Could there be a topic more over-run with cliche? Maybe it’s easier to say what love is not. It isn’t hearts, flowers or chocolates. It’s not sex, or lust. It’s not red, or pink. It’s not black and white. It is multicoloured, ambiguous and multifaceted. It is more than one thing. Is there a difference between love and compassion? At its most basic, love is surely, simply, to care for another. To want them to be happy. To want them to be free of pain and suffering. To want to see them shine, and to be with them when they do. Beyond that, the extent to which you feel that, is all an unmarked scale. There is no point at which you reach a jackpot. There is no permanent label. Is it possible to love whilst also feeling other emotions, whilst also feeling negative emotions? Is love enough to outweigh the negatives? Do we ever truly cease to love? It’s not a tap to be turned on and off. It’s not a peak to reach the top of. Maybe love is like liquid. Fluid, changeable. Maybe love is the best we can do. Giving. Making life a little better. Receiving. Maybe there are no answers. Just feelings, words from the gut.
Turn your gaze. Feel the
air, see the way the earth lies.
Feel it graze your skin.
Know what it is to
run. To grasp, to pull, to feel
morning under you.
Life will happen whether we want it to or not. Sometimes the harder we pull, the more we are tugged back. Sometimes, there can be nothing but acknowledgement, an acceptance that this is where I am today. What needs to happen will happen. The doubts we try so hard to silence only shout louder. So sit, let them be. Take your troubles for a walk, take them to dinner, take them to a friend. Give them voice so they might not force their way out so violently. Listen. Allow yourself to feel. This is not easy. It is not easy at all.
Take courage so when
you feel the storm, you can know
it’s name. Meet its gaze.
Not so much the ones you know and love but those others, that you pass in the street, that you might never see again. The nuance of a nod as you make space for someone. Acknowledging a car that lets you out. Holding the door. Paying for a cup of tea. Life is filled with interactions. How do you treat people that have no hold on your life? How do you act towards a stranger, when inside you feel angry, sad, worried? How does the world see you, what do you give?
There can be no
separation, there is no line
between sea and sand.
A crowd of crows in an evening sky. All the truths you never sought to know. A thousand raindrops on a single leaf. A lightning-severed trunk. Footsteps disappearing in wet sand. A waterfall that runs dry.
No words. There are no
words. The magpie tilts his head
When the urge takes you. Because there’s a need. Because the alternative is a blankness. Because words leave the mind and drip onto the page, and somehow once they go back in they’re not the same. Writing. Because the words say what the mind cannot. Because they take this ‘nothing’ and make it ‘something’. Writing. Because sometimes it’s all I have.
Ink stains the paper.
It claws the page, leaves only
scars, etched into white.
Do you notice the clouds? The banks of colour spread across the horizon, as if painted by a child’s brush dipped in gold. Do you ever lie on the grass looking up? Can you see the light finding a way through the ranks of slate, to shine on just one patch of ocean, calling your eyes, saying ‘see’? This is what clouds are for.
When there’s nothing left
but sorrow, sit beneath the
clouds, watch them drifting
Only by spending time alone will you hear your own voice. In today’s noisy lives we don’t listen to ourselves. TV, radio, pc, phone. When was the last time you spent an hour in silence? What would that feel like? How scary would that be? How difficult?
Only breath, only
wind through grass. Hunched over.
Close to the ground. Listening.