I'm still here, still on the move. Well, literally just in Belfast moving about from place to place, grateful for my community here more than ever. I'm coming up against a lot of challenges these days, namely because I have also reached The End of My Known Plan for 2016. 2017 holds another pile of good things, but I'm not sure where 2016 will take me next. I have a to-do list that requires a certain number of items that I don't have in one place (including that same internet that prevented me from blogging most of the time I was in Austria!). This is causing me great anxiety.
Somehow, though - through hard work, asking questions, and a bit of luck - I am currently fully able to sustain myself from any place in the world with a few extra borrowed or rented bits of gear.
OK, so I've reached goal 1 - be able to live anywhere and still work. Goal 2: make art whilst doing that. There's the clencher: I'm so focussed on the logistics of where I'm going to put my body and my stuff (South Belfast? East Oakland? Central Virginia? Southeast Austria?), that I am not spending time doing what I love except in small, wedged-in moments here and there. Still, my songwriting has morphed along with me and I'm surprised at the twangs that are coming off my guitar and the words that it plucks out of me.
I had the immense pleasure of playing at the beautiful Bronte Homeland Church at a gig hosted by the inimitably positive Lucie Corcoran. She is a pioneer in Northern Ireland with a passion for site-specific gigs in unusual places. You should check out her JAM Nights on Facebook if you're in Northern Ireland. She knows what she's doing.
So goal 3 is to apply to more places, goal 4 play more shows, whilst goal 5 is working in the background with goal 2: record a new album for release.
Life is difficult; of course, it presents challenges and setbacks for everyone, whether you live in one house, are single, have a kid, have a full-fledged family and full-time job. It's difficult when people idealise about my life; don't worry, I fantasise about your fixed abode and sense of community. It's difficult knowing that people I care about can't see the day to day reality of my life, the chaos of moving gear around, of dragging my stuff everywhere. BUT would I change it?
Yes, I would have a base, but I would keep exploring and writing in new spaces. And for now, I realise I am in a position where I can imagine where I want to be and, with some time and patience, go. It is not easy and I'm not financially well-off, but I'm floating.
If you're reading this - and I know you are - drop me a line. I'm looking for shows and tours in your neck of the woods.
I'm really amazed at the number of you who have messaged me about my blog. It means a lot. When you're travelling with no community, it's touching to know that folks care enough to click on the link and read.