Friday, January 26, 2007


word up,

with the ::techno wonder boy:: back from india, we are finally back up and running online in the mullingson commune... at last!
so, what comes next is a couple of heartfelt postings i would have made live last week if i had been technologically able and then we'll be back to today and see where this day finds my heart... this is likely therefore gonna be jumping through a range of emotions and tones and will be lengthy... sorry. nature of the beast...

i hope this last week has been a tender one, or a fulfilling one.
and if not, i hope you found a little something of what you needed to make it through...


18 January

I am an aunt.
I have a niece.
Sequoia Catherine.

Welcome to the world little girl... you bring so many unfolding possibilities in your wake.

I dreamt intensely this morning of my brother and his wife. They were in the birthing room. Turns out, that’s exactly where they were. And so, despite the miles between, I feel connected to them and to her arrival, in a strange mirror to the connection I felt to my own mother’s departing.

How strange the synchronicities in this world. What cosmic conduit is this?

Like having a conversation in your head with a person. Intense. Filled with things unspoken and then they call…
what are we to make of these moments? Do they matter? Are they mere coincidence? I do not know…

But this, I do:
Birthing is a celebration.

There’s someone I’d like to see. i feel them birthing. i feel myself unfolding too...

and in celebration of Sequoia's arrival i played this in my headfonz real loud:

and if we're all for someone and if we're born for someone when will she come that someone and put things in their place?


Someone's come...

19 January

There’s someone I saw. And they were birthing. Unfolding their inner limbs. Dragging themselves with grief stricken brutality and tentative tenderness into the light of wholeness, with the groaning pangs of the earth from which we came and to where we will return.

Birth is violent. Painful truth: we can’t be birthed without feeling it...



He saw her crown. She seemed small.
He saw her head and face. She seemed large.
She forced her way out into the air
Pushed by her mother’s groaning body
Sending her out
Into the welcoming
This departing that is greeting.
He saw her whole and he overflowed, crumpled, fell into awe-filled worship.
As her lungs sucked in all the air
The room was filled with the pulsating waves of the power that is love
She is beautiful.
She is birthed.
And they cannot stop gazing into her.
To see her
Is to feel love course through their veins.
She is sign.
She is gift.
She is grace.
She is two become one.
She is a beginning.
And she always will be.
The arriving never ends.

We desire. To be born again.

She is birthing.

He is birthing.

I am birthing.

We all are always birthing,

If we are feeling.

Welcome child...

I will do my best.




iTunes makes for some interesting and curious alphabetical juxtapositions... crystal gayle's don't it make my brown eyes blue and talking in your sleep are promptly followed by damien rice's rootless be followed by david gray's what are you? a whole lot of hurting and anger... it was something of a relief to get to the light.


and now for an announcement of a totally different kind...the launch of an art exhibition that i have just completed a piece for...

what? ikon co:ordinates*

where? waterfront hall, 2nd floor
time? 7-9pm
date? tuesday 6th february

you'll be very welcome if you're in the neighbourhood. i believe there may be a free glass of wine in it for ya.
pictures to follow once it's been curated and my piece is in situ...

it's a quintet of (for me) uncharacteristically (but i think pretty ikon-esque) minimalist abstract images, which i've titled:

...what has been our loss has been its gaining... (parts i - v)

the title is a lyric. it should be in your collection. if not, get it sorted. google will help you out i'm sure.

explanation of some sort will come with the fotos next week...but needless to say, i'm quite excited to see the piece alongside whatever jewels the other contributors have come up with... i've spent months thinking about what i wanted to create and rejected about 20 different concepts... but this one, quite late in the day, just clicked... things fell into place...


so today marks me no longer being a home-owner. as i try and sift through the wealth of emotions that run through me like the boxes of my life and those before me waiting to go into attics, they entwine and tumble with thoughts of others... of a friend and family saying fond farewell to their beloved, who has left this world for some other place... of the goodbyes that this life makes us endure... of the welcomes we wish we could give or receive and can't... of the someone... of waves... of competing desires... of being caught between...of emotional puzzles making uneasy days with no obvious easy answers, of wanting things to be in their place... of home... of homes made of walls and homes made of relationship...broken homes, by which i think we mean homes where hearts get broken... of the nest i now want to build for myself...a home made of walls... and the expectation, the longing for a home made of relationship... and not knowing if one would know that someone if they came... of feeling our feelings...


rootless tree would fit, but i decided the following would be song of the week and i'm gonna stay loyal to that choice:

"Living In Twilight"

You look darkly on the day
With memories to light your way
A little sad but it's all right
We are always living in twilight

No one knocks upon your door
Until you don't care anymore
A little alone but it's all right
We are always living in twilight

Living in a dream, walking in between the sunrise and sunset
Living in a dream, walking in between sunset and sunrise

You get tied up in your day, so I let go and walk away
And now we're loose ends of the night
We are always living in twilight

So it goes, though no one knows you like they used to do
Have a drink the sky is sinking toward a deeper blue
And you're still all right
Step out into twilight

So I stumble home at night
Like I've stumbled through my life
With ghosts and visions in my sight
We are always living in twilight

- The Weepies.

LB, x

ikon has 5 co-ordinates. it is: emerging, heretical, failing, apocalyptic, iconic. you can find out more on wiki...

Monday, January 22, 2007



i've no online access at home due to a change in service provider.

i'll be back later in the week.

in the meantime, take care of each other.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

it's hard for me but i'm trying*

... later that same day...

sitting in clements, botanic and listening to a just purchased copy of Midlake's 'the trials of van occupanther'... i just know this is gonna be on constant play for days... it feels like the best music always does, like you've always known these melodies, these words, a soundscape that has been long forgotten but now comes flooding back in a greeting that is more like a reunion than an introduction...
thinking of someone i love who i'd love to hear this but they're not here and yet the 'protagonist' of this album is so like them...or perhaps like the me i see in them... the lyrics infused with so much to share in their beauty and honest poetry... where to start...a landscape that tells the story of the inner life we share... of togetherness that seems just out of reach... like two houses on either side of a ridge separating two valleys, each little cabin overlooking their valley while the other is there just up and over the hill behind them... one facing east, the other west... one watching the sun rising, the other sees its descent...with longing they hope to one day see a sign of life in the land below them...the practices of their days so similar... busying themselves in staying warm and not going mad from not being known...writing conservations like love letters to an unknown other who understands... sometimes catching the smell of wood burning on a fire and yet never seeing smoke rise from the landscape and so thinking it's just their imagination... their longing come to life... there they stand back to back on that hill as the seasons pass and see no one coming... and so they wait...dwelling in isolation... if only they had ventured up into the woods above them... but no... they only see the land outstretched before them... from the perspective of the great expanse of the universe they are so close their shoulder blades are almost touching and to have found the other out would be as simple as a glancing move of a hand backward to feel the fingers of the other... but the lonely always think themselves alone, never imagining another could know what it feels to be always waiting for someone to come and love them...


what is the feeling of your feelings...?


i spent the weekend on the north coast in company and conversation with members of the Corrymeela community and james alison... it left me drained in many ways... hours spent wearing something like my most capable face... yet conversely a strange bubble of the unfamiliar... a known quantity of folks away from my ordinary days... separate from my world... and so to return was more anxious than to have gone... to come back to the day to day and recognise how much is filled with doubt... to return and recognise the things that grieved me last week grieve me still... but this time of learning gave me much to think and feel my way through... and friendships were forged in its midst...


if church was more like A.A. would we turn up...?


returning, i shared something like the danger of confession of daily doubt with friends who feel the same way... made mutual commitment to weave with tenderness the kind of friendship where we don't pretend we're not scared by so much in our days... a stranger? no stranger moment full of quiet courageous intentionality...


...we cannot think our way out of feeling... to avoid emotion is like scaling the bare cliff face to avoid walking through the valley...


head home - midlake

no one seems to be around
today they must have all gone off
without me again
i think i'll head home
maybe i'll find them
gathered 'round my doorstep
oh to sleep in a comfortable bed
i think i'll head home
no one seems to be around
today they must have all gone off
without me again
i think i'll head home
i think i'll head home

bring me a day full of honest work
and a roof that never leaks
i'll be satisfied
bring me the news all about the town
how to struggles to help all the farmers out
during harvest time
well there's someone i'd like to see
she never mentions a word to me
she reads Leviathan
i think i'll head home


put your boots and courage on and run*


(*songs and lyrics by tim smith)

music is my hometown*

don't you just love it when little dots appear on the page...

your therapist excitedly recommends a band of which you've never heard. he says he's only just discovered them and their music has been making him think of you. he can't wait for you to hear them, because he knows beauty moves you, and he thinks you'll love it, and promises to lend you a cd on your next meeting. before that can happen, out of nowhere, one of your best friends sends you a compilation cd. track 13 is that very same band, Midlake. as i type i'm listening for the first time. and i do love it. instantly.

thanks jude. stunning compilation, babe. has improved the posture of my mood no end. :0) these tracks have made me grin within 4 bars and my feet dancing 'neath the table inside 8.


* from music is my hot hot sex by CSS, also in the mix.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


"You know, sometimes you look at me with longing... even though i am here with you."
"Maybe i'm sad - about WANTING you. i'm not too comfortable with wanting someone."

go on do yourself a favour: buy, borrow, beg, steal. get your winter mitts on this piece of sheer aching poignant sincere beauty. this came highly recommended from a couple of folks and exceeded my highest expectations.

a couple of hours indulgently spent reading this in one sitting in a warm cafe, while the high whining wind whipped it's way through the streets, could not have been more suited to the day that was in it, with its themes of memory, loss and longing...


craig thompson's website
publisher's website

nothing but a memory

after a seven month absence i returned yesterday and today to collect the last of my belongings and said a final goodbye to my old home. in a couple of weeks others will be moving in.

i stood on at the top of the garden and looked out over the fields one last time as a gale blew hard and in vain i tried to feel something other than emptiness... it was never the bricks and mortar, or that view, that made it home, it was what it contained that cannot be packed up in a box and moved, or perhaps what i thought it held...that was lost long ago...

i guess there's not much to say... somehow you learn how to bear goodbyes... and for once it was me that did the leaving... of the losses i carry in my pocket, this is not the heaviest...


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

shaking their fists

from josh ritter, his latest single...this week's free dowload at iTunes...

I became a thin blue flame

Polished on a mountain range
And over hills and fields I flew
Wrapped up in a royal blue
I flew over Royal City last night
A bullfighter on the horns of a new moon’s light
Caesar’s ghost I saw the war-time tides
The prince of Denmark’s father’s still and quiet
And the whole world was looking to get drowned
Trees were a fist shaking themselves at the clouds
I looked over curtains and it was then that I knew
Only a full house gonna make it through

I became a thin blue wire
That held the world above the fire
And so it was I saw behind
Heaven’s just a thin blue line
If God’s up there he’s in a cold dark room
The heavenly host are just the cold dark moons
He bent down and made the world in seven days
And ever since he’s been a’walking away
Mixing with nitrogen in lonely holes
Where neither seraphim or raindrops go
I see an old man wandering the halls alone
Only a full house gonna make a home

I became a thin blue stream
The smoke between asleep and dreams
And in that clear blue undertow
I saw Royal City far below
Borders soft with refugees
Streets a’swimming with amputees
It’s a Bible or a bullet they put over your heart
It’s getting harder and harder to tell them apart
Days are nights and the nights are long
Beating hearts blossom into walking bombs
And those still looking in the clear blue sky for a sign
Get missiles from so high they might as well be divine
Now the wolves are howling at our door
Singing bout vengeance like it’s the joy of the Lord
Bringing justice to the enemies not the other way round
They’re guilty when killed and they’re killed where they’re found
If what’s loosed on earth will be loosed up on high
It’s a Hell of a Heaven we must go to when we die
Where even Laurel begs Hardy for vengeance please
The fat man is crying on his hands and his knees
Back in the peacetime he caught roses on the stage
Now he twists indecision takes bourbon for rage
Lead pellets peppering aluminum
Halcyon, laudanum and Opium
Sings kiss thee hardy this poisoned cup
His winding sheet is busy winding up
In darkness he looks for the light that has died
But you need faith for the same reasons that it’s so hard to find
And this whole thing is headed for a terrible wreck
And like good tragedy that’s what we expect
At night I make plans for a city laid down
Like the hips of a girl on the spring covered ground
Spirals and capitals like the twist of a script
Streets named for heroes that could almost exist
The fruit trees of Eden and the gardens that seem
To float like the smoke from a lithium dream
Cedar trees growing in the cool of the squares
The young women walking in the portals of prayer
And the future glass buildings and the past an address
And the weddings in pollen and the wine bottomless
And all wrongs forgotten and all vengeance made right
The suffering verbs put to sleep in the night
The future descending like a bright chandelier
And the world just beginning and the guests in good cheer
In Royal City I fell into a trance
Oh it’s hell to believe there ain’t a hell of a chance

I woke beneath a clear blue sky
The sun a shout the breeze a sigh
My old hometown and the streets I knew
Were wrapped up in a royal blue
I heard my friends laughing out across the fields
The girls in the gloaming and the birds on the wheel
The raw smell of horses and the warm smell of hay
Cicadas electric in the heat of the day
A run of Three Sisters and the flush of the land
And the lake was a diamond in the valley’s hand
The straight of the highway and the scattered out hearts
They were coming together they pulling apart
And angels everywhere were in my midst
In the ones that I loved in the ones that I kissed
I wondered what it was I’d been looking for up above
Heaven is so big there ain’t no need to look up
So I stopped looking for royal cities in the air
Only a full house gonna have a prayer


Monday, January 08, 2007

viewed from a spire

the business district, toronto from cn tower, 31.12.06


for a bit of open source stargazing check out stellarium. thanks to Paul for the headzup on this one.



haven't listened to this one in ages and enjoyed a weekend revisit. no idea if i've ever mentioned it before but this is a top 10 album for me: stina nordenstam's 2nd album and she closed her eyes (1994). nothing else she has done has matched this for me but this shivers my spine every time. best played with the lights out in the colder half of the year... one of those albums that asks me for my undivided attention. you'll either love or hate her vocals. fragile, jazzy, tender, sexy as hell.


Friday, January 05, 2007

the path ahead

can't hear the words yet but this image of a cold, grey day in an ontario forest is saying something...

i saw a fridge magnet in toronto that read as follows,

i took the road less travelled
i don't know where i am!



Thursday, January 04, 2007

poems, prayers and promises

there are more pics to come but we're experiencing some technical glitches as i get my laptop life back in some kind of order. but needless to say, here's the first photo i took on my new digital camera while i was in ontario.


...i'm currently in mental and emotional rest mode and keeping stress levels as low as possible while i get over jet lag and settle back in... so today had a manageable little to-do list, which included getting my 'baby' back... she's more than a little empty but i've spent this evening starting to rebuild her...


my dinky hard drive, keith pratt (a little joke between me and the bro), is up and running and playing nice with iTunes. there's much to listen to, some familiar, some not so, some completely new to me. which brings me to a new feature for 2007...


::keith pratt's recommended listening:: (in other words, what LB is unapologetically listening to today)

we start with a fairly oldie but quite goodie -

take me home: a tribute to john denver by various artists. this was organised by mark koselek and is worth it for the sublime version of ::follow me:: by the innocence mission. deevine.
alternatively and perhaps betterly, just go back to the source. the rocky mountain collection is a good 2 CD best of john denver collection.

we listened to the latter several times at extended family gatherings. 'brother' sean told me this was his favourite music growing up and i was reminded of the lovely 'feeling' i get when i hear john d., which is something like cosy and airy at the same time.


someone told me a whiles back that when they travel they are the same as when they are at home. one of the universals hidden in that is that you can leave for escape or adventure, imagine oneself as someone else but i guess you are always 'you' wherever you are. i thought of that comment a lot while i was away. despite delays in luggage thanks to heathrow fog, my baggage arrived intact with me. and in some ways felt starker and more real when i was out of familiar territory. feelings of anxiety hung in balance with the overwhelming love.


words of wisdom to start off the new year:

take. one. day. at. a. time. (my father and step mother)
do what will make you happy. (my sister in law)
enjoy having space to create. let what you feel course through you and out of you in that space. keep turning up even when you think inspiration runs dry. just keep doing it. 'cause it's good for you. (my brother)
love. love. love. (my niece in waiting - who the doctor thinks is gonna keep us waiting for her arrival)


sing the whole day through...


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

it all feels so familiar

not moments after i posted my jan 1st blurb, mir came into the kitchen singing U2's new year's day, or more specifically, just "all is quiet".

this will be brief.

i am home at the mullingson commune.
i've been up for some like 32 hours and i am knackered. but i'm bathed and in fresh clothes which is a relief.
some of the ladeez are due to call any moment for food and board games and chat.
keli and i have been doing some light housework while listening to mark koselk live and drinking white russians.

i'll be getting my laptop back tomorrow and normal service will resume.


Monday, January 01, 2007

all is quiet...

Happy New Year.

ewan, mir, dad and i said goodbye to 2006 at a height of 351 metres above the ground in the revolving 'restaurant 360' up in the CN tower, the tallest building in the world. the tower was shrouded in cloud but high winds cleared much of it as the night progressed and we had great views of the city below us. rocketing up in the elevator ride (travelling at a rate of 2 floors a second) is always a bit freaky but rising up into thick cloud was definitely so. it took several minutes and the help of a strong white russian to find my legs again and stop feeling the movement of the floor as we revolved. but the restaurant is incredible and it has won me over every time. it did so again. we had an amazing meal, incredible wines, and a bottle of champagne at midnight. a guy in the same section as us serenaded and then proposed on one knee to his girlfriend about half eleven and everyone cheered when she accepted. the men were given gold top hots and the women got showgirl tiaras with plumes of feathers and every table got party blowers and other noise making 'instruments'. it was hard to judge exactly when 12 o'clock hit, such was the raucous noise being made for the last couple of minutes of the old year but we saw a firework go off and decided that was our permission to welcome in the new year.

so it's january first and i'm sitting beside my new portable hard drive which now has a generous dose of music on it to bring home. tom vek and alan partridge are waiting to load and then we is done.

i began this morning by watching bill hicks: live but my father sat down with a bowl of cereal so i switched it off, thus wiping a rather distressed look off my brother's face. hicks plus parents is not a good combination, especially over breakfast. bill believed advertising was 'pornography to sell shit' and in this set was just beginning to describe the "perfect advert". i've left my dad watching mr bean.

so, this is our last full day in canada. we're gonna chill out with dvd's on the sofa and perhaps have a dander in the record breaking warm weather. it's 9 degrees and sunny. this has been a great couple of weeks. i've eaten loads, drunk loads and had a lot of laughs. it'll be sad to say goodbye to ewan and mir but i'm looking forward to seeing the belfast crew on my return.

2007 will begin with many changes for us all. the sale of the cottage completes, i get my studio to paint and mess about in, i need to find work and decide where i gonna live longer term, and best of all, ewan and mir will welcome their baby into the world.

all kinda feels like riding up in that elevator...

LB, x