Saturday, July 29, 2006

girl in the war

Peter said to Paul,
You know All those words that we wrote
Are just the rules of the game and the rules are the first to go
But now talkin' to God is Laurel beggin' Hardy for a gun
I gotta girl in the war, man I wonder what it is we done

Paul said to Peter,
You gotta rock yourself a little harder
Pretend the dove from above is a dragon and your feet are on fire
And I got a girl in the war, Paul, the only thing I know to do
Is turn up the music and pray that she makes it through

Because the keys to the kingdom got locked inside the kingdom
And the angels fly around in there, but we can't see them
And I gotta girl in the war, Paul, I know that they can hear me yell
If they can't find a way to help her, they can go to Hell
If they can't find a way to help her, they can go to Hell

Paul said to Peter,
You gotta rock yourself a little harder
Pretend the dove from above is a dragon and your feet are on fire
But I gotta girl in the war, Paul, her eyes are like champagne
They sparkle, bubble over, in the morning all you got is rain
Sparkle, bubble over, in the morning all you got is rain
They sparkle, bubble over, in the morning all you got is rain

- Josh Ritter.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

a good, wise, loving (hu)man...

i opened up my laptop to find someone had been searching for a Dag Hammarskjold quote in my absence...the page that was open contained the lines below...

i don't know which of these lines is more apt to today...a`day spent with my Dad... a day of honest expression of hard truths, acceptance of unconditional acceptance, and grace...

i am exhausted... but i found a courage i didn't think i had... much necessary healing and more courage and self-worth has been found...

a change is gonna come...

because i want it and i get to make it happen... it won't happen overnight, but from hereonin, things are gonna be different...


For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes.


Life only demands from you the strength you possess. Only one feat is possible - not to have run away.


Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for.


The longest journey is the journey inward.


The only kind of dignity which is genuine is that which is not diminished by the indifference of others.


the ol' man an' LB
on Easter Sunday, 2006, Dún Laoghaire,
thanx go to Ricky for this one.


Saturday, July 22, 2006

down in the fault

some kind of monster


i've been sitting here with an americano made from yesterday's espresso (lazy scumbag, but it saves energy and resources - mine and the earth's) and my fingertips hovering over the keys with a shake that might be taken for caffeine overload were it not for my arms and shoulders shaking in accord...

since i woke i have paced the house 5 times, started and failed to tidy the dining table - picking items up only to set them straight back down again...

the house is deadly quiet. i'd put music on but i wouldn't know what to choose...

emotional and mental instability is not self indulgence, but is not easier to be in a dark is the persistant crisis of finding oneself there and the ensuing war being waged within...


house slips into a fault line
a crack the widens up and swallows it hole

dark corridor

leaving the light behind. inching forward toward a door moving like breathing, rattles like pandora's jar...something beyond...if she opens the door there will only be one escape route towards the light... but what if she freezes, or is instantaneously eaten when the thing escapes... is it an angry devouring thing or is it nothing...a living breathing nothing...?

and so i sit in the dark corridor, looking toward the light and back toward the door and back and forth andbackandforthandbackand
forthandbackandforthandbackandforthandback andbackandforthandbackandforthandbackandforth

there is a rope tied around my waist, it leads back where i came from... if i pull on it, will it feel slack? could i keep pulling until it all lies around me in a pool of forgotteness?

should i run? shoulders grazing against cold walls as i hurtle back to the surface where the technicolour people are marching on one spot in grotesque unison, pack up your troubles in your old kit bag, and smile, smile, smile... but knowing that down there it lives, it breathes, where it has been all along...

frightened bones rattle and a voice is shouting... i screamandiscreamandiscreamandiscreamandiscream but no sound... and the shouting keeps coming without ceasing...

who should i fear more, the shouting thing or the unkown thing behind the door...?


i played a tune my brother made and table cleared...


my empathic whore said,

the room is filled with tears right now,

someone is very frightened

for the first time i cannot see your left eye as you look at me

i promise you:

you are safe

i'm gonna challenge you

can i challenge you?

that voice is not your's

this super ego interrupting you

trying to silence you, judge you

i'm gonna crack the whip:

treat yourself with kindness

maybe they love you in all your fuckedupness...


Friday, July 21, 2006

no rabbit in the hat tricks

never have a double espresso at 9 in the evening...

so, thinking aloud... what if assumption of rejection and fear of abandonment have anything to do with why i always found the idea of salvation a profoundly difficult thing to accept... and that in letting go of the idea i somehow found a lessening of anxiety...


there remains the problematic issue of my adult agnosticism (i dare not be an atheist for fear it might kill what remains of my childhood wonderment of the beauty i understood to be created and the transcendent feeling of connection to something greater than myself... in the trees, in the birds, in the petal, in the smell of the grass after rain...a euphoria that there was and is something divine in the beauty of it all), removal of anxiety will not make salvation any more factually real to me... but allthesame, i wonder whether in this light it is no coincidence that i found the promise of a saviour a hard message to absorb...

i feel sleep beckoning. finally.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

playground tactics

in recent times a friend said to me in a confessional moment that they are always kinda surprised that their closest friends would actually want to be their friend, asking, "why do they like me?" i had to agree i felt a similar anxiety...

then another friend observed in me a characterstic assumption of threat from strangers...

another explored their need to be honest with people they don't like and tell them they don't want to be their friend rather than just avoiding them...i heard conflict and potential threat...

i struggle with the dynamic of social groupings. once we're all seated round the table i'm happy...but the process of getting there is something i'm increasingly recognising i find difficult, and i have an instinct to take a step back as soon as there's more than one person to deal with in a social arrangement. it's amazing what anxieties you can disguise...and it's amazing how easily you can be misread, misunderstood...

question of the day:

do we ever leave the school corridor or playing field, or are we destined to relive over and over the expectation of being picked last for the team, being bullied, being the whipping boy (or girl) of the gang?

i, for one, am always on some level waiting for the axe to fall...being single has brought to the fore social anxieties that were easy to overlook or ignore when in a pair...

and if i am gratitudinal it's perhaps because i struggle with self belief, connecting and trust... that's not a request for pity or encouragement, but simply meant as an honest realise that one assumes rejection as a foregone conclusion is a disturbing one... as much as it is a hard reality that the only way beyond that is the daily grind of learning to trust... but even harder is knowing how...


for every anxiety, there is a hidden wish

trust is a risk disguised as a promise

as i wrote the above, in the back of my mind i was thinking i'll cheer this rather depressing post up by sticking on a picture of a meerkat. jayne and i went to see Junebug tonight. we both really loved it. it features meerkats... by coincidence, during the winter it was suggested to me that if i were an animal, this is what i'd be... a little on the scrawny side and always nervously on the lookout for predators, whilst part of a social group known as a mob? yup. sounds about right...

Suricata suricatta


righteously iconic

right now i am on my work's wireless network, locked out of the office and sitting in the parking bay... so, here's a little gem i came across today in a magazine, conveniently with the photo it was printed with. gotta love google image search...

this is for mr twomey...

from ani difranco's new album reprieve...

whoever said that life is suffering
i think they had their finger on the pulse of joy
ain't the power of transcendence
the greatest one we can employ


this is most definately getting incorporated to the common grounds collage installation in october...


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

blistered soles

so, i bought cheapo razors -->
shaved my legs -->
ripped em to shreds -->
in order to avoid scafing of tender skin i had to wear a knee length skirt -->
said skirt is made from a pillow case and reduces my usual long stride to geisha small steps -->
walking thus and with a heavy back pack throws my centre of balance off completely and forces my feet forward in my flip flops -->
leads to shredding of said feet -->
leads to me walking barefoot half way home sans flip flops -->
the road thru th'east cut the feet off me as they'd say in dublin -->
so now i find myself typing in the evening sun in the yard with my feet soaking in a bowl of refreshingly cool water...

the moral of this story is, do not skimp on your blades

or, make do with hairy legs...


whilst stoically battling on, i have been entertained with a few gems from You Tube, kindly recced by the wee bro, who has taken to playing role of purveryor of computer based treats during these heatwaved the way, did i tell you he and his dear wife are in the gestational process of becoming parents and thus making me an aunt?

Heat Vision and Jack
Lay me Down (Live)
Fake (Live at Vicar St, Dublin 26.06.06)

and make sure you check out jude's lovely selection of belfast fotos from this past weekend, featuring some members of the cast of this here blog in all their beauty...

off to find some aloe vera...

LB, x

use your head...

un petit amusement from stuarty...

Play like Zindane

LB, x


tonight tuesday group watched one of my favourite films, the visually exquisite Mike Niccol's retro-futurist sci-fi drama set in a transhumanist dystopia, GATTACA ('97)

(Pádraig - i checked and it was nominated for the best art direction Oscar but lost to Titanic... Niccols did indeed as i thought go on to make The Truman Show and i'd forgotten he was behind last year's Lord of now ya know. lots of other nice bits of trivia and related info at the Wikiipedia link above)

needless to say, it was a thoroughly pleasant way to spend a couple of hours...


LB, x

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

sunshiney day

i'm busy working on some offline bits n pieces so until such time as i get back here to say anything meaningful, here's a few fotos my wee bro snapped while in florida last week... oh, and he recommends you go have some fun at Jackson Pollack

i recommend you enlarge this one so you can read the small print...

cue beavis & butthead sniggers...


Today keli said to me as she drove me to work that her july 17th resolution was to laugh more...

i agreed said mission was a good one but not having imbibed caffeine at the time i'm not sure i said it with much conviction.

i retire tonight having laughed considerably this evening... not a drop of alcohol in the bloodstream and in the company of my two dear friends ricky and jayne. we three amigos left the blessed shade of botanic gardens and got thai take away and sat on a bench on the ormeau embankment until half eleven watching night fall over the city. i have thought a lot in recent weeks about where i might end up in years to come, but tonight on that bench in this city, which is so often a hard place for anyone to feel at home in, was as good as anything i've known... there is a humour you can share with those who know your darkness that is hard to share with anyone else.. these two have in their own ways carried me through some of my darkest days. just being me, as i come, i let myself have a little fun.

mission accomplished. :0)


Saturday, July 15, 2006

a grace filled friday

well 24 hours later and i am in a much better headspace...

i won't say all in my soul is perfectly rosy and glowing with joy but i am in a much better, kinder, calmer place of being...

spent a sunshiney couple of hours with jude and mark (both in apt and infectious sunshiney mood for my weary spirit) down at strangford lough this lunchtime - we ate fish and chips on the pier in the sun... saw loads of beautiful winged things, and a crab scuttling along the floor of the harbour, a jellyfish doing its jelly dance, and watched the sailing boats go by (and i thought how much i'd like to do that)...

mark and jude went and caught up on some sleep, having arrived on the first plane from london this morning at some godforsaken hour, and i had a lovely afternoon in the unexpected company of various lads from the cafe (CGs is closed for the '12th fortnight' so we all found ourselves hanging out at the competition down the road)...all of whom made me smile. got to hear about stephen's new life as a father, entertained by ben and leigh as they played backgammon, had a nourishing encounter with padraig, and hung out with ricky browsing the guardian over coffee and level5ing in the sun... the only thing i got around to writing was the answers in the crossword, but it didn't matter... piece by piece i started returning to myself...

the day ended in the company of dear friends chez mark... entertaining chat in the evening sun, a couple of glasses of wine ensued... all in all a night of lovely mirthful exchanges and good humour well shared. jayne and i sat and talked in the car outside my place, as we so often do at the end of a night out - little milestone markers in our friendship, and as i stepped in the door i had to admit, this was a good day...

most significantly perhaps, today was one to be thankful for because i had the opportunity during the course of today to have insightful conversations with two of my closest friends, each of whom yesterday i shut out as everything caved in... it was a burden on my heart that i had retreated so far into myself that i should suddenly disconnect so much in their presences because it doesn't just mess with my world, it messes with their worlds, and i guess our shared worlds... it was a moment of grace with each of them to feel friendship intact and talk it over a little... each in their unique ways mean so much to me...but, and this is ridiculously hard to acknowledge but i shall force myself to utter it... i mean something to each of them too... and i retreated into a place of mistrust, where my fears collided in a car crash of emotion, my fears denied their care for me...and that does each a huge disservice...but i am letting go of the guilt and instead will be thankful for grace...

yesterday has passed, all my fears of today were for naught, and so i retire to bed with a pocketful of lessons to learn, some practical tools to start putting into place so i don't start sliding back down the well without noticing, and reminded that i am loved. and i'm worth being loved. and if i can say that a few times before sleep, as instructed by dear jayne, then that's as good a caring as i have done for myself in a while...

thank you for kind thoughts in comments, texts and emails...right back at ya to the lot of ya...

right. sleep beckons. tomorrow is a day of fun with a whole bunch of the above...better recharge the batteries...


LB, x

Thursday, July 13, 2006

head above water

i've taken out the words from my earlier post...
partly because...

i don't want to wake up and see them
i don't want anyone else to read them
i felt guilty despite their honesty
i felt guilty for their honesty
they hung in my mouth like bitter metal
fueled by anger that i wish i did not feel
fearing they will hurt, which is a psychological fantasy but not necessarily what i desire in reality
they were the words i have resisted writing for nearly 10 months
and now that i have written such hard truths i guess i need to somehow let them go
so that they lose their grip a little
words that have been like a vice for the past week
as another of a series of 'anniversaries' approached
for weeks i have been pulling myself inward, withdrawing
witholding tactility more than ever and emotional connection with it
i realise how i fear such disapproval for truth telling, for being angry, for not having climbed higher up the ladder

but even more am struck how little i trust.

honesty is the best policy
we are told
experience tells me otherwise
honesty nearly always hurts

to those who read the exorcism - i'm sorry if i caused you alarm - thanks for getting in touch - gonna try and get some sleep.

somehow it'll all be healed...

LB, x

sticks and stones...

13.07.05, 3pm...the beginning of the end...




there are days when the tape inside your head plays over and over and over and will not stop... louder than everything else around you...block it out but soon it returns...

some days i think i will drown in the sound of those words...

i'm too tired of treading water to stop them.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

self portraiture

i'm harbouring annoyance that when i got my photos developed the cd that accompanied the prints was missing an entire roll, the one containing some of my favourite images. but, fwiw, at least i could share some from the other 3...

two things come to mind as i look at them...
one, that photographing in film is a kind of russian roulette - typically you take one stab at a shot and hope for the best. you can't view your image on a screen and retake it instantly if you want it to be better. i've yet to work out why i've been resistant to switch to digital.

and secondly, i am struck by how autobiographical these feel to me... when i review these images i am aware of how i felt when i took them, their mood (i find a stillness in several that i think speaks to the contemplation i was looking for in the moments they represent) and the shapes they make. and also that i am increasingly looking to the form of an object and the negative space around and within it...

i never imagine myself mastering the craft of photography in the way some of my talented friends have, but i am finding it a more rewarding process and a good test of one's mettle to attempt not feeling intimidated and so share one's images with those whose eyes you respect and admire...

so i pushed my boundaries today and dared to offer some of my prints as a gift to one such photographer, uncertain if out of trust for their grace, or out of belief that they would find my story in them...

was great to walk into the cafe after work and greet familiar faces and embrace missed friends...

tomorrow i'll post reflections written while away...

LB, x.

Provence, sans les mots

all images by LB, 2006

click on 'em to make 'em big...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

feelin' dirty

'bout ye!

posting was too darn problematic on the ol' dial up so i gave up trying to post, meaning there is much catch up to be done.

feels most refreshing to be back in the milder climes of belfast and for first time in ages not to be persistantly pouring with sweat. after bone dry temps reaching as high as 110 degrees in provence, today london gave us both intense humidity and a 10 minute monsoon, (the former was pretty gross and the latter rather thrilling.)

jude has posted her fotos at flickr - see link on her blog - and you'll get a good picture of our trip, excuse the pun. there's also a handy link to the exhibition we went to today at the haywood gallery, which turned out to be rather marvellous. i took a load of photographs while i was away, but as i persist in using that antiquated medium known as film, any images will have to wait until they've been processed.

i'm covered in london grime and need to have a bath. urgently. i shall ponder thoughts, reflections, memories etc while i soak.

but i'll say this, it's a rather marvellous blessing to return from a holiday feeling like you are going on holiday all over again, such is one's excitement at seeing one's compadres again. excitement and the knowledge that jude visits here in a mere 2 weeks made our goodbye easier than it might have been. i arrived back to the embraces from 7 of my nearest and dearest in tues group.

right, finish unpacking. then bath, then bed.