This post turned out to be mostly about: following a red thread curving into darkness.

There are rivers, there is fire; there is a tiger licking a baby, and a tightrope walker.

All these things are true.

But right now, the most important thing you need to know is…


My project went sideways.

Out of nowhere, each of the pieces I had been diligently working on went dark.  I could no longer find my way into them.  This happens sometimes.  There is a fine line between knowing when to push through and when to lay back.  To do this work you have to be able to dance on that line with the consummate grace of the tightrope walker.  More than half of the process is listening and sometimes things just aren’t ready to be born.  So I put the pieces down, not knowing if I would ever pick them up again, and wondered what to do next.

As fortune would have it, this happened just before the holidays.

Weird as it may sound, I don’t plan any time off during the year.  I genuinely love what I do so time away from it can seem more a punishment than a reward.  Whilst I do understand the creative benefits of space and incubation, I generally wait for life to foist them upon me.

And even then I make sure I have my gear.

So.  There was travel and movement, there was Christmas, and there was New Year.  I took my Uke, a notepad, my meditation cushion, and a pair of running shoes.  Wherever I was, I would get up early and do my work before anyone else was awake.  I wasn’t working on the project anymore, but I am always writing, always sharpening my chops, always following that little red thread of inspiration which curves away into the dark.

At the change of the year I found myself in a cottage with a group of friends someway south of Edinburgh.  The snow had passed us by, but there was cold, and there was rain.  The open fire was pressed into near-constant service whilst outside, the river that divided the two villages viciously broke it’s banks and began devouring land, trees, and fences; hungrily lapping at cottage doors fortified with sandbags like a tiger licking a baby.

Still each day I did the work.  As far as I was concerned the project I had been pursuing could well be dead.  Sometimes things just die.  So I played, and I sang, and I wrote before dawn; then I watched the fire, listened to the rain hammering on the windows, drank some wine, and laughed with my friends.

When time away ended and I returned to the studio I had fully let go of the project and had decided to spend January writing and making sketches instead.

Purely for the fuck of it.

It was 3 days before I was working on the project again.

Out of nowhere ideas starting pouring in, tumbling over themselves almost faster than I could capture them; as easy as rain rolling down a window; sweet like laughter in fire-lit darkness.

As well as this, whilst I was away I’d also started to feel the itch to play live again, which has been growing like a quietly insistent fever in my belly ever since I returned.

All this means that 2016 is looking like a busy year.  Whenever I have solid info I’ll let you know;  look for my missives here.  And if you want me, well…

I’ll be in the studio, a-pulling on that thread.

I hope if you were celebrating that your holidays were good.  Big love to you all.


New Things, New Connections:

I made a Facebook fan page.  So, if Facebook is your jam this is where to find me.

I post different things, depending on the platform, so there will be a bunch of exclusive content; stuff not available anywhere else.   Hit the link, click the ‘like’ button, and then choose ‘allow notifications’ to be able to see what I post there.

But don’t worry, if you loathe Facebook to your very marrow (or even if you don’t) there is the Mailing List (where you also get 3 free tracks of music), and finally there is the Twitter (still the best way to see what I’m up to day to day).

Lastly, if you want to get something beautiful for yourself whilst truly support what I do, here is where you can Buy My Music.

Your support is the reason that I get to do what I do for a living.  I never forget that.

Thankyou from the bottom of my heart.

What did you think of this post?

If you have any thoughts, responses, or questions about this post, they are most welcome.  The comments box is just below. 

Add your voice to the conversation and let’s get into it.

97 thoughts on “ The River was Rising and The Rain Fell Down… ”

      1. Thank you for all the positive posts on your account. I just started my page and am glad not to see drama with other people on what they post so far.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve found that caring too much is my enemy. The more preciosity I knit into a work, the more likely I’ll stress over it being perfect. I end up smothering my creativity 😢. I wish I could find a balance between caring craft and reckless abandon. I don’t want to be 💩, but it’s hard to be 💰 when your brain its in a centered state😧.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey handsome! Lovely to see your like on my post, “Jesus, a 10 month old baby, and a truth lasso,” I really enjoyed this piece of yours, it resonates with the process of writing, rewriting, letting it go, when to crawl back. Keep up the work and those moments of play purely for the fuck of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Morning Radcliffe!

    Hmmm. I LOVED this post, which was much like reading a day in the life of a creative person. It articulated the trials and worries that might crop up and opens to the wonderful way you allow life to flow, bringing you back to yourself.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. You paint words so beautifully; thoughts from the interior are portrayed so poignantly; your write up is worth a read many times. Sometimes your narrative leaves me puzzled with abstruse mystery of your thoughts. There’s a sensibility conveyed in haunting mysticism. Anand Bose from Kerala.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can appreciate the laying down of threads when they seem to die off. Learning to allow the process to unfold naturally, like the blooming of a flower can be a great challenge at times. It seems there is often another piece I need to more fully experience before the thread suddenly, unexpectedly pulls back at me. When it does, often it pulls relentlessly…temporarily interrupting the new threads I was following.
    I love your similes and elemental references. A very powerful piece with a great sense of peace, with a sweet surrendering to the process of creativity. Thank you for sharing your process!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are most welcome – Thankyou so much both for reading, and for taking the time to write, it really means a lot to me.
      You are right of course, the process is organic and living, how could it not be and still have life?
      Have a good night,
      – J

      Liked by 1 person

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