August September

“On the death of a friend, we should consider that the fates through confidence have devolved on us the task of a double living, that we have henceforth to fulfill the promise of our friend’s life also, in our own, to the world.” 
― Henry David Thoreau

Delius Rakauskas/ New EP recording/ Insight timer meditations/ London vigil protest Friday 9th October

Autumn comes and with it, hot water bottles here where I am in London!

Some of my friends already know about the change of seasons from Summer to Autumn and how they brought another change to my life in the passing of a friend and the birth of a personal aspiration.

Delius Rakauskas was a quiet, hopeful man; a Lithuanian immigrant, who had moved to London from Ireland, from Lithuania before. On the passing of his partner who he cared for he became depressed and destitute -I met him a year into this chapter of his life – later arrested for begging, Delius was in and out of shelters and prison before settling at St Mungos shelter around the time of his 35th birthday. On a trip with a friend he cut his arm and scared to miss a probation appointment, put trip to hospital on hold; too long for infection which saw him pass away at Kings Hospital a few days later.

I wrote this song in his honour in the days around his memorial that myself and a few friends held in the park. We were blessed with the permission of the hospital to hold the service as Delius’ parents had passed away.

Spreading the ashes, reading poetry and sharing a few hours together with friends who had slept together with Delius in the park – brought us all to tears and resolve. In the following days I felt, as I have before, the wish to explore Chaplaincy, a role of spiritual accompanying – something I’ll certainly write more about another time. Here’s the song (as featured on the BBC6 Music listening post)

I have begun recording my next ep to be out I hope before the end of the year I’ve shared a bit of this skin before and here is a little of Listen To Women with the wonderful Naomi Haigh (cello) and Tim Monkey (drums) – other friends will feature felt to share how it’s sounding so far.

My honour to Play Farm Fest again this year. The festival that supports, and is usually run on, the Catholic Worker Farm outside of London that supports Women Asylum Seekers – is an eclectic mix of music and film. This year, like so many creative happenings right now, it took place online. I recorded my set from Cornwall where I was visiting my folks – if you watch (or skip! fine by me ) to the end you’ll see us singing together

set list: Oh Friends, Listen To Women, So Around, We Go Sailing, This Skin, Young Colours, House Of Gold (Hank Williams)

Lastly this post an invitation to look at this page describing a peace protest vigil I will be helping to organise on Friday 9th of October.

It might be a wash out ! …but if it’s on…(check on the day at the address below) we will be in sleeping bags. socially distanced, on the pavements outside Downing Street raising awareness about something called ‘No Recourse To Public Funds’ – something that keeps people from receiving benefits and leads them toward destitution (affects about 1.4 million people) in the country at the moment.

All info – including, (IMPORTANTLY) how to gather in line with Governmnet Covid guidelines.www.tinyurl.com/saynotonrpf

with love and love to hear from you

Joe

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