16.12.09

anis again

active stills





This group: active stills, have been doing some amazing work in Palestine and Israel...

Some of their photo essays are breathtaking and oh so very beautiful and still extremely shocking.

They have a series of essays:

joint struggle - The photos included in this essay are astounding, and from both sides of the wall. Anarchists against the wall joined with Palestinians across the length and breadth of the Israeli Security Fence in order to resist the racial segregation enforced by the Israeli government

Life under occupation - This series shows the every day life of many Palestinians.. the checkpoints, housing demoltions, the imposition of the wall, the desructions of olive groves, contamination of water, settlers attitudes.. the list goes on.





5.12.09

blog

http://leftofthemiddleeast.blogspot.com

For updates and actions of the group I traveled to Palestine with, please visit the above blog.

pictures



















Pictures from Palestine

from holly

zaytoun group


The ordeal I went through with my nerves at the airport when leaving Palestine and Israel, especially in relation to my photographs was actually quite significant. I had heard various horror stories of activists leaving Palestine being black listed for having visited the west bank, or having volunteered for a pro-Palestinian organisation, or being questioned initimately about number in their phone books or emails on their computer, really put the fear of god in me. I made sure i cleared my brothers camera of pictures in Jerusalem (with the help of a very sweet guy called Omar, who, having lived in the USA for eleven years, felt more like a european than a Palestinian until his neice wandered in with a drawing for him.. which he praised in arabic and gave many smiles and hugs for- and like a true palestinian made me sit and drink tea in his store for a good hour before leaving for dinner. It was a fascinating conversation and i really admire him for returning to palestine to be with his family) anyway, photos on a CD, sealed in an envelope, placed in the hands of a good friend who was leaving for a cyprus a few days later... i went to the airport physically free of photos, but fearing my reaction to the israeli security and my ability to act nonchalant and passive when being questioned.

but i feel that every picture was worth the worry.
I only wish i had taken more of my friends.





2.12.09

paradise now



I am not sure if i have ever seen a Palestinian feature film before.
I have seen documentaries, many documentaries full of sadness and woe and heartache and violence. but this story was very well told. the simple stories are often the most effective.
This film makes martyrdom seem like an everyday occurrence in Palestine.
however, I know it is not. but it brings to light the normalization of violence and escape and resistance with an air of last-resort politics.
The actors are cast well, the dark underworld is scary and the occupation is rife from the moment the film begins at a checkpoint, machine gun held on the focal point of the female love interest.

With a new film 'Amreeka' begin released in the United states of America, the idea of a Palestinian feature film in a Hollywood style is becoming less obscure, even if there are no cinemas in Palestine. As the protagonist in Paradise Now: Said states - the Palestinians burned the only theatre in Nablus down as an act of resistance during the second intifada.

I hope cinema as a tool can manage to bring to light some of the issues of the middle east to the average American and British viewer at home.
i hope.

22.11.09

nonel and vovel


this year for my birthday my mum gave me this comic book:

The Novel of nonel and vovel...


It is a book that is a result of a collaboration of two women: one Palestinian and one Israeli.

It is refreshing to see an equal collaboration between two creative sparks. resulting not only in a book, but also exhibitions, talks and tours facilitating a space to talk about creativity, art and most poignantly- the conflict in the middle east.

well done mum.

8.11.09

palestine






















what can i say?

Palestine has turned my world upside down.
I feel as though i am just not sure what to do with myself anymore.
I want to learn, i want to return, i want to help more than ever. through any means and avenues possible.

I have met some of the most wonderful people possible during my time in palestine, both internationals and Palestinians.

I also saw some of the worst violations of human rights occur in front of my eyes.

but all of this i shall put in another series (hopefully shared by a friend who has also been in the middle east)

more to come, but for now- a few pictures and explanations.

picture 1.
Abed a local farmer stands in front of his home village in Burin. We had been picking next to a settler road that day and we were taking a break before carting the olives back to his mothers house. Abed is a serious man, who frequently broke into song in the fields. His English was good, he smoked like nothing I have ever seen except in Palestine and the week before we arrived he had 97 of his trees cut down by settlers who had descended from the closest settlement Bracha. All in all Abed has lost around a quarter of his land this year.

picture 2.
This is a view of Madama from the family home of Jihad, our contact in the village. Madama neighbours Burin, and along side Asira, the three villages are situated in a valley which is topped by a settlement on either side and a checkpoint to the North in Hawara. I woke very early for our first day picking in the olive fields to see this beautiful sight.

picture 3.
Street signs in Nablus. after meeting a friend from university who is living in the West Bank for a while, we wandering trying to find somewhere to get a coffee (which turns out to be nigh on impossible due to my sex) and instead we walked through the town and answered the many questions form passers by on our homes, our studies and our work.. and of course, what we thought of Palestine. (luckily no questions about the Balfour declaration this time around)

27.9.09

bye bye






it is the last weekend of banner road...

everything is packed up into cardboard boxes and bin bags, shoved against walls and awaiting their new adventure to the new house on the new road in the new part of town...
This year in banner road feels like it has set me up for a lifetime. the fear of leaving university and being confronted with a big wide world full of big choices and hard decisions and struggles to realise dreams has been softened by the banner road family and their antics keeping the magic alive.

I want to write a list of some of my favourite times in banner road, as it has been the beginning of a bristol journey that has made me smile every day...

i love our house rules written by marcroy smith for the kitchen wall...
i love our one hour crescendo and team quiz in the basement on new years eve 2008...
i love being two steps away from carnival...
i love the steps, sitting on them, smoking on them, drinking tea on them and stroking meusli on them....
i love drawing the houses across the street
i love ping pong in the basement for hours with strangers and friends (until the light bulb went)
i love how it is a second home
i love how there always seem to be 30 pairs of shoes in the hallway
and enough bikes for a small army chained up outside

bring on effingham

23.9.09

choose


choose what you read

A lovely idea borne from the commuter life in the big smoke.
Some lovely people wiht a lust for good books turn up every first monday of the month outside charing cross station (and other london stations) bearing a big sign and a big box of books allowing you to disregard that dull, bemusing metro you get shoved into your face each morning, and replace its position between your hands with a fantastic novel on any matter of subjects.

A little quote from the librarians:
The Librarians
Choose What You Read is our reaction to the tonnes of free newspapers dished out and thrown away every day. We'd like to give you the opportunity to read a book instead, donated by the public, to go back out into the public once finished. We’d like to give you the opportunity to choose a novel over a free paper. We love reading, we’re pretty sure you do too. Thank you for reading.
get involved, pick up a book, read it, send it back, then help yourself to another book.. what a wonderful world.

hopefully coming to a city near you soon...


12.9.09

bible


The TED lecture of A J Jacobs year of living biblically rings of a more inquisitive and informative Dave Gormanesque adventure.

He spends a year following the rules of the bible - and not just the ten commandments, he read through a whole pile of different bibles and drew out around 700 rules and commandments to be followed- many of these obscure, and many of them contradictory. Apart for leading for a great foundation for a novel, he also inevitably took an intense spiritual journey triggered by his fear and confusion of fundamentalism.

see here for an excerpt and information on how to be biblical amongst other bits and pieces.

This idea is brilliant because it brings to light fundamentalists and their idea of 'taking the bible literally' - as it seems no one can truly do this. this is proof. religion is a pick and mix of sections you want to follow and sections you choose not to. It is nigh on impossible to take a book which has been written over many many years and follow each and every of the thousands of rules. religion is a tool that can be used for good- or for bad. It makes me question when someone acts in the name of god, if they really are disguising what they selfishly want by a mask of religion.

Its such a shame when something so good can be manipulated for something so terrible as war.

5.9.09

moon



this film is for fans of:
sunshine
pitch black
red dwarf
the moon
people who like subtle epic soundtracks
that film which is set under the sea and the sharks get intelligent and attack the people living in the under water house.... i think llcool J was in it? (I'm not sure why it made me think of this?)

top nice acting by mr rockwell, funny and endearing moments, a creepy kevin spacey voice coming from a happy faced robot and a set which i swear has been lifted directly from red dwarf. (maybe the concept too- as pointed out by ms jo barker)


31.8.09

naive. super



Naive. Super is a book by Erland Loe which I have just finished approximately 30 seconds ago.

I really would not know how to describe this novel. I have found myself talking about it copiously with my friends- telling little snippets and ideas, (of which there are many) but as a 'good read' it really is quite dry and bland and a little like hearing the inner monologue of a man close to depression.
It is a Norwegien book and weirdly, having been to Norway last year, I feel that fact on its own explains alot about this book. the clarity, the straightforwardness and the linear feeling of the narrative... I'm not sure how this correlates with the country of Norway.. but I find it is also very straightforward and simple and beautiful. Like the ideas contained within this novel.

The narrator is completely endearing. He has a wonderful way of saying things when he thinks them and wants to share his thoughts with other people. He moves to his brothers apartment, meets a boy, faxes his friend, reads a book on space and time, buys a ball, a hammer and nail toy, rides his bike and visits New York. Being perilously close to turning 25 myself (which was the pinnicle of the narrators leaving university and losing his sense of being) I felt as though this book brought something extra in to my life. I suddenly wanted to go and buy a ball, to bounce it against a wall and stop thinking about direction/meaning/purpose/time...
But instead, as the narrator does in the book, I decided to write a list of things that made me happy and a list of things that made me happy as a child. I love that lists were so prevalent in this book. I feel as though lists are extremely prevalent in my own every day life. my bedroom floor is littered with them, my desk at work is covered with tiny post it lists, every notebook i own has repeated lists between their covers. I cant imagine a life without lists.

things that made me happy when i was young:

my friends
sleeping
cycling
my lego pirate ship
marbles
miniture things

giving inanimate objects personalities
long grass
climbing trees

my piano
scary stories
horses
my school of stuffed toys
playing my recorder
cycling shorts
tie dye
reading books
writing stories
maths
drawing
colouring in
swimming in the sea
my dogs and cats
bare feet
bonfires
snow
sunshine
tom and jerry
pineapple
dancing

things that make me happy now:


my friends
my boyfriend
swimming in the sea
climbing ropes
trapeze
cycling
learning
scarves
reading books
music
seeing foxes in the city
making strangers smile
mountains
new places
sunshine
drawing
bare feet
fires
letters
snow
pineapple
dancing
big windows
woolly jumpers
art

tents
hot cross buns
really long emails/letters about important things
hugs hello and goodbye
laughing out loud
Bristol


I have also discovered that for me- it is not bouncing a ball that makes me happy, it is climbing onto trapezes and ropes to swing around in the air.
loveliness.

30.8.09

starling




Whilst in Holland I visited the Kroller Muller sculpture park and was blown away by this beautiful piece of art work by Simon Starling, blue, red, yellow, djungel.

the work included a massive piece of fabric with a beautifully hand printed pattern. All the materials used and needed for such a magnificent piece were included in the exhibition, the pots of dye, the table used for the printing, the pattern presses and even the Trinidadian tree from which the stamps were made. Stunning to look at and incredible to think of all the time and effort that goes into creating something so simple and beautiful. well done starling.

really amazing exhibiton space too. kind of like a very very upper end centre parks. without the screaming children and leisure facilities. just the trees.

mix tapes



This week i have been an extremely lucky girl.
I have received two mix tapes.

It feels like many many days since i last received a mix tape, but i know in fact it has not been that long at all.

One of these mix tapes has been on repeat since i picked it up and help it to my ear. It is wonderful thinking music and makes me stop and change. it has stopped me from washing up and started me reading the news paper. Then stopped me from reading and started me drawing in my sketchbook. Then stopped me from drawing and started me typing this.
I'm sure I will stop in a second.

listen to Aaron desner and justin vernon's the big red machine here

well done emily teague for such a gem.

prison

today I wrote an email to a friend which included a prolific conversation i had recently with an inmate of a youth offenders institute close to the city in which i live.
I visited the prison without any preconceptions. i had not even seriously considered what the building i was walking in to stood for, what it represented and most importantly, what it was trying to do. in the gym I found a small group of young people huddled around a display board, listening to one another, braiding one others hair and having a discussion too quiet for me to over hear. the exhibition board before them was one which concerned the life of anne
frank. anne frank is the infamous young Jewish girl who lost her life in world war two, but left her diary behind which journals her experiences. and can help to teach us the lessons of the past.
Later, I was sat in a living area of one of the blocks, on hard plastic seats facing a row of cell doors that opened into small compact living quarters. a young man was invited to sit with us for a conversation. Ironically the young person in question looked as though he was 25 and was built like a concrete block. he was huge. but well spoken, articulate and as gentle as a giant can be.
a question was asked; 'what did you think of the anne
frank exhibition?'
The young man answered.
He had been a tour guide for the exhibit. A few of the inmates had been chosen to learn about certain aspects of anne
franks experiences in order to show visitors around and explain the exhibition to other prisoners. he spoke of big ideas, big words and big consequences. the experience had taught him that it is important to stand up for what you believe in. In his words- if you don't then who will? and it is important to stand up for those was cannot speak for themselves. Equality and diversity must be respected and valued and appreciated.
I was quite taken by the words the young man said. they rang of truth and lessons taught by history and the wonderful gift it can bring us- education. truth. honesty. clarity. i was touched when he spoke of ganhi
and martin luther king and the importance of respect.
and i wondered how such a bright, intelligent and personable young man could live his life in the boxed room of a cell on a wing of a block inside big dark grey walls which shield the world from the terribleness of his being.

sometimes i just don't understand this society and its excuses.

17.8.09

pianos


On fri 18th september the big golden midas touched wall of bristol's colston hall opens.
I'm not sure if there is anything of much interest on the other side.
I think its just a foyer. a really really big over priced one.
but nevertheless bristol is having a treat which I'm pretty excited about.

Play Me I'm Yours by Luke Jerram

Lots of little pianos will be dotted about the city centre for the public to enjoy.
I just can't believe we haven't thought of this before... lets keep them and have a tinkle.

4.8.09

sam

itsnicethat has just found me a wonderly magic making word smith that goes by the name of sam winston


He not only uses words and writes them, he mixes them and changes the narrative and lets them go wherever they may want.
it is lovely. and you should look too.
Its all about the little simple things that we often forget to use. like how we read and what words look like when they are put in a new space.

30.7.09

threes









































I have always been a little bit in love with bikes/ boys on bikes.

colourful bikes in Berlin, big bikes in Amsterdam and now my new own mint choc chip addition to the mix.

It could be the best thing I've ever done.

(or the silliest as the paint job looks very fresh and makes me wonder as to its origins...)

28.7.09

roots



I have recently returned from the netherlands, home of my maternal roots, and therefore, also half of me. It is the flattest place I have ever seen, speckled with look a like dolls houses and more bicycles than you can shake a stick at. While I was there I spent much of my time looking at said houses, wandering along canals atop a bicycle and visiting Art Museums with my extended family.

For a country which seems so middle class, white, clean and well designed I found myself a little bit wary of how nice everyone was. I couldn't see any tramps/junkies/rude boys stumbling across my designated cycle path. I couldn't find any litter on the streets/stray skanky looking cats/ chewing gum stuck to my shoe at any point during my visit.

Yet I still managed to be suprised by a clean, well designed, rather functional piece of artwork which made me wonder whether this lovely middle of the road existence was really a facade, and whether everyone sat in the big leather armchairs, smoking pipes, reading Marx and preparing for the fall of capitalism with a quiet smile.

i found it here and some of it looked like this





anarchic books lined the walls, teaching us the necessities of life.

and situated in the centre of the room sat a lone photocopier, full of paper and ink and promise.

The books are taken from loompanics a 'hard to find, controversial and unusual' book company

are just a few of my favourite titles.

13.7.09

book club




























Book Club number one. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. By Mark Twain.

We decided that we spent too much time talking about books that we have collectively, not all read, or finished, or liked.
So a decision was made regarding the penguin £2 popular classics series that can be found on the shelves of your local chain book store.
The decision was to give ourselves two weeks to complete a classic.
Then to discuss it.
And this time we will all be sure we have read the same book (as all three of us have exactly the same book)
with the same name
by the same author.

The first meeting is Weds July 22nd and I haven't so much as peeped inside the front cover as of yet.

15.6.09

conditions

Once again the stalemate begins.

The world at large seems to welcome the tiny, shuffling steps that the Israeli government is taking currently. With each tenuous word forming a completed sentence, the gasp of disbelief slows into a sigh of recognition for those good old compadres of Israeli politics- conditions.

I admit, I was one of those people, when opening the paper and reading the headlines -"Israel sets terms for Palestinian state", had to look twice, gather my hope and read further. Only to be angered, once again, at the extent to which one nation believes it can set the limits of another, highlighted far more succinctly with the article "Israeli PM 'ruins' peace chance".

Demilitarisation is not an option. It should not be an option. When the IRA started dropping bombs in Northern Ireland, demilitarisation was not an option. Demilitarisation can take the organised weapons away, but it cannot take the terrorists, it cannot take the anger away and it cannot touch on the pain suffered by the refugees and inhabitants of Palestine. It is completely foolish to ask a state not to protect itself. Is that not what a nation is? something to be protected? I cannot believe Israel's audacity when it comes to the military of Palestine. I cannot believe Israel's audacity when it comes to the rights of the Palestinian people.

And yet I am far from suprised.

The Israeli Jews were granted the honour of returning to their home land.
Now let the people of Palestine return to theirs.

10.6.09

Loesje
















A little bird by the name of Evan stumbled me across Loesje




"Loesje's Imagination is a podium for ideas and creativity for both the local community of Berlin and people from all over the world. The podium is open for performances, arts, texts, photography, video, installations, poetry, music, debate, and in particular interactions and fusions between those. It gives people space for their expression, and is a place where people and ideas can meet. Loesje's Imagination is a place where people from different places meet, where new ideas are developed, where things that are not yet thought can be thought, where free expression can find a place.
The interaction between local, social, (inter) cultural and artistic themes and forms of expression is one of the main goals in developing the themes and content of Loesje's Imagination. It crosses borders of artistic disciplines, paradigms, cultures, nations, gender, etc. and searches for new ways in which those crossovers can be expressed. Loesje's Imagination aims for a fusion and surpass of social, psychological, ethical and artistic ideas and activities into new ideas and images of what life and society could be like. With 'podium' is not only meant the specific place or stage, but also ' creative laboratory'. It is a state of mind, a creative impulse, that can as much exist on a poster, a piece of art, an interaction, as in the actual place."


big, long, impressive words that say big impressive thoughts and ideas.

so big.

They produce a monthly series of posters so click here, print out, stick on and read away...

Markus Zusak




Rarely have I been as moved to tears as I was by the words in this book.

(I say this with a sigh as I am often reduced to tears by words- in both a good way and also by painfully bad words put together to form even worse sentences....)


For a book that seems initially quite superficial, presenting us with 'small facts' and 'translations' by the author (who maybe not so superficially is death himself) it fills your thoughts and emotions with soft colours, imprints of words and a narrative that transcends the atmosphere of war in which it is set.

The story centres upon Liesel Meminger, a girl shaped by her difficult past and difficult present, struggling between what is beautiful and what is so capable of taking that beauty away.
She finds herself in a new town, on a new street, full of new faces and the same shared struggles. It is mid-WW2 Germany and Molching and its many inhabitants are carrying on with life as if there is no other option.
Liesel finds solice in words, some of which she finds in books, some of which she writes, some of which she finds written in Mein Kampf by a fist fighting Jew hidden in her basement.

The relationships she has with her family- her mother Rosa and father Hans are central to the events of Liesels teenage hood, helping her to bear the weight she carries. The bonds she shares- especially with her father Hans, Max the Jew and her best friend Rudy are strong and heavy holding a firm grip on the readers heart.

If your love for words carried you to this book, then Liesels passion for books seeps into Zusak's words and his narrative keeps you gripping the pages, waiting for each event to unfold. The knowledge that the events are set in a dark and horrific time cannot detract from the beauty of each small moment which helps a young girl through each day.

ahh the beauty of moments and the words that describe them...


5.6.09

obama


Following obama's election as the most powerful man standing on the globe, there has been a lot of speculation as to his capability to follow through with the weight of his words... his words are huge, they carry a promise of change, and more importantly, more than a little
hope.

I have to admit- I am a big fan. I have read his first book, I have sung his pre-election praises, applauded his proposed shutting down of Guantanamo (even if the fall out from this has not been properly dealt with) and I even baked a cake for his inaugeration...


and I have been waiting for him to mess it up, drop some bombs, beat up some children, rip off his mask and reveal the Reagan lookalike hiding behind his big brown eyes...

But the words he spoke in Cairo yesterday sang of solidarity, of respect and of a shared humanitarian overtone. It made me believe again.

As Robert Fisk writes - "There was one merciful omission: a speech of nearly 6,000 words did not include the lethal word "terror".

which shows change can be made one tiny little step at a time.

27.5.09

La bouche























La Bouche is an online zine with a few little quirky articles I would highly recommend sinking your teeth into. From music to Art to protests to politics it has a little bit of a taster for all you greedy people. Look out for issue two, in the reflections section you might find a little rant of my own.

encounter point



Encounterpoint is a film which says everything about humanity and what can bring us together.

If you have ever heard the phrase ‘making the best of a bad situation’ you would not necessarily have had the grace, or tenacity to apply it to the situation in Palestine and Israel. However, this 85 minute feature documentary seems to blow this statement to pieces. It not only bonds, brings together and highlights the extent of humanity’s capabilities in the face of crisis, it also focuses on the extent to which people are able and willing to communicate above and beyond their history and their politics, over the power of loss of a loved one.

After viewing this documentary in a converted Church in Bristol I was shocked at how deeply I was affected by the moving images before my eyes.

I am by no means ignorant to the situation in Palestine. I have studied the conflict intensely, and watched the events of 2008/2009 unfold before my eyes. I have taken to the streets to protest against the British government's actions, I have written letters, supported Palestinian goods, listened to speakers from both sides of the fence, watched various documentaries and seen the most heart breaking footage of children bearing the brunt of a bitter war between two nations in one territory.

And yet, when this documentary crossed my path a little glimmer of humanity took up its torch and pointed out a few home truths.

People are people. Oblivious of ideology, religion, nationality, race, sex, name, occupation. A mother who has lost her child is the only person who can understand what that loss actually means. As Ali says in the film “If we who lost what is most precious can talk to each other and look forward to a better future, then everyone else must do so too”. Those who have been affected most deeply by the violent conflict can take a step away from their anger and extent olive branches of hope and peace, in opposition to the structures surrounding their everyday lives. And on both sides of the Israeli security fence there are mothers, fathers, grandmothers, uncles, cousins, aunties, brothers and sisters who have felt the entire spectrum of loss that takes hold when losing a family member.

As a political statement it burns with emotion and sentimentality but it still holds fast-

humanity is much stronger than the needs of a nation.

13.5.09

opression

Ward and Mullender describe oppression as both a ‘state of affairs in which life chances are constructed’ and a ‘process by which this state of affairs is created and maintained’.
It is a force with which people can be held back and forced down.



5.5.09

exception

today i feel exceptional.
Like an exception to the norm of what we expect from society today.
My friends:
the people who I have in my life; who help me build my life and live my life have helped me home...

one.
to have faith in the words that we speak.
to listen to them and to understand what those words are saying, what they are trying to say and what they can say when used in the right place.

words are freedom. they are love. they are hate. they are facilitators of our thoughts, emotions, imaginations.
we speak them, write them, hear them, every day of our lives, and much of this time, they spill out of us like we were designed as a species to communicate this way.

but we were not. and when i think of the spectrum of human emotion, as vast as the spectrum of the rainbow, I understand that the words we use cannot and should not be able to convey the vast, overlapping experiences that form us every day.

but we are lucky to have them.
so we must use them and speak them and hear them and sing them and shout them.
until they take shape and fall out of our mouths and hands and stick to our pages.

29.4.09

shake the dust



This is for the fat girls, this one's for the little brothers, this is for the schoolyard wimps and for the childhood bullies that tormented them. For the former prom queen and for the milk crate ball players, the night time cereal eaters, and for the retired elderly Walmart store front door greeters, shake the dust. This is for the benches and the people sitting upon them, for the bus drivers driving a million broken hymns, for the men who have to hold down 3 jobs simply to hold up their children, for the night time schoolers, for the midnight bike riders trying to fly... shake the dust. This is for the two year olds who cannot be understood because they speak half english, and half God, shake the dust, for the boys with the beautiful sisters, shake the dust, for the girls with the brothers who are going crazy for those gym class wall flowers, the 12 year olds afraid of taking public showers, for the kid who is always late to class because he forgets the combination to his locker, for the girl who loves somebody else, shake the dust. This is for the hard men who want love but know that it won't come, the ones who are forgotten, the ones the amendments do not stand up for, for the ones who are told to speak only when you are spoken to, and then are never spoken to, speak every time you stand so you don't forget yourself, do not let a moment go by that is a reminder that your heart beats 900 times a day, that there are enough gallons of blood to make you an ocean, do not settle for letting these waves settle, and for the dust to collect in your veins. This is for the celibate pedafile who keeps on struggling, for the poetry teachers, and for the people who go on vacations alone. For the sweat that drips off of Mick jagger's singing lips, and for the shaking skirt on Tina Turner's shaking hips, for the heavens and for the hell's through which Tina has lived, this is for the tired and for the dreamers, for the families that will never be like the Kleaver's, with perfectly made dinners, and sons like Wally and the beaver, this is for the biggots, the sexists, and for the killers, and for the big house pin sentenced cats becoming redeemers, remember the spring time always seems to show up right after the winter, this is for every one of you, make sure that by the time the fisherman returns, you're gone, because just like the days, I burn at both ends, every time I write, every time I open my eyes I'm cutting out parts of myself to give to you, so shake the dust and take me with you when you do, none of this has ever been for me, all the pushes and pulls pushes for you, so grab this wool by it's clothes pins, shake it out again and again, jump on top and take it for a spin, and when you hop off, shake it again for this is yours, make my words worth it, make this not just another poem that I write, not just another poem like just another night that sits heavy above us all, walk into it, breathe it in let it crash through the halls of your arms like the millions of years of millions of poets, coursing like blood, pumping and pushing, making you live, shaking the dust, so when the world knocks at your front door, clench the knob tightly and open on up, running forward into it's widespread greeting arms with your hands before you... finger tips trembling though they may be.

find a treat from the wonderful Anis Mojgani every day here
i do

28.4.09

The Human Death Dance by Buddy Wakefield

On the face of her phone,Wylenne programs a message to herselfso when the alarm clock rings,the screen flashes"every day is one day less,everyday is one day less."For some peoplehappiness...it's just a reduction in suffering.
Like Jordan.Jordan tattoos the words"FORGIVE ME"in thick black lettersdown the inside of his arm,so that when he looks at his wrist,he will remember to not hate himself so much.
After Jack left,Mary started sticking her facebetween the film projectorand the movie screen,so that when the credits roll,she still gets to be somebody.
When Tara's past comes back,she mashes chalk into the sidewalkuntil her knuckles bleed.She scribbles and scrapesscribbles and scrapes,until the words take shape,and this is what they say,they say, "i wanna die."hold tight if I love you coz it might not last long.
we're all gonna die.that's the exciting part.It's learning how to live for a living.That's the tricky bitch.Just ask Denise,
Denise, whose family taught her when she came into this world,that family equals love.So, Denise took that shit seriouslybut after a lifetime of craving acceptance from their cruelty,she now finds herself jamming polaroid pictures of these people into her typewriterand pounding out the last letter of the word "mercy"over and over.
She strikes the key "y","why why why why why."
And the answer?It comes in the form of a hand written letter from the moon.
It says,"This is brutally beautiful.So are we.This is endless.So are we.We can heal this.

P.S. See me for who I am. We got work to do.

But my father,he didn't read moon,he didn't speak moon,he didn't write moon.So there was no note
There are still days you can catch metape recording internal silenceand playing it backwards for an empty room.Just so I can listen to his dying wish."shhh"
It's true.The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.But thank goodness,My family treewas in an orchard on a hillthat rolled me to the riverand that riverripped me to the rapidsand those rapidsrushed me into this moment.Right here,right now,with you.At the mouth.
My mouth....this is my church.And this church is a house of healing.Hallelujah.Welcome,come on in.As you are.Have a look around.
There are massive stacks of bad choices in my backyard,clearly, I have not yet reached enlightenmentbeyond a few fleeting moments,but i'm trying.
And I found something here I want you to have,it's not much,just a story,but it's all I got.So take it.It's called Dillon.
Dillon's drug of choice was "more."So Dillon took more and more and more.Until the day he woke up babbling in a pool of his own traffic jam.Realizing he is killing off the best parts of himself,
When he looked down at his heart flap,it read "boy, go find your spine, and ride it out of here."
Wylennes guts said "Day one."Jordans arm read "fully forgiven."Mary's face, "The ENDless."Tara's knuckles,"Healing."Denise's fingers typed, "C""See see see see see."
and Dylan said my smile,it said "fix it."So I came back here, to the mouth of the riverto look at my own reflection under the moonlightand see what it says for myself.
On my whole body, it is written..

See me for who I am.We got work to do.Our skin, "brutally beautiful."a hand written letter from the Sun.


Buddy Wakefield

27.4.09

lovelock

The Gaia Hypothesis.

The concept: the world, the universe and everything that they entail is one big fluxuating being, changing, developing, adapting.

Thinking of the sea as a massive thermometer constantly testing the land- am I closer? Am I overstepping the mark? or not living up to your expectations?

There is no route straight up the mountain.
The world doesn't keep dying.
It dies and regrows, like it has been taken to with a large pair of scissors, grooming it to become something new, to change and evolve, adapt and become.

It may not work properly anymore.
The days may seem longer, the sun shine brighter, the oil spread a little thinner and the polar bears swimming around looking for somewhere to stand which won't melt beneath their weary feet.

But we are not in charge of protecting the planet. she is way bigger than us. too big for us to even comprehend, because shes tied by strands of existence to every other single part of our comprehension, all fluxuating, all changing, evolving, becoming.

It is not our role to protect this planet. She bore us and we should look after her, reciprocate the affection. But she can look after herself. If she gets to hot she'll send an ice age. If she feels too warm, as we burn all her forests, carve up her land and melt into her seas, she will react.

We can hurt the ones we love repeatedly, tear them into pieces and go back for more, but the planet will not submit.

She is much bigger than us.

But the awareness can stick.
The awareness that the future for our children may be much too bright, full of chaos and lost animals searching for the ark. We should look around and assess the situation. Take stock of what we have had, we what have now and what we could have in the future.

Lovelock is a great man. He has accepted the courageous bond between science and philosophy and ecology to link up his theories with a myth, with a narrative that draws us in and relates with us.

But what does this mean for the children of Africa? being pushed out into the desert as the overpopulated west winds up the drawbridges and swings 'closed' signs in the windows of all the doors in all the streets of all the cities.

They cannot turn up the air conditioning, or shut the window to keep it all out.

21.4.09

recently

Sometimes I look at the world and see lots of familiar faces stuck a top the wrong bodies.
The bodies are crawling to work, climbing up the ladder, smiling to themselves and nodding their heads.

I don’t really understand why. I mean, of course, I understand the concept of ‘the economy’ and 'capitalism' and why labour makes money makes the world go round, but I am just so confused.

I understand why in today’s ‘credit crunch’ climate that we should keep spending money, support smaller businesses and try not to let the economy lapse any more, but when situations such as the police reaction to the G20 protests on weds last week occur I get a little bit more confused. Surrounding a group of people, penning them in and refusing to let them leave… a peaceful protest - supposedly.

Who are these people working in the government? Working for the police? Working for the banks/ institutions/ reading the sun/times/telegraph/ watching the BBC and being spoon fed their own opinions. It’s like the heads on top of the bodies refuse to be accountable so they act as hosts for whatever the globalised authority believes should be correct at that particular moment in time. Are we those people?

Jeremy Bowen, the BBC’s Middle East correspondent, has been accused of lacking impartiality. Call me naive, but reporting on the Middle East for your entire journalistic career does mean that you may develop an opinion- nay, an understanding (albeit subjective, as are all understandings/histories etc) of the particular situation. It is why journalists are journalists. They want to develop an understanding that is closer to a truth (albeit subjective, as are all truths/understandings/histories etc) so as to relate a situation/ the ‘news’ to an audience. An audience that can then develop an opinion (albeit subjective yet again, as are truths/understanding/histories etc) and an audience who can then choose for themselves the thoughts that their bodies host and filter into their actions.

I understand that the BBC strives for this ideal of impartiality, strives to be a fair representative of the good old people of Britain, but the atmosphere is changing. It is always changing. To scapegoat one of their best correspondents due to a few complaints is surprisingly not that shocking at all. Especially when we see the President of Iran attack Israel (after declaring how he wishes to wipe it off the map/argues that it should never have existed in the first place) resulting in half of Europe stepping back out of the UN boardroom into the safe zone, and shouting ant-Semitism at the top of their lungs. And quite rightly- what Ahmadinejad says is anti-Semetic and it is anti Israeli.
I personally do have issues with two roads being created in one country- one for Israelis, one for Palestinians, and the difference in quality of each road. And I also have issues with the way id cards are issued. And I also have issues with the path of the Israeli security fence/ land possession/ house demolitions/ embargos on Gaza/ owing airspace/water space and land which is technically Palestinian. Some actions of which could in fact be interpreted as oppressive, or indeed, racist.

It seems this man has taken it upon himself to state what he believes. Rather than letting it slide, he is not letting go. This could be his best –or worst decision to date. Especially when taking into account the current international climate.

I’m so confused as to how the world is up in arms over some statements by an angry man- albeit an angry biased man, who is actually making some very interesting points that are without a shadow of a doubt, true.

I keep forgetting what democracy is. And what honesty is. And what it is to fight for what you believe in. There is a very long way to go yet.

14.4.09

goodreads

The Book Thief


The Book Thief

I just found this.
now you can see all the books I have read/want to read/ never finished.

and I get to remember them all.



Magic.

Rilke

As once the winged energy of delight


As once the winged energy of delight
carried you over childhood's dark abysses,
now beyond your own life build the great
arch of unimagined bridges.

Wonders happen if we can succeed
in passing through the harshest danger;
but only in a bright and purely granted
achievement can we realize the wonder.

To work with Things in the indescribable
relationship is not too hard for us;
the pattern grows more intricate and subtle,
and being swept along is not enough.

Take your practiced powers and stretch them out
until they span the chasm between two
contradictions...For the god
wants to know himself in you.

knitting for 20p














13.4.09

july










This website is a series of assignments given by
Miranda July (of you and me and everyone we know)
and harrell fletcher.


the assignments vary from:


16. Make a paper replica of your bed.



58. Record the sound that is keeping you awake.


65. Perform the phone call someone else wished they could have.


63. Make an encouraging banner.




it is good.

cody lee





This is cody lee.
she is nice and likes tea very much.
as do i.




please enjoy her shapes and words.

7.4.09

a Bear in Sainsbury's part six

She rolled to look at the Bear, disguising her shy glances by extravagantly pulling strings of honey from the comb. She was sure she had seen him before.

She rested her paws and thought about what waited for her in the city. She had been emailing a boy. a boy bear. He had spoken to her of promises of shopping sprees and car rides and supermarkets where you can buy fish wrapped in a plastic, already skinned with the bones removed. She felt nervous as she licked the honey from her paws. She had never met the bear from her emails in real life. the sweet taste clashed with a bitter thought.. what if she was too rural? too country? too much of a forester?
she breathed in deeply and shook her head, trying to discard the negative thoughts and remain focused on her new future in the city.

He sat with his back to the rocks and watched the she bear cautiously from the corner of his eye as she stood to leave. She seemed familiar. He could not place the red tone of her fur, the dull brown eyes, or the softeness of her growling voice. He thought about other girl bears he had met (mostly in the city) and decided that she was one of the best. She didnt need claw polish or glasses or lip stick to make her beautiful. All she needed was the sun shining on her dark burgundy coat. It was a unique colour.. a colour that he knew he had seen somewhere before...

He joined her standing up and they both looked out across the tree tops. He thanked her for her time and for sharing the honey and she gave him a little smile.

Then with a rush of realisation he placed her image. it was enclosed in an email he had recieved around three weeks ago, from a wonderful young bear he had found on matchsticks dot com, a girl headed for the city, bored of the forest and forest bears.

He spoke to her.
"I'll walk with you- if you don't mind.."

She smiled, a little more this time and nodded her approval, slowing to walk alongside the bear, facing the city, a turn out for the books indeed.

a Bear in Sainsbury's part five

The bear woke up with a start to find himself in the middle of a clearing in the forest. He must have fallen asleep when he stopped for a rest last night. He really must stop smoking, especially if he needs to hunt again..

He stood up and shut his eyes in the morning sun.

When he opened them again, a brief moment later, he was confronted with the image of a bear, stood at the other side of the clearing, staring back at him in disbelief.

Taking a moment to gather his thoughts, then suddenly, with out thinking about it, he spoke to the mirror image.

"hello"

The bear opened her mouth to say something, but stopped herself, and instead, she turned to leave.
"Wait!.. sorry, please, where are you going?"
She stopped and turned around to face the bear. She looked him over, his ruffled fur, shiny eyes, and the faint smell of cigarettes and... the rain forest?

Confused she answered him sharply.
"To the city!" She answered, " And I need to leave now, I have taken far too long..." She picked up a small purse that was sat by her side, Shook her fur and smiled, " Good day, Mr Bear"

"Wait, wait, please... are you sure?" The Bear followed the stranger, "You don't understand, the city.. its so.. it.. it does something to you, please... you don't know what you have here, the birds, the bees, the honey..."

The she bear carried on walking, but the thought of honey made her slow down. The honey in the forest was the best honey she had ever tasted... Maybe she could just go back to the mountain for one last taste of fresh honey? She knew it wouldn't be the same in the city... What was one more day?.. plus this bear had the aura of a city bear around him, maybe he knows how to get a job, an apartment, one of those wonderful desk jobs where you answer phones all day and give out useful information.. perhaps even for the government or the home office?

"Okay" She replied, "I will compromise. I shall come with you to the mountain to eat some honey, and if in that time, you can convince me not to leave for the city, I will consider staying..." She smoothly changed direction and glanced behind her as the other bear followed her path without looking up, but with an eager spring in his step.

a Bear in Sainsbury's part four

The bears mind wandered as he galloped towards the trees of his home. He suddenly began to remember all the good things about his life as a woodland creature. He began to reminisce about the warm summer days spent prostrate in the sun by the river, head dangling over the speeding water to watch the pink salmon struggle upstream, with a fond smile.


He suddenly realised he was panting and slowed his pace to catch his breath.. He never used to need to catch his breath when he was a younger bear...

But then he never smoked marlboro reds when he lived in the forest.

He looked up to find himself inside the darkening woods . He peered into the trees, his eyes adjusting to the darkness, when a tingling sensation of fear pulled at his stomach... Which way was home?

He continued onwards, ignoring the feeling of fear that prompted the desire for a cigarette and focused on the good things about his natural home. The squirrels, the flowers, the smell of pine trees, the softness of the soil beneath his feet... and best of all... the honey combs. How he had missed climbing trees to get to the sweet sweet nectar of the bees. When living in the city he had caught himself on more than one occasion in the morning, stopped outside a house, intently sniffing the air as the children inside spooned their chosen topping upon their toasted bread.. had had seen, only once, a singular bee hive, standing solitary in the cramped back garden of a house in the city. He had stopped in shock, watching the bees gather and swarm around the little white box with glee, happily tending to their days work...

He was happy to be coming home. He had missed the forest. and the company of other bears. especially one bear in particular... He let his natural sense of direction lead the way and yawned as the moon rose above him.

a Bear in Sainsbury's part three

As the bear walked along the side of the motorway he swaggered, head down, through the grass, rubbing his nose in the early evening dew. He enjoyed the feeling of the turf beneath his feet, and remained unconcerned by the speeding cars ruffling his fur as they hurried past.

He veered off to the left, leaving the buzz of traffic and dimming sky behind him. The forest looked like a cardboard cut out against the glow of the setting sun, silhouetted perfectly. The bear blinked at the sun and dipped his head once again to sniff the cold damp earth.

It still smelt like the city.. of cars and noise and tyres and dogs.

There weren't any dogs in the forest, he thought to himself. He smiled at the thought of strolling through the trees, not having to glance down repeatedly to check for dog poo. His paws were so big that at times in the city, he managed to squash not just one, but two deposits in one step. Once, when in the park across the street from his flat, as he sat underneath the small clutch of evergreens that reminded him of home, he watched as dogs one by one came into the park with their owners dragging behind them, pooing and picking up, pooing and picking up.

What a bizarre way of living he thought to himself.

He picked up his pace, until he found himself at a lolloping gallop, crossing the dark fields to the forest as quickly as his strong legs would allow, feeling the strecth in his muscles and the blood heat up as it pounded through his skin. The city dropped behind him, smudged out of focus by the smoky haze of the night sky.

The bear had remembered what was waiting for him in amongst the trees.