As some of you know I now split my time roughly 50/50 between London and Bristol. This affords me 4-5 hours a week in the car or on the train to consume audiobooks and podcasts. I will probably write another piece at some time to run through my favourites but for now, I want to write about a deeply moving experience I had last week listening to two.
A moment in time when a happenstance journey across two pieces of content produced an insightful and powerful experience. Ok by now I probably have you much intrigued so if you want to experience what I am about to go on and write about here’s what you do.
Listen to this
And then this one below and in this order, and then come back to read the rest of this post.
So for those who didn’t listen I need to set this up – Marc Maron appeared on my radar a couple of years ago when Charlie Gladstone recommended his podcast to me. I tried and failed to connect with his style. Then I watched him play the show director on the Netflix Series Glow and loved his laconic irreverent acting style. He’s really one of a kind. So I decided to try again. The first episode I chose was the Cate Blanchett one as she’s a woman I have a ton of time for – smart, funny, questioning and not afraid to have opinions – mostly good ones I find. Marc is a great interviewer – burrowing down the rabbit holes of stories when he hears a snippet, gently but forcefully cutting off his interviewee when he feels the content is not getting to the nub of the moment or not just entertaining enough. So I loved this episode. And as it closed I heard Marc as himself, in the moment, funny, sharp- doing what he does and doing it extremely well.
Next, my eye caught the one entitled Lyn Shelton – my Facebook feed in recent weeks had feature many tributes to her from friends who had worked with her and so I gleaned that she was his girlfriend and now she was dead, and here he was just two days later doing an episode about her. I clicked play. What followed was the subject of the title of this piece. Raw, naked, Grief – men don’t often go there but here we hear Marc crying and talking of the deep connection he had shared with Lyn and how much he loved her. He then explained that when someone he has interviewed dies he replays the interview with that subject. As he says “This is what I do” And so we go on to hear the first time he met her 5 years before. We witness the birth of their love as they dance around each others wit and intellect at their first meeting. Fuck it’s so so beautiful and tragic and sad all at the same time I am in the know that she is no more and that he is now sitting there listening to it too no doubt racked with grief and pain.
I will now watch Lyn’s oeuvre of work. She was clearly an astounding talent and consequently a great great loss. In fact, as I write this I have just finished watching Little Fires Everywhere that she directed. I was turned on to that book by my wife who had read about it in a Vanity fair interview with Reese Witherspoon and so I too had just read it before all of the above took place. The book and the TV series have many differences, They are both, in my opinion, good as tackle different things.
Thanks for reading – this is the first of my more regular blogs I intend to write – in part to explore my writing skills and practice them [so feedback very much welcome] and partly to get thoughts like this that rattle around my brain written down to make space for new ones.