Friday, November 19, 2010


I first became aware of this poem in 1995 because of it's inclusion on the sleeve notes for the album "Mind Fruit" by Opus III (which was released in 1992 - it took me 3 years to get around to buying the album), and it has really stuck with me over the years - a lot more than I had consciously realised until I was recently reaquanted with it in a different medium.

It is featured as a spoken word track on the album "Revelations" by Beyond...& Back, which I got a few weeks ago. Hearing it's words spoken out loud reminded of how much the sentiment of this poem resonated and also influenced me in terms of my own view of life, and how I have been unwittingly carrying portions of this poem's message with me for the past 15 years.

Upon investigation it appears it was written in 1927 by someone called Max Ehrmann - but interestingly, for many years it was commonly misattributed to being from the 17th century, a misconception that was perpetuated by both the Opus III sleeve notes and the credits on "Revelations".

I could go into much more detail about the particular lines that have been bouncing around just at the forefront of my mind all this time - but I'll leave you to take what you want from it's content. . .

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham drudgery and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Songs to die to

Building A Wall Inside, A Wall Round My Heart.

I haven't listened to this for a long time, which is strange given that it's by far one of my favourite pieces of music ever. It's one of those songs that is the first to jump into my head when I think of 'songs to put on a suicide playlist' - as in, the last thing you want your ears to hear, if you can give yourself the choice.

It's been so long since I last listened, that the impact of hearing this again was quite profound, it was new all over again - the break at 4.19 literally took my breath away and reduced me to tears, I'd forgotten how beautiful it was, It's like the sound of love, tearing open a calloused heart.

I think it would also be a good litmus test on a suicide playlist - If I can hear this and still not find the beauty in life, then it truly is time to give up.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You.

I've long been a fan of the singles that it spawned, but I only recently got the album "The Apple" by A Man Called Adam - to be honest I'm a little remorseful for the last 18 years I've spent without this balearic masterpiece.

In particular I'm in love with the track 'Porcupine'.

Outside the comfort of my conscience,
People come and people go,
But as the smoke cleared and I saw you smiling,
I thought, there's someone I'd like to know.

Your best friend told me all your secrets,
And just for that I'll tell you mine,
It might help you see,
That you've no need to be,
As prickly as a porcupine.

Come show me what you want me to be,
Exactly what you think you need,
You're not a virgin, to this charm.

Porcupine your fate awaits you in my arms,
And it's only time that separates you from my arms.

Don't ever underestimate,
The power in these fingertips,
Cos I can quell the rage that burns inside you,
Come on be the cup that knows these lips,
Or if it's innocence you're craving,
I have innocence misplaced,
And you can ride your skateboard in the gutter,
And put your free arm round my waist.

Come show me what you want me to be,
Exactly what you think you need,
You're not a virgin, to this charm.

Porcupine your fate awaits you in my arms,
And it's only time that separates you from my arms.

And we should take romance when we can get it, 
I Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, 
Really, Really, Really Love You.

Monday, November 8, 2010


I've spent today feeling hopelessly without purpose after a series of social interactions which only served to play on my paranoia and feelings of inadequacy, and non responses from people I've contacted.

I also spent the day watching zombie flicks, as you do, when you need cheering up.

"Carriers" was okay, but certainly didn't blow me away or anything - not that I wasn't grateful for some Chris Meloni screen time, unfortunately it was only for half the movie. It was one of those films where the sheer stupidity of the characters left you wishing they would just die anyway.

"La Horde" was better, I liked that in the end (SPOILER!) everyone dies, although I had a feeling this would be the case when the main character was stranded on the roof of a car with nothing but a machete and an endless throng of marauding zombies surrounding him, you know when the main character is left without hope, then the rest of them can kiss sweet fanny adams goodbye by the end aswell.

"Mutants" I enjoyed immensely, watching the character Marcus's slow degradation as he succumbed to the effects of the virus made me feel incredibly queezy - and whilst some of the on line reviews seem to complain about how the film slows down at this point, this was the part I found most compelling and genuinely scary.

I used to believe that love conquered all - and I'm slowly having to deal with the fact that it doesn't, and given that it doesn't - What hope does that give me when the zombie apocalypse comes, and all I'm left with to survive are my heart, a potato masher and a lint brush.