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. “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.” I feel this way SO much of the time, about so many things: when to take action, and when to wait; I currently feel like it’s one of those things I will never learn definitively, that with every situation there is so much subtly in the balance that I learn anew in every situation. Thanks for the words; hearing the reflection is… nice. <3


    1. You are welcome for the words – really glad you liked them.
      I agree, I don’t think that you ever perfect it, but knowing the principles allows us to move in a more informed way.
      Hope you are well, have a good night,
      – J


  2. Well I typed a comment and I have no idea if you go it.
    It sounds like you did what you needed to do. Sometimes we have to be able to lay down something in order to keep it moving forward, Even though you were drinking wine with your friends, you were still working on your art, because putting it aside is part of the process. Changing your environment enables your brain to make new connections; therefore, you will have inspiration to bring it back to the studio and your writing.Well done.


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