no mud no lotus

by Sarah Osborne

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to my sistercousins
& all my strong hot queens
my blood, my goddesses,
live your dreams

A few months ago I was driving down a country road somewhere, sometime, late afternoon. I was on the phone with one of my amazing sister cousins, Jade. She is a beautiful red haired goddess a few months my senior, whom I share my genes of a large appetite for pleasure and a “special” genius/madness with. She, like many of my amazing support network, was offering her ear and wisdom. For at the time I was in the middle of a deep dark sea, a shadowy night of the soul, the belly of a beast, and a severe state of emotionomania. She said to me, “Well you know, no mud no lotus”. This mere phrase blew my mind and everything stood still for a moment. The simple truth hit me like a wave, and it all just made perfect sense.

For a brief period of my life, I went by the name “Mud”. One morning watching cartoons before school, Garfield cheekily said “well, my name is mud” after eating someones lasagna or something. I thought it was the greatest thing in the world and from that moment on, I was to be called Mud (for a couple of years anyway). To this day, Jade still calls me “Mud”, and I love it.

Not only was this phrase “no mud, no lotus” of great significance to me because of my bizarre childhood nomenclature. But also because it so simply stated something I already knew deep in my heart, something we all already know: that without suffering there is no joy, without darkness there is no light, and without the nourishing, dark, thick, unappreciated mud there is no fertile, colourful, delicate, and sensual lotus. I adopted this as a mantra, and a few weeks later, in a little boutique, a handmade copper ring popped out to me. Engraved on it were the words “no mud, no lotus”. I laughed out loud as my heart beat excitedly at the sheer magic of that moment. It has been hugging my right ring finger perfectly ever since.

Fast forward to a beautiful sunny drive out to the beach from Victoria on New Years Day of this year. Some dear musical friends of mine were talking about this “record per month “ (rpm) challenge that everyone and their cousins and their cousins cousins would partake in every February in Newfoundland. It is a world-renowned thing, but special to the Newfies, for the month of February can be especially dark, cold, and dreary. Winter doldrums at their finest. What better way to conquer a dark night of the soul then to create, for the sheer challenge and enjoyment of it? The objective was to write and record 10 songs, or 35 minutes, whichever came first, all in the month of February. “I’m gonna do it!” said I.

I had just made a big move at the end of the year and in January I had been recording and collaborating creatively for long amazing hours with my very talented uncle on a new professional EP. The sound and quality of my voice and playing reached new levels. During this time I was also asked to write a song for “the Existence Project”: a workshop a friend of mine facilitates to bring open discussion between people of marginalized and stigmatized communities. Coming out of a creative dry spell, the aforementioned, and my recent recent resurfacing out of the deep dark sea were all catalysts in propelling this project forward. I rented a beautiful expensive German microphone, borrowed an interface, turned off the breaker for the fridge and away I went.

But I wondered, when this rpm was done, would I dare share it with anyone? In a late night conversation in a dark bar last week, I got my answer. I sat with a respected and talented musician I’ve known my whole life and we discussed the merit in releasing something imperfect, unproduced, fresh out the gates, raw. In essence: “mud”. The next morning I woke up, and had my vindication:

I am releasing this “mud” with three intentions. The first is to encourage the choice and disciplined practice of creativity in all of you. Make the time, it is so important, and will fill your soul in ways no one or nothing else can. The second is for my own personal reason of committing to a project deadline, a project that has offered me the most exquisite healing experience I’ve ever had. And some of it was also just plain fun. You must understand my vulnerability and fear in this moment at the thought of sharing this completely unrefined, straight from the soul, work with any who will listen. Thirdly, the idea is to involve you, the listeners, my peers and supporters, in the evolution of these songs. With artistic critique and collaboration, growth, and fine-tuning, some of these songs may disappear, some may change entirely, and some may become hits on Rock 69 fm. They will in essence, become “the lotus”. You are all here for the birth of them; these seeds planted in the nutrient rich, thick, dark, mud. It’s amazing what a little bit of time and light can do.
I will be releasing one song a day for the next 11 days. Allow me to present to you “no mud, no lotus’…
A big thanks to Taryn Bodrug for the beautiful art.
And thank you all for your love and support.


released March 1, 2018


all rights reserved



Sarah Osborne Victoria, British Columbia

Sarah's sultry voice is a colourful velvet painting in a second-hand store. Exotic, dark, and textured, it beckons us, in its nostaglia, to bring it home and hang it on the wall, to remind us of a time that was, and a part of ourselves that is sweet, simple, and real. ... more

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Track Name: fall
see the birds flying high
like they're meant to be
oh it could be you and me
no ones questioning why
they do what they do
or if I ever loved you
you know I do

times got nothing on me
scratching the day on the wall
hunny I miss ya
there's a hole in my heart
in your arms I long to fall
I long to fall
I long to fall

wake up forgetting
just where I am again
and I reach out for you
are you wandering around,
the same old town,
with somebody new?
she'll never love you like I do

Track Name: as fate would have it
as fate would have it
I've gone to far
i spilled my guts, showed you my stuff
and all ive got left are these scars
I'm wreaking havoc, I'll burn down the barn
and they'll think he ran away with me arm in arm

as fate would have it
we're going down in flames
three swords in my heart, cloaked in a cape of blame
I won't have it I won't play those cards
oh I never meant to do you any harm

they put mountains between
but the heart it has ways
knocking me down
like a big set of waves
mountains between
but the heartache it stays
knockin me down, knocking me down

as fate would have it
I'm seeing things
the angels are singing and they gave me a beautiful ring
oh i can feel it
it's in my veins
and it's roaring like a westbound train

go to sleep baby
just close your eyes
morning will come
and the sun will shine
howbout that moon how it shines in the sky
making me blue, making me cry
Track Name: kym
We've all a place in this production line
Jesus was a busy guy
so my dear am I,
turning priveledges to rights
instead of water into wine

and running through the times of street wars
grasping out for any open door
facing all the change with the grace
of a newly formed butterly
asking myself every day
what it means to be alive, survive

they made god I found god
force me to believe and im so gone
lead me to belief and ill keep on flying,
like the birds drawn on my skin

some of us barely the get the chance no
don't even get a second glance from society
making money for the priest
i hit my bottom running through the streets

they made god I found god
force me to believe and im so gone
lead me to belief and ill keep on flying,
like the birds drawn on my skin
Track Name: vacation
working day out day in
wanna get some news from my vacation
wanna see you by the pool
try new some new things with you

tell me whats new lately
got your postcard so sweet baby
i wanna get you in that room
try some new things on you

no rest for the wicked
we can repose
oh time wont go quickly
cause we'll take it slow

so tired body aching
counting down the days to my vacation
wanna get some tasty food
tell me everything about you
Track Name: aubergine
even though that's the way it's gonna go
I still want you when we're toking, lying on the floor.
I wanna get close to you, wanna get up on you,
wanna get close to you, wanna get up on you.

Aubergine, you're my dream
Aubergine, you're so mean.

I barely saw you coming now you're out the door
you got my on my knees, hummin for more
wanna get close to you, wanna get up on you
wanna get close to you, wanna get up on you

this couch is big enough for two
you know what I wanna do
come over on a sunny afternoon
and let me have my way
with you

Track Name: weeping pussy willow pt.1
woah keep on tryin
leave me when you go
aahhh keep on trying
love me til you know
ohhh the guitar you got me
playing it all day long
ohhh it dont replace you
oh I miss you lord
oh keep on tryin...
leave me like the lord
Track Name: weeping pussy willow pt.II
weeping, like a weeping pussy willow today
everyone's gone, and I ain't got nothing to say
oh i just cry, cry myself to sleep, and I cry
morning time, and I cry. all through the day
weeping, like a weeping pussy willow

weeping, like a weeping pussy willow
all night through
baby, pick up the phone, oh I just wanna talk to you
I won't be long, I won't be mean
I know I'm wrong, I know you're sweet
weeping, like a weeping pussy willow
oh all through the night
Track Name: leave those guns alone
back in my day, school was a safe place
save for the builles, throwing sticks, stones, and names in my face
fear and bullets no, they never crossed our minds,
teacher, tell us why, the guns a symbol of our time?

one move of a finger, can quickly take a life,
one pull of a trigger, defines our modern strive,
oh what is it, that these senseless fools desire?
teacher tell us why, these shots are being fired?

leave those guns alone
take them from the streets, the schools, the home
burn them down to the bone,
get rid of them, make them gone.

well, war is a business that belongs someplace else
we're all turning wicked as we watch that ice melt
I'm hear to learn, not to fear for my life,
teacher will they shoot me,
if I look them in the eye.

leave those guns alone
take them from the streets, the schools, the home
burn them down to the bone,
get rid of them, make them gone.
Track Name: cool loneliness
mmm loneliness is cool
pain heals everything
no mud no lotus
smoke it, drink it, text it, sext it away
oh smoke, drink, text, sext that pain away

oh body monster, you ain't no thing
get outta me!
stay home, try not to be alone
loneliness is cool
smoke it, drink it, text it, sext it away.
that pain

body monster, you ain't no thing
get outta me
get outta me

smoke it, drink it, text it, sext it away.
loneliness is cool
Track Name: goodnight
Am I running out of time?
Could this be the night?
Is there something I could've done better?
Before I say goodbye, walk across that line.

Rock me like a baby.
Rock me like a baby, tonight.
Used to be your baby, rock me like a baby, tonight.

What did I do to get here?
Oh yeah I know why.
Tenacious as I was, I live my life.
Oh I wasn't afraid to cross that line,
and I ain't afraid to die.

Rock me like a baby.
Rock me like a baby, tonight.
I used to be my baby,
rock me like a baby, tonight.
Track Name: 11:11
The sun is going down, there’s lots left
Thank you for clasping your hands
Making a place for my shoe to step
And lifting me up, helping me catch my breath.

But how could I have known better?
If I did I wouldn’t have the chance to reflect on it all now.
As winter sends its last parade through town.
I take my black mirror, smash it on the ground.
Really though, could I throw I off this cliff?
Dare I cause such mischief?

What would it be like to run my fingers through your hair?
Instead of gaze a gazedly stare
At your pixeled picture there
To laugh in wisdom
In unison once again

Darling this pain is so real
When can we be friends? Or more?
For really in this space and time
I see many fish in the sea
Let us not be ghosts lost in time,
For you are the salmon I seek.

Swim, swim to the river up the stream
Lay me down in the pebbly creek
There, we will create my love, we will dream
Music turning as the water flows around a melody.
Catches the light, yes we are alive.

This life, will you share it with me?
My only request, with my hands across my chest,
Is that you send me back to the sea.
This journey, will you share it with me?
Come back to me, my kindred spirit,
Come back to me.


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