Monday, 27 April 2009

Nature is a language

Nature is a language, can't you read.

Wonderful line taken from The Smiths' wonderful song Ask.

Know the world

We do not come to know the world by that which extort from it but rather by that which we add to it ourselves.

Unsure who wrote this but it's a wonderful quote.

Air for the soul

Love is air for the soul. As our body's breath air so our soul's must breathe in and breathe out love. To do so is the only way we can be truly alive.

Written in March 2009

This we know

This we know – the earth does not belong to us, we belong to the earth. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the daughters and sons of the earth. We did not weave the web of life; we are merely strands in it. Whatever damage we do the web, we do to ourselves. Chief Seattle – American Indian 1850

The message - written September 2008

I sit at the table, furiously drinking coffee and staring at the screen
Thinking about the perils of words
Words, what are words, when they only flow one way
Waiting always waiting
Always on the side of insane, never refrain
Why do the patterns remain?

The only sound is the ticking of my brain
When does it begin?
Lost forever in this aching space
Somewhere yet nowhere
Will true smiles ever return to my face?

The infinite moment is breached by a sound
I’ve heard it before
The message is wanted but never found
Sometimes when the waiting vaguely ends
In that time space, the sound almost plays to my desire
But only enough to cause the path to bend

The direction remains
How ever did it come to now?
When will my thoughts come to mend to a different story?
Did I ever allow this shapeless path, with endless perils?
The path has taken over, the end is sometimes forgotten

Yet the journey is still mine
I walk the road but something else makes the choices
The endless anticipation of a sign, that never arrives
Desire is replaced with despair, then despair with emptiness
I must attempt a rescue but is it too late?

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Energy and toxins

Never try to acquire your daily calorie intake from alcohol. It does provide energy but it’s the sloppy and slurry kind. Try to avoid placing wine into a NHS 5 a day category – no matter how hard you try, wine isn’t really grapes, it just contains grapes. It’s definitely not sensible to replace an actual meal with Pringles and chocolate. Yes they are food and yes they taste great but they do not constitute a balanced diet. Do I sound like a health guru? Probably not because I succeeded in doing all of the above yesterday. That said, I only had a few glasses of wine but on a largely empty stomach, a few glasses becomes like drinking a few bottles in their effects. Amazingly I woke quite early for me, sadly this was not due to some healthy enthusiasm for the day ahead but was instead due to hunger combined with that feeling of over-indulgence. I sometimes think I suffer from memory loss. I always fail to remember that over-indulgence doesn’t make you feel good, it makes you feel yucky and ever so slightly guilty. I seem to walk a fine line between healthy and unhealthy. I’m either to be found munching on a carrot, avoiding carbs, only drinking water and herbal tea or I’m hardcore into the other side of the spectrum. Oh to lead a balanced life would be truly wonderful. Boring probably but wonderful. Why do the things that make you feel so good, so fleetingly, have to be so bad for you? The word toxins sounds terrible and indeed they are terrible but I’ve consumed all kinds of toxins and for a time, you’re living the dream and then later, you realise why they are called toxins. I’m going to attempt (again) to avoid toxins and only put beautiful things into my body. I’m going to keep up the exercise and tell myself that I love it. I am going to do all this very, very soon but first I’m going to go back to sleep for a while......

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Imagine

I was listening to Joan Baez's cover of Imagine yesterday. It's a good cover. I found myself wondering about a world united rather than divided by nation-states, povery and war. Will it ever be possible to achieve the kind of world that Lennon's lyrics describes? Some people may feel his lyrics describe a kind of unachievable, utopian ideal. Perhaps so but it would be a wonderful model to work towards. It's interesting and extremely sad that the place you are born into can map out whether you will be poor or relatively rich. It should be possible for each child that enters the world to have a chance to live a wonderful life. I saw a film once called Pay it Forward - as an American blockbuster it had the usual sugar-coated moments of corny but also it had a great message of passing on kindness. I really felt that it was a good blueprint for life. As Lennon says "you may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us and the world will live as one". I hope for this. I'm in danger of sounding like a modern-day hippie (and actually I don't mind too much) but really doesnt everyone to be free (by that I don't mean that everyone that has committed hideous crimes against humanity should be wandering around on the streets, I'm left-wing but I'm not that left-wing!), to know that we will eat today and tommorrow, don't we all deserve to have access to water that will refresh us rather than make us ill. Perhaps there will always be some hardship in life, certainly there will always be loss but I do feel that everyone and I do mean everyone deserves the chance of enough good things to lead a good life. Humanity should mean more than just being human - it should mean humankindness. xx

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Teeth

I visited the dentist today but before you yawn and say to yourself, you're writing a blog about visiting the dentist and anticipate that people might read it without falling asleep, do bare with me....it may be more interesting than appearences would suggest. Anyway, I arrived at the dentist, sat in the chair of pain, was lowered, then tilted and waited for the needle of death to arrive in my gums (root canal - gulp). I'm perfectly happy to give blood but do object to needles being inserted into my mouth. It's just a personal thing but I'm definately against it. Two injections later, some chatting, followed by that terrible numbness - then, the horror that is dental care started. A range of drills were used. At one stage, I found myself wondering whether Zoe (my dentist) was going to assist the local council with roadwork drilling but no, she was actually going to use this vastly over-sized drill on my tooth! An outrage. Months passed, well no minutes really but they felt like months. I tried really hard to pretend I was on a beach. I tried to meditate - but how on earth can anyone get into a zen like state with a road drill whizzing around your mouth. The unpleasant sensations continued and then I noticed that something was digging in the back of my head. I thought, that's odd - I was anticipating all kinds of digging into my mouth but not into my head. Surely my head is off limits? Could it it be that I was in fact not in the chair of dental hell but was instead being inserted into the matrix (if you've seen the film, you'll know what I mean)? Was something being plugged into the back of my head and at any moment, Neo would walk in, leather-clad and whisk me off to a virtual world / false real world? At one stage I heard someone (this turned out to be Zoe) say can you get me the Matrix belt! This really encouraged my matrix fantasy to take over for a time. Then, reality kicked back in, the rubber / metal torture device was removed from my face. A little more drilling (to smooth the filling over but I think it was just for fun - Zoe's not mine), a quick x:ray and that was it. No sign of Neo. I handed over a very large cheque to the dental receptionist (which wasn't accepted, apparently I'd asked the Building Society to print the wrong name - genius). That was it - I walked away with a lop-sided baloon head and no possibly of smiling symmetrically for a few hours or so. I'm seeing Zoe again on Saturday but thankfully I know her socially and no dentistry will take place. However, if Neo wants to stop by, this will be more than acceptable.

Chipmunks

I find myself wondering why it is that many teenagers are to be found (and sadly difficult to avoid) listening to what can only be described as bizarre dance music, overlaid with singing chipmunks. I think it probably falls into the hardcore category music-wise, although it’s difficult to get a handle on something that makes my ears hurt. Generally, I enjoy dance music and have danced to everything from drum and bass to breakbeat but what is it that they find so enticing about this music. It sounds as if the vocal has been recorded then speeded up to an unnatural pitch. Each to their own you may say – and I would agree but why oh why do many young people find it necessary to play this music really loud, with the unavoidable outcome of people quite far away from them being able to hear it. Yes they want to share it with their friends, yes they are enjoying themselves but do they need to share it with everyone? I have to turn my MP3 player up to a deafening level, just to drown out the chipmunks. I’m all for spreading musical joy and often feel like sharing the music I’m listening to with people on street. I feel like saying, listen to this Sucioperro song – it’s really good but due to some sense of decorum, I don’t. I have no doubt that many people would enjoy a good listen to ‘Grace and out of me’ but they probably wouldn’t want it forced on them, no matter how good, it, in fact, really is. What happened to the concept of the personal stereo – where the music was played personally to you and you alone (unless you shared an earpiece with your mate)? Or at the very least, couldn’t they wander of into some uninhabited area and happily listen to chipmunks there? All this being said, I’ve commented before that music is a very personal thing (though to be honest, I’m struggling to classify the sounds they play as music – which makes me sound a generation older than I am but still), clearly they find joy in something I cannot comprehend. Good luck to them I say – but please, please, please where a headset or visit a field with your buddies! I do not wish to take part in your odd chipmunk appreciation.

Monday, 20 April 2009

The perils of procrastination

I'm writing about procrastination whilst procrastinating. I, like many people, am skilled in the ways of procrastination. I can almost guarantee that when I have to do something, when it's really important but isn't very interesting - I find a million other really important things to do. I would love to be the kind of person who thinks - I have something that I must do - it's not going to be fun so I'll get it over with. I'll strike when the irons hot. I break it down into bite-size pieces and get on with it. I'm the sort of person that thinks....I'll strike when the irons barely lukewarm and build it up into mountain sized chunks. I wonder why this is. Fear probably. Like standing at the bottom of the moutain and thinking - oooh that's looks a bit big, I'll stay at the bottom and have a pint instead. That's not to say that climbing a mountain isn't intersting or fun (it was chosen for analogy purposes only). The moderately crazy thing is that I'm writing a blog when I should be writing notes for University! So I'm in fact writing one thing when I should be writing another. This, you may say, doesnt make a great deal of sense. However, really it does and I'll explain why - writing a blog has no walls, no structure, no requirements, I don't have to dot any i's or cross any t's. I simply just have think and write. I chose to be a part-time student and I chose the courses. I even enjoy the learning process. Yet it's thinking within certain parameters and that can sometimes be bloody hard work. But I suppose that's the point - no pain, no gain (exercise analogy reminds me something else that I should be doing today). Sometimes you have stride forward, even when you haven't the energy and quite possibly ecspecially then - because when you do, when you take affirmative action, the results are all the more fantastic. On that positive note, I'm logging off to write some Uni notes and then I'm going to spend 40 minutes or so getting down and dirty on an exercise mat. Wish me luck. xx

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Duke Sooch

Just a quick blog....
I was listening to Conspiracy and a Devil by Marmaduke duke and Capable of more by Sucioperro today whilst travelling by bus between Cheshire and Staffordshire. I found myself moved to tears. I've listened to both many times before and have often felt moved but I have never had to focus really hard to stop myself from sharing my emotions with a bus full of people. There was something about the lyrics, something about the music and something about the moment that seemed fit together.

Polarise

I had the great pleasure of attempting to pole dance last night. No, not in some seedy bar, where money etc changes hands but in a gym. The pole dancing was part of my cousins hen do festivities. At the point of invitation I thought - hmmm, pole dancing that sounds like something I would be unable to do without falling on my head or other body part but amazingly I managed to leave the venue with all limbs intact and remarkably free of bruises. Picture the scene - 17 or so women, dressed as Pink Ladies (characters from the film Grease), drinking more than their fair share of wine trying to spin themselves around poles whilst wearing heels that for many would be impossible to walk in, never mind pole dance in. For myself - I approached the pole tentatively rather than flinging myself at it with reckless abandon (I discovered later than unless you fling yourself at it, it's very difficult to gain enough momentum to spin around the pole). As the evening drew on and wine took effect, I was a little more reckless. At one stage I even jumped onto the pole with a view to spin round and land on the floor (on purpose) then carry out some kind of allegedly erotic leg movement to position myself on the floor, face down. I managed the jump and even a half spin - the rest of it was a little unsuccessful. I did end up on the floor but rather more in a heap than in an attractive pose. By the end of the experience, everyone had improved. My cousin (who we are convinced had lessons beforehand) was something of a pole dancing queen and notwithstanding the movements than involve hanging upside down, could have given the instructor a run for money (quite literally, if we had been in a seedy bar). I did find it rather odd to be pole dancing to the Grease soundtrack but went with it. Did I get in touch with my sexy side - maybe slightly. Will I be pole dancing again - quite probably. Will I be doing it in front of men - not anytime soon!

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Music

Decided to get myself a blog...
I've been thinking about music today which is not unsual because I think about music often. You may think that's odd because surely music is something you simply listen to rather than think about but my belief is that it so much more than sound waves heard. It is also felt - it inspires action and alters moods. It reflects feelings in both the person that writes / creates the music and in the listener. Often you hear a song and it inspires you to dance when you're feeling tired, cry when you're feeling happy - it instigates emotions that you didnt even know you had. When I was a little younger, I'm not ashamed to say that I sang along with Alanis Morissette's - You Oughta Know at the top of my voice. I paraded around the bedroom feeling vindicated. Stomping in time the music and probably giving my parents a headache. Now older, in my own home - I still stomp around the house to music. My musical taste has expanded a little since the days of Jagged Little Pill (although I still occasionally indulge in a little Alanis singalong). These days I'm more likely to be heard performing with Bob Dillan, Joan Baez, Sucioperro, Biffy or The Smiths. I find myself singing Joan Baez's Diamonds and Rust with a sense of melancholy or contentment depending on my mood and depending on the version (on the Ring them bells tour she changed the words slightly to indicate that the feelings she had for Bob Dillan were long-since past). To all those that may read this, I recommend that you listen the Diamonds and Rust album then the Ring them Bells album. You'll enjoy it, I've no doubt. That said, the like or dislike of a song is subjective - one persons joy is anothers headache. Many people will describe their musical taste as eclectic and still others feel inclined to stick to a genre as if their lives depended on it (ok so I exgagerate slightly). Yet I feel that everyones musical taste is eclectic - no two songs are truly the same (though some of the music in the UK singles charts manages to sound remarkably banal and similar to each other). Chumbawamba once wrote a song that indicated that all music is never completely new, it is always draws from elsewhere - that you can't write a song that hasnt already been written. Perhaps they had a point but to me, only in the following way - when an artist sits down to write a song s/he does not do so without influence from sounds, chords and words from other artists. Even though they may not be consciously aware of it. An artist writes through a colloboration of introspection, reflection and projection. Morrissey once said that "if you must write prose/poems, the words you use should be your own, dont plagiarise or take on loan" - yet (and dare I disagree with the mighty Morrissey whose lyrics I admire wholeheartedly) we can never truly own words, we can only borrow them. Words belong to everyone and no one simultaneously. Oh and just whilst I mention Cemetery Gates (which the line above is taken from) - wonderful really that Morrissey used the word plagiarise - lyrical genius - I certainly think so. That's enough writing for now - perhaps unsurprisingly, I'm off to listen, feel and think some music.

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