I grew up watching films with my mum. One of the most affecting was Mike Leigh’s Secrets and Lies. We laughed and cried, whilst watching a mother and daughter, on their respective sofas, watch tv and smoke fags. My dreams are the offbeat moments in these fictions where I smoke with my mum. I yearn for the imperfect feelings of familial harmony in Secrets and Lies, a meal eaten at a table, unacquainted people brought together.
It hurts, I said. It’s like the storm in my head broke the thunder directly above my flat, the lightning half a second before.
Suppose A Collapse arranges moments between two cities, each viewed through the lens of the other, intimately mapping the interiors of a fourth floor flat in Madrid and the childhood bedroom of a three-bed semi in Belfast. Memoir, poem and essay combine to form a collection of experiences based on the author’s changing relationship with her absent father, extended ‘(non)family’ and mother, while film and art inform the movement between lucidity and a fracturing present. How many times can we fold up our lives into smaller and smaller shapes until there’s no room anymore, only the one that we’re in?