Friday, 29 April 2011


What happens when I stop?
The tinnitus rings
The words run around my head
I slob out
I waste time
I worry about my present
And my future
Even the cat is bored

Friday, 22 April 2011

Going under the hood

If you can get past the dodgy leather jacket, here is another cracking Sunday Sermon from the School of Life on the unconscious.  Enjoy!

David Eagleman on Being Yourselves

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Nearly 6 month review

My plan when I started this adventure was to set an intention (find my work) and see what happened in the space I created.  To avoid too scary a void and in a spirit of exploration I embarked on a number of different strands that interested me.  What actually happened is that I filled my time, albeit with much more rewarding activity, almost as much as when I was in a job I hated.  And that sense of being open to possibility and exploring slowly started to fade away and the 'what is my work?' question kept creeping back.  The idea that we each have a vocation if only we can discover it is incredibly appealing.  Chasing it doesn't work.  I've tried (too hard, no doubt) a lot of different approaches to find the answer.  None of them have worked in any meaningful way.  So it's back to my original plan.  Stop trying so hard.  Relax - the hardest of all, and the most necessary to open and receive.

I've recently discovered the work of David Whyte.  He talks about developing a relationship, a conversation, with the unknown.  I find this really helpful.  To understand that all will not reveal itself fully formed but that we need to allow for the unknown and proceed anyway, trying to take that first small step, close in, to continue the conversation.       

START CLOSE IN (by David Whyte)
Start close in,
don't take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
close in,
the step
you don't want to take.
Start with
the ground
you know,
the pale ground
beneath your feet,
your own
way of starting
the conversation.
Start with your own
give up on other
people's questions,
don't let them
smother something
To find
another's voice,
your own voice,
wait until
that voice
becomes a
private ear
to another.
Start right now
take a small step
you can call your own
don't follow
someone else's
heroics, be humble
and focused,
start close in,
don't mistake
that other
for your own.
Start close in,
don't take
the second step
or the third,
start with the first
close in,
the step
you don't want to take.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

On top of Mulhacen

On top of Mulhacen me by benandhomer
On top of Mulhacen me, a photo by benandhomer on Flickr.

This was taken over 5 years ago. I want another moment like this. Before the year is out.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

A poet's view

Start close in,
don't take
the second step
or the third,
start with the first
close in,
the step
you don't want to take.

(David Whyte - extract from "Start Close In")

Cardiff not Cornwall

Janet Cardiff's sound installation 40 Part Motet is at Brighton's Fabrica Gallery until the end of May.  I have started to go every time I'm in town; after a singing workshop, on my lunch break.  There's something very moving at a gut level in hearing 40 beautiful human voices in a piece of such purity and wonder.  There are 40 speakers arranged around the space, each carrying a separate voice.  You can stand in the middle or walk around or stand close to one voice, or two.  Between 'performances' Cardiff has recorded the background chat of the performers.  My favourite is two choir boys talking about their watches.

I'm not a religious person but when I hear sounds like these I'm both humbled and proud to be a human being, to belong to a species capable of creating work of profound joy and wonder.


Thursday, 7 April 2011

A Gratitude List

My black cat Ben
Unexpected blossom
Warm tufty grass
The promise of a glass or two
A day off