Found Poetry (September/October 2018)

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“Found Poetry”, “cut up poetry”, “collage poetry” are some ways of defining poetry created from other text sources. This one that I produced was taken from the same text, although from random pages, and this allowed me to explore the idea of narrative in some form. I really like how this turned out and how creepy it became! I find that this is a great way to get past writer’s block and inspire some new contexts, settings, themes and arrangements – but also, it can be a brilliant spirit communication device!! (Of course, I had to bring that into it!) I often find that some of the phrasings and words that come out of a process like this can be somewhat “otherworldly” in its meaning. Maybe this is me going way too far (a common trait of mine, oops!), but I really do believe there is no such thing as coincidence and that most definitely applies to this type of poetry. If anyone has any collage/found poetry that they think could be more than just a “random” selection of words, please do post and tag me! Or private message me if its more comfortable for you, I would love to see what others think and have discovered!

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“And then life kicked in, full force…”

Well, how very rude of me! I have neglected this space for months due to SO MANY THINGS, but I’m glad I have returned when I did because I read my older posts and definitely have some updating to do!

I moved homes in September, I left my family home for the first time and went through some major emotional waves for at least month around that. But, I’m quite settled now, thankfully and absolutely love this house. I’m flat-sharing with a couple of lovely girls from my university and they are so wonderful. Unpacking all my things has been challenging in so many ways – firstly, the realisation that I DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH BOOKS is terrifying and secondly, my horrid anxiety was perpetuating ideas that there was no point in unpacking “properly” because I wasn’t going to be able to keep this house as I wouldn’t be financially stable enough/smart enough/grown-up enough…this train of thought seemed to catch me and I fell into a depression for a few weeks. Those thoughts still linger, whenever I do anything that makes me feel as though I am improving in that realm, but I have more awareness of them now and so I’m not too overwhelmed (most of the time!) by them. Aside from that, I have already made some amazing memories in this flat – we carved pumpkins, sang songs, and made food (I LOST MY BANK CARD IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS, but I was having so much fun, I didn’t even care hahaha) and most recently, we just put up and decorated a Christmas tree! Despite many assumptions, I am actually stupidly traditional in so many ways, I love Christmas and engaging in all things festive!

It’s nice to write that down, as it is, ALWAYS! But, particularly because when I first started this blog a few months ago, I really had no fixed idea if I was ever going to move or get a “student” experience away from home, so it feels so great to be finally doing it! With a huge thanks to my step dad, who made this happen for me, and my mum, who has had my back through E V E R Y T H I N G.

It’s back to university now, and the many assignments that come with it! I have my end of year project that I’m working on, which of course, is about GHOSTS, my favourite! I shall attempt to post some cool things I’ve been doing in my sketchbook around that topic, for sure. 1460173_478125358965009_318382246_nANDDDDDDDD! I just applied for that creative writing masters course! Knowing me, I will be anxiously waiting for a response (they say if they are interested, they will usually reply within 2 weeks). Putting together a body of writing work for them to review was mortifying, of course, I had already told myself that my writing is garbage and I have nothing to offer the world…HOWEVER, I pushed through the thoughts (because I know these bastards so well) and just handed in everything I had. Now, its a universal thing! Fingers crossed!

 

I really hope that I can be more regular with these posts, and fill them with a little more diversity (I DON’T WANT TO KEEP UPDATING YOU WITH MY LIFE EVERY FEW MONTHS WITH NOTHING INTERESTING IN BETWEEN, AT LEAST!) – but thank you to those who read my ramblings, anyway!

07/06/18

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I thought I’d put some of my thoughts down today, otherwise the excitement and fear will engulf me!

So a few crazy things have happened over the last few months (good and bad!) which have led to me to a lot of realisations about my life and my future. Now, I’m a natural worrier and change scares me – but these last few months are teaching me, slowly, not to be so afraid anymore. It is definitely a work in progress and I don’t always have good days, but I like to believe I’m more aware of myself and what is right for me, rather than what is right for other people.

ANYWAY, I think I touched briefly in an older post on my mental health becoming a little more problematic than usual in the last few months and having to start using propranolol to deal with panic attacks. Soon after this, I developed an infection, at the time it was just a small infection that was dealt with using a round of antibiotics for a few days, however the following two weeks proved that the infection hadn’t cleared up and I ended up being diagnosed with a kidney infection and was on even more medication! I missed my last exam performance at university and had to cancel a lot of my plans for about a week. Luckily, I’m able to resit the exam later on in the year, but the process of it all was a bit of a nightmare!

As I recovered from the infection, my mental health was getting worse (I think sitting with myself for many days in a row alone didn’t help either) and I ended up absolutely losing my shit with my parents after they were concerned about my behaviours, and self-harmed (something I haven’t done in a long time) which got me on my knees really and I knew that I needed to get myself out of this place that I had been sinking into for a while. I had my well-being assessment over the phone (mentioned in one of my previous posts) and from there, things have definitely felt much, MUCH more manageable and the weight of “coping” has lifted hugely.

Since then, I’ve been working to rid myself of some of the negative energy and doing some really great protection  rituals with my mum. I feel like I’m coming back to myself again which feels amazing and I’m seeing ALL the opportunities that are coming up for me and its making me excited about life again!

I have been offered a few months away to work in Italy whenever I want, which is something I’ve pondered over for the last 6 months as maybe something to take up next summer when I finish my degree. It would be nice to end my degree with something like this, because the thought of maybe going straight into full time work is making me feel down, so this is a great opportunity to get a bit of mini travelling in!

I also have the opportunity of taking a masters degree after I graduate from my BA, which is something I’ve also been pondering over as I was informed that I am eligible to apply to a creative writing masters course that runs at my uni (with a discount!). This is something I’m really keen on, especially as I can take it part time over the course of a couple of years! Aside from Music, writing and reading has been something I absolutely love and always want to improve in. This feels like a brilliant way of doing that? I didn’t do as much writing during my degree as I may have liked and music and writing go hand in hand, right?! These are just thoughts whizzing around my mind at the moment, but the fact that these are options for me is something I’m feeling grateful for today.

Over and out!

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Flat Earth and NASA?

I was watching a “conspiracy theory” video by Shane Dawson (he is becoming my favourite youtuber at the moment!) today and reading a lot to do with the ever-talked about flat earth theory and I’ve spent my day in deep discussion with my mum about it, a fun Wednesday!

When it comes to theories and other things like these, I am always super fascinated by them and they inspire my writings and music massively. However, I actually tried to stay away from this theory for a while, just based on how huge it became online – I tend to observe more these days when it comes to theories, politics, religion, etc. Previously, I have jumped into political and social issues and felt like I had to choose a “side”, which fucked me up quite a lot, especially when I began to realise that any “side” I chose was just as corrupt. So I made a choice about a year ago (the same time I stopped gigging) to step back and just observe, to be open to ALL possibilities – and thats where I still try to stay.

I think a lot of people nowadays are in pretty good knowledge that NASA’s trip to the moon was unlikely to have been genuine. There are way too many anomalies in the footage and pictures. I mean, the original footage is “lost” and the technology used to send them to the moon is “destroyed” and so cannot be used again or investigated. Convenient? How can we restore thousands of years old worth of history in the ground, but lose the only known footage of the first trip to the moon?! It just all seems a little sketch-y to me!

I should point out that I don’t in any way claim to “side” with the flat earth theory or the big bang theory. I like aspects of both and I’m open to both! 

Some of the reasons spoken about in this video as to why people may be challenging the round earth theory could begin with what I learned today! NASA actually don’t have a real image of what the Earth looks like. The images they have given to us are actually compiled images of tiny pictures they have taken, as they cannot take a full image in one go, with chunks missing as they haven’t been able to orbit across the planet in equal segments. This means they photoshopped the missing pieces by using repetitions of other pictures they have taken in order to fill up the spaces. I actually had no idea this was a thing and don’t feel like this is widely known.

Some potential physical evidence to suggest that the earth isn’t spherical can be taken from the flat earth society’s actual website: “Perhaps the best example of flat earth proof is the Bedford Level Experiment. In short, this was an experiment performed many times on a six-mile stretch of water that proved the surface of the water to be flat. It did not conform to the curvature of the earth that round earth proponents teach.” This was something briefly touched on in the video I watched today, which talked about the “curve of the earth”…we never see it! Isn’t it strange when we fly in airplanes that we are thousands of miles high in the air and still cannot see a trace of the earth’s curve? I do find this one a little vague, especially as I’m not sure airplanes fly high enough to view the earth on that kind of scale to see any shaping. I’m open to any challenges though, it is something that interests me greatly! I found this also on their website which I thought was interesting in regards to the biggest question posed to “flat earthers”.

There are many pictures on the internet and in other media depicting the earth as being round. Why do these not disprove flat earth theory?
In general, we at the Flat Earth Society do not lend much credibility to photographic evidence. It is too easily manipulated and altered. Many of the videos posted here to “prove a round earth” by showing curvature will show no curvature or even concave curvature at parts. The sources are so inaccurate it’s difficult to build an argument on them in either case. Furthermore, barrel distortion and other quirks of modern cameras will cause a picture to distort in ways which may not be immediately obvious or apparent, especially without references within the picture. Photographs are also prone to distortion when taken through the bent glass of a pressurized cabin as well as atmospheric conditions on the outside. With this litany of problems, it’s easy to see why photographic evidence is not to be trusted. It’s also worth noting that if a person were to look down at the earth from high above, they would expect to see a circular shape where the sun’s spotlight was shining. This explains why high altitude photographs are generally curved to produce the illusion of a round horizon.”

 

Taking into consideration that all those pictures we see are actually digitally edited and made to look a certain way and that scientists have literally guessed how certain parts of the earth look and presented it as a true image would cause anyone to question if the information we have been given by NASA is actually fact, right? There is TONS more info online and such from pretty reliable sources, obviously I’m no expert in any of it – just another curious person! Be sure to check it out if you enjoyed this post!

Here is the video I watched, by the way! Credit to Shane Dawson and his awesome brother for the discussion – be sure to watch this! The conversation begins at around 27 minutes in.

Music, performing and writing “happy” songs

Music has always been a thing for me. It has been one of the only things I’ve ever really been good at, or at least has come naturally to me. Both of my parents are musicians and I performed on stage whilst in the womb!

I did an interview on the radio a few years ago and when I shared this, the interviewer was unsurprised that I had followed this path and found the whole situation to be a “classic rock and roll story”. Perhaps, haha!

Although my parents split when I was a small child, my passion for music became apparent to both of my parents fairly fast. My dad bought me my first acoustic guitar and my mum bought me my first electric guitar before I turned 10 and I put almost every spare moment into teaching myself and writing my own songs. I’m not quite sure why my dad never taught me guitar as a child, I always asked, but he seemed to be resistant, making comments that were along the lines of “I don’t want you to enter into an unstable industry where you never know when you’ll be paid from one week to another…” As I’ve gotten older, I can see where he was coming from – Music isn’t an easy access path into financial stability of any sort, really. But, as a child, all I interpreted from that was “you aren’t good enough to play music and i don’t want to help you”. This definitely had a huge impact on my self-esteem. Anyway, I worked my ass off trying to write my own songs, to sound like my favourite artists at the time (Nirvana, Hole, Tori Amos…things my mum listened to a lot, I was a 90s baby!). I made a decision that THIS is what I wanted to do and creating a good song was worth everything.

Fast forward to now, I’m gigging, studying Music at my dream university and releasing music online regularly.  I feel so lucky to be able to pursue these things and that I followed my instincts (eventually!) – I had previously fallen into a fear when I was finishing school, where a lot of my teachers advised I should do my A-Levels, I was never accepted onto any music A-Level courses (apart from Music Technology) as they were classical courses and I was “too contemporary”. This really hit me hard because I really wanted to continue my music studies and felt that I couldn’t anymore. My teachers told me that I should forget about music and focus on something else, instead. So I threw myself into other subjects that I also enjoyed (English Lit, History, Politics and Drama) and whilst these were interesting to me, particularly English, something was missing from my life. After being rejected from those music courses, I stopped playing guitar and singing, even in my personal time – I started to think that maybe music wasn’t for me at all and I had made a huge mistake in pinning all of my hopes onto it.

This made me feel very low emotionally and I made some unhelpful choices for myself. My mental health got so bad that I ended up at my first round of CBT and figured out that music was too much of an important part of my life and without it, I was miserable – I was going to have abandon my A-Levels and try out for a BTEC in Music. THIS WAS THE BEST DECISION I EVER MADE. It was a turning point in my life as I was able to return back to the studies that I had originally wanted to pursue. I began doing open mic nights at my local pub and building friendships and connections, a lot of whom I am still in touch with now. I was offered gigs and places to record, as well as a safe place to learn how to perform.

Performing isn’t my favourite thing to do. I prefer recording and writing songs, but I know that performing is kinda part of the game and I play as much as I can manage! One of the things that I have noticed after a few years of playing live is how much people make assumptions about you before they have spoken to you or heard you play. There have been some gigs where I have been warmly welcomed and audiences respond well, but, there have been just as many where I have been laughed at, ignored, shouted at, been called names and my favourite; told where I’m going “wrong”.

“Why don’t you write happier songs?” took me by surprise the first few times I’d heard it at different gigs. Fun fact: I was fired from a covers song performing job because I wasn’t upbeat enough! I had never considered that my writing or sound was anything, really – it was just something that came out of me and I had no control over it. However, I began to obsess over it and tried to think about the songs I was writing in more detail, changing certain chords and singing in different ways with lyrics that could be regarded as “happier”. I think I drove myself insane for a good year doing this. Nothing changed, btw. People then started to point out that I apologised on stage too much, didn’t move enough, didn’t have a band…I was doing it ALL wrong. I still experience this, often. I must note that I do have just as many wonderful people who show their support all the time for my work, however it changes and morphs over time and for that, I am stupidly grateful and lucky.

After some time away from performing for about a year, I wanted to try and kinda “find myself” musically and explore other things that interested me. Part of that exploration was accepting the kind of artist and performer I was and that IT WAS OKAY.

Its ok that I choose not to have a band right now.

Its ok that I write about the themes that I do.

Its ok that I’m not a “riot girl” (long story, for another time!).

Its ok to sound the way that I do.

All of it is ok. And thats where I am with it all right now. I am who I am and I’m going to stop trying to get validation from audiences, tutors, random online interaction. I validate myself. I am free and I can do whatever I need to do for me.

 

THE STAR 03/06/18

34393969_1614025405361935_6905428769033420800_n  Card of the day – THE STAR – “The Star tells a story of eternity that reaches far beyond any one lifetime, all is well and all will be well.”

I was writing some music tonight, perhaps reflecting on today and my experiences over the last couple of months and decided to pick out a card from my tarot deck and this was my card. Seems fitting.

 

“Be near your phone at 11am”

So today I had a scheduled phone appointment with a well-being professional regarding my request for CBT. The whole thing was pretty terrifying, even though I’ve done this before, there was still a huge part of me that wanted to ignore the call and run away from it. I’m so glad I didn’t. I answered the phone and went through more questions and was asked to take the numbers of samaritans and other helplines. It was hard to answer some of the questions, especially regarding my thoughts and self-harm. I used to self-harm as a teenager and thankfully nowadays its a very rare thing, but it can still happen. Admitting that to someone over the phone filled me with such shame and sadness, but I still did it. I did it, I want to hold onto those three words because despite the rollercoaster of emotions during that 30 minutes, I pushed through and stayed honest and open to the process. I’m proud of that.

The woman on the other end of the phone was lovely. She said she thinks I may have a mix of anxiety and depression, but wants to further assess in person as she thinks the anxiety may be having more of an effect on me. I would agree with that, too. As soon as I put the phone down, I sobbed for a bit. All the fear, tension, anger, sadness, happiness and relief had to go somewhere, right? Crying felt good and necessary.

I went on to have a really great day, meeting up with my mum for lunch and then spent some time reading Alison Weir’s “The Lady In The Tower” book on Anne Boleyn’s rise and fall. THAT BOOK IS AMAZING SO FAR, btw. As much as my head wants to take me down, there is an over-ruling sense of relief and happiness about answering the phone today. I’m not alone anymore, I don’t have to “cope”.