If you can mark your steps in the grooves of your favourite records – and we can, of course – then there will always be those songs that guide you in your leaps of faith until you land, safe and sure footed, on the other side.
With a scowl that could scorch the tops of crème brûlée, I would stalk through the bar to the alleyway to glower outside until the song ended. Even the rotting potato peels and pools of stale beer were preferable to hearing it again.
Rijn Collins has been part of our concerts since we started in 2014, and will be at our Williamstown Literary Festival show on Saturday 16 June, followed by the Glen Eira Story Telling Festival on Friday 29 June.
My heart hurts as we head towards Port Arthur. So much can depend on one moment; the café we walk into, the car that stops. And as we drive, I tell you about my moment.
In 2014 I applied for a one-month writing residency in Ólafsfjörður, a remote Icelandic fishing village near the Arctic Circle. To my shock, I was accepted within the week.
I think of my past snakes, all those blue eyes and banjos over the years, the late night knocks and needs that kept my heart shielded and my eyes always on the door.
Rijn Collins Melbourne, 2016 I know little about Cohen, but I’m learning about you. You tell me a story as we drive, and I turn towards you, my hands out to catch the falling words.
In April this year Rijn Collins won the New York-based Sarah Award For Audio Fiction, for her story Almost Flamboyant. The piece, inspired by Tom Waits and a stuffed flamingo, is not a Stereo Story but here she tells how she came to write and record Almost Flamboyant. Congratulations, Rijn on winning the inaugural Sarah Award. ...Jacek Koman owned that studio. He snarled, sang, and sneered. I had never before watched a character of mine brought to life, off the page and into the room. The experience was intoxicating....
Rijn Collins Joutsa, Finland. October 2015 The feminist in me battles with the linguist, and I waver between correcting his English and biting his arm. I do neither, as the song on stage floats into my awareness.
Rijn Collins Northcote, 2007 They took the chairs closest to the door, leaving me the couch. I realised too late that this blocked my exit. The tall one stared at me, his mouth slightly open. Sideburns grinned. And then the CD player whirred into action and gave me an omen, straight from 1971: the bluesy wail of I Smell Trouble. And I did. Fuck, did I ever.