Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Two songs

I've uploaded to YouTube two songs I wrote in the months before I made a return journey to Iceland in 1999, a big moment in my life that formed the highpoint of my first book, The Promise of Iceland (2011). The journey back came after a long period of thinking about how to best approach the complexities of my family life. There were secrets in Iceland that needed to be broken, and I knew doing so would affect how my family understood their lives, the past. It would change my life, too.

In the years before, music became an important part of how I settled things in my mind, how I thought it through. I played regularly in bars and cafes around Brisbane. Gigging, I found, was a bit like exercise - demanding, forcing you to look outside yourself, to be physical and part of the world. Music also helped me to express more solitary and private matters: what I wanted to do next, and in what spirit. My songs seemed to me to always contain elements of two worlds: what I had in Australia and what I thought I might find in Iceland.


Driving home that night the moon was bright
just about as bright as I can recall
Wouldn't take a poet to realise the meaning
the meaning of it all

Holding the light

My mind is flying
I can breath, I can breathe, I breathe
The sun opens her eyes onto my back
I can fly