Jots from a Journey

A few weeks ago I was sat on a motionless train for a considerable period of time, and felt an urge to do a little experiment to distract me from persistently looking at my watch and cursing the delays.  I began to think about the literary term known as the ‘stream of consciousness’ (which in other words is when the writer scribes a narrative that reflects more accurately the spontaneity and multi-layered form of the human mind).  It’s about writing that hasn’t been premeditated, or agonisingly edited in order to reach a state of perceived perfection… writing which is – in other words – a true expression of a thought process.

The following is what ended up on the page when using this methodology, and I’m not entirely sure what it means but I quite like it; and in the absence of having completed a proper blog entry for this month, I thought I’d share this instead.


“I like it when I see the piano keys bursting from behind your eyes;

A tune which only you can play.
…A tune that forms the soundtrack to those inner-most thoughts
(The ones that dance alongside the movement of this vehicle)

There is something so profoundly special about this piece;
Something that makes each time you hear it, feel like the first
… The amber lights blink along in rhythm
(And it feels like we all signed up to this dance class, together)

For then, for now, for tomorrow;
We move together underneath this same orange glow
… Sensitive to everything, familiar to nothing
(And nothing before or beyond this moment matters)

Here we are.”

Song of the Day: Punchline – Simulation

Pennsylvanian indie-poppers are back with a new album and this makes me very happy…

I’m Still Waiting…

This is a poem I have written for a dear friend who we suddenly lost last week.  I don’t normally write poems, as you’ll probably be able to tell, nor would I normally use this site to write about such personal things, but there’s something quite therapeutic about putting words into verse as a reflection of innermost feelings.

I’m sure that anyone else who has been bereaved would be able to relate to some of the sentiments here.

I’m Still Waiting…

When I first heard the news, I was shocked and confused.
How could this happen to a girl so well loved, such as you?
I’m still waiting to be told that none of it’s true.

The memories we share are full of smiles and laughter,
those drunken nights out and the food-fests after…
I’m still waiting to hear what you’ve picked as a starter.

You always knew what made good conversation,
Excitedly you would speak, with much animation…
I’m still waiting to meet you at Lancaster station.

I keep reading old messages you’d sent to my phone,
And looking through the many photographs that I own…
I’m still waiting to tell you, “You’re not alone”

I can only be glad you played a part in my life,
my friend, my flatmate, and my ‘Facebook Wife’…
I’m still waiting for you to comment on my butter knife!

I’ve thought about you so much in this past week,
As some semblance of understanding I strenuously seek…
I’m still waiting for your call and our chance to speak

But now my head feels empty, and my heart feels hollow.
Attempts to smile rebuffed each time by sorrow…
I know that you will still not be here tomorrow.

And that I will always miss you.

Fly High, Beautiful

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Finding Fluorescent Grey

About the liberation that comes from letting ourselves just be ourselves, seeing beyond the black and white ‘facts’ before us, and opening our minds to the unknown ideas and opportunities within the so-called ‘grey areas’.

Finding Fluorescent Grey

Unleash and Expand. 
Snip away those binding bands.
Poke your toes out through your socks 
and tear the labels off the box. 
See those thoughts within your mind,
and smudge away the bold outlines.

Let go,
Flow.

Search and discover.
Burn your map and draw another! 
Dare to loosen up your belt, 
and feel your heart as it slowly melts, 
drip-dripping down to fill new spaces; 
new feelings now, in different places.  

Question, 
Learn. 

Reach out and unlock, 
ignore the frown of a ticking clock. 
Clench the opportunities in your hands;
a brand new skill, or distant lands.
Or the other thing you’ve yet to find,
adventures ahead of a mystery kind.

Action,
Go.

Time to find the best, within the mess,
and turn fluorescent grey.

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Song of the Day:  Everybody Else – In Memoriam

Everybody Else make the kind of fresh, Californian pop-rock that can elevate one up away from the ground and into the tip a tornado of sugarsweet excitement within the space of a few minutes.

“Moments ago, it seems to me, that we were just kids in memories”

Sacrifice

Last night I had a vivid dream.  It was about 2 years from now, and it was my wedding day.
I’d been made to look beautiful, and all my loved ones – friends and family, were there to enjoy my special day.
And he was there.
And he looked perfect.
But when I looked into his eyes,
And stared at the reflection,
I didn’t see the rest of my life…
I didn’t see me anywhere.
I just saw, ‘Somebody’s wife’ 


To follow our head, or to follow our heart?

The Big Red Rollercoaster

The big red rollercoaster.
An eyesore on the horizon,
With it’s twists and turns,
Euphoria; and concerns.

A ride nobody ever paid for,
Or waited for;
Compelled upon it’s emotional surge,
Where delight and despair merge,
So intensely,
Exposing what is known to me,
As the irony of matter:

Never shed a tear over anything I didn’t care about.
Never cared about anything I didn’t love.
And those raindrops that fall on sunny days,
Are sometimes the heaviest raindrops of all,
As they drip onto naked, wilted petals,
That never loved anything which was immortal.

Fingers clutch
much
tighter.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Song of the Day:  Ingrid Michaelson – Lady in Spain

Staten Island, NY songstress Ingrid Michaelson has already had much of her music featured in US programmes, but since I don’t watch much t.v it took good old Last.Fm to introduce me to her.  This song came up on an afternoon which I have spent frustratingly trawling the internet for jobs to apply to, having to re-assess my plans and location, consequently wanting to slam my head on the desk in the hopes that it might magically knock everything into place.  Just when I needed some motivation, along came Ingrid Michaelson with this sweet little tear-jerker of a song, apparently about a young girl who fears being nothing until one night a fairy flies into her bedroom and tells her that she can anything she sees, anything she wants to be, anything her heart tells her to do.  Well, it may be a fictional fairy in a song, but thanks Ingrid, your nice little tune is giving me some inspiration and making that desk look far less appealing 🙂

“I am a lady from Mars, and I can unscrew the stars”

Technicolour Tears

“Why the tears, little one?”

 

 Red tears of romance, soft like a stream, a bed so deep, a heart so taken,

Orange tears of passion, flaring like a flame, driving towards the dream,

Yellow tears of joy; an appreciation, a relief, a gratitude for the gift,

Green tears of envy, a want that remains wanted; a sight, but not a touch,

Blue tears of sorrow, a loss that leaves you wandering and hollow,

Indigo tears of intrigue, the mystery of the stars ‘neath the moonlit skies,

Violet tears of mirth, a joke so funny, a laughter worth more than money,

…It’s not really clear.  It’s a technicolour tear.



The Best Cup of Coffee

Date:  Thursday 9th June 2011
Time:  11:30am
Location:  The old Canterbury Buttermarket

I’m sat outside Starbucks with a freshly made caramel macchiato and a notepad at my table.  Its a typical weekday morning in a square which, with its timber-framed buildings and lively  street performers, typifies the historical and cultural aspects of this city of Canterbury.
A rather effeminate American tourist on the table next to me discusses the passers by with somebody who I presume is his boyfriend.  They are laughing.  The tourist came to my aid earlier when he pointed out the chair I was about to sit on was covered in tea, and brought over a new one for me.  “Oh! Don’t sit there! That chair looks a little mankyyyyy, that’s why I didn’t sit on it.  Here, let me getcha noo one”  My heart melted like the froth on my coffee at the voluntary kindliness.
Meanwhile, a man in a trilby hat and a blue t-shirt sits beside the war memorial warbling out his remake of a Neil Diamond song on a guitar which he self-gratifyingly thumps around like a wench.
The song finishes, and the American tourist creates the sole applause and cheers before laughing and remarking to me that, “It’s almost WORSE when only one person claps”
In the background I hear the sound of a plush toy frog with inbuilt giggling sound effects emanating from Hawkins Bazaar gift shop as an excited child looks on and tries to establish where the sound is coming from.
Then there is the ice-cream seller who sits in the middle of the square, leaning against his cart, who is looking pained at the prospect of a rabble of about 20-odd French schoolchildren, shouting above one another in alien tones as they approach him.
Yet, this city is so quintessentially British.
The queue to get into the Cathedral is constant and comprises of faces from all over the globe, all of whom have come here for the same reason – to see the world heritage site up close, feel it’s warmth, and revel in it’s magic.
What I love the most is the variety of languages and voices.  Two young ladies who look like they’re into equestrian sports bustle out of Starbucks with their takeway skinny lattes, talking in upper-class tones about something or other.  Immaculately dressed, the comparison with the overweight, balding man in the tracksuit who sits nearby looking despondently at his ice-cream as his wife whispers something into his ear, is broad.
Why why whyyyyy Delilah – I am pleased the busking musician is playing something upbeat but am less satisfied by the arrival of a third delivery lorry, obscuring my view of the Square.  Do they not know that I’m trying to write an observational piece here?!  Yet this is the hustle and bustle of this city’s life, and I love it.
A Starbucks employee is now at the table next to me, on a break, with a blood-red coloured juice drink in front of him as he taps away at his phone.  I wonder who he is messaging, or what he’s saying.  I wonder if he knows that the thing I’m scribbling about on my piece of paper right now, is him.
The musician breaks into a rendition of Let It Be next.
There will be an answer, let it be
I listen to him warble away to his guitar and feel a moment of awe which is swiftly spoilt by the lady next to me, coughing a loud, rasping cough.
Regardless, I’m still really warming to this musician.  Who knows his circumstances – his name, age or birthplace.  Who knows what brings him to this Square and who knows why he needs to make the cash from busking.  Yet, there is something inspiring about his passion and drive to just keep on singing amidst the cacophony of frog noises, school children, coughing and derogatory remarks from U.S tourists.
In fact, there is passion all around Canterbury.  The huge Cathedral behind me is symbolic of many things, mostly historical and religious, but to me, it is a testament to somebody’s dream, and the faith of many, 1100 years ago, to build something so beautiful without the aid of modern day construction methods and machinery.  Every brick, every panel, every detail of the stained glass windows… so immaculate, so perfect.  Chaucer’s pilgrims, though fictional, symbolise the millions of people who have been driven to Canterbury not by horses, planes and trains alone, but by faith and intrigue.
I begin to feel the continental breeze against my feet, sweeping in from the South-Eastern shoreline.
Two locksmiths return to their van upon completing a job.  In cockney tones, they discuss how to manoeuvre their lorry out of the square, “Should be toight, but I’ll be alroight”.
And so, slide away, but don’t look back in anger, I heard you say, the musician’s repertoire is one that knows the songs that people like – the anthemic and the timeless, and knows how to juxtapose them against the ongoing movement surrounding him.
A German teenager on a school trip has decided to stand right in front of me and munch loudly on an apple.  I sometimes wonder what these foreign children make of Canterbury.  Are they interested in the religion or culture, or, like most of us when we were teenagers, are they plotting the best way to escape teacher’s attention and sneak off somewhere for a game of pool and can of coke?
If I lay here, if I just lay here, will you lie with me and just forget the world
A group of pensioners walk together laughing, holding shopping bags containing recent purchases from local craft shops.  I wonder what the city is like through their elderly eyes, how its changed over the years and how pleased they are that it has still managed to retain some degree of it’s charismatic vintage soul throughout the decades.
But by now, my cup is nearly empty and my macchiato nearly finished.  The sun spills out from behind the clouds.  The coughing lady’s Nokia ringtone takes off and I establish that she is German, “So… ja…. und… toll…. ja”.  I love the cosmopolitan atmosphere of this place and feel happy to live here.
I begin to feel like I’m taking up a table someone else might need, so I put away my work, pack up my bags and root around in my purse to find some cash to give the musician.  For the past hour I have been surrounded by people and things who do the things they love, and love the things they do.  This is not the place to find people headlessly pursuing the things they feel they should be doing, but doing the things they want to be doing, and being damn good at it.  It was an inspiration.  It made my heart smile.  It was one of the best cups of coffee ever.

Loves.

Song of the Day: The Avett Brothers – Kick Drum Heart

Another gem discovered from Last.Fm.  An upbeat piece of contemporary pop/folk/bluegrass fresh from North Carolina.   The kind of awesome song that will put you in a great mood within minutes and re-affirm the notion that music is powerful.


If only footballers had guts. If only.

All About If

If.
The most annoying word.

If, is uncertainty.
If, is circumstantial.
If, keeps you waiting.
If, is a tormentor,
It reminds you of what you “could have done”

If, is an unwelcome ultimatum.
If, is not an answer.
If, cannot be trusted.
If, is a cop-out,
You will find it neither here nor there.

If.
At least its easy to spell…
iv it wasn’t, it would be even more annoying.

Meanwhile, in the news …

Everybody’s talking about the married footballer who had an affair with a glamour model and then paid millions to have a super-injunction taken out on the matter, preventing the issue from being discussed in the media.  For once, humanity has prevailed in the form of various celebrities, MPs and thousands of Twitter users defying “the silence that money bought” and revealing his identity to the masses.  Whilst the long-lasting adulterous act was crime enough, the staunch attempts at keeping his name quiet whilst the glamour model (who herself is not without blame, but isn’t married at least) was being hung out to dry in the press and unable to defend herself, served only to exacerbate the general disapproval for his actions.

Sadly, this is not the first time a famous football star has been exposed for having an affair, and it certainly won’t be the last.  Those in one corner of the ring will claim that footballers are as entitled to as much privacy as the rest of us.  Certainly, of course they can have their privacy.  The public doesn’t care much for the colour of the towels in Frank Lampard’s bathroom, or whether Wayne Rooney prefers ketchup or brown sauce with his chips.  We’re not interested in what radio station you listen to on the way to training, or even what you and your wife talk about over breakfast.  Behind closed doors,  football players are entitled to as much privacy as they want.

To an extent.

If you are lucky enough to be paid hundreds of thousands of pounds a week, and millions of pounds a year (suffice to say, more than most people will earn in a lifetime) to do a job that you love, such as playing football, in front of thousands of supporters week in, week out, then you need to accept that you have put yourself into the public eye.  You are role-models to many aspiring football young football players, you are adored by the fans who pay good money to see you play for the club they love.  This doesn’t mean that you are not human, and won’t make mistakes just like everybody else does.  However, it does mean you are more accountable for your mistakes.  Only a foolish footballer would have an affair and believe that nobody would ever find out about it, particularly an affair that lasted so long.  When the truth started to bubble underneath the surface of the public glare, this footballer’s response was to throw money at the matter and desperately try to ‘buy’ silence.  It worked, but not for long.  A much more appropriate response would surely have been to confess to the crime, and show genuine remorse and explain to the masses, particularly the young, that what you did was wrong.  Instead, the cowardly approach was taken, the truth got out anyway, and whilst adults can condemn him for what he has done, younger generations who usually see him as such an idol, will be left asking “Why?  Is that the right way to act?”, and that – moreso than the adulterous act, is the biggest crime in all of this.

Loves.

Song of the Day:  Ed Harcourt – Fireflies Take Flight

Ed Harcourt is a criminally underrated singer-songwriter from London and this is a guaranteed tear-jerker, but in a wonderful, wonderful way.  So beautifully heart-rendering.  Maybe one of the best songs ever written.