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Visit me at my new site

July 27, 2014

I’m currently doing an online blog course called ‘Blog with Pip’, I recommend it most highly. It has inspired me to properly get my blog going and move to a wordpress.org site. I will now be blogging here – http:dayscareen.com

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Waiting on Something

June 13, 2014
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There is a song by the band WolfParade, called ‘Shine a Light’ and these lyrics from it…

You know our hearts beat time out very slowly.

You know our hearts beat time.

They’re waiting for something that’ll never arrive.

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The image that our hearts are nothing more than clocks ticking away all the seconds of our life. Measuring the distance between one moment and the next. A constant beating that is there within us, a muscle tightening and releasing over and over again as we live. The soft drum, to each good and bad second. The truth of the idea that life is waiting and that we are always waiting on something.

James and I have been together for seven years. In those seven years our hearts have beaten around 294 million times. Many more of those 294 million beats have been apart. Beat after beat, waiting to live together in our own space. As that waiting elapses, I feel a deep gratitude that the waiting meant something, that it has drawn from us a deep and fruitful understanding of what it means to be together. Life has timing.

  Many, months ago I had written, ‘I shouldn’t worry about when James and I will be together but realise that when I’m least waiting on it, it will happen, when I’m busy enjoying everything else and what we already have.’ Wisdom takes time to realise.

This morning my heart along with many more hearts beat 80 times in the sudden silence of a waiting train. A minute pause. Those times of hushed quiet amongst so much that can be noisy always get me. All those human minds internally chattering away, some worrying, some remembering and some being inspired, and yet, outwardly there is no sign of any of this private commotion. Instead, blank and quietly staring faces, all collectively waiting for the train to grind into life again.

Most of the time we are waiting for the small things to happen each day; the kettle to boil, the train to arrive, our favourite tv program to begin . Swirling somewhere deep within us though are the big things we are waiting for life to unfurl and reveal; to finally live with the person you have loved for seven years, reaching that dream point in your career that satisfies all those years of getting by in a less than satisfying job, that moment of divine clarity when the world makes sense and life is filled with purpose and truly realising how much the people in your life matter.

In all this, it is how you go about the waiting that matters and what you can learn from the long stretches of nothing happening. The building of your character so that it knows resilience; and training your mind to hum a sense of hope through you, and not despair.

It is how you wait that is important and what you learn when you wait. Life is all about waiting on things, getting to that next point in our own construction of the paths we should set for ourselves. The question to answer is how to wait most effectively.

 

Moleskines

May 5, 2014

Since October 2011, I have kept a moleskine notebook with me. Over the past week I have gone through them all to collate ideas I have been collecting in them for something I want to write.

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If my house was to burn down and I had to choose which items to save, these 5 moleskines would be some of the first things I’d want to keep. They hold so much of the life I have lived in them. Within them are thoughts, ideas, quotes and lyrics that I’ve come across, lists of things to do, films I want to see and books I want to read and little maps I’ve drawn to help me find somewhere new. The pocket at the back is filled with bits and bobs that mean something to me from that time. Reading through them with hindsight is revelatory, concerns that once were- no more, but the big things are still there. Running themes which my thoughts return to. The big concerns that underpin all the small things, that come and go.

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As I have read over them again, these are some of the words from them that have struck me… 

It has been a summer of snatched moments but because they’ve been snatched, they have been so much the sweeter than long continuous passages of happy existence. Happiness is not a long drawn out thing, but spontaneous and fleeting, else it wouldn’t feel so good.

 

Every day when we wake up, we make a fundamental choice, we can choose to be happy today or we can choose to be sad today. If when we look back at it all, there are more days when we’ve chosen to be happy then that is a life worth living. The point in it all, is this life we’ve got here right now, that’s the biggest point of all, we need not invest it in any other meaning.

 

‘Words is it a coincidence that you are so similar to worlds, words hold worlds in them’.

 

‘For if we think of this existence of the individual as a larger or smaller room, it appears evident that most people learn to know only a corner of their room, a place by the window, a strip of floor on which they walk up and down.’ (Rilke )

 

‘And for the rest, let life happen to you. Believe me! Life is right in any case.’ (Rilke)

 

‘Do not observe yourself too much. Do not draw too hasty conclusions from what happens to you. Let it simply happen to you. Otherwise you will too easily look with reproach (that is morally) upon your past, which naturally has its share in all that you are now meeting’. (Rilke)

 

At the moment I feel like I’ve thrown everything up in the air and I’m waiting to see how it falls.

 

Maybe this life is just one great big balancing act, where we gain as much as we loose and get as much as we give. Perhaps we die at the moment when this is in perfect balance and that moment only comes about once in our existence.

 

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Always people are waiting on something.

 

Where does love come from? The origin of that feeling of love in the body, where does it live?

Me- An insincere attempt.

April 1, 2014

This post marks the start of my new and refined blog on wordpress and so an obligatory about me post.

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I’m a ‘girl with messy hair and a thirsty heart’ ( quote from Jodi Lynn Anderson).

Usually there will be a thread loose, a crease somewhere, more than one stray hair and  black eyeliner under my eye which has smudged during the day. Somewhat chaotic and always puzzled (and slightly in awe) by those girls who manage to look seamlessly perfect at any time of the day. Perhaps we live in different ways.

This notion of chaos in motion is part of my eating habits too; a trail of food debris is always left on the table, avocado smears here and a pile of crumbs there. When I did art in my younger years at school, my art teacher was always slightly appalled by the presentation of my work; the page would be crumpled, dog-eared, and there would be an equal ratio of smudged finger prints in whatever art material I was using, to the picture I was actually trying to depict. Yet, she regarded my art as entirely unique because of these ahem ‘stylistic’ additions, she could always tell which was mine without looking at the name.

I think this ‘messiness’ is an intricate part of my creativity.When I compose (rarely these days), there is a flurry of papers, manuscripts and pencils hemmed in every imaginable space around the piano and I don’t think anybody else could follow the ideas scrawled haphazardly in my moleskine, to look at it, is a maze of inky trails. I have no practical skills, ask me to fold an ironing board I’ve not used before and it will remain standing, my ability to wrap presents is laughable and learning to drive has taken me on and off a good five years. I try to become more refined in my maturity but I accept we are who we are.

And yet, out of these outward displays of chaos I am tirelessly organised in other ways, I have several diaries which hold hundreds of lists and I get things (which are not creative) done almost straight away. When I did my master’s degree, my essays were usually handed in several weeks before the deadline. I like my home and possessions to be in order and clean. Inefficiency frustrates me more than most things.

Like all human beings then, I am a set of contradictions with many sides. One day I feel strongly opinionated about a matter and will show that, in another situation that matter will seem less relevant and I will quietly think my thoughts about it to myself. I step on a daily basis, from a clam confidence in what I can achieve, and that the future will unfold just so, to supposing that ‘everything’ will go wrong.

Amongst all this that is me; I’m always in wonder at how many things there are in the world, that one place can contain so much. So many objects- so many skies and seas- so many concepts- so many emotions and so many lives. All of these leave their trace in this one world, alongside, beside  and entwined with each other.

A multitude of possibilities, a plethora of combinations and patterns are held in one life, so much of what the world holds can be encountered or missed in one life. My question which quietly binds together the moments I live – how can I encounter the most of what this world holds? Each day holds so much sense and at the same time so much nonsense, I want to understand how that can be. I remember being in a talk and being told, ‘If you understand something then you will value it, once you value it you will take ownership of it’. Perhaps our lives are something we should try to understand and then we can truly value and take ownership of them. I want to have the mindset that notices it all; the small and vast things, the seemingly unimportant things, the ugly, the beautiful, the simple and the complex, the patterns of this world. At the end, I want to know, I truly encountered my life and didn’t miss it, not passing through moments but being entirely in them. That is one reason I write to help me notice and understand. That is one reason why I read, so I can know how others have felt and encountered the world.

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The paths that lives take, fascinate me, how one event in a life can lead to another, how there can be an unexpected shift that turns a life upside down, how people come in and out of lives and yet however brief their presence, they impress upon that life whether lightly or heavily and they never know. How a life can be planned but that it will never quite go to plan, that the single moments in one life are threads bound together weaving people into who they are.

My great loves are built upon this-

History (the knowing of lives that have been, tracing patterns in human behaviour, questioning the cause and effects of lives lived together.)

Nature and being outside (when I die, if I have a choice in it I would like to be taken outside to die, give me the sky as my last sight. Nature is the constant and beautiful backdrop that reminds me that my life is  brief and a small part of a much greater whole).

Books (see above…the most direct insight into other people’s lives and how they have managed to live)

Music ( For making me feel life and soothing my soul like nothing else).

 

To close, three quotes that I like a lot…

‘Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer’. (Rainer Maria Rilke, ‘Letters to a Young Poet’, 1903)

‘Our hearts are not pure: our hearts are filled with need and greed as much as with love and grace, and we wrestle with our hearts all the time. The wrestling is who we are. How we wrestle is who we are. What we want to be is never what we are. Not yet. Maybe that’s why we have these relentless engines in our chests, driving us forward toward what we might be.’ (Brian Doyle, ‘Orion’, Jan/Feb 2005)
‘In the past, I would live chaotically in the future, because I refused to live in the here and now…Sometimes I had the certain if rather undefined feeling that I would ‘make it’ one day, that I had the capacity to do something ‘extraordinary’, and at other times the wild fear that I would ‘go to the dogs’ after all…I refused to climb into the future one step at a time. And now, now that every minute is so full, so chock full of life and experience and struggle and victory and defeat and more struggle and sometimes peace, now I no longer think of the future, that is, I no longer care if I ‘make it’ because I now have inner certainty that everything will be taken care of. Before I lived in anticipation, I had the feeling that nothing I did was the ‘real thing’; that it was all a preparation for something else, something ‘greater’, more ‘genuine’…But that feeling has dropped away from me completely. I live here and now, this minute, this day to the full and live is worth living…and we know life, don’t we? We have experienced everything if only in the mind, and there’s no need any longer to hang on for dear life.’ (Etty Hillesum, ‘An Interrupted Life: : The Diaries and Letters of Etty Hillesum 1941-1943) .

Life’s Timing.

June 27, 2013

Sometimes life has acute timing and you can feel yourself sitting on the edge of a cusp with your feet dangling over and your about to fall in because this great big change is not only coming but it is here and it is whispering and clamouring at your name. 

I’m looking back and looking forward and can see a line being drawn from one into the other. What lies ahead would not be here without what lies behind and so the two lean on each other in my mind and I trust them both and the truth of the line that binds them. 
The line is the core of me. It is drawn through time, straight through all I have experienced and all I will experience. The constant currency of me forcing itself through it all. A constant that continues to be, whilst the ins and outs of life and the ups and downs of this world happen and continue to exist around it. 
There is a stillness and a knowing that I have settled into myself, I am who I am and I understand that now in a way I never did before.
Best of all I accept it. I accept that I worry, that I expect too much, that I want to control all around me and that I can’t. I accept I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, that with wrong people I’m awkward and stumble through conversation, inarticulate and bumbling. On the same hand, I accept that with the right people my mind opens up and I want to pour all I think and perceive into them and share the wonder and joy of this world with them. I accept I like to make drama and much of small occurrences and incidents and turn them into more than they should be. I accept this world and my place in it, it is where i am supposed to be and I love this place for all the beauty and meaning it holds and accept that it is only there if you look for it.
Accepting all I am, good and bad, the shades and spectrum of me. I am the sum of all my previous experiences, the sum of everyone I have ever interacted with, they have helped make me. Finally I understand, I am a unique combination of my mum and dad and all those who have gone before them.
A sense of my small but perfectly shaped place in all this chaos and calm of life. I am ready for what now begins, 2 years ago I wouldn’t have been so life has timing it knows when to move you on and when to make you stay. It only gives you what you can deal with, nothing more and nothing less.
My sense of myself is now within me and with it a confidence to take me forward to the next point and moment of my journey .I thank God and my lucky stars for bringing me to the people I needed to shape and make me ready for now. Life has impeccable timing.
 

There is a lot of wasted life and a lot I want to do.

April 14, 2013
The warmth of a cup of tea in my hands, muted light and stillness. Sleep used to win every time but as I get older the allure of that first sentence shakes me from my bed. It is early Sunday morning and there is a restfulness, that time before the world wakes up and there is only the rising steam from my tea and the second hand moving around the clock. A time for the inner sanctum of me, to be there at the forefront, the wide eyes of it turned inwards to dissect the introspection.
I’m thinking, isn’t it something that there are so many ways to fill an hour, so many different ways and that no one hour is ever completely the same. The luxury of a Sunday is to choose how to spend each hour of today, each hour stretched out to be filled and having the freedom to shape my day. There is humanness to that thought. The architect of our own days.
There is a lot of wasted life, wasted seconds and hours-time is a gift that we all squander and yet, there is so much I want to do and know. I know it will never all get done but without the pressure of time would there be any urge to do any of it?

Night walks

February 13, 2013

There is an otherness to walking at night, a beautiful detachment.

Down tunneled streets, stretching dark matching never-ending thoughts, full stops of light. When I walk at night I feel the weather, I feel the press of it around me acutely, the wind whirling, sending my thoughts out into the swallowing blackness. There is mindfulness and mindlessness- an appreciation of what the world around me is and an easing of the wash of thoughts and feelings that have been tumbling into each other. My dog pulling me along, following the white of her tail and the pitter patter of her paws, a sense of just walking,  going forwards- anywhere, into the night. There is nowhere in particular to go, walking for walking sake, for the simple joy of being able to move and be in the world.

The smell of woodsmoke  bearing down a heavy scent into my nose,  fibres of woody-earthiness, breathing through me and into my imagination of cosy rooms, pulled up cushions and flickering, soft, fire. Glancing into passing cubes of light; shining frames holding  picture upon picture of homes. My eyes pass over, again and again, one lounge after another and with each sweep of vision, there’s a small recognition and mental comfort in being a passing observer of  the lives lived in a home. The glow of human comfort and contentment seeping into the blackness of the night outside.