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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

Me, Myself & I

Good evening ladies and gentleman.

The ignorance of your art and the negative affects it has on your soul can be powerful, painful and put such limitations on your ability to be you. The demons inside you need to be fed, to be combat against and the only way to do that is connecting with it on a level you didn’t know you had. Fall further than you ever dared to before and find that part of you, forged in the depths of your own personal hell and gain the tools to power through, to reclaim your throne and in your own way, overcome anything.

This is all very well and done, on paper. I’m aware of this and have been for some time (honestly because i keep typing it.) Thing is, there’s a lot statements written on paper, words blurted out without context don’t consider- the noise.

The noise, the endless noise. It’s as if the world has got louder recently, as if someone turned the volume up. About everything. Its as if quiet is nothing but a beautiful memory. Everyone is shouting, be it about their opinions, or the TV show you “absolutely” should be watching, the “friends” that talk about you when you aren’t around, the social media filters that make you question the very nature of your own face and the trends shoved in your direction at every screen based moment.

The world runs on knowledge, but we live in a world saturated in information. In this age of instant and excessive information, who is ignored most of all-you.

Its almost as if we don’t notice that person in the mirror. You wake up, drenched in sweat, exhausted, having slept but far from rested. Drag yourself to the kitchen after an increasingly hotter shower just to get your body into what feels like a vaguely passable mode as you make a coffee and mentally prepare for the day thats coming. Flick through your phone and offer support and condolence to the friends who are struggling, being there for your friends through the good and bad because its just who you are. Everyone thinks your OK, because in the end so do you. This is life and you just have to “suck it up.”

What i wander is about the relationships we have, with family, with friends, with partners past and present.¬†How we focus on them, how the vast majority if not all of your efforts will go into having a positive influence on their life, in the hope that in some small way you were able to make them feel good. In many ways it’s one of the reasons i keep writing. There are millions of people in the world, billions even. Even i can make one person smile, for just a moment or maybe cause a tear to fall down your cheek- then it’s worth doing.

We all focus on everyone else, yet will meet the idea of focusing on yourself almost with a confusion. Like its selfish, as if you aren’t the priority at that particular moment- at any moment actually.

Try it this way…

If you were your friend, would you be ok with how you treat yourself?

How you talk to yourself, the things you say, the things you believe?

Bruce Lee famously said:

“Don’t speak negatively about yourself, even as a joke. Your body doesn’t know the difference. Words are energy and cast spells- that’s why its called spelling. Change the way you speak about yourself and you can change your life. What you’re not changing, you’re also choosing.”

Everything we do, everything we are and everything we think we are is born from a choice. A choice i think we sometimes cannot see, for the power of influence is stronger than ever. Influence over your personal perspective of who you, what you should look like and who you should want to be. You have a choice in your belief- even if you don’t see it.

You hold yourself to impossibly high standards and beat yourself up when you don’t reach them. You see a world covered in beautiful people but let alone believing yourself to be beautiful you believe any beauty people see in you as delusional. We are these days so incapable of self love thousands of people find themselves in situations and sometimes relationships with people they don’t like and don’t know how to love, because the alternative is to stare down the barrel of loneliness once again.

What if, in an attempt to combat this endless cycle of misery inducing sensations, we attacked it from a different angle, looked at it from a different perspective- if you will.

Imagine you were living your life in the third person. You are your best friend, you go to dinner with them, have a drink, sleep next to them and hit the alarm in the same spot every morning. Treat yourself as if you lived with that person, loved that person, hated them, envied them and cried next to them. Your best friend needs you.

Be there for them.

Your best friend wants someone to laugh with.

Laugh with them.

Be the only person you could ever need and you won’t need anyone else.

You need three people to have your back to survive what the world is becoming.

Me, Myself and I.

It puts you in a different level of thinking , because it puts you above the clouds, leaves the rose tinted spectacles of relationships long behind. You don’t need anyone, but you have the choice to want. Wanting someone in your life, in whatever capacity is beautiful beyond words because without asking, or even without trying i think, you make each others life just a little bit better. Maybe its for the hour a week you spend on the phone talking, or the quiet drink at the end of a long day at work. That moment is yours to share, to grow and evolve, to develop your life to build something outstanding.

It comes down to a phrase we were all taught as kids.

“Treat people as you wish to be treated”

Same applies to yourself. Treat yourself right, control the energy you allow into your life that comes from your mind and from your mouth.

Thats your best friend there. Thats Me, Myself and I.

Yours, with love as always.
D.R x

Free Woman Using Slr Camera Stock Photo

The Balance Beam

Good evening ladies and gentleman

What is life? What is death? Death is simply the end of life. Nothing more, nothing less. We all hear them say you only have one go around so don’t waste it. Over and over this same tired old rhetoric is passed from generation to generation, facilitating this debilitating fear that we aren’t doing enough. Life is the only path to death, but the balance beam you walk down on your way there, the steps you take are undecided and perhaps more scary- unknown. Everyday can be different, a breeze – or you could find yourself running down that train of thought through the caves, to where the lovely dark awaits, along with the voices, endlessly whispering in your ear.

If life were to be a balance beam we are all working so hard to not fall off of- what gives you the power to stay upright? Nobody is ever going to help you if you fall, they have their own issues staying balanced upon their own beam. Maybe your lines intertwine with another but each day is a separate life even when you are together. In the end you are still the architect of your own thoughts, be them to build you up or tear you down.

How do you balance your way through life? Step by step, day by day, how do we stop life from falling into the grips of a mere existence? The monotony of daily routine, actions for the same time of day, everyday, daring, hoping, yearning for something unexpected, something new, anything to just happen.

Anything.

This need is so powerful and i think reminds you of who you are. It reminds you of your intelligence, your mental strength and powerful perspective, for there is always more that can be done. What is to be done? What can feed that demon in your mind, the one that tells you that you’re not good enough or that your wasting your time…the one that often shouts so loud its near impossible to ignore.

What if, in a weird sort of way that voice was helping somehow, motivating you somehow? Motivating the creative soul within you to spring into life, to pour the life giving elixir as you drink deeply from the goblet handed to you as you bite into the apple from the forbidden tree.

Creativity can give your art, your pain, your joy, your love and passion a higher meaning, a power to you like nothing else . These things need to be expressed and your life should be an expression of you, so much more so than the soul crushing monotony a mere existence can bring.

The creativity thing is probably something you’ve heard before though. I know i have, hundreds of times over, that life imitates art. So if you can offer some sort of art to the world, then maybe you contributed to the world somehow, even if only to you. Maybe everybody sees it, maybe nobody does. But its there, however painful it was to get out.

That’s the point with being creative, that it burns. It burns your heart and your soul and your gut were you to leave it inside you, building, bubbling, brewing, raring to explode. This emotion- this pain, joy, happiness and misery all rolling around as your brain cells concocts a witches potion inside your mind and you, convinced you don’t need them, can’t help to watch as they continue to stir.

How do you break the cycle you find yourself in? How does one create the balance- to stay standing?

Drink the potion. Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble…right up to the point you dip your glass in and take a good slug of the stew. As it touches your lips, you feel the oily texture start to trickle down your throat, green and foul smelling but you continue on, the witches left in a state of shock.

We have been taught as a society to avoid shock, like we need to live a predictable life in order for it to be good. In order to bring order to the chaos, to step every now and again but not far enough away to gain that sense of unfamiliarity its so easy to fear. Surprise has become nothing but a mere coincidence these days, because you missed something rather than being present in the moment before.

Drinking the fluid can create more pain than any of us can possibly imagine, so much so you imagine falling off the beam and never ever being able to regain your balance. The hurt can be unimaginable, but so can the outstanding beauty.

As you accept what you feel as something you are conscious and understanding of, even as you start to respect it, you truly become your higher self. You listen to yourself and the creativity flows with it. The release of mental ailments you didn’t know you had fall onto the page, or across the canvas with a flick of a paintbrush. Everything we have ever done, every error you have made, any victory ever achieved is a part of who looked at you in the mirror this morning. Like what you see, or hate it more than anyone else- its still you.

I’ve always wandered about the rhetoric that is often thrown about creativity, pure and undiluted in its form. That sort of higher level thinking that when you’re in that headspace- there is nothing else. There is you and the keyboard, you and the brushes, the bruises, the failures, the victories and all the pain. It’s all there, like a story of you. There’s an argument in society that this need to create in whatever capacity is almost an illness, something that breaks you away from what the world makes you. We as humans are not a result of the world around us but instead the world is a result of us as humans.

Creativity makes you different. These days, different is clearly unwell because as time goes on people all look the same and are acting the same. All influenced by someone somewhere living in a world that doesn’t exist- filtered through the starry gaze of social media. Then you have the influencers being influenced by another influencer and the cycle continues. Trends come and go and change faster than the day of the week. We are not ill because of this urge to create art, to illustrate and express pain, pleasure, beauty and sorrow. The need to express in a society telling you to keep it to yourself is the issue in hand, for without that outlet, without that gas valve to express everything building inside a clouded mind, there’d be nothing but pieces left of you.

Creativity doesn’t help you stay on the beam, creativity wont necessarily even promote joy and healthy happiness in your life. In some cases it goes much deeper, in that your art isn’t making you ill, but to lose that connection you crave and to liven without your art would be a mental death sentence. The fear of losing yourself because you don’t give yourself the chance to figure out who you are is fear beyond words.

Standing still on the balance beam is going to reduce your chances of falling, but every time you stand still you lose more ground on where you want to be. Creativity makes the walk down the beam risky, but without it- its not you. What is life without risking the fall every once in a while?

Falls give you the strength to get back up after them. To brush yourself down, wash your face and fix your hair- still work to be done. The balance beam life has you walking down, understanding and respecting that connection you have, even if to just an idea. Good, bad or indifferent in the eyes of everyone else, the act of using that energy, that power, the profound connection you have is what gets you up again and again.

Because it’s basically who you are, working towards where you want to be. There is nothing more personal than that.

Onto the feet and keep going. You’ve fallen and will fall again, but the real you can be found in the strokes of that paintbrush and on the words of the page. They live within you, if you’re willing to listen.

The Beam carries on, whether you choose to forge a path down it, peril either side. It was never about it making it to the other end, it’s about how you respond when you fall. You have to get up, because you can.

Creativity and art isn’t the key to happiness. Creativity is the key to unlocking who you want to be.

And about as brave as you could ever be.

Yours, with love.

D.R x

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Luxury of Outrage

Good evening ladies and gentleman.

We all wish we had more time- and society has responded to this time paranoia we all suffer with. I watched an advert the other day that exclaimed so whole heartedly, as if they had just cured cancer, that you could now sell them your car in 30 seconds. Whereas previously it would take out so much of your day- when it took 60 seconds. Now in the grand scheme of it, 30 seconds is nothing. In reality you probably spent at least 30 seconds daydreaming today, staring into space, thinking of nothing.

Previously, i’ve considered this compulsive need for instant progress, instant “satisfaction,” instant feelings and instant dismissal as a negative attribute to the human condition. The human condition- made less human, if you will.

I have been going on for years now about our need for life and society to get faster and faster, how we live in a world of instants, a need to get everything and anything faster and faster, be able to achieve so much while losing as little time as you can.

Time is a luxury, a commodity that we all trade away when we go to work, when you’re asleep and even when you’re in the shower. A constant companion, something we often waste, instead opting for the luxury of outrage.

Making a choice to be outraged by something, however large or minimal takes you away from who you are.. With power it’s given by you it preys on your individuality, like a virus looking for a new host. It’s like wrestling a gun of an armed robber and handing it back to them. I find such pointless mental adventures a waste of time and mental capacity, something we have all invested time and effort into when looking back we wish we hadn’t. Annoyed, outraged at the actions of someone else, upset about something you had no control over.

Your outrage adds nothing to make the situation better, the result is the result an no amount of regret is ever going to change it. You have to work with the hand you’ve been dealt, even if for the time being you’re acting like you’ve got a royal flush while working with a lot of nothing. It’s never been about what hand you get, you have no control over that. The element of control we all crave is in how we react. Outrage seems to come from this need for control, but in reality comes from a refusal to deal with a feeling or situation, through the fear of not being able to handle it, to be seen as weak or just not seen as strong.

Take a job. We all have either currently got a job or had one at some point. There have been days where you’ve woken up, maybe not slept too well. Let’s be honest, the last thing you want is to go to the office and have them same conversations and be told “you look tired” all day. It feels you with anger for a while that you’re going there again, disappointed in the hope you once had. You go into work angry and have a bad day, wandering where it all went wrong. You are outraged you’re being made to go here and do this job, for the money you have been getting. Everyone has had these days.

My point is the choice from here. You either accept life for the misery you have been pouring into it all day, or you can get to work on making your life better, improving things for the sake of your sanity. But so many people don’t. It’s as if people need to be outraged at their own situation, not seeing they’re the only ones who can change it. People can spend years miserable at their own existence, but only they can change it. Even if you don’t turn your world upside down, a small change can yield more than we can possibly imagine.

Sean Connery once said:-

“the simple action of typing can get us from page one to page two…”

True for writing and for life. The best way to make a change in your life isn’t to stew in outrage, to hope that improving your social standing will mean the voice in your head goes away. The only way is to make a change, to break the pattern you’ve been living again and again, for as long as you can remember. Doesn’t even have to be a big change, just a change. Often something as simple as going to bed 15 minutes earlier than normal and waking up that bit earlier too. Minimal in the grand scheme of things but has the potential to be so powerful.

In the end what is outrage for? We as a species are outraged a lot of the time to hide our true nature, hide something from ourselves that we don’t really understand. We mask this lack of knowledge under a cloak of outrage, hopeful to slip under the radar without detection. I said that time is a luxury so why waste it on outrage? Be offended, be upset, cry powerfully but use it, this energy is more powerful than the strongest coffee. We choose not to act on what upsets us, what causes us to feel angry or scared because we think we have no way to overcome this part of our life.

When you think your only option is to accept life as what you see in front of you, that can be a bitter pill to swallow. Everything happens for a reason and there is always another way, its simply a question of perspective and if you are brave enough to look within yourself to find it. Most people are so scared of who they truly are and what they’re capable of so will hide under outrage, even from themselves. No wander you’re so tired. This is the story you’ve told yourself, about yourself.

I may not be old to most, but i am too old for the luxury of outrage. You let it into your mind and it latches on and burrows down. Outrage is corrosive, you can see it just behind someone’s eyes. I’ve seen it in my own.

Outrage will destroy everything you worked for and tell you it was the right thing to do. Change is the only way. Overcome a problem before being upset that there is no other way, because the truth is that could last an eternity. An eternity lost to the Luxury of Outrage.

Yours, with love as always.

D.R x

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The Shackled King

Good evening ladies and gentlemen

I’ve often wandered where my thoughts come from. I’ve had a lot of thoughts about my thoughts you could say, confused by them, endlessly seeking clarity, endlessly seeking peace from all the noise. What does it mean to be free from it all? Is it possible to be free of it all- to be the king of the world? Or are we just animals, sat in cages, waiting for the allotted slot we’ve been given to go out and get some exercise, maybe go for a run, to get put back inside once again, sweating with temporary relief, almost feeling like a king once again.

These thoughts about being a king, about taking “extreme ownership” as Jocko WIllnik puts it got me thinking about zoos and safari parks and more specifically about the lion and his pride.

The lion, out on the African Savannah is a king. Stand up for those behind him and against anyone who dares disrespect him. He lies in the shade, surveying his kingdom, the territory he controls and anyone who dares cross his path without his permission. He is a patient leader, willing and ready to pick the opportune moment to hunt, to strike, to overcome. He will look to extend his territory even, as he works to continue the royal blood line.

This is what we believe and perceive a lion to be. A king, rivalled but defeated by nobody and nothing. Always ready to put it all on the line for his cause. Then, to see that same king in an enclosure, or worse in a cage. I don’t write this for an environmental purpose but what does that do to a mind- even of an animal? Fed on a schedule, given a territory vastly smaller to the one his kind usually rule. In a box, regular food, no need to hunt. No need to dominate, nothing to protect, nobody coming for your kingdom.

I’m not sure that’s even a lion anymore. Just a cat. A Shackled King, once on top of the world, now wandering why it’s so cold.

Maybe they don’t know any different, maybe they don’t know that generations ago they were top of the food chain, kings of the savannah.

On top of the world, locked in a cage.

A lion is an animal, and animals require 2 basic things. To eat and to reproduce, passing genes onto the next generation. This, in essence-is their purpose. This is where the lion develops its uniqueness and garners potential for how we could see ourselves as humans, albeit in a world far removed from the territories of the African Savannah.

The mentality is key here, for everything you are and everything you want to be starts in your mind. The mind is the general and the body are the troops and the troops aren’t going to do a dam thing without the general’s instruction. The general is a lion, he has to be. Continue with the army idea, the lion general is going to be respected, mentally sharp, mentally sound in his decision making, so the troops will respect him and the troops will act. Similar to a pride of lions, there’s always a leader.

So why do we struggle so much to break free from it all- why is it sometimes so difficult to see outside the walls of the enclosure?

I think its all about scale- and its where most of us fall down.

Look at the lion, constantly ready to take over. Use UFC fighter Connor McGregor as the perfect example of the lion mentality- “we aren’t here to take part- we are here to take over!” Dr. Jordan Peterson refers to the strong mentality as the idea that you need to be a “monster” even. We are all exposed to so much about how to change your life, how to pull yourself out of a rut and start living your “best life.”

Point is, when you feel trapped, stuck in the same routine, food coming at a certain time, four walls seeming like they’re closing in just like at the zoo, getting out feels a near impossibility.

Exposed to so much content, so many debates and beliefs presented in whatever media streaming format you happen to be looking at telling you what you need to do to turn your life around, the proverbial mountain to get to the apparent levels of people like McGregor make the mountain seem so much bigger, the incline getting steeper and stepper as you go.

The best example of this i’ve been able to find is from the first part of the 20th century and involves Harry Houdini. At the height of his fame he boastfully claimed he could break out of any jail, anywhere in America, with nothing other than his street clothes and an hour. An old jail in the south took him up on the offer and confidently, Houdini swaggered into the cell. Door closed behind him. Houdini, at that point, was the King, confident the enclosure he had been placed in was no match for his kingdom, to be nothing more than another notch on his belt, an extension of his already vast territory.

After 30 minutes and with a steel wire he had hidden in his belt, Houdini had no luck picking the lock. His once confident demeanour, gone. What remained was a sweat bathed nervous man, worried at what his Kingdom had fallen to, these four walls, bested by a simple lock. An hour came and went and after two Houdini collapsed against the door, exhausted and defeated.

As he fell against the door, it swung open. The door had never been locked. The King had not been defeated by a locked door, or by an old prison. He had been defeated by himself, for the need to conquer and frivolously display his skills and intellectual capability had vastly outweighed the simplest method.

You.

Yes you.

I’m talking directly to you now.

That enclosure you find yourself in, the walls you feel are hemming you in, preventing you for being the lion you were always supposed to be, the King of your own life that you are destined to be. Like a lake in a desert, the walls are a mirage, placed there by you. That door was the most complex lock ever designed to Houdini- he could have been there hours and would have never been able to unlock it.

You are the author of your own story, so why not make it a good one? Be patient and understanding with yourself, listen to your mind and to your body. Take breaks where you need to but never give up. Be ready to learn and prepare for stuff to go wrong. It will go wrong along the way, its how you deal with it that’s important. Houdini gained a mark against his name that day, but the humbling he received, the challenge he faced took him somewhere new, somewhere bigger, somewhere better.

A lion doesn’t materialise out of thin air, trust the process, trust in your own growth. Learn from your mistakes and how to do better next time, not problems to linger on but obstacles to overcome. A lion doesn’t lament on losses but works on how to use them, make them part of the overall victory.

You placed the shackles on your wrist because of the quality of your thoughts about yourself. About your mind, your body, your ability to be happy, to be capable, loving and powerful in equal measure.

Control your thoughts, or they will control you.

This is how the shackles are broken.

And the King gets that taste of freedom so badly desired.

Thats how lions are created.

The Shackled King no more.

Yours, with love as always.
D. R x

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Time’s Trick

Good evening ladies and gentleman.

The passage of time is an illusion and life is the magician. Wearing a black hat and waving a wand with a fancy gold watch in its pocket, the constant passing of time is a cruel trick to convince us that we have more time.

Time. The gold piece on your wrist, the numbers on your car dashboard. Seemably endless, so sure there is always going to be time, that “I’ll get round to it” lifestyle is becoming more prominent these days. It comes down to a point I’ve made before that modern life is faster than ever now, as if “instant” gratification is the only way to do it . All in the pursuit of spending less of your life on minutes- because why stand in the queue to get a coffee when there’s a machine round the corner.

There is a rather simple way of showing the passage of time to be an illusion, a figment of your imagination created by the earth revolving round the sun and the moon revolving around the earth.

When was the last time you had a good day? Maybe you went on an adventure with a friend or maybe you stayed in bed with your partner and did nothing at all. How much something there was to be found in the hopelessly imperfect act of doing nothing. Did you notice how fast the day passed? How you blinked and the sun was setting again, moon rising to prominence as king of the night. Furthermore, do you remember the last time you had what felt like a bad day?

Those days when it feels like the whole world is against you…maybe you car didn’t start and you missed the train to work. Sat through meetings and work calls, made appointments you didn’t even remember agreeing to. Your computer crashed and lost all your work and you broke your shoe on the run for the train home. All normal things to happen, but all in one day- your set to explode. All you want is the day to be over and take another run at it tomorrow. Even so, every minute seems to drag, hours barely pass as you struggle to maintain composure, your eyes getting heavy as you yearn for the comfort of that warm, soft pillow.

Time passes based on how you feel in any certain moment. When tired, why does it feel like the dark never wants to close in. When you see that person’s face and watch the wry smile crawl from side to side, what makes that moment etch itself into your mind, what makes you feel like that moment could last forever?

This is Time’s Trick- the illusion that time is constant.

Time. Minutes, hours, days, months…years even. I would argue they don’t actually exist- nothing more than a measurable construct created by society. Yesterday is gone, not something that has passed, that was existence and now you find yourself in the field of today. While in today, there is no yesterday, there is no tomorrow. Only now.

Think of this- how many times do you look at the clock in a day? Maybe the clock on the wall of your office, the watch on your wrist or the screen on your phone. Do you notice, when you wish the day would end, when the bad day just seems to be getting worse- you find yourself looking at the time more than usual- as if there’s an allotted time for the bad day to end. Whereas if you’re having a “good” day, living out a dream, doing everything or even doing nothing at all, the time is the last thing your mind. Only being present in that moment- nothing else.

In reality the clock is nothing more than a measuring stick- a construct to tell you where you should be and what you should be doing at that particular part of the day. I’m not ridiculing this idea as time along with money are the foundations that society as we know it, but i really don’t think it’s that simple. I think we are barely scratching the surface of the time, there is so much we think we know about life and so much we couldn’t even begin to imagine.

Time doesn’t pass, life does.

How do you tell the difference?

Easy.

Time is always trying to convince you there’s more time.

Life is yours, and it is blissfully short. Gone in a flash- never to return. Blink and you miss it. Open your eyes and let it in- where you go from there could be anywhere you want.

Life is memories, is love adored and love lost, pain felt, tears fallen in sadness and laughter, hugs squeezed, moments shared. The thrill, the awe, the beauty to be found in the world even with all its pain, misery and powerlessness. Fall into it all, for without it, life is not life. Its just watching the clock, watching the minutes go by- wandering why you’re so tired.

Life imitates art. Without art, life is dictated by time

Time waits for nobody. This is Time’s Trick.

Regards, with love as always.

D.R x

Natural Progression

Good evening ladies and gentleman.

Across lockdowns and through the previous winter, i think we all found ourselves watching a lot more television. Binge watching these shows for hours on end, something to do on a day when there really wasn’t a lot to do. One episode became two, two rapidly became 5 and you ended up sat there wandering what happened to the day.

Episodes. Generally around 60 minutes, not long enough to lose your attention but long enough to keep you invested in this character, giving a mere snapshot into what is illustrated as nothing more than a few hours or days of their lives. As one episode becomes the next, the situation has changed, where they are, what they are doing, what they are wearing, even the time of day. The same, but different.

This is the natural progression of the show. The episodes could become seasons if well received and progression can become infinitely more vast than a few hours, movies, theatre productions- the sky is the limit when a show gains popularity. What if there was a reason they were like that- why does it feel so familiar?

Because i think we as humans need this structure. Not routine and not defined by any specific length, the need for natural progression is forever rooted deep into your psyche, this need to evolve- to grow.

It may not be quick, the movement could be impossibly minute, but consistent progression, forwards or backwards is more important than many of us understand. We need to evolve. But how? When you have that daily sensation of being stuck, not seeing a way through the darkness, the walls closing in, not knowing if you’ll ever stand straight again. Dreams in a cage, a play thing for the voices in your head, fed morsels with the intention of keeping them alive, but never letting them fly.

It can feel like some people are holding your leash, stopping you become that person you imagine yourself being. There are people that want you to feel like you should toe the line, do as your told, their experience of life trumps yours, so its important to follow in their footsteps.

So maybe that’s what you did. You followed in behind them, stuck at something, maybe a relationship you weren’t sure you should be in, maybe its a job that you feel nothing for. The hobby you wish you’d got round to gathering dust in the corner, as you sit in the comfy chair in front of your TV with your favourite show on barely able to keep your eyes open.

Alarm next day… same thing, different day.

Then the next day….and the next day.

You catch yourself half asleep in a planning meeting staring out into the dappled sunlight bouncing off the car you own a third of as you earn the money for the privilege of driving to work and sitting in these interesting meetings, tie a little too tight drinking your 7th coffee of the day in an attempt just to keep your systems from crashing.

Out of nowhere you hear the squeak of the handle and in bowls the manager, prepared and ready for the presentation. Your back, and realise that a year, 2 years, or even 5 years has passed. These thoughts are powerful, because we all think we are going to have time. There’s always time to get there- “it will be fine.”

Hard thing to accept that- when the very belief that drove you sort of disappears into the depths below, unimaginable that it will ever return. You feel it deep in your very soul, as if you’ve squandered these years, thought of the teen with all those dreams and almost left embarrassed at what had resulted. Not necessarily that you hadn’t reached the heights that you imagined you would when you were 15- but surely there was more to it than this…

Where does this come from? Because the way we’ve been living, not progressing, not finding opportunities to grow and evolve, not making a mess of things, fall backwards, cry spectacularly and laugh beautifully is going against your natural needs as a human being. I’ve said this before but life is made up of events- of episodes. You go through one episode, the screen goes to black and the credits roll just in time for the next one to start. Life could be described this way, from the opening scene of the pilot to the last fade of the last show in the last season. Its very easy and often difficult to notice when you are stuck in the same episode. You’re not watching anymore, not really. The familiar pictures and sounds a comfort but not offering that part of you any sustenance, not offering one of those moments where you’re truly in that moment because it’s the only place in the world you want to be.

Why? Because you know it all and have seen it all before. It’s going through the motions and the end of it is a near impossible idea, confusing to even consider for you’re doing what “needs to be done.” You need so much more than you think, this thing we have all developed where we can hang on by a thread and “boss it out” like it’s nothing, when it clearly is continues to confuse. “Hanging on” in all its powerful hypocrisy, isn’t taking anyone, anywhere.

Life is a road, those roads are made of episodes, those moments flashbulbs of wander, of pain, of beauty, of lust, love and everything in between. They make you see the world slightly differently, learn of your mistakes and how to be better. They illustrate who you were and who you’ve become, and tell you never to lie down and take what feels like punishment because its the “right thing to do.”

The world will tell you knowledge is king, that experience is the only way to succeed at being a human being in 2022. I say that what works for them may not work for you, I say nobody has the right to tell you anything in life is the “wrong way” because it didn’t work for them.

You are unique and with that the path you find yourself on and your natural progression is ultimately down to you. Your choices, your actions, how you react to the world ultimately helps you construct your world. People can be experts in whatever they want but it comes down to you. Do the job that helps you not be broke, but know where you’re going with it. Talk to your partner and find that spark again, if something is missing- go looking for it together. Climb to the top of the mountain and survey your world and then go find a new mountain and do it all again. Each episode is different, with characters and context- but the main character is pulling the strings.

You are the conductor of your own life, the main character in your show. Don’t let the world or anybody in it, define how you feel about anything, or anyone. They don’t deserve that privilege, especially when it could be used against you, bent to their warped ideal. Don’t skip the steps you think you can’t handle, for here is where you will learn the most.

And progress constantly, hoping, working continuously to make yesterday proud. In whatever small way you can.

To Natural Progression and a Thinking Evolution.

Regards, with love as always.

D.R x