Passing Time

 

It’s all well and good writing all day, I love it. Spending hour after hour picking apart and piecing together these word pictures. If I could, I would live inside these patiently woven word capsules and never catch sight of day. Words tend to take me places, crazy places where mystery meets magic and the wonders never cease. Reality, the cruel creature she is, strips me of my juvenile fancy to stay at play, so I have to take to finding solace and joy in the land of the living.

I’m a man of simple pleasures. I have a few vices that keep me human, a few friends who keep me toeing the fine line of sanity and a few core principles, these help steer this crazy fare ground ride in the right direction.
I try to feed my various faculties well. I got in the habit of making sure that my mind, body and heart were always getting there fair share of the pie. As with most things, the more I fed them, the more they grew. The more they grew, the more they wanted to consume. My entire life is now spent catering to these faculties.

I used to own a small book shelf, a quaint little thing. It held an assortment of fiction and nonfiction, from from a hand full of authors. That little bookshelf stopped being enough years ago. I discovered  that I always had to know more, I always had to read more, I always had to learn, leafing deep into the paper hides of everything that tickled my curiosity. My small collection has grown in size. Since I started feeding my mind I’ve had to reach out for more content to appease its hunger. I now have  a bookshelf, a duffle bags, and an assortment of storage boxes filled with literature I’ve digested, and literature waiting to be soaked in. I like to read.

The books and the writing cater to a more sedentary life style. I balance the quiet of the study desk with the action and vigour of sport. I was once a very keen basketball player, playing through all 7 days of the week if the opportunity presented itself. Of late, I’ve had to enjoy the sport more sporadically than I would like to. This hasn’t been a barrier enough to dwindle my physical exploits. I make the effort to work up a decent sweat as often as I can. I’ve recently started setting myself some challenges, something to keep me pushing the envelope and working to get better, fitter, faster, stronger. I’ve ran a few races with surprising success, a couple 10k’s and a Half Marathon. More recently I’ve taken up a new sport to sharpen me up a bit. Its all exciting stuff, hard work, but truly exciting stuff. I’ve always enjoyed the lessons in discipline that sport has been able to teach me. Eating well was always a true test of discipline, having to turn my nose up at a banquette of baked goods has been testing.

When all is said and done, I like to take time to take care of my relationships. Depending on who you talk to, I take to this with varying degrees of consistency. The down side to chasing storms is that you lose track of time, after the dust settles, everything appears strange and out of place, with your bearing a little off. In light of all the sacrifices I’ve had to make in pursuit of this vision of mine, a few faces have stayed close by despite the bouts of radio silence. Its hard to ignore those faces, without those faces the initial fear would have swallowed me whole and I wouldn’t have dared to try. Taking the time to share moments with these people is precious, it makes sure my heart is filled with all the right stuff. Whenever I step back to life I take the time to laugh, cry and make memories with them.

When I am not writing I try to make my days count. At times it feels as though there aren’t enough hours in a day, but for each day there is time enough for savouring moments. There are moments to grow, moments learn, moments to love, moments to live.

Blissful Nomad

 

 

 

Someday

 

Dear Someday,

I hope this letter reaches you. I meant to tell you all this in person but something came up, as it always does. I’m sorry. I promise, Someday, well meet.

I always talk about you. I think your name has stained my lips with a  promise and  its made for colourful conversations. I talk about you with my friends, with my family, I even find myself talking to complete strangers about you. I tell them about everything we have drawn up in those little dream books of ours, they seem to love you. The people around me haven’t been too impressed with some of my decisions lately, so its kind of a big deal that the like the sound of you. Heck, I really like the sound of you too, you make it sound so easy.

I often revisit those notes we drew up in the hours spent scheming in leu of work. At the top of one of the pages we started a list with “6am Wake up”. 6 am wake up, boy, I remember being as excited as you were when I wrote that down, it was powerful. 6am meant getting a jump start on any day, with everyday we would have had this full day to get things done. I think I must have slept with the laptop on that night, because the light from my screen tends to mess with my REM cycles, so I had to snooze a few of those 6am wake up calls. Dont worry Someday, Ill do it.

Its such a shame its not as easy as writing these things down and then just watching them happen. We could definitely be kicking back with a talk glass of something cold to celebrate our winnings. I mean, look at these lists, of course wed be well on our way to something major. Running a 40 minute 10K, entering a writing competition every month, training 3 times a week, eating well, meditating everyday, and reading at least 2 new books each month. Why wouldn’t that lead to greatness. Only if it was easy as writing it down and watching it happen.

When we talk about all the little things and all the big things that we could be doing, its like you were painting a fantasy. Asking me to just erase a whole bunch of stuff that’s been around me for so long that world looks fuzzy without them in it. You have the best intentions when you try to teach me about taking chances. The whole thing about missing 100% of the chances you don’t take is straight out of some Rich Dad Poor Dad speal, but sucks that it makes sense.

I know you aren’t as far away as I’d like to think sometimes. To some degree you scared me with your willingness to break the mold and walk where there wasn’t a road. I’ve stacked a lot future against your name, I guess its time I shouldered my share of the burden.

See you soon,

See you at Sunrise.

 

Yours

 

Blissful Nomad

 

Step Into My Office

Where is this all coming from? I’m not talking about the home of my thoughts, not that labyrinth, heavy with winding passages. Rather, where am I writing this from, Step into my office.

I was told it’s important for a writer to have a writing space, a place to sit and single mindlessly focus on bringing about a world of make believe. Some people escape to a place that’s very separate to their daily life. I’ve heard of writing rooms, rented spaces in building blocks, coffee shops and forgotten class rooms. I have a double room that serves me for the purposes of conjuring vivid dreams, and as a place to lay my head at night .

The room affords me the comforts that are expected from any room fitted for its purpose. I have my bed, tidily hugging the left most wall of the room, with a small bed side table ticked against it. The lazy white wash of the walls crowds around me, coating the ceiling and coursing up to where the window allows the world in.

I have learned to lose myself in this window frame, It’s changing tones affect my frame of mind accordingly. The crashing chorus of Crimson that the sun paints into the air dancing my mind into a creative flow. I sit myself up with my back against my head board, pull my laptop up to my lap, point my feet to the opening and drift from Window to window, the world and my world, picking at the inspiration wondering in. Sometimes the pace of a pen has the temperament needed to steady the feverish pace of my thoughts, in those moments I lay prone across my sheets and etch away at the pages.

I don’t always have the luxury of my bedroom to pen a phrase or two. I make use of the stage, the world around has pockets of peace that have aided me from time to time. I’ve joined the crowds in quiet cafes and hidden among the bubbling life of a local pub. However spontaneous the location for my next writing session might be, I intentionally seek that window, with my back against the wall and the world looking in, I delve into whatever mischief the pen requires for that moment.

It’s here that I chase my slumber, in pursuit of dreams I dare to stop and watch the fury of my mind bind it’s musings to paper so I can see them.

Welcome to my office, sanctuary of dreams.

Gold-Mind

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There is so much gold inside your longing to be you, this is the most precious intent. No heavy cloaks of foul feelings can dim a diamond cut by the goodness you feed your mind. The mind, so precious an instrument, when seeded with love will yield abundance. Make the mistake of welcoming thoughts with ugly features and you run the risk of stepping into an ugly world, cold and uninviting.

Its okay to be you, let the manikins muse. So often revered, this jury of your pears has played a role in stifling your sunlight. You have earned your summer, so smile and forget shame. Learn to love all that your heart conjures in its hunger for life, its thirst for love, and its wants in the throes curiosity.

I have never seen a rose recoil in shame. It blushes often, but bears its head with pride, unashamedly a rose, be a rose. Let all the goodness in you blossom and let the world return the favour. There is nothing more contagious than true happiness.

…If you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.

Roald Dahl

 

 

Father Forgive Me

On his face, the years are telling. His eyes, once alive with colour, were now shadows, long bled of there vibrant qualities. His skin, once taught with youth, draped as the last shroud of a man who has forgotten himself. The ushers of the  great hall were accustomed to his coming and going. It had been years since he attended a service accompanied by wife and son, now he creeps under the silent vigil of the crucifix to say his prayers. His lips had counted away the years on the varnished pine of that old cathedral.

Every man has in him a story without an audience. To the crucifix with its burden still pinned to it, he offered the secret journal of a man burdened by bitterness. Some of his hidden stories he is liberated from, jaded by the decay that meets thoughts long since unused. Others still hang to him heavily. The icy countenance of the grey walls gained a kinship with his story. He spoke of family, he spoke of life, he spoke of the dark folds hidden in his memory, he cried. He spoke of Mary.

Mary was the persistent thread, a vibrant yarn of red woven into his life patiently. Now a frayed parchment of a man, turning to the abundant flame of faith to help seal his loose edges. He was riddled with questions. The cold bottles he swallowed whole, hadn’t simmered the fire in his belly. Maybe a prayer rushing through the hollow house of holy communion could extinguish his inquisition.

For a man that the world had forgotten, Mary and the church offered sanctuary, she gave him a family again. He hadn’t swooned to the holy books as she had done, but the unrelenting love she claimed came from her faith was soothing to his spirit. As a boy he was hard to love, they said, no mother to teach tenderness, so her loving him was as water on wanting earth. As a boy his spirits were hoisted higher than most, and he had a nose for finding trouble enough to test his fathers heavy hand. In learning his father trade, the firm hand of an infirm mind, he watched his palm weep the faces around him to a cold distance. Only Mary’s warming smile and vibrant eyes, speckled with blue, were true and brave enough to warm him to the notion of worth.

He always blamed himself for the return of his father in him. He regretted that on that evening he was his fathers son again, riled into agitation by his sons action. That evening had lived in every evening since then. Any evening quiet enough, any evening potent enough with liquor to ease him into sleep would conjure the incident to life. He always woke up as he hears the last note of life, the last tumble at the last stair as she laid to rest. She was only hoping the calm him. There was ruckus, then there was silence. There have been 7 years of silence since.

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

On leaving the church he followed the empty roads to where there is a mounted stone and his Mary’s name etched on it. On that day it had been 7 years since he let her rest, the earth was never a fitting place for her. He’d always thought she would lay her wreath for him, never him for her, so he watched in ceremony and laid his apologies where her memory lay. The sun was running away from the day, the last light sinking into the ground waiting for the night to greet him.

He was startled by a sound. Greeted by two nimble arms pulling him close, little Hope wrapped her arms around her grandfather and help him tight. His only son had arrived to remember his mother, the two exchanged nods and separately made peace. Hope was alive by his feet looking up at his weary face with hers still full of life. She greeted him with her eyes, bluer than life and swollen with undying youth, speckled with blue. Playing with the ends of her red sweater, tugging at the loose thread at the sleeves. He stopped her short, stilled her hands and held her close. She saw him as Mary had always done, a man worth loving. A promise of life had found him, in Hope.

 

 

Why I write

I have managed to sign myself up for another Blogging U. Its called #everydayinspiration. For the next 20 days I’ll be posting in response to blogging prompts the lovely people at Daily Post will be sending my way. The first is a free write about why I write. Enjoy.

 

There is never enough in words to really bring it all to life. Still, I try. There are little books filled into small pockets of forgotten spaces in my room that chronicle my numerous attempts at making words into windows into something I had playing on my mind at one point or another.

Its hard to sit back and list all the reasons that lead me to try to get a grip of this particular art form. The fact that I can call it an art form, is, in itself, a testament to how much I have changed in my approach to it. The beginning of this mild, to severe addiction, was in music. It was always an idea of mine, to some extent that idea is still in the back of my mind, to let music tell the things i couldn’t tell the world as my mild mannered alter ego.

When i opened up my notebooks and writing spaces, there was permission. You learn that the key to good writing in honesty and untethered creativity. This was a drug that worked its way into me and taught me the reckless wave of creativity that twisted my mind into foreign realms of awesome. I cant remember ever learning to swim my limbs through any physical body of water successfully, I never had the chance to learn to do that well, but the way I swim through these ideas, and work my own wording to aid there life, has the sensations I sometimes relate to what I feel swimming could feel like. This isn’t the only deficit it kills.

I am allowed a glimpse into things that my mind toyed with mildly, when words are given to these fleeting ideas, they find there bodies wildly, as they are fleshed into the light, I have the opportunity to see the gait of them, when the notion wobbles in its manifestation, I can take to finding the causes.

Maybe I have a story to tell. When I’m taken by the mood, I have enough certainty to spur me on to sharpen my tools so as to lend me the makings of a man who can share what needs to be shared.

I started reading a few more books when I decided to take my writing more seriously. My book shelves began to fill with names that I was told could teach me a great deal, fact and fiction, some Dickens, some Descartes, some Plath, some Sartre. The fascination with stepping into separate worlds was growing at a steady pace. Steady pace, a pace that I wanted to corrupt with a zealous cadence that will find me a new home in the other side of mediocrity. It becomes a challenge to speak for a smaller voice that creates a racket, never allowing itself to be the whole it can truly be.

To my words, I haven’t always been fair about the way you present yourself to the world. I was shy about loving you. But how you could understand the way i was asked to present myself to the world and the way I have to present myself to you. It wasnt that the world was better than the world in the ledgers we have survived. I just found it better, for us, to keep you as perfect as you are. They haven’t got the eye for beauty that you deserve. The writer is an awkward soul who straddles two worlds and borrows time from one world to live in the other more naturally. Where home is, isn’t always clear.

Writing 101, Day 2: A Room With a View

  

The prompt for the day was to write a descriptive piece. I had to think of one place I would love to journey to, I’d have to go there, I’d have to share it with you, paint you a picture of this important place. I turned to nostalgia for my answer, and I wrote, what I’m hoping to be an effective portrayal, of one of my favourite weekend outings as a boy. Enjoy! 


It was a weekend, It was always a weekend when we went there. We waited until the sun was nice and round, full and clear, sitting perfectly in the sky. 

There was a long stretch of shore line. I’m not sure what you call it when a man made body of water meets land like that, but the grass was right up against the water. You could see right across to the other side if you stood at the right place. Sometimes the water went on forever, an endless sheet of dancing sunlight, dropping off into the distance. The whole thing was like a mirror, wobbling and dancing. This wasnt a river, or a great ocean, so the water had a bit of elegance I guess, because it danced a shy little dance against the warm air that swept through.

There was a large building, it was the unmovable guardian of the water side. It stood sturdy and still, it was the long standing sanctuary from the Zambian sun. I could tell it had been there for a long time. It had these cracks that traced its walls, like wrinkles on a face that has seen more than its fair share of sunsets, I’m more than sure that it had seen its fair share of setting Suns over Mindolo. It’s once white walls were faded and had clearly been kissed by the sky’s offering during the rainy season. It was an old building but it housed everything we needed, the bar, the restaurant, the old slanted pool tables that sat right in front of the dj booth.

Between the mirrors edge and the old building, there was a wide stretch of grass. It was littered with rounded wooden tables, revarnished on occasion, but sporting there age in withered edges and dented slacks. There were unevenly spaced deck chairs huddled around them, waiting for the crowds. I remember how those tables attracted the herds of folk, hooves of happy patrons clip clopping across the worn grass paths to those sun lit perches. 

I could tell people went there a lot, I could tell because of the grass. There was grass everywhere, but in places you could see it had been worn away by the frequent visits. Around the picnic tables you could see the green bleed to gold. I can imagine the little feet running around the table, as the adults sat down, drinking their cold drinks, drinks far too bitter for their youn mouths. The adults would occasionally stand to have a dance, joining the little feet in tracing another map of a joyful weekend in the blades of grass. 

There was always music in the air. From the heart of the faded white building the disk jockey would spin his afternoon magic, he kept the air filled with music that kept the spirits high, matching the tempo of the peaking sun. He had a way of making it so there was always a song that made mum and dad dance, I remember mum shuffle in her seat pursing her lips the way she did, I remember dad stifling a laugh, I remember us all laughing.

 I remember the fishing rods that dad would make up for us. Dad always brought some hooks and a reel of fishing line along with him, they might have been guitar string but dad was always resourceful like that. Past the big building and further away from the crowds, there was a place where the reeds had grown wildly against the wavering mirror. Dad would fetch us some reeds, he tied the line onto the ends and fix our hooks with his unmovable knots. He would help us bait our hooks and sat us down by the waters edge. It wasn’t very deep close to the grass, when the water was clear we could see the little fish swimming underneath the semi permeable  mirror, I liked how sometimes I could see broken pieces of the sun in it, stealing a moment from the sky to dance in the water. 

Everyone threw there sauced and seasoned meats onto to the barbiques. There  barbiques pits everywhere, each was stood next to the picnic tables. With a hiss and a subtle mist, the air came alive with a world of flavour. Dad would watch over the pit and turn the pieces of meet with an experience eye, sending another cloud of flavour in the wind to tease the other tables who had just finished there share, or were readying there food for the fire. 

We enjoyed the day until it was close to spent. Dad always liked the way the sun dipped in the water at the furthest edge. The sun dawned an orange hue, lowering itself into the water. I have watched dad look at it the same way every time. He watches very closely. He watched it until only a small corner of the sun was left peaking out of the water, the whole sky was tainted orange, the air grew cold and the loud music played on. There were less of the yoingervoices. We knew this meant it was time to go home. I always savoured those days by the water, the sun catching in the shimmering sheet, at Mindolo where we forged our memories.