Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Are trends eclectic?

Ultravox! led by the wily John Foxx inspired the young fan Gary Numan to experiment with synths, and Human League and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark were already playing with machines up north, but Gazza eclipsed them all with Are "Friends" Electric? as Tubeway Army in 1979.

John Foxx went solo, smelling the direction of the wind, and released "Underpass" (a bit like "tubeway"?) and the album Metamatic (a bit like "Metal" on The Pleasure Principle album?), but the visual element and the dark undertow were missing, and these were metallic pop where Numan was disturbing and quasi-industrial, even then.

"No-one Driving" and "Burning Car" followed Numan's "Cars" but went off the road and into the abyss.

Even so, I bought these discs all one after the other and was only parted from them when our student flat in Holyrood Crescent in Glasgow got ransacked.

Even though the doors were kicked off their hinges to the street, and the stars could be seen through the ceiling and the roof, I slept there one night alone with only This Wreckage turning on the turntable all night for company.

What could these two possibly be talking about?

Gazza's like : "Nah, Freddie, I've already got Simple Minds doing handclaps on TELEKON".
Freddie's like : "Come on Gaz, give us a break!"

unsynthesized fragments, mainly

Simple Minds, John Webb and James Freud provided handclaps on Gary Numan's TELEKON album of 1980.

How strange.

Jim Kerr of the Minds supported Celtic, John Webb was Gary's adopted brother, and James Freud was in the Models and hanged himself.

In the CARS video, you can see Gary doing his own handclaps. So what gives?

Someone commenting on the CARS video on youtube thinks Numan and his cohorts in black look like the Illuminati.

These all appear to be broken connections.

But looking at Kristen Harris' beautiful works of Numanoid art, it doesn't seem to matter that some fragments may never be synthesized.

Monday, 9 April 2012

the hoar-frost of the soul

I'm beginning to feel that chill - the sense of waste, that I'm not living to my potential.

It returns to me every so often, at a space of some years, and it always presages a major change.

I've been enjoying my time out, so much that it has stretched to four years now. I think it's time to start my own practice as a trainer, coach, and counsellor.

I've been allowed to develop these parts of myself recently as a manager, but the opportunity to put them to good use is limited, and so I have to create my own opportunities. I know I will want to work in collaboration with colleagues and friends from London who were always in the same field as me.

The first time I recall feeling this mildly disturbing hoar-frost of the soul was in London when I ended up on a five-year psychotherapy training course which contributed to the end of my marriage. It was a sense that my talents and gifts were rotting in a cupboard in an empty house like so much fruit that took me into these uncharted waters.

In the end, I left with nothing. But the experiences changed me, and I took psychosynthesis into my work with children, families, teachers and social workers. At its best, it was healing work, but in the everyday richness  and busyness of life at the coalface it often felt like firefighting. Hopefully a little was given and gained everyday.

Now I want to bring together some of my angels and demons and have a conference about where I go from here! I would like to be a trainer, coach, and counsellor again, but I wonder if I have the energy and the will.

And what are my options?

Back to my diary, where I reflect in solitude...

Sunday, 8 April 2012

end before you begin

Finish each day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

Ralph Waldo Emerson.

This reminds me never to let the sun go down on my anger - never end the day with an argument unresolved. Like leaving your offering at the altar in order to settle your dispute with your brother first. Like saying an "act of contrition" before taking holy communion!

I wouldn't always forget the absurdities and blunders of the day - but I would hope to forgive myself before the end of the day - or to ask forgiveness.

How do you start the day with too high a spirit as Emerson advises? I've started taking a moment or two to pause on the front door step before setting off down the path to the car. It's moment to see what's around your house, the jackdaws breaking into the eaves where the starlings used to nest, the sparrows fending off a grey squirrel under the roof, or the sparrowhawk gliding over the hedges.

I will always turn along the Bannoch Road and pause here and there along its length, windows down; you can sometimes see the isle of Arran, its snowy peaks through the clouds, and old Kilwinning Abbey tower and ruins. You can hear yellowhammers and whitethroats at the bend where the bridge is. That's where I saw the only jay I've ever seen in the county, last winter. Then you can hit the main roads and drive through north Ayrshire to work, wherever that might be.

That's always a good start!