One quick question…

Posted: March 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

Ok, let’s get a couple of things straight. Firstly, I’m not a real blogger. The only kind of thing-vaguely-similar-to-blogging I’ve ever done was in my editor’s columns for magazines and I even made a pig’s ear of those. Secondly, this isn’t anything to do with music. If it were to be about music (and even then it would be in the loosest sense of the term) I might perhaps harp on about so-called singing talent shows that focus purely on (aside from the public humiliation of halfwits) ‘the voice’, hitting perfect notes every single time, and all that. I’d rant on about how, with so much songwriting talent out there – and yes, for once I’m going to stick my neck out (ooh that’s weird, not stuck my neck out before, but it feels quite nice) I do mean me, among many other musicians I know or have heard – why do we have to keep hearing the same old shite covers? Seriously, why are we putting up with it?

There must be so many goddamn people who are the wind beneath other people’s wings, and so many people raising other people up so they can stand on mountains, that I’m amazed anyone is left standing on earth, apart from those raising the other ones up, but then how would those people get on with their day jobs? Raising people up is quite tricky, especially these days where lots of people are obese and I should imagine it could take at least two people per person needing to be raised up to mountain level.

Anyway, I’m sure that’s been ranted about before so, no, I have chosen to start my blogdom with a question put to me by a lady hanging about in East Grinstead High Street. Not sure if she was a Scientologist (lots of those here), a Jehovah’s Witness (yep, lots here) or maybe she was just curious and a teensy bit nosey (teeming with ’em), but anyway, she came up to me and said: ’Do you mind if I ask one quick question?’ To which I replied: ‘As long as it’s quick – my husband and I need to sit in the sun and pretend we’re on holiday’.

‘OK’, she replied. Then came the ‘quick’ question: ‘Would you say spirituality and religion are the same thing?’

’Lummy lawks!’ said I (actually I didn’t, but that’s my phrase of the month. It’s nice and it sounds all chummy and all full of the naive bubbles of lashings of ginger beer and the friendly crustlessness of cucumber sandwiches.) But what I did say was: ‘That’s NOT fair. You said a quick question. That is not a question to which one can give a quick & simple answer.’ Although to be fair, I had only demanded that the question be quick, and not the answer. So she wasn’t in the wrong, I s’pose.

After a few ‘ums’ and ‘ers’ (I didn’t want to leave before giving a decent answer – these people get told to sling their proverbial hooks all the time, so I at least wanted to give her a little bite, like a tiddler that whets the fisherman’s appetite and persuades him to stay another few hours) I spoke forth:

‘I’m not sure. It depends on your personal definition of both. But I don’t think so. My father converted to Islam many years ago; my mother and her sister both went to convent schools and neither is particularly fond of nuns (in fact, my auntie still gets out a pretendy gun whenever she sees one); and I’m a very fickle Nichiren Buddhist, who only practises when things get tough and then when they do, I go hell for leather with the old chanting ‘nam myoho renge kyo’ until everything goes right again (it works, funnily enough). So my views on religion are rather mixed and highly capricious, to say the least, but I do think you can be spiritual without being religious. And I’m pretty sure you can be religious and not have a spiritual bone in your body.’

(I didn’t say it quite like this. This is really just for effect. I apologise. But I do have a habit of thinking of what I want to say long after the event. It’s quite annoying. Perhaps that’s why I should blog more often, not that I’m vain enough to think anyone gives a single shite about my opinion, but to at least know that I’ve thought about stuff, formed an opinion and then aired it. I suppose songwriting is like that but I’m buggered if I want to write a song giving my answer to this woman’s question. My songs are about breast implants and witches and Doc Martens, for God’s sake, not religion. Who do you think I am?

Anyway, I nearly got my mate, who’s a talented and seasoned blogger, to write something. But then I thought – why on earth shouldn’t I dust off the old quill and get back into writing again? Not necessarily about what bands are playing at the Forum (in my day it was Sulphur and the Longpigs); not interviewing comedians and popstars (although Björk was lovely and yes I HAD to namedrop her) and certainly not about what is the latest recyclable packaging material (but I did adore my job on Packaging Magazine, however uncool it sounds). Just simply to, well, air stuff.

So, thanks to that lady for asking the question. I must add that, after aforementioned husband & I had had our cold pint in the sunshine, we walked past good old Peter Andre, bless his orangey face, having his picture taken with two similarly orangey teenage girls looking pleased as punch. And I thought to myself, perhaps celebrity adoration is a religion in itself? Or is it spirituality? Hmm, pass me the wine…

  1. 56whitey says:

    Welcome to the world of Blog,I believe for what it’s worth that spirituality and religion are totally different.
    Spirituality is a feeling and a personal one,that I believe everyone feels in some way.
    Religion is organised and sold to the masses.
    God,Buddah,Krishna,Mohammed etc…are all probably real ,and all probably the same ,whatever we feel spiritually could be any of them.
    My granny said what goes around comes around,what you give out you get back,I feel that!!!

    More Wine I think!!!!!!!

  2. burncastle says:

    the friendly crustlessness of cucumber sandwiches

    Perfect. Couldn’t have found a better description of what that describes if Shakespeare, Capote and Bryson were vying for a go at it.

    More, please.

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