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The End of The World

Good evening ladies and gentleman

I think that as a species , we are very emotionally hysteric.

It’s as if everything is the end of the world. I am not speaking as someone who doesn’t suffer from this, forever fearful that my life, seemably held together by sellotape and bolts that have fallen off my car will fall apart at any moment. I wander through life, convinced I’m one step from some sort of disaster and when it does finally happen, i’m not going to know what to do. I’m scared of the End of the World- that never seems to come.

I suppose if not anything else, it makes me think about dreams. I should explain i’m not going to bang on about chasing dreams or some gleeful cliche, but it does make you think about what a dream is- a goal is.

What do you want from your life? Not what you are supposed to want, not what you aspire for because you’ve heard people talking about it, not even what would make you happy. We all have the capability to be happy right now, even me. Yet somehow i remain comfortably miserable for days on end, consumed by this idea that trying is folly because the result is inevitable. The world is rigged, the game I’m playing will come and smack me in the mouth and there i will be on the floor, a bloody lip and wandering why getting up is worth investing any effort in at all.

A dream isn’t something to make you happy. Far from it in fact, for i think if you or I were to place all of our ideals of happiness into a single dream we would be left bitterly disappointed.

So what is a dream for? What are goals for? How does one stave off this creeping feeling of the End of the World as I know it? A dream is an idea, a goal is a step to get to it.

A dream? The car from your childhood.

A goal? Find a way to make enough money to get that car

The goals are, in essence, your reason for living. They are why you get out of bed in the morning and what keeps you moving in the times you feel like the End of the World is nigh. When “what is the point?” is the thought rolling around your head, this is where the dream plays its role. The dream is keeping you motivated to achieve the goals and through this keeping your over active mind in check to make sure you get there.

This isn’t about being happy, its so, so much more than that. Happy is an idea and comes back to the issue that our society has been the creator of for sometime, the “easy” way, the instant satisfaction.

Why cook your food and feel the satisfaction of working your ingredient book you’ve used once for all its worth? Don’t need to, three clicks on my phone and the food will be here, i can sit and watch another episode of my favourite show that i’ve probably already watched 4 or 5 episodes of today. Why open yourself up to a relationship? All it’s going to do is create pain, the End of the World will feel so much closer when you can go on your laptop and “get it out of your system.” Nobody needs skills, because with the right amount of money i can sit on my ass and pay someone else to do it for me. Then we wander why life isn’t going anywhere and the dreams remain just that. Months or years could have passed you buy in a blurry, chicken tikka stained blur and you weren’t even paying attention. Daydreaming endlessly about something that is destined to be nothing more than a dream.

Throughout life, it isn’t the dream people want, even though i don’t think they realise it. I’ve said it before about the chase in a relationship, people dedicate so much of their mental and emotional time to this person, to this goal to the point where they are unable to think about anything else- so much so they cannot it makes see the bigger picture. You should have many dreams and many goals for life isn’t all about one thing. It’s not just about the money, or relationships or family or business, travelling or nice cars. It’s about about all of these things.

The issue with one thing and one thing alone is burnout. It doesn’t just come at you suddenly, it hits you like a fucking freight train.

Consistently with burnout, you never see it coming. Its like blowing out a candle- there one second lighting the path towards the next stage of your evolution and gone the next. Leaving you there, alone, in the dark, not sure what happened and not sure what went so wrong. The End of the World has finally caught up with you. I have tried to fight burnout, so many times. More times than i care to count. Push through and carry on. All that.

Truth is you just get tired in the end. Tired of living, tired of life. When you are hammering in a nail and it starts to bend to a right angle, you don’t keep hammering in the hope it will fix itself. It comes back to a principle i’ve championed for years:

“Listen to yourself. Make your voice so loud you can’t ignore it- and be a part of a Thinking Evolution.”

So what can I do to change it? What can you do?

Bring it on. Bring it all on.

The End of the World isn’t all of that phrase and giving the full sentence changes its meaning drastically. The full phrase is the End of the World Right Now. Let it happen. Stand there- head up, shoulders back. Wipe those tears away and stand tall. Be ready for what’s coming, it’s going to hurt. You may shed a tear, you will feel so broken you will never imagine being able to stand again. They are those moments where you see what you can do, you can show the world that you will not be broken, you will not be defeated. Burnout is a process- which means there is an end.

The world is strong but you are stronger still. You will power through the End of the World and still win. Listen to yourself and respond to your body and mind when they need you. It will feed your soul and your creativity. These parts of you are so important. The End of the World could come and go so many times. Let it happen. Again and again it will come, and you will overcome it.

Be ready.

Fight

Retreat where necessary

Come again

Overcome

Evolve.

The End of the World has got nothing on you .

Love, as always.

DR

Fade to Black

The smell is always the first thing that hits you when you walk into the cinema. As the aroma of warm freshly made popcorn darts up your nostrils, you excited with anticipation to see the latest film. Maybe with your friend, your man, woman, whoever- just looking for some entertainment on a rainy winters evening. I find myself thinking about all i have taken for granted, missing the smallest of actions in a time where we weren’t really allowed to do anything besides the shops, work and home. 

It got me thinking about movies. In their simplest way possible, a movie is made of three constituent parts. When put together in the correct order you get the plot line of the movie. We have the beginning, where you are introduced to all of the characters in the movie and are able to gain an understanding of them. Most notably this is the period most important for forming that emotional, empathetic connection with the character, from the hero shining a light on all that’s good to the anti-hero questioning the motives of modern society. If the writer wants you to notice someone or something in that movie, they have to find a way of showing you how important it is without telling you. Telling you will only serve to lessen from the experience of watching the movie and make any sort of investment in the character lost to being “told” how to feel. 

The middle is where the plot line starts to be hashed out more. We know who the characters are now, so what are they going to do? How will these characters interact? Will their interaction be a positive or negative influence on these characters ? We can all see from the films that Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler are both heavily influenced by one another, but are both are fully aware of the soft spot they have for one another. Positive or negative reactions to growing events isn’t something that the writer gets to choose, no matter how badly they wish to dictate the terms of this growing chemistry and connection. 

The ending of the movie is a complex algorithm to solve, for as much as the beginning is the most important part of the movie, the ending is often the one thing that people will remember the most. This will be the part of the movie that people will post on social media about, the part of the movie they will talk to friends about. This is the part of the movie that will mean “:you have to see this movie!” or “don’t bother- the ending is just dreadful.” This, ultimately, has to be your big finish. This is what you want to be known for, remembered by. 

In the end though, as is the same in every movie, the last words are spoken and the camera pans away for the fade to black…

And silence prevails.

Movies give us the means to tell stories of a life well lived in a short space of time, showing us that as much as we want them to go on forever, everything always ends with a fade to black. There will come a time when you will close your eyes and never open them again, this the only thing you can be sure about in life. Death and taxes are guaranteed, but everything else is yours. 

Take any character in a movie. Imagine if they were a real person, they have no idea that thousands, millions of people are watching the story of their life. Why not live your life in the same way? Sherlock Holmes loves Irene Adler, this is undeniable, if someone sat the other side of the screen disagrees- is this ever going to stop him pursuing her as he does? No. If you didn’t think Captain Jack was ever going to find the treasure- would he stop looking?

Of course not. So why do you stop at the first idea someone else thinks you shouldn’t do something?

Some movies are amazing, filled with action. Some make you clap with joy, some will make you cry harder than you ever thought you could. As it fades to black, just before the credits roll, it ends. It always ends. Everything you have ever felt, every experience you have ever had is another movie in your franchise. Maybe you got beat up in that movie, maybe your heart was so broken it may never be put back together again. It made you feel like you will be alone forever, or surrounded by those who love you. It will be everything, and then it will be gone. Moments, blown away like smoke, like sand through your fingers or breath on a mirror.

The thing about everything that people want to forget is that it’s going to end one day. It may be today, it may not be tomorrow, a few decades from now or even in 60 minutes time. Everything has a time limit, nothing will last forever. The joy of a great movie, the glory of good food with someone you love or an experience with friends you will remember forever. In the end, just like every movie, there is a fade to black.

But just because there is an end, doesn’t mean we don’t get to dictate the architect of the movie. You are the producer, director, writer and the main star. What movie are you writing for yourself? Would you go and watch it- or are you writing in fear of that silence…

and the Fade to Black. 

Yours, with love as always.
D. R x

Truth or Fear

Good evening ladies and gentleman

I will be the first to admit i spend far too long lost in my own thoughts. I could spend hours up there, barely even noticing the world happening around me. It’s as if I’m wandering the skies of a rainy day, jumping from cloud to cloud, thoughts coming from here and there, left and right dodging as if the rain would melt my soul.

I’ve never thought much of it because i thought everyone was like it.

I am an over thinker, in simple terms. I have never been a fan of such a contrived, rather simplistic way of explaining something so notoriously complex, but that is how this is understood or defined by our wider society. I look to understand, for without understanding, we cannot learn. I welcome mistakes and expect anything but perfection, for a desire for perfection will make only for bitter disappointment.

The thing that i often struggle with is what if you are never able to understand? Maybe there are aspects of life, love and everything in between you are not supposed to understand, or should just never expect to be able to? Moreover than that- what happens if your understanding is just…wrong?

The only way i can think of it to describe this issue is for it to be akin to a cycle. Again and again, doing the same thing, the same way for the same length of time and expecting a different result. This in itself is the definition of madness, yet its something I’ve stuck to in the same bloody minded fashion for so long now. Truth is after a certain point it’s hard to know and harder still to believe there can be anything else.

It’s from this lack of understanding, created from an obsession in gaining understanding (irony) that creates fear, an anxiety that builds the walls higher and pushes everyone you know so far away you feel like you’re going to be alone forever. This life I have created, this idea of myself, the cycle i feel like i’ve been living on for so long, is all my own doing. This is what i’ve always said about Thinking Evolution- we must learn to understand and then critically the part i’ve been missing- we must then evolve.

For from this evolution comes surprise.

Surprise is a mad mad thing because to an anxious mind surprise it is a powerfully terrifying concept. Surprise is often not part of the vocabulary of the anxious, it generally being substituted with”unpredictable.” When you feel like you need to be ready to go and be prepared for any situation or possibility, when you spend a long time thinking of every possible scenario, however ridiculous you imagine them to be because the alternative is you wound up in an “unpredictable” situation. This can never happen.

In my experience is this no more appropriate with people. There are a lot of people that have a role to play in my life, that serve a purpose and are useful as an acquaintance. Do i know that many people? Do many people know me- the real me? I am as close as to myself in these words stretching out across the screen, but does anybody really believe that- what would they ever imagine me to be?

Those i know, those i trust- i love them dearly, would do anything for them and trust them with anything. Those wonderful, mad, eccentrically brilliant human beings are proof the cycle isn’t the only method for learning about life. They really are the best of me and i wouldn’t be half the man i am today without them. What if there was another way of breaking through those walls i’ve built so high- surely they are proof of this?

So, this may have happened. I’ve always believed you make mistakes for a reason, so you can rectify and improve from them. I do what i can to gain impressions of people, then, because trusting someone is a remarkably rare thing for me to ever do and then maybe they become something more to you. To come back to an earlier point- what do you do if you may have been wrong- what if you fell for a ruse she plays so people can’t see her- the same way you have been for longer than i can remember.

Maybe i do it to protect myself- or my “peace.” Or maybe I’m just scared of caring about someone i don’t know a whole lot about? I’ve been off the mark with this person so many times its near impossible to pinpoint. She, in many ways, broke the cycle. It’s happened before, but only now have i realised the cycle of behaviours has been a consistent issue for this long.

I wanted her to be something she wanted me to see, because the alternative is someone i might just care about. I’ve always wanted to not care- about anyone. Instead just on the “let them live and ruin whatever they do for as long as they like, but i’m just not built like that.” I wanted her to hate me, because hate is predictable and can be explained. I once treated people like broken jigsaw puzzles, tasking myself to be the one to put the pieces back together. This time, someone surprised me, thats all she did. She surprised me.

She broke a part of me ultimately. Im not saying we are going to be the best of friends but between her and a friend talking it through with me, something needed to change. Breaking a cycle thats been in place longer than i can remember.

Again, my friends, always the best of me.

Fail better…be better – Peter Dinklage.

Yours, with love as always.

D. R x

Zombie need Brains

Good evening ladies and gentleman

Have you ever wanted to just watch something ridiculous and tune out of life for an hour and a half? Just literally get to the point of being hassled all day, stressed, hot, tired and overworked… on the edge of snapping at some poor sod who really doesn’t deserve the both barrels you’re going to end up giving them.

Afternoons like that are times to watch zombie films- purely because they are utterly ridiculous. These sorts of movies are never going to win an academy award, never destined to be revered by audiences up and down the streets of Broadway or throughout London for just what a remarkable motion picture “Evening of the Living Zombie” is or mention any Oscar worthy performances by “Zombie 243.”

They are just literally for the purposes of taking some time off from the world thats becoming ever increasingly more stressful. The sights, sounds, seemably constantly fluctuating emotions and endless confrontations over what Carl Sagan infamously referred to as “a fraction of a dot.”

It did however forge a particularly strange connection for me between the idea of the “undead” and a theory developed by the famous psychoanalyst from the early part of the 20th century Sigmund Freud. Think of how many hundreds of zombie related ideas and shows have taken off the ground, even since the dawn of the millenium.Through this you have a good idea of what a zombie is and what its existence entails.

In essence, it’s one thing- survive. How does one survive?-

Food. Eat, and when there is potentially more food, get it and eat that too.

Freud had a theory which highlighted a similar idea in the following of instincts. Instincts are the base formula for our continued existence as a species and without it we would have been wiped out generations ago, no matter the lengths we are going to destroy each other anyway. This, according to Freud, is the work of the Id- a part of your mind that is a slave to these instincts, the part of you looking for your DNA to survive and for you to have enough food to carry on ensuring that DNA is passed on. The Id isn’t interested in risk, the Id will go to lengths most people wouldn’t imagine to achieve its goal.

Hence why we see the pack mentality, and food arguments in the zombie films, the desire to feed reigns supreme when following these instincts so blindly.

Freud continues this theory with the existence of the superego. This the one one trying to fill your mind with fear, with the social constructs and obsessiveness of the modern world. A stickler for the details and avoiding the debilitating anxiety of a surprise. The over-thinker is at home here, understanding these feelings of needing to know everything and driven by the fear of never knowing enough. The superego is fuelled by the self conscious, the media savvy, the one who cannot live with the idea of someone disliking them. Driven by the fear of life, but too fearful to live.

In between these two wildly contrasting theories is the ego, the parent of the two unruly children if you like. One is impossible without the other, the level is the key to what makes you a human being in this modern day and age. The ego is the puppet master if you will, this one pulling the leads on the other two to keep your instincts and obsessive self control in check.

Freud wrote this theory of the id, superego and ego in the early 20th century. Put Freud in front of the world you can see from your phone screen right now- would the theory still stand? Or in many ways, are we becoming more and more driven by instinct? The need to peacock, to show how impressive we are, to display how worthy of continuing this bloodline to the next generation? In the end, as much as the superego is trying to stop you thinking about these instincts…without them- what is it all for?

The more i think about- maybe human beings are all zombies. Maybe what we are just driving for different things, the instincts that drive us have evolved from the need to eat, because for so many of us in this world food, water and shelter aren’t even something we give a second thought for because a store or a restaurant is never more than a few minutes away. Maybe what we strive for is different- as the zombies we have become, acceptance is the nourishment so many of us desire so badly.

So many of us think the acceptance has to come from other people- but most important is to accept yourself. It almost has to be like an instinct. You are who you are, evolution, pain, stupid mistakes, broken heart, dark soul and all.

We feed ourselves to survive. With love, hate, pain, loss, lust, loneliness and green faced envy. These sensations are all a part of you, a part of us. Without them, maybe we are just flesh eating morons…

Yours, with love as always.

D. R x

The Scheme

Good evening ladies and gentleman

It’s very easy to get lost in schemes, ideas and in the “greater good.” I myself have suffered from this hedonistic heroism, this whimsically hopeful, bloody minded pursuit of “when i get there happiness will prevail” and so on.

During a scheme, the only way to succeed is the scheme. In the grand scheme of things, this is all that matters. So much time is wasted in life- preparing for life. Then as Alan Watts famously quipped when you retire you have all the time and money in the world, but a bad back and rotten prostate- so can’t go and do anything.

This idea of existence in order to live, punishing yourself to get to this place of higher power, working endlessly awash with misery believing it will get better and “life can begin.” We all aspire to this idea of living, but not realising the path we forge in order to “live,” in order to be “alive” in the way we understand it- is what gives life the meaning we all crave. The goal is the result of a culmination of decisions, work and self belief to get to that “life.”

Through chasing life, in the grand scheme of things, we are living “life.”

It is undeniable that as a species we are goal orientated, it is our design, it is the game we have all been manufactured to play. Like it or not, we are here, so hating the game is pointless because you are in it. So we may as well play. There is sadly, a fundamental flaw with this idea, a critical piece of the puzzle missing that without this final tiny little piece, the picture will never make any sense.

When you have a goal, it’s easy to want it all to happen overnight. You have to control the whimsical part of your imagination running away and taking you with it. How you are going to be able afford that car, go get that house, afford to go on holiday there, whatever it might be. It’s like i said about saving the world before, the world is full of instants and to expect this to be no different as you stand at the base of the mountain, will lead to that same sinking feeling of familiar disappointment.

One giant leap.

How possible is that ever going to be? Sadly limited to the realms of fantasia.

There seems to be this rather peculiar relationship forming more and more as time goes on between the size of the goal and the level of the supposed satisfaction that will come from it. We believe that if we were to win the lottery or buy a dream car or get the dream girl it will be the most wonderful spectacle. Whatever this huge goal is, the idea of how wonderful it’s going to feel is so alluring, often so much so you are unable to focus on anything else.

So, if these goals are so wonderfully alluring, yet seemably so far out of reach…how does one ever attain this dizzying height of satisfaction? It can often feel impossible to figure out how to get to this “life” and away from this existence we all fear so painfully, into a headspace where life is at a point of apparent happiness.

How does one do it? It is impossible- so in the grand scheme of things, is happiness like the carrot on a string, to a donkey running on a treadmill? Or is there a way?

It is, in my experience- to simply pay attention to the little things. The small, apparently insignificant acts that before went without a second thought. Say for instance a friend sending you a text on a Friday after you’d had a bad few days- congratulating you both for getting through and wishing you a happy Friday. In the grand scheme of that Friday, I started on a much higher ebb because of that person.

That is how those huge goals become a more reasonable reality. She is doing the best she can to be a positive energy and to put as much of that into the universe as she can. One of the most genuine, kind people i have ever met wanting only to share in the joys and pains of the world with you. It probably took her less than 30 seconds to write that text, but it made me smile, which was something i hadn’t done for some time.

Something as simple as cracking a smile seems so small, but in the grand scheme of things it has the power to be remarkably revolutionary. Through this you feel prepared for the long haul, you are happy to live and respond to energy of that calibre, working hard to give as much as you receive in this way. This way you have a group of hard working, genuine, wonderful people wanting only to help each other, not competing, but congratulating as they work to see not only themselves happy, but you too.

This, as i understand the grand scheme of things- is truly living. This energy is fuel for life, to own who you are, what you want to be and who you want to be, to enjoy what you love and work on how to get there. Learn new skills, respect those with more and work to get where you want to be. Learn and teach, listen and love, be a part of the grand scheme of life. Play the pivotal role in your life and then this fear of existence becomes all it ever was.

Just an idea.

And here’s to a smile once in a while too.

Yours, with love as always.
D. R x

Save the World

Good evening ladies and gentleman

Throughout much of cinematic history- the “hero” is always hailed the king. Whoever he or she are and whatever daring acts they must fulfil or personal demons they must conquer on this path as we sit there, slack jawed and wide eyed at the spectacle on show- they always prevail.

In the space of an hour and a half we see this person, in essence- save the world.

Truth is, and as far as i can tell- its not quite that cut and dry.

I have never had this strange hedonistic desire to be a hero, to be famous or adorned with vast riches for what i do. It’s often felt to me we are pummelled with these huge characters in society as we gravitate to these heroics, shown how “good” it feels to do “good” and we should all be doing it more. What does good even mean in that sense? Does that mean if i don’t run into a burning building to save someone i’m a bad person? Does that mean i have aspirations far below what i should do?

It seems to me that we are led into a false sense of security by these ideas of everything being “fixed” in an instant, convinced that winning the lottery would fix all of your problems. Instantaneous gratification has started to become more common place though, we seem to live in a world of instants. Instant food, instant “connection,” instant “love.” Everything is happening so quickly, blink and you’ll miss it. Worse than that, is it’s only getting faster and fitting to leave you behind.

Our understanding of what it means to matter to something, to someone, is what is lost in the ideologies this hedonistic heroism is putting out into the world. I once went through the same thing, the desire to “save the world.”

I’ve never been able to figure out what i was trying to save the world from, the best reason i’ve ever come up with is to save it from itself. I thought by living on this “higher” level of logic and rationale, seeing the world so differently to the point where i felt like i was broken that i could. There are almost 8 billion people on Earth these days, its very easy to feel so very small and massively insignificant, so looking for something to make you matter even to yourself.

It’s not that nobody is insignificant. I’m not one for cliches because the truth is you cannot be significant to every person you know and to most of the people you aren’t. You don’t matter to them and why should you? You aren’t part of their world and they are far from a part of yours. They have their lives and you have yours- why is it important to feel important- why is it so important to feel like you matter at all?

We need to be seen as important, i think, in order to feel like we matter, so life is worth living. This way it makes waking up to another day of the grind a bit less…grinding. You develop this idea and scale it up, you have a hero as we understand it in modern society. Someone who is going out to “save the world.”

But who are they doing it for? Think of the heroes we have been watching in films and movies for generations and ask that question- ask why? Why do they do what they do? Why do you do what you do? Why did i do what i do? Why is the most important question in life but so many of us are too dam scared to find the right words to answer it.

The why is because it’s the right thing to do. They don’t go out to save the world, to matter, to be seen as relevant or important. The idea of saving the world is the last thing on their minds, the next moment seems a much more prominent priority. So why do you do it? Why do you live the way you live, act the way you act, do what you do? Because its the right thing to do- or because of what it could bring you?

Answer these questions, you owe it to yourself. I have spent so long feeling so isolated and disconnected from a world i have had no desire to be a part of because for many years because i refused to look at the questions. The world as i understand is cruel and manipulative, society is led by masters, feeding decent genuine people into the heart of the fire and creating another clone to fix another problem that should never have happened. I once thought i was nothing more than a glitch in the system, or maybe there was just a glitch in my system.

Maybe i was mis-programmed, if i gained enough knowledge it could fix my programming and then i might be able to help someone else do the same. Then it would explode and it would meant i matter because i set the wheels in motion not just to save the world but change the world too. I look back at these beliefs and the self ignorance, through fear, through lack of grace, through any form of belief in what i was doing. Whatever it was, done now.

It doesn’t matter why i thought what i thought, felt the way i felt, or deal with life the way i do. None of it matters because it’s already happened. If you single handedly try to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders no matter how much weight your loading onto that squat rack on a Tuesday, you’re still fitting to fall flat on your ass.

Even if you could hold it all up, nobody is watching. We have this strange tendency to fixate on people judging us, wandering what we are doing and why we have made the decisions we made when in reality most are so worried about this nobody has time to think about anyone else. We want to be recognised, to matter. You could look as far back as evolutionary psychology to see those who are more noticed are more likely to complete their role in the ecosystems across the world. It’s a natural and necessary requirement for one’s plumage to spread as high and as wide as possible.

So how does one save the world? The most important thing i have found is that as an act, you can’t. You are one person in a society of billions and there will always be something or someone bringing it down. Forget the world, forget society. You cannot, i cannot, nobody can save the world. Changing the world as you know it is possible for any of us in our own way though.

Look back to the people in the films and how they indadvertedly saved the world. If you look deeper into them, the decision that led them to that point resulted in them saving themselves. Society is a bitch, but you, you have the means to be the hero in your story. Be the one whose life is fucked, where everyday feels like your on the edge of falling apart. Be that person and own it, look at your life and understand where it’s gone wrong. Look at what happened and what you were able to learn from it and carrying on growing.

Learn, evolve and don’t ever stop. Changing your world- it takes time. It’s slow, methodical, difficult. Its so easy to want it all instantly and so many times I have got lost in a sea of nothing wandering why i didn’t feel better about myself. Again and again, you will fall. You are going to fail again and it will hurt again. Failing, screwing up, losing, be it in life, love or anything in between isn’t going to get any easier, but you have to carry on, as do I.

Why? Because it’s the right thing to do. Because without it…it’s hard to know who you really are.

Without what you say? Without hope.

Yours, with love as always.
D. R x

The Pursuit of Happiness

Good evening ladies and gentleman

The more i have pondered over these latest set of ideas and thought processes, i keep coming round to the same idea, the story keeps developing to the same conclusion. There is a pattern emerging, be that in my own behaviour or even the behaviour I’m seeing in others. In many ways, it starts with society and the way it works these days but moreover and much more importantly it’s your personal relationship with both society and yourself that is the key to how true self awareness is born and the potential to be truly happy.

This talk of the drums, the endless puzzles, laying it all out on the table and placing it in such a way that it will be understandable, lost in an idea of hope once you figure out how this one works “maybe you get to feel happy.”

Like it’s a result, it’s a victory born from some endless bloody struggle. Still- I digress…

We all spend so many hours of the day believing we want to be this “happy” or whatever that word means in modern society these days, to the point where we can spend years- decades even of our lives chasing it. This hugely wonderful esoteric- idea. Solve the million dollar puzzle and win the million dollar prize right?

Nice idea…but never something i’ve imagined to be quite so black and white. The problem with this idea at its essence is comfortable familiarity. Risk and reward. People, me at times- recognise their life and their feelings behind the endless everyday. You don’t like your life, but you know your life. The unfamiliar at times can be much scarier than any level of misery clinging onto whatever is left of you- feasting on the scraps. We are suckers for pain, because we know how pain feels. The rawness of pain loses its edge after a while and becomes a friend, a constant companion in a world making people so connected yet so very alone.

So. Imagine if you will a wall. A very tall, very wide wall protruding from deep within you- wrapping multiple times around you and joining back around, making what appears to be an impenetrable fortress. The ultimate defence for you, against you and the rest of the world. This wall is akin to said familiarity. You recognise these walls, their vast height, endless consistency and even their touch. The days are monotonous and the drums so very loud- yet you recognise them and are even thankful they are still there.

Before you lies an obstacle you probably didn’t recognise as an obstacle in truth. We think we want to change our lives, want something honest, something different- something “better.” When in truth we convince ourselves to aspire to this without ever wanting to go anywhere a lot of the time. Change the world and not have to get out of bed to do it etc.

I have spent many a day hoping, lost in a thought or idea that one day i will make my life better, be able to go there, do this, whatever it is. The world has led us to believe that happiness, much like love, is an emotion. Happiness is not an emotion, far from it. Happiness is nothing without something most fear more than anything else. Sacrifice. You have to give a part of yourself away to something, even give part of yourself back to society and build from the relationships you develop from it. You gave something to that partner who broke your heart, that left and they took that part of them with you. It’s not coming back yet you still gladly gave it away at the start. Why? In the pursuit of happiness.

To sacrifice a part of you, a part of your life that is so comforting, so familiar, to walk out onto the plank having no idea whether you will survive or be plunged to the murky depths below. When you are lost in a never ending cycle of comforting familiarity- the cycle is key. You are doing the same thing and feeling the same way and are OK with it, if not masking it in the hope of something more. Question then- how does one break the cycle?

Just do something different. Just something, not everything. Take away the power you give to that haunting fear of comfortable familiarity. Sacrifice your comfort for one small thing. See yourself not just survive…but thrive. When lost in an endless cycle, the only way to break the chain of events is one link at a time.

Sacrifice what you know in pursuit of what you might learn about yourself. Then, in this endless pursuit of happiness, we might just find some along the way.

Yours, with love as always

D.R x

For the Love of It

Good evening ladies and gentlemen,

Life can often seem very long and death so very far away. Neither of these statements are true, for life is short and death is the last sentence of what feels a remarkably short chapter. As i have grown, as i have evolved- skills of understanding have come with it, to look deeper into something rather than taking it all at face value as i have done before.

Through life we are all able to gain skills in whatever we do. Public speaking, painting, singing, a certain job role in which you have been employed a number of months or years. Whatever it is, the action of doing something repeatedly will in turn lessen the amount of mental pressure applied in order to complete the task. A skill must be maintained in order to stay at this level, hence the continuous need to do whatever “it” is in order to stay at what you believe or have been told is this “competent” skill level.

The development of a skill can be the making or breaking of a person. As you venture out into the world and into society the skills we develop become a part of us and they form a main part of the growth and evolution that allows us to blossom into not just who we are but ultimately who we want to be.

To evolve is to grow continuously, to make mistakes and not just accept what has happened but understand that you did something to upset or hurt someone even. From this mistake you learn how to be a better person, to understand people better, to empathise and create an environment in which you are putting only the best energies out into the world and receiving only the best back.

So what happens when evolution grinds to a halt? When the skills are no longer being developed, simply being…used? You feel left behind almost, left to simply do the same thing you did yesterday, the day before and the day before that? These age old cycles of necessary evil, skills becoming habits, requiring no thought. No skill has ever become a habit in the act of acting out the motions, doing what you are doing simply because there is nothing better to do.

Lockdowns and the COVID 19 pandemic has compounded this problem in recent months, for it’s very easy to become trapped in an idea, defeated by the sound of the never ending drums. The idea of “is this it?” or “surely there has to be something more to me than this?” and so on. Feeling like you aren’t worth any better, through the guise of not really feeling anything at all.

Depression and emotional numbness has been linked to one another for many years and maybe depression plays its part here. The lack of stimulation for life, the creative exhaustion, the habitual skills being used just to survive rather than allowing you to evolve and to thrive. The key to understanding a habit is to understand you may not even realise you are doing it, or the impact it’s having on you.

Right here, right now. Maybe you are sat on the sofa, lying in bed or casually scrolling your phone. You are here, in this moment, with me as you read this. This is the time now, the time that could make or break everything you are and everything you want to be. We all have dreams and so many of us deem them to be ridiculous. We have hopes, desires, interests, curiosities, jealousies and moments where we are green with envy. You want so badly to be living that life, in that moment maybe even with that particular person.

You don’t feel like you can, you think you are not capable, like you aren’t worth it. This is the self preservation part of those habits coming in, the way they infect your mind is to convince you that you are never going to get any better. “You’re doing well,” “Don’t fix what isn’t broken.” The way you feel should correlate directly to the way you live your life. In simple terms if you don’t like your life- find a way to break that habit and overcome it.

Your habits want to break you, to ensure you live in the same old cycles, familiarity and comfort at the helm, adaptability and surprise nothing more than a memory. There is no beauty without risk, no passion without pain, no smile without a few tears. Habits will keep your soul locked in a box and down deep at the bottom of the biggest ocean it can find, purely to ensure their own safety while saying its “for your own good.”

To force a diamond to be created from coal, they must first apply extreme levels of heat. The same could be said for you. The habits you create could easily pigeon hole your life into a mere existence, or you could rise up, through the voices in your head, through the doubts and pains, anxieties and fears. Through all that wishes to break you lies a scene of wondrousness unparalleled to anything you or I have seen before, providing a clarity clearer than any stone could ever be.

You could very easily be broken by habits, your soul locked away after you happily handed it over. I know I’ve been there before and I’m sure some of you have too. But to break the very things that want to hold you down, to hold you back. The actions that limit your growth and deny you the chance to evolve? Every time i write something i feed a skill, an artful skill to me and do all i can to avoid the black hole that habits can become.

Why?

For the love of it. It’s the best reason there will ever be. For the love of it.

Yours, with love as always.
D.R. x

The Puzzlemaster

Good evening ladies and gentleman

Do you think you know when you change? maybe that’s wrong- when you..evolve? Is change born from within, from stereotypes or from more external factors? You have a child, fall in love, confess that love, move to another part of the world, lose love, become so drowned in overbearing anguish you start to wander if you’ll ever feel anything else- but moreover will you want to? The familiarity of pain is a constant reminder, a comfortable companion in a wanting ultimately to control you as you languish in stagnation.

What does it take for you to genuinely look at yourself and question everything you thought you knew about yourself? How far must one go before one looks inwards- to the thoughts and beliefs constructing one’s own personality in the face of all this pain, the negativity, the lack of feeling progression or any sort of succession. Those drums….the never ending drums.

I, for many years have adopted this system in taking in as much information as i can from people- almost like a sponge. I have taken in as much of a person’s behaviour as i could, understood it to the best of my ability and subsequently used this to what i believed was “predict” their future thoughts and feelings. I have for many years believed people were puzzles made up of patterns, because the alternative was that I actually cared, fearful it could be used against me ultimately, foreseeing my inevitable downfall into humiliation.

I was forced to see this behaviour recently and i am since taking steps to address this habit, controlling who i let into my life and who i choose to trust, to have faith in the humanity of good people where i have for many years done all I can to remove all humanity from behaviour. The thought being if i break people down to their constituent parts (like pieces of a jigsaw, ) look at their behaviours rationally and without emotion i would have better clarity dealing with them.

The thing with a “puzzle” and taking emotion away from a situation in order to avoid something not quite stacking up, when a piece is thrown into the mix that from any angle just doesn’t fit or couldn’t be predicted- i would lose it. The system would error out, warning signs and error messages. The fear of comfortable stagnation reared once again and there i am left. Confused, isolated and so very unsure of my next step in the world.

When you spend so long predicting, rationalising and generalising how people are living their lives- you are going to be right some of the time. When it comes down to it, the idea you have predicted this person’s future and can now predict and deduce everything about them is nothing more than an idea- your idea of them.

Truth is it’s a very lonely way to live and certainly not a place to love, because when all is said and done, you have ideas about everyone in your life. Who they are, how they feel, their loves, hates, fears. Their most angelically devilish fantasies and darkest fears. You don’t really know if any of its true though- because you don’t really know anyone at all.

Not really.

When you get lost in the idea of something, in a theory of their supposedly “predictable” behaviour you are not connecting with that person, you have no chemistry with them at all. In reality you have become so closed off to the point where the puzzle is all you know and its all you want to know. The puzzle brings comfort, the puzzle brings calm. The fear of solving the puzzle is powerful, for a puzzlemaster’s work is never ever done.

If you showed this person you have these\ carefully constructed ideas- would they recognise themselves? If you showed that person this version of them I don’t think have any idea who they are looking at, let alone been confident and trusting enough in you to show the side of themselves they daren’t look at in the mirror. Telling someone they’re in pain is like convincing someone that they are lonely. It only really impacts when they figure it out for themselves and you telling them how they feel isn’t going to benefit anyone or anything other than your ego.

Net result of that is you are going to lose someone you care about, sacrificing another potential connection, chemistry born through fire for the puzzlemaster. No change, no evolution, just pieces on a board, with nothing other than a cinder burning in your soul. Never has the phrase “you won the battle but lost the war” felt more appropriate. So you think you pieced it together- but at what cost? Is solving that puzzle and feeling this out of it because you lost someone who mattered, someone you care about with more depth than you ever imagined yourself capable- worth losing for the pieces of a jigsaw?

Ironically, in times like this the puzzle is king. Loneliness can be deduced away, by figuring out something about her or him that they hadn’t seen. Predicting how your next social connection will go, what you should say, what you shouldn’t say. Being ready for everything and not slipping up like that again.

It is a form of self blame, a form of self loathing for sure. Why open yourself up to someone for it to be thrown back in your face? Why are you going to open yourself up to being heartbroken when all you found out last time is that you have nothing to offer?

So sure your right, with a back catalogue of errors and fuck ups to show how much of brilliant system you have. When you realise your entire belief system about yourself and the people you care about, even the people you love is built from the ideas you have about them and not them as people you realise how disconnected you really are.

The puzzle cannot save you from that. The idea of ever completely solving the puzzle is terrifying, because your not supposed to. Taking away the feeling in a situation doesn’t make the situation easier to handle. It just means you go through life avoiding situations that have the possibility to make you feel truly awful, but could potentially allow you feelings of overwhelming joy.

Protect yourself, from yourself and life will never really evolve. You will just spin on the spot with nothing but the drums, the drums…the never ending drums for company. The puzzle will not stop the drums.

Evolution comes through pain- through raw, unfiltered emotion. Going into things on a hope and a prayer and not caring how the outcome lands, even if it landed on snake eyes, be proud you seized your moment and did it anyway. You live, learn and keep on living. Not everyone deserves all of you and you will never see all of everyone. Some will hate you, some will not trust you, some will spend so long convincing themselves you are the devil. It doesn’t matter what they think, as much as you had your ideas of them, they have their ideas of you.

To believe something real about someone, connect with them on some deeper meaning, beyond anything you know and getting lost in the idea of them is very different. People will do what people do, they will talk, they will run, they will hide, they will shout, they will scream. Your focus is you and your evolution- their evolution is their problem. If we learn to concentrate on what we put out into the world and how we act, doing all we can to act as authentically and as close to our true selves as we can- maybe its possible to promote this behaviour in others.

Your life is only one thing- above all else- yours.

Your understanding and love for those who mean anything stems ultimately from you and what you feel you deserve. Truth is- you deserve the world. Are you this beautiful soul, trying hard to live and love as close to who you choose to be everyday? Are you working on yourself, improving yourself, evolving to be the man or woman living a life you can be proud of?

Are you the master of your life?…or just the Puzzlemaster?

Yours, with love as always.

D.R. x

The Sound of the Drums

Good evening ladies and gentleman

The drums…the drums…the never ending drums. The beat, the thud, the tone, the sound resonating through the darkest parts of your soul. Again, again and again, the same beat. 4 drums. Like a number sequence you can’t quite shake off. 1111.1111.1111.1111.1111…

You drive to make the sound go away. The endless noise, living in a world where people are talking so much and sharing so much nothing is precious anymore, nothing more than a commodity for barter. Yet still, no matter what we do. The drums….the never ending drums.

This information age, a phrase i’ve used and obsessed over for far too long now, is a symptom of the monotony of life. When everything sounds and feels the same, when the patterns become habits, when all you can hear is the drums. The drums that wake you, the drums that put the same food in your mouth, that give you the same conversations for the same amount of time, before you go home and watch the same shows until you get to the point of barely being able to keep your eyes open anymore. Only to go to bed and do it all again tomorrow.

I choose to believe for life to evolve from a simple existence- the key component is information. In the information age this is tricky, because there are two types of information. There is information, the useful tools and subsequent knowledge that is going to give you the tools to get up, carry on, keep it moving and be able to evolve. Then on the flip side, information’s dirty little secret, the twin kept in the attic out of shame, with more of a presence in the world than ever before….disinformation.

Or as the former president of the United States would say- “fake news.”

There is so much…everything in the world. The world is so full of stuff and noise, power, pain and beauty. It’s just so full and we continue to grow as a species, physically and intellectually so quickly we can barely keep up with production. From “how to make your fortune overnight” to “meet sexy new partners in your area” to “for the small fee of $99.99..” We live in the greatest time to be alive for so very many things, all written up to make life look so easy- as if it is all going to be handed to us.

Everyone has an idea, everyone has a scheme. Everyone’s idea about how to play the game, they think, is so much better than yours, than mine. Whatever they think they’re going to do, they hope, will lessen the sound of the drums. The endless drums, the hope that tomorrow won’t be like today.

The information age will tell you so much…and so little. The world is selfish, it doesn’t care about you- it doesn’t need to. Its only need is to sustain itself, and giving you the time of day isn’t ever going to be a part of that sustenance. You, I, all of us- we are in is a giant machine and you are, right now- a cog. A piece of a machine, the day a revolution of that cog, the drums the sound of the machine. A machine that demands productivity in order to create money, to give us the means to do what we can to dull the sound of the never ending drums.

This age doesn’t want us to be successful, because for there to be productivity there needs to be people to work the machine. You are there everyday, listening to the sounds you know by now. The phone rings, the pitter patter of keys across the office as you flash to the videos you were sent of you children growing as you sat at your desk trying to focus on anything but the sound of the never ending drums.

How does one listen to the sound of the never ending drums for so long and find a way to carry on? To work, power and struggle through those days, confident and consistent in the belief that you can find a way to live beyond that sound, the endless sound.

1111.1111.1111.1111…

How does one live a life worth living? How do we evolve from the monotony of existence? Is it even possible? Is it possible to get away from the sound of the drums?

Do you simply have to solve the puzzle? Slot the pieces of the jigsaw together and hope you recognise the picture looking back at you?

Yours, with love as always.

D.R x