Sunday, 17 August 2014

Saturday out in Falmouth

Yesterday we escaped from Penzance for a few hours to go and explore Falmouth a little.  I love the colour and creativity, along with the usual funny contrasts and interesting characters that Cornwall seems to abound in!  It was good to have a change of scene even though we've only been back for a week...  

 Beerwolf Books - the smell of books and beer - and a new, very reasonably priced poetry book. woop.

 Amanzi, a restaurant serving African food.  We had South African lager and Bunny Chow for lunch. mmm.

Monday, 11 August 2014

"Sweet Potato" - New favourite song lyrics

We're back in the South West after fun and restful times in Wales and Brighton.

Good things about today: walking along Penzance prom after work, wandering back through Morrab gardens, and listening to Sia all day.  These lyrics are awesome!

 "Sweet Potato"

She cooks you sweet potato
You don't like aubergine
She knows to boil the kettle
When you hum bars from Grease
She senses you are lonely
But still she can't be sure
And so she stands and waits
Stands anticipating

How can she become the psychic that she longs to be to understand you
How can she become the psychic that she longs to be to understand you

He brushes thoroughly
He know she likes fresh breath
He rushes to the station
He waits atop the steps
He's brought with him a mars bar
She will not buy nestle
And later he'll perform
A love-lorn serenade, a trade

How can she become the psychic that she longs to be to understand you
How can she become the psychic that she longs to be to understand you

So give her information to help her fill the holes
Give an ounce of power so he does not feel controlled
Help her to acknowledge the pain that you are in
Give to him a glimpse of that beneath your skin

Now my inner dialogue is heaving with detest
I am a martyr and a victim and I need to be caressed
I hate that you negate me, I'm a ghost at beck and call
I'm falling and placating, and berating myself for staying

I'm a fool
I'm a fool

He greets his stranger meekly
A thing that she accepts
She sees him waiting often
With chocolate on the steps
He senses she is lonely
She's glad they finally met
They take each other's hands
Walk into the sunset

Do you like sweet potato?

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Ffald y Brenin

I'm on holiday in Pembrokeshire with my family and we happen to be staying just a few miles from Ffald y Brenin, a Christian house of prayer and retreat centre.  Our friends who built the Cornwall House of Prayer that we were living next to and helping out at were inspired by a trip to this place in the middle of hills and valleys and sheep fields.  It became known after many people had unexpected and profound experiences of God there, and now thousands of people visit.

This morning some of us went over to take a look. It was lovely to be somewhere so peaceful and still; a place set aside for reflection and listening and blessing.  Especially in the sunshine with lots of space to wander and sit outdoors...

This story is not all butterflies and roses
Then again,
Perhaps it is
Delicate wings disguise the struggle they endured
To come into being
The pressure and darkness of the cocoon

Silken petals hide
Thorny stems
Waiting to draw blood
From anyone that gets too close

Beauty and pain
Sunshine and rain
We'll never be the same again

Sorrow and love
flow mingled down
When will my people turn back
Tears the only water
But after a time
We walk from death to life
From lack to plenty
From promises to reality

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Port Eliot and the Poetry Army

Last Saturday was just a total GIFT.

A poetry friend from Brighton, (Roy Hutchins) sent out an email about something he was doing at Port Eliot Festival, and did anyone want to get involved?  I did, but thought I wouldn't be able to afford it. But after having such a positive afternoon performing at the Penzance Litfest the week before, Hubby encouraged me to just GO FOR IT.  So I did, and ended up getting a free ticket and a super cheap train. Woo hoo!

I hadn't really heard of Port Eliot before, but it was probably the nicest festival I've been to. Not that I've been to loads, but everything about it was so pleasing on the eye. Set in the grounds of a large stately home, there was a lake, and trees, and green, and bursts of colour and creativity around every corner, and down every winding path. AND it was hot, hot, hot. Nice.

There's a whole lot of history to the festival that I won't go in to, but I believe it started off as a small literary festival, and has since grown! The majority of things going on were literary based, but there was also music, fashion, art, food and more.

I took part in something called the Poetry Army.  12 of us, just gathered on the day, from all over the UK, performed a piece written by Heathcote Williams.  It combined excerpts of poetry from across the ages to demonstrate the power of poetry to bring about change. We performed in the 'Round Room' in the main house - a round room (yes, really) with crazy murals covering the walls, and books carved of wood, and a grand piano! Really cool, and great to hear a wide range of voices representing an even wider range of people who weren't afraid to speak (write) truth.

Words are POWERFUL.

So that was great, and the rest of the day was super lovely.  I hung out with some of the Poetry Army people, and listened to more great poems, like by Salena Godden, and took photographs, and heard beautiful music (like Luke Sital Singh singing stunning songs that filled the stained glass old church building), and felt peaceful and inspired. Like I said, a gift of a day.

Here's some more pics, and some of the parts of poems that were read:

Poetry is like the water that washes the shores
The wind that cleans us
The fire which joins us together
And it lives within us
To make us better people...

Victor Lidio Jara Martinez (not sure which poem this is from)

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams.
World-losers and world-forsakers,
Upon whom the pale moon gleams;
Yet we are the movers and shakers,
Of the world forever, it seems.
'We are the Music Makers' - Arthur O'Shaughnessy

I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise

I rise. 
From 'Still I Rise' - Maya Angelou

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Is honesty the best policy?

I've been aiming to write this blog post for about two weeks. But this week, and last week, has been crazy busy. I'm not complaining though. I was preparing for a poetry performance for Sunday mainly (I even managed to write two new poems for it - rather proud of myself!), and going to other Penzance Literature Festival events, and babysitting, and work was quite full on, and it was hubby's birthday yesterday and by the by I spent Saturday night walking across Dartmoor!! So lots of good stuff and I'm not sad I haven't been able to spend evenings in front of a lap top catching up on editing photos and pondering on here.

What I've been wanting to articulate relates to a poem I posted on soundcloud last week called "Picture perfect" which is about how we present ourselves, and the pressure to hide all the ugly messy bits.  And I realise, because I like pretty photos, and because I live in a beautiful place, and because I do get to do fun things, and I have some beautiful friends, that my blog/facebook/twitter/instagram may seem hypocritical in the light of that poem.

It's not my intention.

When I'm down, or lonely, or epilating my legs, I don't generally tell a load of people - and if I do it'll be afterwards.  I guess I don't want people to think of me as the sad/lonely/hairy one, even if that is fairly often the case!  At the same time I don't want people to think I'm happy all the time or living on the beach or floating around with flowers all day. Because that's not true either, or maybe sometimes both are true at once.

Like how last week we went to a beach on The Lizard with some friends who bought us a tasty takeaway curry. We sat in the evening sun and watched the waves and it was GOOD. But at the same time I was feeling totally detached and not myself in a depression-type-way I haven't for aaages.  I think it was a mixture of changes in medication and being overwhelmed by some stuff that friends are going through plus who-knows-what. It took all evening to settle and enjoy the moment.  Then we went to Studio Bar, and I joined hubby and brother-in-law on stage to sing a couple of songs which I managed to get a bit wrong. It was no big deal but I left in tears and went home alone to cry some more. That was just one evening, that I could post photos of and make sound brilliant. And it was, and I'm grateful for all of it, but at the same time, I was a little bit in pieces.

In writing this I realise once again that perhaps the main issue is second-guessing and then worrying about what people think of me and how I come across, etc. I'm still learning BIG TIME to try and get over that, and I'm realising it may be a life long journey.  Doh. Hopefully by the time I'm an old lady I really won't care what people think and I won't get offended and cry half so as easily as I do now!!

ANYHOW, I guess this is what I mean about being more honest and open—painting the whole picture and not just parts of it.  I'm still working out what that actually looks like, and wondering where and when and how we (I) actually do that—because there are definitely some occasions when it's better to just keep quiet or at least wait for a better time and place to 'reveal all'.

What is 'over-sharing'?
What is inappropriate?
What is too much?

I guess we'd all come down somewhere different on the answers to those questions.  Recently I've even thought about starting an anonymous blog just so i could be REALLY honest, and talk about things that people might get offended or embarrassed by (like sex and bodies and church and war, amongst other things!)  But then if it's anonymous does that kind of defeat the point?

Many thoughts, many questions.

So perhaps this post is a bit of a warning, that I'm attempting to be more real and more open here as well as in the rest of life.

Interspersed by pretty photos... because they bring me joy, and, because life is beauty and mess.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Three ballerinas upon a Sunday afternoon (beauty feeds the soul)

Today my heart, which often finds itself a little sad and a little lonely on a Sunday afternoon, found peace among the flowers.

And I remembered that this is what I love — to happen upon an unexpected oasis, in the sunshine, with my camera... and having the time to play with capturing and celebrating beauty.