Waffle: to Sort

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a new kind of light

inspired by all of the souls I’ve had the pleasure to meet this year.

Charge up all you stars shining on bright,
Give me to life,
One never known but cared for lying awake at night,
I love your light,
Burn out my soul,
As is taken too much,
Of what I don’t have to give,
Please let me live,
Please let me live,
I’ve given grace to all I can,
Leave me be as my own man,
Broken and twisted by all I’ve seen,
Surviving the overdose,
Of my own dreams,
Forced into my face,
At breakneck speed.

Still I delight, delight in the night.
Darkening my vision,
Shadowing sight.

Yet I don’t understand, how the logic is wrong,
When the maths of my feelings are theoretically strong,
And hell I think that the truth of all lyrics have volume,
But only in song,
Or also on prose,
That talk of sweet friendly birds on our shoulders,
And heartfelt dreams as we talk to each other,
In body and soul,
At the end of the day treating all not ourself cold,
And sometimes we save chills at our actions,
Beg to be the better being,
Or individual pieces more than we seem.

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Wind was blowing in via the passenger door window and the sun shone down across the dash in waves. It didn’t dazzle me, I was too preoccupied with the opportunity to continue conversing in something that qualified as standard communication. Hedgerows of the brightest green rolled past outside the car, and I watched them run past. Nature’s own very beautiful Doppler effect.

My knees were a little too present, I hadn’t realised just how long it had been since I’d given them due attention. All being said, I was most comfortable. I could have been five again, on a run to Portrush for the day, everything intensely bold, delightful and exciting. A memory to file strictly towards the front of the library.

Whilst I usually converged on the back seat for a trip which involved ice-cream, dinner or some other equally positive event – I was all the same feeling once more like a child. The doors had handles, but without any real attempt (though sick with curiosity) to check I knew they would not operate for me.

I’d just passed the border into Desertmartin when reality began to take hold.

My driver was three years my junior, pleasant and enjoyed the mountain air. Humans are odd creatures, egos roaming freely inside their heads twenty four/seven, though occasionally released to torment the other ungodly forms that the universal energies reflect into their control rooms. It wasn’t hard to stay pleasant. All was well.

These shapes had a lot in common with me. For one, they’d be spending the bulk of their Saturday on the road, not in one location – though I had plans upon landing at my desired destination to find a chair and mould it with all my strength into a bastion of serenity. They had arms, heads, mouths and the ability to speak. I was entranced. People good of nature are hard to come by, and I knew I was travelling away and not towards the majority of the ones I knew of.

Suddenly ideas started screaming and swooping around me, colours flicked into my vision – I wished the poor bastards driving could see them. It probably was for the best they didn’t. I grabbed for a pen, for paper, before realising that now was not the time. Quickly I changed the subject to sport and leaned back as I listened to the crowded buzz of the mountainside fading behind me.

All was lost to me. I had to keep cool.

Extravagant politeness was my only real weapon at hand to stop the two bounty hunters in the front seat from becoming aware of the beast roaring in the seat beside me. I fed it a song and with one strong swipe it almost took my arm off. I had to think fast. Extreme measures. But what? Soothing discussion would have been perfect, but no one wants to look back and see someone with pearly knees poking through ripped jeans and a combat hat chatting into the silence. Not with a smile like mine. Jesus. No, that would have been wrong. I didn’t need a mirror to know that there would have been something inhuman meeting the eyes of these two good people.

They didn’t need that, haunting them for the day. Or maybe only seconds before being forgotten. Who knows how much they really cared? Maybe they were like me. Inhospitable emotional holes from which there is no escape. I’d given up trying to rationally quantify my internal morality. Probably my fingers were unable to count it out because it wasn’t there. It would certainly explain why I was in the back of this car trying desperately to figure out at which point the patterns in the chaos had converged on me once more. There was no explaining it. Though I was fixed on one moment, one choice…

Distance in the end saved me. My elbows were allowed to touch the sunshine as I was let from the car with a tip of my hat and a fair assessment of the situation. They asked if I would be alright. I thought it a very strange thing to ask. I wanted to exchange with them my knowledge of solar flares and neutrinos, of entropy. I wanted to tell them that I worried about them more than perhaps they realised.

They’d be fine, they were about to put miles between us – have dinner and live long and happy lives. If the chaos lets them.

I took stock of the situation whilst breathing in the fine country air. It was good to stand up. Dancing was an option, but I’d save it as a prize on safe arrival at my domain.

Pre-season had started, but I didn’t yet know what game I was playing. Should have read the contract. There was no need to dive in. Maybe it was water based? Competition of the strong, or perhaps a game of wits?

Peace consumed me.

I’d learn the rules soon enough.

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It has been a while since I’ve properly written something coherently personal on here. Truth be told I haven’t really felt like I had anything much to say over the last two months other than to make work updates. This year has been full of interesting entanglements, it’s been pretty hectic, and in among these memories are a few that have unfortunately upset the plans that I had set down for 2011. Honestly I’ve felt hollowed out, lacking purpose – emotionally blank.

Smiles from April on have been few and far between for the most part, outside of the soaring highs of seeing And So I Watch You From Afar triumphantly see their second album through to roaring fruition, seeing A Northern Light pressing forwards with their new recordings, Pat Dam Smyth releasing his amazingly touching album – as well as Mojofury finally delivering the album we all know they were capable of and of course the beautiful Pigstock Music Festival at the end of May.

Today though my mood has changed and I can see more than just that sonic light that shines on my horizon when times appear dim, I can’t help but think myself incredibly lucky as I sit with a gaggle of my closest friends and a few new souls who have just crossed my door. These are good people. I’ve always been in awe of how what we want is so similar, and that we want to achieve it together. Our backgrounds are many but the aims we hold close to our hearts are the ones that have always contented my soul…

To love, to fight for each other continuously until unified we need fear nothing. These words may appear superficial, meaningless jumbles of thought that have no physical merit, but I assure you my smile would not be here if I did not believe these feelings and ideas to be right and true. I trust that. I trust how I feel.

For all of the mistrust of other people’s intentions, negativity and sadness that I have harbored in the past three months, left looking at shapes I once saw as familiar which appear to me as now, nothing but empty shadows – I am reassured that there is still so much worth fighting for. It’s still glittering there, maybe a little tarnished but still solid at its core.

Friends, music, recording the paths of these shining beings as they skirt across us, lighting up our minds and our souls. I truly believe that we can help change the world here in Northern Ireland through our actions. It’s happening in other places too of course, we need only reach out and see that we are not alone in our little lives. Perhaps setbacks of the perceived master-plan are healthy, from this new blood can rise, new ideas. We can gather ourselves together and carry each other up in new, stronger manners. Who knows what may be born fresh from the severest darkness that we experience.

This is our machine.

How often I have said that. It never sounds like it doesn’t belong. My dreams of a world drenched in love are cradled in it, and I will do anything in my power to see that what that statement means continues to reach out to people. To show them that love rather than fear will create a world we can all be proud of. Even if it only fosters here, for now, at least by never giving up we can hopefully inspire others to do more in our stead.

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A short update on the Pigstock Music Festival over the weekend there, I’m still in sausage-bap recovery mode. The entire set will no doubt be up inside the next day or so.

Bomb City 7 invoked the ancient rite (riot) of the stage invasion early on Friday.

Axis Of tore the place a new one despite the gathering clouds.

Friday evening’s headliner And So I Watch You From Afar, attacked the crowd through pouring rain to much jubilation, repeating the performance quality that so clearly has run from their recent album launch right through their tour.

The Rupture Dogs (and their counterparts, The Rupture Pups) were one of the highlights of Saturday mid-afternoon.

Deliriously wonderful singer-songwriter Dolbro Dan took stage to a soaking wet late afternoon, but those who were brave enough of heart were given plenty of enjoyment from his lyrical goodness.

…and of course, nothing could say “begorah we’re tired but yet ready to get back to Belfast to laugh at wired Ewoks” than a good oul’ group photo.

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Despite still being under the weather (thank you bug du stomach) for almost a week now I found myself in the comforting atmosphere of the Catalyst Arts Centre with the likes of Andrew Train and Eoin McGinn – who were showcasing some of their recent works – as well as singers Donal Scullion and Rachel Austin.

The first of the Pretty Circus events to be held there, hopefully this will be the start of a Summer filled with mixed art/music showcases.

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The entire set of photos will be up in the gallery later on this evening, but for now here’s a little teaser of the rest of their set.

Much love.

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…last night was all the affirmation needed about just how much And So I Watch You From Afar’s particular brand of noise effects the faithful.

Community, love, solidarity.

I hope the world takes heed.

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Tomorrow sees the continuation of my exhibition I’ve Yet To Look, But I Hear Good Things, hosted over at the wonderful little coffee shop, Molly’s Parlour of Lisburn.

It will be on show until the 21st of May, so if you’re in the area definitely give it a quick peek.

Throughout the month there will be a few musicians also showcasing themselves, as well as a few nights relating directly to the exhibition itself. As these take shape I’ll be posting them up here.

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Jonny McKee will be hosting a few drinks and a barbecue at his house next Friday in the run up to And So I Watch You From Afar’s album launch.

…so we thought we’d have a laugh to go along with it.

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Many thanks to everyone tonight for coming down to enjoy some tasty music and have a quick scan of the ‘I’ve Yet To Look, But I Hear Good Things’ photography exhibition. It went times better than I was genuinely hoping for and it was nice to see plenty of faces that I’d been away from for a while.

The exhibit will be running at Love & Death Inc on Anne Street until this Friday, where it will then move across to the Crescent Arts Centre for the A Northern Light, Intermission, Chris Campbell & Paper Boats and Linebacker Dirge gig for the evening before – all being well, moving to Lisburn.

Thoughts are still being pooled on that one – and I’m absolutely enthused by the feedback and general response from everyone. As you may imagine I couldn’t keep my hands off of the camera during the evening, but there were plenty of people down snapping away so hopefully there are plenty of other photos knocking about over the course of the next few days.

…and a photo by Alan C. Beck of two rather odd looking fellows, looking at photos.

If anyone can guess who they are, they win nothing.

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