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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

Blessing in Disguise

Good evening ladies and gentleman

When things start, you believe they will last forever. When you make a decision, you think it’s the right one. When you cry, you think you will never feel good again and when happy, any whim of sadness you felt is a distant memory. To fail, or to succeed, the simple act of doing is incredibly powerful and the thought of such an act is incredibly compelling and equally terrifying.

It comes down to things changing and how we handle not knowing, instead left with what you believe, be it in a person or in yourself. When you hang it out there, when you throw that dice down the craps table, when you take that leap of faith, it has a degree of just that- faith. You have to have faith in yourself in order to achieve anything. It’s that same faith in yourself that brings people into your life, those you choose to trust, to care about, to love. They are only there- because you allow them to be there. The energy they bring into your life, their hopes and dreams, their desires- it becomes a part of you. Then together you strive for each other to grow to heights previously seen as impossible.

I say this is the case, but I know only in a hopeful world, in the Palace of Darkness i have crafted within my mind is this idea absolute. I am a big campaigner for living hopefully, but the world being the world, it’s a lot easier said than done. Life has gotten so noisy now, its hard to know where it ends and you begin.

The thing is, I think people are scared. Scared of what? Scared of everything, often even of their own reflection. What they don’t understand, what they do understand, what they feel, what they daren’t risk to lose. So what does one do- when one doesn’t know what to do?

Wrestle with it, with yourself, with the person, with the thoughts inside their head, in your head. Our mental health as a nation, as a species is so powerfully complex no single model or theory can logically explain it, not Freud, Wundt or Skinner- not completely. In this desperate wrestle for control, we can lose so much, not just the delicate balance we have been trying to maintain for so long, to keep face with how strong we are.

A last ditch attempt to desperately wrestle back control. Control is king, we have all heard and its the only way to win. Because in the end, its all about winning right?

Look at the belief, the power of the positivity coursing through your veins when you first decided to believe, to have faith. Day by day, week by week and month by month, it all starts to wear you down, make you question yourself. Doing something against your status quo does that, makes you think you’re crazy. You fight it, convinced your OK, that it’s all in hand. How, when wrestling for control- does everything feel so out of control?

Why? Because the last leap made you land on your face and the dice came up snake eyes. The cheers died down, the men in tuxedos, the women in beautiful long dresses moved away, the chips down the hole, never to be seen again. There you are, left, alone, stood at a table with some numbers on, feeling champion of the world to just another nobody with the roll of a dice.

As you lie there, puffy cheeked and tear stained, faith gone, exhausted at the sheer bloody struggle it has become to just carry on, you wander why you ever started, wander why you didn’t just sit in the cave, for the faith that lifted you up has dragged you so far down its impossible to know whether you will ever be up again. Face against the floor, not wanting to get up.

Thing is right. It may not seem like it now, not tomorrow, next week or even next month. This darkness you find enveloping you, filling your lungs, the pain making it difficult to breathe, killing the belief in you and in the people around you. You wish you’d never met anyone, just stayed home in bed, pretending the world doesn’t exist. Do that for a while, absolutely, Be down for a while, be impossibly sad.

Be so sad you don’t know what to do with yourself. Be with it and feel every second of it. Let the pain of it course through you as that positivity once did. But remember, as your faith did:-

Everything Ends.

That way your feeling, that nobody understands, that feeling that has you so far out to sea that the land is nothing more than a speck on the horizon, will end. You will find your way back, the sea will be there for you and will blow you back to shore. Ride the waves, there are people who will always love you and always support you. Your friends are the most powerfully brilliant people in your life, those there for you in hard times are the ones you should hold on to- they are wonderful.

Let yourself process this pain, never ignore it. Be patient, your friends aren’t going anywhere. Your faith is lost but it’s not gone forever. Then one day, without realising it, you will remember who you are.

The same- but different.

And although impossible to imagine right now- all that pain, that misery, the losing of yourself, blaming yourself for all this pain, the feeling of not being good enough, of being told you are wrong, you feel the wrong things, you are never going to find anyone else like me, you will be alone forever.

This person, once brilliant person you gave so much of yourself to. You will see what they took from you, and realise how much you went through to get it back.

Then you will finally realise, when all is said and done-

It was a Blessing in Disguise- it gave you your power back.

Yours, with love as always.
D.R x

Toa Heftiba

Badge of Honour

Good evening ladies and gentleman

What is shame? What is that thought in the back of your head…the feeling that has you running your hand through you hair, wandering what the hell you did that for. What is it to hate what you feel, to hate as if you lost a grip on yourself, brokedown and cried yourself to sleep? What is to feel guilty simply about feeling?

Conversation with a friend, something she said in passing about how when she tries to explain how she feels she cries. Purely in passing, not meaning anything more or less than that. The way she spoke was as if crying was almost a sign you are losing control, that you can’t get your words out so will express yourself this way instead. The emphasis on the “emotional control” we are trying so hard to maintain as you firefight the shadows of your insecurities in secret, away from prying eyes.

Why has crying developed this stigma? Social situations and a basic understanding of social behaviours tells us crying is strictly related to the extremities of emotion, usually in a powerfully negative sense. You must be crying about something bad that happened, something has made you feel sad, bad, lonely or lost and crying is nothing more than an unfortunate result of feeling this pang of negativity lodged just behind your heart.

Crying is seen as a problem, or perhaps more the result of a problem. The natural reaction to seeing a person crying is one of two avenues- to avoid them, or console them.

This is the issue i have and where in my opinion this “shame” issue comes in. More on a individual level and to my understanding, we as a nation hate to cry, for it shows we are “weak” and incapable of dealing with the problems, however big or small life is throwing at us. It makes you feel like a problem, or feel like you can’t handle your problems.

This attitude to emotional overload makes for the belief you need help and someone who takes that problem away, even temporarily.

Crying isn’t shameful, I don’t think many people understand the true nature of crying, for that person is not looking for help to solve their problem, not even temporarily. In that moment, that person isn’t doing anything, they are lost at sea, doing all they can to keep their head above water and to avoid the salty depths of whatever emotion is trying to drag them under.

People don’t cry because of anybody, as much as it’s a difficult idea to imagine. We cry as humans to help handle our problems. That gas tap in the top of your head, all that pressure, pain, confusion, sadness and frustration is making it impossible to think clearly, this pent up feeling, that sensation that has you running your hands through your hair. It’s you, working to power through whatever is trying to beat you, to defeat you, leave you down for the count.

Crying is a valve, to release the pressure. When you find that strength to bring yourself back, to wipe your eyes and keep it moving, think of how clear headed you feel, how a wave of clarity has passed through your once clustered mind- leaving you so much more ready to take it down and level up.

Moreover than that, if someone trusts and believes in your friendship to the point where they’re OK crying around you, understand you are in a particularly privileged position. The reason they’re crying isn’t relevant at this second, you’ll get there. As of now, as their friend, your job is simple- to be there for them in that moment. Life is made up of moments and right now there is a chance you can do something powerfully wonderful for someone you care about. But what to do?

Simple.

Go up to them, look them in the eyes and embrace them. Hug them- hold them tight. Squeeze that person and feel them squeeze you back. Numerous studies have suggested a massive dose of the pleasure hormone oxytocin is produced when hugged m=by someone you care about. Think of the emotional pressure cooker that person feels like and how that moment of safety, moment of comfort could help stem the flames, force back the shadows trying to swallow them whole.

We have fallen into this trap today that problem solving is the key to development. “if i do this- this will happen…” and so on. The world and the relationships we build are not based on a logic equation, they cannot be explained. It requires us to be present in the moment, ready to be there for someone and for as long as it takes, until the tears stop rolling down their cheeks and they emerge through the other side.

You! With the puffy cheeks and bleary eyes. You with the mark on your shoulder from where their tears dried on your shirt. It is not and will never be a display of weakness, never weakness. The weakness comes from not crying at all, for the only emotion you should never show is no emotion at all.

Wear it as a badge of honour. And be so dam proud.

Own it, and rise above.

Yours, with love as always.

D.R x

R & R

Good evening ladies and gentleman

Have you ever had that feeling, that confusing knot in your stomach, an itch you cant seem to quite reach- almost like you feel something so powerful but have no idea what it is. You feel it coursing through your veins every minute of every day, it keeps you feeling something, but to understand it feels a near impossible task. You’re not good, you’re not bad, you don’t feel right, but you’re not sure what’s wrong. Lost in emotional limbo, in a cycle of daydreaming, confusion and anger at the answer to a problem you didn’t even know you had.

More times than i care to count I have found myself in this very position. Sure there’s more to life than what I’m doing- pushing through pain and through barriers in some belief happiness and peace will rear its head as a result, but it sometimes is a struggle to know what. I see people online, these famous millionaires and billionaires giving speeches, talking about working 18 hours a day, 7 days a week and not taking a holiday because it’s time you “should be working.”

Through such influences, its easy to feel like you aren’t doing enough and as you push yourself to do more and more, burnout becomes inevitable and the quality of your work lessens as a result. When you see all the hours you put in, the hard work (considering how you felt hard work could be something as simple as trying to keep your eyes open) and it doesn’t look right, or you feel it sub-par to your usual high standards- you start to wander what the point of carrying on is.

With those influencers there is something we’ve missed. We, as a species, as the world nation across the pages of the media and social networking platforms -see the final results. We see 10% percent of what is happening in their world. We see the the positivity that comes from the other 90%. So in truth, we are being influenced by the shiny object at the end of all the work, but the truth is we miss a few things along the way. Say for example- Elon Musk and Tesla.

Love him or hate him, love Tesla or hate it the basic idea started from wanting to eliminate the petrol powered car and as a result of his work, numerous manufacturers have had to follow suit. The work he has put in is tremendous but thats not what we see, we see the 10% percent in the end. We see nothing of the pain, the struggle and most importantly here, the rest and recuperation- the “R & R.”

This, i believe, is the most massively misunderstood and undervalued aspect of life. Hard work is unquestionably very important when it comes to achieving goals and being successful, but the rest is just as important. Taking that time away from the screen, the power of standing up, going to the kitchen and making yourself a cup of tea is unparalleled in this uber connected world we live in. The action of going for dinner with family, with a loved on and not having the phones out, the power of the connection you have by being disconnected will drive your mind better than any level of caffeine ever could.

R & R these days seem to have taken on this ugly sort of ideal, that is something that should be done minimally before returning to the grind that is life. “Life is hard, life is difficult and if you ever want to get anywhere, you better be ready to give it all up for it!”

This is work. Nobody wants to work, i don’t think. We need financial stability to survive in modern society, so accept this employment hierarchy is something we have to be a part of in order to carry on the way we are. From the outside in, people like Elon Musk spend and have spent most of their adult lives working . This is the other aspect of life we often misunderstand- enjoyment.

It’s hard to enjoy anything anymore, for fear of ridicule, for not fitting in, for being called out, cancelled or just hated. But to use Elon Musk again as an example, the man loves what he spends his time doing. The impact of his work is having a positive impact on his life. This is him trying to leave a legacy, a mark on this ever changing world, something i have no doubt he will achieve ten times over. Why? He works hard, takes R & R and loves so much all of what he does.

It’s so important to rest, to press pause on the world for a while. To sleep in, to go for brunch and spend all day watching movies, when the only thing on the agenda for the day is nothing at all. I believe this with all my heart. The brain is a muscle and if you overwork it- it gets tired, just like any other muscle in your body. You have to get through these periods and they have to happen, but you have to rest to find your strength, to find your balance once again. It will reignite your love for what you’re doing and wanting to do, remind of you what you want and who you want to be.

Nobody is saying stop working. All i’m saying is to take a day and remember why you started.

Yours, with love as always.

D.R x

The Smell of You

Good afternoon ladies and gentleman

What is it that triggers memories? What thing causes you to disappear into the depths of your unconsciousness, to a memory you may not have replayed for years. Yet- there you are. Front and centre in the most unique, wonderfully awful, gut wrenchingly embarrassing moment from your past. Tears form in the corner of your eyes as you grimace or pull a curt half smile as you remember the laugh that person you were with let go. Then you remember, no matter how embarrassed or cringeworthy that memory is, you wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

That smorgasbord of powerful feelings and emotions are all born from something, from the battle for control of your emotions. No matter the level of control you’re trying to wrangle- like a bull and its rider, the only inevitability is hitting the hard cold sand of the ring floor.

The majority of us possess 5 basic senses. Sight, Sound, Touch, Taste and Smell. These senses are the key for us finding our way in the world and understanding what we are doing as we go. Its this understanding, beyond basic unconscious reflexes that have allowed us to evolve into the semi-conscious beings that walk the earth today. All of them have their qualities, but all in their own way illicit memories.

Memories of a great meal can be bought back with the taste of a similar food, the touch of silk remind you of a beautiful dress you once wore to the ball, a song remind you of a great gig that etched itself onto a corner of your mind, the sight of a long brunette mane shocking your system into thinking your past had finally caught up with you and then there is smell.

Smell, I believe is the same- but different. The other senses will undeniably powerful, but very instantaneous in the reactions they cause. See something, remember it. Taste, Touch, whatever. Smell is as powerful, but more. You could catch the smallest smell of perfume on someone as you wander through a crowd, the lightbulb flickers as if the dragon of familiarity had stirred, but is yet to be woken.

It can get at you, the smallest smell. Minutes, hours, days can pass with this problem wittering at your brain, trying to remember why you know that smell and without knowing why it seems to affect you so much. Then, in the most random of moments, when you least expect it- you are overcome by a confused sadness and realise where that smell had come from. The aroma of a past happiness, a past love.

The Smell of You.

In my experience, smell brings about the most powerful memories. Flashbulbs of powerful familiarity, fleeting moments of happiness combined with sadness of where it all went wrong. You know, I know, we all know that bad things need to happen for us to appreciate how good the good things are. This applies with happy and sad moments just as much for without sadness, happiness would be a dream, nothing more than an idea of a feeling, much like the idea of love being much more appealing than love itself.

I think we are very easy to dismiss these feelings that are created by our senses, in particular by smell. Its as if we have developed this need in society to constantly be re-inventing oneself, convinced this “next” version will be the one that gets to be happy. Its these memories of pain, of love loved and love lost we work so hard to forget, to move on from and pretend it never happened. We can’t bare to look back at that day, that moment, that memory. A smell, an odour, an aroma has the power to sit on the very surface of your mind and make you feel so much of what you’ve lost because when you first experienced that moment you hoped it would last forever.

They don’t though. They never do- maybe that’s why we avoid creating those memories. If you don’t ever have those moments you wish to last forever then you never have to deal with it all flooding back. What if that wasn’t the idea of that smell though, the idea of the taste of that food or the touch of that silk. What if that smell, that positively confusing, terrifying moment when that powerful odour wafts up your nostrils and them memories come back to you in a tsunami of painful inevitability. “It’s going to hurt and the idea of smiling is not going to be possible for a while. “

Yet, without realising, they do make you smile. Those memories of lying across from someone as they stir to a smile, laughing so hard tears are streaming down your face, that meal that blew you away, the sunset you watched as you walked down the pier. We focus so badly on avoiding pain and all the memories that come with it- but no memory really causes you pain. You cause you pain.

Be proud of how far you’ve come and never wish to go back to the past. Nothing lasts forever, so be so in the moment at times of outstanding happiness that feel like they will never end. Perfection is a dream chased by people who don’t understand how beautiful it is to be flawed and forget that imperfection should be revelled in and never feared. Your senses remind you of a time long gone and be happy they are gone but be happy that you were there too. Memories give you the means to create the person you want to be, so don’t hide from them. Let them hurt and let yourself enjoy that moment.

That small fleeting moment, in a cold winter, trudging to the train station, leaves underfoot and the smell of autumn in the air.

The smell, that unmistakable smell, and remember a time

A time that was truly outstanding.

And smile. Maybe only for a second, but for that second you were so very proud of you.

Yours, with love as always.

D.R x

Tired

Good evening ladies and gentleman

So, all this talk of the omicron variant of COVID spreading through central Europe and now the country is stirring once again as another lockdown looms. Now i’m not one for politicising what i write, satire is best left to the comedians and not something i wish to throw my hat into the ring on. What i found more interesting is the symptoms of the new variant. The list of ailments that if you have them together, the likely scenario being that Omicron COVID wreaking havoc within you as the bodily defences go to war once again.

There were the usual things. Night sweats, sore throat- the sort of thing that would make you genuinely feel and think you were unwell. More interesting were the next two, headache and tiredness.

Tiredness… (symptoms can vary slightly this is just from my research)

So now if you didn’t get enough sleep you have a symptom of COVID. It made me think how i am tired almost constantly, trying to get enough sun in this bleak midwinter as you try and eat at least one of your five a day while trying to drink enough water and never getting there. Then as you work to get through the day doing without even seeing the sun through a window, let alone a moment to yourself you wander. You wander why you carry on, or even how, without getting stressed and worked up over something that you cannot control.

COVID is making you tired. What i think is that it’s a lot simpler than that. Life is more tiring than ever, in a world of noise, so much going on, constant and persistent stimulus being poured onto the surface of your consciousness at a near constant rate, it surprising we keep up at all.

Control is king. I’ve always believed that. Control everything and no outcome can curveball you to the strikeout you believed impossible. I feel like we have been bought up as a collective to believe we are supposed to control everything, because everything outside of your life seems so out of control. This constant overthinking, the persistent overstimulation of every synapse in your brain constantly trying to understand and overcome everything while trying to run your life, avoid misery, drink enough water, eat healthy and get your exercise in.

“Stuff to do” can very easily slip slide down the mountain to a “lot to do.” From that a lot to do becomes too much to do.

This is where tired comes in. Trying to do everything at once- it gets so overwhelming, ironically when you’re out here trying to make so much happen at once as it kills you mentally, it means you’re getting less done. All this control, but no result. From this you start wandering why it’s not happening, so you rest less, work more, pile it on more, less fun, see less people. Resulting in a run down one path to burnout.

You remember when you were a kid you see them clowns spinning plates? They would do 4 or 5 and blow your child like mind away at the feat of magnificence in front of you. Astounded by 4 plates and here you are trying to keep 20 spinning at the same time. No wander you’re so tired.

So. Control is king, but what you’re trying to control is the issue. It took me years to figure this out but you then realise how much you are capable of. It’s not about controlling what happens- its about how you react to it.

You choose how you deal with your life. One of the most important things to remember is that life- in all of its connections- is a one player game. You remember that your feelings and your decisions are yours. Everything you do is your choice and yours alone. Its not about controlling everything, it’s about how you react to things you didn’t expect. Understand you can’t change everything and can control even less. The world is happening around you right now, whether you’re lying in bed reading this or stood at the top of a mountain. Your friends are doing stuff other than hanging out with you, some people love you, some can’t stand the sight of you and others have no idea you even exist.

And you know what? None of it matters. Not unless you want it to.

When you put your emotional energies towards things and beings that make you feel good and will be able to offer that same energy in return, you will find yourself getting less tired. You’ll spend less time tossing and turning, more time resting. I honestly believe we have to conserve emotional energy and give it to what can bring you joy. Focus on what can provide you something positive, because focusing on everything is just making you so, so tired.

It isn’t a life if you’re too bleary eyed to enjoy it.

with love, as always.
D.R x

Communication Breakdown

Good afternoon ladies and gentleman

What is it when the monotony of life gets at you? What happens when you feel like your stuck in an endless cycle of daily tasks and the same conversation with the same people- the sort of people that say so much and nothing at all?

People will tell you, society will tell you that it’s life and you just need to suck it up. Life is painful and you just have to deal with it- just like the rest of us. Why do you think the drug problems are increasing at an exponential rate and have been so for the last 3 decades, why the pubs and bars seem to be more and more full come the weekend and the fear of the next lockdown is driving anxiety levels in the country higher than ever before.

It’s easy to feel like your losing it. I often think part of this feeling is in the balance society is trying to strike towards our obedience. About how we are supposed to just “suck it up.” They communicate what they want us to believe, to feel, to love- and we obey. Chase this thing, work towards that goal, make sure you’ve done this by then, if you don’t do that there must be something wrong. And so on…

This is the way the world communicates these days. Either through shouting and telling you that you’re wrong without offering any sort of explanation, or just not at all. Fuck up and i’ll come and tell you how much of an idiot you are later. It often feels like the latter is used more, because it feels as if your life has been written out for you before you take your first breath.

“Have this by then..”

“why haven’t you done that yet?…”

“if you haven’t done that- what have you been doing?..”

It goes on, but even thinking about it is just draining. The world doing all it can to weigh you down and write you off, this pursuit for you to be nothing more than a statistic, to not cause problems, to do as your told and tell everyone how great it is this way.

So what is it? What makes this feeling that something is missing when you find yourself just going through the motions? As i understand it, at the heart of it is a communication breakdown. Between you and society? No.

Between you and you.

The part of you that is presented to the world, the conscious aspects of your personality are very easily influenced by the pull of the “easy route,” of the pull that is “falling into line.”We are pulled to this because we look at other people and think they are happy- so will imitate them in an attempt to get that good dose of happiness we think we want so badly. We think moments will rectify our lives, the achievement of that goal will mean life can really get “started.”

Yet, in the vast chasm of our obsessive consciousness, so lost in trying to figure out to be happy, be rich, to have women in your bed or keys in your pocket, there is something else, a calling, a voice, a niggle you are just unable to ignore. Some call it a soul, a voice inside your head, or perhaps in contrast to consciousness, the unconsciousness.

I know this is a vague term. Frankly- all three of them are. What is that feeling though? Things are going well, your job is manageable, you’re trying to be sociable and as present as you can. You continue to work towards your goals and have a general idea of how you intend to progress and eventually achieve them. As it stands, you have nothing to feel upset, sad or depressed about- from the outside. From the outside people would and do assume your happy with how things are.

I’ve waxed lyrically about all sorts of things over the years, but this has always played at me. Like a voice in my head screaming, shouting, doing all it can to attract my attention. A persistent and sinking feeling i was missing something, so close to me yet so far away, hidden just beneath the surface of what felt familiar.

It eats at me, however hard I run, it persists- just behind my eyes. It’s corrosive.

Except it’s not. It’s a communication breakdown.

The person you want to be, the way you want to feel, what you want to achieve and the legacy you want to leave lives just beneath the surface, the aspects of your unconscious personality you don’t think the world should see because you’re scared the world will try and take it out of you, that you wont have as many friends or because you won’t be accepted. You fear the opinions of others, so keep your true nature locked away, hidden beneath the surface and do all you can to break ties, to breakdown the communication between what you see and all that you don’t- even if its mentally exhausting because the alternative doesn’t bare thinking about.

Take music for example. If a guitar string isn’t properly connected at the top and bottom of the instrument, would you be able to play that instrument properly? Would the great musicians and lyricists of the last 5 decades or so be able to sing of the pain, torment, love and sadness they feel so powerfully without the added level of communication that a well played guitar provides? The guitar is an extension of their personality for it provides them with a connection to themselves that words cannot express.

It is the same here. Your conscious and unconscious mind need to talk, they need to communicate. That information flow needs to be consistent and moreover than that persistent. The breakdown can be repaired- more than that it has to be for you to gain true knowledge of who you are and what you are capable of because in truth its so much more than any of us can possibly imagine.

That voice inside your head, the very nature of your being is calling for you to be brave. The communication breakdown is a difficult thing to fix, the repeated and constant assault on your senses throughout daily life in society is becoming a much harder thing to combat. Someone i know once upon a time told me a story about persistence. She talked about consistently working a plan to the same method, over and over again proving to give no result. So simply put- do something different.

Offer that olive branch to yourself. Tweak that guitar string- hear the tension rise and see if it sings a note that feels like you- unfamiliar but you all the same. Nobody is expecting a full solo straight away. Start on that path with a single note. A breakdown isn’t the end of everything you are.

You can rebuild and come back stronger.

Learn to recognise that person in the mirror. And listen to them.

Yours, with love as always.

D.R x

Muy Importante

Good evening ladies and gentleman

What does it mean to be important? What is it when something- or someone, is important to you? I personally have spent many years doing all i can to avoid giving anything or anyone such monikers, bar the few people i would without a doubt call very important to me. The majority of the time, i try to refrain from believing things, or people are necessary, that they are important, that without them this page of my life would be a lot darker one.

It has meant i have kept my sanity (almost)- or this is how i have rationalised an undeniably rash set of behaviours. In the last few months my understanding of myself has started to waiver though, for the simple reason i have come to realise that beyond this, beyond writing, beyond poetry and expression there is a lot more going on. A lot more that i know absolutely nothing about. This though, is where the idea of something becoming important can very easily fall into a coping mechanism, or a strategy to avoid losing a grip on what you know, or believe to be true.

9 letters. I M P O R T A N T. Meaningless by themselves, say it in Spanish and it means even less to many millions of people across the world. When you use a word like important to convince yourself of a truth you know to be far from it, it loses shape and with that- meaning.

“That’s not important”

“It doesn’t matter”

“She’s not relevant”

“He’s just a man”

However you wish to spell it and in whatever phrase you wish to spin it in, the right circumstance will leave phrases like that meaningless and you open to causing pain to people in ways you are too afraid to perceive possible.

Why? Because the idea of someone seeing you as “Muy Importante” is so hilarious to you- its naturally seen as ridiculous. Beyond that why would you offer someone the privilege of believing them- when its impossible for them to be genuine, implausible beyond all comprehension.

So you hit that phase, the big red button. The alarms flare, men in hard hats start running up and down the steel corridors of the palace, jumping up and down ladders preparing for a break in the walls surrounding your Palace of Darkness. Someone is trying to break through and if they do it will ruin everything. All that hard work, the Palace of Darkness would be brought to its knees by the implementation of a single flicker of light.

You do it and you’d do it again to “protect” yourself. Why? Not to protect yourself, that word holds no more weight than any of those phrases in this context. Then it becomes a battle of convincing yourself of something you know not to be true.

You do it to maintain control- to maintain the illusion. The illusion that you are in control. In control of what?

Everything.

Control is king. Of your emotions and what affects them and what is “muy importante.” A stranglehold, a tyrannical ruler convincing you he’s doing it all to help you. Keep them all away. You don’t need them. An illusion presented to display strength in the face of adversity limited only to ones imagination- allowing the ego to roam free and without restriction as the weak continue to hide in the shadows. Its hard when you’ve been doing this for so long it becomes second nature, when the mask has been on for so long you don’t now who you’re looking at in the mirror anymore.

You are so confident that you have the illusion, that the whole world is fooled by you, the swagger, the arrogance, the unquestionable ethic that you are actually brilliant and untouchable by such menial ideas as people, as someone holding any sort of power over you and not seeking to simply destroy you. The last ditch attempt to maintain control.

In the end- you are the only one falling foul of an illusion. You are the architect of all of your suffering, all of your thinking, all of the belief that control is the only way to come out on top- to master life and achieve everything you have ever wanted.

The illusion you are hiding behind- what if someone sees through it? No matter what you do, no matter what sort of stunt you pull, tricks you play, evils you akin them too… they persist.

Well these people are an alarming, but fucking wonderful excuses for human beings. They see through it all and are patient enough with you to still be there. I have always done everything i could to avoid people being important, because then it wouldn’t hurt. It’s petty and its childish and i have learned the last few months i owe these people more of a debt than i have cared to consider for years now.

Important isn’t something that can be measured, or explained- because in truth its not real. It’s a social construct, like everything society is built on. Important is a friend bringing you food first thing when you’re off for a road trip, bringing your favourite tea for after dinner. Important is remembering to compliment the girl on the checkout when you bought your morning coffee and smiling simply for the sake of it. Important is someone willing to make you a cup of tea simply because they wanted to do something nice for you.

Important is being there for someone when they lose someone so close to them they will never feel the same again. Its showing up for your friends when they’re down and out, no matter what. In that moment, no matter how you feel, they need you as their friend to be there for them when they can’t be there for themselves. Doesn’t matter how high your walls are and who is important. None of that matters. Show up for your friends. That is important. The small details showing you have a second thought about someone throughout the day, whether you are with them or not.

As much as i strive to this, i have often fallen short of the mark. Fearing some people, convinced it’s easier for them to hate me, even though they never have done. Just because you convince yourself something is true- doesn’t make it so.

Be better than me. I am far from perfect but let every misstep you have ever made be  a lesson in what’s important. Not even to other people but to you. People are subjects of your emotions and your situation- the behaviour is uniquely yours to control. Your behaviour is a personal reflection of yourself- to yourself. So why not be the best person possible? Do as i haven’t but as i continue to try and do now. Learn. It’s all we have. Be there for your friends- be the best for them as you want them to be for you.

Its Muy Importante.

Regards, with love as always.

D.R x

Moments lost in time- but never lost to you.

Society & You

Good evening ladies and gentlemen

I read a lot about where ideas come from because I spend so long wandering about what to write about. It plays on my mind, impossible to ignore until i get to the screen or sat with a pen and a piece of paper. The constant companion of trying to think of something meaningful to say in a world so desperate just to say something.

The cycle of trying to fight the cloud of noise and find something you connect with or someone who sees you for who you really are and want to be is endless. It’s a hard thing these days, everybody is so connected, yet so isolated. Loneliness is a parody of life and not something people really understand, considering it’s something so many of us experience on a daily basis.

Being invisible is a funny thing, because it makes you think you’re broken. You aren’t broken, just built differently. You blame yourself because the world tells you that because if you don’t fit the mould it designed for you then you are the one that’s wrong.

I got thinking about how a lot of aspects of our culture could be explained this way.

Take this. I have 2 cars, both of them at different stages of broken, in different ways. One drives, one doesn’t. Both vastly different to one another, if they were 2 people the chances of them ever meeting would be so small it would probably never happen. One is quite small, one is huge. It’s very easy to believe those from these 2 car cultures, even if these 2 cars were living entities, wouldn’t get along.

These cars couldn’t be more different. Both have a following in society who are I’m sure very diverse, open people to loving something and a having a passion for their particular car, be it of the larger or smaller variety. Some of their cars work, some of them don’t. Some look at a broken car is a problem to be solved, an inconvenience to be irritated by, a project to be grafted on or an expression of individual creativity- even if only to be revered by the owner themselves.

The point is, in everything, the noise, the broken cars, the working cars, the big ones, small ones,- is its not dissimilar to people. They are all trying to be seen as the best at something, the nicest, the most good looking, the highest quality, most powerful. Just like people. Cars compete for your attention just as much as humans do.

My cars are broken. Some see that as stupid. “What is the point of a tool that doesn’t work?” and so on.

Point is- who decides what is the best?

Define broken

Define “not working?”

Life, as i understand it, isn’t rational, so looking at the objects and places in your life as objects, will create nothing more than that- objects…stuff. To one person a broken object is an inconvenience, to someone else is an opportunity to grow and learn a new skill. I maintain as i learn more and more about cars i relish the anticipation of the satisfaction of a car not starting, then i figure out what’s wrong and for it to start after i’d fixed it. Not because i want to show anyone, you , my friends or even myself how brilliant I am at mending stuff. No, i look forward to the pride of making something better.

Maybe that’s what our aim should be- maybe that’s what my cars would be like if they ever met. We all are so very different. We are all living entities trying to forge our own path through society in our own way. Society has always been this demanding demon to me, requiring productivity over creativity, just get the numbers on the paper and forget how well you have written them. We are all forging our own path and this will never be rational, not fully.

You think you have to compete for attention. You are only competing for your own attention. The satisfaction of making something better on a car, is how we should feel about people. We should live to make our life better and more enriching. Through this, we are able to do the same thing for other people. Those you love, those you do not understand fully yet and maybe some you don’t even know.

No matter the competition and society trying to squeeze the individual from you- its important to remember one thing.

There is society

and there is you.

Without you, there is no society.

And you are unique. If my cars were living entities, they would know that too. Just wanting to improve. Just as i think we should be. In our own way.

Yours, with love.

D. R Xx