WE MUST DO
IS 17/01/96 AND FOLLOWING
MONTHS OF EMOTIONAL UPHEAVAL I DECIDE IT
MAY BE INTERESTING TO START KEEPING A DIARY ON MY LIFE AND THOUGHTS. SO
BEGAN THE LABYRINTH BUSKER JOURNAL - HANDWRITTEN, WHILE BUSKING,
TRAVELLING, LOVING, SURVIVING IN SEVERAL COUNTRIES.
THE JOURNAL IS AROUND 750,000 WORDS LONG AND REACHED THE END OF ITS LIFE WITH MY RETURN TO ENGLAND AND THE CHANCE OF SEEING MY DAUGHTER REGULARLY.
with thought provoking
articles on busking, philosophy, the universe.
Whole books from a busking diary written while busking Europe in the last years of the last millenium.
Glimpses of a 750,000 word diary that could radically alter your view on life, love and the soul.
|As the diary progressed it
became ever more attuned to the motivations of Heart, Mind, Body and Soul with
their relevance and interaction gradually dissected amongst those who
came my way. People who shared love or any of love's by-products
(including hate) form the spine of the work, but the diary is forever
moving forward at a rapid or gradual pace.
Images or food
Prose and poems
Diary snippets Antwerp,1996
Buskers Good and True
Some fine buskers I've met along the way
Brian Songs for Rachel
Motivation behind some of my songs
A collection of bite size stories and articles
Pick a song and listen on your default player
Labyrinth Busker top Ten
Which pages are hot on www.buskerbrian.com
Things we must do
Antwerp, January '96 - Complete book from diary
Amusement and fracas on a night out in Rome
Belief, Heaven and Zolar
Exploring the need to believe
Tale of Uptown Suzy
Highly charged emotions dominate this event in 1995
The Societies within me
Are you one consciousness, or a vessel for many?
The Missing Link
The Human invasion of Earth
Cranky Brian shoots a theory or two on the universe
Gender Role reversal
No one is 100% male or female. Cue the Heartbreaker.
The Green Busker
It is Spring, 1994 and an inexperienced "busker" takes a ferry to Belgium.
My grandfather was a lighthouseman and farmer in Iceland
Cue the Heartbreaker.
A list of some pages on my sites that may be of interest
Know what you're looking for? Search my site.
Jesus? Celtic or Rangers?
My busking pitch is interrupted by religious zealots promising the "good life".
Lyrics from some of my songs
New Clear Winter
May, 1996, and this diary book heralds a calm before the storm of fascinating experiences that would make the remainder of 1996 so special.
Plato and Socrates debate Beauty
An imaginary debate between plato and Socrates on Beauty.
Hurricane Rita, Asperger's, Bob Dylan
A look at the boxes we use to define mental illness, mild autism and suchlike. Could it be that we are not normal?
Soulmate: A five minute Play
A woman is faced with seeking to isolate one advisor within her. Heart, mind, soul and body present their case in this short Play.
The Tortoise and the Hare (Rabbit)
Two months on from "New Clear Winter" and the busker has aided "Arthur" to lift the sword from the stone. It is time for more adventure in Luzern, Bern and Gstaad.
Home is emotional fulfillment
The main title for the Tortoise and Hare book.
Time is Temperature. They are one and the same, and everything that is, was, and will be, follows a set sequence. This sequence can be defined as "explosion".
Enjoy a few short videos. Show lasts half an hour or so.
|There's always something more to
find with the Labyrinth Busker journal
must do 6
....in which the middle of Winter
plunges Brian into crisis
26/01/96 - Fri - Antwerp - Heide was in the Musiekdoos also - and after 20 months she finally opened up on conversation with me...it's taken a long time. My effort last week came to little. Well, maybe we can communicate more effectively from now on - maybe she will even fire the Muse. I certainly need something.
No sight, nor sound, of Char. Although I'm thinking very warmly of Ruana at this time there is a feeling of unobtainability about it all. But there's something uniquely sensual about the thought of Ruana caring for me...and loving me...that I can get from no one else. Some sort of charisma about her. I sort of wish I was perfect...but I'm not even partway that.
I'm just Brian. Nothing special. I wish I was!
Ruana and I last Summer....facing the world together....aah...it was so sensual!
27/01/96 - Sat - If there's anything worse than it being cold...it's landing yourself on the wrong pitch at the wrong time. Quite aside from the lack of control your voice suffers from (due to the cold). So...a whole hour for just 200Bfr.
I'm literally surviving on bread and jam! The weather forecast predicts east winds and cold at least until Wednesday. There seems no end in sight!
Last night was Friday, but the bars were as empty as a Monday. Do people really want to go out in this weather?
I don't! If I had money enough I wouldn't! But all I have is 5Bfr!
There are times of the year when you feel free, feel good and money is always there to be earnt. There are also times of the year when you wonder if you'll actually survive....money is ridiculously hard to get. Cigarettes, coffee, even toilet roll, become luxuries you simply can't afford.
The last time I had to put up with not buying cigarettes was on the aftermath of my journey with Jim Druid and Vered to Basel, but the moment I got properly into the swing of working Basel that passed away.
Here, though, the ONLY option would be to play bars. Gerhard and I haven't worked out a set yet and I have a real fear of doing them on my own.
Is this the time to face these fears?
After all...I played bars in France and Switzerland.
Gerhard, in similar problems, has been let down by Sven and Karson. They were going to play Gent today and Gerhard's home village tomorrow. Is it coming time for him to face HIS fears?
He is very good as an individual performer, both for busking and bars, but he is very reluctant to attempt that.
Such is the way of struggling artists on the sharp end of the business. I am perfectly comfortable in my independence most of the year through my self-reliance, but then come times when all my options are closed. Then I wish I had a duo or trio to play bars with. Gerhard has got a trio to play bars and do gigs, but he relies on them too heavily. He hasn't worked out he can be self-reliant too. It wouldn't be a massive advantage to him at the moment...as it isn't to me at the moment...but, most of the time, it's a sense of true freedom.
Last night the 'Doos had 6 people in it. No money there. Played the Cathedral, but it was so cold! Gerhard joined me and we sang snippets of 'Will ye go, lassie go' everytime there was actually someone about to walk by.
Went to Rooftop, a posy bar, where Gerhard and Heidi took up a Flemish conversation...while I sat there wondering what the hell I was doing in such a place.
28/01/96 - Sun - Well, 350 Bfr from 7 songs means I can treat myself to a Smos in the Cafe Centrum. So it's 'hit and run' - out...struggle through 4 or 5 songs and dive for cover. It's handy to pick the right places at the right times, but who knows what in this weather?
Gerhard phoned Sven and found Sven was still ill, so he asked me if I wanted to go with him to his mother's village, "Cooked meal...spend nothing!"
Yeah, but we'd only just got up - I felt in need of a shower - I had only 70Bfr and today there was a bit of sunshine - so...need to work; people give more when they see a bit of sun.
I really feel rusty at the moment. Playing extensively in the Autumn I really developed an edge to my style. But now I don't play in public enough and when I'm in the cold my fingernails wear down and break easily. If this cold weather lasts too long I'll be down to skin only and then, of course, that rips.
Playing then becomes painful.
This is not art! Singing is the same. After 5 or 6 songs you feel it in your throat.
What to do? Well, jump into the river is out! But, quite often, my will to carry on just fades. But carry on I must! Because of the knock-on example of it:
Greg told me of a family he knew in Salford. The daughter was raped and suffered from trauma. Her mother tried always to be close by her, but, one day, the daughter committed suicide. The mother was torn by grief and guilt, because she just happened not to be around to stop it happening. One mournful day...she threw herself into the river.
The son was very badly affected, but kept together and married...had a child and even made a comfortable living. But, one day, his marriage went wrong. He lost everything...and his answer was to suffocate himself with exhaust fumes in his car.
The daughter 'inspired' the mother and the both 'inspired' the son.
Knowing the instability of the 'family'....Char, Gerhard and I do not need bad examples. But we are capable of leading each other to bad answers as easily as we are to good answers.
This may sound morbid, but chain re-action is very much a tool of Fate...or the tool which thwarts it. Only my firm conviction that suicide is wrong stops me from actually experimenting with it at this time, because, inside of me, there is a despair so deep. A strengthening wall to my conviction is my responsibility to my real family in Ireland...and to my 'spiritual' family here in Antwerp.
In some ways...the bond between Char and I has the recipe for tragedy.
How strange! 'I'll keep holding on' is on the CD player...Nothing had the chance to be good - nothing ever could....I'll keep holding on....
Getting the rent and the electricity money is problematic, but getting the money for dental treatment is impossible at the moment. Getting the money to do anything but survive...and even that on a subsistence level.
It's so annoying when I think of those brilliant busker friendly shopping streets in Bern and those lucrative trams in Zurich and Basel...not to mention the bars.
It's true that the competitiveness of Antwerp is healthy, but this time of year I can't compete because I haven't the development outlets. If I could think of a way to make a few hundred pounds...but how?
The last two weeks have been bad, but the first of them was more the winding down after scraping this month's rent. The second has been a problem because of the severe cold. Now this is the last week of a long month coming up. People are gasping for their monthly pay cheque. So...next week I'll have to work, work, work and hope the weather allows it. Social life must stay at a minimum - work must take priority.
Get away from here, Brian, as soon as you can. Make it to Switzerland.
29/01/96 - Mon - Woke up feeling wrecked. But all I did was stay in last night and go to bed early! Perhaps it was because there were no cigarettes or coffee. Looked in the mirror. What a state! All pretense, grandiose plans and senses were stripped away and made to look ridiculous....
'Family'? There is no 'family'! It's all in the mind! So....Gerhard may be right in what he presented to me two evenings ago....
"Do you think it's not especially Fate, but two girlfriends you dated who hold fond memories?"
Of course, the 'friends' thing is common after relationships. If I had wintered in Switzerland, then what of the 'family'?
And think of it....where is Char? Not seen her since that Friday two weeks ago. Ruana is becoming a faceless voice on the end of a phone.
But...I suppose my subconscious is a bulldog. It bites and worries at situations until it squeezes out answers. Maybe not a bulldog. Maybe more a pitbull terrier. It makes an overkill. A simple growl or bite could be enough. But a pit bull goes all the way...black and white.
But, gradually, even a pit bull tires of its worrying. A withdrawal of energies inward is the result of January and Winter on me. Even a pit bull may be cowed when faced with obvious superior force...or sheer lack of confidence.
Last night my dreams were of Heidi. I don't know why!?!
There is no continuity of mood or mind, except my tendency to just hide away. I suspect Char behaves similarly this time of year. Last Wednesday and Thursday it seemed I felt Ruana very strongly. By the weekend that was gone.
But what do I feel now?
Almost indifference - and pretentious.
"So what do you want to happen with Ruana? asked Gerhard, that same night.
"I don't know!" I replied.
And I don't! Although Gerhard has similar attachments to Kat and Inge he still has his youth and natural talents to work with.
What could I - at 41 and in a state of total disarray, with uncertainty about my future (even my present) - truthfully expect from a 19 year old schoolgirl with looks, charisma and high potential for the future?
At this moment...I can expect nothing from anyone, except myself (to reconstruct my life). I can be everything I want to be...I can be nothing. At this time...I am nothing. In 6 months, a year, two years? Who knows...?
Money is now the key.
With money...I can move forward professionally and socially. All my creation and social links have been achieved without money here in Belgium. What can be done with money?
COMPLETE ONLINE DIARY SEGMENTS:
Want something to read for an hour or two?
Then the life and loves of a busker can take you into his world for awhile. Reliant entirely on his music and what he can earn from it in bars, on terraces and the street (plus the mutual aid and faith of his friends), he colours his inner and outer worlds with layers of purpose and belief that stretch from real, felt, imaginary to flights of fancy.
What actually is real, felt, imaginary or a flight of fancy can often surprise him as well as those who line his path.
The busker monitors his path as Lone Wolf in the spirit world of the Soul as love and relationship quandaries abound in an historic Swiss city.
With close to zero busking experience, a man sallies forth from Britain with an idea of busking to survive. He had a one way ticket, no money and a massive well of despair.
Tortoise & Hare
New Clear Winter
Monster in NY
Things we must do
Other sites presented by the Labyrinth Busker journal:
audio.buskerbrian.com My songs with lyrics
free.buskerbrian.com About me
home.buskerbrian.com Loads of articles, stories and titbits
apachejohn.buskerbrian.com Bishop's Stortford based band
leddrain.buskerbrian.com Swiss based singer/songwriter
wolf.buskerbrian.com Busking adventures in Bern
wildwolf.buskerbrian.com Part Two: Busking adventures in Bern
moon.buskerbrian.com My music, plus featured acts. plus colour
as.buskerbrian.com Asperger's Syndrome
pearce.buskerbrian.com Family Photos over 100 years
Iceland Genealogy Family ancestry over 1,000 years
Pearce Genealogy British ancestry (Hornchurch. Rickling Green)
Cranky Brian "History of time" Provoking ideas in philosophy and science
My space Become a friend
Contact me Just that
Online Diary Podcasts
|COMPLETE ONLINE DIARY
Tortoise & Hare
New Clear Winter
Monster in NY
Things we must do