Wonderings 5

Success is measured by how many failures you are willing to go through.

If we all lived the same way life would become clogged. We cannot all want a mortgage, marriage, children, a career, the same religion, or support the same football team. Don't feel you have to follow others. Happiness is a hard thing to find. Contentment even harder. Be proud of who you are and listen to your instincts. Be brave to say you want to live life your way.

Friendship is built on fear. It may start off on the things you seem to have in common. With time it's not what you have in common in terms of your views, but what you both fear. That's the reason you stick together. The fears grow between you.

When you think about how fast the earth spins each hour, but when you look out the window the clouds seem to be there all day. We never feel the earth moving. Only seeing what happens over time in the sky, when it does. It's the same in our minds. Our brain is turning through all these thoughts every minute, but life outside stays the same. Five years later we've changed as people. If we were to feel the changes everyday we couldn't deal with it and become overloaded with information. Possibly coming to a stop.

When I was younger my life was usually boring. Now it's much better because I have found who I am inside. I am creative. My mind doesn't stop and I go from one idea to another. The difference today and twenty years ago is time was slower then. It zooms by now because of how I live. You cannot have time and happiness together.

I have criticism for being quiet. In the workplace especially, I have been punished. People seem to find quietness an issue. If you put a microphone to my brain I would be one of the loudest people on earth. The louder someone is outside their brain the quiter they are inside. They're usually the people you need to keep an eye on.

You can play whatever you want on a piano. The sound will come through. But if you have no idea why you're playing then nothing will happen except noise. Be sure you know you're saying the things you want to say. Having an opinion doesn't mean anything. Having a way of thinking does.

Plants will always aim for the sun as it makes their life easier to live. They have a source to go to everyday. A guiding light that makes them perk up.  What's your sun?

Go to your local DIY centre and buy an organiser. This is a flat shaped box with small compartments inside. Now, go and buy screws, nails, washers, tacks, hooks, nuts, bolts, and other small pieces you may need. Open each packet of items and put a random amount in each compartment. Leaving some empty.

This is what someones personality is like. Take one screw out and this is someones else's personality. Empty one compartment and fill it with a new fixture. This is someone else's personality. We all have these compartments, but they vary. I am stubborn, very stubborn. My humour is quite broad, but I am grumpy, stand-offish at times, shy, temperamental and other things. We all have different levels of traits. There's a core to our personality that cannot be changed. We can alter our outlook, I do know by changing my diet I have perked up, but there is a core to who we are. Finding the people to suit this core should be a life-long mission.

There's certain human traits I cannot bond with. I have known people through my life where I know we wont get on. So I try to stay away from them. The work place and neighbours or socialising with new people were the most hazardous. But, what one person is to you may be a best friend to someone else. the different compartments I talk about previously all connect together. Some go well together while others clash. I'm a sensitive man so being around loud, arrogant, or cocky people can be an issue for me. It's wrong of me to say I don't like them as people. We just don't connect. These compartments will define who you are. I need my own space, being around clingy people or people who need constant attention can be tough for me. Look at the people you have in your life. There is nothing wrong with not getting along. We're all different, but understanding that difference is key.

All we do in life is nudge each other. The best teachers nudge the most. So all these things on these Wonderings Pages, you don't have to agree with any of them, I'm not an incredible man. But, if one or two nudge you into a way of thinking, outlook, then that is great for both of us. I'm of some help, and you are on your way to having a better life.

As a child nothing was better than unwrapping presents to see what was inside. Whether Santa was real or not, it didn't matter. The great moment of seeing the hidden treasure was an immense feeling. Have a day when you unwrap you. See how you feel at the end of it when you lie in bed. Did you have a better day than normal? I would be surprised if you said no.

 

Sometimes rivers are known to change their path. If life becomes harder going one way, time doesn't mean anything. River beds dry out because they had no way of changing their path. See where you're going all the time, live with eyes wide-open.  If you need to go South instead of East, do it. Listen to your instincts.

Knowledge and experience go hand in hand. You can do the same job for twenty years. But unless you improve your knowledge of the job you will become average. I have worked with people that have done the same job for years but their performance was usually average. They stopped learning. The curve straightened out.

But to gain knowledge you have to do something a long time. Hence experience is important.  Whatever you do in life be awake. Remind yourself of the simple things. And never turn your mind away from increasing your knowledge.

Trees release leaves for a reason. They understand that change is a good thing. They have faith that they will become trees again next year. If you faith in who your are it won't hurt letting something go for a while.

Pebbles become pebbles because they allow themselves to. There was a time when they were rocks on a mountain. Do you prefer to be high up, or come down to land and roll around with others?

Go to an allotment. Some plots will be raked, mapped and clean of weeds. Then there will be some that have weeds and also veg growing. Then there are plots that have been forgotten. Or not planned out and the owner has struggled to cope.

As a writer, if you do something everyday you will have a clean, productive allotment. Don't let the weeds of doubt grow. Once you fall behind you will never progress. Get the hoe out each day and file away the doubts and weaknesses.

When you see a baby in a pram and the mother is taking the baby for a walk that little flesh of life will be sponging up every detail. The baby will use all its senses to understand the world around itself.

Treat the brain in the same manner. Take your brain for a walk each day. It does not matter where to or how long. The brain is like a baby, it needs to feed off the world around it and grow the senses.

This can only enrich your writing.

You are only the environment you are in at that moment. How you live and what you do each day determines who you are in the future. When I was a child if I had have discovered books, then things might have been different for me. My youth might have been different. Overtime I have changed my environment to suit who I am. Today I am a poet, so I live like a poet.

As a species we compartmentalize people. People who work in 'Lesser' places than yourself, or where they live, hobbies, standard of car, the list is endless. We put people in our lives into categories, parents, grandparents, aunties&uncles, cousins, neighbours, teachers, friends, again, the list goes on. Even a compartment for the postman, shopkeeper, milkman, paperboy, these may be in one compartment. Once these compartments are made in our brains we then treat those people with what we 'see' as fit behaviour.

 

Get rid of these compartments, and categories, and see the person in front of you without a tag. If they're a good person who treats you with honesty and warmth, does it matter if they're not a parent or sibling? I have never been into the family thing. I see someone for what they are at that moment. Don't worry about having a better friendship with a local shopkeeper than a neighbour or cousin/uncle. Blood related is not by choice. And who you live by is by chance.

 

Be happy with who you have in your life, but don't think you should have to treat certain people better than others because of the compartment they are in.

When you redraft a poem by taking a word out here and there or putting another back in all you're doing is replacing bricks in a wall.

The most important thing before you redraft is the foundation.

This may be the Title, First Line, Last Line and Shape. These are the strongest parts. Replacing bricks is one thing but changing the foundation while building is very dangerous.

When you meet someone new you get the shop window of who they are first. Overtime you may get to know what's on the shopfloor. But you will never know someone until they reveal what's in their warehouse.

 

We all suffer with stigma, stereotype, perception, and other things but unless you learn about that person how can you allow yourself to be caught up in labeling them? Or get angry when you yourself suffer people's narrow-mindedness.

 

Most people you will ever know will only show the shop window. You can look in and find out what sort of person they may be, but that is only a shallow way of understanding the person.

 

Watch how someone is, you may find their warehouse is holding some trauma in a corner.

We are being whittled away by time.

A poet doesn't write for when they are alive, they write for when they are dead.

A mother duck will walk her ducklings to the fresh water. She guides them and leads the ducklings to a new life. Have you noticed how they all line up behind her?

Every sentence you write treat it the same as the mother duck with her family. Every word should follow and be there for a reason.

Our skin is brushed away in the wind.

As a poet treat the writing as a separate job. Learn and increase your knowledge of being a poet, or the Poet's Character. But then study writing. Buy award winning books and ask yourself questions of why the writing is good. I separate being a poet from a writer. I believe a poet is not a writer, but writing is the best form for us to express ourselves.

Read books on writing. You can be a great poet but a poor writer. Sometimes the words on the page let the poet down. Do not be that! I have been there and even today I can keep improving. I am not a great writer. How we express ourselves on the page defines us as poets. You have to learn how to be a good writer, then the poems will improve.

 

A poet is a life detective. Spend a day searching for clues to new poems. Poetry is everywhere like music is. As poets it's our objective to go out and find these clues/hints. A notebook is the biggest friend you will have as a writer.

I never go out and write on the job. If there's anything out there I let it ferment inside me. Then a week, or a month later the poem will fruit. As poets we collect things, but the worst thing we can do is use them straight away. Poems will come when ready. Our instincts will help with this. You cannot force poetry.

Poetry is a way of living. What I write today will be different to reading it again ten years from now. You cannot be frustrated being a poet. I have wasted too much energy on this, but today I am in a good place. I am allowing poetry to enter me and develop someplace I have no knowledge of. Now that I have taken a step back my writing has already improved. My future is clearer.

I find it hard to take a step back and see the situation without emotion. But to see the rain you have to stand behind a window and watch it fall. Bieng amongst the drops is not a good way of seeing what direction it's falling from or if the clouds are moving.

Say to yourself 'Remember the glass' if things get tough and appear to brew an argument. You will be better for it by seeing where things may lead afterwards.

Before I write a new poem I ask myself 'Where do I want to go with this?' I prefer to redraft an old poem these days than write a new one. I know long-term my poems will improve. I have at times been one of the worst poets around for not making the most out of my work. Diluting too much and leaving the poems too thin. Please don't fall into this trap. Otherwise you will hold yourself back.

Poetry is the sword I fight life with. We all need something to get us through and battle the meaning of Time. If we sat indoors or wasted our lives doodling Time would beat us down very easily. You can slow down Time by having something in your life. Poetry is mine. For others it may be bringing up kids or playing golf. Get the sword and fight!

I see people's brains as being like cars or motor vehicles. Some people are fast cars who find out what course they are on and speed through. Other's are landrovers that need to rumble along. Then there's the small cars that like to get from A to B in a quiet manner. People can look at how I live or what I have done with my life and say whatever they perceive, But, at the end of the day, I am not a fast car. My brain works in the mud of life, the tough terrain of the mind. The thoughts I have in one day may be the thoughts for a week in someone else's mind. Accepting people for what they are is the biggest challenge of love & friendship.

Poetry does something to me I cannot explain. It brings me to fruit. I am not particularly bothered if I am a poor poet, or someone who never gets recognised. But I do care if I lose the urge to write poems. I try to find a meaning to my life other than pay bills and work. Poetry gives me meaning.

Being consistent at something will always make you improve. The only time it goes against you is if you do too much. I once wrote too much poetry. I didn't improve. Or I improved slowly. Doing a little bit everyday has worked for me far more. Be consistent, it cannot do anything other than make you better. As you are more aware of what is happening. Also, don't let yourself down by thinking it's more important than everything else. As it's not. The more torches you have to shine the more things you see.

I find it hard to believe that all the woods of the world started with one seed. One idea, one will, one growth, one chance. All trees want to do is reach for the sky. How many seeds fail every year in a wood? Thousands? But the wood never stops, it keeps going even amongst its failings. The thoughts you have are the same. Nothing can indefinitely sprout and be a success. But you can have success if you keep throwing seeds all over the place.

Rain happens every day on some part of this planet. And sunlight. The human mind has rain and sunlight as well. We call them suffering and hope. Whatever happens in your day you will at some point have the opposite to experience. Stomach it and keep going. Respect both.

If water was only meant for the seas and rivers of the world then we would not have plants on land, then no insects, then no wildlife. Everything follows to create a system to spin diversity. You will have failings, faults, short-comings and loss. But you will also have something to grow from these. Creativity and thought follows a system of links. It's accepting the links and believing something will come at the end of it that is the hard part.

Rejections as a writer is the same as plants and wildlife needing rain. We can never predict when what we want happens, but we do have to be patient. If you see a plant wilt due to drought or a bird dead because of a lack of water, then being rejected is part of what makes us keep surviving. At least we can breathe after reading the letter/email  some things on this earth have no choice but to stick it out and hope.

I have said before you are only the environment you are in. When I was younger I used to go out a lot, every weekend. In the week I worked and went the gym. I was a poet even then, but I did not know it. I wrote poetry, rhymed poetry, in spiral notebooks. But I struggled. I hated the world I lived in as it was opposite to how my brain worked. Depression hung over me daily. When I moved out of the environment I started to find myself. Back then I cried myself to sleep two/three times a week. I really struggled. In 2009 I had had enough. I picked myself up and started to change how I lived. There was a release, an escape, a new energy. I found out what made my brain work. It needs stimulation, nature does it, poetry, philosophy, quietness, views. I go against any of those things I suffer. It's took me thirty years to find out who I am. But it has been worth it.