Tenacious. To be honest, it’s not a word I’ve ever used in a sentence except perhaps for when talking about the band, Tenacious D. To be even more honest, I wasn’t even sure how to use it.
You’re probably wondering how I came to be in possession of a card with such an odd fortune on it. Well, it came in a plastic ball…
And I got it from Selfridges.
Selfridges is not a place I normally shop in, but when I passed by the other night I had to stop and go in. In the window there was a huge wooden rollercoaster and what appeared to be a ball-pool full of coloured balls containing words.
This Word-A-Coaster is a project intended to celebrate the English language. It’s Nice That: Words Words Words has taken over the UltraLounge on the Lower Ground floor of Selfridges until March 1st, and this amazing Word-A-Coaster will be in the window for that period, too.
Here’s a bit of an explanation from the It’s Nice That website:
For the showpiece corner window of Oxford Street and Orchard Street, we have collaborated with interactive designer Stewdio to create ‘The Word-A-Coaster’ a playful fortune telling machine. The 14 foot high hand-built wooden rollercoaster (constructed by model makers Atom) is surrounded by a sea of 30,000 brightly coloured balls filled with 30,000 unique fortunes that can be picked up in store for free.
Inside the balls, shoppers will find a small card emblazoned with a uniquely numbered adjective, generated by a clever computer programme that leaves each individual with their own personal, playful prediction for 2012.
When I went to Selfridges the Word-A-Coaster was unfortunately broken, but I was allowed to reach over and pick up a word anyway. I got “tenacious”, and have been puzzling over it ever since. At first I thought it was a word with a negative meaning, but I then realised that it could also be positive. If I am to have “tenacious days ahead” this year, I think that means I will have to stick to my guns and be a bit stubborn about the things I want to achieve. So, losing weight and saving money it is!
For more information about Words Words Words, please visit the Selfridges website.
I’ve been thinking a lot about legacies recently. Without wanting to sound morbid, I’ve been thinking about what is left behind when we die.
Last weekend I visited one of my best friends, who has just had her first baby. Something she said made me realise that, in having a baby and starting a family of her own, she had created her legacy.
Not wanting to have children of my own, I started thinking about how, when I died, there would be nothing left of my name… unless I found some other way to leave my legacy.
Tonight I went to a special Time Out event at The Museum of Everything in Selfridges. All of the artwork featured was by people with some kind of disability. The featured artist of Exhibition #4.1, Judith Scott, had down syndrome and no verbal way of communication because she was deaf and dumb. However, she found a way of communicating through art. She told stories with intricately hand-woven bundles of yarn and found objects. And, once she started, nothing and no one could stop her. Only death. Now her work is hung in a gallery for people to discuss as they swig from free bottles if beer and munch on pop corn from red and white striped bags.
The museum’s founder, James Brett, commented that “we’re here to make stuff“. He added, “perhaps if we don’t make anything, we weren’t here at all“.
This comment stuck with me and my thoughts about legacies. My friend made a family. Judith Scott made objects we can now call art. I have always said that I write because I have to, because I can’t not write. I’m here to make stuff with words, otherwise there’ll be nothing of me left behind.
The Museum of Everything is at Selfridges until 25th October. If you need inspiring, it’s the place to be. Exhibition #4 is on the Lower Ground floor of Selfridges and Exhibition #4.1 (Judith Scott) is upstairs in the old Selfridges Hotel. Both spaces are incredibly designed and worth visiting for their utter uniqueness.
***UPDATE: Exhibition #4.1 at the old Selfridges Hotel has been extended until November 6th, so please check it out!***