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Zombie need Brains

Good evening ladies and gentleman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yours, with love as always.

D. R x

The Scheme

Good evening ladies and gentleman

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

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

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

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

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

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

One giant leap.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just an idea.

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

Yours, with love as always.
D. R x

Save the World

Good evening ladies and gentleman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Without what you say? Without hope.

Yours, with love as always.
D. R x

The Pursuit of Happiness

Good evening ladies and gentleman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yours, with love as always

D.R x

For the Love of It

Good evening ladies and gentlemen,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why?

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

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

The Puzzlemaster

Good evening ladies and gentleman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not really.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yours, with love as always.

D.R. x

The Sound of the Drums

Good evening ladies and gentleman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1111.1111.1111.1111…

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

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

Yours, with love as always.

D.R x

Shiny Things

Good evening ladies and gentleman

All this thinking about missing the past, about finding a purpose and not being able to understand the point in the monotony can be difficult. It can be very easy to fall into a depression through times like this, so i choose to think, to wander and attempt (at least) to understand.

I find myself fixated in particular on our purpose in the universe and its unfortunate relationship with the materials we “own.” I’ve tackled the materialism problem a few times before, but here the desire for “stuff” seems to be a symptom of a much wider problem. Chasing.

Always chasing, running towards something, someone. Running away from things just as fast as we ran towards them. It’s as if we don’t know what to do once we catch what we are chasing- like a dog whose already caught its tail. We seem as a society to have been taught we need something. We need to have this latest thing, a better car, a nicer house, a better paying job but work more hours, work harder, sleep less, see your children as much as you can but “duty calls.”

We are being led down a dark path by the very idea we use to cope with the stresses of modern life. Similar to how magpies are attracted to shiny things, we seem to be too. We sit there in a job we can’t stand, hoping to move up, get promoted and smile every time you ever lock eyes with anyone even with a mask on in an attempt to keep face in a place you are never ever going to be able to be yourself in, as you chase the next “big thing.”

Like i said before, the materialistic society is a symptom of a wider problem. Things are just that- things. They can’t hurt you, will never try to control you (the power you give them is all you) and ultimately will always be there for you. They are a constant, until they get boring. Then they have to be modified, changed and upgraded. For every person you see driving a nice car, there are probably 5 people driving one bored of it and in need of an upgrade.

The desire to chase and win seems to have spread to the pursuit of relationships too. A great number of the population (in the western world in particular) don’t want a relationship. Truth be told they don’t even know what a relationship is beyond what they’ve seen in movies or been told about by their friends who think their relationship is the “one” – whatever that means these days.

Let it be known I’m not hating on these people, if whatever they’re doing in their lives makes them happy, all the more power to them. I just choose to believe things aren’t that simple, that even in the relationship with the “one” there is still someone chasing…something.

The infamous, brilliant speaker and comedian George Carlin was a man far beyond his time and in one of his most famous routines said this:-

“Be happy with what you got. Because the owners of this country don’t want that. “

There are people in the world that have vast sums of money and things. More than you and I could even possibly imagine. In the infinite irony of the world we live in these days, those who are the “richest” in the modern sense of the world don’t seem to live all that far away from some of the “poorest” people. How can this be so? Chasing….always chasing.

These people may all be happy, they may all be sad. It’s hard to tell and ultimately for the person sat reading this, shouldn’t even matter. We as a whole species seem to waste so much of our lives chasing this perfect ideology to impress people who aren’t paying that much attention to us anyway. Thats the truth of it, you are chasing the point where you are able to control someone else’s thoughts about you.

That shiny utopia. The ultimate shiny that means pain, questioning, self exposure to potentially negative feelings or ideals never has to happen, because you always know what’s going to happen.

We are chasing a life without pain, so having money means you don’t have to worry about money, having a partner who cherishes and virtually worships you can mean you are able to do as you please without the potential for loneliness. This is what we have been convinced of ultimately, this learned behaviour to not be happy with what you have, to always want more, to want to be more, to have this never ending itch you will never be able to scratch.

The world will tell you this is what makes you feel alive, that drive to do and be more. I agree to a certain extent, but it leaves very little room for self understanding. You spend a day in bed staring at the ceiling convinced you are never going to stop crying and are probably just going to carry on feeling like this forever. That feeling isn’t something you chase, it’s something you survive.

You feel as if you have given up. You listened to the videos, you went to every talk and meeting you could- but ultimately there you lie, tears rolling down those puffed, swollen cheeks. A failure. Not able to chase anything, not going anywhere. Stuck in that same rut you’ve been in for years with seemably no way out.

You take these days so hard- they hurt so dam much. As a result you feel the need to chase so much harder for whatever you’re driving towards afterwards. Yet, the only factor that needs to be running at full strength to receive all we could dream of from the universe is us. We have to be there, focused and prepared for action. You cannot be this on point without the bad days. The days where you don’t get out of bed, the days where the dark is your new best friend. The endless chase has to stop, it has to stop.

These periods of time, this periods of self imposed reflection are giving you the tools and the clarity to look beyond the shiny bone the dog has been chasing after for weeks now with limited success. We need these times to stop and reflect, about who we are and what we want to be doing with our lives.

Then a smile wont feel so forced because it comes from a place of genuine joy. Think of this pursuit of “shiny” things for a second if you will.

You should be happy with what you have, says George Carlin. First and foremost in the process of doing that is being happy with yourself. Then the build, the chase, isn’t just for the sake of chasing something, just because it’s shiny.

Yours, with love as always.

D.R x

Empty Inkwells & New Colours

Good evening ladies and gentleman

Recent times and lockdowns in mind, purpose has found its way into my rhythm of work and existential crises. We live in an age where it’s very difficult to have a purpose, to know what defines us. We are allowed to go to the shops to buy essential items and go to work when we can’t do it from home. It means a great deal of people are at home, sometimes alone, for vast periods of time without any form of social interaction.

We are stuck in an endless cycle at the moment, every dam day near identical. Waking up the same time, going to the same place and doing largely the same thing for the same amount of time, eating at the same time, sleeping at the same time etc. It’s easy to feel as if you have no purpose, as if someone hit the pause button and now it’s stuck.

As much as this is a nice idea and could appease the most of us, i don’t think it’s that simple to you. We are still living, still growing, learning, every day another day we are unable to get back, even if it’s spent forcibly doing very little. You define yourself through your purpose, especially in these modern times, because external factors for life have become so loud now they are near impossible to ignore.

You like reading, cars, fish, animals, stamps- whatever it might be. They are your hobbies, the things that you enjoy doing. The places you wish to see, the road trips you have planned, the friends you only want to embrace after seeing them after what feels like forever. To hug someone who understands, to hug someone you care for so deeply as they squeeze you tighter i maintain is the most powerful form of anxiety relief going, even in this vast expanse of isolation.

So the truth is- your pursuit of fire, that feeling you’re truly alive has been rather lost for the time being or at least consigned to nothing more than a memory. The memories we have are supposedly the building blocks of our personality, the fundamental makeup of who we are and who we are ultimately going to be. This idea that this is a process, developing new memories and having new experiences has been put on hold is a hard one to handle- because the life we experience is the story we tell ourselves of who we are.

Thing is right now the ink is near out and nobody is sure where to get anymore from.

As much as i loathe such an overused phrase- the “new normal” is something we are all sort of having to get used to. The world is not the same as it was last year and it never will be, so the way we understand life, how we define our lives the purpose we live towards is going to change and continue to change.

The way you define your life has always been the purpose that gets you up in the morning. The reason to carry on has always been what drives your heart and soul when your body would much rather stay in bed. This is the part of you when you question your purpose and wander what you’re carrying on for. “Why am i bothering, to what purpose will this serve me?” and so on. We often seem so controlled by the external factors in our lives, so to lose that part of your life, that reason to carry on- its very easy to feel lost. Almost like you don’t know what your purpose is anymore.

This is where the line is blurred i think, between who we are and what defines us, in comparison to what we want to do and the places we want to see. We are not defined by a place or a car, seeing a band play live or seeing the Mona Lisa in Paris. This does not give us a better understanding of who we are and our place in the world, but instead gives us a better appreciation of the other things in the world.

The inkwell, for the time being, is empty. The black ink you have been writing the story of your life with isn’t available on Amazon, all the ink stores are closed. “How do i carry on without it?” I need my inkwell to dip my pen to write the next chapter of who I am. Without the ink you find most comfortingly familiar, life in itself becomes unfamiliar.

This is, at a time like this…inevitable. We have found ourselves in unprecedented times and the world has been left reeling from the consequences of this pandemic. Furthermore it’s far from over yet, so our personal battles must continue. Now we can fight to find that black ink, sure, but the writing has to carry on. To lose sight of your purpose means life really isn’t worth living, and what defines us is so much more than we know.

You are not defined by your job. You are not defined by your car, or lack of car. You are not defined by the social media platforms you have, or the likes your photos get. You are not the clothes you can’t afford or the payments you struggle to make. You are not defined by the partner you have, or don’t- or their social media presence. You are not defined by the food you eat, by your sexuality or race.

No single thing, feeling or idea can give you an understanding of who you are. Losing access to that familiar black ink is terrifying- make no mistake. The fear however, leaves you with two options at its heart, for like most things- a choice needs to be made.

Give in to the fear and wander what your purpose should be. Fear carrying on the story of you without that black ink, so much so that you write nothing at all.

Or find a new colour and carry on.

The world isn’t ever going to be the same, in truth, the world as we knew it is long gone. We can sit here and mourn its loss, or we can carry on and thrive, evolve beyond ever our own understanding, find a purpose and need to carry on in unfamiliar territory. Here and now is the ultimate time for self exploration and understanding, in a time with so much less to hold your attention, to pull it away from what really matters, imagine all there is to learn about yourself.

Now is a better time than any to learn something new about your best friend and harshest critic. Feed that person the language you always meant to learn, the drawing class you always meant to take. Learn to laugh at the world again, because for all the seriousness it can be hilarious when it wants to be. Life is defined by what we choose to perceive it as…

And what is life to me?

Empty Inkwells and New Colours.

Yours, with love as always.

D.R x

I Miss You

Good evening ladies and gentleman

The phrase “I miss you” is a 3 word montage that’s managed to perplex me for years now. I’ve never really seen the point in it. I’ve always hated the laziness in which such powerful phrases are used in the simple ways they are presented. Along with phrases such as “I love you” and the like, they have always seemed a rather cheap form of self expression.

You could string any number of letters and characters together, say the most wonderful, beautiful lines, lines you would have to write for, lines you would be willing to die for. These lines could be the baring of your soul hidden between barriers of these easy “get out of a tight spot” phrases.

I loathe a lot of colloquialisms for this reason. Expression is unique, artistic and sometimes so fucking painful as you push the words past the lump in your throat as the tears form in your eyes. Another prime example of such phrases include “there’s someone out there for everyone.”

Now this does do things to me. This phrase is the single most infuriating, lazy way of thinking you’re providing comfort or just a banked phrase when you “think” you should say something, when the only thing worth saying is nothing at all. This phrase supposedly eliminates the awkwardness of the situation when you feel like you should say something comforting, when all you’re doing is showing how little you’ve been taking in, giving the occasional nod but so far from understanding the pain of it all.

I have not hidden away from the fact i am not good with people. I understand a lot about people, their chemistry, connections, ideals, loves and pains- but i have always struggled to understand people, to connect with them on some genuine level. People rapidly became puzzles, a coping mechanism to try and understand these aliens in some fanciful idea that i lost myself in- that if people “look happy-” if i started looking, feeling and living like that maybe i would get to be happy too.

Ridiculous, as a thought- i have never denied this. Yet when you feel it so powerfully- as if your soul might leave whats left of you to the darkness, it’s hard to ignore. Moreover, as much as it is undeniably a preposterous suggestion to imagine living life in someone else’s context will give your life the edge you crave – it’s so important to have these thoughts and feelings, for without them, you cannot overcome them.

So to look further on, how can you miss someone when the idea there is someone for you is so ludicrous? I can’t process this idea that your life’s purpose is supposed to be looking for that person to make you complete and without them, you are less complete as a person. Why has life become about intensely searching for someone to make you happy? And if this chase is anything to go by, why isn’t everyone so unbelievably happy in these connections? Surely friends should never row, couples never breakdown and ultimately nobody would ever feel lonely- especially if we were to listen to the legends that the world has has us believing.

Taking everything as literally as possible, these legends would make sense and the idea of ultimate happiness being born from someone else wouldn’t be such a laughable concept. So why are there breakdowns? Why do so many relationships implode and deteriorate under the weight of their own expectations? Why is one person so blame to quick the other to maintain whats left of their self image? What is left?

“I miss you.”

People come and go- missing them makes me want for a time that has gone. Good or bad, i learned something from this event and am grateful to have been there. Snapshots, not oil paintings and away you go. Missing them just seems so extra.

Yet. *She enters scene…

The thing about missing people is how they affected you when you knew them, or spent time with them. I said before when you meet a hero, or a saviour, the effect they have not only on your life but on you, is profound.

She didn’t save me from anything. If she did anything, she made me realise how far i had really sunk. So far from the man i wanted to be i would wake up everyday convinced i knew the person staring at me in the mirror. I look back now and i don’t know who he was, what he was. I processed more pain and anguish i didn’t even know i had as a result of meeting her and talking to her. She recognised the darkness i found myself drowning in so often and we spent some time there. Even if only for a while, some part of me felt so, so scared, yet so at peace.

Then as soon as she was there, she was gone again. Blown away like the last drag of a cigarette. There i sat- dumbfounded, relieved she was gone, unsure what had just blown through my life. As the days and months have passed and as i have tried to work on myself, continue to rebuild the palace of darkness after the hurricane of her passed through me.

Thing is, I don’t recognise it anymore. I talk so much about evolution and as much i have rebelled and campaigned against someone else having that impact- she played a key part to this stage of my evolution. As a result, especially in my darker times, i actually miss her. Something i thought for many years was impossible.

It’s about impact…and fear. It’s easy to want to her back, but i know she will most likely never be a part of my life again. She opened my eyes to so much about myself and made me so scared i would never feel like that again about anyone again. More than that, not sure that i would ever want to feel like that again. It’s about accepting that life is painful, that sometimes you have to make a choice- even when neither option shows any promise.

You cannot and should never try to recreate something. It will only make for disappointment, no matter how painful not having them around can feel. Yes i miss her sometimes, but why taint something so beautiful and as close to perfect as i have ever met in my life

Selfishness makes me want her back in my life, but the only way to fully appreciate her and all she did is to leave the memories of her as just that…memories. The more i delve into this “missing” someone prospect is that it goes a lot deeper than just “somebody-” its the idea of them. You don’t really miss the drinks or the dinners out, watching TV or the photos on Instagram. No…

You miss the moments that score themselves onto your soul. Dancing around a room, eating ice cream, drinking on a rooftop and lying together saying nothing, not needing to say a word but knowing there is nowhere in the world you’d rather be. Admitting you want someone is scary, admitting you miss them is scarier, but understanding what you miss is truly heart wrenching. People are subjects of your feelings, your feelings are ultimately yours and yours alone.

I do miss her, and i care about her with more depth than i thought i was capable of. What if this wasn’t so bad though, for if you miss someone you truly appreciated them for who they are. They bring about a thinking evolution in you and make you want to be a better person, the most improved version of yourself that you can be.

You appreciate someone because they are helping you understand how to appreciate yourself. Thats where all of this starts. You are noticed and you are found to be just as remarkable as she is to you.

I like to think so anyway.

Yours, with love as always.

D. R x