have our lives to attend to, so we said our goodbyes.
I sat in front of my computer for a moment trying to process what had just happened. I had spent 2 hours with a man I had never met and told him bits of my life meanderings, and he listened. I thought for a moment how wonderful it would be to one day sit in the same room as Ben and learn more about him and how he navigates his life.
As the evening drew near my brain got the better of me, I began ruminating and my insecurities started popping in my head like rice crispies do when you add milk to them. Of course this was going to happen, who did I think I was, that I would get away with not doubting myself? Or maybe it’s just me? Do others just go nonchalantly through an interview and not have moments of “Oh I should’ve said this or should’ve said that”? Sure there were things that I thought of that I would have liked to have said that I never said in the moment and there are things that were said that I’m sure people will judge and have their opinions on. Then I remember this piece of graffiti I’ve seen that sais “Speak your truth even if your voice shakes” and I remind myself that I spoke my truth in those 120 minutes and that’s all that really matters. If there is anyone that doesn’t like what they hear well, fuck em!