Chapter 15: Nowhere to go but up - taciturn (part 2)

Chico is remembering…

"I've been looking forward to this post. "Nowhere To Go But Up"! As the saying goes, "when you've hit rock bottom, there's nowhere to go but up". My father used to say: "in every life a little rain must fall". As we all know this is life and problems abound, they come and they go, they come in bunches, they come intermittently, they come after long and short hiatuses, but they always come. This is about never giving up, when you fall you get back on the horse. All of these cliche's are apropos and life telling. 

I always like to think that we should always see it as nowhere to go but up, even when it's clear that the direction to the bottom is still a choice, and that is the key, it's still a choice. Which choice do you choose to make?

Jan goes Close to the Pledge

The three of us met last year in London.
It was the first time we had been together in one place.
The picture of the Shard was taken from the train on the way from Gatwick airport to meet Estelle.
Chico and I looked up and knew this was another new beginning. From New York to London, Nashville to Greece, we were on our way with 'Nowhere to go but up … '

A year later we've planned an album, written the charts, finished and tweaked the songs, met many times to hash out arrangements, logistics of lineup, studio, promotion, budgets, etc. Estelle has learned the album - an enormous task to make 16 songs feel and sound as if they were her own - and now we are ready to take the collection of songs into the studio and record.

It is a recipe for success like chilli and cream (with beans of course) - the ying and yang of a musical mix where discordancy pushes and pulls to make the most beautiful harmony. The raised 7th longingly stretches up to reach the tonic - it is that perfect cadence with an occasional interruption to lead us off into related minor places where we see and hear things from another point of view.

Nowhere to go but up …

The three of us are friends and musical lovers.

My life is full of jugglers, conjurers, magicians and sky scraping climbers.

 Estelle is warming up...

Photo by Richard Kaby
What does it mean to win and how do we define a new beginning? Endings are beginnings too.

The so called 'Big Ones' can be dramatic, making you feel ecstatic or leaving you traumatized, forcing massive change and a major shift in your perception.

Birth and death, divorce and marriage, leaving an old job, starting a new career, moving or buying a home or going to live in another country... maybe a different continent or an island while you're at it.

I've experienced all of the above except for the one I've been told about and the one I've dreamt of. There's that final bow too. We'll all have to take it, whether we want to or not. 

There's war and peace and the so called 'Act of God'. The news is full of it every day and if you want to know every detail, sign a petition or empathise with the global collective, that's your choice.

Don't cover up your wounds with bandages, they need air to breathe and heal properly! Wear those scars with pride! If you hold back on the plasters and the placebos you're winning!

Autumn leaves October 2013
It's autumn and the nights are growing longer. I can feel the chill starting to seep through the windowpanes and I know that it won't be long before I give in and turn on the heating...but even with the prospect of sub zero looming, springtime daffodils and tulips are already greeting me with green tips emerging from the soil.

One thing that doesn't always feel like it's a gift at the end of October is the clock giving you some bonus snooze time. Despite the irresistible urge to pull the duvet over your head, cuddle up and snuggle down, an extra hour being added
to the dream-clock is just plain tampering with time! It takes me a good week at least to adjust to my new regime. The lack of evening light, feeling hungrier an hour earlier and weary for no reason before bedtime all come with a clock change.

I love the Northern hemisphere fall but... there is something about an English winter that never fails to wallop my sunny South African spirit sideways!

Lauren Carter's Halloween Town. Photo by Lyn Champion
It's not all doom and gloom though!

The end of October spells a hollowed out pumpkin and a bonfire. Friends who are my family in London gather round for a hot meal and a good heart to heart. This is when the simple things in life bring the most pleasure.

That first cup of good coffee in the garden on a clear and bright winter's morning. I count the drops of frost falling from a blade of grass as I take another sip.
Lampshade turned Candlehouse

Watching the breeze lifting the fallen leaves under an oak tree and lighting candles, quietly contemplating. Rituals without the dogma is what I enjoy.

Just like one season melting into another, how and when these new beginnings start and where they end is not always clear. It's the doing and who you're doing it with that counts and being a part of this creative collective means there's nowhere to go but up!

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