Testing Times

you have to call your own bluff:
in commitment is knowing
if that was what you truly wanted.


Like to visit yesterday but don’t actually want to live in one

When I was a kid and my room got to a certain state of mess, I would come home from school, sometimes, to find that my mum, at the end of her patience, had dumped everything I seemed to possess, in a pile, on top of my bed. This is your life: sort it out; show it some respect.

Of course, I’d get all indignant for a bit and then I’d spend the next few hours sorting, throwing out, rearranging and putting away. It would take ages because I would put music on and get lost in time and feeling and thought. All the things I’d held on to, for good and bad. Things I really should have looked after better, particularly given my contemporaneous and melodramatic sense of attachment. Rubbish that I’d once thought passed for memento. Actual rubbish. Clothes, books etc, that already had places to go other than the floor and any other available surface… The periodic accumulation of my childhood and early teenage identities, all there assembled.

It was both practical and meditative and, by the time I was ready to do a final polish and vacuum, I had unburdened, reconciled, organised and discovered treasures, both real and self-realising. I always felt invigorated, focused and enthused. Like riding a wave.

The older I got, of course, the less Mum would need or deign to go into my room. I changed my own bed, ironed my own laundry, etc. She would say how grateful she was to no longer have cause and (half) joke about feeling sorry for anyone who might have to live with me, one day.

However, by the time I got my own first flat, clutter would only ever be allowed to amount to one or two small, neat piles, though there was always a cupboard, a drawer that you’d be brave to open, in front of anyone. Still is, three decades later. We all have a cupboard, a kitchen drawer, a pile like that, though, don’t we: places of homeless miscellany and random essentials?

But it’s not about perfection, is it? It’s about management: not letting things get too out of hand, trusting your own judgement; finding peace of mind; being able to recognise when things need attention – when it is better to correct something or to let it go. Things stand and fall by their own merits, when we are more interested in being philosophically honest and a little less ideologically attached to outcomes. It’s about perspective: nebulous romanticism dilutes discernment and hoarding and myopic control are distorting. It’s about preparation: being disciplined and organised, enough that you can free space for reflection and potential and play. It’s about perfecting.

Mum’s lesson has extended far beyond mere housekeeping. Tidy environment, tidy mind, so to speak. I discovered my personal comfort zone between being too accommodating and being ruthlessly expedient. The boundary between the temporary muddle of a neat pile or a couple of items, carelessly slung and the compound detriment of neglect and the overwhelm of perpetual chaos. I learned to spot when things are getting or are likely to become a jumbled, uncomfortable state; to tidy up and reflect as I went. I came to recognise that disseminating information, arranging thoughts, making decisions is easier – safer – when you respect your own mind; when you don’t let other people’s crap stay too long; when you don’t just push pain, guilt, fear and fantasy to the back of your mind and expect them to be either easily forgotten or to play nicely together; when you don’t waste time on misuse and cheap ornament; when you like to visit yesterday but don’t actually want to live in one.

Brexit is like a tiger mum just emptied every nebulous yesterday, every socio-economic hope and angst, every cheap ornament, upon the country’s bed.


Visited by ghosts,
unholy hosts to yesterday,
with resurrected symbols,
making thimble-deep conjecture
into psychotropic nectar,
where old fading folks,
for token gestures,
trade away the days
they won’t see anyway,
except as sorry spectres
that will haunt tomorrow’s
hollow architecture.

Will is fuel

Will is fuel. The heart beats. The mind’s job is to justify its rhythm to the soul.

Desire initiates movement. The mind is the point at which intention determines manifestation. This is the articulation of Will.

Impulse drives feeling that creates the scope by which the mind understands and gives shape to the outward form. Head or heart may appear dominant but they must work together, be reconciled, in order to best reflect desire and serve, with integrity, the why of the what and the what of the why, in matter.

* ** *** ****

Impulse is potential.
Emotion without mind is violence.
The mind without heart is sterile.
The unfiltered will is scattered.
The untethered will is impotent.

Harmony is passion and reason,
refined and anchored, to perfect,
that conscience may be as leaven
in Humanity, to honour and express
the Beauty of the cosmic sum.

**** *** ** *

As above, so below. As within, so without. And vice versa. All is One.

Into the Future

May the New Year ring in
Resolve renewed
And may your highest wishes bear
The very best of fruit.

May you stride with grace
And rising purpose
Into Future
With the courage, strength and confidence
To trust in your own judgement
As you face oncoming tests.

And may your life be blessed with celebration:
May you feel more Love
Perceive more Light,
Hear more Truth,
Know good Fortune,
Speak more Wisdom
Taste real Progress.


Happy New Year, Dear Readers 🥂 xXx

Happy New Year

Every December people speak hopefully about the next year being better than the last and no more so than of these last few years. But better, though infinitely possible, is made elusive. Worse is still accelerating and such yearning sentiment, by the arbitrary turn of a clock, has become a naive cliché of wishful thinking. Hope requires follow-through.

Bad things happen. We know this. Sometimes they come out of the blue, sometimes little could have been done to prevent an event but, more often than not, the bad stuff is merely the consequence of dreadful and preventable decision-making. Nothing so new in that, is there? In fact, I can’t remember a time when ideology, incompetence, indifference, self-service, arrogance and complacency have not been political staples. You could fill a page with appropriate descriptors. Once upon a time, such poor character and method were mostly judged by hindsight. Today, we see a great deal of it as it happens. Today, by our “will”, we are even charged with creating much of it.

But one seemingly simple choice can change everything. Tomorrow, then, we shall be as responsible as those whom we have blamed. Amazing, how quickly we have lost control but, really, the choice made that inevitable. Power is being wielded without wisdom. Wisdom is a betrayal. Tribe is all. Comfortable; collegiate; anchoring. Divisive. Narrowing. Dangerous.

There are better ways to express and grow our national character but our current trajectory is not derived of sufficient integrity, principle, foresight or rationality. We live in the age of at least and whataboutery. Relativity unto distortion. We trip on shifting carpets, measure truth by reaction, lean on there but for the grace of and count our luck and blessings as though they were the deferred successes of good, sound judgement. We have crunched the outer rim of thought and our emotions find and leave us wanting.

The past has overtaken the future and the present cannot – will not keep up. If you believe it can’t get worse, then you have not been paying attention and you are in for a bit of shock. 2018 is going to make this year look like a picnic. Buckle up. Brace. Keep a sense of humour and look, always, for the pockets of Light. Hold on to your loved ones and your hats. It’s going to be fraught.

Happy New Year. ⚡️