Sunday, 31 July 2011

Dorian Gray you got it all wrong.

Recently I have spent considerable time with 'old people' or ' old codgers' as they referred to themselves. All I can say is what interesting people, they have lived their lives and have so much to tell about it. They have learnt who they are, how to carry themselves and have a quiet confidence in themselves that is rarely there in the 'young'. Their sense of humour is actually hilarious and they soon had me labelled as 'trouble', 'here comes trouble' was my affectionate greeting.

I wonder when it is that you just 'know' and are content with who you are and no longer care what others or the world thinks of you. How many days of living and night of sleeping does it take to feel like you've done your bit, you've played your part and lived your story? Where you relax completely and feel liberated to just enjoy the here and now because you 'know' not like the young think they know but really know and feel with every bone in your body that the future is short and your time is precious.

It is a catch-22, on the one hand life is considerably worst your body is physically in more pain, you have to take pills 4 times a day just to keep going, it takes ten minutes of creaking bones and large sighs to heave yourself off the sofa and in the back of your head you must know death is just around the corner. BUT all this physical angst must free your mind to just enjoy and live for right now, years on this earth gives the value of experience to know there is no point worrying anymore because you've expereinced enough times in the past that worry is a beast that needs to be beaten else it just drags you down.

What I'm trying to say is that this group of 'old people' who I had the pleasure to spend time with were the loveliest and happiest group of people I have been in the company of for a long time. I work with young people and these 'oldies' had more life and get up and go in them and were living purely to enjoy rather than to impress or achieve.

My goodness, they made me think about it all, this thing called life. They've lived theirs and I'm just starting out really, it's all ready to enfold in front of me and all the time I seem to worry about how it's going to go and which way it will pan out and whether I'll achieve what I want or I am supposed to and what if I don't use my time here in the best possible way. I believe that one reason we are here is to learn and become the best possible version of ourselves but what if I never do? Yet these old lovelies have for a while stopped these questions and shown in the end none of it really matters because you'll get where you need to be when you need to get there and in the mean time just live and enjoy.

                                The view from my bedroom window.

 After walking through what can only be described as 'bog land' laying in the sun in the nook of  a hill reading with nobody around

                                        View from dream house below....

The photo above reminds me of this quote- "What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? - it's the too-huge world vaulting us, and it's good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies."
Kerouac-on the road

                                Warwick Castle

                                 I would like to live in this house please.

                                In the maze.

                                Pub Lunch

                                 Shakespeare's place of birth.

                                The Fool.

                                             A good cuppa Cha that!


                               Another house I'd like to live in.

So this last week I have had the most carefree, let it go, fun and happiest weeks. This is all revealed in the fact I am actually smiling with 'teeth' in some of these photos, something that never usually happens despite my Grandma's prompts to show my teeth when I smile. As my little story here unfolds, these last two weeks will be a shining example of how life should be lived as directed by the 'old folk'. It was castles, picturesque picture card villages, mountains, skies, tea and scones, mud, history, fresh air, rivers, laughing, James, stories, wonderful people, living in moments, ice-cream, Shakespeare and silliness.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

I'll I've got to say is Arrrrrgggh! Please get it over with. Explanation will follow at a later date. Nerves, don't you just love them.

Friday, 15 July 2011

The Slug Dance.

This evening I performed what I would like to call the 'Slug Dance' or 'Slug Roulette', this sophisticated and highly skilled dance, will be coming to a night club near you some time soon I'm sure. My usual evening run was thwarted by a downpour, usually rain does not thwart my run but puts an added lift into my step as I in fact love running in the rain as it is an immediate deter for people to go outside, which means I get much more of the world to myself on my run (I have an unfounded paranoia of people staring at my beetroot face and scrag mcrag hair as I run past and thinking *wow, look at the state of her she must be unfit*, in fact I speed up and make my breathing lighter when running past people just so their not too alarmed) and secondly, there is something just so earthy and natural about running in the rain, the wind and water lashing into your face.

So as the rain poured on the field that I was running along, out came the slugs in their droves. Making a patchwork of green and black, a chessboard of sorts in which my aim was to land on the green else risk standing on a slug. I did not want to stand on a slug for two reasons: I envisage that standing on a slug can be much likened to standing on a sponge filled with slime intermixed with baked beans and secondly, I'm quite against killing things when there's no real need to.

Hence my run turned into some kind if bizarre twisting, hop-footing, tribal dance centered on the aim of avoiding the slugs. As I got into the rhythm of this run-dance I began to add in additional moves; a twist here, an arm-flap there until I was doing full on arms up pretending I'm flying type moves. Don't worry the field was deserted but worryingly many houses back onto this field so anybody happening to glance our of their window would have seen what can only be described as, a crazed lunatic in the pouring rain, stupidly wearing a white t-shirt, throwing shapes like there's no tomorrow with a confused albeit not entirely surprised black and white dog a few paces behind.

As the run-dance continued I descended further into rain induced hysteria and gave certain parts of the field, slug-related names depending on the slug population density of a given area. So we had things such as, ' Slugadilly Circus', 'Slugsy Corner', 'Slug/Snail No Man's Land etc... It made the run go surprisingly fast and took my mind off the usual pain involved with runs and so I'm all for slugs now and the random entertainment they bring.

As of 7am tomorrow I'm off up to the highlands of Scotland, where no people dwell and there's nothing but hills, lochs, animals, castle ruins, reading, writing and walking for a week, apart from Wednesday which is a slight blip on the horizon which I will explain at a later date.

Away from normal life and any form of contact with the rest of the world, no internet and no mobile signal so I will return in a week with a few tales to tell hopefully.Or later tonight if I feel like writing something else!

My aim is to have a midnight swim in the loch by moonlight and continue run-dances in the safety of knowing there will be no one to watch me.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

'No story sits by itself'

'No story sits by itself. Sometimes stories meet at corners and sometimes they cover one another completely like stones beneath a river'

'That there are no random acts. That we are all connected. That you can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind'
(From 'The Five People you Meet in Heaven', Mitch Alborn)

Recently I read 'The Five People you meet in Heaven' and it's underlying theme of how we as humans relate to each other is something I have believed in and thought about.

Simply put, it intricately suggests that we are not living on this planet as isolated 'islands' or individuals but are here as part of a large mass of humanity. We have our own unique story which enfolds with each different event, circumstance or new person that enters our life but it is not just 'our' story.

How many of us, live our life from the moment we're born through to when we die without casting a thought about what other people will think, or who doesn't base the decisions we make on how it will effect other people and can/does anyone live their lives ignorant and blinded to the people that shape and mould their characters on a daily basis?

No, because we share the stories we live, parts, elements and fragments of our stories are intertwined and linked with other people's stories and lives.

If we left a visible trail of our time here there'd be millions of illuminous lines criss-crossing the globe setting it ablaze, as we move here and there and make contact with this person and the next. The nature of being human is that we have an effect on others and others have an effect on us, we are not here alone but together.

When I commit an action or say something or even write this, it knocks onto the next person, who takes a little something from it and passes it onto the next in a giant wave of dominos touching and transcending the space between the next.

We don't stand alone but fall onto the next and so on and so on.  It's most obvious with the ones we build close relationships with but still true of the simplest most fleeting interactions we have. The person you talk to each morning at the bus stop, the shop assistant you say thank you to, the person on the other end of the line listening to you as you make a customer complaint, for a second, a moment you have been a part of their life and so potentially could impact on it in some way you may never know about.

My mum has always told me that the greatest effects we have on people will more than likely not be known to us.

In the past I have tried to have meaningful conversations with friends and others, in which the aim has been to help them with something. Times, I look back on the conversation and wonder did I actually help, should I have said this, the 'person' seemed in the same down state as they did at the start of the conversation so was that conversation completely pointless?

But then I think about my mum's advice and I honestly think there are no pointless conversations, at the time it may seem like my words were like water off a duck's back but for all I know 5, 10 years down the line something I said then may ring true with that person and strike them and talk to them in a way that 5, 10 years earlier it never could have.

It's equally true with passing comments and cutting remarks. There are too many times when I have mulled over, over-analysed and obsessed with what somebody has said to me, outlining the worst possible interpretation that I can when it was probably only meant as a joke or a throw away remark. It's made me down or stressed or worried. If people's comments have done this to me then I know some of the things I have said must have had the same negative effect on others. Yet I still make them.

So we are here together, sharing this world but half the time act as if we're not, consumed with our own agenda because it's human too. Yet, unpinning it all is our desire to share it with others, to feel that companionship and belonging, nobody, truly wants to feel 'lonely', we may want to be 'alone' sometimes but feeling 'lonely' we fight to avoid.

I loved the idea of 'The Five People that you Meet in Heaven', it suggests we are all significant and have a place in this world. It acknowledges that at times we really don't understand why our lives happen that way and will often ask why it had to go down that line or follow that path. But it gives a sense that one day we will have the chance to understand it all completely and that this bizzare concept of life that we hold will be explained. It shows how much we impact on others and how the briefest word can have the longest effect.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

You are a Tourist

I'm off to see these wonders tomorrow night and am quite liking the offerings of the newest album especially these words:

When there's a burning in your heart
An endless yearning in your heart
Build it bigger than the sun
Let it grow, let it grow
When there's a burning in your heart
Don't be alarmed

This fire grows higher

When there's a doubt within your mind
Because you're thinking all the time
Framing rights into wrongs
Move along, move along
When there's a doubt within your mind

When there's a burning in your heart
And you think it'll burst apart
Or there's nothing to feel
Save the tears, save the tears
When there's a burning in your heart

And if you feel just like a tourist in the city you were born
Then it's time to go
And define your destination
There's so many different places to call home
Because when you find yourself the villain in the story you have written
It's plain to see
That sometimes the best intentions are in need of redemptions
Would you agree?
If so please show me

This fire grows higher
When there's a burning in your heart 

'You are a Tourist by Death Cab for Cutie'