Benign Bay – A map of pilgrimage and possibilities

benign bay map of pilgrimage and possibilities

I was woken by the rain falling on the window ledge outside my room. It was way before the alarm was supposed to sound. Nature has its own alarm calls, like the birds as they greet each new day with their song. The birds were quiet this morning though, keeping out of the way of the worst the clouds were throwing down.

According to the latest weather reports there are two storm fronts crossing my path today. The first has woken me up. The second is due much later in the day, but it is on its way. In-between there will be a time of peace. Not quite the eye of the hurricane, but a moment, a period of time, when there won’t be rain and all, weather related, will be calm.

The wind may not blow. When that happens the waters are peaceful. At times of peace it is good to spend a morning, afternoon or even a whole day at Benign Bay. At Benign Bay the waters are still. Your mind can relax and clear the mess. It is worth chilling out for a while when you’re in the area.

We don’t know how long the waters, or everything around us, will remain calm. It might be a moment, it could be several or it could be many. The point is that when calmness is there we have the opportunity to grasp it and savour it.

When the waters are calm we can savour the beauty of the sea, or the lake. When there is calm we can notice the things we often miss, or take for granted, or just don’t realise they contain such beauty. When was the last time you sat and watched the setting sun, or the stars in the sky, or a butterfly drifting silently by? How often have you sat and watched a bird sweep and swoop and seemingly effortlessly defy gravity?

There is so much going on in our lives that we can miss the beauty that is always there. When the moments of calm come, even between two storms, we can savour that time. Float across Benign Bay and take in the sites, enjoy the sensations and savour the moments – it costs nothing too!

Rest and stay a while… the waters are not always calm.

A few months back I wrote a song about savouring moments so thought it was apt to share here, but don’t let it stop you visiting Benign Bay. Listen by clicking the little play triangle. If you like the music you can find more at This Temple Eden.



Silence and solitude
Camellia Sinensis
Brewed infused

Words read, neurones fed
Sound sculpting, time at rest
Breath inhaled

I savour all these moments

Personal victories,
Waves breaking on beaches
Blossom on breeze

Use what I have
Have what I need
Contentment not greed

I savour all these moments

Moments to meditate
Don’t rush just hesitate
This time’s my time

The future’s not happened
The past can’t be changed
The present, the gift

I savour all these moments

Finding my voice

Who are we? What makes us authentic? Is it what we do? Is it what we want to do? Is it fate, D.N.A. or nurture? These and other philosophical musings occupy too much of my time. The current reason for this line of thought is with regard to my music.

I am wondering what is ‘my sound’ or ‘my voice’? What is the distinctive I bring to my art? Or, where does my art sit among the sounds that are already out there.

Eventually I will find my voice, although I would have hoped to be a little closer after so many years. It sits somewhere between acoustic folk and dystopian electronica… and folktronica is a thing! Perhaps this is where I am heading. Although, it seems that particular style uses samples far more than I currently do.

I’m getting off point here though. Which is what I often do. Genres (rules) restrict, however, rules (genres) often enhance creativity. It can focus our effort. If I only have a ukulele I will be more creative with how I use it. If I have a wide range of musical instruments and effects, will it dilute things, dilute ‘my voice’?

As I take this creative minimal journey there are plenty of challenges. Deciding what to remove from my musical toolbox is just one of many steps.

Some guidance on minimalism and creativity

 There’s only showing up, and trying our best to do good work. Day after day, year after year.

A great quote and a good post that got me thinking about how minimalism relates to my creative process. I am always looking for something extra to add to my creative sandbox. Quite often this is done at the expense of just getting on with creating.

I am quite focussed at being minimal in most things, but when it comes to my own creativity, I find it very easy to convince myself that I need additional bits and pieces. More about my own journey in the coming weeks, but if you are struggling with a desire for yet another foot pedal, then this post may just help.

Choosing Better Work Over More Tools