Latest occurences

Moonlights Gift

Good morning ladies and gentleman

How are we influenced by the people in our lives? It cannot be denied that we are influenced by their mere presence, no matter how major or minimal you may consider it. How does your mental space change, do you gain more rooms on the palace of your mind, does it gain an extra wing? If not, what is lost to this new influence? Maybe lost is the wrong word, maybe an evoking of an evolution is better.

I have for many years considered my mental space the “Palace of Darkness.” A vast and unwieldy space, grand and beautiful, almost never ending but always very well defended. Moats surround it, archers prepared to do what needs to be done on the turrets, if you will. More over reaching than that is to protect it from the light, to hold the potential for influence at arms length- on the other side of the drawbridge.

The Palace, to me, has always been unique, for it is mine. Demons run the halls and the throne i sit on atop of it all is a reminder i am the Ruler of my Kingdom, my vanquished enemies to lie defeated beneath me. Its 2023, i’m aware the ages of 865ad are long gone, but i choose for the mentality of the Viking to drive me forward. I can overcome, my demons and I will rule over my domain and i can handle whatever is thrown my way, all while continuing in the lovely dark.

The comforting, beautiful darkness.

In this new age of me questioning an idea i’ve been so powerfully confident of for many years, my belief has started to wain recently. Not at an urge to step into the light after being almost defined by darkness for so long, no. An exposure not to the daylight, but the moonlight.

Let me explain for a second.

I once believed myself “protected” by the defences i had built. As a result of these defences, i was more powerful than ever before. King of my domain, if you will. King of the Dark, with a fear of the light. People since then, of a certain nature, have found a way into my palace, my closest, nearest and dearest you might say. They have found their way through, now living amongst the demons that roam the palace halls almost comfortably, capably co-existing as a part of my life. Recently the defences were exposed once again, but this time the light found its way through but not in a way that it ever did before, exposing the palace to the silvery shine of the moon-rather than the power of the sun.

Potentially disastrous…for someone, anyone to see all of me, the man I truly am, the one living in the darkest and quietest corners of the palace. The parts of me i locked in cages, the parts of me i daren’t even accept the existence of at times.

Truthfully, up to this point i had never considered this a threat for i had never considered it possible. I sit here now, with the defences of my inner workings, the nature of my very existence made aware of, a learning curve of behaviours and patterns that i hadn’t realised, made obvious by someone whom the mere idea of i once considered a fear inducing threat. Onwards, through to the very centre of my being, the demons grow nervous and head for the shadows, preparing their attack, to remove the threat on our continuing cynical nature we have become so familiar with.

They continue down the corridors, through to the centre of the Palace, looking for the throne room, to see all of me, truly everything I have become.

The demons are ready, prepared for battle, claws drawn, teeth sharp. They lean back on their haunches, watching from their hiding place as this new “threat” continues down the corridor. Without warning they leap through the darkness, bounding towards this enemy of the mental state. Claw drawn back ready to swipe…

STOP.

Aware the demons were coming, the moonlight summoner the demons were expecting did not bring the pain of daylight, but the power of the moon. The silverlight shines from the hole in the palace she burrowed to find the way in and lured by the power of the moon, the enemies of the sun, became friends with the moon. They even showed the way to the throne room, built one next to the boss’.

So, i just told you a story about the sun, the moon and the power of the demons that live within us all. Random? No….think of the question i posed at the top of this piece. What capacity for influence do people have that enter your life at certain times and in certain ways?

Everybody has demons weighing on them, sat just on your shoulder, trying to remind you of what might happen, might not happen. Of all the negative emotionally charged experiences you’ve ever had, of every mistake you’ve ever made. Of every time you didn’t think you were good enough, of all the reasons why you locked those parts of you away.

Turning on the switch and allowing the light to pour through you sounds like an easy solution, but like everything is much easier said than done. To even attempt something like that is going to do nothing if not have the demons run for the shadows. Still there, just not directly visible for a while. Ultimately, it leaves you no less frightened of your own reflection.

So…how does one not just overcome, but evolve? The moonlight is different, for it doesn’t destroy the darkness. The demons fear the light and run for the shadows, but in the moonlight they become familiar with their new surroundings, aware of them almost. They believed the enemy was just that- an enemy of the peace I have worked so hard to create. I’m not so sure anymore…She made friends with the very ideas that i always believed could bring about my destruction.

To make friends with the demons, guess in a way that makes you impossible. Sat, drinking rum in the silvery glow, bathed in darkness.

Its a rare one this- for it surprised me. Time to see how this plays out… one roll of the dice at a time.

Yours, with love as always.

D.R x

Running, Always Running

Good evening ladies and gentleman

I think it’s very easy to feel very overwhelmed these days. Be it with emotion, by society, because of your choices or because of the choices of others. Life is like a pressure cooker, stray too far into the red for too long and it all comes crashing down, a catastrophe that is nothing more than another notch in the bedpost of society as it ploughs on regardless.

This is not my interest here though, for I am aware how often my cynicism affects my mood at times and often my writing. The curiosity is coming from a place of wander in what we do when those overwhelmed sensations present themselves, that sensation when the tears hover just below the surface, when the darkness is waiting in the corner, when the king is one wrong move from checkmate.

Where does one run to- when it feels as if there is nowhere left to run?

Perhaps to music. On such a venture i found the song “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede- whose chorus lyrics go as follows:-

“I’m high on a feeling, high on believing- that you’re in love with me.”

Now, as an instinctual observation of such lyrics this person is clearly in love with someone who he believes them to be loving them back. The idea being the love he feels is giving him a natural high, a superpower if you will.

Surely this illustrates you are the one that makes you happy. The feelings you choose to have, to appreciate and exist within are the building bricks to not just who you are, but who you are going to be. You make you happy, everyone else, that person, that impossible girl, is a bonus.

You are the one with your hand on the wheel, it’s what you allow into your consciousness that gives you true power. You have to release the valve on the pressure cooker and allow yourself the privilege of feeling something- with the steadfast reminder that its all you and whatever happens you will be able to handle it.

I think a lot of people believe when they go for long periods without relationships or when they have never been in love, that they wouldn’t know how to because they don’t want to know, because it upsets the fantasy of what love is supposed to be. Love is ultimately an idea defined by you and created by you and another person, each in a different way.

Most daren’t run towards love, most spend their entire lives running away from it, to comfort, to familiarity, to the easy path towards an easy life, maybe a nice house and car, regular holidays and regular sex. We in society are simply transferring those feelings of questionable self worth and insecurity onto someone else. Why should anyone else be responsible for how you feel?

Truth is i don’t think we really know anyone anymore, not as well as we think. Its as if we don’t get to know people anymore because of the instantaneous nature of the world. As soon as you find someone to be important to you they will be gone, no need to put in the work, the internet ready with it next fix of porn or new dating site ready to bring you back into line.

There are more and more dating sites cropping up everyday, where in a simple flick of the index finger and a quick read of something we’ve “never told anyone,” you know whether you would want to date this person. Maybe there is a dinner date and maybe you become an a part of whatever the early stages of relationships are called these days, i lose track.

Then at the first sign of difficulty, most are off. Back into the dating sites, find someone better. Next round, next game. I talk about a world of instants a lot of the time people assume that there is instant connection. The world would have you believe love at first sight is a thing, but it is nothing more than a carnal desire to fuck. Running the same play you’ve ran over and over. The game where you are always in control- where you always know the outcome.

Why? Because we live in fear of what we don’t understand and fear is a very easy thing to run from these days. The result of this fear is chasing things that we have been told about, that we have seen on TV or in films, or something you may have seen a friend enjoy. You see your friends happy, you start to wander if there is something wrong with you, so turn to those closest and see what they’re doing:-

“They seem happy, maybe i should try that”

So we end up chasing things other people want, for we hope it will make us as happy as it does them.

It doesn’t- and I don’t think it ever will. We are scared of the unknown, so the idea of going out there and not knowing how the day, the date, or the event will turn out would have most people running harder and faster than ever before- the fruition of freedom they aspire to, which just has you running in circles.

Run. Sure, but not away from the stages of the unknown, but towards them. I know that’s inherently backwards, but what is the worst that could happen? Maybe you’re upset for a while, maybe your even sad. In the depths of that sadness, in that darkness, lessons can be learned. Lessons about strength, about powering through, about love and about evolution. Difficulty and misery are key components to growth, to run towards the fear, is to strike fear into fear itself. It may go wrong, but what if it didn’t?

Don’t do what’s expected of you. Falling into patterns makes you nothing more than a number, a statistic on a spreadsheet, forgotten. Running, always Running but towards things, to parts of yourself that make you happy, to explore parts of your mind long forgotten, go on great adventures, be in your circle of powerful people living higher than the conventionality the world tells you that you should be living for. Whatever that means to you, live for it. Work towards it like its the only thing worth doing, run for it like your life literally depends on it.

Because i guess in a way- It does.

Yours, with love as always.

D.R x

Believe

Good evening ladies and gentleman

Will Smith, like him or not these days is a rather powerful speech maker, in particular when it comes to the mindset that drives us to evolve, in all aspects of life…

“He who says he can and he who says he cannot…are both usually right.”

While as i said before there is a power in not knowing what’s going to happen, that knowledge and that power in not knowing the outcome of a situation or connection is a string on a multi-faceted bow in your mental arsenal. That is an undeniably important aspect to you and your evolution, but alone the arsenal could easily run dry at the first sight of difficulty and in particular of struggle.

When winning, it comes with a near unshakable belief that you’re on the hot streak of a lifetime and the end of said streak is the last thing you think about. When we move about in survival mode, maybe literally in your life or in some mental battle you find yourself plagued in, any step forward can feel like a victory that once seemed impossible, a sensation so out of reach it was a mere fantasy that you didn’t really bother with.

I maintain that this alone cannot sustain you, for the surprise will die out and fear will take a hold. Fear, pain, confusion and anxiety will try to take you down, as often they have done before, where a win won’t stay a win for very long for the belief that you “winning” is “impossible.”

To move in that way, to carry on ploughing through life in such a cavalier way, so confident and hopeful of failure is a sure fire sign of confident and very powerful…failure.

The emotions will get the better of you, life will get the better of you and ultimately you will get the better of you as the habits of old take a grasp on your soul once again. So, as i said before- there has to be a better way.

I could go on a pointless rant like conversation about believing in yourself but i’d imagine we’ve all heard that sort of ridiculousness before and I’m tired of the same tedious rhetoric. So no, not that. Choosing to believe your life is going to be a good one is a sure sign it will never reach the standards that you hope, or expect it to achieve. To me, the only symptom to be extracted from such a blind adventure is disappointment, a powerful and toxic like sensation that will sap the very life force from you as it takes a grasp around your beating heart, clawing in so tight the knot in your stomach seems like it will never leave you.

No. Just…No.

I don’t want you to believe you can do anything. I don’t believe that of myself, its hedonistic and the frankly Freudian nature of what is already a powerfully questionable and emotionally destructive idea achieves very little to me. I mean it’s never gotten me very far, often in a circle to the same sensations over and over again.

I choose not to believe i can do anything. I choose to believe i can handle anything.

Read that again.

I choose to believe i can handle anything.

I’ve changed one word and the phrase takes on a new level of power.

“Anything” as a word has very little meaning as a definable term in this context, therefore i think when this belief you can do anything is batted around rather casually in this context it’s always been rather lost on me.

Anything dictates to me that one has to be looking…for an answer, a solution, to a problem or puzzle.

Endlessly looking for something or someone has always appeared the most folly of misadventures to me, for the art of looking for something as indefinable as “something” means that you will never truly find it, let alone comprehend it. The subject nature of the problem is where I think I and so many of us have gone wrong in the past- the focus has been wrong.

It doesn’t matter what that “something” is. In truth, it never mattered, not really.

Everyone is handling something, and in their own way have a power to believe in themselves. You fall down, you get up. They fall down, they get up. I find myself wandering about negativity and the role it has played on me for years now, this idea of the assumption of failure…saving me from the fear of success.

Why? The focus of my efforts and energies was misplaced. Negative energy is unquestionably powerful, but the key is in the emotional context. What you choose to focus on will come to influence almost every decision you make in your life. I have come to realise we have little control of our lives and more so of the universe we find ourselves walking in. Fear inducing- definitely. We haven’t control, but we have influence. You can influence your decisions and beliefs in how you choose to think and feel. It’s just that, a decision. Make a decision to do the exact opposite you’d normally jump to. See what happens. Feel the fear grow and the anxiety build. Bring it on.

But maybe fear is good, we need a bit of fear sometimes. Gets the heart beating, hairs standing on end. The art of the Viking, not knowing what’s going to happen and doing it anyway.

The end result doesn’t matter. The action, right there and then is what matters. Doing. Whatever happens, be your own biggest supporter. You can handle anything.

Believe. You will surprise you with what your capable of when you try.

It endlessly surprises me.

Yours, with love as always.
D.R x

The Subtle Art of Not Having a Clue

Good evening ladies and gentleman…

Vikings. Bet you’re imagining a big fella with a ponytail and a helmet, astride the longboat rowing, wielding something gargantuan, preparing for battle.

Bare with me though.

Every time a Viking stood aboard one of those longboats, there was never any guarantee he would return. Maybe he had a family, a wife, children even. Yet, he went. Didn’t think about it, didn’t hesitate, climbed aboard the boat and prepared to row. As the drums blasted and the chants rang loud and true, the sea crashing up the sides of the boat, the aquatic monolith doing all it can to keep them away, keep them scared, keep them from the secrets the world had to offer.

On they went. Through the driving rain and high seas, the ink black of the darkness and searing heat, they continued. Through it all, not having a clue what they were going to find on the other side. Could it be good? Sure. Could it be the most wonderful thing they had ever seen? Its not unreasonable… Could it be the worst thing to ever happen and make them wish they’d never left the comfort of their bed that morning? Also possible….

Point being- they went anyway.

Makes me wander about vikings and how that mentality could be intertwined into decisions across different aspects of our lives. The idea of living, aware of the what if, but doing it anyway. The issue to combat in this incidence is the power of the thought, when over done as Allan Watts famously said the “chattering in the skull.”

These chatterings are born from a need to solve a problem, to comprehend an issue that cannot be shook off or looked past. It weights heavy on me, like spending the day walking around carrying an endlessly heavier barbell across my shoulders. There’s going to be a time where i simply cannot take anymore and my legs are going to let go. Then the problem is still as strong as ever and all i have to show for it is a bruised face and dirty knees after dragging myself back up from the floor.

Again and again, you fall. Over and over, day after day. The only way is to find a better way, to take this weight off, the worry of what will happen on the boat, worrying about how that conversation, that dinner might go. Scared of what could happen, or might not happen, of what you want to happen and fear not being handle if it does.

It’s easy to give up, to stop thinking, to allow action to become a figment of imagination, a mere fantasy. There is a certain vapid nothingness to this technique of endlessly surviving life because it involves taking something that has all the potential in the world to be even more exponentially beautiful into a rhythm. A series of motions, the same words, the same conversations with the same people as you crawl back into bed waiting for the gong as the cycle starts over.

It’s a predictable way of being when you know what happens at every moment. No surprises, control the outcome, nothing you can’t handle. Simple. Perfect existence.

I have had this attitude for years now, not needing these risks, these fears as the routine i’ve created gives the patterns of anxiety i’ve become a slave to over the years power to rule the very nature of my being.

Again, again and again I’ve lost hours thinking, worrying, yearning to do more than i thought i could, to be more than i ever thought possible. I’ve wanted to feel like i was actually worth something to the world and that my words mattered, even if only to me.

To realise in a phase of bleary eyed exhaustion how little you know about yourself is an interesting thought to have and quite a difficult one to handle. You realise you are a mere shadow of who you believe yourself to be, living so safely it probably wouldn’t matter if you didn’t bother at all.

So to the learning, in that powerful but subtle art of not having a clue.

Through fear, through anxiety, through a compulsive fear that it might be good, even if you don’t know whats going to happen. Impossible, surely not?

Be sure, I am not saying to go completely the other way and find yourself in a situation blindly lead by a hopeful ignorance it will all turn out OK. This, i remain confident is not the way forward and frankly lacks any form of style or subtlety as far as i can tell.

The Subtle Art of Not Having a Clue is not ignorance, it isn’t knowledge, it isn’t stealth or domination. It’s the idea of just doing, being the most accurate representation of yourself, to yourself. You cannot predict anything, unless you decide to live so safely you might as well not be living at all. You wish to live the perfect existence that’s fine but I can’t anymore, anxious about life is the one way that you can be sure you’re not doing it.

Jump just because, laugh like it’s the last chance you’ll get because you never know it might be. Go out, see people, experience places, it doesn’t matter if its a new restaurant, a new city or a new country just go and be. Be present and be ready for the challenges life throws at you because you are strong enough to handle anything that the universe throws at you.

Life itself has the capacity to be very life affirming, I’m starting to think. Remember the smiles and remember the tears, they’re both just as important. Remember the opportunities you took and be proud you were in the moment to seize it. Be proud you didn’t know what was going to happen, be proud of yourself for getting up when you didn’t know how you were going to carry on. You are still here and it would have been so easy to stop, to fail and live in that failure.

You don’t know what’s going to happen and your going to just do it anyway.

Life is a surprise, and you know what if we try, when you really think about it…it might not be every minute of everyday, but whatever happens- you got this.

Stop underestimating yourself and look how far you’ve come and how far you’re willing to go. It doesn’t matter where you’re going just be on the move.

Dance like nobody’s watching, smile like its a life force that keeps your happiness alive. Cry tears of pain and passion, beauty wander and joy and never ever hide from them. Love like its the one and only time you ever will and kiss like its the last time you’ll ever get to.

Be the architect of your life.

Not even of your life but of your day. And the next day, the next day and the next. One day..you’re sat watching the sunset on a beautiful vista. Next, your lying in bed- eating ice cream and drinking cider.

All of a sudden, the Subtle Art of Not having a Clue doesn’t seem so bad.

Yours, with love as always.
D.R x

To the Very End.

Good evening ladies and gentleman

I learned recently that one cannot ever go back to a time that you had never been in love. Not to over detail because I’ve been through it already..but i am, now and forever, unquestionably and irrevocably post love. I am perfectly accepting of this notion and have recently come to notice the almost relief i feel from allowing this sensation to exist in my consciousness.

From a time of denying its mere presence, fighting through tears of exhaustion and concentration to keep only from myself the idea that i could ever be privileged enough to experience what when simply appreciated rather than obsessively chasing its definition could be so powerful.

I feel fundamentally different, but for reasons beyond fear and anxiety may have led me to experience before. I wander about her, purely because now, she has a certain power and I- a vulnerability.

Yet, as i said, i do not fear this feeling and i don’t particularly fear this vulnerability.

Why is that?

Release from fear and anxiety is, i think- impossible. Through all and any aspects of life fear and a result anxiety will always play a role somehow, in decision making or perhaps in choosing not to make a decision at all. Vulnerability, as is everything, is a choice. You choose to appear, scars and all, to be exposed to the air, to the eyes of those you choose to see you and hope you will come through such an experience unscathed.

There’s that word again. Hope…

Life is nothing without hope, that’s what everyone will tell you. To err is human and to hope is the last great bastion of human endeavour before all is lost. But when in that moment, it isn’t the moment you fear..its everything else. Hence why vulnerability is so powerfully avoided, for a long time by myself and still so in the vast majority of others.

The thing about opening a door, is that you can close it again, whether you choose to walk through or not, its never quite the same now you know what’s on the other side. Take something like your pains, your hopes fears and dreams and show them to that person, show them the idea of what you are beyond you. This statue, this monolith climbing up into the depths of your imagination, shining like glass. All it takes is a tap for all of it shatter. Gone, forever, never to be the same.

Yet, why do i react to fear of the statue collapsing, in the way i do?

Why do i believe in her…more than anyone else, to hand her the hammer which could cause everything to fall, for the statue to shatter into a million pieces, possibly breaking the very nature of my conscious mind as i know it?

Because i choose to.

She has the power to bring it all down, and she is very much aware of that. By the same i feel she is just as vulnerable to me. I would never ever go out with the intentions of causing her harm, the mere thought is not something id even consider. Point being as i am vulnerable to her, she is comfortable enough to be vulnerable around me. This reciprocation of hope, this belief in another person that they have no alternate intentions, that pain is not the next meal on the menu as a result of what they decide. It’s a remarkable thing, and a remarkable power.

Vulnerability should put you on the back foot, I have always thought. One must tread carefully when another has been given the tools to burn it all down, but i choose to believe she never would. It’s an active decision, that is the key here. The fear, the anxiety you feel at the idea of allowing ones self to evolve, for the relationships you care for to become family, the closest of friends or to be lovers. It doesn’t matter what your relationship is, but what it is based upon is a building block for who you are.

I wandered earlier if my friend would, if ever given the power to destroy the glass statue within me if she would, but genuine connections transcend this notion that one simply could destroy another person they love, that they care about more than they thought possible. They become a part of you after a time, rather than taking a hammer to the glass tower, they’re up there climbing it right beside you.

Friends or whatever else, a connection forged in the fires of pain and the turbo charged by the beauty of love, connections that have the power to kill you but give you the ability to feel truly alive- that is what life is, that is what makes you get up in the days when you’d rather hide under the sheets.

Tell these people you love them, be comfortable with your own emotions and feelings. Understand and appreciate them for they have the power to build you heights previously unknown.

But if not respected, one tap of the hammer and the tower will fall, shattering to never return to form again.

Respect yourself and carry yourself to a higher standard, emotionally and physically. Be accepting of vulnerability. It’s OK to be sad. Never forget who you are in the moments you really wish you weren’t you. In the moments when you wish you were made of glass. Remember those who see through the bravado, through the flow and to you. Hold onto them. Dance with them like nobody is watching and love them like you may never get to experience it again.

For in that moment, you are loved in a way you may never understand. To know, in this strange ever changing world we live in there is someone, some people, whoever it may be that has your back to the very end.

It helps. Makes the idea of you being you a little less awful of a prospect to live with.

My people, they always have been the best of me.

Love, as always.

D. R x

Fear of the Light

Good evening ladies and gentleman

in 1992 Iron Maiden released what has become an all time classic rock song- “Fear of the Dark.” In a logical sense of fear, it is to describe a thing- an adjective that when presented with a certain action or phenomenon in any particular situation- it produces the cold sweat, the raised heartbeat, the feeling of ringing in your ears as you prepare for the battle coming, even if it never leaves your mind…

Fear.

Fears in the physical sense are easily tangible, malleable if you will. Arachnophobia, avoid dark moist spaces. Aquaphobia- avoid the pool. Simple enough right. This way fear is never a problem and on you go, through the ins and outs of modern life. No fear, no problem.

Maybe…

What of the more complex fears though- a fear you maybe didn’t even realise you had? For years an almost self-sabotaging nature so many of us have been living with- limiting what can go right and ultimately what has the scope to go wrong…”it can’t hurt me if it never gets close enough to” and so on.

Marianne Williamson once said

“our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”

Nyctophobia- fear of the dark. Do you fear the lack of light in a room? Or do you fear not being able to control what’s going on in that room- or simpler still control your reaction to it? Modern society has us all surprise averse- living in a state of heightened self awareness, not being able to handle the blows of life if we weren’t given a fight plan before it started. It’s not the action thats the fear, it’s the decision to make the action that creates the fear. The idea of what could happen, or might not happen, of not being able to skew the deck in your favour before the next card is drawn. Decisions are what create fear.

Life is a collection of decisions and a set of alternate realities played out in your imagination, maybe only for a minute, ultimately leading you down a different path. I think we have the capacity to make a decision, to decide actively to conquer a fear, to overcome a barrier, but for it only to be replaced by another. That is the greater fear, especially these days. It’s not about making the first decision, but every decision after that which stops people wanting to make the first one.

At any point, any any time, it could all go wrong. The carefully selected path and the massively contemplated drawn out decision making could have all been for nothing, for you ended up where you started, except left with a feeling of misery and dejection that you made the wrong call. One misstep, one wrong question, one wrong answer, too little too late. Life has become rather nervous, as if everything we want and find meaning in is on tenterhooks, one small crack in the glass and we all shall fall.

So we choose not to do anything. You make the choice not to risk it, don’t turn on the light, avoid the trap. It won’t ever be worth losing it all for, so why waste it, why be miserable for something i can live without? It could all be lost, in an instant. Snap your fingers and everything can change, gone now and never the same- the lovely dark or illuminated for all the world to see the darkest parts of you.

Comfort reigns supreme in the lovely dark, where the most familiar parts of the Palace of Darkness become…home. Misery, curiosity, pain, confusion. I think a lot of people feel that way, i know i do a lot. At the same time though i don’t think people want to feel this way- but the alternative of unknowns, of not knowing what is around the corner, from predictability to eye swivelling confusion.

Life this way is safe. It’s predictable. It follows the same patterns and creates the same patterns and all is well in a world that just doesn’t matter. Not good, not bad, just is.

And i guess thats just it. Just is.

The dark, as powerfully alluring as it is- will make for a mere existence. A safe one sure, from pain, from misery, from loneliness. When you feel you can’t miss something you never had, a once bitter pill becomes a lot easier to swallow or so it would have you believe.

What are we hiding from? Living predictably, living safely..through a fear of not being good enough. It’s partly about not handling success and making a hash of it, but also about considering it an impossibility you deserve a shot at happiness, at some form of joy, a time living truly in the light. Living that life, and not being able to reach the standards you expect ultimately of yourself is what drives us to the lovely dark.

I have found a level of comfort in the lovely dark, the safe place, away from where it could all go wrong. Yet this step into the light, even just dipping a toe into the warmth of the orange glow can be what drives you deeper into the dark. Illuminating you, for all the world to see. All the pain, all the scars, all the confusion.

The cycle is and feels…endless. Yet the definition of madness is to do the same thing over and over and expect the same result. So what does one do, to find a path into the light?

It’s not a case of simply not giving yourself a choice but to be exposed. Given a choice, between the light and the dark- i know the lovely dark would be somewhere I’d be at home. Its about understanding the need to get out of your own way and that everything you are and that everything you do is a process.

A process in which I will make errors, where you may even fuck it up completely. The standards at which you hold yourself too, this overwhelming need for perfection is what keeps you from even coming close. Perfection is an impossibility when it comes to achieving any sort of goal, but getting on the path towards it is the first step to the beginning of everything.

The idea of it all going well at the same time is nothing more than that- an idea. I’m not saying step out into the sun, i know how difficult that even sounds, let alone to do. Start the process. Take a decision that would keep you in the lovely dark on a normal day.

One decision.

Do the thing you don’t dare try. Have the thought you wish so hard to keep locked away. You’re still safe, just one step away from the dark.

Make one choice. Flick the switch, turn on the light.

One step will naturally lead to another, then another and another. Worry not about the plan, about the next ten moves. Prepare for the one right in front of you. What comes next will flow from you like a beer flows from the tap on a warm summer evening.

Then maybe, just maybe, we won’t even realise we left the light switched on.

Love, as always.
D.R x

Post Love Syndrome

Good evening ladies and gentleman

As a society- it is believed we are the greatest evolution of the world’s most superior species. We are better than we always have been for we know more, can offer more and and do more now than ever before. Reports have stated that most people will live past 100 and it’s possible that soon 150 won’t be unreasonable. Life is extending more and more as we strive to reach heights previously unimaginable to those that came before us. We run harder and faster than we ever have before, in all walks of life.

I can’t help but be curious about what is lost as a result of this new found longevity. Evolution and everything that comes with it is inevitable, be it in technology, in sociology or just in general human development. The people coming out of high school would be unrecognisable to your 16 year old self. So what happens in a world with technology just getting into its stride- running life via a hard drive and software as the human being becomes nothing more than a customer.

Good thing or bad, i look not to rant about the questionable effect of technology, for all the negatives i could go on about are equally weighed by positives.

What i wander about is something that cannot be touched, understood or defined. I wandered for many years if it even existed, consumed by an idea that if it cannot be understood, then surely it couldn’t be experienced. I do not wish to define love, for it is impossible. I have pursued some form of tangible explanation for those 3 words for years, to accept, simply enough- it cannot be explained or understood.

Margaret Hungerford is quoted as saying that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and maybe this is the same for love. Beauty cannot be defined, no matter what the idealisation of physical attractiveness across the world will tell you, for it is unique. A person can see themselves as beautiful, someone else can see them as beautiful and others may not agree. The same with love, but most importantly it comes from within you.

Love cannot be felt or be truly experienced without loving yourself – this is the only way to truly live in Post Love. It is complex, but defining the subject of love is impossible, so perhaps what it does to someone can be explored more. What does it do to you when you first to accept you love someone- what comes after that?

The proclamation of accepting you love someone, even if you are unable to understand the psychological complexities of how is a rather emotional experience, for it means that someone has a more powerful impact on you than you could have ever anticipated. It cannot be ignored and you cannot pretend that it doesn’t exist.

It simply is. Realising you are in love isn’t easy- but accepting this is the way you feel is. You can’t change it, so do something with it. Use that energy, why waste it on avoiding something that has probably been living within you for some time now. Accepting it will help you evolve with the feeling as it does. At this point, in one way or another- the person you were is gone.

You have taken a step up the evolutionary chain and will never be able to step down again. You are, now and forever- post love. A scary thought undeniably, for this is what kept you away from people for so long, not giving “chase”to the ideas of love and connection the world would have you believe because it really didn’t make any sense. You were never one for being told what you “should” want as you walk down the path you “should” take. The path less well worn seemed a preference, a comfort if you will. The less well lit, the lovely dark.

Even in the dark, in this state of Post Love you are inherently vulnerable. I suppose when all is said and done you are giving someone a dagger, the tip aimed at the softest part of you. You place their hands softly over the handle with hope they won’t plunge it into you.

That is the key thing i think I and many others struggle with- the release of power to someone else and believing they would never hurt you the same way you wouldn’t hurt them. Loving someone else to me is impossible without some form of love being returned to you, if not for anything else but to establish balance. If it’s not then it’s something else, it’s desire, lustful or not, but i don’t think it could be love. Life is impossible without balance, as is love. Without balance you become reliable and that doesn’t end well for anyone frankly.

To ultimately handle and understand post love- we have to look at how we got to this point. Understand what’s happened in order to move forward, if you will. You accept love, in whatever form it is. You feel it from within you and in the experiences and connection you have with a certain person. You don’t understand it, but know your life would be considerably worse without that feeling, that person in your life. You made it to this point through belief and love for yourself and in another person you care deeply for, even though you cannot explain what got you there.

The art of not knowing gave you something outstanding, so simply be in it, still not knowing. I am forever post love and because of her I will never be the same again. Through simply being, I have grown to a place i once did not consider possible. Don’t want for anything, don’t expect anything, just be there. Present, in a moment, not thinking about the past or planning around your concerns for the future.

Nothing is promised to you and as much as you are sat across the table with them at dinner one day, they could be gone the next. So live in this experience of being with this person, give yourself permission to feel everything you do with them. You are stronger than you think proved more by the fact you are living with Post Love Syndrome.

It doesn’t have to make sense, it doesn’t have to be understood because regardless of whether you understand or not it will continue to exist. So carry on the path that bought you here, in fear, living with the tight knot in your stomach but so sure that person is just as believing in you as you are them. You have started on this path of evolution and suffering in the depths of unknown is simply a part of it to get through. Love yourself and love them, you’ll get through it together.

Be unquestionably and irrevocably in love, want nothing more than your life to be filled with amazing moments where they are stood next to you. There are days where life and moments will be lost to cynicism and confusion. Look out to sea as the boats crash against the waves, and remember.

You are not facing it alone.

Yours, with love as always.

D.R x

Single Player Game

Good evening ladies and gentleman

Apparently, the average lifespan at the moment is around 85 years. If you’re lucky, you might make 90. Those few and far between make triple digits, surprising even themselves at their own longevity. Look at it slightly differently- 10 years is 3,652 days. Imagine you are going to run that cycle 9 times. That loop round the lake, the run round the track. Blink and 365 days are gone- but 3652 won’t happen for a while- so sure we all are that there is always going to be time. We seem to have fallen into this time trap, this idea that we work 40 hours a week to afford the 2 days a week we actually enjoy, the modern idea to shove as much pleasure through the 2 days, making it seem like it will last forever- while you endlessly endure the other 5.

It’s an interesting idea…endurance. It take some endurance to get through a bad day, one of those days when it feels like the whole world is against you. Maybe your car broke down on the way to work, maybe your boss pulled you into the office for being late. Maybe your sandwich spilt down your shirt when you bit into it at lunch and just when you realise all the overtime you’re going to have to do to pay for the repair to the car you could just breakdown and cry.

I’ve brushed on it briefly in the past, more on the idea of life seemably being endless in the problems we are told we should be facing, or feel like we cannot avoid. What of the need to endure, the feeling that you’re constantly up against it, swimming against the tide and going to be just as tired as when you woke up, barely able to get through the day with your head above water.

I have an odd tendency to stare at myself in the mirror sometimes, particularly on those sort of days. Perhaps near deflated defeat at the prospect of another night of poor sleep in this stifling heat, looking at the bags under my eyes or the redness of another day gotten through. I don’t know how I’ve done it some days, endured when all I’ve wanted to do was climb to the top of a very tall hill and sit quietly, looking at the streets, roads and cars below as i lie distant from what life has become.

Even with this nature, I am very much aware of how lucky I am and that I am privileged to even be able to sat at my window typing this to you now. Life is brilliantly simple, yet I think we have fallen into a misconception that we must endure life to get where we want to be.

The world and the societies within it, will continue whether you are a part of it or not. I remember having this thought often as a child- going away on a family holiday and imagining the world as i know it had stopped, left on pause while i got on the plane and disappeared into new and unfamiliar places for 10 days. To find as reality hit in the taxi on the way back home- nothing had changed and the world had been just fine without me.

The world and the people in it have no power over you- or you it. The world and all that fills it is ultimately out of yours and my control. What i say may mean nothing to you, yet someone else you could hang off their every word. The thing about life and how we make the most of it is ultimately to live with this reminder- that life is a single player game. That’s it, society is a great concierto and you, just you have been gifted the opportunity to add a verse to this great piece of music, to elevate it to that next state of grandeur, of unrefutable beauty.

So, how does one contribute a verse- and live to tell the tale? This endless endurance, this supposed ideal in which you or I are surviving life, rather than living every day of those 32,868 that have been given to you? The chances of simply being born and becoming who you’ve become and achieving all you have, no matter how big or small are positively astronomical- you are a uniquely crafted set of impossibilities, proven possible.

The truth is- I have no idea. I’ve spent a lot of time asking myself that same question and will probably continue to do so…

Where to start then?

Look in the mirror. Literally or figuratively- even only for a minute every day. We spend so much of our day looking into screens, filtering pictures on Instagram and taking selfies, questioning why we look the way we look, talk the way we talk, wishing we had been born with this or that- or “how did that happen?” or “what the hell am i going to do?”

Forget the details for a second. Whatever you’re told you should look like, the way your hair “should” be, the fragrance you “should” be wearing. All very important when it comes to the power we give the world, that we give society but much less relevant when it comes to you. People talk of their friends and of their family that they would not be able to live without them. I am also a part of that and understand the ideal of this entirely- but there’s nobody in your life more important than you. Life is a single player game. We talk about surviving the day and this path so many of us find ourselves on, of endless endurance to make it through to the next period, the next week, the next month.

Before you know it you’ve endured 90 years and you’re lying on your deathbed wandering where it all went wrong. Learn about yourself, get to know yourself- become your friend. Listen to yourself when you are in pain, rest when you have to. The signs are all there, you just have to listen. Society is a difficult place to live in- life is very easy thing to live when you know whose staring back at you in the reflection.

Life is a single player game. Imagine a huge container at the other end of the room. You have any number of balls. Friends, family, co-workers, jobs, hobbies, trips and memories that will leave their mark on your forever. The container that makes up who you are is filled only by you.

Society doesn’t make you happy- you do.

Because life is a Single Player Game.

Yours, with love as always.
D.R x

Picture in a Frame

Good afternoon ladies and gentleman

Words, to me- have always been unrivalled in their power. The way a word can become a phrase, a phrase a sentence, a sentence a paragraph and a paragraph an entire piece of writing. Words have become an integral part of who I am and what i want for Thinking Evolution. A collection of words, in the right order and said in the right way- can completely alter someone’s perspective, illicit growth, help process pain and deal with the anguish of heartbreak. It can be the death of who you were and the rebirth of who you decide to be. It can be the greatest pleasure to write and an immeasurable pain not to. Without it, I don’t feel like me.

Here, today, writing is my art. It is the movement of a brush across a canvas or the pluck of a guitar string. It is something I have found a connection with like nothing else, it feeds the creative part of me and keeps me sane, unique and powerful in a time where the very nature of individuality is under question, under siege as the lines between right and wrong become more and more faint.

Along with the need to write, to connect to your artistry in whatever form you find it , as humans we have an ever needing desire to carry on, to progress, to move forward. When a moment that seems so perfect passes us by its a hard thing to let go of, but it carries on anyway, leaving a lasting memory and an imprint of that person you carry with you forever. It comes back to that point about writing, about the power of perspective and the way a connection with your art can facilitate your growth and its evolution.

How does art change perspective? Can art make you question things in a different way? I know you’ve heard the phrase “a picture can say a thousand words” but how can we understand more about the world or about ourselves because of it? What makes a picture more than just a collection of lines and colours, in the same way what makes a piece of writing more than just words or a sonnet just a few lines of code in pursuit of something you’re supposed to want?

I guess what I’m asking is quite simply:-

What makes art-art?

Difficult question? Maybe. Complex idea- definitely. Tell you the truth i’m not sure art even exists- living in the realms of destiny and love as an idea, an idealised concept, personal and often painful in the stories it can tell you about its creator. History will tell you that Michelangelo and Da Vinci were both artists by trade, some of the best to have ever lived. You could say Shakespeare was an artist unparalleled, that many poets to have come after him, Poe, Kafka, Bukowski, great composers like Beethoven or rockstars like The Rolling Stones are all living through an interpretation- a perspective- of that same idea. All artists, none the same as the other.

Perspective is the power we are given by art- in whatever form. When someone sees words on a page, you see a connection to an idea, to a feeling you’ve been wrestling with for sometime. When you see a tattoo down someone’s arm, you see just a gorilla, or just a clock melting away like a Salvador Dali painting. They see a reminder, a constant companion of the lessons they’ve learned and what they are capable of when they try. You see a lock screen of a happy couple smiling and laughing on a friend’s phone, to you its a friend being happy, but to them it’s a reminder first thing in the morning and last thing before they go to bed that they are loved, they are wanted- even in their darkest of moments.

We are all artists, travellers, hopeful believers in the path less taken. Life is more than pictures in a frame, a painting on a wall or words on a page. Art is pain, pleasure, self loathing, anguish envy and utter confusion. Art is loss, heartbreak and soul crushing loneliness. Art is impossible without all of these things i think, good work is not possible without it, for without it the painting is nothing more than scrawls on a canvas.

A photo- nothing more than a Picture in a Frame.

Yours, with love as always.
D. R x

Tin Foil

Good evening ladies and gentleman.

Life seems to be getting more complicated by the day. Generation by generation the society we are building is becoming more difficult to navigate through. Rules upon rules, social cues that once made sense now mean nothing. Society is evolving at a seemably exponential rate, while we sit here almost dumbfounded, wrecked by the wake it left behind, the inevitable sensation that all of a sudden the society you grew up in makes less sense to you than it did yesterday.

Thing is- we are getting that wrong and the result has the power to make you question the fabric of your existence. Society isn’t complicated, life isn’t complicated- people are complicated.

Life is beautifully simple. The suffering sensation you sometimes feel, the confusion, the idea that nothing is ever going to make sense. Thats just us, trying to defeat an enemy that isn’t fighting.

I’ve said this a hundred times before and will probably say the same thing another a hundred times but it still feels appropriate- we live in a world of instants, in all forms. You wake up in the morning and flick through social media, see a photo you took got a few likes, instant gratification. You get up and go downstairs, make a cup of instant coffee from your instant hot tap as your phone pings with all the news instantly to your phone. You go to work and the sandwich guy brings your food to your desk for instant gratification. Life, society, both, whatever you want to call it is so fast now we don’t understand, or care-for anything less. Even without realising we all do it.

So, how does one look beyond that need for instant gratification, how does one work on a higher plain- to the normalised ideology of the good wage and living for the weekend? How do you bottle that lightning you feel coursing through your veins as your heart pumps in your ears, the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end as you aren’t sure, for the first time in a long time how something is going to turn out, sure only that straight away isn’t an option anymore?

Trust.

5 letters- easy to type.

Hard to build.

Easier to destroy.

Trust isn’t necessarily between two people. I habitually trust very few people- then again very few people have the same rather warped world view as i do. Most people don’t understand themselves what makes you going to think they’re going to put any effort at all into trying to understand you. You are a complex, uniquely powerful human being with a soul, a mind often driven into the depths of emotional madness through tears of sadness and joy, of fear, self loathing, self love, envy, happiness, jealousy and confusion as you try to make your way in the world.

Difference is you see the world a bit differently because you feel it all a bit differently. The world isn’t all sunshine and rainbow (apologies for the cliche Rocky quote) because you can feel the cold rain on your skin that created that rainbow. The icicles that formed to create that glacier as the river bored through the rock to create that outstandingly beautiful waterfall. The world is present in a moment, rapidly moving to the next moment and the moment after that. Blink, blink. Gone.

Never to return.

Beautiful moments. Gone in an instant. Never to return. You felt so good in that moment, it’s easy to wander if you’ll every feel that good again. The details start to play there part when you rely on a memory, on the thoughts that have almost came to define your emotional existence and were the constituent parts of the lessons that made you the person you are today.

What made them so close to that perfect ideal? Trust. You trusted your judgement and in that moment, be it with another person or not you didn’t want to be anywhere else or with anyone else. Life, to you, had hit its peak- no getting better than this. Surely.

Instant later- gone. Your choice to be vulnerable, to drop your guard and be in the moment has now created a sensation like no other. Pain, heartbreak, regret, loathing. In particular with relationships i find the idea when relationships end that you must “hate” your former partner interesting. In truth, nobody can love someone the one day and hate them the next. It’s a protection filter for yourself, because in that moment, looking back at all of those memories- it is you that you hate.

Trust is lost because you believed in yourself and trusted yourself, to only be hurt in the worst way possible. Pain, in that moment, doesn’t get any worse than feeling yourself stupid for believing in someone, in something you found to not be true. You believed in something imaginary, an idea of who you hoped someone could be. Maybe they deceived you, like a wolf in sheep’s clothing as you wandered through the pasture to run your hand down the fluffy beast’s wooly coat.

In this moment, that lightning in a bottle i mentioned earlier? Available for a small fee from Amazon you’d be right there on “Add to Basket-” problem solved.

Not so.

That breakdown of trust, even to yourself just makes those walls a little bit higher and a little bit further away from everyone else. Nobody and nothing will ever have the power to question yourself ever again- not like that. You take the thin wrapping that once kept your soul warm and scrunch it into a ball and throw it away.

In truth, you become a little bit cold.

As well as instantaneous i’ve always thought life had a weird way of making the most joyous of feelings, of love, adventure, wander and freedom quite binary in their nature. It’s one way or the other and you can’t have both. You’re either rich or poor, happy or sad, in love or lost. Without certain things, the world will tell you that you’re less of a person, “broken” by the arbitrary rules and ideas that same society put in place.

I put trust down to be like tin foil. Imagine that roll in your cupboard. As you open the roll, it’s shiny and smooth, ready to help, you can see yourself in it. Imagine then, tearing it off the roll and screwing it up into a little ball and throwing it across the room. Go and pick it up, unravel it and look. Not shiny anymore, see the creases in it, the holes. It still works to wrap your food sure, but it’s not the same. It’s never going to be the same. Just like trust it can be destroyed in seconds- and never be the same ever again.

Society pushes these opinions on you in the hope you will believe them and follow in as you should. Trust your judgement with information from both sides of an argument before you make an informed decision. Re-learn the trust you thought you had. Grow from it, evolve.

Rage against the part of you that wants to keep you down from a mistake. You can’t get “it” back, you can never get back to the way you felt in that near perfect moment. Maybe you decide to never do anything ever again, you will not make a mistake, but you’ll never be who you want to, achieve the goals or become who you want to with such capital self punishment.

Learning to trust yourself again after trust’s untimely destruction is power beyond words- it is a reason to exist. “It” is the lightning coursing through your veins, the wry smile as they walk into the room or as you sit down to write. Seeing that message from someone and it motivates you to be stronger for yourself, to believe in your judgement. There are awful people in the world, and those people will take you for granted and look to destroy you for their own personal gain. Without question. But wanting to be accepted for anything other than yourself as Jim Carrey said is making you invisible. This endless ignorance of self for not believing in the very judgement that defines you will be the end of you.

Step out of your own shadow and into the light. Accept yourself for who you are and understand that people won’t like you, the only person who should like you is you. Understand the importance of trusting yourself again, for the lessons you’ve learned will give you the tools to surround yourself with your people. The people that help the lightning course through you, that hold you to a higher version of yourself. A higher level of acceptance for yourself. Step out of your own shadow and into the light.

Live as if you’ve come back to this day to live it over again. Take the tin foil out of the cupboard, don’t hide it away. Give it away, wrap those you care the most and see them shine. Do that and it will be given back to you all the same.

Yours, with love as always.

D.R x