My new online shop

I now have a shop on my website, the first two works are books, the first one is my first book of poetry, featuring a range of works from the past 12 months, ranging from UK focused experiences to Beijing and lots in-between. Secondly is the Camino de Santiago illustrated story, this was inspired by my experiences walking the Camino in Spain in 2011, a 30 day pilgrimage on the “French Way“, I started in Pamploma and ended in Fistera, 700k across the North of Spain.

Thanks for reading and if you decide to read any of my two books and hopefully for supporting my efforts and contributing to my creative process, lots more coming this way. Sam

UK and Euro Poetry Slam Champ – Beijing

Welcome to Beijing Sare Hirsch! I really enjoyed her poetry and talk, very informative and inspiring, and I was lucky to have a brief chat afterwards, thanks for the advice, to just keep writing and reading, I kind came to that conclusion already, but was great to have it confirmed by a successful poet, its always nice to be agreed with anyway.

Certainly I have found that by just reading a lot of poetry (I think I said this in another post, so excuse the repetition) it results the flowing out of words, more easily, this combined with not comparing myself with others, also allows me to share it more freely and learn from that, to do it, rather than just thinking about doing it.

It is an educational experience as someone trying to make a living through creativity and not quite being there yet and meeting with other creatives who are making their living mostly through their craft.

There is often that conflict between free creative expression and paid for creative expression, the line between the two seem to be more like a wall, for me at this stage in my career anyway, I have committed myself, for the next few months at least to collaborating and helping other creatives do and achieve what they want, getting paid where it seems appropriate, and trying to understand and define that line between creating for profit and creating for love, maybe they can be the same, I’m not sure but it is interesting to see where this exploration will take me, maybe it is just a matter of just keeping on making and sharing, until what we love to do become something that other people love to experience.

Thanks for reading, Sam.

Upducky Band and Damhsa – Bookworm, Beijing

I love live music, and what a treat an Irish band in Beijing and me filming and photographing it. Being mostly from Wales, I feel an affinity towards the Irish, though in confusing contrast, my English side feels the guilt of association with oppression, anyway labels aside, I really enjoyed their show, good timing as well, being Saint Patrick’s day.

Sometimes I am too sensitive perhaps, but we are what we are, there are always benefits to our different states of being, and I think sensitivity and live music are a great combination, we could also include empathy in that equation, I try to be empathetic, though I’m sure a lot of the time I’m more of an emotionless plank, which also has it’s advantages, I think its about using sensitivity when it’s most helpful and the blank plank state for when it is the most helpful, I’m still learning when and where to use both.

Often it is just a case of constantly getting these wrong, accepting and using failure and becoming more aware, reaching a new level, very much a challenge in day to day reactions with people.

The magic of a live performance can really be felt and explored through connectedness with the moment and sensations rather than thoughts, as I’m sure most have experienced.

Thanks for looking, Sam.

Bookworm Literary Festival Beijing – Feminism in China

Wow I have to say this was a really interesting talk, sensitive issue in a land where men or masculinity dominates with their/it’s communistic rule and control, really interesting to learn more about this issue, and its deep implications on China and globally in a world where we are more often than not pushed to focus on success through money and masculine qualities and careers.

By coincidence I am reading a very enlightening book called The Gift by Lewis Hyde where gift like trade is compared with femininity and money exchange based trade is a masculine, our world is biased towards the later, at the cost of the former, art, community, charity all discussed, especially interesting for my personal ongoing question and seeking understanding of myself as an artist and self help enthusiast, as well as recycler and general helper, I seek to be able to survive through exchange and mutual benefit, rather than gaining through the loss of others, but anyway lets move on to the event, first some shots.

You can check out Hong Fischer’s book here, she looks at how feminist activists were treated in China, the implications of the feminine movement in China for the current regime.

I believe the feminist issue is beyond being a woman vs man concern, I think the danger with feminism being associated with womankind primarily, is that it creates a them and us mentality, perhaps alienating men who are feminists (correct me if I’m wrong please) further promoting expectations and limitations imposed on people based on their appearance, though this is of course a large part of the debate, and I am no expert and the luck of being born male or female, no doubt brings certain advantages or disadvantages, but this does work both ways, I believe. If we simply focused on the female and male characteristics of us as humans, and ignored the physical appearance of ourselves, these biases in society affect us all, for certain types of work are defined as feminine or masculine and a person is biased against for being of the wrong physique for it, for example, but I believe the biggest price we pay for this imbalance away from feminine towards the masculine, is towards ourselves (man and woman) and our world, the lack of emotional intelligence, of care towards our environment, the very place that we cannot exist without, I feel we all need to individually seek to balance ourselves, our feminine and masculine, if only for our own peaceful and contented existence, to achieve and push ourselves whilst being aware of the big picture, how caring for ourselves means focus on inner conflicts, with others, our environment and seeing to do good wherever possible.

If you are in Beijing and feel like being inspired, check out the festival program.

Thanks for reading, Sam.