mental noise


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Amid the hubbub of chatter inside my head I’m sometimes aware of one group of voices much more clearly than all the others.

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it’s louder, more forceful than the rest of them.
More strident, it’s shoutier…  y’know?

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In order to distance my own thinking from theirs,

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I’ve named them the ‘chorus of cynics’.

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Some days they’re so vocal, they’re so convincing,  their opinions stretch the full spectrum of topics. They’ve got a snide sideways aspect on every last subject, if I couldn’t disconnect from their scorn and derision it would still bite like it used to.

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I’ve heard our immediate reaction to a situation reflects our early programming. Let that pass and listen for our next thought, that comes from our true self. So I’m learning to let that knee-jerk of harsh sarcasm wash past; a more empathetic aspect will be close on its tail.

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That reflex derision does no good to anyone. The insight of affinity is warming to the soul.

The chorus of cynics will laugh and mock this as mimsy.

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Now I let them. 

 

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I don’t want their fights.

 

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Charles Bukowski

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There’s a department in my mind that holds onto criticism and scorns, these memories, filed under P for Potential to Spiral Out Of Proportion, is kept closely guarded these days.

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Too vague, too woolly, too dull and simpery soft-bellied.
You’ve got no definition, no essence, no core.
Too proud, narcissistic, all haughty and vain
Idealistic, unrealistic, unaware of your privilege:
That girl – Go Home!

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Twisting out from some comeback,
Flips extremes to befuddle, bemuse and condemn.

Try harder, work harder, do more in less time.
Be valid, be worthy, be helpful, have value, be more than you are.

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Of course, the older I get, the less I care.

What I make, what I think, what I care about and focus my life around, these are my choices. I’m gratefully blessed to be alive in a part of history and geography where I’m free to express these without fear.

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But the older I get, the more experience adds volume to the chorus too.

My nativity gets dinked and dented as I discover there are more people more capable of more hatred, more inconsistently judgemental, more out and out mad. And their voices accumulate.

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Their  comments can bubble up from time to time in the clamour of the committee and I can choose whether or not to listen. 

nen nen ju shin ki


Thought forms are the children of an earlier project, my final project in the first year of my art degree. Focussing on the idea of meditation: trying to still the crazed jabbering of monkey mind, find some spaces between the thoughts.

Thought following thought following thought – rattling by. That internal monologue of commentary, judgements, relentless parroting of worries… do you listen to the babble? Do you try to drown it out? Music, TV, incessant banter – some folk don’t keep it inside – they are a non-stop torrent of witterings.

It can be exhausting.

And fascinating.

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This piece took shape as a 3 metre x 45 cm relief collage constructed from reclaimed bits and bobs, mostly painted paper, card, pins, tiny scraps of wood, wire, staples. These kinda things. The things and stuff that came to my mind as I was making it. Positioned in a corner it draws the viewer in so they become a part of the work, surrounded by the noise.

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Complex trains of thought – interconnected and overlapping – are represented by the darkest and most detailed elements.

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The process of meditation calming the mind from the persistent banter of thoughts by suspending this mental chatter from one moment to the next is represented by diminishing detail and lighter tones reducing to nothing in the centre.

I’d love to recreate this on an even bigger scale some day.