A New Year! 2020!
Let's see what we can all achieve this year. Where you leave this year will be the platform for 2021. We will have our ups and downs. Get a goal in mind, have the word progress in your daily thoughts, be honest, be brutal, be courageous, be happy, be yourself.
The people who say the most mean the least, but the people who speak the least mean the most. Be wise with what you have to say, not all winds have a meaning except erosion.
I have no idea how many poets know me or my work. It may be 10, 100, or even a 1000. It's only zeros. It is more important with what you do for the people who know you than how many you are known by.
If you ask questions your brain is obliged to help find those answers. Even if it's months later when an answer comes by. The people who have no questions are the one's you will never learn from, so it is best to avoid this friendship. If they don't ask questions of themselves, then they will never ask questions of you. So you will both be dormant.
Are we any closer to where we want to be in life? It is 2020, am I getting to where I want to be or to who I am as a person. No. I am further away now than five years ago. Reason? There is no conclusion, destination, abode, contentment. The most important things is I am still moving. If I sat down and became satisfied with where I was and who I am my life would stop. Yes, I have made progress, but getting 'Closer' to something is not 'It'. Moving is.
If you let the ego drive your car then you are on the back seat. Drive the vehicle yourself. The ego is the worst driver for your life you can have. It promises to take you places, but never does.
It's not what you do with your life, it's what you do with yourself.
Finding who you are is the biggest discovery of all. Anyone who thinks only of the external is too scared of the internal.
You have three jugs. One positive energy, one negative, one empty. The empty one is in the middle. Each day you live you have a choice of filling it with what you want. Every minute we will probably use both! The mind never stops. But, you do have a choice. You can keep it filled with one or the other. Have a routine where you say to yourself 'What am I keeping in the jug?'
Does a migrating bird ask why is it doing what it is doing by flying halfway across the world? No. The bird knows it has to survive. Sometimes you have to get on with life. Think about that bird who weighs a few grams, flies across oceans, deserts, mountains, through all weather types. We're only doing the same, in our mind.
Time is your greatest teacher, but also your biggest enemy. Keep an eye on it ticking by!
A seed grows from the ground. A tree performs years later, then this tree passes more seeds down. Another tree pops up, then another, and this continues for years. One day the first looks around and sees it is in a wood. Poetry collections go the same way. Build it, let the wood develop, watch the seeds grow.
Mental Illness does the one thing we all have less of at the end of each day. It takes away your time. Sometimes in days, or weeks, even years. As if it's a big crane and grabs your life away from you and dumps it somewhere else. If only we had a reset button when we come through the tunnel of depression, anxiety, stress. But life is not fair. Don't sit back and think it cares, it doesn't.
Poetry, philosophy, and music are the bandages for this planet. The humans running around the globe are the wounds. We are wounded and to save us spilling into space poetry, philosophy and music keep us on this earth.
Sometimes you have to write five or six poems to find a great one. That's the same as climbing steps to the next floor. You never stand on one step, then find yourself on the next level by missing a few. Never turn down the chance of a poem. They all lead to something else.
Sometimes reading another culture's philosophy will highlight the weaknesses of your own.
After seven years I am trying a mobile phone again. If I feel my life has not improved by having one then it will go in the bin. I see too many people anchored down by this handheld device. They seem to think if they stare at it enough the meaning to life will appear. You never get anywhere with eyes that look one way.
If we lived life without the Monday to Sunday concept our minds would become freer. We seem to attach emotions to each day of the week, Monday morning, Friday feeling, Weekend is here! Live without knowing the day, and go by the dates. Your mind will unchain itself from the feelings that are put into our brains from school. This will allow you to see more of yourself. It's like a train working on the same journey 52 weeks of the year with the same stops, passengers, scenery etc. But then the train is given a new route each day for the rest of its life. Be happy you wake up in the morning, and see where you end up that day.
If you have not seen someone for a decade or more it may be worth seeing them. Not to see if they have changed, but to see if you have. Some people I have known I could never see again as my everyday life has changed. I am a different person, whether I am better or not is debatable, but, I have other coordinates to live by now. When you see the same people all the time you seem to follow similar paths. Break off this path and take yourself someplace else. Find the person that hides inside you.
When the weeds are taken away flowers grow. Find the weeds in your mind and rip them out.
When a river flows along the channel of rock, scree, stone, sand, it doesn't stop at any point and think this is too hard for me to flow over. There will be times when it dries out or become a fast flow due to storms, but the whole objective is to keep itself moving. Have the same temperament.
Pick up an orange and look at it. It's not until you peel the skin off that you see it's a fruit. When I unpeeled myself I went from a human being to a poet.
Poems are like tents with missing pegs. `You can never settle in a tent unless it's tied down. A breeze gets under it and prevents the tent being in full shape. Poems are the same, they can never be tied down to one form, or stanza breaks, line breaks etc, there's always something you can change.
A green banana goes through stages until it hits mould. Once a banana is yellow you cannot say 'Oi! You used to be green!'
Everybody, everything on this earth changes. If someone said to me 'I was like this as a boy, or like this in my twenties, I would smile and walk away. What am I today is another stage from where I have been ten, twenty, thirty years ago. We all go through stages.
The things that are missing in your life are the words you have never read.
I know it's tough at the minute with this virus, but if you write things down each day, such as what you eat, mood, things done, hobbies, sleep pattern, and whatever else you have in your life. You will notice that the days stitch together instead of losing weeks at a time due to stress, anxiety etc. The days make up the weeks that make up the months. Writing things down sew this thread. Each day I fill in my journal it 100% helps keep my mind together, my days together, my focus sharp. I am aware of every day. You should use it too. It helps.
Being creative is being aware of your surroundings. Some people notice the world more than others. We're all creative, but some, have a sharper antenna. You can be more creative by being more aware. When I walk around the world I know I am picking up things in my mind. Using my senses to grab the earth around me, whether in a city or wood, it does not matter. You can be the same, just break the shell that has encased your mind from being unaware of the life around you.
Birds flying around the sky is the same as thoughts in your mind. No flight is the same, or has the same path. But, they all have somewhere to land. Let them do that and see what you have when they do.
People who think with their tongue are the people you turn deaf to. The tongue is connected at one end because the brain does not want to get caught up in its ramblings.
During this Pandemic we are being quieter than ever. The roads, streets, even sky, are clearer. This is our generations chance to listen to the world. The birdsong seems higher but it is not. For the first time since cars hit the road, they are being heard in their natural voice. This earth is the deckchair we all lie back on. We have a small window of oppurtunity to realise what we have here beneath our feet.
When we read a poem we go from the top to the bottom. The sentences are like floors leading us someplace. But when you leave the poem it takes you to a place higher than yourself. So, in theory, all poems are upside down.
No one has a right to say to you 'You have done well with your life, or you need to do more in life' I have suffered on and off with mental illness since I left school. No road is smooth enough to walk on for your whole life. I am proud I have got to forty. My life is balanced, disciplined, committed, and I have a passion - Poetry.
If the life you lived was the one you wanted then how can you keep growing as a person? The life I live today is a direct response to what I have experienced so far. At this moment in time I feel very good. Ticking the boxes of marriage, wealth, mortgage, career, children, and whatever else, does not mean you have lived a better life, and is just the same as someone who has been though crime, homelessness, debt, hunger, low income job, jobless, minimum wage job or whatever else. There's no right or wrong in both journeys. Having a good life is how you are as a person, the way you learn and mature, improve the heatlh of society. I would rather be penniless and be a decent human than have 'Everything' and be an immature fool. No one gauges who you are inside. Always the external. Hence, societies issues.
If you knew the future you would forget the present.
What I mean today I may argue against six months from now. That would tell me I have continued to move. Never rest with what you believe. Nudge yourself farther into the time you live. See where you end up.
We have no idea if this is the only life, or there have been many before. We have no idea the weight of the experiences of this one life and how it affects us. It's an incredible world.
Each day you can dig, dig deeper, dig quicker. Shovel away the soil that is already built over you. Find the light of who you are. I have gone through many changes as a person, and still believe things will change again years from now. We need to remove the soil while we are alive to see who we are before it's meant to cover us.
The ladder of life we keep climbing. Every year another rung, or many rungs climbed. These rungs are based on your experience of life. Over the course of your life you will meet many people, some will become a part of your life. These friendships will only start at where you are at during that period. It could be rung ten, or rung one thousand and ten. The relationship is built from that place/spot. They have no idea what you were like on other rungs. If you go years between seeing people you will all have climbed more rungs. Leaving you in different places when you see each other again. This is why our relationships are different with each person, also why things may never be the same if you have not seen someone for a while. Todays world with mobile phones and social media, people have the chance to stay closer for much longer. But unless they are a part of your life each day they will not feel you move up the rungs. You don't move away from each other because you have lost your kindred spirit, or childhood friendship, it's the fact you now see each other from different view points. Someone new comes into your life and they have no idea what has been before, only the view of you right now and where you are at. Never think low of yourself or ask questions it's the way life is.
We all need some small amounts of bad points. They help when we have to deal with bad moments. You cannot be 100% pure goodness. There has to be a sharp point to an arrow for it to have use. It may be 80/20 split, or 70/30 split. It does not matter, as long as you are aware of the bad points in your personality. Sometimes, not often, you have to lie. It's a good thing when needed. Or have an argument over something small. Being stubborn is such a case can help bring something else out of the moment.
What you allow into yourself you become. Feeding your mind and body with the Arts, Poetry, Classical Music, Philosophy will give you a more satisfying life than allowing drugs, alcohol, sedentary lifestyle, or gambling to fill your thoughts. Each day ask yourself what are you going to allow into you as a person. Any lake can become polluted if pollution leaks in.
Wiping the dust off a mantle piece, or book shelf is moving the dust to a new place. But this is a good thing to tell yourself each day. Dust flung around in a living room will only find a new place to rest, though it will have a new view. Fling yourself into the air each day by giving yourself movement, and see what you see when settled. The worst thing you can do is sit and become dust.
A wheel is best when in use. If it's left to stand still it rusts, seizes up, becomes a part of its surroundings. The brain is the same. Don't allow the mind to sit, move it, take it places, challenge it to keep learning. The cogs need turning to be themselves. A brain sat in a skull is not dormant. It goes places and becomes something bigger if allowed to move. Give it a track to move on. Philosophy, music, art, gardening, sport, any hobby or way of life it can wheel along on.
A clock without a battery does not tick. I am the same without poetry. Find your battery, make yourself tick.
Cliches and idioms are the same as leaves in a gutter. Clean the gutter and let things flow naturally. Use your imagination to stitch sentences together. Don't look for things to fill in gaps of what you would really like to say.