Tuesday, September 26, 2006

to set alight

well these last few days of my job are a bit mental as i try and tie up loose ends (i.e. finish off all those jobs i've been avoiding for months) whilst playing host to yet another auditor, but i'm taking a pause to catch my breath...

roll on 5pm thursday and a week of intensive collaging... last night i sorted through two massive boxes of stuff i'd been collecting (hoarding), which felt more like filing than craftmaking but it had to be done... there's a whole lotta work to go but i'm not panicking. i'm so looking forward to friday, when i'll be able to focus on the installation and pretty much nothing else for an entire week, which is more than enough time and feels kinda like i'm going on holiday for the soul.. all going well the pieces will be mounted on fri 6th or sat 7th, and there's a plan in the making to have a bit of an "opening" in the cafe's back room with performances from three of my most beloved beloveds... i really hope that gathering can happen cause i'd love to see how their ::voices:: and my own weave together... if you still think there's value in interventionist prayer please feel free to throw out a word to grease the necessary wheels, i.e. get me and the appropriate city church staff on the same phone line at the same time, or even in the same room, to book the venue. it's proving difficult to get hold of anyone to sort it all out. if like me you've come to doubt such supernatural influence, then maybe you could just cross a couple of toes, or close your eyes and wish like mad for a moment. thanx.

oh and if someone can remind me i need to buy several hundred small headed push pins i'd be most appreciative.

so. here's to 5pm thursday.

in the meantime, i'm getting in as many listens as i can to ::the cost:: before the annual frames fest in the ulster hall next week... these lyrics posted with a big hello to Sean (Mir's wonderful bro) out there in Vancouver... my own wee bro tells me this is a favourite of his...

so Sean, look fwd to seeing you at Christmas man... have fun meeting the Willow (what some of us belfast crew call Sarah) - glad you folks will get to share in some chat and laughter...

if the lads play this next week, i'll sing along for you...

People Get Ready

People all get ready
'Cos we're tearing down the stand
Rebuild what's gone unsteady
And see it through with newer hands
And what has gone between us
Is a lot, is a lot
And who'll be there to clean us
If you're not, if you're not

People all get ready
'Cos we're breaking down again
Rebuild what's gone unsteady
And see it through with wiser hands
And what has gone between us
Is a lot, is a lot
And who'll be there to ignore us
When you're not, when you're not

We have all the time in the world
To get it right, to get it right
We have all the time in the world
To set alight, to set alight

People all get ready
'Cos we're breaking down the band
Rewrite what's gone already
And see it through with wiser hands
And what has gone between us
Is a lot, is a lot
And who'll be there to ignore us
When you're not, when you're not

And we have all the time in the world
To get it right, to get it right
And we have all the love in the world
To set alight, to set alight
Just look up, just look up

We have all the time in the world
To get it right, to get it right
And we have all the love in the world
To set alight, to set alight
Just look up, just look up

We have all the time in the world
To get it right, to get it right
And we have all the love in the world
To set alight, to set alight

People all get ready
'Cause we're coming to a stop

(p) + (c) plateau records 2006.


Saturday, September 23, 2006

& if we're all 4 someone...i'll wait till you

how's it goin' boss?

greetings from dublin.

have not only spent some quality time with family and bought the new frames album, (more on that in a mo), but also caught up this afternoon on some much needed zzz. so am feeling a little better, especially as i got to talk to my wee bro on the phone and that's pretty much guaranteed to brighten my day.

so, the important stuff of the day, the cost, the new frames album...here's my initial thoughts:
surprisingingly but not disappointingly underproduced, especially the vocals, so - quite raw, sounds almost like they just recorded the band live in the studio, pared down but nonetheless moving lyrics, quite dark, themes are of loss, leaving, seperation and divison, at times self loathing and yet tender too, and rising hope to keep going. why that would appeal i've no idea. ha.
highlights. there are several. major one for existing fans is a version of the anthemic ::rise::, ewan tells me this has only ever been a b-side. i think i've only heard it live and the thought that they'll play this in the ulster hall is making my nerves all a tingle. a song called ::true:: really grabbed me first time round. and the opening track ::song for someone:: is a.w.e.s.o.m.e... the whole thing is quite understated and yet there are really astonishiong moments where glen just goes for it and let's his voice soar. his falsetto on a version of ::falling slowly:: from the swell season is remarkable. also a version of ::when your mind's made up:: that's great. packaging is very nicely done with great photo portraits of the band and lyrics are all there for the dissecting and purusing. have given it 3 listens today. 2nd timearound i was buried under a mountain of bubbles in the bath. we've been without hot water in the belfast house for 3 weeks and so it was more than a spiritually cleansing experience. only time will tell where this ranks in the frames catalogue but there's something very straightforward about it all. this sounds like a band, going into a studio, laying down some tracks and just leaving them, no messin', perhaps thinking these songs will grow and morph in the live shows so do it there rather than in the studio. so after the very layered math-rock-ey ::burn the maps:: this offering was something of a surprise. but what i do know, i got me very excited to think in a week i'll be rockin' to some of these in belfast...

other lyrics will follow i'm sure, but for now, here's the title track, musically it's yet to take a hold on me, but these are the first lyrics you see on opening up the packaging... and damn were they gut punching...

::the cost::

love has been the cause
of all this suffering
and what has been our loss
has been its gaining
so lay your burdens down
and stop your crying

will we let it burn
burn us down, burn us

low have been the odds
of our reuniting
and where now can we turn
when we've got nothing

will we let it burn
burn us down, burn us
and maybe it'll turn
us around

g. hansard/c. ward/the frames (2006)

i understand there is a glass of port with name on it awaiting me in the other room so better log off and do my daughterly duty...


still picking up the pieces

well, it's been a long while since i've gone an entire week with only one post to show for it.

this is just me checking in to say hey, especially a big up to cheryl. welcome friend. glad you made it back to Aus safely. cheryl and i starred in a movie earlier this week. no really, we did. well maybe not starred but we were in a film, and i've been meaning to tell you about our rather random experience and the joy of meeting cheryl herself which was a nice part of an otherwise intense week. the last couple of weeks have had a lot going on and i've not been allowing myself to fully feel the experience but it takes its toll anyway. major thanks go to keli for being a great wing (wo)man as i dealt with scary stuff like hiring a solicitor and taking the first step towards buying a place of my own.

this week last year i only made one post. i think it was this very day a year ago i got all my hair cut off. that post was to tell these pages my husband, my best friend of nearly 14 years, had walked out. even writing that now has a strange surreal quality to it and i think the only way i made it through this week was to not feel it.
not the grief or the anger or the fear. but somewhere deep within you feel it all anyway. you just don't allow yourself to show it. it's not a recommended method for living. doesn't make life any easier. but still i persist... one day i'll learn...

as then, i head to dublin, but this time for just a brief trip to celebrate my dad's birthday and pick up a copy the new frames album, which get's released saturday, or so i am told by zippy ben.

in the meantime, one year on, i am dog tired, and i have to be on the train in 6 hours. better grab some zzz.

grace and peace to you walking wounded out there.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006


hey. been awhiles, i know.

inside my head kind of looks like this...


as if it couldn't get any worse, one of my colleagues is playing katie meluha.

Wake me up when September ends.


Friday, September 15, 2006

precious pieces

When Mulder is dug up from his grave and he finally regains consciousness, a weeping Scully asks him, "Have you any idea what you have been through?"
He replies, "Only what I see in your face..."

sitting across from Sigmund today was kind of like that.


i got to thinking about tears today... how they can be so truthful, how they speak so honestly about what we are feeling... about what needs healing... they do so much better than words sometimes...

but way back when, we learnt the skills to hold back the tide, keep breathing when we should be letting out what's choking us...they are survival skills... but they can end up holding us back... we end up punishing ourselves for the hurt we have experienced... to turn feelings of hurt and anger inward rather than out...


today i felt inadequacy...

i have no idea if the tears i spent tonight were for me and the grief i wish i didn't have to feel, or for the people i love that feel pain, or for me not knowing how to best care for the people i love...

now i just feel tired.


i see a house. empty. i see myself. weeping. in disbelief. and fear. but i also see myself picking up myself and a paintbrush. and painting my life all over the house.


there was only one lyric that could end today...

There's a bird that nests inside you
Sleeping underneath your skin
When you open up your wings to speak
I wish you'd let me in

LB, x

Thursday, September 14, 2006

faith beyond words

::carrie's down in her basement, all toe shoes and twin::

yesterday spun on an axis of some considerable confusion, one imbued with not inconsiderable irony... having, the previous night, written a statement of faith for myself acknowledging i am undeniably an agnostic a/theist, i went to sleep quite content, having drawn some lines of clarity and decided there was no more point pretending i could describe myself as Christian in any classically understood sense of the word. i have found myself trying to speak two languages at once and in the past couple of weeks returning to matters theological i was engaged in a persistant act of doublethink. coming to some kind of clarity and decisive point of where i am at would surely help. well, of course, not at all. when i began reading james alison's account of the story of the blind man made to see by jesus in the gospel of john as part of team fury (aka tuesday group)'s autumn reading, i immediately began to see the significant impact a previously seemingly innocuous 'acceptance' would have... by which i do not mean that i realised i was in fact actually a Christian after all, but that putting a label on my beliefs felt pretty much useless...boxing in one's unknowing and doubt, and defining oneself as being a believer and unbeliever both, well i guess it becomes a kind of end point... yesterday the deconstruction began all over again, as did the discovery and the searching... the line in the sand needs again to be scrubbed out...

better off living the ambiguity of being an (un)believer, the unknowingness, without trying to label it. that i do not need to replace Christian with anything. for some that may not work. but for me, perhaps it does. today it does. there is so much language to be explored and metaphors and paradoxes and continual acts of deconstruction and reconstruction becoming deconstruction again happening in perpetuity. if the defining label is unhelpful to me it is perhaps that it means somehow that rather than internally living in the desert and seeking out the thin places that are doorways to the kingdom, i am instead abstracting out my un/belief to a place truly outside myself. it is about my need to speak from the gut rather than the head. i guess like seeing an image and choosing to tattoo it onto skin from the outside rather than finding what is within and letting it rise up to the surface of the skin to be traced over...

i guess we all seek definition and simultaneously reject it. rather than a label, a box, a definition, i am discovering the necessity of living in ambiguity... what is perhaps demanded then is a language that allows for both conviction and lightness of holding, belief and unbelief, the paradox and the illogical fallacy of not knowing yet choosing to believe... that language for me needs to be one of story and openendedness...

i suspect much of this little stumbling bit of the journey is about trying to find such a language that can be open to dialogue... and also of recognising that deconstruction is not a phase, which is then followed by reconstruction, but a neverending act of quest and discovery... james alison calls the idea of monotheism a terrible idea but a wonderful discovery...

inside my narrative trying to pin down the mystery of unknowingness misses the point. i can see how that might be frustrating to others, those who desire, or need, clarity of definition, be it Christian or Atheist or Agnostic. but for as much as i desire defining, it does not sit comfortably. and i can only hope that grace exists to know i am not merely trying to speak both languages at once, to be acceptable to both... rather, this is about an authenticity of desire, belief, unbelief, story and maybe something that we can call faith...

my dear friend jon, ikon's resident orthodox/anarchist said the other night to me, "what better statement of faith is there than that basement poster, i want to believe?" that the search for truth that is out there is what pulls us onward, keeps us alive... our journey is a quest...peraps it is not our desire that drives us but something pulling us into belief...perhaps

that quest is shaped by the gut of experience, of its living... it is not an intellectual exercise, it is not a creed, it is not a statement of faith...

perhaps then, my confusion arose from an attempt to pin down, not God (that i believe is impossible), but myself... to define who i am... and the discovery for the most part is a discovery of the self... and if therapy has taught me anything it is that, when asked what an experience is like, my tendancy has been to say, i think... the rupture happens when i dare to say, i feel...

what we believe in seems so unimportant when we are reminded that we are bound to one another by our vulnerablity, our fragility, our humanness... the labels tell us so little, mask so little. they are a convenient facade... neither you nor i are abstract concepts, we are flesh and blood, and it is not what either of us 'think' that connects us, but what we are... what we feel, desire, grieve, hope for... we so easily see the difficult conversations when we, and God, our belief and unbelief, are ideas rather than experiences (even when the experience is one of persistant absence)... what we then might miss is the beauty of interaction, connection. can we learn that before the difficult conversations even start, before disagreement, the miscommunication, the division of lines in definition, there is the act of conversation...and before conversation there is the sitting in proximity, the being face to face, of being, being you and i... and in the sometimes silent, or gentle or tense space that exists between us, there is something sacred, perhaps divine, breathing... alive with possibility and discovery... of creativity... of beauty...

::where you think that you'll end up to the state that you're in::

yesterday evening, i was thrown over the edge on the sudden unexpected learning that the place that had been home (since five years ago this week) was yesterday sold. i have not even begun to process this experience and won't try to right now. but in that freefall, i found that space between... i found myself surrounded by some of the precious, beautiful-work-in-progress people with whom that space feels so very real and alive...for the news created a moment for which there were no words, only stunned silence... and yet there were shared silences and wordless embraces to be had, that spoke so very much of the happening that is love...that persists in spite of us...

and so the freefall falls... and it's alright... some moments of rupture are moments of rapture if you glance the right way...


(text in bold by adam duritz)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

the hand of the Lord on ya joystick

i'm in a weird and messy headspace so until such time as i can get my thoughts into something vaguely resembling coherency, check this out: as seen on the daily show a while back, a rather excited jonny mcewan has now passed on the trailer for the soon to be released left behind: eternal forces

i suspect a new loaded-with-more-irony-than-we-know-what-to-do-with community pastime is about to be unleashed...

one man's faith is another man's lucrative niche marketing opportunity. praise jeebus.

edited to add:

oh, it just keeps getting better... Team Fury and friends, this is for you:
dance praise


Friday, September 08, 2006

sacred space of the shared story

after a nice easy going morning with keli, getting inspired to learn the craft and art of quilting, i got to enjoy a long overdue and heartfelt conversation with pete, into which we dived and rarely came up for breath... a wonderful example of realising and acknowledging that it is an act and benefit of loving that you can speak your truth and it need not be cause for division but rather for celebrating and embracing... we have missed each other these past six months or so whilst i've been on a sabbatical from ikon, and if the only benefit came from ikon's service at gb was that the planning brought us back to the table and be reminded of the friendship that has grown around us and between in the many hours spent ikon-ing over the past few years, then colour me truly gratitudinal.

the conversation was a good marker for me of how much i have learned these past few months with Sigmund. there is much to be learnt ahead and no doubt more rupture in my little world to face, caused by the shit life throws at you and the journey of therapy, but i claimed today as something of a celebration... a year ago my world was crumbling around me, the ground slipping away and my life close to having no value in my own eyes...

and here i am a year on. and i have not only survived but i find myself feeling a sense of contentment with the reality of being on my own. i'm okay. of having realised and gaining benefit from putting the truths i learn into practice: i am reaping the fruit of learning to hold on lighter. it's making my life easier. to learn the art of trust. of recognising and seeking true stability and learning how to be flexible. and if i am in a zone of rapture it is because i have taken the brave step when faced with crisis to learn more about myself and faced right into the rupture(s) of my life (past and present) and lived to tell the tale. in a time of extreme vulnerability i chose to make myself even more vulnerable by facing myself. so that i might not just survive separation but get to a healthier mental and emotional place than i have ever been in my life.
so i have claimed september as a month to acknowledge how far i have come and that i deserve to feel proud of myself to be in a much better place, thanks to the beauty of consistent committed community and because of my own strength... and it is good to enjoy the rapture because it means when i re-enter and face the rupture again, and dig deeper on this journey, i can do so knowing i can do it and come out the other end...

and fwiw, Sigmund didn't say most of that. i did. and i'm not sure if he wanted to applaud or cry. perhaps both.

so. here's to being able to wear a smile and say, genuinely when asked, things are pretty good right now. to redefining who i am based on what is in me, not on what i think others want me to be. to loving without grasping. to seeing the difference between your own storm and that of your loved ones and knowing that if "the only life you can save is your own" then there's a whole lotta love for yourself and those you love in getting on with that. in realising that sometimes you just have to let go in order to love, and that sometimes loving is letting go so you can see better how to care. i'm getting a glimpse of what my life looks like without being bound by the crippling double bind of the need for attachment and fear of abandonment. to standing on my own two feet. to trusting. and risk-taking. and self-care. and perhaps more importantly, to saying, i deserve to do this for me. i am worth it. getting to a point that i can try that idea out for size and voice it has been a hard one. i have had to work really hard in that sacred space with Sigmund that today was the colour of warm rich honey. there's more hard work to do. more monsters i haven't even dared put words too yet. living consistently like the above is indeed true and exploring the darkness and facing the monsters that right now are on a little vacation will be no less hard a road. but for now, i'm taking a pause and saying, girl, you've come a long fucking way and i am giving you some deserved props for not giving up. for seeing your light in the darkness. for daring to try and shine.

and as i just dared to voice that, this played...

Fall is walking us into a cold December wind
And maybe we won't last too long
But maybe we will make it to play a brave new song
Mixing up the failure with the new

In hopes for something true

when the road gets really hard again, remind me of this place. of the rapture that can come from facing the rupture. so that i will have courage. i could not have gotten to even this little landmark without you. you know who you all are. thank you. and to those being battered by their own storms, i'm doing my best to learn how to offer a hand without falling out the boat myself.

we may indeed catch fire yet...

LB, x

Thursday, September 07, 2006

we are pieces

all images by ricky mcquillan at GB06.

wordy reflection to come… LB, x

sublime and ridiculous...

these lines on constant internal loop,
what it's trying to tell me, i am not sure...

I'd see you there, intense and strange
I’d be alone and out of range
I’d be alone and do what’s right
Love everyone, the virtuous life


work on the collages for the cafe installation is now well underway.
feels good to finally have sussed how i want to do it. words from these pages will be written all over it...


paul, i raise you this. there are still no words.

found this when looking for images for ikon :fundamentalism:
it's called, 'He still walks'. available to purchase for your home, with or without frame, at art.com
as someone in an ikon meeting, perhaps ricky, noted, this has got a distinct Monty Python flavour to it. might be better titled, :who shall i stamp on first?


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

want to believe

...and then there are those days, or indeed hours, when you think any auld nihilist would do. assuming 1. a grasp of personal hygiene, 2. a half decent wardrobe, and 3. a moderately toned bicep... wryly thinking some things were never intended to be provisional...

and then you hear something that reminds you it's so not true...

a beautiful piece of creation breaking into your world, speaking tender honesty...and evoking wonder...

chris furnished me with a copy of the latest lies damned lies offering, ::after virtue::
sat me down and played me this: his musical highlight of greenbelt... our past coming to meet us and remind us what matters...

I think of heaven, where all is well
Where all is well
And even if there is no heaven
I’d make it up
I'd make it up
I think of God, who is so good
Who is so good
And even if there’s no God
I’d make it up
I'd make it up

A man walks alone with his best suit on
His busfare spent and his friends all gone
The bars are all closed and there’s no one home
And yet his hope will keep him warm
I'd see you there, intense and strange
I’d be alone and out of range
I’d be alone and do what’s right
Love everyone, the virtuous life

I live in a city
And drawn to the wild
These are things I’ve reconciled
My heart’s in heaven
But my soul is here
This is the life – these are the years

I think of heaven, where all is well
Where all is well
And even if there is no heaven
I’d make it up
I'd make it up
I think of God, who is so good
Who is so good
And even if there’s no God
I’d make it up
I'd make it up

I'd make it up
I'd make it up

(Reid, Butler, Irvine)


as rain chimes on slate, sleep waiting in the wings
may we dream of a place where all is well
and wake with something like hopeful desire and defiant imagination
to carve just a little of that place into these years

to make believe it into being


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

home alone no more

keli: are you writing a letter?

LB: nope. trying to find typos in my last blog posting and editing them out... i admit, in moments i'm something of a perfectionist...

stu: some might call that perfectionism a tendancy toward anal retentiveness

LB: indeed. but then i'd call those people nitpickers.

ah. it's good to have 'em back...

LB, x

is it in you?


too much to say in a comment box, so here we are... i have no idea if you should get a tattoo, so here's a train of thought, which may or may not help you think about what you think about whether you should get a tattoo...i think it's all about autobiography...

tattoos tell you a lot about a person... i don't intend that in a judgmental way, just a statement of fact... the person i know with the most tattoos is married to a jewish person, who has cultural/historical issues with the act of tattooing... thus both relate to tattoos in a very different way... and i guess they are a good example of why tattoos, whilst capable of representing playfulness, are at best to be treated with a sense of sacredness, or rather, we should treat ourselves with some sense of sacredness perhaps...it's why i don't really "get" piercing beyond body adornment or heightened sensual pleasure - they have have, for me, no intrinsic meaning, despite perhaps telling me something about the person who is pierced (i know that for some piercing is a deeply symbolic act)...for me tattoos are all about their symbology. and what it tells me about me. how it symbolises who i am and what matters to me, as we are no doubt about to find out. i feel a splurge comin' on...

for me personally, the symbology, the coded message if you will, came first in some respects. i knew i was interested in getting a tattoo but i knew more strongly that there was something in me that wanted to speak...stake a claim. what followed then was trying to let that come out and when it did i knew i felt a great sense of conviction but that i also had to have something ambigious, open, tentative, provisional. i am asked by a lot of folks, "what does your tattoo say?" to which i typically reply, ""do you mean the literal or the intrinsic meaning it might have? and in explaining i have at times said, "you can decide what that might mean for yourself", although i am now less inclined to do that... not sure why, but i love that how i relate to it changes. its meaning is provisional as well as highly convicted... it is about what to me is perhaps the ground of all being... what do i believe of love and of god? it is a cypher... a door to so much more... and the writer in me just 'knew' when i had found the combination of characters that i could live with. i also knew that by including an anglicised version of the hebrew tetragrammaton i was being wilfully playful... i could have had it written in hebrew script but there is a sense in which i wanted to acknowlege the journey that the unnameable name of god has taken... that we have romanised the language of our hebrew forefathers... that to write the unnameable name of god is an exercise in mystery, a perhaps futile act... the name of that which cannot be named pointing to the ungraspability of the divine... the tetragrammaton is itself mythically a cypher, a code...and for me there is a tongue in cheek playfulness to suggest the unnameable name might be Love, to pin it down... and of course alpha and omega as not only representing the beginning and end of time outside of time, a sense of eternity but also Christ as the alpha and omega, the trickster... the code incarnate? the choice of using the latin amor rather than english signifies my love of the root of words... again, more codes... more linguistic forebearers...

for me, getting my first tattoo was an act of rebellion (waste of time. parentals quite liked it), an act of self determination, choosing to do something for me by me with no apology to anyone, (worth it. it was an empowering experience (and the act itself a very sensory experience), although a day or two after i was shocked i had actually gone through with it - i had to deal with my own sense of conviction, it created a kind of inner vertigo and i had to adjust to it, which had nothing to do with the tattoo but with how i understood who i was, i had to embrace the me that would go through with it, as it was a highly uncharacteristic act, to actually follow through)
but also, something akin to prayer... or maybe like wearing a cross... something i haven't done since around the same time, hmm, no, perhaps it's very different to that... it's like a message to myself, and perhaps to the unknown Other: whatever i say, whatever i do, i am drawn (as in pulled towards and as in pictorially depicted (shaped) by either DNA or psychology or a Creator, or indeed by my own hand) to believe in something we call Love and i think when we speak of god we (or do i mean I?) mean the same thing... they may be the same thing... and for as long as i might have on this earth i want to be reminded daily of the significance that trying to understand what we mean when we talk about or invoke both love and god has had in my life, for better or worse... their interchangability is an eternal mystery, a perhaps divine wordplay...

okay i know we're about to go dandering on a tangent - not sure if this a metaphor for tattooing but let's see where this goes, it may just be that i haven't written enough the past couple of weeks and i'm needing to stretch my fingers or that there is something triggered that wants to come out... bear with me and we'll see if this says anything...

having recently had the opportunity to listen to someone's experience of what it is like to be of christian faith and in relationship with someone who is not, i was struck in reflection afterward that whilst in younger years i wanted to be in relationship with someone of faith (ie christian), nowadays my own comfort zone has shifted so much... not only do i hold my ideas of belief so much more lightly but i am unthreatened by the idea of being in relationship with someone who doesn't share my particular set of beliefs (beliefs being by definition as unique and subjective as we are)... but what i do know is i doubt i could be in relationship with someone who doesn't take religious belief seriously, who thinks religion is for dumb people... and i certainly can't imagine having anything close to intimacy with a devoted nihilist (is that an oxymoron?)... and by nihilism i mean having committed to a belief in life's lack of meaning and hope, because i can't imagine having a sense of wonder if life is just a meaningless existence (i am predisposed as the next person to temporary states of nihilism, which i think is probably a close sibling of depression), nor with someone who didn't value the value of mystery, or respect the desire to live with faith, or grace, or meaning, even in a life after god... i guess at the other end of the spectrum i can't imagine being in relationship with someone who put a set of "beliefs in" before relationship with people - something i am all too guilty of
(and which causes me to know that there is inherent self conviction in this tangent).... i guess it comes down to what ikon (or maybe i should say pete) has called the how rather than the what of belief... that in relationship i am seeking out (if seeking at all) another with a how that is compatible with my own, whatever the creed or lack thereof...

ah, i see where my mind is going with this... yup. rather than it being "getting a tattoo is like finding a compatible partner", that all speaks to a desire to hold one's belief or faith, or desire for belief or faith, however me might use those terms, both provisionally (or lightly) but with a sense of sacredness and value... someone said to me yesterday that they were more interested in what a person values rather than what they believe... i kinda like that, although value as a word somehow lacks the metaphysical mystery for me personally but that's more an issue of semantics... but i guess it all points toward what it was within me that wanted to speak... the essence of conviction towards a search for Truth, that appears so often to be outward but is actually an inner journey... the desert and kingdom are carried within us... that i entered a phase of a journey a couple of years back where the metaphorical became more powerful than the literal... all of that somehow became distilled into a mark i put on my arm... that we cannot speak of a life after god, without speaking of the god that was there, or the belief that was there... and how that shapes us... of who we are. maybe it guards me against nihilism (which for me would be like a shark stopping swimming), that i can wander on this journey but i will always be reminded of where i have been and therefore to where i may return... and that i hold my beliefs lightly but with no less a sense of conviction... that love demands of us a conviction... and as soon as we drawn a line in the sand we are called to question it... to destroy our idol and seek again... this code will never be cracked... and that i want to always try and live that life of searching with hope that looks forward... to keep trying to crack it... is that faith? perhaps...

and yet, tomorrow i might say it means something totally different... for the verbal thinker, i guess truths are so often tested by trying them on for size... saying "how's this?" and seeing if it'll work... i speak with both conviction and with the implicit understanding it only speaks to who i am in that moment... in recognising my own willingness to get it wrong, i then desire to know Truth... a solid thing to be grounded in... but as chris reminded me recently, a (psychologically) healthy life is one grounded in stability so that one can live flexibly...

so. should you get a tattoo? that depends: why? what is it you want to mark? what is in you wanting to be voiced?

you say tattoo, i say testimony
let's call the whole thing off



question marks...

tonight, those of the ikon crew that created the greenbelt service and were in town got treated to a great indian meal by the ikon common purse...
much chat was had, both hilarious and reflective, self critical and imaginative...

we never envisioned taking what we do to such a big stage and the implications of doing so are significant...
was it worship? did we have responsibility for those that were there? what difference does it make when you know the people involved and when we are strangers? what is the experience like for someone who does not know who we are and something of what we do?

some of the conversation was deeply challenging... we live so comfortably with our doubts... we are so unafraid of questioning...we enjoy being provoked and of provoking...we live comfortably with a multiplicty of beliefs and the discomfort that creates because we care about one another and respect one another...

colour me pondering... seriously pondering...

i walked away from the service feeling such hope. because i was reminded of my own (undeconstructable?) fundamental... i have it tattooed on my arm...

but to question one's complicity in the potential charge of irresponsibility demands maturity and discernment...


just got an email from my landlord. my landlady's gone and gotta more inkwork...

has got me all excited cause all going well, in a couple of months i shall be getting my next tattoo, from the same BC tattoo artist who'll be visiting us here in belfast... i hope it'll happen. her work is incredible.

right bicep: sailor jerry style swallow and japanese cherry blossom. full colour...

in the sailor tradition the land bird means home. home is where the heart is. i wear my heart on my sleeve. home is community - the stability upon which i live my life. but the bird has freedom. to fly. see douglas coupland's life after god. i found myself on my own. and i chose to fly from the cage of fear. to journey rather than stay frozen. japanese culture sees blossom as a living witness to the ephemeral nature of life. it is beautiful but fleeting. see the beauty in its fragility. savour it while you've got it.

some people say, how can you get a tattoo? it lasts forever.

there is no such thing as forever. if i reached 80 i hope the last thing i'd be worried about is that i got a tattoo when i was 30 and now my once firm flesh is wrinkled. i hope i'd be dancing. it's too short, this life we get. and i take the sage wisdom of my dear friend kristen: even if you change, a tattoo marks where you have been,
it can even be a mark of that which you regret, and your mistakes are something to be reminded of...to teach you that you have grown...each tattoo represents the you that you were, perhaps still are, and possibly always will be...

so here's hoping i get to be a canvas for robin's amazing artwork. keli's latest is looking amazing, and it doesn't even have colour in it yet...and what do you know? unbeknownst to me, she too incorporated a swallow...


:: what if there was no God? what if there was nothing but Love? ::

Monday, September 04, 2006

it was 30 years ago today

happy 30th birthday to my dear beloved brother.
he won;t have received my card or gift yet, but we have a tradition of extending such celebrations as long as possible, so for today he'll have to make do with a simple message...


as i've told you before, had we been forged together in the womb i cannot imagine being more bound in love to you than i am... you rock the kazbah like no other. you have shown me by an example that defies your years, the arts of humility, joy, willing service to the needs of others, and always giving a humanoid the best chance to show their beauty before ever deciding what you think of them, a lesson i am still to even remotely master...you live under the bullshit radar... i have learnt so much from you i cannot believe i have to take the place of elder sibling...

and you have given me so much music, one of my greatest loves in life. it means that you are always with me because i'm always playing something and when i feel a surge of passion for what's on the radio or the 'pod, or the decks or the stereo, i think of you. you have persistantly delighted in sharing your love of all things audio and lovingly embraced my love of the music that i love, always trying to make those connections with my familiars so that you can expand my boundaries... i can't wait for christmas/new year and hitting the dance floor with you, even if it's the kitchen floor... i can't wait for you to pull out the vinyl and hit your decks saying, "you gotta hear this..."

and that is significant because you have taught me the art of spilling over... letting your passions and cares bubble out like champagne... because to love is to always give away, to share, to include, to embrace...

i admire and love you brother as much as i miss you. i wish you more joy than you know what to do with...your gentle giving passionate heart deserves it.

happy birthday! welcome to your thirties...may your beautiful smile never have cause to leave your face.

cary, (your sister) ;0)


at some point i will get round to writing my reflections on gb 06 but i'm in reading, nay, devouring, mode at the moment, soaking up
undergoing god: dispatches from the scene of a break in by james alison. i want to eat the pages. stunning theology. he reads to me like a catholic Caputo, beautifully and delightfully written. depicting a shape of Christinity that is leading me back toward the rugged road... where faith had seemed like the desert, he persistantly depicts a kingdom, "a world full of mercy where there are no they" a world we get to be co-creators in, and in great freedom. go order it. intelligent, insightful, life giving study of the tricky issue of homosexuality in biblical texts and yet about so much more... he manages to be both radical and obediently Catholic at once.

postscript: for the 2006 seminars, including james alison on the clobber texts, and seminars going all the way back to 1996, go here... once again we need to see an increase in women's voices in the mix...hmmm, or maybe women are teaching by different methods, i dunno. but regardless there are some wonderful seminars in there. right now as i work (and blog) i am listening to dear buddy pete (rollins, ikon founder), who's so popular i couldn't get in to hear him on site. ah, the wonders of technology...


Sunday, September 03, 2006

in utero, in love

how does one put words to this? my brother's a father... my sister (in law)'s a mother... i'm an aunt... here's the latest glimpse of the human being becoming we're all waiting to welcome to the open air in january...

LB, x

Friday, September 01, 2006

a slice of the kingdom...

more of my gb06 pics...

lynn, the queen of darkness...
the source of much laughter and much organising
of the ::team fury enclave::

cazi holds LoserBaby's baby and
makes the final touches to the ikon visuals...

heather wilson sparkles like she always does...

the two petes enjoy a tete a tete...

like father like son...

jayne and heather go all gooey...

known for the weekend as the feral children...

was it the photography, the atheism or the partying til 4
every morning that had ricky so tired...?

the psychotherapist and the tart...

steveO and his lovely Claire...

jude's pops comes to dinner...

susan and jonah contemplate the seminar programme...

ian grins and padraig the chef finally gets to eat,
having fed 15 of us...


oh, here's a shot of what may prove to be the highlight of the weekend.
taken by Padraig on Jude's camera, the candi statton main stage gig...
we danced our rocks off... rumours that our thermos travel mugs contained
sloe gin and lemonade are, quite frankly, ahem, true

we present: jude, LB, lynn, cath and mo

wordy reflections accompanied by ricky's pics to follow...