Relocating - please follow the link for new content

This archive will stay here - but you can find new posts (as well as this archive) at my new website which is at It's the new home for Stuart Eglin Online - including the blog, musings, and details of the publications and services which I have available. Take a look - it's worth a visit!

Wednesday, 23 July 2003

A whisker from a vacation

This will be the last post for a couple of weeks, as I take a break and travel with the family for a couple of weeks.

In the last week I have bought the new (well, fairly new!) album by Tom Waits called 'Alice'. It's one of two releases he brought out in May of last year. It's fantastic - music from a play which he worked on in the early 90s based on the relationship between Alice and Lewis Carroll. The CD appealed to me because I love the music of Tom Waits, especially the later more avant garde stuff. And, of course, it also appeals because of the link with the poetry collection that I am currently writing called 'the alice conversations'. Although mine has nothing to do with Lewis Carroll.

I also got hold of 'Wave' by Patti Smith. I remember buying this album when it first came out on vinyl. It has stood the test of time really well.

Tuesday, 15 July 2003

Everything is melting

The heat-wave continues in Britain, and it is such a big deal because it happens so rarely. Is it nostalgia that makes our childhood memories feel as though all summers were hot and sunny? It is some years since we have had such a good summer season.

A different climate brings a different mood. As I write this I am listening to 'On Land' by Brian Eno, a marvellous ambient sound for the weather. This album was recorded 25 years ago!

The work on the booklets for bluewater books continues apace. I am now working on two booklets - 'zen words' and 'umbrian images'. Both will be produced in first limited editions of 50. They are taking longer than planned to produce, partly due to my perfectionist tendencies which means that I keep tweaking the finished job. Tomorrow I aim to produce the print run for 'umbrian images' and follow this very soon with 'zen words' so that I can distribute them both at once. I am slowly building the mailing list too.

On the 'new words' side of things I have been steadily producing poems for 'the alice conversations' collection. This is a collection of poems in the voice of a character called Alice, who represents my anima (Jung's theory of the feminine characteristics within the male).

Reading material at the moment includes looking through an old collection of poems by Michael Schmidt which I stumbled across on the bookshelves at home. It is called 'A Change of Affairs' and was published by Anvil. This book was published the same year that Brian Eno began recording 'On Land'. I think that is the only link though!

I mentioned in recent weblogs that I am listening to a lot of music from The Wire compilation CDs. This is really challenging material, and, as ever, I am interested in the parallels between the use of sound and potentials for use of language. I'm experimenting with ideas.

Tuesday, 8 July 2003

Journeys in sound

The travels continue. Over recent days I have been travelling back to sounds from the 70s that were part of my growing up. Patti Smith's 'Horses' album reminds me of that whole New York scene around her group, Television, Richard Hell and the Voidoids. Then there was the whole American scene of Pere Ubu, Devo, Chrome and The Residents. These last four are groups I haven't heard in probably 20 years, but would really like to revisit.

Yesterday I travelled to Leeds and back by train. But couldn't bring myself to play music en route. Instead I steadily recharged the batteries. I did read a really interesting article though. It was in an old issue of Harvest Journal (from 1988/89, a journal on Jungian Studies). The article was called 'Listening to the Shadows: Towards an Archetypal View of Music' and was written by David Wilde. It's a really interesting read. He compares the careers and obsessions of Carl Jung with those of Bela Bartok. This had a particular interest for me because I love the music of Bartok. The article explored the development of music from tonal to atonal, through dissonance to unstable. There was a particular focus on the development of the Shadow in music, and an appreciation that dissonance and atonality are not the opposite of harmony and tonality - rather, they complement it. In the same way, the Shadow is not the opposite of the personality traits that we project, rather it complements them. This is important. The Shadow is seen as offering a constant source of threat, but also a constant source of energy.

Over the last few days we have bought a decent digital camera. Now, how do you put photos on a weblog???

Friday, 4 July 2003

The exhaustion of travelling

When you just know that the stopping will result in complete body shut-down. The book I am writing on coping with change within organisations, will have a chapter about energy cycles in it. On the cycle which I have mapped for myself, I am in the 'Recovery' mode - exhausted, minimising energy use, and trying to find the scope for re-building…

Here is a poem I wrote in the last few weeks, and I like it, wondering where to put it: -

love making

It took as long as the breath that first stretches on waking early morning
No more

The first day
was a speech
then a gentle fight between us both as we
searched for a point of balance
your fingers touching mine, at the very tips

Nothing that we could express would
release us from this grip
held together in a second that lasts forever

for that is the sound of love
just one last gasp
then a sliding together, materials sparking

Thursday, 3 July 2003

Wednesday - travelling again again again

I'm writing this whilst wobbling about on one of the not so new Virgin West Coast trains from London to the North West of England. The last couple of days I have travelled a thousand miles, half by train and half by car.

As a result the creative expression is a bit low and lacking.

At the beginning of the week I received a real treat through the post. I had subscribed to 'The Wire' magazine, and with the subscription came a stack of compilation CDs as an opening gift. They are amazing - a hugely diverse spread of music across 4 CDs totalling some 5 hours of music. If there is so much diversity and creativity out there, why is that the mainstream music industry is so sterile and narrow in its outlook.

It's too early so far to say who I am really impressed with - after one listen I feel I need a lot more play throughs to get what is really going on here.

At the weekend I also bought some new CDs - a great range from The English Suites of Bach played by Glenn Gould, to Jane Birkin's 'arabesque'. I also got 'Bangra Beatz' which is a compilation album on the Naxos label - a great introduction to the music of bangra. The music all comes from a record label, Kiss, which is based in Oldham. Local talent!

Plenty of music to keep me busy there then…

On the writing front, it is difficult to take anything forwards when the day job is so all consuming, but the rest of the week should see a change to all that.

the longer view
showing through
with all the patience of nature