Caitlin Magda Shepherd

"Art belongs not to the active life but to the contemplative life—not to the vita activa but to the vita contemplativa." Nicholas Wolterstorff

Month: November, 2012

Can’t bleed myself dry, can’t separate our time



I packed everything that we co owned. The bags were numerous and object hap hazard and odd. Some were sensible. Nail clippers, envelope openers, some good knives and good slabs of wood. The rest were tokens of our landscape. The pathway that our hearts have tread. Knarled pips fallen from the cork tree, scar faced sock puppets, half smoothed spoons and empty bell jars, waiting for our mini me’s entree. The containers form a shadow in the corner. I’ve simplified the content that was strewn throughout the days, and sorted them into bin liners, carriers and suitcases. I can’t quite take them away. A omnipotent pregnancy, warping heat and time and comprehension. I cower yet am fascinated by the sheer mass of story. Obselete, out of time, they still summon a shudder as I run past them rolling my eyes. I’ve packed us up, ready for shipment, currently embargoed until ready for random public consumption. Soon the things that I used to summon the smell of you will be hanging from a rail, smartly tagged. You will make a really good charity shop sale. 


I lost my heart under the bridge


July 20, 2012

Moderat: Rusty Nails

unbroken speech you tricked me on shaky ground don’t tell me it feels like walking on rusty nails but the pain’s not mine when we collide down is the only way out ’cause hell’s above i try to focus on anything but the strain inside so words rise like jets in the sky won’t stay long just passing by but you talked it away you talked it away

July 20, 2012

The restless Green

Green. The colour of virility, life, misdemeanor, youth, inexperience, movement, experience, nature, health, sickness. It’s gone Green, you may proceed. The Green Man, A Green horse, oh, she’s a bit Green. This Green and pleasant land. Robin Hood. Freedom. Sea sickness. Journey. Nervousness.

In among the Cornish Green

And then what? Green has been fascinating me. It brings a sort of wild essence. Rising sap, the associations are as if there is an ineviatability with Green. Something that is unstoppable. Natures own force. You can’t fight a Green horse, you’ve just got to calm her. But she will always be Green. She must come to learn what it is that makes her Green, and then experience will come to soothe her. I went to see a great film last night. Two Years at Sea. Beautifully elusive, suggestive and slow.

I’m getting quite into the slow, conversational thing. More detail, more delicacy and curiousity is born from a well connected conversation.

June 14, 2012

Sweat on the bar

Swinging some shapes

Trapeze is amazing. Static trapeze to be precise. It such a striking combination; strength, grace, height, precision, pain, edurance, and those strage indelible smiles. I was at Circomedia’s first year show yesterday, and still want to run away with the circus. I think the book rostabout was my first encounter with the world of the outsiders, oddities and showgirls. I still want in. Fantasy comes at a price; sacrifice, including a wider disconnection from the world at large. I can imagine it would be easy to get lost within a traveling circus! I’ll carry on with my evening classes, gently at it; smearing some of my self into the bar of balance and gravity defiance. The magic is all around.

Ladies from afar

May 30, 2012

Hide your jubilee vomit in a pretty little bag

This weekend I will be outside in the hills dancing in a God Save the Queen T-shirt. I shall pledge my allegiance to the invention of punk not the monarchy. What I identify with the most in the original sense of punk is a strong DIY ethic and a frank and forthright critique of a capitalist material obsessed world. We still live there. Just the word punk is great. PUNK, rolls of the tongue like an obstinate stance. I’m not ready to play your game just yet. The rebellion, the resistance, the defiance. All characteristics for some reason I naturally identify with. Having an affinity with the dispossessed, understanding the limitations and unfairness of our world, I guess I naturally stand observing much of social order with more than a raised eyebrow. I guess I’m also drawn to the emobodied theatricality of the punk dress code, and the confidence it takes to really commit to standing out and breaking the mind numbing norm of market powered conformity. So onto the royal sick bag. Lydia Leith is the designer. How brilliant.

Another thing I would be doing if I wasn’t rampaging through the hills is attending Invisible Circus’s God Save the Dream epic at the Creative Common Big Top in Bristol. I want to see if dear Lizzie gets rumpled by the smooth talking Spaniard.

May 30, 2012

Episode Frauke Requardt

Went to see a very strange show as part of MayFest. Episode was a violent dance performance of mayhem, inexplicable agression and uncomfortable viewing. Felt like I was watching a disenchanted vision of banal social interaction. There were lots of lights, toilet diving and fighting. Don’t know about the story line though. Was an enduring expansion of the senses if not the mind. It was interesting to watch, and felt very discontented. It might have been about the inner confict of different parts of self, or it might have been about angst ridden clowns.

May 12, 2012

Will Self

Will Self

Why do I like Will Self? Because he’s really quite abrasively warped. In his writing, not that I know him personally. I’m relishing his 90′s oddity, The Quantity Theory of Insanity. A wormhole corridor of unfathomable perceptions; meeting your dead mother at Crouch End, who’s living a very nice dead life with other dead people. Or being seduced while working on a psychiatric ward by a fellow nurse colleague who plys the protaginist with desensitizing anti compassion drugs. Fine gauzes of territories, ones that dictate whether or not sanity is constant, let alone present. All in all, the journey beyond the tiny frame of societal functionality sounds rather fun, if not awkward and occaisionally gut wrenching. His language is also meticulous, sharp, and poetically economical. He’s someone I think has lived authentically, among the shadows and the thorns, as well as basking in the dreamy sunlight of literary stardom. My favorite quote so far

“Cancer tore through her body as if it were late for an important meeting with a lot of other successful diseases.”

May 12, 2012

Now you are gone


Shadows. There, but not quite. Beings moving in the dark, watching but no touching. Transient hopes tied up in refractions. I keep being pulled towards the darkness, towards ideas of death. The thing is, it’s not terrifying; more serene. I feel that death is a taboo. Speak about it and people’s mouths draw tight. Little folds at the bottom of the lip. Little shudders of despair seeping from the eye. Well, I’m not really worried about it, more curious about the shades and tones of death. In what form, at what time, where do you go? Now you are gone is an idea. I want to start writing letters to the deceased, to honour them, to honour death. I want people to remember the beauty and significance of life, and of death. So I shall start writing exit songs. Along with these will be a series of paintings of the deceased. I hope to live among, not bury the dead, bringing the ultimate moment closer to my every day being. Photos by Diane Arbus.

April 13, 2012

You’re my river running high

So clearly deranged, and so obviously passionate. A moment of truth, why do we surrender ourselves to the mundane. I’d rather live a life with flames of passion than one of benign acceptance. This music video makes me remember what I respect in life, and one of the things is emotional integrity. The film reminds me of that. Not living behind the closed doors of suppression.

And here’s a bit of Aki Kaurismäki’s, The Man Without a Past

April 6, 2012

Mayhem, Lynch and vomit bags

I’m always open to the  dark glamour chaos created by the great mind of David Lynch. His new music video is exceptionally weird. Reminds me of Douglas coupland, Carrie and Bootcamp gone bad. Oh, those delightful suburban dreams of alternative living and escaping the mundane prospects of a pig pen service economy job. Watch it and burn.

I’m also 100% behind the royal sick bag.

April 6, 2012

Where have you been?!


“It’s been a while since I last saw you. Self expression, where have you been?”

“I’m sorry I’ve been away so long, I’ve been giving myself to the other worlds of campaigning, company starting and long hard hours of trudging through specific task lists. But I’ve decided that I’ve missed you too much. Creativity, I’m home, I’ve here to stay.”

Yes, I’m talking to myself! But different parts of myself. This is a short post, but it’s a sort of declaration of intent. I spend hours of thought dreaming up works of art and ideas that I never seem to be able to complete due to competing task lists and various grown up ideas. And I’ve decided that it’s time to be less preoccupied with dominant ideaologies that blanket out everything else. The big Q’s such as, justice, aid, food security; well they are important, but they can get  too well fed by the Grey matter and overly domineering. I’m striking a balance. Some socially responsible work, and some unrefined, free form creativity. Both parts of my brain should end up being evenly muscled and trained, and soon I’ll neutralise the inner battlle between meaningful and authentic and become nothing but a small Ohm noise invisible and at peace among the rustling leaves. Not.

Well, here’s an ode to creativity. And here’s supporting the unknown.

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