The process of writing lyrics has taken place as thus – running, writing down ideas, accumulating the results then arranging them in concept and rhyme. Quite a long process.
Murakami and Gladwell have both recently spoken of the benefits of running as catharsis, and personally I agree – most ideas come naturally to me when running (or walking), particularly when the direction is aimless.
My favourite time of day is twilight, or, as I recently read Terrence Malick calls it, “the Magic Hour”. Nesto Almendros wrote of it on the set of “Days of Heaven”, hailing it “a euphemism, because it’s not an hour but around 25 minutes at the most. It is the moment when the sun sets, and after the sun sets and before it is night. The sky has light, but there is no actual sun. The light is very soft, and there is something magic about it. It limited us to around twenty minutes a day, but it did pay on the screen. It gave some kind of magic look, a beauty and romanticism.” This is the best time of year to experience this, when the sun is furthest away and the light refracts round the earth at strained angle.
The other day I ran up Arthur’s Seat at this time, thinking I was alone, only to find a fox at the top. A fox atop the summit! The hanging valley between the two hilltops is incredible, where at one time assumedly a glacier slid down and carved out the land. If I were a fox, I’d hang out up there too.