Posts Tagged happiness
It’s all too complicated. I’m tired of complicated.
I want to get up in the morning, attend to those things I need to do in order to exist, with respectful regard to whatever it is that provides those means, and then to go to sleep again.
I want space and time within this simple process that allows me to reflect on its beauty or its ugliness, and to express my responses to those in words and images. To have my quiet say.
And I want to know my place amongst others, and the world around me, and not to have to worry about whether I deserve that place or whether I understand it.
I want my process of existence to contribute to my context simply by virtue of its being.
For my love not to be considered but naturally emergent, and for other’s love to be naturally received, without thinking.
I want to be, and to understand naturally, so that I may move on with greater understanding.
Ahead lay the divide that ran from top to bottom of their lives,
Defining the move between their doom and their fortune.
So millions of people lived their paths,
Not knowing that far above,
White winged Josef and the raven winged woman
Flew towards the light.
If only the minions also had that sight.
I think I’ll go for a walkie-poo.
Actually it’s something I really must do.
And as I do my walkie-poo,
I’ll do a dance, just for you.
In the spangled sunshine.
Under the tree
With spread-eagled fingers.
I’ll kick the golden leaves
And see the flighty clouds spin overhead.
So complex you make
Your life and its words to be.
Guided though it flows.
My life this side of the great divide
But to my left we have
A dark place.
To my right we have
A place that dazzles.
And in front we have
The great divide.
Shapes whose lines break
To jagged edges,
And faces turned to see me
But are blurred
Like watching the world
Through a bathroom window.
My side makes sense to me.
Not so that other.
But it does echo so here.
Bright sun life today.
Dark cloud news arrived by post.
Bright star died by noon.
The river runs fast.
Faster than your perceptions,
And you start to drown.
Rise up above it.
Now look down and see it whole.
Your start and your end.
The bit in between
Is bound by landscape
And flows as it must.
Don’t cry and don’t laugh.
Wait for the true view.
Watching you across a red checked table
In a coffee bar.
Two cold coffees sit between us with
Scum hanging down the insides like fungus.
Grey wisp cigarette smoke rises slowly
From a black plastic ashtray in the middle of everything.
You rest your chin on your hand,
Slender fingers splayed prettily across your lips,
And you watch me closely with ocean deep
Blue eyes peering into the depths of my mind.
You smile and the world congeals.
All through that night,
As the curtains billowed inward on warm wind,
My fragrant love lay draped
Across stiff linen sheets
And sighed as she turned.
Through the open window I saw
An owl fly across the mellow yellow moon.
Is not what we’ve been made from.
It’s our view forward.
Who you are is right.
All that is knows that of you.
That you’re meant to be.
So flying was I past blossoming white clouds
As I soared and soared and soared
Through blue space,
Through my life clear
To darkening blue as stars began to shine.
Then my breath grew thin
And the world turned self contained
Far beneath me.
An eye in a dispassionate face.
It was then that I’d seen too much.
The place of my world in the void.
The size of everything.
And my heart left me and stayed there,
Glorying in the glory of it all,
Whilst my mind started to fall.
And as the eye came nearer
I saw myself reflected in its blue.
An aberration in an otherwise flawless hue.
A spec in the eye of what’s true.
I came to land in a field of flowers
With solemn trees all about,
And on my back I looked back up
To a flat blue sky that had my heart
Like a cloud.
Of the dissonance.
Of the distance
Between its place
I do try to play the game.
I really do.
I apply for jobs and earnestly await replies.
I truly try to be enthusiastic about new product lines
And marketing and corporate social responsibility.
But then one night I take the trouble to stand on my doorstep
And watch the silent scudding clouds,
A passing gap silvered with shining moonlight,
And I listen to distant owls
And feel the stillness of the air.
And I’m sorry,
But the truth is that I don’t care
About your world or your profits
Or your corporate goals.
I’d rather lie back and sigh
And watch the world unfold.
It’s so beautiful
And so powerful
And is so much more
Than you or what I’m supposed to work for.
All seems to be sad.
My thoughts dwell on myths and dreams.
But now I’m happy.
One day there’ll be a world
Where people understand the commonality
Of their experience
And recognise the interdependence
Of their lives
With all others and
The contiguous nature of nature
That ensures a similar fate
For all despite
Any mad conception
Of difference from each other.
Fog hangs over me
And then children’s laughter shines
And I see what’s true.
“Who the hell do you think you are?”
I’m not sure whether I was more taken aback by the question, or by the character who presented himself before me. Dressed in suede boots, black tights, a sequined T-shirt and some sort of translucent cloak, he’d interrupted my meandering path from late closing nightclub to home by suddenly jumping out of a dark alleyway.
I stopped. I didn’t have much choice. Swaying slightly, I looked at this person before me, stood there in falling drizzle, with laughter and the shouting voices of other revellers falling away behind me into some distance that hadn’t been there a moment before.
“Well who the hell do you think you are?” Spoken with more bravado than I felt. I was swaying back and forth. Not a good state to be in when challenging anyone, let alone some ranting pervert in a super hero costume.
He didn’t answer, and I started to feel really uneasy. One of the orange street lights was flickering, and the alleyway from whence this apparition had silently emerged kept alternating between sheer black, and ancient brickwork that ran with old water and rusty drainpipes.
Suddenly there were three parts to the world. There was my drunken perspective. There was the world of other people, laughing and shouting and calling to each other and going home together. And then there was this thing in front of me that clearly belonged to a different universe. He, or whatever it was, stood stock still and stared at me with an unmoving stillness. Irrefutable, irresistible. Not available for comment.
And his question hung there in the space between us, easily defeating my hastily muttered response. Because even I knew that his question was bigger than mine.
I was going to say that time stood still. But that sounds like such a cliche. That is what it was like though. I became aware. There, alone, I saw the orange of the heavy bellied cloud passing curious over the city. I saw the glossy windows of shops and offices that lined the road that made my direction, frozen and waiting for an answer to the question. I heard those people behind me, in a disconnected and staccato way that made no sense – they became mere sounds without language, distant and meaningless. And this apparition stood there before me, completely still and staring and waiting for an answer.
The only thing that had clarity, and was comprehensible, was the question.
And then the people behind me caught up and passed me, arm in arm and laughing and joshing and singing and ignoring me standing in their midst as they poured past me, like water flowing past a rock in midstream. There was me, and him, and them. And then they passed on, seemingly without noticing me standing there.
And the last person to walk past was Julie. Arm linked with some bloke. Teetering slightly, and leaning her head towards his shoulder. Neither said anything. They just followed the crowd. He walking stiffly, she languid and seeking comfort. They walked in silence. A crystal termination to the the crowd that preceded them. A silent and reflective backstop. A full stop.
I watched all of this as though I wasn’t really there. As though I was invisible. Stood there swaying faintly, hair drizzle damped and a drop of water forming on the end of my nose. Julie receded and finally disappeared round the corner, still hanging on to her upright man in needing quiet, saying nothing and being led.
I’d been well intentioned. Friday night. Single man. Pub with friends. Club afterwards. But the friends had melded away somehow, and I’d ended up sitting watching everything alone. Detached. Unhappy but unable to admit why I felt so bleak amongst people so apparently happy.
I’d turned towards the bar and accidentally bumped Julie, who was waiting to be served. And for a very brief instant as our eyes each registered the other’s in passing, some recognition of loneliness occurred. Just for an instant. And in that instant my otherwise serene sea surged and blistered and boiled with suppressed emotion and, just for an instant, my eyes watered. Just for an instant. And then the de facto social behaviour kicked back in, and I looked at her more coldly. As one stranger does to another. I’d seen that instant in her too, but the protocol insisted that it be ignored.
She was beautiful. Just utterly, stunningly beautiful. In all sorts of different ways, glimpsed in a flash over a single second and then cast to one side. And I watched the barman instead. Then, in some slow time way, I turned to meet her eyes again and she did too, and there was a small smile. But the heave and chaos of everything around us pushed in and our communication was drowned out, and we looked away again.
Flashing neon light flickered and soaked the air about me and everyone and everything was moving. The barman was so fast, and everyone called out to everyone else, and laughed and joked, and sound lay like a blanket of writhing worms over the entire pulsating place. Except for Julie and me. We stood free from it for a moment, aware of each other and nothing else. Quiet and detached awareness in a single moment. A flash of understanding. Incongruent state. Smooth water in a roiling sea.
Then the sound ocean came flooding back like a tsunami, washing anything genuine away, and leaving only the broken stumps of something that could have been said.
She bought her drink, and I bought mine.
“I know you don’t I?” God could I not come up with something more original?
And she turned and smiled such a smile that outshone the universe, reducing everything to grey light and everyone around me receded and became silent as I waited for her reply. In that moment I knew how utterly unhappy I was. How my life comprised mere existence. A sun with no horizon to rise above. In just a few seconds life quickened and compressed and simplified and reduced and I knew far more than I’d ever known before. I realised so much more than I needed to know. The glistening white mountain peak that was my supposed life turned into a tumbling avalanche sweeping all illusion before it and landing collapsed in a heap at the bottom of a slope I thought I’d conquered.
This all happened in an instant. Nothing more. Just a chance meeting of eyes. A glance and smile.
“I don’t think so.” she said. “My name’s Julie.” And then she turned to pay the barman. I watched him. I’m a man. I know men. I saw his eyes. Perhaps he also saw himself in that moment. Perhaps he was also forced to face himself.
All of this came flooding back to me as I stood there, damp and drizzled on and ignored and standing there still in the middle of the street. Once Julie and her partner has disappeared round the corner, there was me and the soft drizzling rain, and the silently flashing neon lights, and nothing else. The weird super hero had gone.
I woke and the real world rushed back again, quieter this time.
I carried on walking, deep in thought but seeing myself walking, from above. I rounded the corner. There stood Julie, all alone in the wide road, vapid commercial lights around her pulsating blurred through the falling rain. She was still and bowed and sad and longing. Everyone else had long since moved on, and she stood there in silence. She’d seen me and she’d waited for me.
I didn’t stop. I carried on walking towards her and as I approached, her eyes lifted and met mine and I reached out and gently took her in my arms and wrapped myself around her and we both stood there still, in the flickering lights of vainglorious butterfly shop windows and held each other very quietly. Nothing needed to be said, and for the first time in my life, I knew what it meant to be happy.
Today the sky was blue.
And the snow that lay round about seemed so too.
Yet my mood was warm yellow.
Like a daffodil poking through.
There’s joy in each new day
That greets us new and laughs with
Bright abandoned gaiety and shouts loud
Of all those new things that it’s brought us.
Just for us these gifts.
But then we turn away
And cry into our pillows.
That we should be so honoured
By warm sun or roiling raincloud
And should still turn and say
That this is not enough for us.
As warm light spills across our poor dreams,
We still can’t see how lucky we are
To taste things so rich
Beyond our wildest dreams,
Those we imagine to be our fantasy.
That still and stagnant puddle you call your life,
that you sit and stare at watching reflections
that wobble and shake.
Isn’t your bum sore sitting there?
Just throw some causal random into that mirror
and make waves and see what happens.
See your slime smeared emotional vehicle
that drags itself oh so slowly through the mud of life.
It could be a soaring plane that dips and dives
through a sparkling sky of alternatives.
One small move is just enough to break the scum
and show the clear water beneath.
I know this is true. I’ve done it.
Laugh at despondency. It’s all illusion.
Shape your own vision of the universe.
It’s yours. You are it.
Howl back at the demigods and half dead.
Don’t take excuses or make them.
Grab the damn thing by the balls
And scream your own opera.
In some boiling pot somewhere lies
Some bubbling guts and bursting eyes.
Remnants of some life spent
I defy you to tell me
I’m destined to be down there.
I stand in some smooth green perfection,
Some field so green
And punctuated by trees
And birdsong so sweet.
Yet there. Just over there.
Is that thin, dark line of cutting precision
That divides me from there.
So close. Where’s my way?
I tell you that line is a small thing.
It just needs acknowledging.
And you can stay green and free
And dance the wind with me
By seeing how close the edge is.
Open space sense
Washed my weary mind
Of city crowd dust.
Focus flew to join the clouds
And drift soar
Over endless blue.
Sweet song of nature
Flowed through to
Calm and quiet and sooth.
This real is now.
Vague future no more
Lost to some hazy horizon.
There’s reason to be glad
I woke this morning as the white milky light
Was turning to butter
And the air was thick with birdsong.
That buttery birdsong drifted over my quilt
And soothed and refreshed me
With sweet air I could taste.
I was drawn into the world
From dreams disturbed
And was calmed when I saw this truth:
That the world carries on and is beautiful too
What ever my mind does become
In the depths of the night, with fretting and fright,
The sun and the air, the beauty everywhere
Can chase those ghosts away.
We’re all so lucky to be able to wake
And see this natural way.
That nature renews our life each day,
And that nothing is sure as we plan our way
With so many assumptions about each day
That ignore nature’s nature
To give us a new chance
To start things right again.
If we’d see that each day is brand new.
She was just a passing storm
That’s remembered but nothing more.
Some scudding cloud that dropped its rain
And blew it’s wind
And ruffled my life
And is gone now.
Smooth shiny waters now sparkle
At my bow and I know
That all things come and go.
And I’m calm,
And in being so,
Make my sea so.