Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Don't turn away

The dawn yawns, hinting of autumn; the sun is sluggish, unusually, to rise and evaporate the night's milky breath. Nevertheless, as I walk through the garden tweaking here, tweaking there, the sprinkler on too, I breathe in deep, in deep - to below the sleek, taught muscles that encase my very gut - the dew laden ozone, the gift of today.

Cool enough to warrant a light blanket, I sit back on my rickety-battered-outdoor couch and begin my pages, next to a steaming, white porcelain bowl of green tea.

Dear God, I pray for wisdom and understanding. Writing, like I did yesterday, of men's hearts, I pray especially for the wisdom and understanding of those intricately wired, delicately balanced, nuanced, enigmas that are much more than the sum of our parts.

To an extent that I allowed it, mine is broken; I'm nursing the purple bruises and tenderness, my proneness (yesterday to sobbing) to weeping: I had put it out there believing.

I'm left foundering and wondering what changed, and why the wind's (gone with) direction altered?

I will not easily be trading mine again on the stony-cold, mortuary-like floor of the heart stock exchange.

But simultaneously I will not stop putting out my tendrils to where, often naively, I believe the nurturing sun and rain of growth and potential to be. I'm reminded of Bach's words of wisdom:

"Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them."

And so I again consciously move from
Doing to Being...into the space that Robin Sharma calls 'free flow':

"Free flow is a state of living where you have present moment awareness. Every cell within you is engaged in the moment you're living."

Monday, February 27, 2012

Second best sucks

Give me HOT, even give me COLD, COLD, COLD, but never give me LUKEWARM.

LUKEWARM revolts me, and I'll SPIT it from my mouth and on to the ground.

(Oh but for those who can live in the truth at all times...it sets everyone free. I pray to be one that that is always truthful, even when it is most uncomfortable, and momentarily hurtful to myself. Especially then.)

I pick flowers for everyone left by the wayside... And especially for me, because I am free, truly free.

Like a fleeting shadow, I will silently leave in the night, pulling the door gently shut behind me; without even a click, I'll be gone with the wind, but intactly so, and walking into the dawn-on-my-face...

Like a dandelion on both my open palms I'll breathe you away, but with sadness and nostalgia for what could have been; but with blessings and good wishes too, that you find your ground, your earth, gently land, put down roots, and flourish. (In so doing I am even freer)

Goodbye. May all your dreams for love, happiness, joy and peace come true. May you be abundantly blessed with just good things, and by His love. Goodbye

Van Gogh sky above my tree

I'm lying in my undies on the grass in the garden. Under the peach tree

Last light on fern fronds and silver-velvet lamb's tail

Christ's bleeding heart-coloured cannas point back to heaven. Oh how I have fallen

The sun sinks behind the hill. Instant transformation from humidity to chillidity, instant coffee thoughts churn towards autumn

I tell all the men who cross my path to protect their hearts. Why don't I take my own advice

My heart, and one iris, for your ear. Van Gogh

Notice regarding my best life

As of THIS moment I - publicly - make a fundamental commitment from the deepest place within me that I'll no longer stand for mediocrity, and that I dedicate myself to living the life I was meant to live. My best life.

Only He knows the true heart of men

This is where she routinely sat, watching television until at about around about 21h30-ish when she would feel for her walking stick (she was recovering from a double whammy, at 78, of tick-bite fever and pneumonia, which almost cost her her life, what a pity that it didn't), and get up, and open the three sets of security doors, to let out her three dogs into the garden for a piddle, before reversing the locking up process, and going to bed.
Except that last Wednesday night they somehow got in, dragged her to the pantry, looking for her money and a measly digital camera, then brutally murdered her with fists and a hot iron, so much so that one eye was completely out of the socket, and the other almost. And the flesh burnt from her arms.
A 78-year old woman with a walking stick.
She was found the next morning broken and face-down in her own blood, in her own pantry.
It needs to be confirmed, but this was apparently visit number two, the first took place four-years-and-a-jail-sentence-ago.

This morning, at 09h00, they appear in court in Belfast. I must be there at 8h00, so that I can find a place to shoot them from; I'll have to deftly move between a wide-angle and zoom, pulling the trigger as I go.
I must also find forgiveness in myself, because judgement is God's prerogative alone.
Only He knows the true heart of men.
Unforgiveness has a destructive, bitter root.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Gone with the wind

Walking home across town, my heart misses another beat.

I had chicken breyani with Celeste. But no wine for me for forty days while I'm in the desert, but making my Lenten journey to Jerusalem, for the crucifixion.

I'm on life support.

I'm also Gone with the Wind; it's a staid-even-paced-hurricane of my heart that calms me down, but simultaneously pushes up my pulse in anticipation of 'a REAL life. A life full of God's riches - marriage, children, grandchildren. I know, woah, it's a big thing to say upfront. But that's me.'

The fine-hard-constant rain begins to come down, flushing my-face-and arms-and-legs. I push into it.
The farmers in the valley call it 'kieza'; the fine-hard-welcone-rain that can come, and hover between the low-slung, pregnant sky and an increasingly sodden earth for days...with neither lightning, thunder, nor wind as companions.
That's when I cocoon myself into my bed, amongst books, hand by the fireplace. And a goofy smile on my face as I stare dreamily south eastwards.

Rudder heart torn in three

Clattering blinds in the late night gusty wind that, gratefully, cools those living on the escarpment edge, and frightens away nervous, dawn-avoiding mosquitoes.
Waking up at 3, with anxious tendrils winding and wiling into by core, clutching, tugging at my intestines, I hesitantly drown a relaxant in the dark before sprawling across my mattress and darkly spending an hour and half's meticulously planning. That leaves me exhausted, but strong and resolved. And my rudder firm.
On another (love) note, tonight, my heart is torn in three: it's Gone with the Wind

Monday, February 20, 2012

In the detail; I'm beautiful/ugly

When alone here, which is mostly, and mostly my choice, I choose to be only in my underwear, so as to be as unhindered as possible.
Clothes get in the way of my work and my creativity, they also regularly hook-up - against me - with their partner-in-crime, humidity.
My nakedness, or semi-nakedness, also serve as humbleizers... I'm reminded of my mortality, that within my finger skin are finely crafted, perfectly engineered bones; let's never forget the bigger picture. Never (no full stop intended)

I catch a wonderfully erotic, albeit slight, whiff of my own armpit.
My man smell is erotic. For me. And I'm reminded of history. Mine. And other men. And their armpits and man smell.
Mine is not the history of art.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Yesterday afternoon. I spent with a friend of mine. Listening to the story of his life. In a park near his house. That is a park near my first house, except my access was from the other side. And that was ten years ago.
We had dinner in a restaurant that I was last at in 2000; an unhappy, insecure and fraught evening with James.
Then a night out together in-the-rain-on-the-town. We went to a bar/club in Illovo. With a cab. Thank God. It rained alcohol inside me and I let down my beer-soaked vodka-tinted hair.
I saw Steffen and forced him, in a way important to me, to acknowledge me; not that he has any obligation to ever do so.
I walked-and-floated-and-danced-and-drank-and-pissed-and flirted, all in nice clothes.
Then home in the smelly cab, and an episode of Heatfleshtrash that lasted until three pm today.

[i write this later, it doesn't flow, as in words; welcome to disjointed:>>]
Lying on a fine-haired arm. Talking sore and pain and intimacy. Then a. Wonderfully. Greasy. Wimpy mega breakfast in a suburb from hell, walking distance. That I quite liked. Because at/on edge means you're alive enough to notice: goose flesh-prickled skin. And wide eyes; those are not the effects experienced by dead/the.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Californian poppies, just two: yellow-orange.
Cherry tomatoes, at least two thousand; bright fire engine red orbs scattered across the Irish green herb garden, beneath a bleak Sunday mid-afternoon sky.
As if suburbia central, which its not, the new 'neighbour' at the top of the street running into mine, has planted an old and shoddy-slender red/white/striped lighthouse, me-height, right next to his socializing area.
When I drive past I can see his varicose veins flourishing on tree stump legs; throughout the day and early evenings, I can hear him clearing his long-time smoker phlegm, there where he sits on wire mesh garden furniture next to his electrified lighthouse.
Meanwhile I procrastinate around the house in my sweaty, humid nakedness and avoid eating until the last minute.
I'm going to shower and then complete my letter to God; I desire a mountain top experience.

Sharp, bright red

Walking down a path, can't see the next turn.
Tiny insect vibrates with life around my one quarter-empty coffee cup; it, the mug, is my favorite, made of smokey brown transparent glass, a family heirloom from the eighties.
Cat stalks a morsel of a lizard across the soaked, soggy lawn to beneath he bedraggled lemon tree that used to be the joy of my life.
My thesis yanks the chains at my desk and crooks it's skeletal finger at me: get your ass here, you're almost done.
Cross-legged like an effete gentleman on the outside storm-battered couch, dampness seeps into my T-shirt and shorts...the rain, unusually, came in horizontally under the verandah last night.
Stef's fountain gurgles, chortles, much happier than me.
Sunday's are for my rest, but not this one.
Lee sends a picture of his brown legs, and writes from Zinkwasi that the fish-eagles are calling from the lagoon. I'll have to go and see.
The lines around my eyes are deep today, as are the black smudges encircling my sad puppy dog eyes; black stubble weeds and wends its way up my face threading to enforest me. Yes, new word, don't Google it, yet.
The sharp, bright red of the pineapple sage flowers hammer and nail hope into me upon my crucifixion.
I am not the living dead

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Liz, I need more practice

I have a new friend. And we have, immediately upon meeting, committed to complete and utter honesty; and that we will - at all costs - hold up a severely honest mirror to each other.

This is what she texted me last week, possibly hours after meeting, about this blog:

"You're right, the bio is interesting and the blog itself sleep-inducing. PS: "eternal sunshine of a contented soul" should be made into the title of a nostalgic novel or a black and white romance thriller. Hahaha." 

I chuckled my head off. I also remembered a truly inspiring piece - http://thewritepractice.com/how-to-catch-more-life-in-your-writing/
  - I'd read earlier in the year on Joe Bunting's exceptional The Write Practice blog, of which I'm going to include a large chunk of, right here. It begins: 

The poet-monk, Thomas Merton, said in his New Seeds of Contemplation:

If you write for God you will reach many men and bring them joy. If you write for men—you may make some money and you may give someone a little joy and you may make a noise in the world, for a little while. If you write for yourself, you can read what you yourself have written and after ten minutes you will be so disgusted that you will wish that you were dead.

I walk in the cold. It stings and soon my cheeks grow so numb I can no longer enunciate my P's and  M's. The holly shrubs are the only green thing here, and the skeleton fingers of trees reach up to the bluefrozen sky as if they pray for warmth. They will pray through the darkness of night and get none.

Behind me is my home and inside sits my computer. I recently won a blogging competition and today's bar on my web analytics is climbing to heights I've never experienced before. But I left the stats for the cold because we do not live for digits on a screen but for moments like these, alone in the woods, staring at bare trees which grasp for warmth. Aren't we all grasping?

I started coming here to meditate when those digits were single numbers that looked lonely and cold on the screen, and now I come here when they are great giants, almost crowding out my computer and my comprehension in their black weight. I come here because I must. I wouldn't be able to bear it all without these walks. My mind would snap like one of those wooden treefingers.

This is what meditation has taught me:


I am grateful for those wee little numbers and I am grateful for the giants. Who could live without gratefulness? And by live I don't mean eat, breathe, sleep, and go to the bathroom. I mean eat so that the food tastes like manna, breathe so deeply it's like your lungs fill up with cloud and you exhale it out so that it fills the room and seems to cover it all with a holy mist, and sleep as sound as a child after a trip to Disneyland. I mean to really live.

To write well you must live. You may write without living, but what kind of writing would it be? Not the kind that will change the world, that must be said in certain terms.

The Challenge

Coincidentally, though, this life I'm talking about sometimes comes to us through writing. While I had glimpses of this life before, it wasn't until I began writing that I was truly able to grasp it. Words can be woven together to form a great net to throw over life, tie it down long enough to slurp into your soul.

This is what The Write Practice is about, then. Not just learning to write but learning to live. Not just learning to weave words to get a paycheck or some internet glory, but learning to weave them into life-catching nets that can bring life to the whole world.

So my challenge to you today is this:

  1. Are you experiencing life? Right now. In this moment?
  2. Is your writing bringing life not just to you but to others?

If not, then you might need more practice.


Mike S Vancouver said on 28 January:

I found your blog because today I played - yet again - with how to share that people can communicate to commune - to be in communion with each other - and in that "field" the idea of A Beautiful Mind (title of course borrowed from the film) appeard and when it did I googled... and found you.

And yes, people can communicate to create communion and can do it with intention and skill. It seems hard to interest people in the ideas - in part because while it can lead to riches it leads only indirectly to (monetary) wealth.

So thanks for your writing.

Blogger Beautiful Mind said...

Good morning Mike, thank you so much for taking the time to commune with me here, to communicate - freely and without expectation, except for the purpose of communion - with me, sharing your ideas. 

I believe that you are spot on, that people can communicate to create communion... And thank you for doing so with no expectations of 'pay-off' in the worldy sense. It is for precisely this reason, your words, that I will never, for one, monetize this blog, because I come here only to "communicate to create communion". This I do humbly, without expectation of a 'return', nor under duress.

May your ideas, and your humility, serve to help change this battered, broken and hurt, but magnificent world, into a better place, one good deed and broad-smile-for-a-stranger at a time. 

Have a wonderful day.