It’s that time of year again. And to welcome you into the near year, here is my new offering. My first in many months. Though I started this tradition of mine many years ago. I plan to continue it for many years to come:
The New Year
We talk of new seasons, we talk of new days.
We talk of resolutions, in beautiful new ways.
We build relationships, we tear them down.
We reach through the ages, to dispel a frown.
This year gone, oh what joy, what pain.
So many songs, I still hear the refrain.
But as I look to tomorrow, to see what’s to come.
What’s apt to follow, considering what’s begun.
There is excitement, there is fear.
Trepidation, but a veneer.
A stronghold insistence, on resisting the persistence,
That life is but an existence, to be tolerated and endured.
Forgetting the laughter, the joy.
The love you could deploy.
In this new year, despite aggravation.
My sole recommendation is to live in the joy.
For happiness is a choice.
So, every day, from now till ever.
Make a vow, ties with bitterness to sever.
For that future place, the thing that you dream of.
The path to that place, something to lean on.
The way that you see.
The way that you think.
The way that you hear.
These will pull you from the brink.
Be the light when it’s dark.
That single solitary spark.
Be a voice when silence screams.
Even when all would burst at the seems.
In this new year, in this new day,
be the reason for others to say,
here is one who would not lean on excuse.
To lend a helping hand, he would never refuse.
So, as we talk of new seasons, we talk of new days.
As we talk of resolutions, in beautiful new ways.
Let us build relationships, and seek never to tear them down.
By all means, let us reach through the ages, to dispel that single solitary frown.
As this new year dawns.
As this new day begins.
Reach deep down inside you.
Find that love.
Let it shine!
Happy New Year!
On Friday I graduated from my Masters degree in Music Performance.
I don’t do pride much, as those of you who read my blog about my single release and other ‘achievements’ will know. But as I look back over the last number of years, I do feel a touch of pride indeed. I am no academic, I am horrendous at academic writing. My writing style is colloquial to say the least, not the approach required for academic writing at all. I still remember thinking the Under Graduate degree was a trial. On beginning the Masters degree, I came to a new understanding of the word stress. So, despite being a tad disappointed with my final grade, I am very happy indeed to have gained my Masters qualification. In the years to come, I hope I can make my family and Kingston University proud.
My graduation weekend began with the ceremony itself on Friday 24 January at The Rose Theatre in Kingston. Eason Chan, a Cantopop megastar received an honorary PhD at the ceremony, which added a certain glamour to the whole event. And I must say, getting to talk to him afterwards and asking questions of him at his press conference just made the day even better.
With family and friends in attendance, the day was beyond amazing. From Eason’s speech, to the vote of thanks by a ‘mature’ student, and then being awarded my degree by Julius, a man I know and have a great deal of respect for. He actually plugged me at the press conference! It was an amazing day. 🙂
With all the pressure I was under and the fear I wouldn’t complete the masters programme, I now ask myself if it was all worth it. My answer is yes, it most certainly was. Attending that ceremony did more than mark the end of of something. It helped to validate everything that I had to deal with over the last two years. My love for performance and for music, were the reasons I decided to extend my study in my field. Higher Education remains the way forward, no matter what certain papers may tell you. It is because of this value that it remains a bargaining piece in the political games that have been played over the last number of years in this country. And why the Liberal Democrats have much to worry about come the next general election. But, this isn’t a blog about politics. This is a blog about hope and belief. I will continue to advice others to study their passions. Seek to learn more about what you love. The PG course, as ardous as it can be, will question your understanding of your subject. It will make you question yourself and it will give you a better understanding of why you love what you love. So, it is important to know that the value of the degree isn’t in the money you have to pay for it. It is in what you get out of it. And I have always held the belief that if I want something badly enough there is nothing that will stop me from getting it. I am hardwired to try and keep trying until the final bell tolls. I worked two jobs to pay my way through my masters and didn’t get much by way of sleep. And once again, I ask, was it worth it? YES it most certainly was. Find out what you want, then go and get it. The first part of that is important. As once you know you want it, there’s no stopping you. In his speech, Eason Chan said that one should always have a kind heart. I’ve tried to keep with that motto. It’s harder to do at sometimes, but I still try. And will continue to do so.
I once told myself, when all seemed lost almost fifteen years ago, that I either fight or die, no middle ground. I’ve been fighting ever since. For me there has only ever been one option. And that is to win. And so I will, by nook or by crook. There are too many people to thank and continue thanking. I love you with all of me.
What’s next for me I hear you ask? Well, I’m currently working at Kingston International, with an amazing team of people. Will be there till the end of July. At this point I shall head to Italy to work till the end of Sept. Yesterday, I met with the MD (Musical Director) of the band I work with over there. Looking forward to working with them again. Afterwards, the next chapter in the adventure that is my life shall begin. To say I’m excited for the future doesn’t even begin to cover how I feel right now. 🙂
My graduation weekend concludes today, with a performance with my newly formed band ‘TJ and Friends’ at the Rose Theatre. So, if you’re in and around Kingston Upon Thames today, head to the Rose Theatre, where the 1st Annual Kingston Arts Student Festival will be taking place. The day begins at 12pm, till about 6pm. I will be on stage at 4.30.
Look forward to seeing you there! 🙂
And once again, thank you all for your support and your strength!
Still working in Italy. Meeting lots of new people. Handing out my business card left and right. You never know, maybe one day something will come out of this.
Anyway, earlier today I emailed my dissertation to my supervisor, which means I have some time on my hands with nothing to do till she replies telling me all I’ve done wrong and asking that I rewrite the whole thing.
I found this little unfinished poem. Generally when I come across unfinished pieces, I try to see if I can finish them. But not quite happening this time. In truth, I can’y quite connect with where I was when i wrote it, so I cannot possibly be true to it and as a result all that would happen would be that it becomes somewhat disjointed if I were to force the issue. Maybe when I come back to it next time, I’ll have a resolution for it.
So for now here it is:
I am to tell you of laughter.
I am to tell you of light.
I am to sing not of destitution
Nor of fright.
Levity is gone, I cannot find thee here.
Seek me out will you?
In this time,
“give me something to sing about”
This was the refrain, was it not?
I have much to sing on.
Though not of joyous rhyme.
I have much to speak on.
I daresay you will not speak in time.
In this season,
In this time.
This is my reason for this rhyme.
My heart remains heavy.
My mind remains weary
I recently started writing a song called ‘Pictures’ which I may or may not finish in time to put in the upcoming album.
The idea behind the song, like many of my songs, is quite simple. It says to take a picture that will remind you of laughter, of joy and of a time when all was well. As when times are hard we will need something to hold to. Something to remind us that things aren’t forever bleak.
There is something about the early hours of the day that can either spark creativity or depending on where one is emotionally, nostalgia. And as I write this blog, it is about 3am and I’m trying to fight off this wave of melancholy that has been trying to beat me over these last few months. I’ve had some ups and downs over those months and it finally seems to be getting the upper hand, so I must make a conscious effort to improve my disposition.
People often wonder why I take so many pictures and they always fear my candid pictures. My reasons are purely selfish. I just want to remember. People come in and out of my life all the time. I want to be able to look at a picture that will remind me of that moment. The poses won’t always do it. A picture of someone pulling a face at me in some random pub, will tell me more of that person and my relationship with them at that time than any posed picture.
Anyway, I want to share a very short story with you about why I take too many pictures. And why I care not for your vanity when these pictures are taken. I just want to remember you in that moment. I want to capture and keep that moment and remember it for as long as I live.
Many of you already know about my time living in a homeless hostel. Well, while I lived there, I made friends with two particular people within the place. We’ll call them Jack and Jill.
They helped make my time in the hostel bearable. It was hard for all of us, but often when we would just come together at night and share our time, things didn’t feel so bad. Jack always had a smile on his face, he always laughed, he always sought the lighter side of all that was around us. Eventually I left the hostel and was slowly able to begin moving upwards socially. I found a job, entry level Data Entry, but it was a start for me. And at 20 I just wanted to make money to live and begin pulling my life back together at a time when I never thought it was possible.
Nevertheless, I didn’t keep in touch exceptionally well with Jack and Jill, but I know they eventually got together and had some kids. A boy and a girl. At some point my life path merged with Jill’s for a while. As a result I was able to see Jack much more. In time Jill and I grew apart, but we still spoke every so often.
One night I called Jill just to see how she was, and she told me Jack had died. Killed himself a few days ago. There are no words for the grief felt at that point. I’m not a fan of tears, I don’t shed them often. But I shed them in bucket loads then. I ranted, I raved, I raged at the heavens during those few weeks. I attended the funeral with Jill. We were all in a daze. We lived through it all. And somehow continued to strive.
Years later, as I think back on those times, I cannot for the life of me remember what Jack looked like. I haven’t a single picture of him anywhere. There is no log somewhere saying we shared our lives with each other at one point. Nothing showing the emotional strains shared. No black book detailing that period of our journeys. Nothing.
So now, I take too many pictures. I take candid pictures, I take posed pictures. If you’re in front of my camera, it means I want to remember you, as you are. You have worth to me in that exact moment, no matter what you think you look like. I want you in my memories.
When you smile,
I’ll take a picture.
When you laugh,
I’ll take a picture.
When you frown,
I’ll take a picture,
I make you growl,
And take a picture.
When you squirm,
I’ll take a picture.
Cause you to shout,
and take a picture.
When we’re together,
I’ll take a picture.
Maybe just for now,
I’ll take a picture.
In and out my life, you walk
Long lengths of time and short spurts, we talk.
By my side, in my mind.
Gone from sight not from mind.
Little things to remind, what you meant and mean to me.
To shed that single solitary tear, I take a picture to keep you near.
Never forget, always remember.
So long ago, that distant September.
And if time should never bring us back together,
Your picture will keep us close forever.
- A picture really is worth a thousand words (gracefulwonders.wordpress.com)