Posted on November 20, 2010 by Categories: Music, Poetry Tags: , , ,

The writing group is virtually Doorway’s music group at rest, so there’s no wonder that it overlaps in more ways than one. The writing session follows on from the music, and this is undoubtedly the best order; writing in the aftermath of what always sounds to me like a rocking good jam must be a good way of setting free innate creativity (like freewriting—remember freewriting?).

 This might be why I find it more difficult to access the muse during the writing sessions; I come to it cold and scribble away and end up with mostly crossings out, whereas the guests, perhaps also responding to the time limit, are often able to write fluidly and succinctly, as if the inner fire has been refining their ideas all along.

 This week music seemed all the more prevalent and arriving as I always do with no fixed idea of what we are going to do (I think this is the best way of coming to writing, although not the easiest), I think we tapped into what was already going on. To start with we reflected generally on the music we liked. Pink Floyd was mentioned and early Pink Floyd especially, as A had seen them live in 1969 in London at a smallish gig before they were really famous. This seemed a really precious memory for him, not only seeing PF but the whole of his world that was so vital then. I’m also sure that there is something more exciting about groups when they are on the rise that fades when they become established.

Looking back, the 1960s did seem like a golden age of burgeoning ideas in all areas of life and especially in music. I am old enough to remember but younger members of the music/writing group can also appreciate the legacy (sorry, it’s a much overworked word) of groups such as The Beatles and Pink Floyd. Radio was also important (although this didn’t come up in the session so this is a digression) and I always think that I was blessed to have lived in the time of John Peel who must have opened the ears of millions of tuned in individuals. My tinny transistor radio went everywhere with me, just as MP3 players accompany people today. Recently I bought a very cheap set of speakers for my MP3 player so I can listen to it in the kitchen and the quality of sound is so much like that of my old tranny (yes, we called them trannies long before knowing there is an alternative meaning) I am instantly transported back to 1965. My taste in music may have broadened but I’m sure it is indebted to those early musical exposures.

 Back when we started the writing group we never did much writing, but now it’s an essential part of the session, which is as it should be. So less chat and more quiet (although it doesn’t have to be silent). Then if someone wants to read out what they have written they can, but no pressure. Actually, thinking about it, we still do chat and that’s why we always end late. Time is always a factor and I’m not sure we’ll ever get the balance right between the music, writing and what happens in the interstice.

So we did do some writing about music (although I didn’t, because no one tells me what to do) and the thoughtful, thought-igniting results were rewarding; as if music found a short-cut conduit to the inner place. It was an emotional experience and as so often I am humbled by the depth, insight and sheer immediacy of their offerings. I can share a fraction but I don’t think there’s enough space anywhere to give an adequate sense of the whole.

 D wrote:

 Music is my life

                 Music is my love

                                 Music is my God


  L wrote:

 …Having something to say

The realisation

We do feel the same…

It can’t be taken away

Open your hearts, minds

And then your mouth!

Change the world

Don’t conform to formulas…

Feel music!

 P wrote:

I know this—

its in and out

along my spine


on a thread of whisper

lifting through shimmering air

or dashing me head long

into a joy of sound.

coming at me with gnarled hands

crossing me with ancient waves

the pulse of it knows the eternal

yet beats in triple time today

listen to the call

the bring back

the harbour and home of it

When the black clouds fly

here is solace and respite

here is music

J wrote this recently and it has a musicality of its own. Strewn is a very strong Old English word we should use more, I think.


 Discontinued, disregarded;

Been blessed with someone’s

Kind caress

Then been discarded.

Craftily persuaded

You fell in love too soon

Then you woke and you

Found out it’s just strewn.


Out of focus, out of tune


Heart like a burst balloon.

Orphaned by the night

Adopted by the moon

No ransom is in sight

It’s all strewn.

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