Archives for category: Music

It’s amazing how sleep deprivation really clears out your mind. The weird thought patterns and the zoning out can be pretty trippy. I don’t think I’ve slept well for a full week in over 5 months. It’s fair to say I feel quite unwell at times, worst is when you feel that sickening hangover feeling, it’s really difficult to function when you know at any minute you could seriously damage yourself. Simple tasks like chopping onions become mammoth.

The difference when you do manage to sleep, your mood, ability to concentrate, the things you are inclined to engage in, are profoundly noticable. It spotlights where you have real weaknesses and explodes your concept of self. It truly does focus and motivate you, but in strange ways. There is little active planning in the things you do, your subconcious is perhaps more active, and you just ‘do’.

I kid you not, you find out really quickly what is important to you. I recommend it. I will warn you though, it isn’t pleasant. But its like rolling a sculpture down a hill, the bits that fall off you have no purpose. <<< Is that Socrates? Where did I get that from? Anyhoo… I’m done with this experiment. I’ve bought some earplugs. That perhaps is the most stark observation from this period, the myriad ways I have found to punish myself. From not buying earplugs to block out noise nuisance, to persisting in choosing destructive relationships.

I been having the urge to work on my chakras. I have no idea what that is about really. I know that there are very real physical nerve bundles in the areas where the chakras are located so I get the feeling this is more than a spiritual urge. A friend gave me a meditation to do, and I was very surpised at the results as my blocks and stops were in the throat and frontal lobe (third eye) and eye. I really thought they would be in the root and sacrum, go figure.

Try is see what you get. Sit yourself down. Notice your body. Relax. Relax. HEY!!! I mean it! Relax. Your head, give it a little shake. Squeeze up your shoulders, then drop them. Have your hands in your lap. Relax your stomach, your back should be straight, but not like a rod. Give yourself three deep breathes and then forget about your breathing. Are your legs floppy? Relax those thighs and calves.

I want you to notice. Not visualise. NOTICE. Observe. Bear witness to. Start at the root and work your way up the spine, up the neck into the head (stay away from that crown now) and notice the feelings fall down the front of your body. Have your mouth relaxed and your tongue pressed against the roof of your mouth. Come full circle to the root. Where were you blocked. What are you holding in? It takes as long as it takes by the way, so don’t think you can get it over and done with in 5 mins. I took about 40 mins the first time. Perhaps more.

It would be a lie to say that I was a non-smoker since I smoke nearly every week. I began eating meat again. I went out and got laid. He’s an alright bloke, but he’s not for me: maybe he just doesn’t want to be for me. Anyway, we are friends, so at least we’ve lost nothing. We met when I started drinking again. I read an article that said that will power was finite. Being jobless and in the pit of grief trying to hold onto my sanity, something had to give. So, I let it all go (again, with the letting go!).

I called a friend, snot nosed and said this was the worst impersonation of ‘Love, eat, pray’ or what ever the hell that was, that I’d ever witnessed and I’ve seen a lot of messed up puppies in my time. She laughed and said, “You’re not messed up. You’re living. Get used to it”. I decided there was little else I could do actually, so I settled in for the ride. I believe the Buddhists call it developing renunciation.

Then I finally found a freakin job. Hallelujah!

Kind of got sacked because 1) My line manager and I knew each other from a previous job and we both knew it wouldn’t last long, 2) It ended a lot quicker than we both thought it would because I almost burnt the hostel down. Strictly speaking it wasn’t my fault, but still, it was a very close call. We both learned something that day: She’s a person living in fear and my hostel days are over because I just don’t have the love for it like I used to.

I let that go too. Just slunk off and never looked back. Even when I was pleading for my job, we both looked at each other through the facades we’d built knowing that neither of us wanted me to get my job back. But I worked long enough to pile a little bit of cash up. Knowing this might be the last pile o’ cash I see for a while I thought, “fuck it”. I’m going to get drunk. My birthday month was wild. I don’t even remember living like that in my teens, I just went nuts.

As the second half of August pulled into sight I said to myself that I was going to straighten out again and start the soul destroying process of finding work. Then I got drunk and slept with my friend again. We had a big talk a few weeks later about how we were just going to be friends, then we had sex on the sofa. It’s pretty funny you know. At some points I just laughed and laughed and laughed… Grief works in mysterious ways. My friends are phenomenal that’s all I can say. They really have carried me this year, and I will say it till I’m blue in the face, I have had no choice but to let them. At first, I waved to my pride as I passed by, but then it caught me up again all refreshed and wearing new clothes.

What now then?

1) I’m still allergic to the cat.
2) I have a zero hour contract working a bar.
3) I’m still looking for better hours.
4) I stopped writing the book. I don’t have time to research it properly.
5) I created my own event. (It went down really well).
6) I won some funding to be able to put my event on again in a different venue.
7) I’m applying for further funding to take it further afield.
8) I said I’d help a friend with his events. We are gaining a lot of interest and some very serious people are asking questions.
9) I’m going to have to set up new blogs about both of these events, because other wise, I’ll lose the anonymity of this blog. Some of you have come so far with me on my inner journey, that I wouldn’t want to lose you because I couldn’t continue writing with the same level of freedom I enjoy now.

I hope you are well. I’ll post the writing I did for my event when I’ve typed it up. Till then, have a listen to this my loves…

As a child and teenager I used to enter these periods and I would endure them for a short while and shake them off like water. I’d make a motivation and step through walls and climb mountains. The time I experienced the Long Dark Night of the Soul, I sincerely thought that I would not make it out alive. Until of course I shook that off also. It took years. Maybe 10, maybe 14. I still functioned, I progressed in many ways, in ways that were unexpected. And yet, on other levels, I was barely alive. I was moving through this world like a ghost.

Despite acquiring wealth, possessions, stability, a degree, a reputation as a person with integrity among friends and within my career… I felt like a fraud. At times I was angry and anti-social, at times I was classically depressed, at the lowest point I was 100% convinced that there were secret messages hidden in songs, which contained clues about how to resolve my emotional pain. Fortunately, I had an infatuation with a Muslim man who talked to his Imam about me. His Imam said I was seeking refuge in music, ever the Contrarian I said, “I’ll show you”! I wrote a poem and then silenced my stereo for the better part of 3 years.

These songs? This endless list of songs I play, they are just songs with lyrics or melodies that move me. They may be relevant to my current emotional state, they may not, they may be directed at one person, a group or solely at myself; they are all just songs. Audio glitter to sparkle dreary days and nights, there are no secret messages contained within.

There is an understanding that none of this even remotely matters. In my heart of hearts I know that I can unravel this life, right now. I could just choose to walk out of the door and disappear into the night. Thousands of people do it every year, some stay gone for days, weeks, months… some for years. Personally, I have always known that regardless of how far I travel I will always have to take myself with me. And so I ran away standing still; in comfort.

I used to engage in day dreams in absence of action. When I was trapped by my circumstances I resorted to my rich and fertile imagination. Sometimes, these fantasies bled into real life and I was dragged into a shared reality when other people strayed from my script. I hated it when people did not respond in accordance with my dreams. I used to mind read. That is to say, I used to believe that I knew what other people where thinking and feeling, and would rarely ask even reasonable questions.

Since my grandmother died, I entered a period of existential crisis. I am not depressed, I am not stressed, I am slightly numb, occasionally angry (I am not patient); I have chosen to experience this state of being as a period of waiting. I am waiting. What am I waiting for? The bodies of my enemies to pass me by? No. Sometimes our enemies have the most valuable lessons to teach us. What I am waiting for is a revelation.

I am waiting for a door, that once opened wide can not be closed, that will not be ignored. I’m waiting for the wisdom to recognise that door when I see it, rather than when I’ve gone so far passed it I’ve lost it. In the mean time I am meditating on my weaknesses and learning what to do with them. Accept them or develop them into strengths. I know that any time I can change this life, with a word, a thought, an action. I am not powerless. I might not be fully self actualising, or perhaps in going for refuge, I *am*.

These are dangerous times. The world is going crazy. We can only make it a better place by being as authentic as we can, with ourselves and other people. We have to learn that sometimes the people who smile the most tell the most damaging lies. We have to understand that other people sometimes have a vested interest in making sure we fail. It absolves them of having to take responsibility for their own lives and subsequently the consequences of their own choices.

We have the power to unravel this life, now. Sometimes all it takes is a change of perspective, sometimes it requires something more radical. But we, no one else, are responsible for our current realities. The only advice I have that is of any use is this: When making decisions make sure mind, body and soul are in alignment. A sense of calm will help you know when you have made the right choice, and you will be able to act with authenticity. Be kind. Yes, to yourself and other people.

Play Your Cards To Your Heart – Groove Armada

1) Send out an email. There are too many recipients for this email. So send out 5 emails. Do some social media stuff.

2) Download something. Download a bittorrent. Download a template. Down load the thing. Install the thing. Do something to the thing. Re-upload the thing.

3) Arts council funding bid for a really bloody good project, that someone has potentially plagiarised from me. Why didn’t I keep my stuff more secret? Why didn’t I apply for more funding? Why did I get disheartened at the first hurdle and throw it all away.

4) Apply for a job.

5) Make a poster

6) Finish a piece of art and find someone to by it, so I can fulfill a promise I made.

7) Put some stuff on a bidding site to sell.

8) Take some things to charity. More things.

9) Respond to an email from an old friend saying thanks but no thanks… Why aren’t these people leaving me alone? It’s been years… What am I to conclude from the fact that people I am trying to leave behind refuse to be left?

10) Sort out volunteering at the local Buddhist Centre.

11) Send a reminder email to someone about volunteering my time to give benefits advice to people who are in need.

12) Go pick up somethings from a friends. Do things with the things.

13) Apply oil paints to an existing piece of art (recently made).

14) Call my mum.

15) Stop devoting brain energy to certain people, who are not even in the same city as me.

16) Write more book.

17) Call my dads and brother

and on and on and on and on and on and on and on… It feels like a land slide… I have to make some doctors appointments and attend some clinics too. I just want a hug really. From someone who loves me. A real physical hug, from a man, who loves me. I’d like to sleep properly and I’d like to move again. I’m feeling really claustrophobic.

I did manage to do several positive things today, but then someone stole my joy by telling a rape joke. It wasn’t funny. They never are. Did you know that if you tell someone who has told a rape joke that they are not funny, you reduce instances of rape. FACT. Don’t be a baby dude, tell your friend he’s not funny. I would, but we all know what happens when ‘teh menz’ are ask by women not to be arseholes.

Get Here If You Can – Oleta Adams.

I’m really ticking over time now… (Mos Def – Umi Says) spent sometime with the female parental, and my nephew who is 7 and one of my favorite people. I’ve been wondering where my ‘fuck you’ came from and more recently, where the hell it went. Well it is coming back with a vengeance.

I do not get how ironic it is that I need a job to be able to sack in working! I want to get rid of all my stuff. If you do not have stuff, DO NOT GET STUFF! Seriously, you need very little and with hand-held devices that connect to the internet you need very little else.

Anyway, there is a lot of political activity among my friends and mostly I’m just a bit of an idiot, I’ll do anything for an easy life. In the absence of being able to run around lala land though I think I’m going to set up a thing. It will be fun and I might learn something.

I need to write all this stuff down because it will be important for the book at some point. I can feel the bubble, it’s about to burst, the plot is there, but I lack something… that thing, that just won’t appear.

I have a head ache with all the stuff I am trying to hold in my head…

Ah yes, trust and respect… You can not make people trust you or respect you or like you and it’s not important for people to do any of the latter, but you must have a certain amount of trust, even in your enemy… Trust that they will behave as you predict! How’s that for a hook?

In this case the enemy is not really the enemy it’s a game I’m playing but it is yielding interesting results. If they are who they say they are they get rewarded with my time and skills for free, for the benefit of Bradford. If they aren’t, well that bit will reveal itself in the fullness of time.

I can honestly say that I am having fun, and I don’t mind which way it goes for now.

Really though?? I just want a passport and a plane ticket still. And a man with a hairy chest.

Which reminds me, last night, one of my exes was back in touch… Long term readers will know that a while back people from my past turned up en masse trying to reconnect, I was not having a bar of it. Except for one perhaps. Anyhow, this one lad will just not go away. The relationship is getting more and more unhealthy the more he tries to reconnect.

It’s been a year since I said that I didn’t want to talk to him anymore and he just pops up, “Are you in a better mood yet”, he says. “Aye”, says I, “if you don’t go on about sex”… “Oh.” Sez he. Enter huge argument and lots of swearing and name calling, the likes I haven’t engaged in since I was a teen! Proper words were said… Right in the middle of my bloomin puja none the less… I’m wondering if I need to start again? Or if this is part of the process? 9 days to go.

1) She said, “You live life in orange but talk in blue”. At the time my response was honest. But right now struggling to sleep I am failing to keep a grip, my fingers are slipping.

2) I have pain in my shoulder, it’s a physical reminder of unfinished business.

3) I slept well last night after having burst a little bubble with the idiot neighbour. It felt really good to hoover at 7 am and sing “Ramases Callosus!” at the top of my voice. You will not fuck up my sleep and then have a lay in.

4) Too right Saul Williams, I have a list of demands! They are not written on the palm of my hands, they are branded into my heart and I forgot what they were, now I can’t read them because of all the scar tissue.

5) Yeah, telling my Aunt to fuck off was liberating. She called and started swearing, talking shit about Nans will. When I told my mum, she said she was proud of me. Said my Aunt needed to know she was talking to a woman not a child. I still feel like a child. It made me sad when she said she missed me. I think I prefer it when we argue so I don’t have to acknowledge how much it hurts her living hundreds of miles away.

6) Yes my friend you were right, I do have issues, but they were not daddy ones and I don’t need you to fix them. You play the car game and it’s not funny anymore. If you want me in the car let me open the door, if not drive away. Or what the hell is wrong with me, why aren’t I walking away?

7) Back to not allowing hugs from certain folk because… because… because…

8) All the motivations I make mean nothing.  If I want something I walk through fire and move mountains to get them. I’m not fighting for shit. And I thought I was tired of fighting and needed respite, but at least I knew I was alive. Not that I want to punish my self, no no no… I’m through with that. Or am I?

9) I thought I was frightened too, but I think the only thing I am scared of is ridicule. I find myself ridiculous. I don’t really care that much what most people think of me.

10) This is the last time I lay awake thinking about that woman… I can’t tolerate the way she talks to people. Last week she punished me for offering the clients tea ten minutes before they where due a break, the clients noticed the interaction and I couldn’t hold my professionalism together long enough to wriggle out of it. I hid. I spent the whole session in a different room, when I could just as easily have performed my task in the main hall. Anything so I didn’t have to listen to her kvetching about the clients ‘doing it all wrong’. This class is not mandatory, they are not children and this is fucking art!

11) I wanted to cry. I want a cigarette, but I wanted to cry. Because of new neighbour I didn’t, I didn’t want to wake her, I wanted to fucking howl the place down. So I got up, and by the time I got downstairs I just wanted the cigarette. And now I have stuck tears. This is bullshit. I have keys to my friends house, I could literally break into her house and steal some tobacco, I wouldn’t want to give her hear attack though.

12) I’m reading old writing… perhaps it isn’t wise at the moment.

13) Yes, I know that you have defriended me on FB and the truth is I couldn’t care less. I know why. It doesn’t reflect well on you. Hu-fucking-rah! I made some progress.

14) GOD DAMMIT! Yet more application forms with no sign of interviews, no responses to the funding queries and the money I saved from working is all gone. Gone, gone, gone.

I want to be anywhere but here. Or nearly anywhere, I am not so broken as to court disaster… but seriously, something has to give before I do.

I’ve been thinking things through…

1) There is no need to worry about eating meat. Although there are plenty of spiritual traditions that hold only vegitarians have the purity to elevate to certain levels, there are plenty who say nothing on the matter.

Oh, I’m not in a list mood. I’m in a playful mood. I did some research on Women’s Meditation practices in Tibet, and then did more research on Dakini, and then I listened to some music… I provoked my friend, who just loves to dwell in the muck and filth of life, and scorns me because he thinks I’m a bit ‘Pollyanna’… Trust me on this one, I am not.

If anything I am a practical person… I finished sanding two peg looms that I made today. I am going to make things, textile type things. This pleases me.

So the god thing. It doesn’t matter. However much people say it matters, it really doesn’t. The world is not any less filled with awe without god. We are all atoms, we are all made from stars, and when we die we return to our natural state and become part of something else. Now why is that any less spectacular as any of the worlds creation myths? I’m cool which ever story you like to tell, but I hold my right to tell my own story.

I watched another video that challenged me to do a painting. 8 colours, one a day for 20 days and I can only take 2 mins to make it. It has to be A2 size. But I reckon I’ll use A3 (English)… see cheating already. When I get myself tied up in knots about things, it’s easy to fall into a funk, so sod it. Buddhist, not Buddhist who cares, pass me a paint brush.

I’m the kid that just made a sand castle, and he came and kicked it over. He doesn’t want to play he says, but the very act of coming and interacting even negatively with me, betrays the fact that he does want to play. Either he thinks he needs rules or he doesn’t know how to describe the game he wants me to play. What am I going to do?

Yeah! Build another sand castle, and if he wants to kick this one in fine, I might just kick him if he does though…

Erykah Badu: Didn’t Cha Know
India Arie: I See God In You
Macy Gray: Beauty In The World
Laura Mvula: Human Nature

…for example writing a blog, when I should be getting ready to go out. In my defense it’s not my fault, it’s my friends. She’s stuck on a train. I don’t go out often and even rarer still do I get to go to an event of my choosing in my local area. It’s not really known for salsa and soul.

Anyhow, the other thing that I should not be doing is devoting time, energy and wow on a man who is probably unreliable, stubborn, possibly a bit more cuckoo than I can handle and likely to play me like a set of drums. There is another man I like, who would probably play me like a cello.

Let’s be clear, there is nothing wrong with me. I don’t feel like I need to be abused (I think he’s likely to be negligent, not abusive). I do deserve to be loved. I am smart, feeling good and definitely on the up… So this attraction I have, the electricity that I feel, is not something I’d like to wish on myself.

I’m really not a risk taker or an adrenalin junkie… and yet.

It’s quite exhausting actually, it’s like a form of madness. Am I done? Nope… So, here’s hoping that a night on the tiles with my girls will cure me of the burning furnace in my… everything.

Just in case it needed to be said, tonight I will be Baddhist…

I’m in. I’m surrounded by boxes. And I’m happy as a pig in poop. I threw away 10 bin bags of rubbish from the old place. Yeah! You heard right. 10. Rubbish. 10 bags of rubbish. I have one bag of confidential rubbish left. I want to burn it.

I’ve spent a week washing curtains. I wanted to put my own up, but the drop in the new place is 2 foot longer. So I washed the ones left in the new place so they would smell of me.

I decorated the bedroom and half decorated the bathroom and moved things from one box to another, to another, to another… You know like those games where you have to push blocks around a maze?

I was going to bed at sun down and rising at sun up. Or when the work men next door woke me, which ever happened earlier. I finally started to lose that weight that I thought I’d lose when I started working.

I’ve rebuilt all my furniture. Felt home sick for my old place. Cried because I knew my Nan would have loved this house. Watched the cat explore her new surroundings and been so excited that I have to make myself not let her in the garden until she’s had her boosters.

I handed in the keys to the old place. I drank the bottle of Lanson I was saving. I finally broke and put the computer together. I watched the rain on my new windows and I turned on my new gas fire. I managed not to kill my orchids in the move.

Laura Mvula is right…

Diamonds
Sometimes the grass ain’t greener on the other side.
Maybe the sky is clearer in another place.

But you got diamonds under your feet.
But you got diamonds in your heart.

Waiting for a day of change to come.
And you’re beautiful, dancing in a gloomy store.

But you got diamonds under your feet.
But you got diamonds in your heart.
But you got diamonds in your heart.

Change did come… and the grass is greener. Even in the gloom of bereavement, I can see blue sky. I hope things keep changing for the better. It’s been a tough year. I have forgotten Om Mane Padme Hum on a Wednesday, usually remembering on Thursday morning.

I have four weeks of work left. A manuscript to type up still. And there are walks to be had. There is a heart to finish. How long can I live with all these boxes before they start to drive me nuts?

My friend has given me the information I need for a counselling course that starts in September and I am tempted to take a Painting and Decorating class too. I have funding to apply for, so I can continue the Patchwork Poems.

Life goes on.

Om Mane Padme Hum.

From time to time, I refer to my mum as a tank. She is the master of pushing through barriers. There is more of my mother in me than I care to admit. I was feeling rough, walking into things and having strange sensations; like I was passing out, without the falling on the floor bit.

Yeah, I’m grieving. This year has been tough, trying to find work and it being cold and lonely and then the three months of making sure that I spent as much time as I could with Nan. So, I expected to be tired. The thought of moving house and applying for more work on top was making me feel queasy.

But after the last time of nearly falling over. on to a small child. I thought that I had best go to the doctors. They tell me, I have Labyrinthitis and that is what is affecting my balance and my ability to talk in proper sentences.

Nan’s funeral is next Thursday, the only day I work. I’m thinking teaching homeless kids how to decorate might not be so pleasant after a funeral. No work no pay though, then the universe steps in and says, “Ticker, you are ridiculous. Take some time off. Here, have Labyrinthitis.”

What did I do? I used some of the time that I didn’t have to plan, decorating the new house, being driven on by the tank (at my request). Crying, packing. Staring. Walking into things. Painting, treading on glass, crying, painting. I think that when this next three weeks is over, I should have a holiday.

I loved the two months working full time, but I missed being able to write. I can’t imagine how I used to think I had no time prior to my Nan being ill and yet I found time to travel four hours, three days a week on top of working full days. When the moving and the job searching is done, I’m going to have masses of time.

That will be a bit like a holiday. Won’t it?

Anyhow, I have turned one of my dreams into reality. I am moving into a really nice area. A really nice area. I’m just sad that it was too late for Nan to see. She would have been so happy that I was moving closer.

I’ve been listening to Laura Mvula, particularly Diamonds…

Here have a poem I just thought up…

I have a heart, broken heart.
Concrete encased heart of hurt,
Broken apart by loss of love,
Lonely, lacking light and air,
Breaking the casing chased,
A shadow away and showed
In dreams of hope.

Om mani padme hum