In the Fog, In the Flame

It’s hard for me to relinquish control. And yet, almost every time I’ve done it, it seems to work out for the better. It doesn’t feel like it at the time, while I’m making the conscious decision to do nothing, or not try and manipulate a situation in my favour. It’s frustrating to step back and put everything into context, and then let go.

As one friend puts it, you have to trust in the fates; or as my wise-beyond-his-21-years brother puts it, usually it doesn’t make a difference what you do, things will end up the same (he reads a lot of Nietzsche). You have to accept, lest you risk delaying the inevitable and losing more control. Trust and acceptance seem like better guiding principles than control. But that’s not easy. For me control is instinctive, where the other principles feel like learned behaviours, contrived and uncomfortable as things change, and all that’s left to do is retreat.

 Moving to Sydney was a big decision, and I relinquished a lot of control, I lost stability. Moving into a share house, instead of living alone, meant giving up control. It meant cutting and culling, throwing away mementos of my past, reminders of what I was and how much I’d changed or stayed the same. It feels somewhat like a backwards step, at 31 years old, to go from my own bungalow, my own private Idaho, where I could do whatever I wanted… But in all that time living alone, developing a mental list of what I wanted, I realised that living alone was not on that list. At least not for now.

The energy of Sydney reminds me that relinquishing control can actually be a lot of fun. Even going to a gig for me involves losing control, surrounding myself with strangers, bumping into one another in accord with the music. Bec Sandridge is on my list of upcoming acts. Her latest release is a gear shift from the moody (but beautiful) debut EP. In the Fog, in the Flame deals a bit with the notion of control, centering around what seems to be Sandridge pining for someone, as she sings “I know the winds can change good hearts, I wonder if I’ll make you mine”. Sandridge is dancing the vague line between wanting and having. Join the club.

Sat 22 August – Newtown Social Club, Sydney

Sat 5 September – Little & Olver, Melbourne

More details and dates at

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