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On Christmas Day I enjoyed a long and lovely walk with friends in Tempelhof. Later I found myself spending much of the day alone in my flat in Neukölln. It’s strange to say, but I’d needed some space after such a busy year, and it felt curiously right to share Christmas day with Berlin’s particular form of austerity. She is the perfect companion for allowing thought to catch up. She doesn’t offer much back and you find yourself accepting sometimes a simple allegiance just to leave each other be. In any case, I thought back over much of 2016, and especially my personal journeys experiencing the lives of refugees in Europe and later in the year, following the rise of Trump on the road in America. I’m a little exhausted, as one gets at the end of the year, and rather than getting lost in my thoughts, I felt quite cleared by my walk and a certain absence of thought. There was just a feeling of allowing things to be simple, and that translated into this little song. It’s a home demo, recorded on Christmas day. It’s rough round the edges, but I felt really committed to trying to finish a workable version in the one sitting. Why? I just wanted to consecrate my thoughts, or rather my feeling. And that is simply to put out a message of peace. I’m aware, more than ever, that peace is something that can’t just be wished for, but something we must contribute towards. But for what its worth, this is a song by a man who found himself alone on a rainy day in Berlin on Christmas day, and wanted nothing more than to put out a message of peace.

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I have taken a good look at the doom & realised that the only response is to breathe the whole dam world into your soul, convert it into love & exhale joyously. Am not at all down with the doomsdaying. Whenever was the world resolved, fixed, perfected? Its the dam challenge that stimulates us, that shows us who we are. The ability to rise which kicks us out of our slumber, which shows us the energy & courage we never thought we had. Are we up for the challenge? Its always a challenge of the spirit. Can i keep on my feet in the midst of the earthquake? Will i buckle when the hurricane hits? Will i tremble when the psychopath glares or stare him down, watch the bully disintegrate because he recognises a foundation so deep, so powerful, so resilient, that his language of hatred, division & flames burns up in its own wild fire! Let the storm energise our spirits, sometimes the best of us is only pulled out by the confrontation with the greatest darkness. And in our moment of reckoning we stare back the abyss & let it know, in no uncertain terms: “we are at hand”

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