Wednesday, May 31, 2006

the higher the tower...

today i am mostly listening to gravenhurst, this time in chronological sequence as advised...

Is it the things we cannot or will not say that hold us back the most…?
Does the creative stumbling, the pen-tiedness not so often come from resisting honesty and failing to express that which is foremost in our thoughts... what burns hardest is that which we are most reluctant to put upon the page. mouth sealed we are our own undoing...

there are so many things left unsaid... i'm rebuilding defences a storey a day and with each brick another story goes unwritten, truths untold...

LB, x

emily said the things in my head are keeping me from sleeping if I don't go to them they'll come for me instead and the company i'm keeping and this is how the damage is done climbing the stairs in the dark I won't reach out for anyone


~ gravenhurst, damage II, from flashlight seasons

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

about last night...

i am so out of routine it's becoming a routine... but after a 4 day weekend that included a cycle along the lagan towpath (not sure i've ridden a bike at all in last 5 years - oh, no, i cycled for an hour or so on one of the toronto islands in 2002. regardless, great excursion), 2 duke special gigs (very special), a mental after show party, (worthy of an episode of the Creek), and a quality time spent with jayne, gail and mccleary, and unexpected fun watching cartoons with the duke's 3 boys, i hope to get back into the proverbial saddle this week.
i've been missing writing but the commune is box laden and my room has been buried under a mountain of clothes needing sorted, and when i hit clements last night to draft a post there was not a seat to be had. but my room got back to shipshape order at 3 this morning and thus is a nest suited to reflecting. meanwhile, the following is for jayne, who'll be checking in round these parts sometime soon i'm sure...

be back soon...

::

jm,

this is choice number 2 of the twenty tracks... audio to be heard on a leather sofa soon... makes for a dry counterpoint to the first with a beautifully ironic last line...i'll turn the 20 into a compilation for ya...
thanks for...well, everything. that covers a multitude of graces as ever.

Overcome By Happiness

Never think to ever look around
never see it coming at you
with your head in the clouds
Looking like a fool,
drinking like a clown,
worried you'd be nobody,
not so far from that now

You don't feel so overcome by happiness
you're broke
do you think you might scrape your life together just in
time to find you've got no piece of mind
when everybody wants a piece of your pretty white ass

Move around, never moving on,
waiting for the thing to happen
when it's already gone
Looking like a fool,
drinking like a clown,
worried you'd be nobody,
not so far from that now

You don't feel so overcome by happiness
you're broke
do you think you might scrape your life together just in
time to find you've got no piece of mind
when everybody wants a piece of your pretty white ass

Even if you held the sun,
in the colour of your eyes
I would never be so blind, and you,
don't feel the weight rushing out of your life
don't see the light dying out of your eyes....

You don't feel so overcome by happiness
you're broke
do you think you might scrape your life together just in
time to find you've got no piece of mind
when everybody wants a piece of your pretty...

I don't feel I don't feel I don't feel...

::

LB, x

Thursday, May 25, 2006

sweet sixteen -- first time tracks

when you really love or believe in something from the gut none can take it away from you... a borrowed love is one that falters...

here's the first set of tracks i chose to play on the iPod that was once gar's but is now mine - between my own collection and what gar left on it - there's just shy of 7,000 tracks on there. bar the first one which was a very intentional choice, these were picked as i went along, just scrolling up and down through the artist list and seeing what caught my eye...

1. there she goes - the la's
2. lithium - nirvana
3. jeremy - pearl jam
4. cigarettes and chocolate milk - rufus wainwright
5. black holes in the sand - gravenhurst
6. picture in a frame - tom waits
7. we looked like giants - death cab for cutie
8. jacksonville - sufjan stevens (ok, i admit i let this run into decatur)
9. everyone's a VIP to someone - the go! team
10. harder, better, faster, stronger - daft punk
11. super disco breakin' - the beastie boys
12. and she was - talking heads
13. higher ground - stevie wonder
14. stand - R.E.M.
15. the more you ignore me the closer i get - morrissey
16. give it up - k.c. and the sunshine band

first new discovery from gar's collection: josh rouse
first album played... illinoise, 'cause this week, i'm falling in love with him all over again...

massive gratitudinal shout out to gar for doin' the deal.

as predicted, a happier LittleBunny am i.

LB, x

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Compassion

do you believe in god?
i believe in people. and that sometimes those people can be kind.


i prefer the word compassion to kindness. it's meatier. some might say messier. a weight to it.

there are a multitude of thoughts spinnning around vying to be caught like a snitch and pinned down on an album. but i am neither a quidditch player nor a butterfly catcher and rest beckons...

someone asked me today if everyone is essentially lonely... not everyone is alone but yes, i think it's true. if only because i cannot climb inside your body and inhabit your mind, nor you in mine... we are seperate beings, unique...

i have been pushing out beyond my borders, daring to eat the peach...today i sipped white tea for the first time. i wonder if there isn't another kind of boundary pushing occuring... in which one dares to move out beyond one's defences...or at least, i am aware of some of my defensive reflexes that make me curl into myself... desire to raise my eyes and look into any moment with presence. if i dared to raise my gaze, what would i see in your own? kindness? compassion? a fear just like my own?

what we have in common, is not our strength, but our vulnerability.
-- Sigmund.


LB, x

One of a tribe of beetles whose larv[ae] bore or live in wood

kind of out of my routine at the moment and hence my lack of posting, but i'll be back later with a reflection that i've been drafting in my head since falling into bed last night... i'm settling in well at the mullingson commune and not even remotely close to past being excited at living so close to where all the action is. from bar to bed in 15 minutes. schweet!

so, until i return with some thoughts, musings, and possibly my reaction to the da vinci code, which i saw last night...

i raise my right hand and point out in front of me at an approximately 60 degree angle toward the sky, and using my left fist beat twice against the far right hand side of my chest. pourquoi, professeur?
as thanks to steve orr for passing on this sufjan gem - this song was a contender as my favourite at the spring and airbrake gig - sent shivers up my spine. or, to paraphrase dolly parton, was it that sufjan looked better than a body has a right to in that track kit...?

here's the lyrics, which might prove helpful and are as haunting as the melody.

::
They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From The Dead!! Ahhhhh!

I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Ring the bell and call or write us
I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Can you call the Captain Clitus?
Logan, Grant, and Ronald Reagan
In the grave with Xylophagan
Do you know the ghost community?
Sound the horn, address the city

(Who will save it? Dedicate it?
Who will praise it? Commemorate it for you?)

We are awaken with the ax
Night of the Living Dead at last
They have begun to shake the dirt
Wiping their shoulders from the earth
I know, I know the nations past
I know, I know they rust at last
They tremble with the nervous thought
Of having been, at last, forgot

I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Ring the bell and call or write us
I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Can you call the Captain Clitus?
B-U-D-A! Caledonia! S-E-C-O-R! Magnolia!
B-I-R-D-S! And Kankakee! Evansville and Parker City

Speaking their names, they shake the flag
Waking the earth, it lifts and lags
We see a thousand rooms to rest
Helping us taste the bite of death
I know, I know my time has passed
I'm not so young, I'm not so fast
I tremble with the nervous thought
Of having been, at last, forgot

I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Ring the bell and call or write us
I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Can you call the Captain Clitus?
Comer and Potato Peelers! G-R-E-E-N ridge! Reeders
M-C-V-E-Y! And Horace! E-N-O-S! Start the chorus

Corn and Farms and Tombs in Lemmon
Sailor Springs and all things feminine
Centerville and Old Metropolis
Shawneetownn, you trade and topple us
I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Hold your tongue and don't divide us
I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Land of God, you hold and guide us


Sufjan Stevens (2005)
Album: Illinois

::

enjoy...

LB, x

Saturday, May 20, 2006

it's not whether you win or lose...

it's how you play the game. we played with wine and then cocktails.

so, in the aftermath....

willow says:
1. UK should go for the euro
2. ladeez shouldn't shave
3. siestas R us!

jayne sez:
a highlight was the presentation (by padraig) of our beautiful dinner.

gail sez:
the mulleted russian IN THE WHITE VEST was a highlight of the night, the month and possibly the year..oooh! baclava. mmmmmm.

padraig sez:
the eurovision is never long enough

patrick says:
europe and metal JUST DON'T MIX!

cary sez:
i can't believe i'm capable of typing
but a handful of cosmopolitans helps the eurovision go down...

we are looking forward to next year already...

x.

Friday, May 19, 2006

to new beginnings...

first up:

word up to david d: hey man, so sweet to hear from you. big love to you and sarah.

rest of ye - there's a link over there on right hand side to these folks' website (masen-dark collective) that's well worth checking out...

second up:
the title above is keli's toast from last night...i'm writing this from the commune at numero 10... my first morning after my first sleep in my new nest...my bedroom is shaping up well...thanks to all who sent supportive messages yesterday and helped with the move. colour me gratitudinal.

big thanks to RM for coming over, showing me the 'hood as i took my first dander to the take-away, and helping my mind slip into a welcome fuzzy edged place with the help of some fine wine and port and meandering chat about nothing in particular into the wee small hours... there are some moments that really do benefit from avoidance through alcohol... yesterday was so incredibly overwhelming...so it was good to let my world reduce down to just the size of a sofa and the comforting sound of a familiar voice and snow patrol on the turntable, and in that cocoon i hid for a while, letting the hours slip by unnoticed...

Kai slept at my feet all night...

been hanging out in the house this morning and trying to just chill... feeling a gnawing underlying tension at the immensity of the moment but hey, we're getting there and i look forward to collapsing in a heap with Sigmund later today and letting the tension flood out...

such intensity...so much to process...

i'm off to grab a sandwich and some fresh air at my 'other home'... meanwhile,

third up: this from the bro. sent to make me smile. it did. Rappers Delight Club - First Ladies Anthem

LB, x

Thursday, May 18, 2006

the journey

by Mary Oliver, from ::Dream Work::

::

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations-
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice,
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.

::

a watershed

and comes the end of another long day.

i've taken a few days off work so i can focus on the big move. yesterday, though not without its brighter moments, was for the most part bloody awful and
sometimes friendship at its best is an entire room of folks saying, "god, you look exhausted" and making you realise something has got to give...

i have close to zero brain power, so here's a brief synopsis of progress, if only as a reminder to myself that the hard labour is over and its mostly nice nesting stuff from here on in:

done
two coats of wiltshire white (very sexy chalky grey white) on wall
woodwork painted (white satinwood)
floor painted (taupe) - please god i can get away with just the one coat - i've had my fill of painting

still to do
paint wroughtiron bedframe (black)
paint fireplace (ditto)
screw black wrought iron curtain rail back in
source and hang curtains
collect 1930s style wooden chest of drawers from donor
procure rug for floor and new duvet and duvet cover for bed
procure large rice paper lampshade (i have an idea for how to make an otherwise dull staple a little more colourful but i'll experiment and, if it's a success, i'll fill you in)
procure storage boxes for under bed
'dress' room (the fun bit - involving a cast of floor lamp, fairy lights round bed frame, candles, my mum's beautiful old sewing machine, throws and cushions for bed)
hang art on walls
replace electrical fittings and get a door handle
lay away all my stuff with anally retentive neatness
put flowerpots on outside windowsill
collapse onto aformentioned painted and dressed bed and sleep for 100 years

all of the above will take a good week to complete and in the meantime thursday sees me packing up my stuff in the cottage and moving it, with the help of keli and willow.

i'll be staying in the commune on thursday night, and then friday sees me return to cottage, feed cats, tidy up, pick up any missed things to bring and stu will collect my favourite arm chair and my bike in the van.

so. this is my last night sleeping in the cottage. can't believe it. the place is a wreck right now with piles of books and cds and dvds and clothes lying all over the place. tomorrow will be very busy.

but yesterday and today were not without its delightful moments...
i received a much welcome CD of 200 and something photos from RM including the one below from dun laoghaire, which let's jude see my new coat in action
immersing myself for an hour in my homework for Sigmund... my next post will include a poem he gave me to 'play with'
experiencing stu's first culinery offering at tuesday group - a portugese dish that was sensational and an amazing salad. guess what, i've discovered i like chorizo and gorgonzola. is there no end to the new taste sensations i am enjoying? not a choc ice in sight.
a couple of restful hours this afternoon on the sofas in CGs in the warm company of ben (drawing), ricky (revising) and lisa marie (gestating) with good food
being reminded that in little over a week duke special plays two nights at the Empire and that a marvellous time will be had and for which the mccleary will be present
a lovely IM message of encouragement with steve, emails from andrea and the now published author, peteR, and a blush-inducing message from bananie - all of which added sparks of colour to my day. the support of compadres in text and conversation these past couple of days has kept me going. thank you. i hope one day i can return the favour and be as good a friend back.
listening to the new snow patrol (what a bloody brilliant album) and dolly parton
seeing Ocean's 11 for the first time and loving it.
a glass of red Canadian ice wine enjoyed with my fellow communers - both human and feline. DEElishuss.

we have wireless broadband at the house. next time i post here, it shall be from my new abode. shit. it's all really happening...

so off to bed. nearly there...

LB, x

Easter Sunday, Dun Laoghaire...

Monday, May 15, 2006

colour me... brilliant matt white

and feckin' knackered... i'm glad i spent friday lunchtime at common grounds under the blossom just sitting still, observing and recording the bliss of the moment and those around me, cause i had no idea how hard i'd end up working...

friday
i worked very hard at therapy (which is a surprisingly exhausting process given one is sitting in a chair for an hour) and was rewarded with a couple of Cosmoplitans with the mullingtons while we discussed expectations for interdependent living in the commune. grace and welcome abounds.

my weekend was kind of like changing rooms. well it mostly involved transforming a room. in no other way did it resemble changing rooms at all. thank god...

saturday
after a day of stripping wallpaper in my new room, i was in bed by 9.45 pm last night, aching in muscles i didn't know i had...

sunday
work continued early this morning, and i worked til after 11pm. loooong day.
wallpaper finally all stripped, carpet lifted, woodchip paper on ceiling removed, ceiling painted twice, undercoat on the walls...

so. the mullingtons are celebrating their first night under their new roof. the final move of furniture and belongings was an impressive community effort. and Kai the cat moved too. he was asleep on the sofa by mid evening after a decidedly nervous couple of hours hiding and exploring in equal measure. and we had heat and hot water tonight.

monday
stu sands my wooden floor and i purchase paint for the walls and get as much of two needed coats done as possible.


this week will be wall to wall decorating and packing/moving. please don't expect anything coherent beyond possible updates on progress...i have much packing to do alongside the painting and moving. this has taken ages to type my hands are so stiff. i feel like the karate kid, except i still don't know karate.

i think my room is going to have a Parisian look about it, but maybe that's just the paint fumes playing with my imagination...

pretty knackered but proving to be a good psychological endeavour. this room is well and truly mine...

i look like i've had a fight with a can of paint, and i'm meant to be at a rally at stormont tomorrow morning for work. better go get scrubbed...

LB, x

Friday, May 12, 2006

innocence

my eyes are sleepy today after a late night. no, after too many late nights sat up writing and processing... and waiting. nervousness shifts to restlessness of suspension... a growing need to settle myself in my new nest, to move on, start over - find relief.

the blossom is tumbling with spiralling softness from the canopy like confetti and draws me back to a moment from my past... fingers delicately picking tiny candy coloured paper shapes from my braided hair. my heart was filled with the hope of potential and the completeness of being found and vowed to. but the blossoms do not know they inspire sad thoughts... they just keep on whirling gently downward to coat the ground like snowflakes in their innocence...

a toddler teeters on unsteady limbs amidst grass that tickles her knees. anxious to move for moving's sake, she delights in the act of merely holding her body upright on two feet. right fist and biscuit stuffed in mouth, the left outstretched for balance...her mother glows with uncondition... every word a promise...every touch a reassurance, an affirmation. their bond is an ever strengthening circle though with every step she is in the act of separation. one life born from within the other...this woman was her first home... this child is perpetually leaving her nest, with each moment by the smallest degrees... but, with each stumble toward independence, she is being told she is loved... the centre of her world are the features of her home's adoring face...

what will her life story tell? we can hope her's will be a tale of joy and fulfilment... that she will learn to stride and know that wherever her path leads home is an unconditional embrace.

we can hope.

LB, x

Thursday, May 11, 2006

behind the veil... in honesty

this post comes with gratitude for willow... who was a loving, patient listening ear tonight as i sat digging down to a place beneath the surface, where it felt like an irritating, unsatisfying, hard cynicism but turned out quite clearly hiding something that looks a whole lot more like hurt...it felt both strange and sacred to feel the honesty break through outside of Sigmund's room...to express with realness.

if therapy is teaching me anything, so far, it's the craft of self-questioning... to feel a state of being or an experience and honestly ask oneself, what's the emotion sitting beneath the facade, "what are you feeling?"

not an easy task...even if truth rises out of the deep quickly, it is pain that emerges and shows its face. more frequently than not one is reminded that what is projected is indeed a facade of self protection... one emotion masks another masks another...and the harder you reach down, not in critical rational analysis but with a spirit of care to self and emotional realness, then there is a lot going on you'd rather not admit...but it's real and if you don't acknowledge it, it can't be healed. i cannot be healed without acknowledging what it is within me that needs healing...

i'm gonna take a risk and try some honesty, some real realness...i'm gonna pull back the curtain a little... play Toto to my psyche for the briefest of moments... to reveal what goes on behind these words i write here and let you see... the things i share... i might very well delete this later, but here in the sparking moment, it seems the right thing to do. i have no idea why. but i'm going step way beyond my usual boundaries because my gut tells me i should... that somehow this is significant...honesty is a hard place but a sacred one...

so much of this daily ritual of writing, unlike in my private scribblings, there is an active editing occuring. i conceal as much as i reveal... so for tonight i'm gonna let you in on a secret. something i only came to see, (let alone understand the reasons why - that's the road ahead), a week ago...

above here at the top of the page are the words, ::an exercise in learning the art of gratitude. and surprise:: i describe that intention as a realer form of optimism. it is not a blind act of wishful thinking but a fumbling attempt to see the beauty in all experience. and in doing this thing called blogging, i try and share those moments...you might think i do this as an act of altruistic encouragement to others on the hard road...or as a selfish act, to fool you into thinking i'm somehow a person of integrity, sojourning with something that looks like faith or courage...

i believe it's not truly beautiful until it's shared...that belief is a defining aspect of my nature... i see a person, thing, moment of beauty, inspiration, meaning, and it does not have completeness until i have shared it with another... i so very much want to extend that gift of life in all things to others, but most especially, with those i love...

but what can feel so strong as to feel like belief, is also a defence, an avoidance, a deflective action built up over years, over a lifetime... an act of protection...behind the veil... behind that sharing, that giving away of my experience, my including others in what i see, and hear, and feel... and i'm gonna say this quietly, as an act of confession...
i am really asking you to stand in my shoes.. to see this world through my eyes... and to feel what i feel... and in doing so to affirm that experience, my experience of life, my passions, my loves, my spilling over, my splurging... to see beauty in me... to see me as i am and see it as good thing... to accept me for me...

what a vulnerable place to be, to ask that one be loved for who one is... one who feels truly alive when one is unedited, spilling over, expressing the passion one feels...how fragile a place to be to say to those you love... this is me as i am, do you love this me? not the one you want or wish i am but the me that i am...

and so i edit... pull back, play it safe, take the easy options, the sensible routes far too often... always editing, with a purpose of trying to please, not offend, do what is acceptable and reasonable...

and with the editing, i point outward to the moments of meaning, to what the day brings, and to those around me, that inspire me and say, "isn't there so much beauty, grace, love out there in the world, in these people?"... and although i always mean it, what i am only beginning to recognise, i won't risk the rejection that will surely come if i say, "really look at me, at who i really am, can you see the beauty in me?"

i desire so much to creatively express what i see, feel believe... but i have yet to find the courage to say, "this act of spilling over and telling of a mighty grace, synchronicity, meaning, in all things, however painful the road may seem, and in you ... it is this that what i want to do with my life... however i fill my days... it is in the splurgeful creating of that expression that i feel fully alive...love the me that wants to live a creative life, to tell the story."

because here's the heart of the matter: the one who edits is the one who spills over. the very thing that protects me is so much of who i feel i really am. i just wish i had the courage to ask that be enough...more than enough, quite possibly a thing of beauty. and worthy of your love...

but i will retrace my steps, let the curtain fall back...

and i'll keep pointing outward...but never asking for your approval that i so desperately want... how could i ever convince you how much the telling of tale as it unfolds means to me... if i could get past the need for your approval, i might live beyond my boundaries...take risks, make mistakes, but learn the art of spilling over with expression...to try all the different ways there are to tell this tale of living... so i'll keeping editing, and we'll keep pretending this creating thing is an indulgence, a hobby, nothing of vital importance in my story... never face up to the fact that this is who i am...

LB, x

s for shazam!

this is a nice photo of my buddy ben, taken by mutual chum ricky, outside common grounds cafe just 2 days ago... where ben and i are sitting right now with jon. the title is ben's... this posting is for claire, as she wanted a face to go with the name...

more later, i'm sure. right now i'm just kicking back with the lads and chatting on IM with the bro.

oh. gail's home. yay. and i have keys to numero 10 (or chez mullingson as it shall be known.)

and willow has arrived and needs TLC. so, please excuse me... catch ya later.

Love, etc.

LB, x

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

been there, Doan that

(drag mouse over image & click to see larger version)








© R. McQuillan, 2006

it feels like years since it's been here...

wow. amazing what a bit of sun can do for your mood...

the weather here in belfast has been of the most surprisingly glorious variety. every patch of grass in the city has been covered in sunbathers and lazers, students 'revising' for the impending exams... every table outside every eatery packed and lunch breaks taking just a little longer than usual.

the week has picked up well since monday and as i write i am sitting outside common grounds (it's 9pm!) in my flip flops and still no cardigan and i'm piggy backing on a nice strong password-free wireless connection after a wonderful hour dandering at good pace around botanic gardens and along the river...

said weather has led to an improvement in spirits as the week trundles along and as a result, (rather ironically given what a shame it is to be inside when the sun is so warm and the sky so blue), my work rate has taken a dramatic surge for the better... i've been Ms Efficiency the past couple of days and am feeling a lot better for that too...i finally feel like i'm back in control of the work load, and despite a long list of items in the back log, it's all in some kind of order...

so, i've nothing particularly interesting, exotic or profound in any way to report other than to say i am grateful for the sunshininess of this place and the glimmers of excitement it is causing as i prepare to move into urban life... i'm itching to get onto a bike and see what the summer will bring. i have been concerned i'd miss the tranquility i have known in my surroundings at the cottage these past few years, but there is so much nature bursting up between the concrete and stone... so much greenness, so much life bursting forth and making this town more beautiful...

it's alright...

LB,x

let it go

for once i'm too tired to write, having just spent the last hour constructing a requested epistle to tuesday group to guide our personal musings for the coming week... i accidentally hit a button and it all disappeared. i haven't even got the energy to be pissed about it. but damn, i'd got it just how i wanted it.

might as well just kick back and let denison w. do his magic thing...

so, until tomorrow,

i hope you are finding rest in your little nests, wherever they may be.

g'night all,

LB,xzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

still standing

well, a heavy auld day comes to a blessed close, but the evening was not without its blessings - in fact it was a string of 'em and all rather unexpected it was too...

i was reminded that friendship at its best is often marked by the ability of another to offer care without either party needing to say a word. sometimes the strength of presence is all that is needed, the care of a single strong hand on a shaking frame is enough to bring safety in the midst of grief and failing courage.

i had my first ever taste of seafood pizza. not only that, it had anchovies on it. i've never had an anchovy before. in light of the choc-ice phenomena -- this was rather gung-ho, but since i was eating it while on my first, and rather impromtu, visit to my new home with the mullingtons and their parentals... in for a penny, in for a pound. sitting in the soon-to-be dinning room it was a moment in which it felt fitting to let myself stretch my boundaries a little. a little spontaneous attempt at reinvention. needless to say, they are unlikely to become a staple part of my diet, but anchovies are actually edible. whaddya know.

i saw the room that for the next while will be my nest for sleeping. from the window i can see either samson or goliath towering above the docks - i'll have to investigate, i don't know which one of them it is - and beyond that the hills on the far side of the city... it's a good view. and i have my first wrought iron bed. and an open fireplace with mantle. it's a nice room. i'll be painting it this weekend - i hope that might be a positive starting over experience. right now the walls are bright orange. not such a good look. the previous owner has made some interesting 'colourful' choices of decor. painting parties are already being planned.

a highlight was the study on the ground floor. we walked in, i gasped and stu said, 'this'll be your writing room'. it's got a wooden floor, high ceilings, a huge fireplace, loads of light... i look forward to time spent there.

i was reminded that friendship at its best is so often like a homecoming. the simple words, welcome home are more priceless than jewels...

the house is beautiful. it will inspire me creatively i know. i won't probably move until the 20th but in the intervening days shall be a hive of preparatory activity.

i was reminded that friendship at its best can be a phone call merely to say, i haven't seen you for a couple of days, i wanted to see how your day is going...a reminder of constancy of care...

i headed from 'home' to the bunker at lavery's to see 'wee' ben play a set, performing under the name ::half caste:: it was cool to see him on stage, another first for me, (well discounting the two times he was pulled out of the crowd to sing on stage with the frames, he made me cry and i didn't even know who he was... he represented us all...)
he did great tonight, up there on his own. he wears and plays his acoustic like its an electric. i felt chuffed.

i was reminded that friendship at its best often gets as its reward a coat of laughter to share in ridiculous moments...

i returned home listening to an old favourite on the car stereo...

and i was reminded that friendship at its best can be marked by a synchronistic intentional email...
this one containing shared memories, a stack load of encouragement and the following lyrics, from david gray's ::century ends::

::
Shine

Don't be hiding in sorrow
or clinging to the past
with your beauty so precious
and the season so fast
and hey, no matter how cold the horizon appears
or how far the first night
when I held you near
we're gonna rise from these ashes
like a bird aflame
take my hand
we're gonna go where we can shine
(na na na na na na na na, shine)

And for all that we struggle
for all we pretend
you know, you know, you know it don't come down to nothing
except love in the end
and ours is a road
that is strewn with goodbyes
but as it unfolds
as it all unwinds
remember your soul is the one thing
you can't compromise
step out of the shadow
we're gonna go where we can shine
we're gonna go where we can shine
we're gonna go where we can shine

(and look, and look)
Through the windows of midnight
moonfoam and silver

::

you are my life...you who remind me of these things... who embody care, and so allowing me the gift of grieving rather than pretending...

i am blessed by the reminder that even the shittiest day can be turned around if only we will live through it with attention...the divine is in the detail


may there be transformation amid the transition...

LB, x

Monday, May 08, 2006

Rainy days and Mondays

the higher you climb, the farther you fall...

thanks for your words of kindness Paul.

peace needed. desperately.

LB,x

Sunday, May 07, 2006

my heart will be blessed...

i'm going to bed tonight filled with more life and happier than i have been in a long while...

i went up into the mountains today and got my spirit spring-cleaned at 593 metres on top of Doan.

i'm so blissfully ready to curl up and rest easy that i'm signing off without even trying to convey the immense breathtaking beauty of the peaks and loughs and the winged things that flew in a perfect blue sky... or what benefit to my body and soul it was to stride with enthusiasm across the bogs and rocks breathing in fresh air, to feel the beauty of the strong simplicity of that place or the experience...a day of energy in my limbs, matched by a sense of smiling contentment that i was just where i needed to be...to drink in the home of my trusted guide... to feel its peace work its magic...that left me with an appetite like i've not had in 10 months...

colour me sun kissed, and if only for one night, angst free and gratitudinal beyond adequate expression...

photos to follow...

LB, x

Friday, May 05, 2006

6, line 6 *

sorry to gar for stopping my response to your comment today mid-thought... i realised i was running late for therapy and just posted the comment before i made a mad dash out the door... i haven't looked back at it, so i hope it makes some kind of sense...

::

this must be one of the youngest bloggers out there... Liam. i didn't get to see these folks when they were last back due to jenna's morning sickness and well, i had a lot of stuff going on at the time... so it's great to see these photos and see how their life is unfolding in its beautiful way... a good reminder of the libidinous possibilities...

::

my heart's been heavy today...i needed to process this week's grieving for the pain of others in my life so that i can be kind to myself and my own grieving...i know with that comes the fear that in needing to look after myself i will fear letting others down that mean so much to me... today i feel tremors coming... turbulence ahead. had a moving but beautifully honest conversation with willow, who has my sincere gratitude. willow noted that so often we project the very opposite of what we need when we need it most. inside you are screaming, 'help me!' but on the outside you're smiling and saying 'i'm fine!' willow asked me what i need in the coming weeks and i tried my best to meet her in that place with honesty... so far i feel like i need a stabilising sense of consistency in the everydayness of things and my relationships to offset all the change...

::

got to hear a cool band at common grounds tonight, the winding stair. there was something very reminiscent of led zeppelin in there and it was no surprise that the guy on acoustic guitar is a long standing 'mettler'- i often think there's something special to be heard when a metal guitarist goes acoustic - these guys had a real folksy thing going on with violin, cello and two female vocalists but, as RM pointed out, it was the guitar that was driving the rhythm of it all, and with great energy and amazing finger work... great stuff.

::

i gave Sigmund a copy of the swell season today... i have no idea what the etiquette is of giving musical gifts to your therapist but it has been the soundtrack of the week and it just felt like a very natural thing for me to do...fits with our current conversations and so i decided to go with my gut instinct...

in turn, he told me to check out a track on the new snow patrol... ben had a copy in cgs and so he put it on for me and gave me the nod when the song came on so i could give it my attention... i recognised the lyric Sigmund wanted me to hear immediately. my own words reflected back to me... i let go of any discomfort i might cause the stranger sitting opposite and didn't even try to hold back the parallel tracks of tears that spilled silently over as i rested my head on the arm of the sofa and looked up into the blossom outside...

and ben was an angel in dredlocks... as i waited for willow and ricky to appear and tried to eat with something that might be described as enthusiasm, (not my current forte i'm finding), in his own unique ben way he sent me coded messages in chocolate powder on top of my A-choc-alypse Now!s and on a comments card slipped into my lap... and he gave me snow patrol so i could take it home and listen in private... he is a remarkable young zippy spring of a thing with a capacity for expressing love with honest unselfconsciousness... i, like so many in the cafe, have developed a great fondness and love for him... he his spilling over the edges of life with creativity and joy despite his own story of pain...

::

i have to go get organised for a busy saturday and despite feeling like i could write all night i must resist. i realised today that writing has for me become a necessity like breathing... my day does not feel complete unless i have entered that space where i write unselfconsciously and lose all sense of time... in this zone, even when expressing pain there is a peace that comes over me... a rightness... i feel like me as my fingers strike the keys... this process has become so significant to my everyday... writing proves living...

::

so here's to a weekend under instruction from Sigmund to treat myself with kindness...the coming days will strike to the heart of my need for attachment and security and also push me into that vulnerable space where i fear abandonment just when i feel the ground shaking beneath me... that Terror will prevent me for asking for help, will stop me from acknowledging my fears and my instability...

and yet i feel so much of this journey i am on is taking the shape of living honestly, without so much editing of self... to bear witness to what causes me to feel sadness and loss as well as beauty, and to match that in my relationships as much as in my creating...

i need courage. the ::fasten your seat belt:: sign is lit.

LB,x

* not our last days of silent screaming blur

had to walk

didn't want my last post of the day, albeit it's now a new day, to be about something as meaningless as MI3. so i'll ramble for a few moments before sleep...

this is a strange time. i feel like i'm in the calm before the storm of moving, which, despite going to be in a nest with keli and stu and the nourishment i hope that will bring, will be extremely hard and i suspect traumatic...i move in little over a week... gareth met me today and gave me a beautiful pep talk before he departs to the USA for a couple of weeks... i have to work out what i think i'm gonna need from those around me to buffer me in the storm and i need to communicate it... that will be hard for me... to say to those to whom i'm close, "i'm gonna probably fall apart and i'm gonna need you and your support if i'm to get through it intact..."
so much inherent vulnerabilty and a fear of need(iness).. and yet i don't think it's rationally unreasonable to consider it a momentous and traumatic experience: leaving your home and all that it symbolises of a marriage and apparant togetherness, separation and aloneness... security and knowness of the familar... fleeing the nest that once was, it's a big step and a fucking scary one. i hope i can cut myself some slack and forgive myself for the emotional turmoil it'll cause...i hope i'll have the courage to be honest in asking for help and trusting i'll be tethered by those i love and who i know love me...to be reminded of not-aloneness...

hopefully by now you've been over here and heard a sample of this track, which has me thinking of ride on by christy moore and the beatle's eleanor rigby. here's the lyrics to go with.

::
DROWN OUT

drown out, the voice that breaks the silence
and talks the joy out of everything
you were found out and had to walk
in darkness without the only thing you care about

and we drive away and head for south
we found our way and blocked it out

cry alone, and die alone
pray alone, and stay alone

you were burned out
and had to stop before all hell broke
and finally took its toll

and save our souls we're playing dead
and mine for gold in a heart of lead
and turn around and save yourself
we found our way and blocked it out

cry alone, and die alone
pray alone, and stay alone

drown out.. drown out..

::

i got my first real devoted and quality listen to this in the back room of CGs on yesterday, while ricky hung photographs he's exhibiting for sale -- some beautiful abstract architectual images from a series he took in berlin... there's another photographer's work in the front of the cafe -- i can't remember his name but he's from donegal, his images are of ireland at night.

i can't remember if i mentioned this already, but jayne's booked me in to do an installation/exhibition in october at cgs... it'll be a mixture of large scale collage, included some of my writing, some photography and painting... i'm gonna start taking the camera to CGs and starting doing portraits of the staff and regulars too...we'll see how those turn out... anyways, i'm looking forward to getting going on it... it'll take all summer to compile and construct it...

have started reading donna tartt's the little friend... the prologue made me near weeping with wonderment and envy at its exquistiteness...

in fact, i'm off to read some more...

nite all, sleep well...be well.

LB, x

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Mission Incomprehensible

god. that was truly exhausting. although not quite as exhausting as king kong. but then i think i followed that script.
i have no idea what was actually going on in this one... the villainous plot was beyond me and i have a feeling that might have been intentional. but it may have been something to do with a biological weapon and that causing a war and then america going in to sort it out and democracy winning. i know. that makes NO sense. unless the villians were somehow connected to the neo-cons and this was an anti-bush movie. but the script was so convoluted that as soon as somebody said more than two sentences it became well... incomprehensible.

this movie was a 12A certificate.
the opening scene is essentially a game of psychological torture on our hero by the villain, using hero's girl as the weapon. and while some sharp and fast editing meant we didn't see it, we were given the impression that our hero's finacee had been executed with a gun fired at point blank range in the head.
(the next 3/4 of the movie is essentially then a flashback of what has brought us to this point. we then see the scene again. and this time we find out the young woman was indeed executed. moments later, however, it turns out the dead woman is in fact one of the villain's staff (who'd failed to do her job to her boss's satisfaction) wearing a prosthetic mask so that our hero believed he was sitting six feet from his beloved as she was summarily sent off this mortal coil to punish him. oh, what a relief! it's not the lovely julia after all. it's only the translator.)

now i might be getting conservative in my old age (32 and a half) but i'm not sure i'd want a 12 year old of mine, (if i had one, and i don't, so i'll admit this is hypothetical), to even be given the impression they had just seen a young woman executed. but as a 12A rated movie this means you could bring a child younger than 12 in to see this stuff.
the 'moral' (and i use that term very loosely) in this movie is "family is...everything".

it's good to be reminded why going to the movies usually means a trip to the art house cinema at queen's.

"In Scientology no one is asked to accept anything as belief or on faith. That which is true for you is what you have observed to be true."

i have observed this movie. in truth, it's a crock of absurd shite.

LB,x

the saddest music in the world?

thanks to ben i have a copy of ::the swell season:: in its entirety... thanks ben.

this may just be the best break up album of all time. and by best i mean heartbreaking, harshly honest, painful... some of the most raw and brutal lyrics of the heart i've ever heard...

musically, i reckon you'll appreciate this album if ya like:
beth gibbons & rustin man
low
the innocence mission
nick drake
Saint-Saƫns
the frames ;0)

or indeed if you like this album then go check out the above list...

words alone cannot capture what is communicated by the melody -- with chord changes that infuse a bittersweetness (but without the sweet), but fwiw here's the lyrics to one of my 'favourites' so far... i think i've transcribed them right...

i aspire to be able to write with this realness...

::
Lies

i think it's time we give it up
figure out what's stopping us
from breathing easy and talking straight

the way is clear if you're ready now
to volunteer and slow it down
and taking time to save yourself

the little cracks they escalate
before you know it is too late
for making circles and turning round

you're moving too fast for me
and i can't keep up with you
maybe if you slow down for me
i could see you're only telling
lies lies lies
breaking us down
with your lies lies lies
when will you learn?

the little cracks they escalate
before we knew it was too late
for making circles
and turning round

you're moving too fast for me
and i can't keep up with you
maybe if you slow down for me
i could see you're only telling
lies lies lies
breaking us down with your
lies lies lies
when you will you learn?

so plant the thought
and watch it grow
wind it up
and let it go

::

LB, x

an eye for an eye?

just got back from seeing the three burials of melquiades estrada at qft.

more than worth the ticket price. 9 thumbs up as ben, or indeed homer, might say.

a beautiful, understated, original study of the US/Mexican border country, of men, loyalty, retribution/redemption, loneliness, and journey...

the script flows back and forth between english and spanish with an easy fluidity and dare i say it, this seems like the film tommy lee jones has waited his entire career to make... he's quite remarkable (i never thought i'd type that) and beautifully understated...the whole thing just oozed with humanity... never mawkish, unexpectedly and typically wryly comic, persistantly realist, at moments violent, but never gratuitously or excessively so, its comment on what redemption means (i won't give away how it concludes) seemed entirely fitting... surprisingly provocative in its portrayal of men and women, moments throughout it felt like it was a distinctly honest film...

there are several scenes that i doubt i'll forget in a hurry...

the scale of the landscape is such that this is one worth seeing on the big screen...
for years i've harboured a desire to go learn how to ride in the western style, and explore the america that lies west of the mississippi while sitting way back in the saddle under a stetson... this reignited a flame last sparked by brokeback... ah, one day...

yup. i loved it.

meanwhile, [grins] tomorrow night i'm gonna go see MI3. needless to say, i doubt i'll be offering any kind of review nor getting anything out of it other than mindless entertainment that will no doubt leave me feeling slightly defiled as a humanoid. or i'll find myself brainwashed into thinking scientology is actually not at all weird.

LB, x

post script: for those who have seen the film, and like the work of flannery o'connor, know their OT history, or indeed enjoy biblical referencing or influence in films, there is a rather fascinating and entertaining wee discussion at IMBD looking at the influence of o'connor, acknowledged by TLJ himself, and of the curious, or possibly just bizarrely coincidental, old testament origins of naming the eponymous melquiades estrada and the 'town' of Jimenez. the conversation suggests a layer of religious subtext way beyond what i confess i had picked up on. TLJ had co-star barry pepper read ecclesiastes under the night sky to prepare for the movie... someone describes it as "the first Catholic western"...
anyways, if you've seen the film its worth a read through...spoilers contained therein so avoid if you haven't seen it and might like to.

fin./

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

take this sinking boat and point it home

yesterday saw two musical blessings:

a sneaky advance listen to the forthcoming duke special album. beautiful, with some quirky orchestrations... tuesday group sat in rapt awe... cd release date: october 2006... limited edition vinyl pressing will be available on the May tour...



and this was news to me and had me struck dumb and immobile in CGs - hot off the shelves the swell season, recorded in prague by glen hansard and marketa irglova... melodies haunting, the lyrics heartbreaking. you can hear four tracks at that link. then you'll know... if you can listen to the lyrics of falling slowly, nay, any of this offering, without being moved then please, check your pulse...and god bless you...

looks like the title comes from a book by josef skvorecky -- "six tales in which Skvorecky traces the libidinous ardours of a youngster growing up in wartime Czechoslovakia", according to google. ah yes, glen's blog on the myspace confirms same.

following a rec from ricky, willow asked me to put a link if i could find it...
i've yet to hear catie curtis (there it is willow) but ricardo sez he's been meaning to pass her on for ages coz he finks i'll like her...
so RM - 3 secs research on her website (above) told me she has curly hair and is gay. 15 secs more and we learn she's from maine originally, and has a couple of kids. now ya know. 5 minutes later and i'm still listening to the tracks on the website, which surprises me given how high the bar got set over at the swell season site... some nice stuff in there... feed me some more...

may your ears be blessed by all of the above...

LB, x

Does the hard LB so you don't have to

this is one of the rare nights when i sit down with my laptop and make a decision not to share... but for the second night in a row ulrich schnauss weaves his magic around me...soothes me... brings calm to the air...

there are some things that you just can't write about in a public realm...

such as the pain of others, so close it strikes the heart hard and clenches the gut... to know that sometimes there is nothing you can do to take away that pain but only offer some glimmer of something like comfort in constancy of care, to trust that just maybe it will be understood and received, and to offer nothing more than presence to the pain as to the joy...there is no magic wand to heal our hurts...but the salve of friendship can sometimes be just enough to keep us going into another day...

we offer symbolic gifts...little monuments to act as reminders... markers of the things of significance... pieces of ourselves and our words in forms that can be seen and heard and held... such gifts are not measured by monetary value but by their intention, their specificity... their peculiarity to the moment... their embodiment of this could only be for you...

we cannot take away the pain of another... believe me, i tried, and in the process forgot, no, neglected to acknowledge that my own pain even mattered, so that i nearly lost myself past the point of no return...we can only sojourn on...
i'll walk with you at your pace and hope that tomorrow you might walk at mine, when i no doubt will be on my knees again... if not tomorrow then no doubt the day after... it's a fragile trade off in this life of interdependence... to realise you can't frogmarch hearts towards healing... we are not an army but a struggling band of refugees...

today i cried for the hurt in the heart of another, and felt then tears for myself in my helplessness and brokenness fall and mingle with them... these tears were not alone... intertwining... speaking to each other in their cracked tones...whispering of the vulnerability in us all... a reminder that the place of care lies deep within the fault lines... our compassion and our grief are neighbours... and in caring for others we also might learn to care for ourselves...


and there the fingers strike their way across the keys all the same... and something still has been shared afterall...

...and so we keep going with the prayer of the lost, that, despite today's broken stumbling in the desert with our hearts' pain and grief so raw and so visible in our eyes, tomorrow might awaken us unto hope and find us exploring the kingdom, our sense of wonderment and adventure intact...

::the landscape on this journey of faith is as scarred as our hearts::

LB,x

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

the dirt says hot, the label says LoserBaby

jayne,

here's the link to the daily show. hours of video to enjoy at your leisure and pleasure...

LB,x

Can You Tell LoserBaby from Butter?

as you can see, i'm still playing with the advertising slogan generator...

my good chum Ricky, he who owns the other half of the sofa at common grounds, turns 29 today... Padraig and i launched his birth::fest:: on saturday night with a delicious dinner chez Pad, copious amounts of wine and port, and more level 5 conversation than you can throw a stick at...

so:


RM

Bon anniversaire mon ami...

may this year of playful rebellion ahead be everything you could hope for...you deserve it to be...from the mighty grace to the supermacro...

L'etc...

LB, x