Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bundles & Piles, what goes where?

Belfast Lyric, Friday 15th June 2012

Project Downsize: all that signified me 

 -Auction? S.... ? Space?? Bar? Event?
- Music R.. & M....
- Performance/Interactive performance.
- film the process of categorizing?
- Photograph everything.


  • what are my concerns?
  • what I am protesting?
  • what's a waste?
  • what's real?
  • what do I need to stay alive?

  • TO SELL.
  • TO BURN.
  • TO GIFT.

Help: P....... & S.... & P.. & E...?
A... G.... U... K..... D... S...

Belfast city walking Saturday 16th June 2012

Walking out into a city, unfamiliar, unknown to me, smell out the way towards the river, you can always smell out the river.  
If there is one.  
Walking through the shopping area, it's all there, like every where else, Mc Donald's, Marks & Spencer's, Dunnes, Disney, all the same, I could be any where Dublin, London, Edinburgh, Belfast.  There's an energy in the people though, an animation that moves me, they're speaking to each other, with each other, every where.  
Current exhibition at the new MAC Belfast

Crinkled brow.
Concentrate, where am I going? Does it matter? 
Where ever I go I take myself with me. 
Unravelling in Belfast June 16th, is it Bloomsday? God bless Joyce. He got out. Some where else, he had to.  Now he's a National treasure.  He'd hate that. What good did it do him? 

'today's plan is already yesterday's - the streets that were there are gone.

End up some where else.  Unfamiliar.  I can see the Harland & Wolff cranes on the horizon but the road is in my way.
I can't get there.

I don't know what I'm doing, why I'm here, is there anything wrong with beauty, art for arts sake?
Do people need to be entertained as part of life, or just so we can keep going?  
Is it enough? 
Is this enough?

H & W 

Sitting having coffee, just like always.  Write it down.  Try to understand. J'essay.  The feeling of total alonement, not even a word, with me all week, totally alone.  And it's only barely true, only barely true and yet it's total.  In a part of me that I can't speak of with the people I love.  I don't know how to figure all this out.  Not yet.  
Back to basics, back to the drawing board, to the empty pages with a nice new pen. 

'This is the part of my life when I walk in ever decreasing circles'.  

And I don't know how to change it right now, what to change or how.  I don't know how to make it better for myself.  I just don't know right now.  
Imagination.  Fixation. Bereft.  
I feel slightly bereft.  
If I can feel slightly that? 
That's how I feel.  
And fearful.  In parts. 
All is actually well and all will be well. 
I just am lost right now. 

Lost in the Here & Now.

I'll go and see the exhibition now and then walk down to the Botanic Gardens.

Rainbows inside at the MAC

And I find inside, again, 


bringing the outside in. 

                                            ....AND ALL WILL BE WELL.

'The Permanent Present' - Mark Garry at the MAC

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

On my walls...Part 1

Mountains of things won't help my soul.

In the midst of Project Downsize: all that signified me today, have been uploading cd's and there are memories flooding in, when I bought them, who/what I was thinking about at the time, what that all meant, where it's taken me in The life and inevitably I was thinking about beginning again, which is partly what this is all about, beginning again. I love this poem by Brendan Kennelly, it's beautiful and speaks to me of promise and hope and trusting The Life, no matter what happens, and something always seems to, there's the ability to begin, again, at any point, no matter what the external circumstances, because some thing within us all has that capacity.  It's on the wall in my hall. 

Begin Again by Brendan Kennelly
"Begin again to the summoning birds
to the sight of light at the window,
begin to the roar of morning traffic
all along Pembroke Road.

Every beginning is a promise
born in light and dying in dark determination 
and exaltation of springtime
flowering the way to work.
Begin to the pageant of queuing girls
the arrogant loneliness of swans in the canal
bridges linking the past and the future
old friends passing through with us still.

Begin to the loneliness that cannot end
since it perhaps is what makes us begin,
begin to wonder at unknown faces
at crying birds in the sudden rain
at branches stark in the willing sunlight
at seagulls foraging for bread
at couples sharing a sunny secret
alone together while making good.

Though we live in a world that dreams of ending
that always seems about to give in
something that will not acknowledge conclusion
insists that we forever begin."

I've had 'Our Deepest Fear' on various walls in various places I've lived back as far as living in my parents house, at one point it was stuck on some sort of blue paper but I can't remember why or what that was.  I've read and re-read this too, and it's always helped me, I have a tendency to be 'small' in the world, I am small (5ft nothing!), but sometimes I am small in the world in the wrong way, have felt less than and inadequate, part of the human condition to an extent, but something I've actively tried to deal with and heal over the last years, with help from a whole variety of people, but basically through The Love.  And this always helped, and it's still up, on the wall in my hall.

Our Deepest Fear - Nelson Mandela, Inaugural Speech 1994.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and
Actually who are you not to be?
You are a child of God - your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people 
will not feel insecure around you.
We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us: It is in everyone.
And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give people
permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically
liberates others

I've had a version of 'After a While' on the wall in the last three places I've lived, and I've read it more times than I can count, and it's helped.  It's helped me when I was alone, when I was alone and lonely, and when I wanted to stop trying. J'essay.  When I wanted to stop trying to be myself and get better, when I was reneging on myself, because I had the fear of going on, and the terror of what was behind me.  I didn't understand it all, but I grasped enough of it to try and learn to value myself and feel worthy, the journey to worthiness continues. This is a more complete version than the one I have, I just found this version today.  I think maybe I've new learning now, I'm learning something new.

AFTER A WHILE (Veronica Shorthall, 1971)

After a while you learn the subtle difference
between holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
and company doesn't always mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
and presents aren't promises
and you begin to accept
your defeats
with your head up
and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman,
not the grief of a child
And you learn to build
all your roads on today
because tomorrow's ground
is too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way
of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers.
And you learn
that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn...
Then After "after a while" you change and build your hopes again. And pray that maybe this time it will be different. And you hold on to that hope because in the end that's all you really have..
After 'after a while'
You want to hold a hand not to chain a soul but
to enjoy its company,
and you want someone's lips to kiss,
not because you are lonely but because you are
happy, and you want to give presents
and you want to make promises.
After 'after a while'
You begin to accept your defeats like an adult,
but like a child, will want someone to listen
and care,
and you want someone who will build roads with
you today so maybe you can pave the way for your
future together.
After 'after a while'
You want someone's sunshine and warmth,
but also accept the rain and the cold,
and you want to give flowers picked from your
own garden.
And when your garden is picture perfect,
you want it to be more than a picture
even if it means having to be imperfect
because you want someone in it to stay and to
Then you'll see that there is
such a thing as love...
and that you were made to live in someone else's
and you'll know that there is more to life than
You realize that no matter how tightly you hold,
if you're meant to let go, you can
And then you will understand that love
gives you reasons to understand
even the most complicated situations
And you will grow older believing that just
because you have convictions
doesn't mean you're always right
You will remember lips because of the smiles
that made your day,
the words that touched your soul, not only
because of the sweet kisses
And as you graciously accept defeat and absorb
the meaning of lessons
You feel that you are finally being the person
you never thought you'd be
So, armed with courage, strength and confidence,
you will face the world
head on...
With or without an army behind you
Because you know your worth and that alone is an
With more heartbreaks you will cry
But after every heartache, you will rise
Life is a garden ... it takes long to make it
But it's always worth the wait..
One of the starting phrases for HERE & NOW was "pop psychology can't help us now", the words above are different though I think, they're shared human experiences, beautifully written from the heart, and I think that's why they are/were so helpful to me in The Life.

And this is a recent edition, for an installation I did at WERK, part of 'Enough Rope' 
(this was one of the earlier translations of his words.)

The words of Dimitris Christoulas, a 77 year old Greek pensioner shot himself outside the parliament in Athens

I'm facing out towards the garden, I work in this room because of the light and I can see the trees next door and the sky, facing me is a photograph of a waterfall taken by my friend and given to me as a birthday present years ago.  Hanging beside it is a little fairy woman that I bought in London years ago, and one for my Mam, when we got free flights when I bought my first mobile phone.  We stayed in a horrible hostel, but we had a nice time together that weekend.
Hanging on the sustain rail is a candle lantern I got as a Christmas present this year from my aunt and uncle, and along from that is a string of brass bells, I don't know where I got them, I've had them years, I know I bought them myself, it was a thing at the time, and I've also had them in several places I've lived.

But photos might be better for the rest of the walls entry!  Part 2, soon!  

This is all kind of tiring, complicated and a bit emotional really, but good emotional, mostly.  The real things in my soul right now are nothing to do with possessions, things, objects, resonant or otherwise...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Studio - 30th May 2012

This is my body.


the man touching elbows

deflated energy

I've been contemplating...

I've been thinking, a lot, maybe too much about all this.  And all is changed, changed with me, changed with this project, it's getting bigger, not smaller, and its ultimate aim is to get smaller, no, smaller is the wrong word, smaller is inaccurate, specific, focused, downsize.  Maybe that's it.
I've been contemplating many things lately, sometimes all at the same time so my head spins, sometimes attempting, trying, j'essay, to focus my thoughts on a certain aspect until it becomes clear...nothing is such right now.  It's all to play for, it's all to work towards, it's all to try to figure out.
The timeframe and trajectory for HERE & NOW has changed, the phases have shifted and the plan has to be different now too.  But there are subsections emerging which need to be dealt with too, and incorporated, which stretches the timeframe further, but there is no hurry, no deadline.  I've only been three weeks with Focus so far, I'm learning a lot, trying to understand some things, seeking to make connections with the people, through exchange.  And it's not easy, it hasn't been smooth, but somehting is happening, and I Trust that.
I cancelled my Studio time to focus on Project Downsize: all that signified me, but today hasn't gone smoothly, hasn't been clear, I've been looking up accommodation & flights to Avignon, moving stuff off my computer and onto my hard drive, I've been taking stupid photographs of my sitting room, I've been staring at the white pigeons who have been living in my garden since I came home from Annecy, they coo at me every morning, in through the window, the big window that I leave open when I sleep so I can listen to the soul of the world, I broke the window yesterday by accident, and I didn't really care.  I just didn't.  It didn't even occur to me to care about the window breaking.  I don't know what that means, or why it's relevant.
I'm uploading cd's into my itunes library.  At least it's a beginning, beginning of something that I don't really understand yet, I'm not sure yet if I'm trying to run away or choosing another life.  I don't know yet. Project Downsize will help to clarify all that.  I hope.

I've been contemplating ABUNDANCE, and what that means really.  What is it that the word tries to speak to?  Online dictionary explanation is not accurate to my own understanding lately...
I've been thinking that Abundance means enough for everyone, without waste.  The without waste is crucial for me.  Enough without waste.  Every one having enough of what one needs without waste.  That's an amazing concept to me.  And I've been thinking about waste, the waste of space where I live, the waste of the stuff I have that I hardly ever use, that just sits there and covers the space in my house, that I also don't really need.  What do I need to be here & now?  What do I actually need to live here & now? It's a big question for me right now.  What do I need to have to be alive?  What is it all about?
And from that I've been thinking about the lovely things, the things that I treasure, 'me treasures' as my Gran would say, mostly these are things of little financial value, but that I can't bare to let go of because they were given to me by special people in my life or they signify special events or exchanges in my life.  So I started thinking about cateloguing everything I have, everything I possess and beginning Project Downsize..

If I can catelogue everything, store a version of everything online or on a hard drive, can I stand to let the actual stuff, the actual objects go then?  I don't know.  But I'm beginning that process right now.
I am thinking about giving all these things away, the significant things like the things that the people gave me to the people who would get them if I was gone.  Instead of willing things to people, giving them now, in person.  Things sitting in boxes, gathering dust, meaning nothing, being wasted.  Maybe they can be used more.  I'm thinking about selling the rest and using have the money for HERE & NOW and half to Focus Ireland, Simon or Depaul.  But I need to catelogue everything first.
I'm thinking about exhibiting everything first.  Before I give it away or sell it all.   

Project Downsize: all that signified me.
Some sort of interactive perfromative exhibition, maybe just running for a short time and then recording the giving away and selling on the stuff.

What does it all mean?  Why do I keep this stuff, what's it's function in my life, in my soul?  Who does it make me?  Who has it made me up to this point?  And am I, 'I AM' without it? Could I be?

Enough without just seems like a waste to have it here, now, when I could give it out into the world, and share it and get it used properly.

Like the books, they're sitting on a shelf, and I love them, really I do, I love looking at them there and re-reading certain ones from time to time, but mostly, they just sit there and don't get used.  Waste. Though it will be hard to let them go.  But then it's hard to let anything go really isn't it?  Change is never easy even when it's good change, it's still letting go of some thing else, that something that was there before and maybe I thought would be there forever, intended to be there, but The Life moves on and changes everything and some how what fit me before just doesn't anymore, and it has to be okay, it has to be okay to let that go, and in my experience it always has been, ultimately, after the grieving and the sadness, it's always turned out okay, better than I expected usually.  Healing time, it's the healing time and the re-assessing and the letting go and the moving forward again, into the unknown.

Every day I walk into the Unknown Towards The Universe.

So, I need to Trust that this is a process and there's something happening here that can't be avoided, can't be dismissed as pointless.  There's a reason for this new thought process, post Annecy, post conversations with friends, post feeling dissatisfied with my surroundings here in Dublin, post stress about the mortgae, post stress about the money, post stress about society and the overwhelming feeling when I came out of Focus that second week that society should be dismantled immediately! If one person is suffering unnecessarily then we're failing.  We have the means and the capability to ensure the safety of every single person.  But we're not doing it.  Waste.  So I have to start with myself, put things back into circulation that are adding to the waste.

I am afraid of all this.  But I think I'm more afraid of staying as I am.  Not satisfied with my Life, I've only got one!  So I, yet again, embrace the change, walk towards it, run into it, whatever it is, I'm ready, willing and able.  So Be It.
So, the cd's are easiest, I'm starting with them.

Looking over at my notebooks, I wonder what the fuck I could do with them! I don't know if I'm ready to destroy them, or even if I should, maybe some one can mind them for that cheating?  Cheating what/who, this is just about my life so far!

I've been contemplating HERE & NOW, and what that means, ici et maintenant, I have no future, I have no past...and the difference between being present in the moment and immediacy, it's not the same thing.  Not at all.  Being here now in the moment speaks to being grounded, being as absolutely present as being human allows.  Immediacy is something different, some thing transitory that speaks of quickness and a lack of presence.

I've been contemplating The Love and what that means.  And the idea that

Love is the answer to all the questions. 

And can that be actually true, and if it is true, how to put that into practice?  It sounds simplistic, nieve and maybe even flippant, but I don't understand it like that.  The Love is free, always The Love needs to be free.  Firstly.  And The Love involves pressence, being in the here and now, being able to connect with the person there with you, as fully and completely as possible.  The Love is intrinsically Equal. In The Love all is Equal, exchanging by choice not from any fear.  The Love then is active never passive, there is an active exchange taking place that both, or all people invoved benefit from, without waste, again, without waste.  And from that starting place it may be that Love is the answer to all the questions, if it's active, an active engagment with the intention of exchanging on equal terms, with that motivation, then the activity, or continuation of that connection and exchange is for the good of both/all. The actions that result are based on everything getting better, without one person being less than the's hard to put into words, but it's not about 'helping', it's about exchanging in the moment, and if in that moment one has a greater need than the other, it doesn't mean that both are not equal, it simply means that in that moment one has access to something that the other needs and can exchange through The Love, and that perosn later, or before,  in another moment will have something to exchange with the other.  Always meeting on Equal terms, always exchanging in The Love, without fear.

I've been contemplating these things, by myself and with other people, speaking with and writing to friends, trying tounderstand some things in The Life.

On the way home the other night, about 1.15am, walking down James's Street, outside James's St Church where the camino sign is, I met a lovely man who spoke to me as I passed by, I turned to say 'what' then walked back, "Make a wish" he said as he lit a paper balloon, "make a wish" and I stood there with him as we watched the paper balloon expand, speaking together of the life.  He said "make your wish" as he launched it into the air and we stood there together watching this amazing sight, an orange glow changing everything...

In London, in May, I met a man outside the Barbican Tube station who was tapping, and we spoke.  He told me he was summonsed to court on 21st May, and would be given an ASBO to prevent him from being in the city centre area of London during the Olympics, he'd been living rough for twenty years, "by choice, by choice" he said, and now he would have to move somewhere else.  He was to be tagged electronically to stop him inhabiting the city where he lives...

On the way to finish a 6 week drama programme in Dublin 1, I met a woman who asked me to go into the shop and buy her sausages, bread and milk so she could make her children's breakfast, "my husband is not good to me, he's not good to me" she said, "I have no food to feed the children"...

It's 2012.
I can't believe that this is the best we can do.