SHIPINTHESAND owes it name to the sorrowful, sumptuous, captivating song ‘Ship in the sand‘ by Robin Proper Sheppard’s band Sophia. It starts like this:
‘woke up this morning thought I’m gonna change my life, I’m like a ship in the sand just waiting for the tide...’ (Proper-Sheppard 2001)
I wrote it somewhere else: Sophia’s music is the creation of a talented artist who dares to write honestly about what he sees and feels. An artist who dares to write about life, his life, even in its bleakest moments.
‘… I got a lot of reasons glad to be alive but always waking up alone just makes me wanna die…’ (Proper-Sheppard 2001)
SHIPINTHESAND is about my life, remembering some of its bleakest moments as well as exploring how and why (popular) music has played such an integral part. Why do this? Because. No one can tell me where I was born and who my parents were. I can no longer ignore my feelings, which have been crowding in, aching to get attention. Feelings of abandonment, pain, detachment, loneliness. They are about death, vulnerability, uncertainty. Life is not all positive. In fact, I am increasingly tired of the false positivity that surrounds me and that I impose upon myself. If no one can tell me my story, it’s high time I wrote it myself.
I have no illusions that this story-telling will be easy. Undoubtedly my life is not just my own; it is bonding with others. Writing my life means other lives will be exposed to criticism or judgement. This requires sensitivity. There lies the excitement, and the problem. Any writing – my writing – even as a method of enquiry, generates an emotional relationship between you, the reader, and me. So, when I choose to melt reality and the imaginary, or when the imaginary erupts into an event, it is to protect. To tell truly is painful. It hurts, and enough around me have suffered.
SHIPINTHESAND is about music, photography and us, the music fans.
Proper-Sheppard, R. (2001), Ship in the sand, De nachten: The flower shop recordings