“My name Isobel,
Married to myself.
My love Isobel,
Living by herself” ~ Isobel by Bjork
There’s nothing I find more appealing that genuine eccentricity. The elderly woman who used to ride around my hometown on a shiny yellow bicycle, for instance. Or the Madam who used to bowl down St James Street in a fur hat and then got her own column in a local publication.
My mother. My fabulously theatrical mother. Who would probably wave me away with a “Oh, Darling, not me!” if I said that to her.
That’s the thing with eccentrics; they rarely know that they are. Sure, there will be a little awareness but the true kook doesn’t stop to consider other people’s perception of them and their behaviours. And that is where the wannabe falls down.
One cannot simply decide one day to become an eccentric. One is; or isn’t. It’s a rare gift, a bundle of idiosyncrasies and then some. An aura. And you can spot the genuine article a mile off. Trust me, you can.
There are different levels of eccentric, of course. Eccentricity is in some respects subjective. One man’s kooky could very well be another man’s ‘unique’ X Factor contestant but the real and true, I’m pretty sure just are, and nobody can argue with it.
Look at Bjork. You cannot forge a person like that from nothing, it is born. It is so delightfully nuts, so original, so poetic – it just is or, as we have established, isn’t.
When I was growing up I one day read a story, true or not, about young Bjork being told off for not getting ready for school. After much cajoling, legend has it that she got up, dragging her duvet behind her, cut a hole in the top, placed it over her head like a giant poncho and went to school as normal.
Hero. I think of that often and don’t care if it’s true or not. It’s just typical Bjork.
What I love about this woman is that everything she does has a ‘fuck it’ edge. Have you ever really read her lyrics? Bonkers. Seen her on a red carpet at a
‘serious’ conventional event? Swan dress. (I implore you to have a look at this for yet more evidence. It’s my happy place).
She may be a serious and fiercely talented individual but she makes it all look like fun and that is why I will always love her.
Incidentally, did anyone recently read the article about the woman who married herself after hearing the lyric (above) in Bjork’s Isobel? How I love that idea and what it represents.
An eccentric move if ever there was one!