Friday, 6 October 2017


With a thunderous rapture, a cacophony of events smashing the brief second of silence, the brush moved with ease and effort. The canvas, A3 in size, is held tightly to the ground from a stand built to last, painting in whatever circumstances life decides to throw my way. With each movement, each moment of purpose, the picture forms and speaks to me.

I'm alone, on this mountain called life, viewing the valley ahead of me, being brave, fearless, vehement emotions beaming from every single slice of my skin. I'm here, right now, surrounded by the very nature that breathed life into my veins all those years previous. Nature, all around, feeding me, believing in me, wishing me to be all that I can or should be. The canvas, an expression of my mind’s eye, a place to create, to express, to clear my mind of the daily folly.

The rain starts to pour, covering the land all around me, washing away the weight of the world. Many words could have been spoken, in vain, in anger, but now all that can be heard is the ear splitting sound of said rain. Washing away everything, cleansing my soul, flattening the electric tension from the world.  I'm trying to feel free, apart, separate from the daily toll and toil of life. I'm here.

The rain kept on thundering to the ground, but with each stroke, with each deciding line, a splash here, a moment there, I'm creating the forward view onto this canvas of mine. I'm in control, I'm aware of what I'm creating, no matter how many clouds or moments, it’s my story, it’s my picture drawn in my own special, eloquent and specific way.

I don’t care about the rain, I'm ignoring the spurious thunder, I'm ignorant to the cold forming over my shoulders, as this moment is all mine. Stepping back, just a step, I can see the colours, merging, being formed from the rain adding their own take on my creation. It doesn't matter, it’s hardly a sin, as outside forces often try to reform whatever you wish to take place. It’s a liveable circumstance, it’s how I expect things to be, but that picture, it’s still there, alive, part of me, no matter how it’s changed or maligned by life.

I close my eyes, imagining my picture, the lines, the expressions, painting my heart out, while taking in the ambiance all around me. It’s the moment, it’s right now, it’s how I envision the finished picture whilst also knowing that it might not quite be what I wanted. It’s okay, it’s fine, as life is creation. Life’s a revolution of time, set to come back again and again. Maybe I’ll repeat this moment, next week, with completely different emotions, moments, but that’s what life’s about. Experiencing, expressions, trying the unknown whilst chancing and changing the known.

Another splash of rain, another stroke from the brush, the seconds ticking as the clouds allow a peak towards the sunshine. The thunder is over, the rain is at a stand still, with a new moment waiting behind the wailing. I've painted my heart out, I've done what I came here to do, to experience. I'm awake, I'm open eyed, despite the clouds, the rain and thunderous shouting.

Maybe I'm the canvas, maybe my words are the paint, forming, creating, showing each of you what I, we, you, could be. Maybe we’re the brush, taking control of our destined picture. We’re capable, all acceptable to each other, within the limits of our own sized canvas of life. Maybe we’re the view ahead, controlled by a higher power that holds the very brush that creates our lives or, just maybe, we’re none of the above. Maybe we need not be defined. Maybe we’re an abstract creation.

Either way, no matter the picture, no matter how smudged we become, no matter how the conclusive picture reveals itself, at least we tried. It’s complete, the journey for today, the task of the moment and, above all, I have something to show for the very seconds spent on this journey. I know that I'm alive, I know that I can even place myself into the picture.

The whole world is your canvas, no matter the weather or location, all you need to do is close your eyes and… paint.

Sunday, 17 September 2017


Resting my head, onto my hands, as my legs rest on the cold concrete slabbed floor, I realise that I'm here for one specific reason. I can look back, to the past, the misdeeds, the missteps, the never-ending cursing of faith or ability but, when I've finished procrastinating, I'm still the reason why I'm here.
The rain, smashing against the walls outside the cell, seldom bringing comfort but at least it affords a moments relapse from the silence. That, alone, can be such a deadly place to be. Alone, solitarily confined within your own mind, waiting for a respite, but that seldom arrives once your own mind starts to tick away at your patience, strength and resolve.

I often, while lying there, cold inside, think back to the decisions that I’d made. Should I have turned left, maybe the right side of right would have been best left alone, but we just sometimes do not know which way is left before looking to the right. Straight forward, the usual fast forward of life, grasping, shouting, thrusting forward with such strength in order to enforce the resolve of conviction, sometimes just destroys the very bridge you've created with our bare hands. It’s tough, it’s tragic, but it’s life. My life.

Lifting my heavy head, with cramping neck and trap muscles reminding me of the strain, I reach forward grasping at the thick black bars ahead of me. If I had the strength, the resolve, I’d use every ounce of my energy to escape this place. The bars, their imposing picture, become a constant reminder of the space just beyond my confinement.

The trouble with all of this, the very crux of the situation, the pondering insights into this very state of mind, is that I'm probably still here because a part of me doesn't want to leave. It’s safe, confined, away from the world, a palace of misery with no golden slipper at the end of the road. If I could turn anything into something else I just might. My companions, the stone walls, the dust, the shallow mattress, are all so perfectly safe. Maybe I'm deluded, promising myself that there’s bail just around the corner. A solution, a rescue, someone to take my problems away from me. Heaven knows I've placed my faith in others before, prescribed to them my perfect prescription of cocktailed comfort, but we all know that I'm the only one that can escape this place.

Using the bar to steady myself, I rise, slowly, to stand as tall as I possibly can. At any point, at any time of life, I can stand as I have just done, I can change my thinking and proclaim my innocence. It’s possible. I can dive, from this place, into an ocean of freedom. Sure, of course, I might not be able to swim once I get there but, amongst anything else that can be said, I’d prefer to try than die as I am in this place. 

I know the solution, I know the issues within and the cause of this cancerous position that I'm in. I realise that my dis-ease will form the disease that finishes me off, so right now, this very second, I have to decide. I have to take a single, solitary, motionless second to change something, to change anything, but most of all I have to realise that this prison, this very place, is all in my own solitary mind. It’s up to me to simply… Break free.


So many people suffer from mental issues and, thankfully, there are millions of people that do care and ‘can’ care as many have been through situations or can at least try to appreciate or connect to those feelings.  There is hope and there always will be. Talk. Talk to yourself… Find an answer.

-6,188 suicides were registered in the UK and 451 in the Republic of Ireland since records began.
-The highest suicide rate in the UK was for men aged 40–44.
-The highest suicide rate in the Republic of Ireland was for men aged 25–34 (with an almost identical rate for men aged 45–54).
-Rates have increased in the UK (by 3.8%), England (by 2%), Wales (61.8%) and Northern Ireland (18.5%) since 2014 – however increases in Wales and Northern Ireland may be explained by inconsistencies in the processes for recording suicides in these countries.
-Rates have decreased in Scotland (by 1.4%) and the Republic of Ireland (by 13.1%) since 2014.
-In England and the UK, female suicide rates are at their highest in a decade.
-Male rates remain consistently higher than female suicide rates across the UK and Republic of Ireland – most notably 5 times higher in Republic of Ireland and around 3 times in the UK

Thursday, 31 August 2017


Waiting, patiently, daydreaming, while playing with a cuff link, he stood next to the door as people walked past his view. He wanted to tap his foot, giving in to his impatience, but he knew better than to allow his mind to take over his view of the current world. People watching, resolving their situations, playing a game within his mind imagining how each of them interacted with the people alongside them.

To his left, the table closest to the expansive glass building front, sat an elderly couple. Both silent, they themselves people watching, having lived an extensive life travelling the world. Perhaps they’d really seen it all, with nothing left to say other than timeless silence, but at least he could see that they were still holding hands. Both of them, viewing the world, taking in the youth around them, probably thinking that life was simpler back in their day. It was, more than likely, with a stiff slap across the head if you stepped out of line. He let a very small, silent, expressive smile appear on his lips for the briefest of seconds before composing himself.

The couple at the table, to his far right, by the cashier’s desk, looked vaguely dissatisfied. Probably annoyed at being so close to the main walkway or, more than likely, they’d had an argument. The man sat leaning back in his chair, arms crossed saying nothing as she tapped a rhythm of intent onto her phone. She was messaging, not texting as that’s yesterday’s thing, which meant a dinner picture probably sending itself into the world. All it would take is one second, one moment of compassion and understanding, for both of them to smile again but, of course, that would be far too easy.

Just next to the desk, the lift doors opened, with people flowing forth in their quick rush to be somewhere else. These were the high rollers, the type that wouldn’t stand for such a restaurant, despite it already being far above what people would call normal. This place was special, but where they arrived from, it probably all seemed mediocre. Divisions, lines, scales of balance, all meant to keep people segregated in an invisible whisper of diversity.

With a quick glance to his right, taking in the view, he caught a glimpse of a gentleman glued to his phone walking slowly to the male conveniences. Probably an Entrepreneur, wanting to be noticed, judging by the level of noise being made by his voice. Brash, with a stylish hair design, new, spotlessly clean, to the point of over indulgence. He'd caught the eye of a lady standing over by the bar, threw a wink and a smile her way, then opened the door and vanished as quickly as he’d arrived. The lady, returning to her drink, smile falling from her face, looked discomforted and, of course, alone.  Good looking, striking even, with just under shoulder length hair and an outfit to much her ability to gain male attention. The shoes, obviously matching her bag and accompanying accessories, added the extra significance and charm.

Returning his view, to carefully look ahead into the area, he brought his attention to himself. A quick look downwards at his shoes, which were still viciously clean, a wobble of his tie, meant that he was still as he should be. Clean, crisp, equally fresh as the start of the night, waiting for her to appear for the second time. He didn’t mind the wait, not even for a second, as this was what he was made for, his purpose, to ensure that they both experienced the night as intended. Warm laughter, a meal where they could both flirt over a glass of wine, while wondering when and where they could both be alone, again.

The door, beside him, opened with a small whoosh of sound and he quickly composed himself. She was beautiful, magnificent, to him, in every single way. Each time he saw her again, every second, just seemed to be that experience that he longed for. He knew, no matter what, that he did have a job to do but this was more than a job, it was a lifetime. All other situations, all other people, no longer mattered as much as they did before. She smiled and, as she placed the final small implements back into her purse, they both started to walk towards the door.

With two quick steps he’d closed the gap between them and the exit. With one swift motion, while checking the area outside, he opened the door with a smile. She smiled back at him, saying ‘thank you’, as he followed behind her closing the door as he went. He carried the smile with him, realising the ease at which he respected her as this, after all, is the least of what a husband should and could do.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017


With steady hands, being minutely careful, the knife gently pressed against the artery and the importance of the situation suddenly became clear. One wrong move, a flinch, one small miniscule movement and the situation could be lost forever. The beads of sweat appeared across my forehead, my heart suddenly banging against my throat lining, reminding me, grasping at my thoughts, enlightening me to the dire position that I’d managed to get myself into.

The damage, as is often the case, was 60% inflicted by another, 30% self-caused and the remaining 10% an utter mystery. Even with eyes wide open, even with the smartest of minds, the best of intentions, we simply leave ourselves open to so much pain and suffering that it’s a wonder that any of us venture forward into the world.

The beeping sounds, emanating from machines and possible others in the room, all began to spin inside my mind. An impossible task, hardly considered a professional at such things, but I could never be chastised for not trying or at least caring. I'm a fixer, a problem solver, a solution finder and that’s remained with me since I solved my own issues. Despite life trying to remove such things from my consciousness, it’s still there, yearning, asking, trying to find the world to make things right. Either way, in this day and age, people seldom ask for help when presented with the Social Network of attention. A new age.

Looking at the void of another person’s heart, I swallow my fear, maybe even a miniscule taste of pride, readying myself to scrape away the disease inflicted by another. We speak such tepid words into the world, with vapid feelings, thinly veiled shouts for help, all the while knowing that what we think forms how we heal.

This person in front of me, right now, had entrusted her safety to another, interlocking their hands together, their lives, only to find that people can often change and become such monsters. It was too late, once you've fallen for the wrong person. It’s a shame as we’re all searching for something. Someone. A place to call home. We often fail to leave, until it’s too late, due to fear or a host of other ideals.

Scraping away the evil attached to the arteries, carefully, trying to erase the years of abuse, I suddenly see a clearing of hope. It’s possible, there’s light wherever we decide to look, if we decide to see such things. The trouble with life, with people, is that we sometimes simply don’t want to heal. We want to submerge ourselves in the pain, the loss, the ever-comforting dark whispers of a forgotten familiar friend.

I can see you sliding backwards, into the dark place you've called home for far too long. Leave, run away, get out, destroy that place, it’s but a creation of your own mind. Release yourself from that place. There can be windows where you only see a wall. There can be a door within the dark room of nothing. You control you and once you decide, you can be freed. You need not one other person than your own heart. Your mind. The strength given to you from the moment you were born. Survive. Thrive. Become more.

Although the task is an arduous task, a mountainous pursuit, no matter the outcome, I will always try to heal a broken heart. Although you need no other to accomplish this task, right now, for these seconds, I’ll help and guide until you’re able to move forward.  We, together, can repair some of the damage and the rest is up to you. Never stop fighting. Never stop believing in yourself and, at all times, repair your thoughts and heart.

With careful caring hands, I lean forward, touching your heart, reminding you that everything will be okay. You, after all, have survived this far into life so we can, honestly, survive the next few hours. A smile escapes through the fear, the solemn tears drying under your eyes, with hope threatening to keep your heart afloat. There’s hope, always, in all life.  Readying myself, taking stock of the situation, I hold your heart in my hands and brace myself. It’s time to hear the entire story, warts and all, with both sides possibly making an appearance and, within myself, a small part of my own heart escapes and connects with yours.

This is life, real life, with a person’s issues being larger than any other life. It’s expected. It’s permissible. It’s called being human. Now, please, tell me everything... .

Tuesday, 22 August 2017


I heard a whisper, maybe even barely a thought, that seemed to want to resound throughout the world. The universe laughs, already at peace with the balance that we crave instilled into every corner, lacking on this very world of ours.

I heard a few words, nearly breaking through the deafening silence, created from spouting the same said rhymes and rhythms. It seems that the more people scream, the more they shout, asking to be heard by all, the more we switch off, fail to listen or even become swept away with the life we, as well as they, lead each day. When I was younger, listening through the silence, watching, waiting, too young to truly appreciate, I wanted to understand but didn't know what, the where, let alone the why.

A sentence forms, it appears in front of me, wondering and asking to be understood. I'm failing, am I succeeding, not sure of the reasons why I need the message at all. I'm lead by the words spoken on an elongated box, or the spouted poison spread through the on-line frequencies. Misunderstood, maybe, disproportioned, of course and misconstrued all day long. The words are created by others to control, to make you obey, play nice, to stay nasty, to mistrust and scorn others.

I’m close to visioning a paragraph, a strong structure of letters forming the many words. The font increases, becoming bold, starting to seem ever so heavy. We’re not built for such depth, the words that can free hold so much weight that it threatens the very world that’s been built for us. It’s heavy, foreboding, always keeping us on a knife edge yet happy with our new purchase.

I ignore the further whispers, replacing them, blanking them, ignoring their ever presence in my world. I block the weight, I remove the guilt, standing tall from my own two feet and morals. I do hear the words, I see their meaning, while others remain oblivious, but I am, we are, just the few within the very many. I could exhale my words, as I do, as I am with the typing clicks from this very keyboard, but there’s a limit to the truth that can be heard.

I raise my hand, blocking those heavy whispering vipers in the world, I've finally had enough and can no longer listen with the mind that I have. I respond with kindness, I realise that I do care, which is something that the media doesn't want. I summon my own thoughts, my further whispers, forming my own stability from within. Smiling, understanding, I proclaim to the world,

“If there were a thousand words, spoken in a thousand cities by a thousand people, hopefully, surely, the message of love would spread throughout the world.”

These are the whispers that we need, those are the kind of paragraphs that can conquer the hatred, the injustice, the idiocy of the way the world works, the kind of sentiment that the universe would be proud of.

Let’s start whispering.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Vie Heureuse

Stepping from the train, onto the solid surface, I drown away the surrounding noise with my innermost thoughts. I've been here, many times, on many occasions, travelling from place to place but on this day, this very day of days, I've returned to that one special place that holds my heart. Steady, calm, with nothing but a selfless smile across my face, I start the ever knowing walk to the destination ahead.

I recall the first time I arrived here, to the same hustle and bustle of daily life, people shouting, pushing and clambering to jump onto the train. Maybe most of them were escaping, back then and now, as a paradise to one could often be a hell for another. Either way, so far, not a great deal had changed. They say that when you travel through life you miss so much, with closed eyes, but for me, on occasions such as this, I try to slow time to ensure I take in as much as possible. A people watcher, a location learner and one of those that wants to experience as much as possible.

Walking from the train station, to the world outside, the sky loomed overhead, which for once was thankfully filled with blue instead of a grey. I turned left heading up the street. I’d often travel light, knowing that each destination would possess the required extras. We, as a people, can clutter, gathering as much of something or everything as possible. Travelling light meant no fuss, no error, always ready to run in case of being late or a taxi needing to be chased. To be ready, to know everything around you, meant a connection existed between you and the world. I’d like to believe that such a thing could exist but, as with many ideals and actions, as long as it made me believe in a better way, the task was accomplished.

People around me started to vanish, fade into the background, as my location wasn't exactly in the main area of town. It was secluded, off the beaten track, a prize to find and own. The magic in each location was seemingly handed to you, but the real magic was often behind the scenes. Life can be hidden, swept away, degraded into the b-roll of creative video. I, personally, would prefer to see everything that’s on offer. Warts and all. Show me the worst with the best, the great with the decrepit. Don’t hide. I know it’s there, even with each person, I know that we have things we’d prefer to hide, but even the grandest building, the most beautiful location, has cracks along the surface. It is life, it’s the experience, ready to be lived, loved and adored.

The buildings started to close in on each other, the path ahead shrinking to barely accommodate two people walking side by side. Silence, a range of colour from the overhanging clothes, drying with the aid of the sun, I could smell baking of some kind. Wonderful, filling, beautiful baking. Natural, real, all adding to the ambience and attraction of this place. A feeling of warmth flooded through me, into my veins, holding my heart with care and remembrance. Recalling the previous times I’d visited here, with each time affording something new, original, breath taking, I once again reminded myself of the reason why I returned here again and again. Beauty wasn't just the kiss from a lover’s lips, or the fragrance of a body, it could be absolutely anything at all if you chose to see it that way. Slightly overwhelmed with a slight rush of emotion, recalling the happy times, the sad moments, I stopped for a second. Just a small second.

Taking in the brickwork on the floor, the cat nonchalantly looking at me through the window, the background noise of a person cycling from left to right, I carry on moving forward. Ever forward. I remember a wise old man, all those years back, giving me some wise information. He told me, ‘no matter what you do, use each day to move forward. Even if it’s one single small step. The future doesn't matter as the future is but one second away’. He was right, he knew this to be true and according to the world, it made sense. In the blink of an eye the whole world could change.

A smile started to appear across my face as I neared my destination. Once in a lifetime, maybe even twice if you’re lucky enough, you could share a dream with someone. You can bloom, grow, become a better person and to me, this place, is where I became who I am today. We only ever used careful hands with each other, we only ever expressed our thoughts with kindness and love. In a thousand miles, with all the wonders of the world, this one little space, right here, meant more to me than all of those wonders.

Standing there, in front of the door, taking in the dark green painted wood, the quaint door knock, with the engraved lion head, I smiled another smile and laughed a little as all of the thoughts came flooding through. Raising my hand, placing it onto the door’s surface, a few small tears escaped through my eyes. The emotions ranged from grief, love, loss, pain and more. None of them removed my smile. This place, albeit a memory as I’d not lived here for 10 years, was ours for over 45 years until that day, that final day, where you left this world for a new adventure. 

We’d said goodbye, as I held you in my arms, looking through the window and listening as I’d done since the train arrived. I’d made it my purpose, my living objective, to eventually settle here. All my affairs were concluded, dots crossed and everything signed, I’d left the current life to return to this place. Free, ready, the remaining years set to be reminded of you. Removing my hand from the door I reached into my jacket pocket, finding the key, returning to place the key into the lock. Turning, with time seemingly pausing, all sounds erased from my current mind, I could hear the mechanism turn and with a small push the door opened.

A small moment of hesitation invaded my mind, be it fear, loss, it did not matter. Today was right now and each day, before this day, had led to this moment. Stepping forward, embracing the destination, I walked into this home of homes. Turning, slightly, I looked back into the street, remembering, recalling, all of the moments of that life. Slowly, with thoughts relaxing in my mind, I closed the door and exhaled slightly. A new life, a new start, began today on this very day.

I recall the first time I arrived here, to the same hustle and bustle of daily life, people shouting, pushing and clambering to jump onto the train. Maybe most of them were escaping, back then and now, as a paradise to one could often be a hell for another. Either way, on that day, everything changed. They say that when you travel through life you miss so much, with closed eyes, but for me, on occasions such as this, I try to slow time to ensure I take in as much as possible. On that first day, I’d met you.

Vie Heureuse – Happy Life

Wednesday, 26 July 2017


The tapping noise, emanating from all around, echoed through the house, through the halls and into the room where Daniel sat. Motionless, calm, sedate even, just listening to the ambience. Moving two of his fingers the pencil tapped, with the rhythm of the rain, on the page. Breathing in through his nose, slowly, then out of his mouth, he could feel his heartbeat slowing, the beats, all merging to the tapping of the rain, the pen and life. Tap, tap and another tap. Calm, almost creating a fever of pure silence, other than the zoned beats, he opened his eyes and decided to move from this exact spot within the house.

Walking along the long hallway, running his fingertips across the wall as he walked, he softened his gaze to again listen to the sounds around him. As his gaze softened he also turned his attention to the wall. Hundreds of small bumps smoothed past his senses as each fingertip glided. This was an old house, a prestigious house, lived in, a warmth emanating through the rooms and wooden rafters. He smiled as he imagined the happy times, the solemn times, the heart breaking moments and, of course, the love most certainly moulded over time.

Reaching the end of the hallway, Daniel glanced at the stairs, then started to climb the steep vertical mass of wood while holding onto the old banister.  Each footstep created its own unique sound, ensuring that no-one could ever sneak around this house. With each squeak he smiled a little more, actually trying to bypass the noise by placing a foot to the side of a few steps. Nothing worked which only added to the poignant ear moving moments.

Reaching the top of the stairs, slightly cramped, he lifted his arms slightly to press against the loft hatch and, with one swift movement, lifted the hatch and placed it to the left of the opening. Vanishing from his view, with a further tap of his hand, he braced himself as, with one leg positioned onto the small window sill next to him, he lifted himself into the loft and wobbled slightly as he lifted the rest of him into the loft. Mission accomplished, now surrounded by wooden beams, he stood, slightly stooped, looking out of the large window a few metres in from of him.

Lying on his back, the large window behind, with pencil and paper to his side, he again closed his eyes and just listened to the calm. To many the sound of rain would hardly convey a sense of calm but, to him, it meant that he could embrace his imagination, connect to his creative side, think of things that only a child would imagine. Earlier he’d day dreamed of flying, dreamed of souring into the heavens, but that was then and this is now.

Once again tapping his pencil onto the loft floor, in sync with the beating rain tapping away all around him, he imagined and caressed his thoughts. This house, like many homes, must have been a home of love. Each day, each weekend, every single year, a couple would sit, together, holding hands while laughing about the silly things they’d done in their youth. This wasn’t a place of conflict, a rhythm of pain, or solace, as the rooms were far too warm for any of that, this was an ideal made real. The paintings, in many of the rooms, displayed a wealth of prosperity. The rooms were painted with calm colours, noting nothing of a confused mind, with a garden meticulously maintained.

The rain kept on pouring over and around the house, never ending, never ceasing to create a rhythm of life. Daniel imagined that the couple, who owned the home, would hold each other in bed, just listening to the calm around them, rain or otherwise, as they shared their time together. It was a beautiful thought, a thought that he’d like to create, right there, right now. Mentally, most certainly physically, with his emotions agreeing, he would buy this house as soon as he possibly could. It didn’t matter that a few of the wires needed replacing, it wouldn’t bother him that the fences needed a lick of paint, as what he was looking for was a certain feeling. The rain spoke to him, in this house, unlike the other houses and, basically, he wanted to move into an emotion instead of bricks and mortar. This was for him, this would be for the both of them, as he had the final choice of the three selected by his partner. This was the one.

He truly, to his very core, knew that emotion played such an important part in life. No matter the rain, the clouds of life, no matter how many stairs they had to climb, as long as it was together they’d reach the finish line and, on that day, that very day, as long as it was raining just like today, with his hand in his partner’s hand, he’d smile until the very last second.

Closing his eyes, one more time before he knew that he had to attend to certain business aspects, he again listened to the rain. With each beat, he heard purpose, he could feel the smile and energy around him and he knew, he damn well knew, that today was going to be a fine day for rain.