Monday, 29 June 2015

Bicycle Tales

You can tell a culture by the way they ride bicycles. Not on the right or wrong side of the road. That's irrelevant to this particular case. Rather, the riding is in where they go and how they stop. Especially in how they stop.

Remember when you first learned how to cycle? Getting started wasn't half so hard as figuring out how to stop the wheels from turning and turning and turning. Turning. It's like narrating a story. Once you start, you cannot stop until you've figured out how to end it and so you ramble on and on and on.* Hoping there exists a deity which might take pity on you and blast a lightning storm of inspiration through your skull, without it having to hit concrete and see the stars first, of course.

That's irrelevant.

Stopping, on the other hand, now that's where everything goes. Newton didn't get hit by an apple for nothing. Even gravity requires a good ending and nothing says a good ending like a solid concussion.

Humans like noise and injury tends to bring a lot of it. Starting with oww and ending in the earth-shattering sound universally known as the eeeoooeeeooo. The ambulance. Except it tends to be more of a hurdler than an ambulator. Even cyclists must nose-dive in the face of that history. It's do or die.

That's today's lesson.

There's an either or to cycling. Nobody in the history of cycling has managed to go slow and steady without falling up and dying and nobody in the history of cycling has managed to go quick and heavy without crashing down and dying.

So what culture is better? The one's who will ring their bells and barrel you over anyway, or the ones who will ring their bells and beeline for the between you regardless?

Considering the cave-men played tic-tac-toe and we still play it today. We must consider cycling will be as incomprehensible as chalk on rock for as long as humans bother to remember history.

Then again, even if humans forget history, like a bicycle wheel, the question of who is better than who will probably come back 'round again.

That's called the circle of life. So, where are you next cycling to?


*This is the point where I tell you to just imagine if I actually did ramble on and on. Imagine lots of "ons" to such a point where the word starts to sound incomprehensible. Unfortunately even though this is pixellated space, I would rather not force you to spend the rest of your portion of cycling** in the unfortunate situation of reading the same word over and over, just so the author can prove a point.

**Cycling: verb. The act of living a mundane life full of laundry and grocery shopping and jobs.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Google That Thing

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Google can be a light in the dark. Or is it?

Don't know the answer?

Google that thing.

Sitting down on the curb, on the park bench, the bus stop. Phone out. Phone ready. Just in case.

A thought passes through. Passes by as the cars zip through roads made of concrete and yellow paint. Little green men walking and red lights talking. Stop. A thought passes through.

I wonder. I think. I'm not sure.

Don't know the answer?

Google that thing.

Wandering the wayside of a canal, side by side a friend. You wonder mid-words. What was that again?

Don't know the answer?

Google that thing.

Spending more time on Google than doodling on paper during classtime or drawing words with air or on bath-tubs.

Spending more time on Google than listening to the tales told tall and wide by friend, family and street-side story-spiders.

Words come in many forms. Not just text on Google.

Look it up.

The voices are a countless dozen. Trillion a two.

Not anything like you. But possibly so too.

Don't know the answer?

Just ask your best friend.

Or better yet.

Make it up.

Add your own story to the world. Maybe it will end up on Google, one day, too. 


Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Invisibility Exposure

Can you see me?
 Being between two people in a discussion makes for a period of invisibility exposure.

You are a lighthouse beacon being stared at by a crisp's chomping lady on break and two desk bound employees in the position of question and answer for the current project in progress.

To make matters more icing than cake; being temporary makes a case of invisibility exposure between two people discussing overhead as if you were four years old and in the grocery store with your mother running into an old friend, or worse, a teenager trapped over a reunion dinner of family. Being then oggled at for how tall you've gotten but not folowing the debate over business and the nails on chalkboard crunch of more crisps. Again. And again. And again.


In my mind I had many impressions. I have many but most of the time, these tend not to pan out anywhere near as impressed on my mind.

Which leads to that self-doubt of "should I really do this?"

That's your self-confidence talking.

Or as I like to call it, your invisibility exposure.

It makes relunctant pop idols of us all as we sit on public transport, or tumble off, or walk in the wrong direction, twice. Passing the same old man knocking back a coffee. It makes obsessed fans of us all. Dreaming, desiring and wishing for the recognition of others.

See me. See me. See me.

Except, when they see you, they don't really. They mutter profanities when you accidently bump them because you are wearing your glasses and see less better than when wearing contacts. They snicker and mutter under their breaths, not realising your good hearing caught the words when you go the wrong direction thrice.

Except, when they don't actually see you. It is you just thinking they did and the gossip in the back of the bus is actually two teenagers obsessing over Justin Bieber, not snarking at how ridiculous you look. Or how they are totally not going to as worthless as you at the age of 25.

Except, when they do see you. You don't believe them. Because words don't hold weight from the mouth of the other, not matter how close the other may be. You're awesome. Fantastic. Brilliant. Wonderful. Talented. It's a sieve full of sand.

You can't see yourself either.

That's the human condition of invisibility exposure and there is no easy smear of super glue to fix it.

No, all you can do it keep trying. Keep asking. Keep walking. Into fog, flame, moonlight and rain. All the while, hold hands with someone, or many someone's. The journey is the point of life but no one ever said you had to make the journey alone.

What will you do this week to bring people into your quest?


Sunday, 14 June 2015

Do the Thing

Been going through the usual downturn of an artist.

"Am I wasting my time? Am I making the right choices? Shouldn't I be focusing on "x" or "y"? Time is running out! What am I doing with my life? Why am I bothering? Failure. Failure. Failure.

Sound familiar?

Whether you actively identify as an artist of some form. Or "imaginist" as I like to call myself. Or maybe you have another term entirely. Or you are just someone who daydreams and dreams under the stars and in moonlight on porches and on the hood of a car or the edge of your desk, you've probaby had a similar sort of running commentary of doubt.

I kicked myself over to England because I felt like I wasn't doing anything with my life. Now I am doing many things. Every day, every evening, every second I am experiencing so much I barely have time to process it all, let alone devote time to creating art.

Like the glorious month I had last February, house sitting for some relations in their nearly "middle-of-nowhere" house, in the middle of winter. I got some of the best writing done that I have ever managed.

Except life can't always be hiding away in seclusion. Certain life choices mean you need to make money to live. Certain life choices mean you have things you require to be sane, even if they aren't things that you need to survive. Though some people choose to just stick to flat survival in the name of The Art. Some people manage to balance everything. Some people flounder and flutter. Scared. Worried. Focused on practicality.

Some people just grab the milk carton. Stand on it and ask.

Recently I had the pleasure of not only meeting an individual who's music and art I have long admired but I also got around to reading her memoir (read over two days, it was that engaging).

Her name is Amanda Palmer.

I won't be surprised if you wonder: Who?

She's a bit of a cult figure. And yet she is one of the most human, human being I have ever met. Wise, honest, witty, and just wanting share the joy of music with other human beings.

This is one of her songs:

And this is her TED talk. The Art of Asking:

She draws on her eyebrows to make people unconsciously look her in the eye because it is through the eyes that people connect.

It is through the eyes that people see eachother.

And in a society that is far too open about looking, we don't really see anyone.

She endeavours to empathise and get into the perspectives of all individuals, whether they are on the right or wrong side of morality or law. Because we are all human at heart.

She is often critised as being too showy and trustworthy, as breaking all boundaries of what is "right" in the music industry by allowing fans to download for free.

She does this because the only way to build a connection is by making yourself vulnerable, by being 100% honest. When that connection is built you don't have to force anyone to do anything.

Most likely they will want to do it.

First though, you need to connect.

Second though, you need to ask.

That requires vulnerability.

And through it all you need the bravery to just do the Thing. Because you want to. Not because you have to or you should.

I've long been wanting to publish a novel. And I do. Want to publish a novel, that is. Except there is much more I also want to do.

After reading Amanda's book I sat back and thought. Why haven't I published the novel yet? I came up with this:

I am afraid no one will read it because no one has yet seemed to read what I do already.

Then again, I haven't shared much of my writing yet. I did have someone read part of my novel-in-progress recently and they laughed in many parts. Just as I had hoped as I wrote it.

That made me happy.

Art isn't about being able to live off of it. Yes that would be lovely but really, art is about sharing a moment with other people. It is about sharing stories around a campfire. Like humanity has done for millenia. Albeit in different formats.

I am going to start sharing more. I am going to keep writing and photographing more. Maybe one day people will laugh, smile, cry and cheer over this art from my heart. Until then...

I have re-started my tumblr which you can find at:

On that platform I intend on sharing my photostories since it is more friendly to photography and here I will continue my life musings and travel blogging. The novel is going to be a work in progress for a while and who knows what I'll come out with next. The good thing about being an imaginist is that I always have ideas for new works. I'm going to be as busy as ever. I live in London. I'm going to build experiences the size of the Great Wall of China thank you very much. And hopefully you'll stick around for the ride. If you're a twitterer do check me out on @TheMoonyDreamer where shorter bits of inspiration, and links to much more creativity are generally found. 

All that I ask is that you enjoy my work, comment when you have the time and share with others if you have a moment.

That is the point of art after all. It brings us together. It reminds us what being human is about; deep down, all we want is to be seen from the inside.

We are all bigger on the inside. Like the Tardis. So don't be afraid. Do the Things. Because you can. Not because anyone says you can or anyone watches. Dance like no one watches. Dance like the world is within you. Or in the words of Amanda Palmer's other brilliant half, Neil Gaiman: "Make good art."