Wednesday, 12 May 2010

I met Chris tonight.

He was shaking like a leaf so I bought him a coke; he’s staying tonight in the same hostel as me but tomorrow is uncertain as he does not have a penny to his name. This was a man genuinely wracked with anguish the like of which I have seldom seen, he has had a business for ten years and has just done a months’ work worth twenty-eight thousand pounds only to find the bigger business he was working for has gone into voluntary liquidation leaving him, a man of thirty something from Ed Balls constituency, with literally nothing.

This is what homeless people are made of, this happens.

It is a human tragedy and yet on so small a scale that almost no-one will ever know about it, let alone care, yet to Chris the scale is monumental.

He was shaking because he had just had an epileptic fit and his recent diet of noodles and stress no doubt exacerbated the situation. All I could do was buy him a coke to provide him with some sugar to hopefully help in the short term, no help tomorrow when he has nowhere to sleep however.

I feel guilty for being a bit down this week through pressures of my own, they are nothing like this. The owner of the liquidated company screwed him over because he could, they had spoken today, and the owner took his call from Marbella.
I really hope and pray that Chris has a support net to catch him, I really hope he does not end up on the street, I wish I could have helped more. Life is many things from tragic to wonderful but it is seldom fair.

In a previous post I mentioned reality.

How very blasé of me; what is reality.

Everything we experience is so intensely subjective that one single answer for that surely cannot be possible. I can watch something unfold before me and yet when I discuss this with the person by my side they have experienced it in a different way than I have despite the event being reality happening in front of us both. So many other factors affect the event and how it is translated from the eyes to the brain and it is of course our brain which defines how the entire world around us is experienced. Even here our brains simply define what can be experienced of the world around us, how much we can take in and understand. If we were to ask a dog how the world looked it would be in black and white but we would be unable to put into words much of the extra sensory information such as smells which we can never experience and so do not form a part of our reality.

Our minds are a limiting system.

Our minds limit what we can see, feel and sense in this world. What most people experience, I believe, is far from the full gamut of our world.

Have you ever wondered how certain artists can paint pictures with such vivacity and passion of a scene which to our eyes contains none of the elements the artist sees, an example would be starry night by van Gogh. I believe that certain people constantly experience the world as in a painting by van Gogh, this is how they relate to what is around us all. We mere mortals who are destined to see the world as our minds limit it can reach briefly up to the heights lived in by these artists using such mind expanding drugs as LSD. Maybe this is why many artists are slightly unhinged in our more conservative view of the world.

“All vasentlig konst kommer ifran nagonstans gemensamt, utanfor oss alla som vi all kan har tillgang till.” Ockie Nidsjo

How can we be anything but conservative? We simply don’t see in the colours they do.


Monday, 10 May 2010

Tempus omnia sed memorias privat (Time deprives all but memories)

Time is a strange concept really, I gave it bit of thought quite a few years ago then left it alone. What I came to is probably not original but I think it can be thought about anyway.

You see I know there are both cyclical and linear theories of time but I was thinking about it in a slightly different way, I was thinking of time as a great big sphere, the surface of the sphere would be what is called the “fabric of time”. This would allow for the theory of time to be both cyclic and linear depending upon the factors which rolled the sphere along the surface of reality.

Here of course comes the idea that there is no history or future, history exists only in the memories of the people who experienced it or in the imaginations of those who hear or read about it and in both cases these second hand, subjective experiences bear no relation to what actually occurred, if anything did actually occur.

The future is nothing but fantasy, or in the best case scenario, one of an almost infinite number of possibilities dependent upon how the sphere rolls and where the subject is on the surface of reality. (Reality is a concept to be dealt with in another post)

The phrase I used to be able to quantify this concept was “a constantly evolving present”, this being in reality unquantifiable in terms of how long this present lasted simply because the only methods we have of quantifying the passing of our lives is the totally human created concept of, you guessed it, time.

The method we have, the only method we have, of quantifying and thereby limiting our lives is the passing of the arbitrary minutes, seconds, hours and years. We have created a concept without which the entire fabric of western society would fall apart and our western lives would become worthless, and yet I have no memory of taking a part in this creation, yet we define ourselves and in some degree our usefulness to society by this very concept.

They do believe I am a thief

Because I take my time,

My time,

The time I give them from my time

becomes their time.

My time is running out,

I shout,

I need more time

Show me a sign,

Show me the way

To seize the day

Because I must make a stand

or die today.

Once we accept that this very chalice of a concept is used to control and limit us in our everyday lives then we can find an answer.

John Paul Sartre had an answer.

He talked about perfect moments when everything comes together so perfectly that the world in unison around us for just one moment and the perfect life is to strive for a series of these perfect moments leading from one to the other throughout our existences.

I am less ambitious. I simply recognise the amount of time we spend doing the kind of things we either hate doing or possibly even more insidious, simply find boring and tedious. I would call this Grey Time and I would like to try and eliminate as much of this as possible from my own life, Grey Time is time wasted in the most heinous fashion, because we are convinced we need to have this time, we are fooled by proverbs like “something good to those who wait” and “ the meek shall inherit the earth”.

Micheal Ende wrote in Momo about the men in grey, the time thieves. These men are invisible to us and yet they gradually coerce and convince us to save more and more time, but save it for what for the more we save the less chance we will ever have of using it. We are not saving time; they are stealing time from us.

The men in grey are real.

Strive to make your time red, orange or even yellow but at all costs avoid spending Grey Time and if you must save time, make sure you use what you have saved, they have enough already.


Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Dia de Los Muertos

Dia de Los Muertos

I have come to believe that the best we can ever do is to stumble through life, roughly, hopefully in the right direction.

Then of course it has to be asked what the right direction is. We are told often which direction society would like us to stumble in but if it is right is another question and right for whom?

The opening monologue of Trainspotting springs to mind here, and I paraphrase horrendously;

Choose a career
Choose a washing machine
Choose a wide screen fucking television
Choose life

Well I chose something else

What do we ever choose entirely for ourselves in this world? When all is said and done, what do we get out of our choices? You need to work till you are sixty five with two weeks holiday a year, then finally, when you are too old and knackered to make proper use of your time, and then you can relax, and die.

Fuck that!

Marcus Aurelius said, “We are but shadows and dust.”

He was right, how long after our deaths will we be forgotten? Even if we do something truly extraordinary we will unlikely be remembered for ourselves, everyone knows who Einstein was and what he did but who actually knows him, who alive now can actually claim to know what he was like?

When we die we become electricity passing from synapse to synapse in the minds of those who actually knew us, and then, when they die ? In the words of Jim Morrison,
“I want my kicks now before the whole shithouse comes tumbling down.”

Dia de los muertos

Today I live
Everyone around me is black-clad,
Faces painted white and skeletal.
Festival of shadows,
Ornate coffins carried aloft
Through village streets.
Darkness celebrated, highlights life.

Today I live.

The more time I spend in the shadows
The more I appreciate the light,
Breaking clouds,
Banishing shadows from corners
Filled with people
Dressed in black.

Today I live.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Batam al Ghul (the belly of the beast)

Here in the west we are exactly there, we are in the belly of the beast. We are incredibly lucky in many ways even if we are kept in the dark, often by ourselves.

I have known people here to grow up and even grow old ensconced in the belief that they are not only in the belly of the beast but also are the centre of everything, both political, cultural and moral. Many, if not all of the judgements we make about what happens in other cultures is judged using our perameters and there is a total inability to see the world through someone elses eyes.

This may well be a mechanism to make our lives more bearable and as such it is of course valuable but in a world where we do this there can never be true equality between the different worlds which coexist upon this chunk of earth.

Again we are not designed to strive for equality for our fellow man, this is a luxury we construct in the richer, more egalitarian parts of the world. Strip us of the things which keep us comfortable and safe and our real desires will and do shine through.

We are hardwired to survive at all costs, including the demise of others. This is our reality when stripped of everything else.

Most parts of the world are at least closer to this than we are. You look after yourself and your family because there is no social network to look after you if you fail, and people do fail.

The belly of the beast or the priviliged west?

You decide.

If you can make it in the developing world, you can make it anywhere.

Monday, 18 January 2010

It makes a difference

I never felt this way when I was younger,I don't know if it has to do with being older and wiser or just more jaded with age,but when external factors change it changes my internal noticeably. The weather today is mild and sunny. The weather has been cold and gray for too long, when it changed today I felt a lightening of my spirits, I actually feel as though the world is more friendly,the same places as yesterday feel different. I walk lightly today as opposed to limping along with
misery by my side.

Things are good today.

Life is better in the sunshine.

Simple as.....


Friday, 15 January 2010

If you take the red pill!

"that you are a slave Neo, like everyone else you were born into bondage; born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch, a prison for your mind."

Unlike Neo, not everyone chooses the red pill. Everyone at some point, I believe, is confronted with a potentially life changing situation but the majority of people will gladly swallow that blue pill and go back to their comfortable, or so they must believe, existence. There are many motivations or excuses for this and all are equally valid, I have too much to lose, I don't know what may be around the corner or most commonly, I have responsibilities.

I understand this. Taking the blue pill is easier, taking the red pill is much harder and demands so much more of you, but sometimes situations dictate and you really don't have any blue pill to take. You must take the red pill or perish, the option of return is gone.

I took the red pill.

These crossroads in lie are always precipitated by some kind of catastrophe, or at the best a crisis, A crucial or decisive point or situation; a turning point. The decision you make at this point is one which will disappear instantly or live with you for many, many years depending upon which you choose. If, as I did, you choose the red pill you are setting course for a new and totally unknown destination which of course is never easy.

Given the same choice again would I choose the blue pill?

No, once you burn bridges you can quite literally never go back over them.

Non, je ne regrette rien.


Arbet Mach Frie

Freedom is something we all take for granted, especially when we live in the so-called democratic west. How free are we exactly?

In order to work, at least with anything which pays well and which has any form of social status, you need a bank account. It should not be taken for granted that anyone can get a bank account either, you need two proofs of address, the same two you need to take a shit in England today. Your passport and two proofs of address, utility bills and maybe a bank statement, you need a bank statement to get a bank account,you see the problem?

If you are going to work with children or vulnerable adults you need an enhanced CRB check, all fine and dandy, but you need one for almost every different job you apply for, 33 pounds and a four week wait before you can earn any money brother but hey, you still don't have a bank account anyway right?

Where are you living anyway? Can you get somewhere to live when you have no job and no bank account? A months rent and a months deposit, a two bed flat in London, 1500 quid please mate and references. When you are living with others how do you get a utility bill? for the bank account you know, the one you need to be able to work, to get the job you need to get a flat, the one you need to get the utility bill you need to get a bank account, the one you need to be able to work, ad infinitum.....


Down the rabbit hole

Came to start writing another post now and realized that I am in grave danger of becoming very tedious. The relaying of drunken mishap after drug fueled encounter can become old; it can be therapeutic for me but is it entertaining?
A while ago I would never have thought of things in that way but now I do, I have a sense of audience. I really need to balance both the audience and the therapy, for it is both!
So, what have I learned over the last couple of years?

Contrary to my recent thoughts, I am not stable.

I have probably never been stable more than a thin veneer.

I may never be stable but I am sure I can achieve a kind of balance which will allow me to function and indeed to embrace my issues, and through this, be able to live a calm and harmonious life. Seven years ago I was doing this!

I will never be able to do it here.

Alice in Wonderland springs to mind:

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” said Alice.

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get
to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where,” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the

I’ve always been a bit of a gypsy but settled for fourteen years in one place while my child finished his education.
All this really started about six years ago with a traumatic event followed by another one, two years later. This second event was the straw that broke the camel’s back and my entire life started to fall apart at that point, I now know from experience that from successful, content citizen to teetering on the brink of total emotional, mental and financial collapse can take less than two years.

I lost all the possessions, my savings, the prestigious apartment, the big screen TV, the daughter and all the menagerie of small things which make up a life, in that time. My saving grace was that I was living abroad; I could run away, I could leave all the horrendous debt behind me and escape, I could do it, I did do it.

I am getting there. In the good times I am fine but it is when things don’t go as they should, that is when I simply lack the life energy to get out and do something about it. At some level I have already given up but that is exactly what this blog is about, I cannot give up because I love life too much, I will not give up because I am not prepared to curl up and die yet. I lost the grip on my lifeline for a year or so but I have it back, I will create this blog and it will keep me afloat.

They say that the third time you go under you drown, Id best start swimming.



The Bell Jar

Stuck in a bell-jar

the world outside unclear and strange.

To see what is,

simplicity of a child.

How can it be so difficult to see with our eyes

and listen with our ears.

If I drag my finger along the glass

I see clearly for a second.


Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Tempus edax rerum

As the title says, Time is the devourer of things. It has been a while since I posted anything and now I sit and look back upon the last period of time and think, what was I thinking? I thought I was on more solid ground when in fact I was simply engrained in a routine, when deprived of this routine I am just as unstable as ever and maybe even more than earlier.

Time has devoured almost all of my possessions and yet I don't care, I have most of what I need in the physical world, what I need is securely in the emotional world. I can't even say exactly what it is I need just something else.

So where am I now?

Physically I am in the north of England but where am I internally? I am still yearning, longing for a change and am aware that if that change is not imminent it may be too late.

My blogg/therapy starts again in earnest as of today.