Tuesday, October 31, 2006

day 3 - happy hallowe'en!

greetings from portsmouth. since i last wrote i've been in oxford.

i'm merching inside the venue again tonight.
so agian this might be a bit scatty...pretty sedate crowd tonight. getting to know the set and starting to recognise my favourites by the intros. i think i've shimmied more that anyone else here and i'm not even paying attention.

last night was really cool. on the DC bus for the first time. it was emptier than usual as the london based band members headed home for a few days of commuting to and from the gigs. i had a really nice welcome from neil (frontman), tim (drums), john (guitar), and simon (bass). they taught me how to play a cool dice game called Perudo and we had a lot of fun with a drink and a small wager. i lost my 5 euro fairly swiftly but it was a small price for a really entertaining night. neil sang, carrie doesn't live here anymore by sir cliff and that was it, i felt right at home. i went to bed relaxed and woke relaxed and by the sea.

so duke special has a new voluntary position. he's now become purveyor of snacks for me. jayne will be cheering at this... when he comes off stage he comes to the desk to see if i need anything. tonight i was feeling hungry as i hadn't had anything since lunch. so i've just polished off a platter he created with his own paino playing hands,
and containing,
3 rounds of sandwiches - cheese and tomato and veggie pate with veggie chicken
mini twix
mini skittles
mini milky way stars
bottle of mineral water

at last, the place is starting to liven... neils been doggedly trying to get the crowd to loosen up and now the gay contingent are starting to get into the groove. the 'cover' in the set on this leg of the tour is prince's raspberry beret...lovin' it.

right, better get this posted,

only a few mins to the end of show and then my busiest part of the day begins...and in less than hour it's all over for another day.

i've loved it so far...

Sunday, October 29, 2006

something for the weekend, sir?


didn't expect to be online so soon but there's a lovely wireless connection here in the liquid room in edinburgh.

so! this is the first gig. i may have to stop suddenly and this may be a little incoherent, my apologies...
the divine comedy are on stage as i type (man, they are good! i'm impressed), and the audience are rapt, so business is in lull mode, but the gig has sold out and it'd be a mean feat for anyone to reach the merch desk through the crush. i say merch desk, it actually consists of 2 huge drum boxes but alas they are on wheels that don't lock and the crowd are a persistantly swelling tide pushing us backward into the corner.
duke did a great opening set, pete's tour manager's writing emails on her laptop, i'm munching on a banana as i type, and chip has joined us in our dark little corner to say hello and we are now trapped.
neil hannon has the sexiest voice when he drops an octave in speech... christopher robin meets barry white.

i spent last night with my aunt. we had a few glasses of vino and stayed up rather late chatting 'bout important stuff we have in common. it was moving and wonderful. i did a little shopping this morning and then some prep work on my laptop outside a cafe on cockburn street and the sun shone and i thought for all the panoramas on offer in this my favourite of my home cities, the view down that street just fills me with a sense of delight...

but so far, all is well and folks have been friendly and welcoming. but we'll see if my stock and takings add up before i can even remotely relax. i'm on the duke coach tonight. pete and i are gonna discuss tattoos i think...

right better get back into work mode.
something tells me this is going to get a little crazy at the end of show. the end of the night is when all the hard speedy graft has to be done.

well, who knows where i'll be next time i post... when i said i'd try and post from the road i didn't actually mean from inside a gig...

oh, i think i know this one... it's about a ferris wheel...someone stuck it on a compilation for me a few years back... it's all very miss marple this stuff... if feel the need for a pair of seamed stockings and a rations book ...


Saturday, October 28, 2006

take the national express special

well, this is likely to be my last post for a couple of weeks.

i head off today for the duke special/divine comedy tour... can't believe it's finally here. i am no longer an administrator, i am now, albeit temporarily, a merch roadie. i'm packed, and chris has given me the first 2 seasons of spooks has a comfort blanket for any lonely or insomniac moments on the road. thanks bro, much appreciated.

for those who have it i'm contactable on my mobile. i'll try and get internet access at some point.

i'll be back in belfast on friday 10th november for the belfast gig on the 11th and derry on the 12th. i'm hoping robin and i can coordinate our schedules on the 10th to get my tattoo done.

i'll be back in irwin and joining the ranks of the unemployed on monday 13th nov.


advance notice:
i'll be on a trip to Ontario from 19th december to 3rd january and then i'll be hauling my jet lagged ass to edinburgh for the lovely kirsty's wedding on the 5th jan. back in belfast sometime on the 7th january.


gailers - adam philips is on the dining table at the house for you to collect at your leisure.


mark - have a blast with team fury - so sorry to be missing your first couple of weeks. hope you and team F have a lovely couple of weeks.


padraig - sorry we didn't get to IM the other day. looking forward to catching up on my return.


Jude - hope you are having an amazing time. i love ya. a mission: please give julie lee a massive hug for me and thank her for the stunning gift. i'll write to her from the tour. get her to email me her postal address.


willow - you rock. as the number zero said to the number 8, "LOVING the belt".


ricky, jayne: i'll be in touch to hook with you guys on the 10th. i'll be missing you and know there will be many a time when i'll be wishing i could turn to you guys in random moments with secret looks that say, "WTF?" and speak out of the corner of our mouths about general weirdnesses witnessed. or indeed grin at cool shit.


keli - welcome home lovey. i'll be in touch to coordinate the tattooing. please god it works out. you've been missed.

right better get my ass into gear. i leave in an hour and i'm still in my PJs.
so, see y'all in a couple of weeks. you shall be missed.

take care of yourselves. and each other.

much love,
LB, x

sunday 29 edinburgh (apologies to buddies in edinburgh that schedule doesn't allow me time to meet up)
monday 30 oxford
tuesday 31 portsmouth
wednesday 1 norwich
thursday 2 london
friday 3 no gig
saturday 4 liverpool
sunday 5 nottingham
monday 6 no gig
tuesday 7 galway
wednesday 8 cork
thursday 9 dublin
friday 10 belfast, no gig
saturday 11 belfast mandela hall
sunday 12 derry
monday 13 return to belfast. no doubt with screaming hangover. do laundry.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

you got the love


well, it's after 2 in the morning.

jayne and i have just done a marathon 12 final eps of s6 satc in one sitting.

i cried. and i cried. and i cried.

the two lines that undid me...
smith: "just because the trees are bare, it doesn't mean they're dead..."
magda: "what you did - that is love. you love."

and as we said our goodnights, we admitted beneath our cynical exteriors lie romantics. somewhere there just might be a harry, or a smith, or a steve, or even a fucked up took 6 years to realise she was "the one" all along Big, who will make us feel nothing short of fabulous.

but i'm bloody glad we got each other to share a night of friendship by the fire, while outside the rain was beating on the windows. 'cause it's a lot more than a lot of folks have got.

LB, x

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

wake up

so. the iTunes free single download this week is from none other than duke special. yes, that's right. it's free. and legal.


hey bluemile, i was perhaps speaking generally, not specifically about the previous post. that said, thank you for your encouragement and i like the way you expressed that last line. even if only proverbally, stick that on your fridge, you're onto something. i'm gonna stick it on mine. i hope bc is treating you good. greetings to you and your other 1/2. btw, i finally leave PA on thursday. only 10 months after my leaving do. that place was becoming like hotel california.


okay. this bit of fluffy reminiscing came in from the father. aka mccleary. we're shimmying up around the team fury table to make some room for him and looking forward to his wise counsel. or indeed a wit so dry and cynical it borders on the perverse.

the whale has belched us onto the beach and amidst our spluttering and gasping for breath, to use james' lovely expression, we're asking a whole lot of questions about how we move up over the dunes and what we need for the road that leads beyond...or indeed, where it might be taking us...


if we can't live with others it is only because we can't live with ourselves.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

best left unsaid

the discovery that one's attempts to be articulate are the outworkings of a defence mechanism against saying what one really feels is not condusive to free flowing thought...nor indeed articulateness.


LB, x

Sunday, October 22, 2006

adam's done for the day, now it's time for carrie

we've most certainly covered this territory before and no doubt at all we will again.

thank god for the masterpiece that is SATC season 6.

i love you
i love you
i goddamn fucking love you so much i could *eat* you.

re-viewing this show these past few weeks, much of it with jayne, who got her first view of Smith the other night much to mine and keli's amusement, has been quite strange - watching these shows while single. which means one hears things with different ears... or same ears, but you hear them differently...

but some things never change, and i am reminded that i don't think i shall ever tire of this apartment
onw never knows if the stars will align and mutual love will be found, but there will most certainly be interiors to decorate.

(big wistful sigh)

right - back to tv heaven... happiness really does come in a box.

LB, x

fascism in the head...

"It is clearly not incidental that Freud is developing the analytic setting - exploring what Lacan calls the 'analytic opportunity' - against the rise of fascism. 'Fascist regimes,' the historian Robert Paxton writes in his The Anatomy of Fascism,
tried to redraw so radically the boundaries between private and public that the private sphere almost disappeared. Robert Ley, head of the Nazi Labour Office, said that in the Nazi state the only private individual was someone asleep. For some observers this effort to have the public sphere swallow up the private sphere entirely is indeed the very essence of fascism ... Although authoritarian regimes oiften trample civil liberties and are capable of murderous brutality, they do not share fascism's urge to reduce the private sphere to nothing.
The private sphere retreats under pressure until it is called the other scene; [Freud's term for the unconscious] and it requires a new form of privacy to let it speak. And it speaks in the least publicly accessible form called free association. if language represents our ineluctable publicness, then language as free association is the closest we can get to speaking that contradiction in terms, a private language, a language of desire."

Adam Phillips, Doing It Alone, in Side Effects (2006)


some musings...

if the mind is society, with authoritarian voices censoring and controlling the public voice, then is it democracy we are moving towards in seeking to have peace of mind? is democracy of the mind ever possible? I have been part of conversation in a past professional guise that explored a theory that there has never been famine in a state which had a press free of state control... that somehow seems pertinant...

when the authoriarian voice of the super ego exerts extreme silencing pressure on the self, the private is reduced, the individual retreats, until only sleep brings safety. the only alternative state being self annihalation, voicelessness.
is this because such a battle for control in a public sphere can become almost unbearable to an animal called human whose being is built on language, on public discourse? all human interaction potentially becomes a battle ground of control and fear, not simply without, but within. even if the individual strives for democracy, there are border sentinals keeping away that which threatens. and when fear becomes too great or the state wields its control unceasingly the system gives itself over to the regime. for in annihalation at least one need not fight. the regime wins. only then in sleep can the private still small voice speak.

the oppressive authorities we carry within us are somehow toppled bit by bit when we enter psychoanalytic conversation. when we speak what it is the censor is trying to prevent us from speaking. maybe free assocaition is thus a form of free press for our inner society...



Friday, October 20, 2006

waiting for mothers to come

sitting on the smoking bench in the yard with a mug of tea. the fireworks have abated. there's a party going on in a house nearby and they're playing a pearl jam live album. an improvement on their usual speed metal.

i have no idea what to write... god this sounds like my morning pages... no idea what to write... for 3 feckin' pages...

something's been untethered from the sea bed and has been floating up out of my unconscious the past couple of days. so sigmund and i went diving today to see if we couldn't get a glimpse of its shape. we got somewhere but what that something was stays in that sacred space. but i can say it was a tiring experience. freudian psychodynamic therapy can be alternatively spelled b-l-o-o-d-y-h-a-r-d-w-o-r-k.

sometimes a blog is like a journal, sometimes like a notebook, and others a letter. so here's some thoughts from the latest adam phillips that have been revealing and resonating, followed by a message to ian, who i didn't know walked by this way until he left a message this evening, and maybe some other stuff...unless i fall asleep on the keys. i've just noticed i find it easier to touch type in the dark...


From the Preface, which worth the cover price alone...the opening lines:

" 'Even as a grown-up', his biographer John Haffenden tells us, the writer William Empson 'would not forget the secrets of a happy childhood: one day, for instance, to the great glee of a friend's son, he stood on his hands and said the boy could have anything that fell out of his pockets.' Psychoanalysis can also be a way of not forgetting the secrets of a happy childhood. Indeed the game Empson played is more often than not what happens in psychoanalysis: the so-called patient does the difficult thing - talks of the things that trouble him - and the so-called psychoanalyst takes the fallout. Both the patient and the analyst are the recipient of these side effects, of all the things that are implied and unintended and alluded to as the patient speaks as freely as he is able, and begins to understand the ingenuities of the censorship he imposes on himself. Free assocaition, what is said by the way, what is said aside from the matter in hand, what is said 'off topic', is where the action of meaning and feeling is. In this picture digression is secular revelation, keeping to the subject is the best way we have of keeping off the subject; of speaking up without speaking out. 'Obscurity in a writer', Empson wrote, 'may be due not to concentration, but a refusal to speak out.' Psychoanalysis, essentially, is an attempt to redescribe the whole notion of concentration." p.xi

"Unexpected side effects are not what 'we' want; we prefer things (and people) that do only what they say they are going to do, because then, at least so the argument goes, we can decide whether we want them." p.xii

From essay entitled, the master mind lectures (originally a lecture on freud given in the Master-Mind series to the british academy) - a wonderfully lucid and accessible description of freud's invention of the unconcious and the experiment of psychotherapy. if you want to get familiar with what freud was trying to uncover and heal, look no further.

"It is worth noting...that in Freud's view we are, however unwittingly, the active makers of our slips. Reputedly normal people quite often 'make use' of slips, Freud writes, in order to find some way of expressing these unacceptable feleings, 'these amoral forces'. As though a slip were an opportunity or a genre, like the sonenet or a linguistic medium; as though we have been the artists of our amorality - the artists but also the pragmatists. We make use of slips as though they were one of our tools to get us from A to B, to realize one of our projects, to get us something we want. In replication of the external world Freud suggests that the internal world too has its higher, forbidding authorities - the mind too is a society - who, he says, won't recognize certain feelings. But if we can make use of these secret mesages called slips then there can be what Freud calls, pragmatically, a useful toleration of amorality', and these moments of linguistic carnival perform this amorality, they don't merely tolerate it (when I say, 'it was just a mistake' I'm hoping for tolerance). What might once have been called bad manners, a lack of self discipline, or indeed, a mistake is now being referred to by Freud as both a 'useful' tool and a moment of artfulness, a way of 'expressing' powerful feeling... he is encouraging us to be connoisseurs of our cover story." p.8-9

"Psychoanalysis, in short, is based on the idea that talking is different to thinking; and also that surprising or shocking oneself in the presence of another person is of value. Indeed, the point that such nourishing surprise, such productive shock, may be possible only, is made possible only, by the very presence of the other person. The project of the unacceptable in oneself is to make itself known. The forbidden, the transgressive, is always an annunciation." p.17

"In Freud's view the question of the modern individual seems to be asking herself is whether she can make her wanting compatible with her (psychic) survival. For Freud, to speak is to articulate one's wants, to make known to oneself what is absent, what of significance is lacking in one's life." p.18

"We cannot be helped but be harmed by what we cannot help but want." p.18

"As Freud tracked, in his clinical work, the ways in in which the old-fashioned solutions of childhood become the repititions of adulthood; and how repititions of adulthood; and how repitition was a refusal to remember, and how memory was full of hiding-places, he was struck by a peculiar fact: that suffering can sometimes be transformed by applying words to wounds, by being seen as meaningful." p.19

"..desire is usually the contemporary word for the risk not taken, for the missed opportunity; the unlived life that seems the only life worth living." p.20

all quotes taken from ::side effects:: by adam phillips, 2006.


hey ian

i do indeed remember you. nice to hear from you. greetings, salutations and sincere thanks for those words of encouragment.

i know you'll appreciate knowing that Pád got me candi staton's greatest hits for my birthday so i can recreate that particular gb highlight in the comfort of my own home. :0)

look forward to seeing you again sometime. i think i heard a rumour some of you may be in belfast soon but i think it might be while i'm away. if that's right, sorry i'll not be around to see you.

nice to have you in the virtual neighbourhood. my best to you and aaron (have i spelt that right? well, the nice young moot man who thought it safe to converse with me as i washed my hair, before i'd even had my morning coffee. good lord, you train your disciples to be brave. even
i don't talk to me before coffee. anyhow,) hope you and he and your mootly crew (see what i did there?) are doing well. if any of you are planning to be at the divine comedy in london on the somethingth of november - duke special supporting, details at ticket master - please be sure to stop by the merch desk and say hi.

i'm gonna miss the next ikon :: the second coming:: due to the tour so shall miss br mark's inevitable attempt to convert us all out of undecidability.



the last 3 weeks have been full of good things and yet i find myself in the postion of not having really processed it all. of finding it hard to allow myself room to reflect and thus emotionally connect with all i've been feeling. so many good things. so many good people. so much receiving of good stuff. but also anxieties, fears, separations, leavings and losses and letting go... the joy and the sorrow all shoring up within and not getting adequate voice...

and the witholding is an act of protection for what lies deep within... the still small voice a friend calls it...the child self...

behind every anxiety is an even greater wish... and sometimes i guess we wish for what we can't have... and even if it were granted we would want to reject it for fear of the pain of losing it... and yet the anxiety persists to tell us we keep on desiring it anyway... the things we wish for can seem very real, immediate, tangible, at the surface, such as the desire for a meaningful intimacy in an i/thou encounter. others lie buried at the bottom of the ocean, down in the place of the past, before we had language, before we had the conscious, before we learnt there was a difference between i and thou...


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

the road ahead

so - a new look.

there's gonna be a few changes in coming weeks and you will soon be accessing these pages via my website. it's me that's holding that up so i've only myself to blame.


the divine comedy merch job is GO! i can't believe that i'm gonna get paid to do this. two weeks on a tour bus. 12 gigs in 12 cities across scotland, england and ireland ranging from edinburgh to portsmouth to cork to derry.
when i considered getting a retail job on finishing my current desk bound post, simply as a change of pace for a while, this is not quite what i had envisaged. it's so hard to know what to expect from it all. glamourous i know it won't be and there's gonna be a lot of hard graft. but what an opportunity.

i am reliably ensured that the divine comedy crew are a fairly sedate lot. i have no desire for the motley crew style rock tour experience so sedate (but i am also assured very friendly and down to earth) suits me just fine. and i'm delighted that i'll be able to see more of pete as despite our neighbourly status he is of course away for much of the time. this'll be a real treat to share his company.

i shall be bringing lots of reading material to help pass the many hours on the road. 3 books i've recieved as gifts:
the collected autobiographies of maya angelou (thanks to jayne)
only revolutions by mark z. danielewski (thanks to mb)
side effects by adam phillips (thanks to chris and the feral famille fry)

they're heavy hard backs all, but will make for varied and absorbing and i hope complimentary reading. i've new cds to get onto my iPod as audio entertainment. i'm gonna get myself a new journal for the experience, the iBook will most certainly come with, and i'm trying to determine whether or not to finally succumb to the getting of a digital SLR... my plan was to travel lite. well that's failed before i've even bought a holdall.

so, welcome to the first of several aesthetic and structural changes... more to come soon.



this is perhaps the earliest posting i have ever made. was up before seven... there's a pot of espresso brewing and dawn is quickly rising...

well, as birthdays go they don't get much better than this one...

a great party on Saturday in co-celebration with ::Padraig, my love::, who turned 31, and some wonderful folks filled the house with chat, laughter and singing into the wee small hours. my co-host redefined finger food by laying on an impressive spread and i mastered opening bottles of wine. i was overwhelmed in receiving some really wonderful gifts from those same people that spoke of intention and attention to detail... then yesterday there were text messages and phone calls and the promise of getting round the table with team fury for the evening. but more was to come.

while it's still not completely sealed, but i am hoping the details will get sorted today, i've got the chance to go on tour with duke special in a week's time and do merchandising for the divine comedy around britain and ireland for two weeks. when the duke himself called yesterday afternoon to set it up i thought a birthday can't get much better than this. and yet moments later as i sat with keli and ricky with a celebratory drink in hand a voice said, happy birthday! i turned my head to see none other than a walking, breathing, grinning present walking towards me in the shape of jude. i'll never trust my friends again. not a word had been breathed by any of them. what a delightfully sneaky crew they are. what a present for a friend to give, but themselves and their time? it's fair to say i was as gobsmacked as i was delighted.

so, jude, on a flying visit from london, treated the 3 of us to a bite to eat and drinks and we went to the RUA exhibition at ormeau baths gallery where i got to see the incredible work of jonny mcewen, heather wilson, and tim millen amongst the exhibits, and then she joined the team for dinner. daniel and jonah helped me blow out the 3 candles on my cake and there were yet more gifts. we stayed up late with keli watching the election night double ep from west wing
s7(we all cried) and then we were up at the crack of dawn to get her to the airport shuttle.

so. colour me surrounded by cards, books, cds, jewelry, artwork, the 3 major food groups (coffee, chocolate and wine of course), wearing underwear rather more fancy than my usual girl boxers, with a new zippo to replace the one i lost in greenbelt (i was gutted - that dear departed was a gift from zippy ben during the summer - i actually cried over it's loss) and a look of still bemused wonderment on my face.

here's hoping the tour stuff works out smoothly. keli's due to depart at the weekend for a week in my place as i need to finish out my current work contract. i think i'll be joining the tour in edinburgh on the 29th. i won't believe it 'til my flight is booked.

keli was the source of the new zippo. she had it inscribed. the words?

cause we may catch fire yet


thank you to all of you who made turning 33 such a wonderful experience. this is only the beginning.

right time to get ready for work...


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

hippo burpday

well this might seem like a somewhat morbid choice of lyrics to celebrate turning 33 but, as deeply moving as this track is, it always leaves me wanting to leap at life rather than run from it...

the album is out on the 23rd in the UK. if you don't make swift purchase, elves will come after you with sticks bigger than themselves. they will show no mercy for such imbecilic self denial of audio pleasure. why not pre-order? now. go. do it.

this could be my last day, by duke special

I let go to feel the fall
And know that I’m alive
I see my breath and think of God
And everything I have

This could be my last day
This could be my last day

I touch your grave it comforts me
Tells me to be true
Everyone’s a burning star
Time is running through

This could be my last day
This could be my last day

Everything is fragile
Everything is broken
You were full of living colours
And such a sense of wonder
Prophecy is written
Prophecy is spoken
I wish I could have saved you
But I think I’m going under

This could be my last day
This could be my last day

11 years and 8 september
Never be the same
Charing Cross and woven hats
Flinching at your name

This could be my last day
This could be my last day

Everything is fragile
Everything is broken
You were full of living colours
And such a sense of wonder
Prophecy is written
Prophecy is spoken
I wish I could have saved you
But I saw you going under
I wish I could have saved you
But I think I’m going under

This could be my last day
This could be my last day
This could be my last day
This could be my last day


LB, x

Monday, October 16, 2006

HOW many candles?

getting ahead of the game, as tomorrow is looking like it'll be a busy one:

happy birthday to julie lee and andy harding, and representating a newer generation with a whole different letter to their name, jasmine s., my 17/10 buds.

warmest anniversarial salutations to you all...

LB, x

Suspended Like Scales Pt 2

Over the past week people have been taking bits down and reading them and then pinning them back up in different places, so that the collages are forever changing. i am convinced some elements have been removed and take away, and a couple of folks saw fit to use the collages as notice boards and put up adverts, which has been an interesting experience. (Sigmund had a field day with that!)



the centre of this polar opposite piece is a literal rupture. i cut into the 'canvas' and pulled it apart to create a wound.
behind this rather bloody vulvic shaped gash is a portrait of me on my wedding day which, in a moment of self-inflicted violence last year, i de-faced with broken glass from its smashed frame. one doesn't need a therapist to work out what was going on in that moment of rupture. better a photograph than myself, that's for sure. this tryptic portrait hung in the hall of the cottage and as i felt the world collapse i could no longer bare to face my own joy. it had become a mocking grin.

as with Rapture the 'canvas' is painted, and drawn and written on. dark stuff i admit...

photos, as before, by Ricky McQuillan, 12 October 2006. click to make big.

LB, x

Suspended Like Scales Pt 1

"When people look at your work, as in all art, they are looking with their own eyes, not yours... how fascinating it would be to analyse what [the viewer] is seeing and what [they] cannot bear to be confronted with." ~ Sigmund.


So the installation is made up of two 6 x 2.5 ft collages,
facing one another, Rapture and Rupture. They are made from flattened packing boxes mounted onto wooden frames, then painted, written on, drawn on, and then pinned with flotsam and jetson collected over the past year, including photogrpahs and extracts from my writing and blogging.



At the centre of Rapture is a figurative nest made from twigs and feathers i found on the streets of east belfast, scraps of wool from Jayne, a passage from LoserBaby on community cut up into individual lines and tied to the twigs, and all surrounded by a burst of origami peace cranes made by the girls some months back over sunday coffees in clements.
the large photo of me is the one that i use for my blogger profile that jude took in belfast this summer - i put it through Rastorbator and then painted over it.

Photos taken by Ricky McQuillan, October 12 2006.
(Thanks chum!)
As always, click on images to enlarge.

LB, x

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Tideland. be like a child...

i think it's fair to say, the morning after, i loved this. this film really moved me at a deep level. a disturbing dreamlike fairytale that speaks some kind truth of how children cope with the adult world and the place of imagination in making the horrific bearable. a study of what we call innocence and love, in their presence and absence. a something-like-loving tribute to children, who so often seem to survive by creatively using whatever they are given to help them deal with the loss, aloneness and fear that comes with what they are given.
weird? yes. (it is gilliam.) beautiful? certainly. beneath the strangeness was a touching compassion... he somehow managed to convey a world where defining what was real and what was in the mind's eye was strangely irrelevant. this was jeliza rose's world, and her fantasy protects her and helps explain that which, at 10, she cannot comprehend or bear. and when you let rationale go, it makes for a beautiful kind of psychological and emotional sense. when faced with hurt, children escape, as of course do adults. and you realise in children the capacity to escape, with only the imagination to do it, is a downright miracle that ensures survival. that to survive childhood is perhaps psychologically an act of heroic bravery on the part of many of us.

it made me feel proud for the strength of the children we once were and that we carry within us still.

LB, x

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

look at all the colours

how do..?

just newsy bits n pieces right now...

behind the glass
somebody asked me the other day what i wanted for my upcoming birthday. i had no idea what to say. having the installation up and the experience of folks now approaching me as i sip on my specials at the cafe to talk to me as an "artist" (so weird and daunting and quite frankly bizarre) and the aformentioned and still to be processed hanging fest, and so many astounding beautiful people in my life, seems like more gifts than i can bear. and i really mean that. i feel so incredibly thankful. i want for nothing. (not what i 'd say after a bottle of wine but it's not even lunchtime so we'll keep the tone out of the gutter shall we?)

but then: this morning i purchased hot press (irish music magazine - a rare purchase cause it's one of the most editorially annoying magazines in the history of publishing.) not only were the frames on the cover and a thoroughly recommended article inside (although glen's use of the word cunt to describe himself in a disparaging manner had me momentarily purturbed but in context i'll let it go since the point he's making was a brutally honest one. but for the record: name it and reclaim it.) but there was an interview with iain archer, whose new album is just out (he sent chris an advanced copy and we heard it a whiles back, and it was sounding very strong) so the mag was a must buy.

so what do i find? not only is there a new archer album, there's a frames coffee table photo book, behind the glass, just been released on collins press. let's pretend i have a wish list. and a coffee table.

in other things related, that article confirms that the cost was recorded live with very little overdubbing and post production. whaddya know. i was only guessing. but a good guess it was.


not standing still
for those outside the 26 counties of RoI, 23 october sees the UK release of duke special's songs from the deep forest. save yourself a load of hassle, and head out or go online and buy this for everyone you know as a christmas present. guaranteed to please everyone who hears it, a gem of an album. he's on jools holland on the beeb in november and the 20th anniversary edition of Q magazine has a full page article. go duke. he's off touring europe. jayne and i popped round with mugs of tea in hand to the house the other night so heather could leave the boys sleeping while she went off and bought some vittals for their pack lunches. she said even she's losing track of what city he was in, so i don't feel in any way out of the loop for not knowing where's he got to...


hands and words that make us whole
last night team fury celebrated canadian thanksgiving. after reading from coupland as a grace, we devoured a feast of:

a 17lb turkey roasted a la nigella lawson
bread and herb stuffing
mashed potato
mashed sweet potato
zucchini bake (recipe to follow soon)
wicked onions (ditto)
gravy made from the turkey juice and red wine

followed by homemade pumpkin pie with maud's poor bear and belgian choc ice cream

lashings of wine and some seriously embarrassing but equally hilarious childhood confessions...

in previous years when sharing this national holiday with folks on this side of the pond, keli had been distressed to find her (if last night's anything to go by, no doubt extremely well fed guests) couldn't come up with anything to be thankful for, with cynical complaints of, 'how can you be thankful a poverty stricken worn torn carbon emisson-induced warming globe?'

team fury stepped up to the mark and gave many a thanks for the small and big things. for the fact we could sit together at that table and simply be together and love one another for who we are. that we had this amazing food to nourish us. that we have health. for the improving health of a loved one. a roof. people in our lives who challenge how we think. for the two amazing boys who clamber over and under us as we sit aorund the table.
out of that nest i hope we learn to turn our thankfulness to give back rather than take from this beautiful yet sorely in need of justice world.

hey to mark. sounds like BC and all in it is treating you well my friend. we look forward to having you back...


that james alison talk in the previous post is highly recommended reading. i re-read it yesterday afternoon. seriously powerful stuff that's rocking me... in light of his definition, i wonder if community is a whale...


counter cultural
speaking of being held in being when all is darkness, this link came into my inbox from david d.
for him, like me, and no doubt a whole rake of folks, the shootings in pennsylvania provoked humble respect for a community i suspect probably have a far higher quality of life than most and who one reckons are neither bullshitting themselves or anyone else in their capacity for genuine compassion and forgiveness. a profound example of keeping your excess baggage to a minimum. in the midst of crusades against terrors, these folks represent a kind of pacifist faith-in-action i'd be willing to argue we probably need a whole lot more of. i hope i'd stand up for the rights of these true conservatives to be allowed to live in paradise, here, or in a hereafter.


i know i believe in people. and they just keep radiating beauty.

be well. keep rocking.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

a whale of a time

greetings and salutations from a bright and sunny, crisp yet mild belfast.

i love days like this... hard not to walk with a boing in your step. i've been finding great joy in dandering with sun kil moon for company.

for the rest of october i'm working mon-thurs, 10-3, for those who need to know, which means right now there is
much work to be done...less hours doesn't necessarily make for a reduced load...

i've a little pile of draft posts waiting to be polished off and stuck here - i'll get around to it as soon as i can.

and a taste of what team fury are currently chewing: we're reading james alison at the moment, selected chapters from faith beyond resentment: fragments catholic and gay. it's engaging radical rupturing stuff and sociologically and psychologically this is some of the most intrguiging theology i've seen this far. he's also pretty funny, which you have to admit you don't get to say about many theologians... here's this week's morsel, spluttering up the beach to ninevah...

belated thank you for canada, eh, and all things north of the 49th parallel. a day late, but team fury celebrates tonight...


Monday, October 09, 2006

3,2,1 you'rebackintheroom

hey folks

sincere thanks and apologies to those who've been stopping by to see if i'm in and finding no one home. i'm still staying with jayne until my room gets a major industrial clean now the building work is done, but i'm back online and the installation at common grounds is complete. there are a couple of notices and stuff to go up later today and if i can get my mac to play nice with the MP3 player i bought for the job, the installation will be audio as well as visual by this evening too, but the 2 main pieces are complete as they'll ever be and hanging in situ. pics will follow later in week.

saturday night's first viewing by some close friends was really moving and overwhelming. chris, padraig and ricky performed poetry and music. i'll say more on the pieces and all that later, but for now, here's a poem
Pádraig wrote last week for me and read on saturday night. kind of blew me away...


(for Cary)

She’s in layers of wool and other textures
Draped in scarves that don’t protect her
And caped in energetic feeling
She is knitting concepts
Seeing webs of meaning flow together
She’s electric pink
Mixed with creative green
She wears eclectic pink
Hemmed with fluid, flowing
Green seams
She’s majestic pink mixed with
Gay and groaning green dreams.

And she’s found a special dance
A special noise
A special small voice
And she stomps with stark abandon
Hand on heart
And not a leg to stand on
No, she stands on moving to and fro
Across a darkened room
Or round a floor
Or with a crowd
Or other times alone.
All her limbs are pulsing with some other kind of rhythm
All her hymns convulsed on some universal vision
All her feeling
All her anger
All her grief and fearing
Dancing now with all her pleasure
Earthed in memory, all her treasures.

And she wears magenta
Hidden mostly, but you steal a glance
When she is dancing to a slow song
Or her own song,
It has melded with the green and pink.
She sometimes sinks into this colour
Her own lifeblood, and it mothers something else inside her self,
Her own daughter, swimming in the waters of her own needing,
And she wears magenta, a stunning testimony to the journeys
that she’s only now articulating
It has taken years of aching waiting
for this long anticipated birthing
She’s unearthing tones that she has only ever known in groans.
She is in magenta, underneath her other colours.

She’s in layers of wool
And other textures
And she knows the things that will connect her
With the universal question
Of, “what is all this mess here?
Are we meant to guess here
What this Half-dark, half light place is?”
She’s at home in sacred stasis
And she knows the faces that she needs.
She’s in layers of wool
And other textures.

© Pádraig Twomey (2006)