Self Love

  1. If Love Could Pass 22/10/18

 

If love could pass through photographs

I’d venture back to film

For an age I have been left unchanged

Since first I broke in two

 

Maybe I would grow up brighter

Maybe I would grow up brave

If I could salvage long lost arts

Maybe I’d not be this way

 

I can’t remember seventeen

How was I in the mood

So long since I could fall three times

And hardly see a bruise

 

Now I’m hurting with each step

I’m faking and I falter

Harsh words and thoughts hypertrophy

The shell around my yolk

 

In a corner cast in shadow

Far from any edge of eye

I press into a photograph

And blur my size and sight

 

It’s warm out in the grey

I pass on won’ts for why’s

Truth rocks up for the solo

But company lets me try

 

If love could pass through photographs

I’d venture back to film

But since I found this mirror *sigh*

Maybe this will do

 

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Sunday Musings and Reflections

It’s about 9.45pm and as I write this I don’t feel ready to call it a day. I said I’d take it easy for the bad headache. Ah, I’ve very little to show for today apart from these small achievements and precious moments, which, truthfully in the end, add up to something special;

  • Getting a full eight hours sleep
  • Completing my full morning routine including meditation and exercise
  • Writing scribbles and new ideas for songs I haven’t finished yet
  • Managing to submit a 5 minute contribution for a compulsory pathology discussion
  • Practicing guitar home alone in the bathroom where the acoustics feel the best
  • Spending time at Grandad’s and Popo’s

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An evaluation:

Some of these activities I was fully engrossed in, I assure you the path discussion contribution was one, and yet some I only began to appreciate in hindsight as I began writing this journal entry. I’m distracted most of these days and so here’s the conclusion I’ve come to: I’m not doing what I NEED to do. Maybe I need to move out, maybe I need to socialise more, maybe I need to share more of my creative content or maybe I’m just not making or learning enough stuff. Whatever, I know it’s prevented me from putting my whole heart into my actions of late and this is for me a saddening reality. To the extent that I don’t even offer sincere gratitude to my relatives when they cook delicious meals that have me well fed, I say little in social spaces and am afraid to acknowledge those I recognise, simply because I’m uncomfortable staring. Accumulating these negative approaches in confined time frames and spaces has me going mad inside and leaves an unhealthy external manifestation of cold and glassy blankness in my face and posture…BUT THIS IS FIXABLE! By working to improve these things one step at a time, I can overcome my inhibitions. I know it… Somehow related to watching Kevin Abstract – at his shows (where he’s most confident) engaging in strong crowd participation, watching his creative process or share his origin story… it all makes me want to do amazing things, constantly, one after the other and to DREAM BIG. He branches out beyond music. Like Dev Hynes (Blood Orange), HE DOES WHATEVER HE’S CUROUS ABOUT. HE GOES FOR IT AND IT DOESN’T MATTER when he fails cos he keeps getting back up again and PUSHING ON, leaving a trail of hard losses AND HUGE WINS, all the while amassing his own personal growth, life experience and energy enough to make the amazing things in his head his future. his destiny.

Beyond:

I’VE BEEN SO PASSIVE FOR MOST OF MY LIFE IT’S TIME I BECAME THE HERO I NEEDED. If I could combat and overcome my biggest challenges and document, share and project how I do that out into the world at max volume in authentic, unique and captivating ways, all the hardship, all the struggles, the angst, uncertainty and loneliness I experience in the short term would be worth it. What are my struggles? Who can I empower? The anxious individual. he needs a leg up. To live for one’s self  instead of for the sake of others. IT’S GOOD TO BE GUIDED BUT NOT CONTROLLED; EVERYBODY NEEDS TO LET THEIR LIVES SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES FIRST AND OTHERS SECOND. Self love and whole-hearted living. It’s easy to live a hard life but hard to live an easy life; the latter, in which you live and breathe loving kindness for yourself and subsequently others is so hard but so fucking important and precious and in demand. Just the tip of the iceberg; I have to address how to deal with toxic waste in the forms of habits and beliefs, people I mix with, places and ideas, COMPARISON etc… I have to figure out the authentic and unique way to send out these messages (through trial and error, ie less thinking, more doing). There are heaps of people I can think of both near and far from me that I think I can help, but how can I? By getting off my ass. The editing process for any work I do should be 1) Do it for me – something I can benefit from 2) Revise so friends benefit 3) Revise for haters; so they listen.

I feel a duty of care and I feel the weight every time I run away from it. It hurts so much I get blinded and overwhelmed…sedated by it. Feels like that almost every day; losing sight of the bigger picture when I go back to uni. lectures. Getting lost in micro till it starts polluting macro, for eg: this month I’ve gotten caught up over whether or not I’ll get to take a gap year next year. Whether or not my grades by the end of the year will allow it. Pressure of exams. pressure…I see it all as a big problem but I’ve come to realise it isn’t because the end goal for me isn’t getting the gap year. It’s learning how to deal with what I’ve got and to thrive with it instead of survive. (yep, the human game has changed.) So if I have to repeat year 3 of uni, it’s not shameful, I haven’t failed. I can’t feel dejected or demoralised because the focus for me, without question is How can I learn to thrive right now? Keeping this in mind as frequently as possible and engaging with the question just as often will be the reason I succeed in the game, the game I’M CHOOSING to play.

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LESSONS to be learned from the week:

  1. If you find someone that’s giving you nice eye contact attractive then introducing yourself to them’s a must
  2. To say VOLUNTEERING is rewarding, humbling and a gift received on both ends is an understatement; get involved asap
  3. Change your approach to journal writing; when you start focusing on the problem, switch to the solution. This entry shows benefits of doing so
  4. Read Michael Mosley and take charge of your eating choices
  5. Bad experiences can still add lots of value to your life IF you allow them to; try and see the positives and how they can help you live better today
  6. Write a list of reasons you can place love and trust in yourself for when you’re overcome by self doubt. Review and reinforce it.
  7. Smile if something makes you want to smile; love what you want to love and own and nurture your values and beliefs so that they shine bright enough for everyone near and far to see

Highlights/Top consumptions for the week:

  • Watching ‘Imagine’ with Chester
  • Chats with Liv
  • Singing prac and playing guitar in bathroom
  • investing time in curating a good outfit
  • Going out even if I’m not feeling it
  • Bright Thinking
  • Mental Health Summit in Mathers House and Mindspeak at Hobart Brewing
  • Models by Mark Manson
  • Brockhampton noisey,reddit,LikeAVersion,RogerVee
  • AlfoMedia
  • The Social Animal – David Brooks
  • Medivision
  • Getting a bowl cut. thanks Ma
  • Productive study in the library
  • Being present around friends at uni
  • Dissect season 3: oh Frank ❤ ❤ ❤
  • Dr Who
  • St Vincent – Mass Education

Tapping into Artistry with Character

Thinking about the characters I play in my songs. In my latest “Keep Me” (tentatively titled), I’m a child; afraid and insecure. In “Evermore Lost” my emotions are desperation and sadness, feeling lost. In “TDDM” I’m optimistic, grateful, older and wiser. “Shapes” shows a determination in me but also a naivety and an endearing, cringeworthy tackiness. In “Room of Blues” I’m bitter and wounded, in “All to Me” I’m wistful/melancholic and in “Here, Now” I’m a frustrated complainer.

The over arching themes across this small first batch of songs I’ve completed in over a little more than a year are perhaps depicting a typical youth with typical angsts and bouts of loneliness and depressed moods. I can’t help but get a sense that underneath all these songs there’s an underlying verse that’s saying “You’re hurt and afraid, and you’re afraid of this continuing but what are you going to do about it?”…

When I think of great artists, ones that immediately come to mind are the American “boyband” Brockhampton, Lorde and of course Frank Ocean. The characters they play and the personas they embody in their work carry with them such a strong sense of identity I can’t help but have my attention fixated whenever they release another act to their story. We’ll start with Frank, who seems mature but also prone to mistakes; his songs discuss his all-too-human shortcomings and feelings but his elliptical songwriting and angelic voice add a deeper layer of artistic complexity to his character that immediately elevates him from a two-dimensional artist singing about heartbreak and fame to one that people can connect with on a more intimate level. Funnily enough, despite this deeper capacity for connection his songs portraying his intellectual capacity make him enigmatic thereby also putting distance between him and the listener. For this reason I find Frank even more intriguing and I can’t help but want to delve deeper into the worlds he creates in his music.

That’s really the point of this essay; good artists convey characters that audiences can connect with. The more in depth and multifaceted the character is (in most cases), the stronger the connection. For further examples, I’ll briefly touch on Lorde and Brockhampton. Lorde burst out into the global music scene in her mid teens and gave off an image that broadcasted ‘talent beyond her years’; for songs like Royals and Tennis Court, she was labeled a prodigy. Being able to condense a vast amount of detailed imagery and stories of the teenage experience into an album is no easy feat by any standard yet here Ella was able to do so at the age of 16 or whatever, flowing from dramatist to goth in a heartbeat, her voice can become high-pitched and witchy (in the most adorable way) to young and afraid and then to old. I love that dichotomy. It authentically depicts the volatility in teenage emotions; how fiercely protective of themselves they can be one moment and the next, see them breaking down on the bathroom floor.

Brockhampton comprises of 14 members who express themselves through various mediums, including music, film and fashion. Overall their some-what rags-to-riches rise to stardom gives me an intense feeling of excitement and joy that I associate with the band but my feelings are less to do with the fame and more to do with their devotion towards attaining it. These were 14 average kids, and it was their big dreams and faith in one another that propelled them into where they are today; having released four albums in the space of 15 months and having amassed a diverse and dedicated fanbase. Part of the reason for this is due to what this band is trying to champion; founding member of the band, Kevin Abstract grew up having to face bullying, isolation, racism and homophobia. His aim for the band is to normalise stigmatised groups in pop culture and be a hero to anyone made to feel a social outcast. Each member of the hip-hop collective sings and/or raps in a way that is openly honest about topics such as depression and self harm. At times they are intense or even frightening but to balance that out their optimism and genuineness with their fanbase is what will win any listener over. If not that, their sheer audacity and hard work ethic they display in order to achieve their dreams will as it is just so inspiring for myself and thousands of other young artists.

Maybe you don’t agree with some of the points I’ve made in this essay but the purpose of all this was to express how important I think it is to develop your own sense of self in your artwork, which in turn bleeds into who you are as a person. So many people are afraid to show more of themselves to others or even discover for themselves what it means to be their own unique self. I know I personally struggle with these insecure feelings every day but that is perhaps why I value the role artists play in my life. They are able to boldly and unapologetically show their unique selves off to the rest of the world and simultaneously do great things in the process. That inspires me to want to be myself and celebrate that.

The characters and emotions artists like Frank, Lorde and Brockhampton express, act like extensions of the human beings behind the art. Perhaps their art is them and they are their art. And as much as I admire them, see myself fit inside them, I cannot be them, even if I’d like to pretend. What makes them special is their ability to expose these sides of themselves consistently through their work; that comes from them not trying to be like anyone else, but from holding and honing themselves; leaning into their fears and insecurities; making their edges more clearly cut and pronounced but also more clearly nuanced with time. Diving deeper into what makes them unique through their values and beliefs and how they’re manifested or related to their actions. I want to develop this ability. I’d like my work to better embody who I am as a person. So far I’ve mostly expressed the typical angstiness of youths, the anxiety and insecurity. But there’s so much more, so much optimism and energy inside me that I need to express. I’m not any less of an artist or human; just like them I am multifaceted, I am complex, I have stories to tell and wisdom to impart. My voice through songwriting can become more authentic perhaps by being more autobiographical and specific; the generality of TDDM or Shapes make it seem like they could’ve been written by anybody (but I wrote them). Keep Me is on the way to being specific and autobiographical but not as much as Frank’s Self Control, Lorde’s Liability or Brockhampton’s Weight. However I know there is a place for every individual and a receptive audience for every individual’s art. It’s my job to keep myself polished so I can find them.

Evermore Lost

Well we sat down in a diner on a Saturday night

Despite the comfort food you weren’t feeling quite right

The sound of sisters giggling over Fast Car lyrics

Was your little head silencing those words?

You seemed in a different space

Could have broken down and left no trace

 

Could he bring you back in a second?

Every time I hear his voice there is no question

Tie up all the loose ends end your sentences

I’d give up all I had

To bring him right back

But is that something evermore lost?

Is that something evermore lost?

 

Won’t you tell me what you want so I can get it?

Seeing you this way is something so wrong

You’re my inspiration when I’m at my limit

You’re the reason I have made it here so long

All I’ve ever done, all I’m yet to do

Much of this it came from listening to you

 

But could he bring you back in a second?

Every time I hear his voice there is no question

Tie up all the loose ends end your sentences

I’d give up all I had

To bring him right back

But is that something evermore lost?

Is that something evermore lost?

 

I’ve felt the wind blow cold through streets when I’m cut loose

I’ve seen shadows looming large in old photos

Neglected like an apple that’s been badly bruised

I’ve waited long enough for one to hold

 

Could he ever bring you back in a second?

When I hear his voice there’s no question

Tie up all the loose ends end your sentences

I’d give up all I had

To bring him right back

But is that something evermore lost?

Could it be something evermore lost?

 

Evermore Lost 31/3/18

 

 

Barrier (Pete’s song)

Rude shirts

Biggie with the schmole

Elbow fives

I remember them all

Crab apple raps

Christmas trees on dance floors

Ukrainian boots slipping along

The waterworks

Those long bike rides

They were all your piece of mind

Fossil free

We’ll get there eventually

One last chat

I wish we’d had

When we’d grown old

Become Big Cats

We’d reminisce

On the way our paths twist

Still I have these plans

To see you in another land

Till then farewell

Till then farewell

Till then farewell

Waving a heavy hand

 

And in the corner of my eye sometimes
I see a shadow there beside
One of fear and too much pride
Haunting, you crossing that divide

Everybody’s on thin ice
Our path’s ahead but we face behind
We can’t uncover what’s inside
For me I think it’s the desire to cry

 

So hit me up

When you’re down

Lift up that barrier

To turn your mood around

 

Hit me up

When you’re down

Lift up that barrier

To turn your mood around

 

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh


Domination standing tall
With both arms crossed and calm ignored
Pick a fight with those outside

And you’ll bleed your heart on the firing lines

I can’t stop for one single moment
The very things that hold me frozen
I tease them out embracing sorrow
But any comfort I find is only borrowed

 

Hit me up

When you’re down

Lift up that barrier

To turn your mood around

 

And if you go

Always know

What you left

I’ll never forget

 

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh


Can I find love in sacrifice
Losing you has made me blind
To all I can’t prioritise
No longer will I stand aside

I hope that you’d never regret
The things we did, the things we shared
Despite infinity’s quest for an end
You made a difference and gained a friend


I’ll celebrate the ways we changed
Design more colours to break up the shades
Be there to listen for it’s own sake
And pray no lives will go to waste

 

Hit me up

When you’re down

Lift up that barrier

To turn your mood around

 

Hit me up

When you’re down

Lift up that barrier

To turn your mood around

 

And if you go

Always know

What you left

I’ll never forget

 

And if you go

Always know

What you left

We’ll never forget

 

Barrier (Pete’s song) 4/2/18

To Remember

I’m running out of thoughts to share

Still taking time to comprehend

I see you every now and then

Life’s like a dream that’s yet to end

 

Picture you knocking on my door

Heard your voice echoing through these walls

I check sometimes just to make sure

And let your name be heard once more

 

And all those lasts will lay forever

In broken thoughts that scream from rubble

Trapped beneath in gasps of struggle

Unknowingly fighting to be remembered

And every time I’m left but bare

I say “someday we’ll meet again”

 

Even now if it’s just pretend

There’s comfort in the space we share

You’re still here my dear old friend

And I’ve the time to make amends

 

Sometimes I was begrudging

Too often I didn’t see

And all that was before me

Were the things that I did need

An ear that lasted longer

A laugh that bent the knees

A hand upon the shoulder

A light to see my feet

 

Did I ever say thank you

For always being around?

Did I ever even help you

When you were feeling down?

I never thought that one more day

Could ever make a difference

And cos I’m still not sure I’d say

One day more I’d have loved for you to witness

To say goodbyes

To change your mind

To see the lightness in the fumble

And all the ones

You’d leave behind

Yes life is worth the struggle

 

Now I’m burning black

Can you smell the fumes

But I’m also blowing bubbles

I don’t know why I feel so detached

From a deed I think should crumble

Me from pre-existing software

That’s has seen me through hard times

By keeping hidden what should be shared

And telling myself lies

I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m feeling fine

Did you see the skies were blue?

Well the day we heard outside the windows

Shook with clouds that split in two

Winds that carried rain and leaves that had you sprinting in full view

It was in this very cold wetness I sat

The only way I could feel the lack of you

The bitterness of the breeze was harsh against my skin

The water damp it soaked my pants and allayed the numb within

 

Still no tears were wept 

No nothing seen but a frown I couldn’t turn around

And though my friends were shaking

I thought I was just hugging mounds

 

I said I need to process

I said I need to go away

They said “but in times like this

What you really need is to stay”

 

And so I stayed and gazed out into the empty grey

But something made me turn around and see another way

I saw a greater darkness eating at my friends

While some were breaking down like mine once others’ faces were bare

 

“Get up” I felt a voice reach out

“Go on and say what it is you need”

And so I smiled and turned to them

Acting in good belief

That what we need in times like this is to keep on being connected

Everybody feels the same and

Lives must be protected

 

In friends and family share your grief

They’ll take you in their arms

For you are not a burden

To us you are rising stars

 

Where would we be without you?

What makes a team the dream?

Everybody needs each other

And talking is a feather that gives flight to breaking wings

 

Be there won’t you my friends

Be there my family

Only together can we make a difference

There’s more to the world than me

 

16/2/18

Orange Over the Hills

It was a warm autumn day

The day I misbehaved

The sun light seemed to sink

The streetlights were chasing as children were playing

The clouds stretched above the trees

 

I took off my slippers my trackpants and jumper

Put on some music the baseline like thunder

And checked the forecast in case it would rain

 

I’ve been ignoring your messages cos I know you’ve got questions but honey today’s there’s no time to kill

The orange has covered the vast sprawling suburbs yet there’s not enough to cover the hills

No the sunlight can’t cover the hills

As the sky colour settles there’s the sound of a kettle and the smell of rosemary lamb

Once I’d combed all my hair and had found what to wear

I couldn’t remember my plans

 

Why don’t I answer why keep feelings at bay

I feel so much older yet nothing has changed

I still keep to myself and insist on no help but gravity will shrink what remains

It’s this hesitation that prevents animation under mountains it all feels so small

In these past thirty minutes I’d have crossed you off my Wishlist but I’m afraid to say that the time has come and passed

It’s no longer orange they’ve lit up the old bridge

And the traffic has come to a standstill

A thought expedition only brought to fruition these words as I gazed out as the orange light tips grazed the hill