Neither music, nor life, should be a lonely journey.

And if it is, the journey can change. 

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Fee's Homesong Blog

Follow Those Links 

You may have noticed that I have stopped putting up links to other people’s songs in this blog. Previously doing so got me listening to songs that were new to my ears, or ones which I hadn’t heard in a while. And I know some folk liked to Follow Those Links.

I like to be giving and generous in my outlook if possible. But, hey, I’m a songwriter, who releases his own songs every month. And there is SO MUCH out there on the InterNettyWeb. Enough to cause us all to slowly drown, as we wallow in that eternal universe of digital signology which can potentially syphon pleasure or understanding, entertainment or information, into our limited brains, for ever and ever, Amen!

And you’re quite capable, without any help from me, of drowning yourselves, I’m sure. So I decided to cut that out, and simply allow anyone who so cares simply to enter my own strange thought world, and to link to my own music.

Although very much a subjective pleasure, I don’t see that as too much of a deprivation. But anyway, feel free to do what I did, and take any words from this blog that might be a song title, and find a song YOU’VE never heard before.

Hours of fun to be had. :-)

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The Car Crash 

I passed by a car crash today.
It was horrific.
There for the grace of god go I.

So we all stopped our cars
And got out our picnics
And started to discuss whose fault the crash was.

Most of us hadn’t seen the crash happen.
Somebody had. She filled us in.
We quickly came to our own VERY strong conclusions
About who was to blame.

Those conclusion differed.

Before long, our roadside picnic
Turned into its own kind of car crash.
Because, it turned out
Each of us was very attached to their own conclusion.
Things got a little feisty.
Families who a short while earlier
Had been travelling along quite happily together
Came to blows.

Meanwhile, the victims of The Car Crash continued to suffer.
Some of them dead. Some of them dying.
A lot of pain.
The ambulances managed to get through I think.
We weren’t really paying attention by now.

You have to understand.
It was very important
That our voices were being heard.

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They Are All Ghosts 

The anxiety that comes from worrying about what other people think about us, is perhaps the most debilitating of all. It’s dominated far too much of my own life. And it’s also completely pointless. There are no redeeming features to this sort of worry.

It’s a fiction inside our heads that has the power to read itself aloud, like an internal audio book on repeat, whether or not the people that we are feeling anxious about are:

-In the room
-Thinking about us even a little bit
-Able to affect us
-Care about us
-Close by
-Far away

-Or even alive.

Yes, I’ve had internal conversations, regarding things I’m trying to sort out in relation to people who in actual reality are deid!

The thing is the dead people in our heads are no more or less a lie, a made up character in effect, than the living ones.

They Are All Ghosts.

And like all ghosts, all they really require is a little acknowledgement of their existence. They don’t need lengthy and repeated conversations that only we can hear, because only we can see these particular ghosts.

I’m finding if I recognise these internal conversations for the “Ghosties” they are, and if I don’t run and hide, but allow myself to “see” them, then they can and do quickly vanish into the ether. And perhaps they return. But then the same thing applies. It is very possible for them to stop returning.

So, in conclusion, we could give Ghostbusters a call. We could purchase our very own Ecto Goggles, Proton Packs, Ghost Traps, and Slime Blowers.

Or perhaps we already have the required tools to do the job ourselves.

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Nice To Meat You 

A very quick riff below, with no particular direction home, after a conversation about animal welfare with my youngest son who is a vegan.

Nice To Meat You”
Said the farmer to the horse
”It’s OK, this is Scotland,
I’m not French!
I’m not going to eat you.
Nor the frog that is sitting
Quite quietly on your back
With his legs crossed
As though afraid
That I might start thinking
About removing them
And frying them
Anyway, I’m not an animal!
Or rather I am
But not the kind of animal
That eats your kind of animal.
It’s rather hard to explain
And I expect you’re both glad
That you don’t suffer
These kind of moral dilemmas.
Have a nice day!”

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To Be Me 

I’ve got the whole world in my head.

Or, my head is the whole world. All that’s there is all that’s there.

That hill I see through the window, away in the distance, is actually not “there” at all. It’s right here in my consciousness. In fact that’s the only place it is, as far as my own experience goes. It’s in the same place, in fact, as the fingers that are typing this text. And as my vision of that text.

These kind of thoughts, and more, could blow a blokes mind. But, when I examine them, they seem to be true. I didn’t work this out for myself. Other folk pointed me in this direction.

And now I’m in this direction, it’s inescapable. It’s also liberating. The whole experience is mine to be experienced. It’s a unique, lonely, complete, transformative place to be.

To Be Me.

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A Little Bit Concerned 

I’ve always tried to acknowledge my own luck in living, as I have, through a period of time where peace existed in my part of the world, when my part of the world was relatively wealthy, and where there was a fair amount of equality and social justice. To a large extent this is still the case.

At some point I probably believed that, give or take the odd setback, the only way was up. I’m not so confident of that anymore for a whole host of reasons. One of the main ones being the changes that are occurring in regard in the realm of free speech - our recognition that everybody has the right to express their opinion, including provably wrong ones, or prejudiced ones, as long as that right isn’t used to incite attacks upon other people.

Free speech is the first thing to come under attack in a society heading in a bad direction, and if that goes, then there is an undoubted danger that other positive aspects of living in the kind of place that is good to live, will come under threat.

And the most important kind of free speech is probably the kind we disagree with.

I’ve been very slow to notice change, for all sorts of reasons, but the first time I became properly aware of how much this basic sign of a healthy society was coming under attack, occurred when I listen to a podcast, not so long ago, about the demonisation of a previous heroine of the liberal left, Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling.

A few years ago she got involved in the widely publicised transgender argument, by speaking up in defence of others who themselves had been attacked or had had their jobs taken away. In this instance for expressing concern about the safety of women, if some human beings, born as men, could change their gender after the fact, and then be allowed to use facilities previously designated for women only.

Right or wrong, this is a completely reasonable concern. And yet Rowling became subject to enormous amounts of online abuse as well as genuine physical threats to her life, for voicing her opinion. Some of these mainly online attacks probably come under the designation of “free speech” themselves - she herself acknowledged this - but never the less were extremely excessive, and perhaps a sign that a freedom to “speak your mind” was not quite the given that it had been. The strange thing was that much of this abuse came from people who were fans of her books.

In my own world, during the Scottish Independence debates, I was aware that some people who opposed the idea said they were a little bit frightened of speaking their own minds, because of the vehemence of abuse they could get from some of factions of my own side of the argument. (Ironically, J.K. Rowling was one of those people).

At the time I went along with the idea that, though it was wrong that this should happen, the other side were worse. But that really isn’t the point, even if true. The fact that there is an atmosphere of fear, and I feel it too these days, about simply talking through certain subjects, is a sign of a sea change in the whole area of free speech.

And I’ve mentioned even more pertinent examples recently, when my wife lost her job because of opinions that she was expressing.

Something that we used to take for granted is under threat. It’s affecting all of us. And I haven’t got any great insights or answers. I think there are very complicated causes which I don’t personally understand.

But it is fair to say that I am more than A Little Bit Concerned. I don’t believe that real justice, or any kind of healthy societies and communities, can exist without true freedom of speech. I want to be able to speak my mind. I want to live in a world where everybody can. And I truly hope that other people can have that freedom around me, without fear or trepidation, or any sense of reluctance.

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This Little Light 

This Little Light of mine
I’m going to let it shine.
Which may or may not help if you’re in the same room as me.

On the other hand, be very cautious of the hands that have access to the fuse board. Or, to make matters a little less opaque, always watch out for attacks upon free speech.

More tomorrow on this one.

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Never Mind 

Drip drip drip.

We are getting drips. In a different place from the previous drips, which we have never managed to put an end to, either by ourselves or with expert assistance.

Water is quite an amazing thing. Life giving.

But also potentially destructive.

Over centuries, and millenium gouging out gorges, and valleys, and canyons, and caves and…

…over a slightly shorter period playing havoc with our plasterboards.

So after berating one of the boys about taking a shower, I’ve now had to tell the same fella to stop taking a shower. Never Mind.

Drip, drip, drip.

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Get The Sparks Flying 

I mentioned that recently I had been struggling to get inspired in a songwriting sense, and in music generally. I’ve started doing a few things to Get The Sparks Flying.

Firstly, after many years of threatening to, but never really doing so, I’ve started to learn to play a couple of songs that I really like. I mean ones that I didn’t write. And then the plan is to learn more, and make them a small part of my repertoire when I gig. One of those songs, I kind of already knew, and I may even have played once. A cracker of a song by Christie Moore called Ride On. The second one is another love song, also one of my favourites by The Beautiful South called Prettiest Eyes.

I’m late to the party when it comes to singing covers, but the time feels right.

Secondly, I’m learning a new strumming/picking technique. I did the same a couple of years ago and wrote a song using that technique called Holy Water. The plan is to do the same with the new technique. I certainly haven’t mastered it yet, but I am at the point where I can start singing over it while I play. That gets the juices going.

Finally I’m taking part in a wee Songwriting Circle organised by Forest Of Songs and its founder Cecily Pearce. Cecily, I know, will get the ball rolling properly and (I’m just mixing and murdering a few metaphors to warm up) hammer the final nail in my apathetic coffin, putting an end to any songwriting malaise I’m suffering. (ps. The start date has changed to the 26th Feb if you were interested in joining the fun).

None of this is rocket science of course. And, sometimes, all ya really need is ye goode old fashioned kick up the arse!

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I Woke Up One Day 

Had a lovely talk about Determinism with one of my sons on Skype last night. As you do.

But …as the old joke goes … I was bound to say that.

Not many people are enamoured by the idea that, even if, in one sense we are capable of making voluntary actions, we don’t actually have free will - that there is an inevitability to everything we do. It’s an even less popular concept than trying to take “God” out of the equation.

On the surface it seems to go against our intuition, and how we feel that we operate in day to day life. But in practise, even when we “decide” to do something, that decision is simply the last domino to fall, in a long sequence of dominos that go back to the beginning of time. If there is such a thing. And we didn’t have any control over any of those dominos if we are honest.

It’s fine to say “I could have done that, instead of this”. But I didn’t. I did this. And I have, again if I’m honest, absolutely know idea what particular thought, movement or sensation is going to step to the front stage of my consciousness in the next instance.

An interesting thing happens though, if we take Free Will out of the equation. We can’t help but develop more compassion for ourselves and for everybody else in the world. Including the Bad Buggers.

”Yeah, but I want to FEEL better than other people. I want to take credit for my achievements. I want my hard earned status (!???) and sense of superiority”.

But I discovered, when I Woke Up One Day as a Determinist, just as I woke up one day not believing in God, that the world didn’t fall apart. Instead it opened things up a little bit more. I was still the same person with the same desires and motivations. I still wanted to develop good habits, make the most of this life, and live as though other people’s lives mattered.

But I was able to do so with a greater sense of wonder, and a great deal more inclination to feel forgiveness and understanding for everybody. Including myself. Just the inclination I should add. But also a new readiness to start again pretty much immediately, when I failed.

It’s a hard idea to get the old noodle around, and a little bit discombobulating at times. And it undoubtedly raises lots of relevant questions. But I’m finding it quite liberating. And actually, I can’t see things any other way now. The fact that my life is inevitable, doesn’t steal the pleasure away. It’s just a different, and uncluttered way of seeing.

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