I've been listening to Duffy’s music recently for the first time in a long time, like discovering a brand new artist, and at the same time wondering where she went? How can someone so talented not still be writing and performing? There isn't a rule that says someone has to keep producing ‘product’ for the public, but that tends to be the way it works. Album after album, tour after tour, always coming out with something new to satisfy the record company, or is it the public, I'm never sure which.
So with Rockferry ringing in my ears, I turned to Google and found an article which asked the same question as I've been asking. It didn't provide an answer to where Duffy went, but it did explain why.
“I took a step back,” she said. “I thought, ‘I’m going to slow all this right down. It’s only in the silence you can hear the truth, so I had to turn down the noise. I was losing sight of what all this was about. It all got so complex, such responsibility. I was serenading people to sleep, not running NASA. Suddenly I was a product, an enterprise, a businesswoman. But mostly I wanted to be human.”
Fair enough I thought. Good on you.
Duffy’s words particularly came to mind yesterday as I have a lot going on, much of it in my mind, but it's taking up a lot of energy and causing stress. It was a lovely sunny day. I'd done the usual Saturday chores and had lunch, and was just settling in to read the paper when my flat was surrounded by noise. Random banging, that has been going on for months, in one of the flats started up again, and another flat decided to share their drum and base with the whole building.
Perfect. Just what I needed!
So, I took myself out into my front garden, otherwise known as the seafront. It was a perfect day. Blue sky, warm sunshine, the slightest breath of a breeze, and a sea mist into which the gulls disappeared. Everyone was enjoying the scene, some playing on the beach in the distance, and some strolling along the prom. I made myself comfortable sitting in one of the benches carved with the name of someone who loved this place and read a little, snoozed a little and read a little more.
It was very peaceful and solitary, despite being among so many others enjoying the seaside. Perhaps this was because I had deliberately left my phone at home. No notifications. Nothing to take a photo of the scene with and post on Instagram!
It was very much in tune with my meditation practice, and it was the perfect antidote to the racket at home. As Duffy said ”it’s only in the silence you can hear the truth.”