Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Artificial Light

The following is a piece of writing I created on the 1st of May 2007 it was published on my Myspace blog but has not seen the light of day since. I really like this piece of emo poetry, it was written while I was working at the most mind-numbing office job I've ever had, I hope you enjoy it too.

Artificial Light

I sit.
The office is quiet.
Keen ears will note the echo of mouse clicks, key strokes in stereo.
Across the room an overbearing manager dictates a conversation over a subordinate.
A faceless voice drifts throughout the hallway.
All of this though means nothing.
A worthless flood of silence.
Useless noise.
The office is quiet.

I rearrange documentation sprawled across a laminated surface that reflects unnatural fluorescence.
Artificial light.
Work will keep me busy but its futility begs me to know that I am nothing.
Urges me to fear.
Ensures I do not move.
So I sit.
That which was once destiny is now a distraction.
Dreams are forgotten.
Life becomes existence.
I can only sit.
I sit patiently knowing that I am more than this.
I sit knowing that this is a prelude.
I sit knowing that this is only making me stronger and an enemy angrier.
I sit waiting.

A cursed environment could never take my soul before.
A scrambled confusion, a relentless craving, an emotional ache.
This has been my soul.
This has been my life.
An incurable sickness.
Heart disease.
Each day I sit I discover new tragedy as if love hangs crucified.
Even tolerance and justice swing suffocating from distant gallows.
Beauty and happiness are so often violated by jealousy and selfishness that the pump in my chest always seems to be gripped by guilt. Yet I will not be discouraged.
The blood drips into my eyes from beneath a thorn-ridden crown, the flogging cuts deep into my flesh and as I drag all the love I have remaining up Skull Hill I still dare to carry on.
I still dare to dream.
I still dare to hope because I am a protected son under a loving father.

Afternoon sunlight pierces through a crack alluding capture.
I sit forward in my chair.
My brain secretes rebellious chemicals that initially leave me restless but slowly plead for concentration. 
Dreams begin to resurface.
Life begins to stream back.
Like the screen in front of me, my mind begins to focus rays of thought, pixels of passion.
The twist and tangle of pages that crawl across my desk fade away.
A world of courage spurs me on, it pulls me closer to a passion that is slowly becoming my future.
Suddenly a whisper that is not from me but calls from deep within, reminds me that my purpose and destiny cannot and will never be taken by artificial light.
Finally I stand.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


So The Moon was bright tonight, beautiful even. It was not full or rich in colour, for that matter there was not much drawing attention to it at all. There were no shooting searchlights, it was not blinking on and off like some seizure-inducing strobe light and in the time I was watching it I honestly cannot even say I saw it move. It was however comforting and selfless, its simple luminescence was timelessly beautiful. It lit up the sky illuminating empty streets and endless pathways. It hung still and patient kind of just waiting for attention or affection, bobbing perpetually amid an endless ocean of celestial ink. Beyond its reach shifting in and out behind a meandering herd of luminous clouds were a thousand flickering stars all silent and tranquil; gaseous orbs burning with individual intensities like freckles in a complexion on a beautiful face.

Beyond any of these things my mind cannot comprehend. I wonder; does it all just go on forever? Is there a lonely star at the end of the universe that marks the outermost reaches of everything? Is there a giant black divider that separates our universe from another or perhaps even Heaven for that matter? One thing I know for certain is that the night sky will forever serve as a great source of mystery and perspective to all those who are brave enough to gaze upon it and wonder.

A girl I know once confided that The Moon evoked feelings of romance and mystery. I think if I look at it long enough it just looks like it has a strange old face, or a huge silver coin, or a piece of giant space-cheese. I have never known much about romance or mystery but after years of looking upwards there is one thing I know for certain: The Moon is amazing, and nobody would disagree.

It’s funny though, how our luminous night sky so casually reflects our arrogance. We see it every night, we shoot rockets through it, we collect its falling rocks and at some point before I was even born we had it mapped in detail. We all like to think we have it all so figured out, yet we all see it so differently. Science and the neurological elite collectively see the wonder of space as a curious debate. Artists and the creative community view the night sky with blind and figurative romance and the religious and spiritual alike will forever take shelter in its endless depth. Honestly though, I am not sure any of us have even begun to discover the secrets that lie beyond the planet on which we cohabitate and I am not sure we ever will, or need to.

The thing that I love most about the night sky is that it truly highlights our inability to comprehend distance and forever and as arrogant as we are amidst our affluent, self serving, post-modern culture we will never even begin to understand the endless space through which that tiny speck of a dust we call The Moon relentlessly orbits. Perhaps the beauty is in the mystery. Perhaps knowing we can’t know will draw us toward seeking and trusting one who does. Maybe once we reflect upon our complete lack of universal control we will begin to appreciate its controller. Perhaps our liberation lies beyond its depth.

It is a lot to think about, I know. It is also even easier to speculate on. There is, however, one thing that is certain; you cannot dismiss it. I imagine that if something created everything out of endless still black, a creative explosion of sorts, just so we might gaze at it all in wonder and mystery and romance; if there was a conscious act to give a future consciousness a habitat so intensely huge and spectacular and astonishing just so we might know the enormity of its compassion. I imagine that this creator must really care a lot about those he created within it. I don’t know, maybe this creator desires and deserves a little attention in return. I do not pretend to know much about anything, but I do know that for this universe, I am so fearfully and wonderfully grateful.

The Moon, despite its beauty is not the true source of the light but like everything we’ve come to discover in our solar system, it simply reflects the Sun which during the night waits silently just beyond a distant horizon and will daily illuminate and energise everything that it has gently drawn into its huge, timeless, unrelenting force called gravity.

The Moon was bright tonight, beautiful even, and Me? I am content, loved and liberated. Amen.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Triple J Hottest 100 'Shortlist'

2010 was a brilliant year for music, here's a list of all the songs that really grabbed me. I've coloured my the Top 10 red & coloured a further ten that narrowly missed the cut blue.


 Adrian Lux - Teenage Crime remove
 Arcade Fire - Ready To Start remove
 Art Vs. Science - Magic Fountain remove
 Bag Raiders - Way Back Home remove
 Band Of Horses - Laredo remove
 Band Of Skulls - Death By Diamonds And Pearls remove
 Bedroom Philosopher, The - Northcote (So Hungover) remove
 Ben Folds/Nick Hornby - From Above remove
 Big Boi - Shutterbugg {Ft. Cutty} remove
 Blur - Fool's Day remove
 Brandon Flowers - Crossfire remove
 Caribou - Odessa remove
 Cassius - I Love U So remove
 Children Collide - Jellylegs remove
 Chromeo - Don't Turn The Lights remove
 Cloud Control - There's Nothing In The Water We Can't Fight remove
 Cold War Kids - Audience remove
 Crystal Castles - Celestica remove
 Darwin Deez - Radar Detector remove
 Delphic - Halcyon remove
 Crystal Castles - Not In Love {Ft. Robert Smith} remove
 Gorillaz - Doncamatic {Ft. Daley} remove
 Gypsy & The Cat - Jona Vark remove
 Gypsy & The Cat - Time To Wander remove
 Hot Chip - One Life Stand remove
 Interpol - Barricade remove
 Interpol - Lights remove
 Interpol - Success remove
 Interpol - Summer Well remove
 Jonsi - Go Do remove
 Kid Cudi - Enter Galactic (Love Connection Pt. 1) remove
 Kimbra - Settle Down remove
 LCD Soundsystem - Drunk Girls remove
 LCD Soundsystem - Home remove
 LCD Soundsystem - I Can Change remove
 Metric - Eclipse (All Yours) remove
 MGMT - Brian Eno remove
 Miami Horror - Holidays {Ft. Alan Palomo} remove
 Miami Horror - I Look To You {Ft. Kimbra} remove
 Miami Horror - Moon Theory remove
 Miami Horror - Summersun remove
 My Chemical Romance - Na Na Na remove
 Naked And Famous, The - Young Blood remove
 National, The - Afraid Of Everyone remove
 National, The - Anyone's Ghost remove
 National, The - Conversation 16 remove
 Ou Est Le Swimming Pool - Dance The Way I Feel remove
 Ou Est Le Swimming Pool - Jackson's Last Stand remove
 Sia - You've Changed remove
 Soft Pack, The - Answer To Yourself remove
 Spoon - The Mystery Zone remove
 Sufjan Stevens - Vesuvius remove
 Foster The People - Pumped Up Kicks remove
 Surfer Blood - Swim remove
 Surfer Blood - Twin Peaks remove
 Tame Impala - Solitude Is Bliss remove
 Twin Shadow - Slow remove
 Two Door Cinema Club - I Can Talk remove
 Warpaint - Undertow remove
 Washington - The Hardest Part remove
 Wavves - Post Acid remove
 Wolf Gang - The King And All Of His Men remove
 Wombats, The - Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves) remove
 Yeasayer - Ambling Alp remove
 Yolanda Be Cool/DCUP - We No Speak Americano remove

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Insecurity

There is a secret wondering behind our eyes. A mind-decaying ponder. A thought-life that at first glance can seem real or righteous but in reality is a dull ache that slowly chips away at our spirits. We pretend to be solid or strong or unbreakable but in the end we all want to know “How do we really look to the people we love?”

I am constantly re-evaluating who I am, what I believe, what is morally courageous and upright. I wonder: Do I fit in? Am I unique enough? Is the person I see in the mirror the person everyone else sees? What do I project? Does my brain lie about the man in the mirror? I think about that every day.

I find myself trying to change for the better. I dig for compliments in conversations – a secret questionnaire. I am compiling a list of things I do not need to change, and the list is short. I have almost convinced myself that my constant need to check my own physical reflection is because I dislike the way I look, certainly not because I need to see how perfect I am. For some reason I find self-hatred a virtue. I continuously forget that my quest for self-improvement is both hopelessly vain and immensely insecure. 

The clothing I wear, the music I listen to, the leisure I live for and the pursuit of the image I try to project cost more money than I’d like to admit. In fact I think the ratio of money I spend on myself:people (including close friends) would be close to 100:1. Sometimes just the thought of a potential relationship or ensuing heartbreak has stopped my brain from even wanting to think about other people for months on end.

I guess what I am trying to say is that although I strive for a multitude of honourable virtues, this quiet questioning indicates that I’m incredibly self-absorbed. I am certainly not the humble servant I make a lame effort to project.

My hope however, is that as I bring this all to the surface and confess the things in my life that I just do not feel right about, that God (yes, God) will deal with my inadequacies. I’m on a journey. Life is an adventure. Our stories involve such complicated plot twists but through it all we are promised a counsellor with whom to place our trust, and we have to.

I have only recently had the revelation of how much people truly need their friends and community. Love is everything. To put it plainly, friends desperately need your love...and they need it despite your hang ups. So this year my new year’s resolution was to “be more compassionate”. A noble but completely unmeasurable goal, I admit – but it was something to work on all the same. I think that if I’m ever to achieve my goal I have to stop wondering what other people think and just be the person I’m called to be. 

Maybe a first impression is not everything. A person can completely change once you have spoken to them, as opposed to just sighting them from across the room. I am learning more everyday that people do not love me because of the way I look, the way I dress, the car I drive, the music I listen to, the brands I endorse or the community in which I live. At the end of the day people simply love me because I love them... and the source of that love? Well that’s another conversation...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The top 12 things I have learned from God the hard way.

It's rare that you'll find me so blatently speaking about God. I realise that most of the people I know couldn't care less about God or Christianity or Church but just for this one blog I thought I might make an effort to be a little bit less poetic and a little more straight.

These are a list of 12 things that God has taught me over the past seven years. They are personal revelations therefore they mean a lot to me and will probably not mean as much to you until God personally walks you through them. Enjoy.

1. Don't snatch. If God didn't give it to you, it's not yours to take... he will take it back. Just know that he has so many incredible things to give you (or perhaps that one amazing thing). You have to know though that sometimes you won't get them until the day you need them.

2. In our comfortable, self-serving lifestyle, it is often only the death around us (not the life) that forces us to realise and recognise our need for God.

3. You only get one lifespan, one moment in your entire existance to both recognise the beauty that is our creator and to begin a relationship with him. Make it count.

4. Think! Think for yourself. Reflect. Think about love and freedom and life. Let your mind twist through the God-borne complexity that is mercy & grace, liberty & salvation. Seek his answers and unearth his solutions. This kind of thinking is beautiful worship to God.

5. Jesus died not only for your salvation but also for liberation. The freedom he offers us is not only for after our death but also for today. Just know that liberation may not come wrapped in the packaging you were expecting.

6. Even though he is merciful & graceful, God still hates our sin. Overcoming sin however has less to do with self-discipline (although it plays a major part) and more to do with the building of a relationship with the Holy Spirit (being 'In Christ'). It is possible to be so influenced and inspired by the Holy Spirit that not only do you not feel the need to sin but you feel overwhelmingly passionate about doing only good (The fruits of the spirit).

7. The Bible talks about dying to your old life, or pouring your life out like a drink offering. This will seem incredibly hard and depressing until you realise that once you have given up that life, he replaces it with new life. This is often described as being comparitive to a prisoner being set free.

8. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are the kinds of things that God will develop inside of his people. It just happens, you can't force it or learn it from a text book. He will develop these things in you in his timing. These are the things that result from having the Holy Spirit in you, influencing you.

9. You have to be satisfied that God is the one who judges those who destroy the lives of others, the unjust and sinning people. God will always have the final say.

10. Sin is enslavement in disguise. True liberation begins in hearts that know they need to be right with God.

11. Mustards seeds are really really tiny but in time they grow, shooting roots, pushing up through the dirt becoming healthy plants, they then bloom flowers and drop seeds.

12. In the eyes of God, actively loving the people around you is just as important as the active worship of him. Infact the two are often spoken about together by Jesus.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

107.3FM Music

So over the last two and a half years I've sort of moved into the position of Music Director at 107.3FM, which is a community radio station run by the Christian Church on the Gold Coast. The sound of the station has dramatically changed over the past four years, so I thought I'd shed some light on why and how we select what we play. Here's what I wrote:

"Positive, upbeat, life-giving music seasoned with moments of spiritual reflection"

Our music is all about moments. Moments in everyday lives, moments of everyday people. Moments of crisis and beauty, strength and gratitude

Life is fragile, as people, as friends, as sons & daughters and as parents we do our best to connect with those around us, it seems as though life is a battle to connect and communicate, we want to wish those we love only the very best but so often words fail to express our hearts. Music has this unexplainable way of expressing so often the things our heart cannot convey.

My role as a music director at a radio station whose primary mandate is to deliver an age old message to a restless community is simple. Play everyday music, the music of the street. Play music that doesn't tear down but builds, music that is positve, upbeat and fresh, music to create a powerful listener connection. Following this will be music that stimulates a faith-filled, life-giving dose of hope, a moment of vulnerability, an introduction to a loving God and a community renowned for its overwhelming compassion.

Perhaps I'm an idealist but I passionately believe in a God who is strong enough to cut through the critical moments of the everyday, he inspires us, he builds us and when we deviate and crash he restores us. He's placed within each of us a message of faith, hope and love and this radio station firmly holds high the music, the art and the expression of those who want nothing more than to give the world a moment with the God who has so fervently captured their lives. So please join with us and our supporters as we push our flickering candle of hope into our community's darkest places.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

[Grand]children of the revolution

So early the other morning this kid walked out to the park near my office, climbed the tree by the cricket nets and hanged himself.

This sort of news cuts me to pieces, I'm devastated. I try to imagine what it would be like to get to the point where a painful, public death is the better option than living another day. It was on a Tuesday morning. Just a mid-week restless night followed by a dawn hanging. Such a tragic end to a beautiful existance. He didn't deserve to go down like that. No one deserves that kind of pain regardless of the catastrophic mistakes we make.

It's funny though, the pain we go through. People of previous generations must look down at us, what we've got, our relatively easy existance and wonder why on earth our suicide rate continues to rise. I mean, most of us have never lived through a time of war, famine, depression or disease. We can buy fast-food at any time of the night, mobile phones connect us with any friend in an instant, we live in one of the richest countries in the world and we are bearing children at about the same age as the life-expectancy in Africa. Our choices are limitless. It could be heaven.

But it's not.

People are constantly trying to distinguish our generation, but to be honest I don't think we'll know who we were until we are remembered by generations to follow. Generation Y they call us. Comes right after X. Raised by Baby Boomers. The children of the revolution. The Boomers are famous for their approach to peace, then sex, contraception, their greed in the 80s and a huge divorce rate. Oh they also invented rock music and currently control the world. But to me they're simply the oldies. They worked hard to change the world and did it. Everything that is popular now is because of them and everyone that knows a little bit about marketing knows that their generation are the richest consumers. Columnists love to talk up some sort of rift or tension between our generations as if we're about to duke it out for control of the planet, but I think it's exactly the same as any relationship that kids have with their parents, things will settle as we mature (they did for the Boomers and their Builder parents).

But one thing doesn't sit right with me. The Baby Boomers fought hard to change the world, they got it and we live in it. The problem though, seems to lie in that. We live this amazing, gluttenous life, a life filled with the fruit of the Boomers' labour but it just isn't filling the void. We're still lost. I can't get my head around the fact that a kid could commit suicide or self harm after the achievement of every comfort that we live in that has been so passionately pursued by previous generations. We've reached a pinnacle in humanity and it's not even coming close to hitting the mark. It makes me wonder. I wonder if the things they pursued all those years ago were ever going to make a difference to our prosperity and I wonder if they'd known back then that it wouldn't really make our lives any more comfortable whether there would have been any passion for change or a revolution at all. I wonder, did they pick the right fights? Has the comfort and prosperity that they achieved become null and void because we, the following generations, are still not happy. And finally, I wonder which revolutions will we pursue. What changes in the world will define our generation.

There's this guy in the bible who asks Jesus about gaining eternal life, the kind of life we were always meant to have. He was this rich official, it's in Luke 18:18 if you want to look it up. Jesus tells him that if he wants eternal life he has to sacrifice the things that hold him down. Jesus directs him to give his money to the poor and follow him. He doesn't do this though, neither of these things appeal to him, they clash with his lifestyle. Imagine the change, the discomfort, I don't blame the guy. Luke then goes on to say that: "He was very rich and became terribly sad. He was holding on tight to a lot of things and not about to let them go." I find it interesting that Luke points out that he is very rich and terribly sad... sound familiar? It sounds like me. It sounds like us. We live a very comfortable, cashed-up, secure existance, we pile up money like a Babylonian tower, shelter from pain. We control our lives and we, like the rich official (or rich young ruler in some translations) and are not prepared to change... it's picking us off, one by one, like the young guy in the park.

Somehow we have to find a way to escape our self-destruction and I'm glad Jesus takes a stand on it in this passage. He sets this standard, he says to give up the cashed up lifestyle, the self-controlled destruction and simply follow him. Now I'm not sure any of us, especially in the western world have ever mastered this, we're so envious of everyone around us and we're all (including church leaders) incredibly greedy and self-centred. We have no comprehsion that someone in a third world country might be able to feel prosperity. We think success starts in our wallets but it's really in our heads.

Perhaps we can learn from where the Baby Boomers missed the mark. Perhaps there's still hope for our salvation. Perhaps our generation will define itself by its self-sacrifice and pursuit of the true Jesus Christ. I can't imagine anything harder and it seems incredibly impossible but it's the only revolution worth fighting for. The only war I want to wage. It's a battle for our heads, our hearts and our lives and God is on our side.