Friday, June 24, 2011


Time has rolled away from the words.
Time and life and no chance to catch a breath
and remember the past few weeks,
when all the present is enough to fill a lifetime.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Silence as I float out on the lake. Silence under the water, silence in my soul. Blue fades to orange over lush green as the sun yawns, patient and considered in its descent. Smoke mysteries across the glass. Birds gossip as they watch my alien frame climb out of the water. The mosquitos quench themselves on us, but standing in this idyllic frame we let them drink as though it be their final feast. Everything is gentle when lit under this delicate midnight sun. Here we sing songs. The locals close their eyes and applaud in humble volume as not to break the evening spell. And when I stare out the window on the way back to the city, I see more trees, more lakes, more valleys, more beauty, and my soul, so hungry for his, so ready, inhales scene after serene scene and I am inspired to remain this free forever.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


We catch a bus from the airport, back 600 years into the Old Town, where all the beauties are collected together in a square dedicated to Freedom. Beauty of face, beauty of architecture, beauty of heart and beauty of soul. I stroll in this place and I laugh and wave to the family that dust the streets with memories. Tallin, Estonia is another home. These friends another family. We drink beer. The sun does not sink below the horizon. I stand up high on a cliff face with a thousand year old stone fence as guardian, and stare out over the Baltic Sea towards what is still to come, but it is no surprise that here I am content. And yet, what true journey man is ever blessed with bliss, settled upon the word content. I say goodbye in the square, my friends close their eyes when I speak of where I am going. They thank me, I thank them. In the morning, Sam and I walk slow toward the dock, a languid parting with this beautiful, aged city. We travel over the sea, in a box built of lights, shopping, queues and ovine chatter which crescendos down the corridors of the ferry as a Momentus tide, as though the very beigeness of all aboard, is enough to keep us afloat upon these cobalt plains.
And initially, this is my impression of Helsinki. Land in mass of writhing trolleys, ages of elbows which muscle and need, sun baked fanaticism to be one in front and potato people baking in a glass oven on a snail pace highway into the city centre - I am thrown, this chapter all grey, steaming and jagged stares though just as all is dizzy and fit we find our tradition, the first beer in a new city, and we drink to leaving this place with a different impression than This we have found upon arrival.
There must be something here.
Our text arrives.
We trolley off.
A host with most gracious handshake and grin, my first Fin, who laughs at the pressure and yet can give stories out like candy cane, as my ears act like children, greedily gobbling them up and yet always hungry for more. And then, as he talks, he moulds this city around us. I the observer, desperate to see how he does this, am too lost in the beauty he creates to follow his words, his hands, but in the course of a few minutes walking, he has turned these brackish steel streets into a forest fantasy the equal of which I have barely seen. This land a land beyond a billion lands, over the reaches and into The Heavens we have travelled to sit beside and admire this mirror of the gods, the surface broken only by the dance of a single white swan and the sky  seduced by the face of The Sun herself to turning a roguish pink as the fir trees release their evening aroma and all the animals look at me with knowing Narnian eyes. Here in the city, this great, wild surprise.

Monday, June 6, 2011


In the dark place, our voices trail molasses echoes into the corners, painted black and red with lascivious abandon. A home for ghosts and we the living possessed by respect for the dead and the sounds they require. This place, this place, atop the hills, a secret even amongst Norwegians, a place of sex and death, built by the visionary Emmanuel Vigelands. I'm awestruck. I exit the shoulder high stone door, and blinking the sun specks form my eye I breathe and let it all wash over me, as I have done so many times already. These Last Days, this feeling of change, which sweeps in on salt sea air and simply and softly arranges the mind in a new and hopeful dream state where in all is in front of us, and no and never are no words forever. These Last Days, they are a New Truth where in all is built upon solid words and firm goals and key concrete connections. The Family. The Family grows and grows.

A person I have never met travels 9 hours to sit before the festival stage and listen to me sing. She requests a song of mine. We talk. Later, she sings me a song she has written and I cry and take her by the hand and put her in front of the family and everyone sits silent and respectful and we all drown in this Now Nico Sea and afters we try and get going but Tobias sits quiet and stares at our new friend and says simply, I need to respect that song for a moment longer - and nothing, nothing anyone says or does is a cliche. I tell everyone the story of my Love and I play the song, the sound of it, over the stereo speakers and laugh as people slap me on the back, and the girls, amazing singers all of them, gasp and holler with glee when The Boots hits her notes. Tomas, twirling, insists on calling her later in the evening. Everyone loves everyone. Everyone is safe and everyone is free. I can talk to each person here in the same manner, real, right, open.

This is The Gypsy Family, one corner.
And there are so many more roads and so many more friends.
And shows.
And moments.

A chair beside the water overlooking the fjord. A red and white cabin in the woods. Absinthe and laughter. Joy as a brother achieves recognition. An incredible depth in a brief second of eye contact. With all of the boys and girls. Incredible. An invitation to play in the studio of a famous Norwegian Poet.  A invitation to play in Iceland. Two men who come to every show. Hundreds of copies of the album downloaded now.

Further on further east further out further to farther our future fantasia.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


How is this possible? I recall the tram to work, the stone faced hypnosis of the tired mass, the dreaming. Or do I? Perhaps I no longer recall these things. Here in my kitchen in Oslo. I will make coffee now. And eat caramelised cheese on dark Norwegian bread. Outside the rare cloud shifts position as if to stretch itself after an afternoon nap. The unceasing sun is not weary of its tireless shift. At 3am he will barely disappear, shading the night in pink, iced with scattered stars. Soft noises rise from the street. A truck passes apologetically. Everything is illuminated by the magic of the journey. It is Thursday afternoon, 3pm, and I am free to nothing. Though I will play guitar.

Days ago, Monday Morning, I woke on the grass, breathing the fragrant air of Dresden, East Germany. I was surrounded by friends. Our candles had burned themselves as we slept. The rug was as grassy as my hair. We all laughed. Monday Morning. Collecting our things we danced down the street to where was parked a green and white van. We climbed in. Once a police van it was now a haven. We rolled a joint. Someone filmed us. Guitar, violin, singing, the magic of the night here in the morning. We could barely say a word to each other. So we played and played and played. Monday Morning. At lunchtime we giggled home. Coffee. More music. The violinist and I devoted friends for life, such was the joy we found in the music. I will find her and she will play on the record. Here in Dresden.

Tears when we leave. Tears and fists over hearts and looks in our eyes and a jasmine memory sure to last. The Mayor of Neustadt insists we share a final coffee with him in his rooftop apartment and I listen to his histories as I hold dear the warm cup and look at the rooftops below. Such magic here. Deserted buildings garnished with graffiti and held together by the rapturous embrace of ivy vines, desperate to drag their new love into the ground, down, down, down, to cement the passing of time. We say goodbye. Goodbye. I stare quietly out the window as we drive. The Swiss girl next to me tells stories of lakes and parties and friends and plans and pasts and I do not tire of listening though I do so passively and let the road hypnosis take me.

Home base, Berlin. One night. Another wanderer, another wayward breed to sit beside and share stories. Another member of this Gypsy Family. How very true it is. We smile. Ten seconds and we are brothers. That's the feeling of The Road. My Road. I do not pretend to own any other than my own.

Sun, fast, snap, wake, coffee, croissant, airport. Over the Baltic and into Oslo. My other brother, the mentor, meets us at the train station. And we cook and laugh, three souls at the sublime serendipity of it all. A beer. Trails and strings that reach around the world and tie us all together, him to her to me to a friend to a city to a moment and back again. The world contracts around us and we drink whiskey to celebrate. There are shows to play here before we head further north. Deeper in. Estonia, Finland, Sweden...and beyond. A life now. A true, traveller's life. A dream come true.

And Elizabeth is coming. To Berlin. In three weeks.

I cannot wait to share this freedom.