Thursday, 30 August 2012

What Because? review.

Andy Mort's book "What Because?" makes for an extremely challenging and thought-provoking read, and will stick with you for a long time afterwards. Beautifully written and presented, it is perfect for those who are ready to challenge the way they see the world and human nature, and for those who want to know what it truly means to be an artist. Definitely worth a read!

{you can buy it for Kindle here}

How big is your world?

It often amazes me how small-minded people can be. How uncurious. How indifferent.

As somebody who grew up asking questions about the world, wanting to explore and have answers for everything, it seems only natural for me to think about the huge scale of the planet that we live on and the vast amount and variety of people who we share the world with. In the eyes of some, their world is no bigger than the town they live in; the life they lead. They don't think about the fact that there are whole other cultures which are completely different from us, with tribes who don't have spoken language or customs which we might find completely bizarre. It's not that they don't care, or aren't interested. It just doesn't cross their mind. They don't think about the starving masses, the disease-riddled nations and the evil nature of humanity. They just don't see it. For them, life might not be blooms and roses, but the hardships don't get harder than maybe not having the money to buy the object they want. And it doesn't occur to them how lucky we are to even have food, or to sleep in a house which is subject to forest fire, attack, or terrible weather conditions.

To an extent we're all like this. Nobody can ever truly grasp the scale of the world we live in, because it's just too huge for our minds to truly fathom. But some people grasp the concept a little more than others. Which I simply don't understand - why would you not want to know about or explore other countries and cultures? How could you escape knowing about the situations in other places? Ignorance may be bliss, but there are definitely disadvantages too. I think people whose mindset of the world is too small miss out on a lot of beauty. Because the world is beautiful. Culture is beautiful. People are beautiful. Maybe not all the time, and maybe not when they develop into groups and gang culture, but they're certainly interesting.

I'm constantly striving to match my view of the world with how the world actually is. I'll never achieve it, but it certainly opens my eyes.

Sunday, 24 June 2012


I'm quite easily inspired. I find myself regularly awe-struck by how people's brains work, and how they might do something better or in a different way to myself. I'm quite easily impressed. But inspiration can be found in a number of ways. For instance, I am often inspired by hearing the attention-seeking, impressive playing of a musician of a higher standard than I am (or of a musician playing a different instrument from mine full stop). But sometimes, I think that the highest standard or quality of inspiration comes from those who don't even realise that they're being inspirational.

I'll give an example of a couple at my church. Even without naming any names, if any members of my church were to read this they would know exactly who I'm talking of, because they stand out as being inspirational.

Today, at Gracechurch, I was sat opposite this said married couple, both of whom I know well. As I regarded them, it was clear that she was upset, and she leant on her husband for support. That's all it was. And yet there was something so, so... beautiful about it. She leant on him in such a way that it was evident that she knew he would support her, physically but more importantly, emotionally. He was her rock as she turned her eyes to God and leant on him, too. As they stood there, his arm around her tightly, protectively, as she leant against him, worshipping and praying to the God in which they so firmly believe, it was almost as though they had become one unit. They ceased to be seperate individuals, and became instead one incredibly efficient team. A team consisting of three: him, her, and the warrior saviour Himself. A team who would support each other and lean on each other. A team who would fight battles together and bring about victory. A team who would love one another in every way possible and still find room for more.

It was inspiring, because it would be amazing to one day be in a team like that. To me, although they are human and therefore must have flaws, their marriage is what most people hope that their marriage will be like one day in the future. It was so beautiful to see, in a time when marriages so often fall apart, rendering the unit as seperate individuals once more, in a time when love is so cheap and underrated.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Moving On, Moving Forwards, Moving Away.

(dedicated to Thomas, who kindly badgered me into blogging again)

So much of my time at South now is geared towards sending me out into the wider world by packing me off to university in order to get me to open my metaphorical wings and learn to fly in one giant leap of faith.

There's one tiny problem. I don't want to leave.

I'm excited for the idea of university. I can think of nothing better than devoting my academic time entirely to music and having the social life that accompanies university life. I long for quiet, hushed studies in the corner of a dusty and dim library, surrounded by hundreds of books. I look forward to lecturers with experts in their fields. I can't wait to go exploring new places with friends, both at day and night, meeting new people as we go.

It will be my chance to grow as a person, as a student, and as a musician. And yet...

Although I don't love my home life where I live, and my social life could definitely do with less restrictions (something I'm sure I'll speak of at another time), I love my life. I love my school, where I love being involved with as much as possible, simply because it brings me so much enjoyment and joy. I love WYO and WYJO. I love my church. I love the friends I have here, both in my own year group and in others. I love the opportunities that are thrown my way from every possible direction thanks to being at the school I'm at.

This year, some of my closest friends go off to university, in approximately 3 months' time. My heart clenches at the though, in disbelief. I can't stand the idea of them leaving me, of our friendships potentially being weakened or even forgotten in the process. The same feeling occurs when I think about moving away from people here, when it's my turn to go.

I know that I should be ready to fly, and I know that my wings will unfold when I tell them too. But I don't feel old enough yet. Life is moving too quickly, and it terrifies me slightly.