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Posts from the ‘singing’ Category

Love

I do not trust the word “love”

For there are those that have used it against me

But I trust its vibration

Pulsating, a diamond moon

Fragile spindly or bold and delicious

And I have learnt to feel its absence

Even where I desire it most

A cold lack

Going to bed hungry

Turning the knife inwards

While my lover twists the blade

The stories we tell

I am not too much

I do not trust the word “love”

Slippery side of a black bucket of hope

There is nothing to cling to

But I have felt its warmth in the actions of others

Making tea, fixing a bicycle, lamenting the loss of a friend

It is the mundane that impresses me now

Listening

Sharing without agenda

Cleaning the oven

Studying types of tree, all of them sturdy examples

Of what I aspire to be

I do not trust the word “love”

With its myriad meanings and ways to mesmerise

I bought that book, a one way ticket to disappointment

But I know its radiance shines out of every cell

Riding the snow at sunrise

Alighting the faces of strange friends

Singing in company

The world is alive and dying to dance with you

Openly offering its richness

All the while searching and laughing

For what is most essential

Cannot be found or destroyed

With every breath I make love to the universe

As the tide suckles the dark shore

I feel everything and nothing

Those who took love and used it as a weapon

Cannot penetrate what is already air

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Protection

Most of the time I find it pretty hard to have an open heart and recently I found myself wondering if it’s really such a good idea. I see people with layers of protective armour and I see them finding ways to avoid feeling the sadness of the world; I see them moving on quickly from relationships that take my heart sometimes years to heal from. I can’t do the armouring thing so I wonder if I am at a disadvantage. Maybe humans were right to find all these ways to escape from reality because it’s so painful. But then I hear something like this and I am so grateful for my feeling bleeding heart because it allows me to taste this exquisite sound right to the core of my being and in some way begin to heal me from the inside.

We are not so different, you and I. Whatever wrongs you have done, I have probably done too. However you squirm and struggle to get things to go your way, I am likely doing the same. I wonder if as a species we will ever stop projecting our aggression outwards and realise that we are all simply trying to get by, to love and be loved, to make the best of this unfathomable existence. If we can forgive our own confusion about how best to do this, perhaps we could begin to forgive others’ too? It’s not easy when the confusion of others causes us pain. But perhaps one way to try is by feeling more connected to each other rather than separate. I find it hard to hold on to my anger, my rage, my disappointment, my loneliness and my fear when I hear music like this. I find it hard to hold onto anything.

Istanbul to Kiev and beyond

Every time I go on retreat things fall apart a bit more. This is said to be a good thing, although at the time it feels excruciating. The layers continue to peel off and the same questions percolate: what am I doing? where am I heading? what’s behind everything I do? My latest realisation is that what is behind everything I do is love. And what confuses this is fear. When I am connected to myself, my work and my life and the way I manifest in the world become an expression of love.

That’s a good start but it’s hard to pin down what it means exactly. It’s even harder to marry it up with the often painful, frustrating and lonely path of an artist. I have been thinking more and more about the value of what I create and where it fits into this impossibly diverse and hectic kaleidoscope of a planet we share. One piece of work I am really proud of is a song that I wrote last year for the Wilding Festival, called ‘We Will Be Heard.’ I really struggled with this song. I wrote at least seven versions before I came up with this one.

The inspiration that was guiding me at the time was the protests that were going on in Turkey surrounding the prospective demolition of Gezi Park. I was moved and impressed by the way people came together to stand up for themselves and their community. I felt that there was clear evidence of a common human spirit that when ignited will stand against corruptive forces.

There are many other examples of this, before and since. The crisis in Ukraine is now in its third month, and since November has involved many instances of violence by police against peaceful protesters. It’s a complex situation and not one that I intend to attempt to elucidate here, although I have found this article particularly helpful in understanding its genesis. Most recently people kicked back against an anti-protest law which was set to restrict freedom of speech and action against the government.

I am certainly no expert on politics and do not consider myself a political songwriter. If I could offer anything at all to people in times of struggle I would want it to be hope, strength and inspiration to continue manifesting with dignity the basic goodness of humanity. If Nelson Mandela taught us anything then surely it is that.

The song I wrote inspired a close friend of mine to create a video out of a wide range of footage documenting similar protests in Brazil, Turkey, USA and beyond. I was touched to receive messages of thanks and solidarity from people all over the world who had been inspired by this. At the time of producing the song I was entering a period of extreme chaos in my own personal life, which made it difficult for me to do much more than upload it to youtube and watch the view count. My intention for this year however is to give the song a further life and I am now looking for a charity with whom to collaborate on its release.

Findhorn

Findhorn

I still have your sand on my boots as I touch down in London
Your smell lingers in my hair like sweet cologne of a gentle lover
Age-old and asking nothing in particular
Your shore reaches out
Into the perimeters of my mind toward the mountains beyond

In the day the dark light bathes the bay as the wind ruffles the waves
And we walk entranced as if on the surface of the moon
At night we feel our feet on the stones, our hands in each other’s
As we gather beneath the cold stars and dance
To the tune of our own beautiful bones

Everything we asked for is right here and we know it
Across the island seals lounge with soft black eyes and tails
Inclined in smiling non-confirmation
There is nothing to be lost or won; ghostly boats swim
Drunk on the horizon, journeying like us into the wild unknown

This land of dreams has held me; what might come to be
If we could learn to hold ourselves? I am alone now
And my loneliness knows no company save the songs we have shared
That ring on in the universal body like a warning from afar
Be here, be love, be free: wo re ra, wo re rosha, wa ra da