Stoned Immaculate

I was given a wonderful gift of a massage which turned out to be a combination of hot stone, remedial, Swedish, and Hawaiian Lomi Lomi. I’ve had a lot of back problems over the years but also have an extremely strong back so most massages feel like being tickled and do next to nothing. I basically need beating up in a methodical way so my muscles will let go.  The woman who did it was tiny, yet the forms she used worked extremely well. I was quite surprised. I don’t know about you but when I think of hot stone massages I have visions of a row of stones down the back and some namby pamby spiritual wavings. Not so, the stones are pressed into your muscles and both the heat and the hardness of them works wonders.  At some point in the future I shall return for some pure Lomi Lomi which apparently throws you about all over the place. lol The body weight of the masseur also has the effect of getting in deep, which is what I need (perhaps something of a parallel to what I seek in interactions as well, some serious depth). I am lathered in rosemary cream also, which apparently helps relaxation, and told to leave it on overnight. Just as well I’m not going out, my hair looks a right mess.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHNa_f28Q-s

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Who are you?

It’s probably common to us all, that we have certain images buried in our psyches which keep cropping up. This is one of mine. Not the symbology and metaphor I’ve woven in (feel free to interpret all that as you wish), but the face. I don’t know who this is but he crops up from time to time and has ever since I’ve been young. He does bear a passing resemblance to my son but it isn’t him. Realistically I don’t ever expect to get an answer to that question but I still feel the need to ask it. Following questions is often so much more valuable than finding answers anyway.

He’s done is acrylics. I fancy working out how to use those rather better, since it’s one medium I’m never really spent time mastering. I’ve worked in oils, and there are many similarities, though oils can be rather annoying because they take so long to dry. Acrylics on the other hand tend to dry too fast. I’m aware I’m not using them in a traditional way. For example I’m using cotton buds to do some smearing about and pulling colour out, which is probably more suited to pastels and watercolour, but then I’ve never tended to do any of it the way you’re ‘supposed’ to. I’d far rather discover what can be done by trial and error. So there may be more. I have some images which haven’t quite come up from the depths yet.

See the wind

I don’t know what these represent. It’s at a Holy Well chapel near me which has very Pagan roots, and there are often bits and pieces on this tree, but there are lots more right now, perhaps because it’s the equinox. The little oval blobs are clearly meant to be people. Close up they have hair, heads and carefully applied clothing with stars on.

I’m an idiot

It’s quite odd how much of an idiot intelligent people can be about some things. I’m speaking of myself. Others behaving like idiots happens, but that’s not my problem or responsibility, other than how I allow it to impact me. If others want to treat people badly, illogically or uncaringly the best thing I can do is give them a wide berth. It’s my own idiocy that concerns me. I cause myself infinitely more suffering than anyone else can, or rather than I allow them to. It’s curious that you can even be aware of it, yet for many years still fail to learn the lessons which would prevent it from repeatedly tripping you up. I’m not entirely sure how that happens, other than it probably being learnt at an extremely early age and therefore hard to see as anything beyond normality. It’s a bit like being an incredibly good reader, except on certain topics where you’re dyslexic. It’s illogical, nay stupid, and sometimes makes me want to hit myself over the head, though usually the area of life it affects me in does that far better than I could anyway. In that sense it’s totally masochistic, without the attendant pleasure.

It’s high time I stopped it. In fact I should have done so long ago. I don’t want to go into what it is because I don’t want my learning to be sabotaged, yet again, by others justifying their unjustifiable behaviour, demanding pity or indulgence, but I do sincerely hope I can finally learn. Any relevant parties will see the change if there is one anyway.

I had a 3 hour nightmare last night. I know it went on that long because I kept waking up. I’m not sure why I didn’t just get up. Maybe I needed to see the lessons it was trying to teach me, because it was the same one, over and over again in differing format. My unconscious has clearly seen the issue, and definitely wants it to change. I wonder if I have the umph to do so. Only time will tell. But what I’d like to avoid is going to the opposite extreme, because I know, both from my work and personal experience, that that can very easily happen, and it isn’t helpful. The trouble is when you don’t know how to do something the act of learning it will inevitably be clumsy and inept. But better inept than stupid.

Dust to dust

I left you there
Though you’d already gone
My heart was heavy
The timing had been wrong
Dust to dust
You came and went
The one who truly loved me
Who wished dreams come true
For me rather than you
A Merlin of hindsight
A life that passed through
Left me in that idyllic place
With no love left to grace
My hearth and heart
But an echo from the past
I wonder would you reach out
Your now invisible hand
And bring to me or grant me
The love lines in the sand
My footprints now are singular
As my life is too
I can’t quite seem to find myself
The only one who made some sense
In all his lunacy was you
Now gone the way we all must go
I wonder where’s the recompense
The sea that washes over you
The sand and you are one
The flowing in and drawing out
Are all my life’s become.

Reflections on a life now left

I remember when I visited my last work that wasn’t self employment after having left, a stepping in from outside while also knowing what was within, something not available to the true outsider. My last visit to Yorkshire was comparable in various ways. Where I was is not a bad place to live. It’s stunningly beautiful, relatively safe compared to the rest of the world, reasonably friendly, people there have quite a strong work ethic and a generally honourable approach to the world. Having been there for such a long time I know the underbelly too, the troubles and difficulties people have had, their frailties and vulnerabilities, the problems living there can bring too. Being in the North house prices have dropped fairly dramatically so there was a lot of interest in what I’d got for mine, which was predictably a lot less than it had been worth when I’d been forced to leave, but tbh I was relieved to have succeeded in getting it sold at all. It’s taken heading for four years. Few are selling and it’s getting worse. I’d been haemorraging money on it and if it hadn’t I’d have soon been in serious trouble. It was a very hefty millstone round my neck. The shop at the top of the road had been on the market for a similar length of time and he’d had no interest at all. You could see how hard that was for him, not just from his words but the fact that the shelves only had a front row. He’d barely any stock and I’ll be surprised if at some point down the line he doesn’t go bust. These are hard times. I wished him well and saw the envy in his eyes. Another old neighbour came rushing out when he saw me walking down the road. In part to wish me well but also to share his difficulties and to ask what I’d got for my house. Unrealistic hopes filled him, including how terribly well the people who had got mine would do on it. They have a great house, but they’ll never make anything on it. My oldest neighbour who had been there when I arrived was speaking similarly. They were doing the house up (mind you, they’ve always been doing the house up) and considering selling and going elsewhere. Mostly pipe dreams.

We had a skip to empty the house of all the old tat my son had filled it with, plus a few bits of mine I hadn’t got round to removing. We filled it, the next morning all but the black bin bags would have vanished. One neighbour said ‘you’ve got some good stuff in there’. ‘help yourself’ I said. ‘I have’ said he. A guy walking with a stick that ultimately I suspected was a con for the social, since he managed to carry an old TV and a chest of drawers away when no one was looking, kept coming and asking if he could have this that or the other. He also asked for a lift to his house with it. Told me some sob story about being slung out by his wife and how people round there would steal the milk from your tea. Not true at all, except I suspect of him. He was a spokesman for self pity and taking advantage in whatever way he could.

As we were packing my sons things in his work colleagues van another neighbour, an alcoholic lay preacher came lurching out of her house and started telling me some tale about her visit to the hospital. It became clear she had completely failed to notice I hadn’t been there. That’s quite a feat, failing to notice someone has been absent for nearly 4 years. She’s completely harmless and surprisingly quiet and unobtrusive for an alcoholic, but a bit of a pain if you get stuck talking with her. When she came back out of the shop to go home I saw my son, his collegaue, and I must admit me too, stepping into the shadows to avoid her launching again. I wonder how it feels to have people avoiding you like that. With the attention span and memory of a goldfish I guess you probably dont even notice.

One of the things about raising children in one place is that you get to know their friends too. They become like an extended family, there is a deep fondness on both sides, a similar familiarity you develop with neighbours over the years, an understanding. I saw several of these too. Those relationships are something you cannot replicate and I will probably never develop again. That’s ok, but it is odd, people who while chosen as friends by another are somehow part of the fabric of you. These people I’d known since they were small, watched them grow, remember all the dramas of their lives, the stumbles along the way, a fondness for their idiosyncracies, as they too have of me.

I was more than ready to move on when I did and I’m hugely relieved the journey these last years have catapulted me through is over at last, but I’m glad I got to go back, to say goodbye, to remember. And now I really can begin again.

So, this is rambly, probably of interest to no one but me, but then this is my blog, and here it is.

Full circle

It has been the strangest of times, a saying goodbye and a rememberance of more than 20 years. Some of it was just plain hard work (quite a lot of it) alongside moments of the type of scene you see in movies, echoes of ghostly childish laughter in a sepia scene. Numerous memories played out in layers over echoing rooms once filled with a sense of warmth and safety, but also hardships and struggles. Life, but in retrospect. A closing of gaps and a coming together, a collapsing into the present that which had been left trailing out behind.

Curiosities. Of remembering what it felt lke to be ‘home’. The people, in all their idiosyncracies, how I know them all, up to a point, we are all comfortable as who we are together. Known. I sort of slipped back into it so I could leave and everyone knew. There were many farewells. Small closenesses and acknowledgments of shared history, but also the usual elements of absurdity, idiosyncratic moments that leave you scratching your head or with a wry grin. I remembered how I truly was part of a community. I could tell stories of those last encounters, perhaps I will. I would like to do it for myself anyway, while it’s fresh and the impact memorable. Tomorrow maybe.

A part of me will always be there, like one of those shadowy figures, ripples in the pond.
It was a full Moon the night before I left. When I got up this morning before leaving this was what greeted me.

What meaning you might ascribe to that is up to you, but they were beautiful parting gifts. It was an odd place, in some ways harsh, yet it also cradled you. I’m grateful for what it gave.