Just a little summary of some thoughts that seem interesting at the time
My IOS Apple health app is showing it has stored 238.66 terabytes of my data! Wow, didn’t know I did that many steps.
Watching performers, I appreciate quality but I don’t get particularly excited by even exquisite technical excellence. Looks attract, certainly, but interest is quickly lost if there is nothing real going on beyond the performance. I detach emotionally when there is anything conceited or contrived. What holds me is real lived human experience, with all its … Continue reading Journal 2020-09-18
I really don’t like listening to or watching any recent performance of mine, even if I am generally pleased with how it turned out. This is weird because I don’t mind after a while, when there is some distance and I have forgotten about the process involved. I suppose the time delay helps me listen/watch … Continue reading Journal 2020-09-10
Listened on YouTube to various attempts at turning Shakespeare’s sonnets into songs. I don’t think these straight translations work very well. However Shakespeare is so clever that if you read the lines of his sonnets out of sequence as rhyming couplets (e.g. line 1 then 3 then 2 then 4 etc.) the sonnet usually still … Continue reading Journal 2020-09-01
A lot of what I know is the product of age and curiosity, and although broad is often just familiarity with the basics. But I do also feel something expanding within me lately and I’m not sure of the cause, like energy from a switch that has been flicked on.
Random thought, slipping into British mode… Despite its reputation, England can be a nice place for the weather. We have about six months when it can be very pleasant to be here, say from about mid-April to mid-October. The dark, cold and damp months of December to February take some extra effort to appreciate. I … Continue reading Journal 2020-08-15
Paradox of the day: It’s in my best interests not to be so self-interested.
I appreciate the story-telling of real human experience, truthfully expressing core feelings that are shared by people across cultures and time. Very generally, I tend to turn to Shakespeare for plays and poetry; and Dostoevsky for deep psychological novels. Some other great writers I like to read are Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Thomas Hardy, Anton … Continue reading Journal 2020-08-12
Reading Hamlet. It’s been done millions of times, but my instinctive interpretation of Hamlet’s “To Be or Not To Be” soliloquy is a bit different from the many performances I have seen. In fact it may be unhelpful seeing other people’s performances because the blueprints distract from my own relationship with the words. Every single … Continue reading Journal 2020-08-11
I think I will set-up my own green screen film studio and have some fun making videos. I want to shoot dramatic monologues and music performances — and also maybe some presentations if I’m feeling boring.
Iago is such a terrifying character because he revels in what he is doing. The motivating reasons can be analysed: broken pride; a sense of betrayal; jealousy; ambition; desire for power over others; or even unrequited love turned sour, if you want to read it that way. It’s true that villains often fool themselves into … Continue reading Journal 2020-07-31
Wasn’t Shakespeare amazing. It would be so interesting to find out how his genius developed, what he saw and experienced in his life that helped him write such beauty and comprehend so deeply the human material condition in all its different aspects. I can think of other notable geniuses in history — Mozart in music, … Continue reading Journal 2020-07-30
I think I’ve found a new thing. Really enjoying putting a podcast together on drama – and am working out how best to film some of the recordings. It will include some of my music as well.
I’m interested in performing great monologues from literature. Seems easy to upload audio as a podcast and filmed versions for a YouTube channel. Looking for a podcast where I can listen to dramatic performances of literature, but finding mostly dry monotone readings of poetry. Monologues on YouTube seem to be mostly non-realistic anger and angst.
I uploaded Alive today. The song took a while to finish, I needed to be in the mood. Lots of other unfinished songs to pick up and play with, but they aren’t calling me at the moment. For another time…
An obvious point is that there is greater chance of releasing the magic if not consumed by self-aggrandizement or conforming to other people’s expectations, especially if the current norms are harmful and wrong. Success in transcendent goals is not the same as success in negotiating positions of status in the current society, which of course … Continue reading Journal 2020-07-06
Reading about Dostoevsky. There is certainly a trend in history that the most interesting thinkers and artists tended to be outsiders for defining periods; and sometimes the untamed spark that made them great was dampened when invited in from the wilderness. Dostoevsky’s spark seemed to ignite after the more eventful stages of his life; in … Continue reading Journal 2020-07-05
The Internet and Smartphones have been transformative for me. I have instant access to knowledge in my pocket. At any time I can find brilliance and beauty at my fingertips. I can learn from top minds and see the most incredible examples of what humans can do. If I am unfamiliar with a word, I … Continue reading Journal 2020-07-04
In computer programming effort goes into creating reusable building blocks of code that can be implemented in multiple transferable processes. Much like the exponential growth of knowledge, the components can be included as foundations in larger and larger frameworks.
If humans are around for billions of years, then we are currently the early originals. Maybe we are at the stage where we are just starting to recognize some shapes.
Couldn’t do as many lifting reps with less food. There may be a psychological factor involved, as that was what I expected: strength athletes tend to eat at regular short intervals, and deliberately overeat over the course of a day to make sure they have the optimum amount of calories and nutrients to build muscle … Continue reading Journal 2020-07-01
Human Opportunity: Compounded improvements in the quality of life. Threat: A downward spiral into oblivion. Practical solution: Adopting a framework of good habits. Goal: Aliveness.
I am now fasting for 18 hours a day, eating a balanced meal at each end of a six hour window – called “intermittent fasting”. Looking at Twitter, inevitably leading to having to look at US politics. A couple of thoughts from a perspective across the pond: It may be acausal or a contributing factor … Continue reading Journal 2020-06-29
The phone wants attention, all the time: “Look at me, I can show you anything, just look at me.” Summon with caution. It’s a mischievous little genie that wants feeding by your stare. It can give wonders or destroy the world, it doesn’t care.
Having a proper look around Twitter. It’s a good way to get updates and information on interesting topics. The massive downside is the angry political gunge seeping through it. I generally move on when people start writing in terms like “them and us” or left and right, this tribe or that tribe. Twitter seems to … Continue reading Journal 2020-06-25
5 creative outlets for me: Playing music – vocals, instrumentals, producing; Performing – singing, acting, public speaking; Writing – music, lyrics, poetry, drama, prose; Visual art and design; Computer programming. Not interested in comparing levels of ability to others, that’s not the point. The more these areas cross-over the better. The more I enjoy doing … Continue reading Journal 2020-06-23
Any person has a wide range of emotions and impulses running through them, to lesser and greater degrees. Sometimes, given the right circumstances, grace can be found in the most surprising places; and sometimes ugliness is expressed where beauty usually resides. Mindfulness is an awareness that enables greater choice over the energy that moves you.
Acting is an exercise in empathy: the actor tries to understand the thought processes and encompass the emotional life of the character. I first look into the world from the point of view of a human being, then try on some different clothes.
In good stories the brave hero courageously saves the lives of others; well these days it can just take a tap on a screen to save someone’s life. Anyone can be the hero.
One of the effects of the worldwide shut-down has been to hasten the widespread transition from offline real life to an online virtual life, as people’s habits have needed to change for quarantine. As with most things, it’s maintaining a balance that matters for well-being. The analogue world often has more reverence albeit less sheer … Continue reading Journal 2020-06-16
I sometimes experience Hypnagogia, having vivid hallucinations in my mind’s eye in the period between wakefulness to sleep, particularly when I am very tired. I have no conscious influence over the arising images, I am just an interested viewer, with no mental presence internally voicing opinions or conclusions. I also have experienced – although more … Continue reading Journal 2020-06-01
I don’t smoke. I don’t binge drink or regularly drink alcohol. I exercise every day and get outside in the fresh air every day. I meditate. I play piano, guitar and sing every day. I do something creative every day. I learn something every day. I listen to or read the words of interesting people. … Continue reading Journal 2020-05-30
Ok, time to resume the songs now. Next up is Alive. I think this one is special, made me teary when singing, had goosebumps on my legs. Really Bobster is the identity now.
Like a virus, negativity will attack you in the world and attempt to feed on your energy. A thick skin is some defence, but is fragile and needs constant fierce protecting, in a battle that will be eventually lost. Rather that becoming one of the infected, with it eating away at you from the inside … Continue reading Journal 2020-05-23
It is such a relief to encounter a person who exudes benevolence and well-being. They bring peace, calm and shelter from the turbulence.
I have a recurring dream where I am walking down a forest path. Through the overhead swaying leaves I can see flickering beams of sunlight. Suddenly I hear the most beautiful music I have ever heard. I know I am dreaming and tell myself to remember. I wake up and can’t remember a note. If … Continue reading Journal 2020-05-07
Ill-feeling spreads like a virus unless people have immunity.
A flow state is when your inner voice has got out of the way and you are free to be one with who you are and what you are doing. It’s easier to get there when lost in the energy of music. I admire good acting that is able to reach the moment just by … Continue reading Journal 2020-04-25
So I haven’t got round to the video/film-making yet that I promised myself I would focus on – lots of other things boiling away. I really like one song, Alive, which is about the ever cheery subject of death and loss. I have to do a very different vocal performance again, lots of falsetto in … Continue reading Journal 2020-04-24
Disagreement should be no indication of stupidity or the malign. A rule of thumb is that if the story you are telling yourself prevents you from flourishing with compassion or joy then you are wrong. Well then sometimes I am mainly right and only partly wrong. And sometimes I am completely right, but only briefly.
19-April-2020: We live in an age of obfuscation by data overload, bluff and bluster. But in particular, what I have learned more about during COVID-19: 11-April-2020: I love galloping through the woods at sunset after a warm Spring day, with bird song and the scent of fresh greenery in the evening haze. 05-April-2020: I’ve recently … Continue reading Journal 20190428 to 20200419