March into April

 

IMG_7831“The choice to love is a choice to connect— to find ourselves in the other.”
bell hooks

Human all with Gender identity sharing project and in Foxxs’ Frequency New Year playlist. New song Oak Tree with BBC6 playlist. Relaxation meditation on theme of mothers from Wake Up London afternoon. Arts retreat Refugee crowdfunder – funded. Upcoming events Extinction Rebellion interfaith and family group actions and wonder of garden flowers opening and leaving ladybirds.

 

Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts and feelings about Gender identity. I’m touched by the openness, honesty and vulnerability – if you read it and feel you would like in some way to contribute please do anytime.

As I was preparing to post this journal page Stonewall’s Trans day of visability image came through, it seems attitudes and understanding is changing. I found growth in my new learning of words and ways to understand others’ experiences and my own and inspiration from these places, thank you Stonewall, Gendered Intelligence and this Huffington post article.

Human All came as a response to just one conversation I heard and is a simple wish to accept others. During my reading I found these artists who too give voice to the understanding of gender, Christine and the Queens, Aye Nako, Ezra Furman, Shawnee, Shea Diamond

thanks to the wonderful Nick Kenrick, Sergio Costa, Walther/Wilma Ghabitt and Andy Hall for making this what you hear

Human All was also in this playlist by Canadian music ambassador Foxx’s Frequency last month- an hour and a half of songwriters, as always, my heartfelt appreciation to Fox 🙂 

I’ve been writing Oak Tree for a while, I remember the guitar line began to emerge during my Plum Village winter stay in 2016. Then last Summer at the Greenbelt festival, during a songwriting workshop one of the participants wrote the line, ‘the resilience of the old Oak tree’ Over New year just, I began feeling I’d like to write a song about my relationship to trees and this line came back to me, I also had some thoughts from Kareem Ghandour who put the tree inside with the line ‘resides inside me’; so its quite a collaboration really.

I know when strong feelings of hopelessness begin to arise in me, I sometimes need to find a natural  place outside, I like the idea of befriending trees, seeking comfort and confidence under their branches. Maybe you have ones you can remember in your life?

Here’s a link to Fresh On The Net, Tom Robinson (BBC6) community page, where Oak Tree made the ‘Fresh Faves’ a couple of weeks ago, and thank you also Sarah Gosling at BBC Introducing for also giving it some air time.

If you write songs or know someone who does, visit the link to submit songs weekly. The community is supportive and encouraging, thanks Tom and listeners there. 


 

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picture posted in ‘All Is Love’ IDLES fan page yesterday, artist Mari Andrew

This week at Wake Up London we had a theme of Mothers; our birth Mothers, our spiritual Mothers and the Mother in us all. Here’s a relaxation I led with ‘Lay Down’ at the end.

Amidst the appreciation and joy shown on Mothers day, it also feels right to acknowledge the difficulties Mothers experience; our sharing group that day reminded me the pain and that can be associated with Mother child relationships in the context of our world, influenced as it is by the violence of our structures. My wish with the relaxation is to bring a little healing if possible to those who hear it; I played it certainly for my mother and father and me. 

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If anyone is in London in April, Extinction rebellion has a day of their trademark creative, non-violent, disruptive action on April 15th. I am involved in the interfaith and family group for the day if you’d like to know more, please let me know and I can add you to the threads.

Here’s a few songs sung together from a recent visit,, thank you the dear and attentive Jo for the invite, and the cake 🙂 

 

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A short note to say thanks to the supporters of the crowdfunder to bring someone with a refugee background on the Wake Up Your Artists Retreat (I’m writing this on the way to Germany for it) A friend called Joseph who has been through the detention system in London will come along, I am so glad to give this experience and havee Josephs infectious smile for the week. 

If you are interested and able to donate anything for future places, please get in touch – we have a lovely new website for the retreat too which is here:

wakeupyourartist,com

 

 

 

 

To round this post I have become a bit obsessed with the flowers in our garden so far this Spring!. While the warm sunshine brings to mind the broader change in climate it also brings these beautiful colours, a call I feel to be in moments of wonder; and that brings to mind a quote by Thich Nhat Hanh:

Falling back in love with the creativity and wonder of the earth is the revolution we need.

and similarly – time to say farewell ladybirds came…

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In other wonderment , the ladybirds have been on the move, propelling themselves into the Spring air outside my window, lost count at around 70 – if I ever find hibernating ladybirds again, I will enjoy awaiting flying day.

Love

Joe 


Alongside the recordings in my journal pages I have recently released an ep of songs ahead of an album. You can visit here to stream and download.

Please don’t let money be a concern. Feel free to pass through the donation screen with my blessing if you would like to download any songs and have no means to donate.

Any donations will go to my recording and traveling fund – thank you.

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