Carry Me Video Drop

#CarryMe‬ is a song about 'coming home'. Joshua explains, "Along my own journey I've defined home as living as the person you were born to be, free from the pressures of other perceptions and your own self-depreciation. ‘Home' is an identity without illusion, without the confusion of trying to be someone we are not. We all get distracted, disappointed and at times disillusioned with who we are and where we're at but there's hope in knowing you can change direction, there's hope in knowing you can always return home" 

Directed by Of Dust & Stars ‪

Dead Man Walking

I can see an image of myself in ten years. I'll be 36 years old, probably with a few grey hairs nestled in my beard. They'll make me wiser and so will the time that's past. I can see the clothes I'll wear, the conversation I'll have. I can see Poloroid pictures carrying the memories I've made, the world I've seen with my wife, the songs we've written. I have an image of myself as a father, even the temperament I'll have.

Sometimes I find myself living in this thought, in this image for a few minutes at a time. It's as if I get abducted from my present self and parachuted into the middle of this world I've made. It's okay to dream. In fact, I think it's as natural as breathing. I worry about anyone who isn't dreaming because you can only hold your breathe for so long. What worries me is the thought of so looking forward to the man I'll become that I don't experience the man that I am. What worries me is entering such a slumber that I never really wake from it. My dreams are beautiful, they are birthed out of an embracing of my reality with the desire to better it. My fantasies though, they are dangerous. They are birthed not from the embracing of reality but rejection of it. Not the desire to better it but to exchange it. 

The world of fantasy is perfect. It is in fact corrupted and innately polluted by any measure of imperfection. It needs constant protecting. When we view ourselves through the lense of fantasy, rejecting our true self and reality we put everything on the line, all the time. We are forbidden from embracing our imperfect yet authentic self and instead choose to walk the leather tight rope, stretched between two trees that cause blisters with every step taken in balance. Fantasy is without Mercy and is no friend of Grace. When we walk into a room to present ourselves as the person we fantasise being, we have everything to prove. A word tinged with critique or a question that digs deeper into the depth of who we are feels like a dagger into the soul. We are defensive because we have to protect the illusion, everything is at stake. If our fantasy self is rejected we have nothing left to offer since our authentic self has already been sacrificed on the altar of fear. The fear of being known and rejected. The fear of dissatisfying and being dissatisfied. 

Last year I chose that I would not sacrifice my self. I would not sacrifice the man I am today, riddled with imperfection and marked by disappointment. The man who wrestles with God, and runs from his fear. The awkward me, the unsatisfied me the painfully impatient and uninteresting me. I chose that I would rather crucify the illusion and the option to live within it. I would rather put a dagger into the heart of the man I'll never be. The man without scars, the man who has it all and has nothing because he doesn't have a story. The man who caused me to become dissatisfied with my reflection, my thoughts, my ideas, my creativity and humour. If he is dead then so is my need to prove, protect and walk the tightrope.

As the taut leather breaks beneath my toes and I feel the soft green grass below my feet, I am reminded. I am reminded of who I am, who I was yesterday and who I am today but not tomorrow, for I do not know him yet. I am reminded that I need not waste a moment in proving myself, rather I am free to encourage the room I am in. I am reminded that when all your focus is on balancing your self and the illusion, you simply can not carry anyone else. You can not vouch for them, it may cost you your place. You can not celebrate them, it may cost you your position.

On the soft green blades of Grace however, there is room. There is space to dig for the gold in everyone and it costs you nothing, for what is there is left is loose?

Artwork by Joshua Luke Smith & Elaine Tregaskis

Naked Flesh

I didn't enjoy education, I felt suffocated and frustrated by the classical class room situation, in return my actions and outbursts of disruptive behaviour caused a disconnect in my relationship with teachers. I felt completely distant from them. I'm sure they tried as hard as they could to connect with me but in the midst of all the other students, targets to meet and boxes to tick our relationship never really grew healthily. I've been thinking about teaching, though. About how I thought you needed a room of 30 pupils before you could begin. I realise how carless that thinking is. How naive it is of me to not realise that I teach every single day. I teach. Standing before a sea of disgruntled and confused faces, passing on knowledge passed through the ages is a vocation I honour and admire, it's front line work but it's also not the only time we teach people.

The way that I treat people teaches them how to view themselves, it teaches them about their worth and their value. It teaches them about who they are.

This new poem "Naked Flesh" that I am excited to share with you captures a lesson I have been learning my whole life. I grew up with three beautiful sisters and a mother, all of whom I still count as my best friends, sources of comfort and council and joy. I learnt about how to treat the other woman in my life through my relationships with them. I found it immensely difficult to join in with disrespectful conversations about girls at school, how they look, what the other guys would want to do to them, what they would change about them because I knew, although they we're spoken of like objects, barbies that could be moulded and contorted to fit a fantasy, they were in reality someone's sister or daughter. I didn't always succeed. I didn't always hold my tongue. I didn't always walk away from situations that I now wish I had, but the magnetic north on my moral compass always pointed towards honour, which made the moments of failure even harder to face.

This poem is dedicated to my three sisters because without you; Hannah, Bethany and Phoebe I wouldn't be the man or husband that I am today. I adore you and it is my great pride to use my craft to uphold and honour you. This poem is also dedicated to my brothers, the billions of men around the world that I'll never meet and the one's not yet born who I will never know. This poem is a cry to rally us. Not in a militant manner of gathering soldiers but with arms of love beckoning Sons, Fathers and Brothers to be the men we were born to be, to follow the compass of honour instead of desire gone mad.

 

We've forgotten who we are. We put our brothers behind bars and We gave our sisters scars

And in trying to become stars we have trampled on our Sons, 

So our Solar Systems became Soulless and our spirits became numb, Our hearts, they became empty.

For without honour we have nothing, even in the land of plenty.

EP Launch Event

Come and celebrate the launch of Joshua Luke Smith's sophomore EP "Your Beauty".

Hear the entire project before it's official release on the 7th and pick up a physical copy as well. Held in one of Bath's finest live venue's and featuring some very special guests (TBA) this is not a night you want to miss out on!

Tickets will be going live by the end of the week so join and share the event to keep in the loop!

Event Page

Becoming Human

“To love someone is to show to them their beauty, their worth and their importance.” - Jean Vanier

Becoming Human is a poem that was written as a personal challenge to myself. I found myself falling into a rhythm of viewing the people I would meet on a daily basis as a means to an end rather then a beauty in and of themselves. Shop keepers became transactions, strangers in the streets became shadows and I became increasingly disconnected from the wonder passing me by each day. I wrote it as a call to myself to stay present, intentional and aware of the beautiful, broken ruins I have the honour of being connected with simply through the essence of being human.

Nine to Five

I wrote this Poem whilst working on the shop floor for a high street clothing company. It was at a time I really needed the work but for most of my time there I undervalued what I did and felt very little gratitude for my position. For someone continually creating, the work was mind numbing. I would do the same things each day; stocking clothes, selling clothes, re stocking clothes, selling clothes again and I easily became frustrated, feeling contained and restricted by my work and would resent it as I went to and from the shop. Thankfully I took some time, (during the process of folding T Shirts in the particular manner that fulfilled the companies standards) to reflect on not only what I was doing,  the way it made me feel but more importantly the way that I was approaching it.

Somewhere between one shop floor replenishment and another I had begun to curse what was a blessing. I allowed myself to be defined by what I did rather then person I was. I limited my creativity to a context and my inner joy to a circumstance. I learnt that my angst and frustration had little to do with my work (I'm grateful for that job now) and nearly everything to do with how I approached it. 

 I literally wrote the poem whilst checking that hoodies had been displayed in the correct size order. It's a reflection on how quickly I became defined by what I did, rather then who I was and tries to ask some questions about how we allow that to happen.

Shout out to everyone who worked there with me, I made some incredible friends who walked much more wisdom and grace then I did! 


Your Beauty

"Your Beauty" embodies my journey over the last year; musical, spiritual and emotional. It burrows deep into the archives of my life, telling stories I sometimes wish I had forgotten and experiences I feeling privileged to have had. It captures some of my greatest challenges and celebrates the most splendid triumphs I've ever known.
I've come to believe my artistry is less about how I make my work sound or look but simply about the story that I choose to tell. Our stories will never be the same, they cannot be copied for they cannot be lived twice, they are the wounds that have healed into scars now whispering our personal narrative. 
The cover art, designed by my good friend and incredible illustrator, Elaine Tregaskis; depicts the one who has found healing for their wounds, taken ownership over their experiences and found the story in their scars, free to live in their unique, majestic Beauty.

I've been Honoured to collaborate with some incredible creative, encouraging and inspired individuals in the creation of this body of work; producers, musicians, singers, designers, photographers, film makers and more, some of whom are; Jordan Wigston, Pete Senne, Kara Ann Marie, Elaine Tregaskis, Dani Miche, James Green, Gary Burrows, Nathan Mackenzie and many, many more (whom I will mention at a later date).

"Your Beauty", my new EP, featuring 6 new offerings will be released on the 26/05/2015

"Come as you are not as you should be, don't cover up those scars, their your glory, their your story, their Your Beauty..."