An Awakening

A sleepless night, submerged by black thoughts and dreams that churned around my head leaving my eyes as dark as the nightmares.  Strange, grotesque visions of innumerable sets of eyes staring at me in my sleep echoed in my mind; the aftermath of several nights spent dulling my mind with wine.   I had asked my trouble doll before I slept for a change of mood in the morning, to wake up in the light, but I think she must have slept in longer than I did.

I fed my weary body, put my trainers on and ventured outside, up into the Carrick hills.  It was the only thing I knew that would help to bring me back.

Within minutes, the town and my room with all its appliances and reminders of ordinary life is behind me and all I can see are hills, forests, bushes, trees and animals.  I leave my self behind and spent a few hours as nothing more than a part of the earth around me.

For miles and miles in every direction, all I can see are the thousands and thousands of shades and hues of green; the lime green of the fields, the numerous earthy green shades and shadows of the forests.  The green is not alone, it is dotted with the white of the weeds and flowers by the roadside which seem to mirror the white specks of the hundreds of sheep scattered around the hills and the purple of the thistles beside the path echo the purple heather gently covering the distant lands like a soft blanket.

I breathe in the fresh air that seems to be so full of life and let it go.

The wind makes the plants and flowers seem to bob along with the music in my ears and once again everything seems to be happening at just the right time.  Perhaps this would be what my heaven would look like.  I feel the peace of simply existing out there.  The butterflies dance along beside me in the air, unaware of anything other than what they are doing.  How nice it must be to always feel like you belong where you are.

The air is thick and hot and I can feel it coming from the ground.  The sky is covered in clouds, but it is one of those days where anything could happen. It could rain any minute, clean, straight summer rain, soaking me to the skin.  The clouds could gather and grow until they smash together causing a thunderstorm; a hot, humid night with lightening and pouring rain that mean tomorrow there would be sunshine.  Or, the wind could blow the clouds right over the top of us and into the sea, the storm taking place out there in the ocean where no one but sailors would see it.

Although there is life everywhere, I can also smell death coming up from a gully and I see plants with millions of holes in their leaves, dying.  Shorn wool from the sheep lie abandoned on the road and ridiculously look like discarded wigs.  I see a bird of prey circling lower and lower before diving out of sight, devouring something or other.

I can see in the distance now the land touching the sky.  I can feel a slight change in the air and I know that I will see the sea soon.  The land around the coastline looks darker and more rugged.  The sea stretches out into the horizon and I remember how indescribably infinite it all is.  The sea frightens me, yet I can feel its pull and I long to see it from another country again.

Memories of a different country, of walks in another world come now.  The cows have the same expressions on their faces, but they are much fatter and darker here.  Different sounds, different dry air.  Here the air is so full and thick you can feel the life in it, it feels good to breathe it in.

The walk makes my thoughts steadier, more like a train on a track aiming for a destination, more synchronised with the rhythm of my footsteps than like the circling water in a black hole, round and down, round and down, never reaching anything but getting so dark you cannot see.

I think it is time for some clean living again, for some motivation and some plans and whether anything comes of them or not, I think I will have to leave again after the year is through.

 

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You Are Your Life

Your purpose in life is to tell a story.  You create the story with every decision you make every second of every day starting with what thoughts you choose to how you choose to feel about them.

 

Every interaction with every other soul is how you tell that story from the expression you put on your face to what you say with your eyes to the words you let pass your lips.

 

How your story will play out is entirely dependant on what you choose to do with those thoughts, feelings and interactions.  The life you experience is the life you perceive, not the life that was given to you.

 

The biggest mistake humans make is failing to understand that nothing happens to you.  You happen.  You are the creator of your life.  YOU ARE YOUR LIFE.

 

If you are unhappy make great efforts to change the way you perceive your life.  You have the power to change everything.  You can at all times do anything you want to do.  Understand this, learn from the bad decisions and start making the right ones in the knowledge that they will shape everything that comes after.

Words do not actually EXIST

Do you ever feel like you are carrying the weight of the world in TEARS that hang in the bags under your eyes?
Like the SKIN on your face is losing the WILL to hold itself up against gravity and at any moment your jaw will DROP to the floor from your head?
I am truly SORRY self, I cannot do you any BETTER right now; I am having difficulty holding my MOUTH up.
I did think this KITTEN would help, but she makes the tears come and then she BITES me.
There is another ME somewhere but I can’t get to her, she is far away in the distance walking by the SEA.

 

Why would she leave me here on my own? I HATE it when she does that.
The day STARTS with promise and ends with disappointment, yet it is merely me who DOES the disappointing and you see, it all comes BACK.
A fretted edge is the BEGINNING of an unravelling but the composition of the thing whatever it may BE cannot become NOTHING; it can only change into something ELSE and that SHOULD comfort.
I have worked all day relentlessly on EVERYTHING and still I cannot see any real POINT in any of it.
It has occurred to me that it probably does not even MATTER because words do not actually EXIST.

There are some things I believe and some things I know

There are some things in life I believe and some things I know. I know that there is pain and suffering in this world and I know that there always will be, for me, for you and for every other soul.  I know that I feel that pain and that suffering, but can never take it away, not from me or from you or from anyone else, but as long as my soul is aware I will want to.  I know that there is hate and greed and violence in the world and that time and time again there will be injustice.  I know that every time that happens I will feel anger and pain and I will struggle to accept why it happened.  I know that there will be loss, that there will be death and that every time I lose someone, I will suffer and feel pain, even when it is expected and even if I believe that death is not the end.  I know that no matter what I believe, whether I have faith in one god, ten gods, or none at all, I will feel that pain.  I know that every other being in the world feels that pain.

 

I know that I will survive that pain.   That other people will survive that pain.  I know that there are some things in life you can change and some things you can’t.  If you can’t change it you must accept that it is a part of your life and you must believe that there is a reason for it.  If you do not believe there is a reason for the pain, the pain will be all there ever is.

 

I believe we all feel the same pain and the same suffering because we are all the same.  We are all connected to the same particles of energy that make up everything in the world which is why I know what your suffering feels like, which is why I can feel compassion for you, not sympathy, compassion.  This is why I feel pain when I see another human being suffering, why I feel pain when I see an animal suffering, why I feel pain when I see plants and trees and wildlife suffering and why I feel my planet suffering.  I believe that everyone feels this but most people are not aware of it.

 

When you realise that all the suffering in the world is the same as your own, you realise that it is this bond that ties us all together, and that all that can be left is to feel compassion and understanding for yourself and for everyone and everything else in the world and that somehow when you realise that and you feel that, it makes the suffering different.  It stops being something that you try to escape, to run from or to fight.  It changes from suffering into love and it enables you to feel such love for your whole world and everyone in it that it turns something awful into something good.  It brings us together, and we are kinder to each other because of it.  It makes us do incredible selfless amazing things.  It makes us take risks and make sacrifices.  It makes us humble and caring.  It makes us good and decent.  There would be no opportunity to be any of these wonderful things if there was no pain and no suffering.  Stories would have no heroes.  No incredible beings who face adversity and death and loss and helplessness and keep going on along journeys so hard most people would not even have started.  They keep going because they know the pain and suffering, they push on because they have lost, not because they were born brave, but because they learned to be brave by facing another day after losing things they love.  These stories are no different than the journeys we all go through in life.  I know that facing all that pain and suffering in whatever form it takes in your life and still going on is heroic, is amazing.  I know that the only reason anyone would continue on and keep going is because whether they admit it or not, they believe in something other than nothing.

 

I believe in everything.  I believe in myself, in my fellow human beings, I believe in my planet and my universe and a divine presence of light that makes everything I perceive appear in front of my eyes.  I believe that my perception of life is defined by the choices I make every second of every day, starting with how I choose to see my thoughts, myself, my surroundings and the other people in my life.  My experience of my life is defined by my understanding of what is around and inside of me.  That changes and grows and lives and dies like the roots of a tree.  I believe that there is beauty all around me, and that there is ugliness all around me, that what I will see is a choice, like the choice between seeing the frightening black abyss of nothing encapsulating everything in the night sky or the infinite number of brilliant white dazzling lights of the stars that are more magical than the most delicate, prettiest fairy lights of my imagination.  I know that I would not see the stars if it were not for the dark matter, and I want to see the stars.  I would not see the love if I did not see the suffering.  I believe that you should accept this.  I believe that you should accept that there will always be both, good and bad, dark and light, love and suffering.  I believe that you should accept that there will always be both, but I also believe it is your duty to yourself as a human being to do whatever you can to ease suffering and to share love.  If you see the stars and someone does not, point them out, describe them the way you see them and remind the person of the light.  If you see someone who has had no love, remind them what that is, smile, be kind, be understanding.  Recognise someone who is suffering, know that you may not be able to help them, but try.  You may not help them instantly, but they will always remember the people who were kind to them, and if enough people show them love, they will start to believe it.  You cannot fix all the problems of the world, but you can learn to understand it, you can fix yourself and by example show other people how to do the same.

 

I know that I will carry on with my life despite that pain,  that all the other people in the world will keep living every day with that pain, one day after another, one step at a time.

 

I believe that there is something else after you die.  I believe that my life means something.  I believe that there is a divine power that is in everything and everyone from the stars to me.  I believe that my soul is something which can never die and that has never not existed.  I know that I have felt pain and I know that I will feel it again.  I know that in this life there is love, that I am loved, that I love, that I will be loved and that I will love again.

Breathing Room

An extra room has magically been added to your home overnight. The catch: if you add more than three items to it, it disappears. How do you use it?

Hmmm.  Am I going to resist the temptation to play with this one?

I can see the room, perhaps you want to know what it looks like before I put my items in it (and perhaps by the time I have described it I will know for sure).

The room is very square, more like a set than an actual room.  The walls are dark purple and red, and sheets hang from the ceiling (the sheets are not my items, they were already there). There are those spotlights on the ceiling like you get in aroma rooms at the gym, like stars with soft light.  The floor is all covered in cushions, silk and velvet and different textures, again purple and deep burgundy. 

There is music playing in the room anyway, so I don’t need to take my Ipod in (I thought I would have).  I can smell musky scents, someone is burning incense somewhere and although I am alone in the room, I can feel lots of other people around; perhaps the house is filled with rooms like this with people like me. I wonder if all the rooms are different. 

Now I see there are fairy lights all along the bottom of the room (I didn’t bring them either so they still don’t count as one of my items).  I sit down with my legs crossed and decide that I do need something to look at, so the room has to have a window with the view of a tree outside whose branches are blowing in the wind to the time of the music.

I think I would like a cat to be with me in the room, it’s nice to sit still with a cat.  I am not sure whether you can really count a cat as an object though, and it could have just came in the window and it could easily leave that way again (you can’t really count a window as an object and the tree is outside of the room).

For my objects, I will take with me a glass of water which refills itself, a book which changes stories every time I go back to the beginning and one of those biscuits that has enough nutrients to keep you going forever and never seems to be finished (because it is a magic room).  I don’t know why, but once I go in the room, I know I will be there for a long time.

It’s your fault – you called it a Breathing Room and this is where it took me.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/breathing-room/

Inspiration

If you are looking for some inspiration today – I have just updated my inspiration page and finally added all of those little quotes I pin on Pinterest to inspire me to keep going!

Whether it was created by God, whether it created itself, whether the universe created it or it was an accident; a rose is still beautiful, as is a lovely piece of music, an inspiring piece of writing or the face of a wonderful soul.

Verity Stevens

 

 

Tonight I Don't FEEL Like Writing, but I DO

Tonight I don’t feel like writing, but I do, because there is nothing else. I hope that in some way it will give this day meaning.  I have trawled through lists of films on subscription television looking for something that will restore my faith in my own life.  I choose several and change my mind repeatedly until I settle on a film about a man restoring a boat.

It is one of those nights where it all seems to be a pointless repetition.  This night has happened in precisely the same was before only I am wearing a different top and my hair has grown.  Perhaps a glass of wine will give me some kind of pleasure after a hard week’s work but it was not really hard at all, it was just something that I did, and that I will do again and again and again.

Drifting around thrift stores today, the oldest furniture always gives me the most comfort.  Numerous books purchased at three for a pound.  The hope that in one of them will be a clue to all the questions I desperately need answered.  At my temporary home, I lay in bed and am lost for two hours and one hundred pages in a strange novel that makes me laugh out loud at a protagonist as perplexed as I am at the absurdity of it all but who is able to express it with a great deal more wit and a naughty use of CAPITALISATION that excites me.  Awoken from my reverie by a sister with work problems, I forget the book and go downstairs to watch the film.  Surprisingly, in a way I cannot explain, I do find meaning in a shot of water, lights, shadow and a grainy green blue twilight.  Without knowing why, that image makes more sense to me than anything else that has happened today.

I cannot wait to rid the house of people so that I can be lonely, so I drop them off.  When they are gone I feel better.  It is much easier to be alone when there are no people around.  Tomorrow will be better, I know, because it is ok to be alone on a Sunday.  I will be glad I chose not to drown my loneliness in wine to wake up shaking, ill and still alone.  Tomorrow I will be able to say that I had a lovely quiet weekend and I feel much better for it, and I will be so convincing, I will believe it myself.  Even now I feel better because it is late.  It is only in the few hours of a Saturday night when it is still possible to do something that I feel afraid I am wasting my life doing nothing.  However I have not done nothing all day, I have spent all day with a dear friend, shopping in charity stores and having lunch; flirting with the half Italian, half Argentinian waiter with the dark eyes and long eye lashes who smiled at me.  It felt good to be appreciated by a dark man with a foreign accent, but he was too small and too eager.  We ate pizza and ice cream and I got a leather jacket for ten pounds and six books for five.  It really was a nice day, but tonight that does not matter anymore.

I will forgive you for thinking me melancholy or worse, but I do not think I really am, at times I am just really unsure that there is not something I am missing, that I should be doing something other than what I am doing.

Tomorrow I will no longer feel like this.  Tomorrow I will walk in the country and I will look around myself and know I am doing exactly what I should be doing.  However walking for ever in the country is not really an option or I suspect the answer and I cannot just sit at the ocean all day every day staring at the sea and the sky.

Perhaps I could say it feels right when I am writing, but really writing often does not feel like anything.  It as though when I write, I forfeit my experience of time and my awareness of being alive.  Perhaps that is why it feels so right afterwards.  It is like meditating, although I never truly lose myself meditating the way I do when I am writing.

Now that I have written, even just this couple of pages, I no longer feel like my night has been wasted, even if no one ever reads this.  I do not know why that is.  I write a lot these days, really, I do not know what I would do otherwise.  Well maybe I have an idea.  I would perhaps have concentrated on saving money when I got back and went travelling again.  Or, perhaps I would spend the time going out with my friends instead, I could meet some guy who mostly likely will not be the right person at the right time, but I would fall for him anyway because I would find meaning in love.  I would be happy for a time until I realise that there is no meaning in love without meaning in self and unless I am pursuing something creative I will not feel self worth and the poor guy would never be able to fill the gaping hole  no matter how hard he tried and I would have a breakdown and leave, breaking both our hearts. I would realise that this normal life is not for me, travel to the other side of the world on my own searching for meaning and find a story. Wait ……

 

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How Blogging is For Me

I have been thinking about writing a post about blogging for the last couple of weeks because I just really wanted to write about what a rewarding experience I have found it to be and today I have been given the perfect opportunity to share my newfound love of blogging by being made Blog of the Week by the lovely and talented Ailsa MacNab!  Thank you so much Ailsa – be sure to check out her blog if you haven’t done so already.

I had always thought about starting a blog (ever since Ugly Betty started one.  Yes really, god I loved that show) but I never got around to it and it took me a long time to work out how to actually go about doing it.

I started writing again when I was having my late twenties crisis (yes, you can have a crisis at any age) just before I left to go travelling.  Why I stopped and why I started again would be a novel in itself, but to put it simply, I just felt I had to and I have never looked back.  Travelling was incredibly inspirational and I met some people (two girls in particular) that I wrote poems for as a gift and then decided to write them a short story.

Nearly 3 years later, I am still writing that story and let’s just say that it is no longer short.  It has inspired a lot of my submissions to the Weekly Writing Challenge (you can view them at After the Lights Went Out ) and it has helped me to develop my characters wonderfully.  I decided to write many of the weekly writing challenges from my characters point of view, so although some of what is written in those posts will be in the novel, some of it is for WordPress only – as a space for my characters to come to life and for me, in this sense, blogging is a wonderful new tool as a writer.

Sitting on your own writing stories and poems and submitting them to publications and competitions is incredibly lonely and at times very disheartening.  Writing a novel that takes up most of your free time is at times wonderful, but at times you do wonder if you are doing the right thing.  When you first start writing, you have this fear that what you are writing is utter garbage and that people are going to laugh at you for daring to think that anyone would want to read what you write.   A blogging community allows you to share your writing experience with other like minded people who appreciate what you are trying to do, because they understand.  It is so encouraging and there is nothing more gratifying for me right now than to see that someone liked a post or that I have a new follower. I have to confess I have become a tad obsessed with checking my notifications and stats.  It just makes me so happy when someone somewhere has read something I have written and either liked it or related to it.

Blogging allows you try different styles, to hone your skills and to get a feel for what things people generally like.  What I have found is that the more honest and open I am, the more people like it.  Sharing your writing for the first time is terribly scary, but after a few posts on your blog, you begin to really open up and your confidence grows.

One of the worst feelings in life is feeling alienated and alone.  Although there are thousands of writers out there doing similar things and feeling the same things, in your day to day life, chances are you are not like your friends and your family and it is difficult for them to relate to what you want to express.  I am a deep person, I like talking about the big things, I like talking about philosophy and religion and the meaning of life.  Most of my friends accept this, but there are few who constantly want to talk about these things, so blogging has given me a forum to get all of these thoughts and ideas out there where I can communicate with people who are also interested in them.

What I also love is that you find that the people you connect with and who appreciate your writing might not necessarily have the same beliefs as you or have lived a similar life to you, but still you are able to find common ground and you can share things with them.  You connect with people from all over the world and learning about their lives and how they feel about them is incredibly interesting.  Reading stories and seeing photographs from all different kinds of lives is such a rich experience.  It is a huge world out there and if we were all more able to share our feelings about those experiences, the people in the world would have a much better understanding of each other.  Social media is often criticised, but I find it is like everything in life – it depends what you choose to focus on.   Reading about other people’s achievements and happy moments gives me hope.  I see a world full of kind, appreciative, engaging people, all just wanting to feel a apart of something and a connection to each other.  I choose to see that, I hope that is what I put out there and that is what I get back.

On days when I feel a little lost, and I wonder why I am doing this at all, I ask for a sign, a sign that I should keep going, a sign that this is the right thing for me.  Being praised and appreciated keeps me writing and for that I am truly glad.

Thank you to everyone who has liked or commented or read my posts, thanks to WordPress for giving my writing a home and thanks to Ailsa for your kind encouragement.  It really does mean a lot to me.

Feel free to comment on what you love about blogging and keep writing folks!

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Daily Prompt: She Drives Me Crazy: Myself

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/prompt-drives-me-crazy/

What drives me crazy is when people do not give you all of the information.  Like saying the closing date for a competition is today, but not stating a time so that now I have spent several days and all of tonight working on a story that may not be accepted.

I also drive myself crazy by always leaving these things to the last minute and always missing some important detail that means all my hard work has been for nothing!  Well not for nothing, truthfully I actually love the story and if they decide they cannot accept it, I will post it on here for everyone to enjoy.  Every cloud….  (I still feel like crying right now).

Daily Prompt: I Walk the Line

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/prompt-walk-the-line/

The one thing that I promised myself years ago was that no matter what was happening and how difficult it might be, if I am not happy I change it.  This is something I apply to relationships, to homes, to jobs, to lifestyle choices.  It is not quite so simple in practice as it is in theory, some of the people I have had to leave, some of the things I have done, have not been easy.  Giving up my job and leaving my friends and family to travel to the other side of the world with no idea how long I might be away or what I might do was one of the hardest but most rewarding experiences of my life.  Leaving someone I still loved deeply when I was a young girl was like removing a part of myself (which I never got back) but it was necessary because I was unhappy and I know now that it was the right decision however long it took me to be ok again.

I have been home for a year now and I promise myself still that if I am truly unhappy, I will do the same again and leave whatever I need to be happy.  I am not saying I make these decisions over night, a lot of deliberating about what it is exactly that needs to be changed and how I will go about doing it is always necessary, but worth it in the end.

The other things I live by are being true to myself, however difficult and lonely that is at times.  I have chosen a different kind of life and at the moment I am not able to share it with everyone in the way I would like to.  I spent many unhappy years trying to be like everyone else, trying to fit in, trying to want the things you are supposed to, but I learned that I would never be happy that way and started learning and creating the person I really wanted to be, I am still in that process right now, but it feels right.  I am not likely to settle down with a husband and a family any time soon, although that is what most of my friends are doing at this age.  They think I am just waiting on the right man coming along.  They don’t know that actually I am not waiting on anything, I am working relentlessly trying to build the kind of life I want to live, trying to create something great and even if I don’t succeed, I am being true to myself and what I really want to do and that makes me happy.