Push n pull

You feel it don’t you? That magnetism beneath and within your material body. That indescribable, subtle feeling that you can’t put your finger on, but its effects are very much felt and witnessed. I feel it. Because it is so subtle and intangible, it gives me the illusion that nothing can be done about this unidentified cause of feeling. It’s the subjective battlefield we all are fighting on and this war cannot be won on the dense, physical plane. This conflict will only be resolved on the plane of intelligence; the mental wrestling of our internal, subjective turmoil. It is separate from any other’s war, but believe me, the effects of this internal, spiritual, if you will, will be felt, seen and experienced in our conscious physical life.

I have found creativity to be a tool to help instill a balance to this inner turmoil. The whole process of creativity, if you think about it, is incredible, beautiful and symbolic. The process of creativity itself is peppered with analogous concepts of life and evolution. Art and creativity then becomes something more than just a pleasing, objective expression. If done “correctly” (and I use this term loosely, as I believe there is no such thing as “correct” art or a “correct” expression) and if the mind is involved equally as much as the mechanical motions to objectively create art, it becomes a tool for healing, and with the risk of sounding like an acid-dropping hippie, a means to expand our individual consciousness and this, I believe, adds (or detracts) to the collective human consciousness.

I like to think of creativity as a form of purposeful, intentional activity; activity with a purpose. I have various tools or outlets for my creativity and each one has various effects and results. My main outlets for creativity are reading, writing, photography and music.
Is reading creative? I guess that depends on how and what you read. Reading is more associated with entertainment, but I say it too can be creative. I have found each one of these outlets work efficiently in different times for different means. I have found in periods of inactivity reading works best. I find myself like a sponge, drawing in on other’s perception and understanding – something to challenge my thought and understanding. I find when I am ready and filled with this external inspiration and aspiration my other tools are at the ready to help me comprehend and objectively and creatively have my artistic say of the condition of my personal internal struggle.

As some of you know I thoroughly enjoy writing my piece of mind, and there are periods where that facet of me is inactive, such as it has been recently. The focus of my expression has shifted lately and my photographic facet has taken over. I have paid attention to my photography, slowly improving my craft as well as finding my own unique expression within this art form.
So I decided to create a new blog; A new life for my photography. I felt it unfair to try fit all expressions within this blog as this blog has evolved into a life of its own and I fully intend to keep on exploring it. For those of you who are interested in my photographic side of my expression, please do visit my site and follow. It is still in its infancy and will hopefully grow and flourish as this blog has done. I’m feeling a change too, so I am looking at revamping this blog and giving it a new look and feel.

If you are interested, please check out my new photography blog and portfolio here.

May you all identify when life pushes and pulls you and make the choice right for you, because there is no right and wrong only consequences. Such is the duality of cause and effect, a concept we cannot escape in this material life. Try ride life’s crests and troughs best you can…

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What it’s like

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You want to know what it’s like?

The majority of musicians love what they do. It is a lifestyle and more often than not, a labour of love. Most of them didn’t study it in any kind of traditional way. They might have taken lessons for a few years, probably back in high school, but mostly they continue playing out of love. It is an outlet for expression and just because they couldn’t afford to study music at a University level does not mean that that door should be closed.
They found other like-minded and like-inspired musicians who shared their passion and love. Despite going though different phases, bands and friends, they continued to pursue their craft. But it had to be a hobby for the majority of them.
Why?
There is a host of different answers for a host of different people. The majority of musicians had to get jobs outside their passion. Some jobs took preference over their love, whether briefly or for an extended period of time. Some of them fell behind never to play again, save for a few informal jams, but I can assure you, the love and passion still burns for many of them regardless of how intense.
The rest soldiered on to find new forms for their expression. New bands were formed and bands disappeared, only to show up in new forms and so on and so on until they found a group of people who shared an ideal and understood where their love of music resided and what it truly meant for them.
Maybe this group of like-minded, like-inspired musicians all have had to take full-time jobs. Jobs that don’t necessarily always allow the time for band practice or even personal practice. Maybe some even struggled to find a job and had an income below minimum wage.

Imagine you were part of this group of musicians and had to find a place to rehearse, because neighbourhood garages and living rooms were too loud for the neighbours to bare.
Maybe this rehearsal room costs a couple hundred bucks for a few hours of rehearsal AND writing new material.
Maybe one practice a week isn’t enough.
Maybe band practice twice a week isn’t enough and you need to have a personal, quiet time practice by yourself. Maybe that costs money too.
Maybe you broke strings, skins and shed too much wood and have had to pay for the upkeep of your instruments.
Maybe your equipment runs the risk of getting stolen from time to time and you are unable to afford insurance.
Maybe you land a gig and it is the most exciting thing, because you get to bare your souls to an audience. Or so you hope. You hope for an audience to listen and like your creative expressions. You also hope that they like you enough to come to another show, in hopes to build a fan base to help relieve some of the financial burden. So you market and advertise for your shows in the capacity you can with the hope that you can get a good attendance.
Why?
Because it costs you to play at a night club. Venues want to see money, even though all you and the band/s really cares about is a heart-felt, passionate performance which the attended can (hopefully) appreciate.
So what happens when there is a poor attendance?
You and the band/s (about 3 bands per show) pay in however much you didn’t make from your puny R20/R30 cover charge. A “successful” night would be if you made (anything.) over a grand at the door (after deductions from club/engineers/door staff/etc.). That’s a little over R300 PER band.
That one gig, that took weeks of practice and rehearsal, over and above full days of work, only succeeded in paying for ONE practice.
Maybe your band has a few songs ready to be immortalized in a recording. How much is that going to cost? Well whatever it is going to cost, a percentage is more than likely going to come out of your band’s pocket.
Why?
Because you love what you do.
Are you making any money?
Fuck no, but does that mean you have to stop doing it?
Maybe. Maybe eventually.
Do you want to?
FUCK NO!
What if your band is lucky enough to land a sweet gig, but the organizers say: “We’d love to have you on the bill, but we are unable to sponsor or pay you/for you. You going to have to find your own way.”

The majority of musicians have jobs and much of the time it is difficult to do some of the things that are required from a band, extraneous from performing, practicing and writing.
Why not get a manager?
Cos we can’t necessarily afford to pay for two practices a week, pay for upkeep of instruments, finance a decent recording and play shows too poorly attended to be paid.
Maybe because of the poorly attended show the venue gets annoyed because you didn’t bring in the numbers you hoped for.
Maybe clubs stop doing live music because it doesn’t bring in the money.
Maybe there are only a few places left that have live music…

True musicians and artists are not necessarily concerned with money. They are concerned with the expression of their craft as an individual and as a group. They care for the platform for their expression because they need it, because it is part of life itself and that platform is mostly concerned with money because in these times money is the savior of all and without it they will not be safe.

That’s what it’s like. I do what I do because I love it, so I will do what I love to my capacity. If one can’t even do that, then what is the point of doing anything?
I do know that with more helping hands the burden will be lighter.

 

P.S  This is written purely from my experience in my local alternative rock scene in Cape Town, South Africa, although I am sure there are others around the world who can relate.

Tis the season…

I was asked what I would like for Christmas.
I shrugged my shoulders in silence, but my heart confessed loudly:

I want to share an electric night-time kiss
and see it shimmy on the water’s surface.
I want to feel the pull of her gaze on my eyes in a full room,
yet she is the only one I see.
I want to feel the spark of that touch that sets off every landmine under my skin
As if I were Braille and her fingertips read exactly the way I feel.
I want to see her thoughts in pictures
so I can decorate my mind’s wall with frames of her.
I want to lock hands like lips
and speak pieces of ourselves,
filling each other like red balloons
purposely let go by the hand of a child that knows only how to love.
I want to feel a delicate hand over the humming-bird beneath my chest,
that somehow calms me, yet causes the beating wings to beat even harder
yearning for escape
and it does.
I want to open the ribs of my cage and let the choruses of starlings sing,
just so the world around me can hear what love really sounds like.
I want that sound to infect others
like I was an un-zombie, kissing bits of humanity back into you.
And all this I want for everyone.

My mouth then opened and I replied:
“I would like a notebook to scribble down my thoughts.”

Wishing all the followers and occasional readers the safest and merriest of festivities as the year draws to an end. The bestest of wishes for you all.

Merriest Christmas (or however you like to celebrate the last days of the year)

The Observing Vessel

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Shine

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This weekend I dived into fists full of dirt and wind.
When I opened them I sensed glistening flecks of gold.
When I opened my eyes I realized I was one of them.
We all spoke,
blowing away more of the dirt.
The words spilt like water,
washing over us,
running down our golden bodies
And as dawn broke, we sat in the hands of the lake.
The light caught us and we all shone.