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There is a clenched fist where a garden should be, and launching the flare Gun of inspiration. Blindfolded.

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There is a clenched fist where a garden should be.  I have written these words before.

Tonight my voice is acting as chute. I’m lending myself to another because I am expecting company, and must be wholly occupied in the anticipation and waiting of my uncertain guest(s).

If I have nothing to say then I am happy to be lent.

I sit, vacant, in a dimly lit room.  A single dancing flame reaches in vain for the ceiling.  I sit alone in semi-darkness because I believe these conditions to be desirable.  I am expecting a visitor.  I have sent out invitation.  Whether my invitation has been received or otherwise, I do not know.  I can not know.

In fact, I believe it highly likely that my guest resides in no fixed abode at all.  I imagine my guest as some Odinesque-type figure, spending each night graciously received and honoured by more worthy hosts than I.

I can not let myself be disparaged by this likelihood.

So I sit in half-light and hope.

I examine my small portion.

There is no polished silverware, trumpets are not at the ready, nor do kitchen aromas stir.

I am not even wearing shoes.

But I offer what I have: myself and my single flame,

which is dripping wax and dying now.

If you come, and I swear it…

If you come and you keep your part of the bargain,

I will offer myself as sacrificial lamb.

But you do not come and so I let myself be conduit to another.

It is her voice that you will hear next…

Adieu.

“I am a dead language.

Mould grows on me.

Slick tongues do not bend themselves to form me.

I am not heard by ears; brains do not organize, store,

and in the end, forget

me.

I do not fell hearts, nor do I make spirits leap.

I am a dead language.

An infinite body of unspoken poetry.

I am ten thousand unwhispered sweet nothings.

I have not been spat like venom from fearful hearts,

nor have I roused the hearts of men to take up arms, only to fall down

forever.

I think it cruel that I should be called a dead thing yet feel myself so brimming with life. Continue reading

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You can do anything but not everything.

I could smile and I could kill a man.  I could cross a highway with my eyes closed and hold up a bank.  I could plant a garden of roses and cabbages and tend to an aviary and marry a tree.  I could learn Hebrew and walk across a line between two buildings.  I could be an internet sensation.  I could fall in love and create a lineage of cabbage growers.  I could disgrace my family and fall out of favour with my friends.  I could summit the professional ladder, become president, dissident, terrorist, hypocrite.

I could roam bare foot and kiss the morning and night.  I could eat all the words I’ve ever spoken and write poetry and make love to beautiful men and women.  I could mend clothes and be bedridden and operate an open house and have a patchwork of comers and goers who are grateful and merry with ruddy-wine cheeks but don’t clean up after dinner or make their beds or offer to paint the wall that needs painting but I wouldn’t mind.

I could work and study and party and do drugs.  I could waste my life and be a failure.  I could be up to date with current affairs and netflix and create culinary delights.  I could be useful and aware and grateful.  I could sever all ties with my family and disappear.  I could die.  I could live.  I could feast upon a poisoned plant or choke on my own vomit.  I could die in an explosion or freak accident or from disease or crossing the road.  I could lose the power in my legs and my memory.  I could visit every country in the world and do something that would make my time worth more than money.  I could expand myself and my mind and be heartbroken and cry an ocean of halcyon tears and swallow planets with my grief.  I could take a vat of pills and stick my fingers down my throat as an afterthought.  I could keep rigorous journals of minute detail and grow poetry in green houses and laboratories.  I could exercise and drink green goo and take up a dance class and shave my head or wear pink every day and roller skate to work and drop a penny in a homeless man’s cup.

I could let my hair grow in atypical places and stun my mother and make my friends smirk and roll their eyes.  I could discard all and be a minimalist and tattoo the stories of my life that never happened onto my body and invite people to read them and be a gallery of personality, lies and exhibitionism that walks fast, defecates, and grows old.  I could be unkind and callous and jealous and make decisions out of spite and be selfish and put myself before others and count only my misfortunes and let them colour my view of the world.  I  could wait in queues and hunt bargains and shop online and do a hundred other incidental things that would make up an incidental life.

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All that will remain.

I fear my passions will turn to ash before they come to fire.  How can it be that I feel the wilderness of creation lacerating my soft incarnadine instruments yet maintain this sheen of claustrophobic torpor?

I am a still restricted thing.  I feel it swell up and come to nothing.  I wish I could combine the places I inhabit.

I long to feel my throat burn as I spit goddess fire and all the unreal things catch and melt and shrivel.

Over night, my nails will grow long and pointed so I can scratch away my flesh and reveal the fire through my white hot bones.

My hair, swinging;

will be long and down and singed; and soon

will be gone.

My body loosens and unfurls deliciously, in a way that can only be seen in dreams and visions, or in the company of fire and gods.

I dance crazed and consumed with beauty,

encircling myself. honouring myself. sacrificing myself.

My heart will be the last to go.

Smiling,

if hearts could smile,

and triumphant,

having done what it came to do.

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Someone told me that there is a small window of time, just after you wake, whereby your soul is open

I sit tentative, back arched from succesive days of carrying a too heavy backpack.
It is early; the very small of the morning.  People are rubbing eyes and manouvering considerately around me.

They are preparing their small rituals: the slicing of bread, the boiling of water in a pot for tea or coffee.

Hushed voices whisper lovingly in tongues I can not understand and couples huddle together in the bowels of this cavernous building, breaking their fast.

I imagine that we have been swallowed whole and now reside inside the giant stomach of some giant beast.  A whale perhaps..  that is travelling at high speed through the seas.

Many pilgrims have taken ill, including my friend who is sleeping still.  The fountain water has been blamed for this but perhaps it is more the fault of seasickness.

I look around at my new abode and I see for the first time the elaborate detail of this whale’s belly.  It is cathedral-like in its proportion and design.

I sit at a long bench across from a lady in orange, who eats marmalade. Her son has just gone off somewhere, and we are alone.

I gesture to her for the time and she shows me the digits on her phone. No words are spoken but my thank you and the gracias of the land we are in.  They are understood.

Everyone understands thank you.

It is 07.08 and my hair is wet, my shower was hot, and I am on the verge of some sickness.

I don’t think I can walk today.

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#mental health #well being

I finished my catharsis colouring book and I’m still awake.  P.S  I’m alarmed by how much I need to use the dictionary, and I don’t know if I want you to read this one.  P.P.S My titles are really long.

Self-care is hard some days. Like today. When you can’t stand yourself, and see every previous fresh start and attempt of intentional living as a sequence of shoddy fireworks.
This is my plateau, this is the place I boomerang back to. Ground zero.
If I ran myself a bath now, it would be as ridiculous as an ironic beard.

This is the place I don’t write from, or post instagram pictures from.
Is this who I really am?
(Lots of colourful self descriptive adjectives and expletives lived here but I think I’ll keep those gems for personal use)  I think you would thank me. 😉

I stayed in bed all day, save for bringing food into my room and eating it in bed.

I scrolled through my phone:
Trump, Coulter, applicable beauty freckles (good lord), kill the black snake, and Hawking: The new face of weightloss, whose slogan reads:

“Obesity, It’s not rocket science.”

I’m very excited about the movie.

I read a few articles about minimalism, which will probably be my next fad.  (I apologise in advance for those cringey blog posts.  My God,  I’m sure it won’t come to that.)

I tried to watch an animation about an unlikely friendship between an unemployed bear and an orphaned mouse, to pour myself into something wholesome and innocent but I switched it off.  I’m not getting away today.

My great housemate, and indispensable friend went for a run, had a shower and is now gifting her family.

I had options too.
I love nature.
I could have gone outside, I could’ve checked out the Christmas lights, I could’ve been pushed and shoved by crowds searching for the true meaning of Christmas on Grafton Street.  

I could’ve listened to some blue fingered busker belting out fairytale of New York…

I also could’ve taken a short train journey to the sea,
Or walked to the nearest park, and hugged a tree but I didn’t.. and hugging trees is good for you.  Ask science.

I chose to not do any of the good and useful things.

I chose to wallow. 

I chose to draw up the bucket, get in, and lower myself. 

Fully conscious. Part triumphant, part terrified, and with a shrug of the shoulders, part resigned.

Anti-choosing. 

This makes me recoil in loathing. I already felt awful but willfully choosing laziness breaks the benchmark of low.
And as I peer over and make out the whites of a pair of familiar eyes below… and then divert my eyes to strands of hair on the bucket floor. I shiver. I give myself the creeps. Useless, worthless human.

Akira Kusaka painted this.

When I woke up first today, I knew what I was in for.
I could feel its weight on me like a big clumsy dog resting on its human in gentle slumber. Breathing its hot breath onto my neck. (A curious creature I have chosen)
I knew that today was going to be a struggle. I had a choice to combat the struggle.

These are the thoughts that went through my mind:

  • You should get up right now and go for a walk.
  • Help yourself.
  • Just lie here, medidate, focus on the positive, 
  • and for christ’s sake don’t pull out your hair.  You like it, remember?
  • Sometimes a day in bed is just the ticket.

But when you go to that dark place, or rather.. like me, when you stay where you are, and that second consciousness slips over you like a smug glove, wearing you and shielding you from the physical terrain.  

What choice do you really have anyway?
You want to punish yourself, you want to make these things worse for yourself and you want to be entrenched in self disgust because you deserve it.

You don’t deserve or want self-care today.

You do the bad things, and you know the consequences can turn this singular bad day into maybe a bad couple of days or worse.

Enduring the melancholy and sadness is uncomfortable. Trying to override it is a fucking struggle and some days I can’t do struggle.

My housemate tried to make conversation with me a few times. I heard her but couldn’t think of a response because my mind wasn’t open for civility today. 

 I tried to call out to it, “quick, think of something to say” but no response. Kind of like R2-D2 for most of the new Star Wars prequel. It just wasn’t open for that today. I felt a stark vacancy between my ears.

“I wish I slept all day. I fucked up. I am a hideous fucking mess. Is this my constant?”

And every other state of being or hope is akin to Meryl Streep’s plight in ‘Bridges of Madison County.’

A short and sweet reprieve and then the inevitable. We all knew what was going to happen.  

We hoped for the best but we wouldn’t have put our money on Clint.

Why go on now?

I walked 500 miles across Spain.
I sought balance. I listened, I talked it out. I met a wizard.
I learned things I didn’t know before. I practice gratitude.

“Why am I not dealing with this. How is it almost midnight? Didn’t I say that thoughts are not facts? Where is the domed nightsky of my planetarium?” 

In the ‘thick of it’, better judgements and good practice can be inconsequential.

None of what I’m feeling now is real anyway, right? All just in my head?  

This day will have the effect of a hundred hangovers.  

And I’ll tumble into next week head first, anxious, trying to be as unnoticeable as possible. I hate myself now.

Sometimes we fucking encourage it. Sometimes we think it is what we need, and getting out of bed or taking a shower is as fruitless an endeavour as trying to bend a spoon with your mind.  
Our mind is our everything, and our physical capacities genuflect before it.

I read an article about a man once, who woke up one day and was convinced his own leg was not his own leg.  He couldn’t will it to move for the life of him, and that was that.  Mindblowing.

The bad days are bad and the good days are good, and the numb days are the worst of all the days, and there will be more of the same, and there will also be a spectrum of many other coloured days, and there is so much beauty in it.

I write because it helps me.  I write publicly because it releases me and makes room for other things.  
I try to write without affectation.  

I try to write clarity and truth.  

I try my hand at poetry and prose because those things light a fire in me.  

But if I try to write about mental health and write only from the inbetween places of calm and hindsight, then I am not practicing truth.
If I don’t write from the front line, I am insulting myself.  I am a hypocrite and have no place at this table.

We need to hear more about that place.

Chats, facebook chain solidarity posts, colouring books, healthy food, and exercise etc…  all serve a purpose and help in a myriad of ways.

Also, the well meaning article from the ‘recovered’ depressive who may or may not be a celebrity , “telling you to reach out, it’s ok..”  also helps a bit, I guess..

But we have too many ‘after’ accounts and not enough real life’in the thick of it’ accounts.
When we are ‘in the thick of it’, and the colouring books; and the chats from understanding (and losing their patience) friends, don’t work, we can feel even more ashamed and alienated.  

Because that shit is supposed to work right?

When we have followed all the advice and it hasn’t helped, or maybe it did for awhile, and we have since relapsed.  
In those instances we are lazy.  We are not making enough effort.  We can’t be helped if we don’t want to help ourselves…

Right?

We need solidarity.  It’s a tricky business.  I know.  Many people have completely different experiences of mental health.

But maybe if we talked to eachother from the inside? If we had a platform to do that.. like an AA or weightwatchers meeting or something?
(Maybe this exists already and I’ve never been clued in?)

One in four people are afflicted with mental health.  That’s a big number, and yet we are so unaware of each other.  

I’m not saying we all need to be best friends because that wouldn’t be fun at parties..
But I would like to be there for people who ever felt impossibly alone.  It broke my own heart, and it breaks my heart when I think of others suffering.  We could like sponsor each other or something.  

I dunno.

I’m shooting in the dark here. Blindfolded. Again.

Afraid to be revealed.

We have been known to be kept apart.  I can’t see how that serves us.  In the offices of our psychologists and psychiatrists our appointments are spaced in such a way that we can’t see each other enter or leave.
I get this.  I get the stigma.  But isn’t it universally agreed upon that stigma is bad.  Isn’t this the age of deconstructing stigma? (among other things)

This interim for inconspicuosness is damaging.  It propogates and validates a shame and alienation that really doesn’t need any more tending.
The end.  I feel better now.  Mission accomplished.
This piece was not what I intended.  I start writing each time without any real direction.  Curious if I can think of anything at all.  I’m posting it and I’m not sure if I should.

 

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My ‘Buen Camino’ is on Autopilot

To write is to bleed and I don’t feel much like bleeding today, not without good cause.

My mind is a gin and rum infused fug.  A souvenir from last night.

However, I promised myself that I would post something weekly.  So this is me being consistent, and here is a spluttering stream of consciousness from a nervous flyer; standing in a queue; about to board a plane.

You’re welcome or I’m sorry.

 

04/11/16

Walking for peace,

To find it or make it?

“Are you here for a heart problem?” he asked

No.  My heart is fine, and I smile

I’m here for a soul problem.

A malaise of the mind.

I seek to unstopper a remedy.

 

Hard Facts: to be adored.

If I looked into a truth mirror…

If my mind were projected back to me,

would I cower low in guilt and shame?

Does it matter what’s in my head?

Maybe it is only fancy bread.

 

Feeling elated and so too, soon I will be in the sky.

Ten hours to kill in Barcelona and then as the crow flies, home.

Insanity is repeating the mistake of eating in airports.  Skyhigh.

Always nervous before boarding a plane.

Rain beats on a tin roof.  A vulnerable sound.

I needed to walk outside the din of human voice so I could listen to the truth which lives inside me.

She came out pure and clear but seldom and in slivers,

like a stream in a scorched land.

I drew a picture of myself unified and animated.

Fixed and unfolded.

It was spontaneous and I was equipped only with black ink.

It was void of the colour it was supposed to be.

Something portended?

The dark night of the soul.

The dark feminine.

I have waded through the murky waters and shadowed lands.

She lives there still.

A witch.

Shy of light.

But soon I will be in the day sky.

A new sharp-edged moon revealed itself to me in the burial place of God’s disciple last night.

It hung high, blazing and distinct.

 

Many people are going to Barcelona.

It’s time. It’s time I got in line.

The queue for the departure gate moves swiftly now.

 

I ramble because I am afraid of flying.

Next Barcelona.  A new city, new sight.  I write and write.  I have worn my journal thin.

I have no fear of death.

I feel beautiful and powerful.

I feel like a Goddess.

Come at me, bro

 

 

 

 

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Password saved, profile edited, and singular cliche-ey photograph uploaded.  SUCCESS!!

I have come far.  I’m well on the road to starting a blog.  Fistpump!  Victory!

Oooh… And then the reality of it.

‘Title’, ‘Edit Post’…   The sobering blank page.  I want to shut the laptop closed and abandon this foolish venture.  My stomach rumbles and I recall that I haven’t eaten anything in a while.  The acquisition of food.  ‘Now there is a wise and useful task that I could be busying myself with’, I think, as fear uproots itself laboriously, and swells from the pit of my stomach.  Vivid imagery of cooling towers expelling water vapour come to mind.  I falsely label the fear I feel as logic but I rectify this immediately.  I’ve vowed not to lie to myself anymore.  Really, I should be thankful for this fear.. at least it’s giving me something to write about.  And, I am.  I’m thankful for everything.

Fear has marred my life, and limited my experience of living.  I have been afraid of everything.  I am afraid of writing right now, of releasing myself, and being known, of being rejected, of being mad, of being talentless, of being ridiculous, of being worthless, of being narcissistic, of being lazy, of being an intrinsically bad person, of being afraid forever, of relapse, of never being a writer, of failing at my job… I could go on but I won’t.

Fear and I,  we have history.

I started this blog today because I need to write.  I am convinced that a writer was born in me, and if you were to chip away at me, and if you missed dinner, and didn’t stop, and continued mining until past nightfall and until you got to the core of me, there would only be a need to write.  That is what I am.  And so now I write,  I let my fingertips fall unbidden and the thoughts pour, unrestricted.  The rush is exhilarating.  This is the gold rush.

For now, the act of writing is enough.  The content can be disorganised and jump and tangle as much as it wants.  I said I was a writer.  I didn’t claim to be a good one, a disciplined one. (Those things are important to me, but.. later)  I feel lighter already,  I’m becoming less dense, and I feel something inside me jolt awake, surprised of its new roominess.  In disbelief, it stretches limbs slowly and for the first time.  It winces in pain.  A good pain.  I get the feeling that in another life, in another environment.. this creature might have been less hunched and more agile.. light on its feet.  I feel a pang of sympathy for the creature that I now envision as deerlike, a baby.  It is Bambi.  I wonder does it know what its legs are for.  That it can stand up? Frolic even?  I wonder if it is blind or has developed some kind of sonar quality.  I also wonder if it misses its former companion.  The unyielding other that took up all the space and sucked in all the air.  Then the hairs on the back of my neck and knuckles stand and darker questions surface..

Does this thing have cause to miss the other thing?  Is it really gone? Maybe it has momentarily popped out?  It is relevant to me that I am referring to the deerlike creature as a thing again.. Distancing myself from the idea of it.

I am aware that thoughts are mental events that give way to feelings.  They are not hard facts, and I have come to learn that our reactions to them can be as we choose.

I talked to an interesting fellow a few weeks ago.  John from Holland.  John is a middle-aged psychiatrist who led ayahuasca workshops.  He told me that he had settled his affairs, and was planning to ‘keep going’ until he found enlightenment.  This conversation occurred halfway between St Jean Pied de Port and the ‘Bay of Death’ at Finisterra.  I asked him if he thought this enlightenment would happen at Finisterra in a druidic fashion.  He had no idea.  He accepted that he may be walking for the rest of his life and this did not sway him.  John was one of many interesting people who I’ve met recently.  I wish I’d got his details but I was too enthralled in his story to think of asking and  in the sieving of it for clues to illuminate my own makeshift way in the world.  He told me that I could have my thoughts and feelings, experience them, acknowledge them, and let that be the end of it.

I focused on this idea for the next day’s entirety and unintentionally walked forty-one kilometres.  I had discovered a way to do as John had said.  When I was a child, my aunty took me to a planetarium.  We sank into theatre seats, looked up, and waited for the domed night sky to enchant and educate us.  I was a spectator. I was involved.  I was moved.  Then the show, dazzling as it was; ended.  This experience came back to me as I walked through wheat fields.  I saw my mind as that domed nightsky.. as I, the spectator looked up.  Involved yes, but asunder.

 

I remind myself, ‘I don’t have to publish anything’ but I will, because of a different need.

 

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Bunjee Jumping

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