Saturday, 29 December 2012

Burgeoning

The word burgeoning is whispering through my mind over and over again. Maybe because it is a nice sounding word, a fully fleshed word that rings true,  or maybe because my mind is trying to tell me something. Whatever has caused it to plant itself in my mind it seems like a word to breathe in and wrap myself around as I move from one year to another. Is 2013 to be my year of burgeoning, or has 2012 already been my burgeoning? 

Burgeoning:
To put forth new buds, leaves, or greenery; sprout.
To begin to grow or blossom.
         To grow or develop rapidly.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

A moment in a story


I begin at the end because it is  only at the end that I realise what the start and the parts in between mean. 

Now  the press of my wife’s thumb trying to urge her  warmth into the cold sweat of my palm reminds me of all she is to me. Her hands are paper, yielding paper that has been scrunched, folded over time and again, a furry softness that only repeated use and age can give. Yet their touch has always been solid and strong- she is soft strength, a beautiful juxtaposition . 

My palm trembles as her thumb traces small circles, squashing the skin as it undulates and stretches cross the bone of my palm. A small gesture... a hidden gesture, nobody else can see it but I can feel it and with each swirling rotation of her thumb I am reassured. She knows and I know that in this moment we need no words, we recognise each other completely, we realise and understand through the muted touch of one anothers skin what the other is feeling. This moment, this foreboding collation of all former points has arrived. The promise of it has weighed heavy in our hearts but now it runs through us and we run through it. The time for skipping around it has filtered away leaving the sediments of my life. A fated moment is unfolding itself around me and inviting me to step inside it.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

A week


A week is a universally known period of time, it frames the start and end of a set of days. It helps us split our existence up into meaningful parts. It allows for a new beginning and fresh start every seven days and we need that promise of a pause… a start again, a regrouping and gathering of ourselves. What if there were no measure or concept of days, weeks, months or years, just a continuous passage of time that was not defined in any kind of way, would that be liberating or would it completely contradict how we as human beings work? We feel a need to define everything and in defining, confine our thoughts into a structure and pattern that would be unnatural to break from.

This musing over a week and what a week actually means is born out of a feeling that this last week has been so complete in itself, so full of thoughts and growth and experiences that to leave it and start living through another, a week yet to come seems too soon, time moving on and moving you on in its uncompromising way. The last week means something to me not because of the external things that happened because externally nothing of great note happened but because of the internal dialogue that has been whispering and shouting, bubbling over and draining itself to nothingness over these past seven days until now on the seventh of those days it has settled onto a comforting hum of contentment. Yet, if there were no weeks or days just moment after moment undefined would I feel as if I had progressed if I hadn’t traced it and measured it against the cycle of seven days?

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Golf Mentality



Today I went for a walk along a nearby golf course (see photos below). I noticed how territorial people can be, how an 'us' and 'them' mentality makes people belong or not. 

Anyway I was thinking along the lines of, if I were to die right now on this very spot, what would I regret not doing- the simple answer is, the things I want to do and not the things I need to do, so why do I spend all my time doing the things that need to be done instead of what I want to?

And all any of us can do is to fill our life with moments that mean something.




                                 Through the brambles


                                 Hidden Beach


                                There is actually a club in his hands.


                                Ritual before teeing off


                                 Sun going down over an old fishing town
                             

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Autumn the Season of Last Sighs






Autumn is the last sigh. The final breath of nature before the whole cycle begins again.

The leaves say to each other, “let’s  explode with colour  because these are our last moments of life before we fall to the ground. Now though, we are most glorious, we are a blooming burnt orange, liquid ruby red, and the yellow of the searing sun.  Together, we are colours that oscillate and blur into a meandering river of hues and fire that whisper to be looked at. Finally it is time for our last flourish. In this ultimate instance, we see the life we have lived for what it is and know it most completely.”

 It dawns that their final moments are their greatest because it is only in that fated breath, before it is taken away that frank and tangible appreciation for life presents itself.

“In our dying moments you notice us”, they scream out.  “Only when we take all we have learnt and experienced and course it through our being in the brightest shades of life do you pay attention.  But don’t you see this means we have accomplished what we were meant to, in our last moments we have caused you to look up and notice the beauty of the world and that is enough for us.”

The leaves do not feel sorrow but joy when one of them falls and trickles to the ground because they know that soon they will be joining them and that it is only by falling that they help the next leaves to grow. It is understood, that there is no more they can do at this time and in this place, here and now they have reached the limits of their experience and existence.

Yet in falling, they have played their role and in doing so they continue to be part of it, part of the continuum, the momentum of being. It is only after a whole life has been lived that his can be realised. Sometimes a whole life is a short time and sometimes it is a very long time but both are complete in themselves.

I’m in the autumn of my life, at the end but at the start. Like autumn, I am a story that begins at the end.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Some Inspiration for a rainy day



'Ultimately, we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves more and more peace and to reflect it towards others. And the more peace there is in us, the more peace there will also be in our troubled world' . Etty

Monday, 8 October 2012

The Trouble of Being in your 20s


I feel this press upon and around me and it’s born out of being in my 20s. I think at this point in your life there is so much (too much) external and internal pressure to live it all and sort your life out. To know categorically where your heading and be starting down the path of the rest of your life- everything else up until this point has been preparation and now you have to step out of the safety of preparation and put it all into practice for your real life.  
 So much we are told that is the path you will stay on into your middle age, dotage and it will end somewhere along the way in death. Society expects these stages from us, but why do we have to feel like we have to conform to it?

More and more I’m peeling that skin of pressure off myself until it is becoming less and less important to conform to the wishes of others,  so that the me I want to be is my outer skin and not pictures of me that others want to see. Three words so simple they seem impossible to fit the complications of real life but if I could just live in the heart and soul of ‘let it be’.

 I have faith in that higher force, energy, fate, God, the universe whatever you want to call it that there is a point way off in the future that I’m supposed to get to and that there are so many ways and paths to get there that it really doesn’t matter if I stumble, trip and fall along the way or skip with elegance and grace from one step to the next. If I’m supposed to get there one day then I will and everything in between is a beautiful chance and a guide to experiencing everything in its fullness and ripeness- the disappointments, the anger, the laughter and the exploding moments of pure life- are all part of it so that, when I arrive at that metaphorical or real point on the horizon I’ll be ready for it. Equipped with all the shades of life from the grey to the neon brights oozing from my every pore filling me with a complete readiness for that point when it all comes together one day and makes sense in a way it never could now.

Maybe, I am progressing too slowly down the path that society expects of us.  I can see the bricks that my parents, school and university have laid down for me, starting points, but they end and I’m starting to put down my own direction. A hope is bounding through me because they end at a wide and limitless horizon-no limits unless I put them there. What more could I want than this start, this preparation, it is almost the yellow brick road of Dorothy fame, bright and solid with so much hope and promise built into it but what am I going to do with this golden start?

I’m poised with my trough and brick looking in all directions and thinking which way? I want to make waves in this world, in people’s minds and to be a person who does good. I worry less because I have a quiet certainty that I’ll get to wherever it is supposed to be in the end. And with that thought a weight of expectation is cast down and I’m free to bound on.

There have been disappointments but I’m steadily learning to not let them wear on me for long because it is all part of it and it will pass and from it I will learn. They are such small specks in the painting of my life, a few crumbled bricks out of 100’s of other solid ones on this journey of mine. Before I would have faltered at the crumbled brick, tripped and fallen down and wallowed in being down for a while and then slowly and reluctantly returned to my feet cursing the world for being unfair but now my foot is catching on it and moving on.

I want my path to be papered over with pages and pages of writing, littered with words so that my journey, complete with all I encountered and felt, can be known by others and wisdom passed on. How wise one must be at the end of a full life and what a waste, for that learned and experienced wisdom to die with them instead of being passed on to help somebody else along their way. This is surely why we write and why we read. So I am ready to bound ahead, even if the bounding is sometimes made of tiny steps, I’ll get there in the end and know it worthwhile if I have lived wisdom to pass on.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Our days are still shadows, surround my soul with yours until they become moving colour.

Monday, 11 June 2012

People are like words.







Less can be a good word or it can be a bad word. It depends what it is less of....so many words work two ways like that, it all depends on perception and their relationship to other words surrounding them in the sentence....
 Maybe it is the same with people, a person can be good or bad and both, so many people work two ways like that, it all depends on perception and their relationship to the other people surrounding them in their lives.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Hands.


Probably a year ago I started this and it only ever ended up in my drafts. But the idea stayed in my mind and has become more true and meaningful since my sister had her baby last Tuesday and I became an Auntie for the first time. So, I have taken the draft and changed and added parts so it suits the here and now

***************************************

It was early and grey, I was staring, glazed over eyes looking out onto a bleak London morning. My thoughts lingered back and forth over nothing in particular, mainly a rolling commentary on what I could see, a consistent humming of images turning over across my mind. You know, when you just zone out and you don't really consciously know anything because your in that place where only your mind can go.

But the dense fog and fuzz that buffered around my head was being cleared by the inquisitive, persistent voice of a 5 year old boy....."mummy, but what does that do?'"....."mummy where's the bendy bus?" "where are they going mummy?"......and so on. He just wanted to know about everything, he was amazed by everything and in awe of the world around him. Why does that wonder have to die out? Why do we loose it and become accustomed to this world we live in as nothing more than commonplace?

And so my entertainment for much of the bus journey became the questions of this little boy who wanted to know about everything. He was sat right in front of me, eagerly gazing out of the window, pointing and waving his hands around , wildly excited by the sights of London. And then I began to think about 'hands' because I couldn't not think about hands because his were constantly being wafted in front of my face.I mean I really began to think about them, these strange star-shaped things that stick out from the end of our arms, that bend and fold, that move without thinking, that animate conversation and hold so much potential to do what we do and aid us in becoming what we are supposed to be.



I thought of a babies hand that can wiggle in delight or clench tight in a crying fit. The tiny fingers that so knowingly clasp onto a mother's outstreched hand. Hands at this age, ask the questions, they reach out for the world around them, grabbing and poking here, there and everywhere. They speak words that cannot yet be verbalised. At this point these hands could be used for anything, they have the potential for so much.

One day they might delicately hold a paint brush that colours and shades the last strokes of a masterpiece. Tap keys on a computer, lightly pressing the enter key to send a heart-breaking e-mail or an email full of news of their life. Hands take our thoughts and throw them out into the world, they take our ephemeral thoughts which are nothing more than air and mould them into observable action that can be witnessed, actions that define us and lead us to where we need to be. Those tiny fingers might one day write the soul of their owner into each individual note being plucked on a guitar, bringing a melody into existence that will continue to be after those fingers are still again. The prop to a resting head, the feather touch on a loved ones cheek or the hand that saves a life.

More though are the everyday things they will do day by day that just allow us to keep being. Bringing food to our mouth, having the intricacy to pull a million buttons through a million button holes, tying shoe laces, steering a driving wheel or handing money over to a bus driver. When you really stop to think about all those things that having hands allows us to do, the list is endless and so is the potential they give us.

So when I visited my nephew Harrison, I looked at those delicate fingers with the perfect but tiny little nails and the lightly pressed lines and wondered at all they would do in his life and all the potential he holds. The world has not imbued his mind with cares or concerns, it is open to all experiences and right now the possibilities of everything are before him and that is the real beauty of a new life.

As his Auntie I hope that I can show him that 'A possibility was born the day he was born and will live with him as long as he lives' and seeing him and the beginning of a life reminds me of that too.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

A timely reminder

I posted this a while ago.....I read it just now and it was the reminder I needed. Time keeps going doesn't it and you just have to keep moving with it and pausing to remember things sometimes.....


The wind and my thoughts are very similar.

I love chasing the weather, feeling it whip and snap, feeling the darkness of the sky leaning on you, urging you to quicken your step. The wind whirling and whipping at your skin, rushing through trees shaking the leaves, making them sound like hundreds of angry librarians 'shushing' at once.

Weather that makes you notice nature, real weather that heaves and sighs like the earth is breathing and exhaling it's woes. I can feel the rain heavy in the air about to fall and I'm alive and rushing trying to beat it. I walk faster and fumble for my key, then the door is open and I'm in.

And all of a sudden the noise stops, all is still again, my skin bites from the waves of freshness that have just washed against it. Every inch of me is wide awake and ready because this is what it is to be alive isn't it, feeling things with every inch of yourself, connecting to this world with your physical body, knowing this world with your mind and feeling it with your soul? I can hear the wind roaring and rumbling around the house, the rain begins to throw itself against the window, but the sound is muffled by the walls that now surround me.

The wildness of that walk followed by the stillness of home, is not lost on me. It makes me want to jump with joy, exclaim and dance for this earth of ours and this life of mine. The abundance of energy that is there for the taking, to be seized and transformed into something of my making.

The whirling weather today perfectly reflecting my whirling thoughts. One idea thrown around after another.

That somebody I know, just a few years older than me has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, how can that be?

How can our human minds make sense of or comprehend such a thing? To be told you don't have long to live, that there is a limit to your days here at my kind of age, when, at my kind of age, I feel like my life is just beginning, that I am just sorting out who I am and starting to edge in a direction, choosing my path and stumbling along it. I can't imagine being told, well you'll never know whether your stumbling turned into long, powerful strides because your path is being clipped short in the stumbling, finding your feet stage.

It is playing on my mind. But there has to be good out of terrible things else the human race would never cope and would have given up a long time ago. So I'm searching for the good and the good is the people it has brought together again and the effect it is having on people's lives in reminding them to enjoy what you have got right now, to see every day as a whole life lived. To not wish for things in the future at the cost of ignoring the vast opportunities and wealth of potential we have in each moment we live in the present.

I started my postgraduate masters course in History yesterday and I enjoyed and savoured every moment of it. Finally, after 2 years of trying and working, saving and struggling in jobs that were not me I have arrived at the point it was all for and doesn't that make this point so much more worthwhile than if it had just been handed to me with no effort or meaning 2 years ago?

The hard way is hard along the way but so much more worthwhile at the end of it. Everything I have got it is going into it this year, 2 years of hard and frustrating work means that I know now, the result of all that must get my 'all'. I am in such a better place to do well now than 2 years ago. Now, I know the true value of 'hard' work, how to motivate myself and just how much it means to me. Things I would have been too naive to know before.

This is a written reminder to myself, this whole post that life is a wonderous, far-fetched, all consuming thing, that events work out the way they do for reasons that will one day become known.

'What matters is not whether we preserve our lives at any cost, but how we preserve them. I sometimes think that every new situation, good or bad, can enrich us with new insights. But if we abandon the hard facts that we are forced to face, if we give them no shelter in our heads or hearts, do not allow them to settle and change into impulses through which we can grow and from which we can draw meaning-then we are not a viable generation.' (Etty Hillesum)

Monday, 30 April 2012

Blossom and Rain Clouds.

                                         
                                               'Everything is blooming most recklessly;

                                           

                                                      if it were voices instead of colors, 





                                           there would be an unbelievable shrieking


                                                       into the heart of the night' (Rilke)



                               I'd rather be blossom than a rain cloud.


                                But somehow the world needs both.


                               So I'm going to accept the times I'm a rain cloud


                                Equally with the times when I'm blossom.    


                               Because in the end both blossom and rain falls to the ground.



Sunday, 29 April 2012

Why write?


‘For the many experiences and impressions are still heaped up in me in such disorder and chaos that I do not want to touch them. Like a fisherman who comes home late at night, I can guess only vaguely at my catch from the burden of the nets and must wait for the morrow in order to count it and enjoy it like a new discovery.’ Maria Rilke

It takes time for me to write. There is a building up of something, layers of impression and emotion that leak into each other until they merge too much and spill out of the edges of me. Then these layers can be peeled back, one by one, to reveal the truth of it all at the very bottom of me. The writing is hard, for me it does not come easy, it is precision and selection, the craft of language to express in some faint and almost whispered way the deluge within.

The articulate clarity of words giving shape to the formless swirl of emotions and inner dialogue that changes each second.

Writing is trying to make sense of it all, for when we speak something out loud or see it take form, as words on a page, then we bring that thing into existence, from within to the outer world making it real and true beyond just ourselves. Laid bare for others to cast their critical eye over, it is no longer wrapped safely in the inner walls of ourselves where no one can reach it. In us, that thought or idea has only your own interpretation and perception to withstand, once you bring it out from yourself, it stands on an open plain, stark and observable. Is that what art is, communicating and presenting your inner landscape, the contours and colours of you represented in a physical way that makes others see and understand?

So it is getting to that point where I have to write about all this to make sense of it. Put it out into the world, see all this within me take shape Shading, lines and the curve of letters turning it into realness. Then I’m bound to it, writing these thoughts is pledging to the ideas they lead to. To know them and then to act upon them. Writing makes me know them in a new way, a new angle and approach to old feelings that have long been burrowed within me. A growing need to write about being humble, realising life is not a competition but a journey that has no completion and wanting all that I have and I am to be enough.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Gardens are made for tea.

 I've taken to drinking tea on this simple step each morning......




                        It makes the start of my day, the highlight of my day.... 



Birds singing, light beginning to softly glow and a moment, a pause, an intake of breath.
On the cusp of the unfurling day
By the end of the cup, I'm ready for the day to unfold and stretch out with all the potential it holds.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Words in songs

A song that sums is up. 'You are a Tourist', Death Cab For Cutie:

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

Thursday, 2 February 2012

My thoughts of late

Things that I would like to take shape and come to pass in an ideal world...

Be inspired to do all the things I know I could do
Time to do the things that need to be done but time to do the things I want to do.
Not to be inhibited by tiredness
Believe again, believe with certainty and not with doubts.
Confidence in what I can achieve.
For things to just fall into place for September.
Work out if History is it, the thing for me and whether I'm good enough.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Ball of words

I've got a ball of words growing inside me, gnawing strands of ideas and thoughts ready to unfurl into  words that tell something of all this that is inside me.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

New Years and All That:I solemnly declare not to fight happiness...so much.


A resolution, a resolve to do something a certain way, an aim to right a wrong way of doing things. Well these things I’ve thought about for 2012 are not really ‘resolutions’ more a series of encompassing thoughts that I want to shape and direct me this year, not to be achieved and ticked off but to be considered, absorbed and acted upon as and when I can.
So the first of these ‘great’ and ‘enlightening’ thoughts that I have had is…

‘I don’t want to fight happiness… so much’.

Goodness me, aiming to change my entire mindset then?? Well yes…in the sense I habitually ‘fight against’ happiness, if something ‘good’ happens my natural impulse is to wonder when the good will end and the bad begin because nothing lasts forever does it? And no because I’m quietly proud that I have been ever so slightly chipping away at this idea already, recognising I do it in the first place is something to clutch and hold close in those dark hours of self-doubt.


I don’t want to go into detail now for I’ve given myself a whole year to grapple with and mull over it: a stretch of 355 more days for it to take root in my thoughts and then bloom in my actions- deep, demanding ideas like these take time to germinate. 

For now it is a conscious realisation and that’s enough. 

There is no longer a need for me to question happiness- what it is, whether it is real or why and how I deserve or don't deserve it. When it settles on me I don't want to doubt how long it will stay for because really that's missing the point of happiness. I want to see it as lasting, not fleeting. Simple contentment is surely plenty and no dramas or imagined scenarios need to be created from it.  

I want a happiness that washes over me, that I can throw my arms into, swim, revel and wave wildly in. To embrace it, accept it and fold it around me so that it fits my skin and so that it fits me. Rip-roaring, in your face dazzling happiness; enourmous in its outreach so that it can do nothing but filter into every strand of my life and why not, why shouldn’t it be like this? Could it only be a mindset away? A palpable happiness that is neon bright and bellows out to be noticed is surely attainable by anybody that cares to try for it.

Ah...what noble sentiments. Then real life strikes so that on Monday I fought it long and hard, I shot it to pieces and cloaked the shadows of it around me. Shadows of the day before where I’d been so happy that I’d sung non-stop in the bath for an hour, even singing underwater.
 Back when I was 14, my German exchange student had said that she knew when I was happy because I sung-what an astute observer she was even at the age of 14. For yes, it is true, I sing (albeit badly) my little heart out when I’m happy, warbling, purely for my own silly enjoyment, a random medley of adverts, sacred vocal music and pensive indie rock and roll.

 If I’m really feeling it, you know IT, that obscure sensation we label joy then I may even start my own percussion section, with a tap here and a slap there until my hands are leading their own merry little dance, in a world of rhythm entirely of their own making.

Congratulations to anybody that ever witness’ such a performance from me for you have reached the inner sanctum of my character and identity, such has to be my level of comfort to display these crazed actions, in fact I need only one hand to count the number of people that have endured such episodes. Can I stop it when this musical frenzy takes hold?-no- it lifts me up in its’ surge of mindless abandon until I’m singing louder and higher and my fingers are a fast blur of syncopated greatness (or so I think).

It propels itself on in a headlong, haphazard rush of unruly wildness. And I thank the God above for such moments where all other cares are dissolved into a black hole of insignificance and for those atoms of precious time you get a glimpse at what real living is and it makes you forget that troubles and sadness can even exist in this same space, that the real you fills and explodes out of now.

You laugh and wonder if those woeful cares that were once so pressing were pure imagination: for how can they be real when this toe tapping, soul sizzling magnitude of just being alive and being happy for the pure joy of it exists in the here and now?

May my 2012 be filled to the rafters with such moments and boy oh boy the fight is on to get more of them.