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2016-01-24 10:00 pm

Good Old Insomnia

Insomnia. She's an evil mistress. I thought I had succeeded in abolishing these debilitating bouts of sleeplessness that had haunted me in the past. I thought I had finally gotten myself in to a normal routine where sleep was not something I both desperately craved and feared at the same time. However, this turned out not to be the case.

She returned a few nights ago.

Good old insomnia.

I lay there for hours and hours on end recalling all the tricks of the trade that you can utilise in an attempt to try and quiet a restless mind. I counted. I meditated. I tried to empty my brain of all thoughts. I got up and paced frantically around the room. I tried to read a book. I tried to listen to music but alas the concept of sweet slumber appeared to be nothing more than a fallacy. I guess the one good thing about not being able to sleep is that it frees up some time to do some work. So last night in the small hours, I tackled doing some editing work. For the most part, it served useful despite the fact that I was still anxiously cursing my body for not allowing me to sleep during the process. I'm always asking for more hours in the day but I would also like to sleep.
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2015-09-24 05:00 pm

Take the Plunge

It's become my new motto, 'take the plunge.'

I've been saying it every day recently as a reminder to myself that I have to throw myself into the day. I have been far too passive of late, letting things happen to me or waiting in the background. By telling myself to 'take the plunge' I allow myself to become immersed in the day. I dive in to it and deal with what needs to be dealt with as it comes. I'm aware that I spend far too much time worrying about what could be. It's wasted energy. By taking the plunge, I live in the moment and the results can be surprising.
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2015-08-05 09:00 am

Edit, Edit, Edit, Edit, Edit, Edit, Edit

Churning out a story is my favourite part. Editing, however can be a son-of-a-bitch. If I'm not in the right mood or mind-frame, I am half inclined to delete everything and start again. It is partly a bad habit but mostly it's an evolved inclination of self destruction peppered with the preconception that it's all absolute junk. I rarely persevere with it. 'Reading the Palms of Dolls' was a story I wrote back in November as part of NaNoWriMo 2014. It was the first time I had successfully completed a short novel at a total of 50,563 words. It still exists as a sort of basic framework of a completed story and every now and again, I return to it and edit a chapter or two. It still has a long way to go and I can now understand why a lot of authors employ the use of an editor. The worst part is cutting a really good line that you desperately want to keep but for whatever reason, it just does not fit. I've decided to keep an online scrap book for such omissions, I may add some on here from time to time.

I have also stumbled across an idea for a new story I am going to attempt to write for this years NaNoWriMo. I will have more news on that soon and may decide to 'blog along' with it in November... We'll see.
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2015-08-03 11:00 pm

How It Begins...

It begins with a sensation.

Like a fist to the stomach, an ice cold bath, a paper cut. Sharp and fast.
I'm standing at the top of the stairs and the sensation arrives, swift and direct, and the blood surges through my veins like lava and yes, I am ready to erupt. I am standing at the top of the stairs and the overwhelming urge to throw myself down its short flight of twenty steps grips me. Yet, these steps are not cushioned with linoleum or carpet, these are hard, cold concrete slaps and I want my skull to greet each one with a sickening crack. I want my bones to twist and snap and bend and break. I want my spine to shatter like peanut brittle. I want to feel each moment as I break and lose my shape. I don't want to recognise the reflection.

I've been here before.

Standing on the curb edge, waiting for the three tonne lorry to pass. Imagining what it would feel like to marry my flesh to it's hot metal. Or walking by the river, I wonder what it would be like to try to swallow it whole. The bubbles escaping from the corners of my mouth as I submerge further. I let it all in. Sinking deeper into the abyss.

Yet, it is fleeting. As quick as the sensation takes hold, it releases me from its clasp. Offering me a moment to look inside the cacophony of madness. It's like looking inside a large shell. The softest whisper is transformed in to a vibrating pulse that can not be escaped. It rings in your ears and the claws slide in.

And then it's gone.

Like a hypnotist snapping his fingers, his volunteer is brought back from the trance. He may be slightly dazed, bewildered even; what did he just experience? He's not quite sure but he knows it was fraught with danger. There's a relief afterwards. Thank god that's over with. Whatever that sensation was, whatever it meant, it's done with. Except as the willing volunteer stands up from the hypnotist's chair, he realises that he was not so willing after all and he's signed a contract with that sensation now. As sure as the sun rises each morning, that sensation is set to return.
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2015-07-26 08:00 pm

The Mild Epiphany

It's a strange feeling when you come to the realisation that nothing will ever be the same again. We might think things are constant, we might even indulge in the same fruitless activities day in and day out with the preconception that it's ALWAYS THE SAME. But it's not. Somewhere, clock hands are turning, seasons are making their small changes daily, cells die and replicate. They are all making their subtle changes. As are we.

As I sit here on a cold Sunday in July, listening to the rain which hasn't ceased all day and Beach House's 'Apple Orchard' on repeat, I realise that I'm clambering to hold on to the things I've lost. Those seemingly endless hours of youth where adulthood felt as though it was an alien life-form living in a far off galaxy.

This was the moment the mild epiphany (if you can really call it that) occurred.

And you will have to forgive me for indulging in one or two clich├ęs here, but sometimes they convey the idea in the simplest manner. Why spend time looking backwards when it has no use anymore? The past is the place we have come from but it sure isn't where we are going (unless time travel is discovered to be a reality). It's like being stuck in mud and you're facing the wrong way. You are not able to see any of the opportunities in front of you because you're fixed in one position, looking in the wrong damned direction!

I guess, I am a creature of habit and there's a certain security in looking at the past. It can't have any immediate effect on you. It's all over and done with and all you have to show for it is are a few fragmented memories, a bunch of scratches and scars and a little/infinite knowledge firing its way around inside of your skull. We may have collected all these things from the past and carry them around with us on a daily basis but there is no point in utilising them only to study how they were obtained back in the past and they may not even serve any purpose in the years ahead. However, one thing's for sure, the things coming at you, from this illusive concept we know as 'the future' sure can.
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2015-07-15 09:00 pm

Brick by Brick

Life is a delicate architecture and each day presents it's own earthquake. The foundations we have laid may not be as strong as we may think and sometimes we need to re-build. It could be one or two rooms at a time and sometimes you need that earthquake to bring the whole goddamn thing down so you can start again.
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2015-07-13 11:00 am

In Search of Better Distractions

I will be frank.

- There are days when you don't wake up because you haven't slept all night.

- You've lost track of what day/month/year it is and all you can feel is a sense of dread as you try to systematically recall what day it was yesterday.

- You wonder if the thud in your chest is caused by your heart beating or your soul trying to escape.

- You find yourself going through the motions despite not knowing how you got from point A to point B because you were internally scolding yourself for not sleeping last night. This is then proceeded by you being mad at yourself for 'self-scolding' because you know it can't be helped.

- You successfully manage to make it out of the door and you wonder 'now what?' and 'is this it?' The best questions seem to consist of two or three words. Each word resembling an injection of antifreeze, a piano falling on your head, a second lost.

- You try to conclude whether you are 'wasting time' or 'losing time' and what the difference is between the two.

- You realise that these were some of the thoughts plaguing your bed the previous night so you try to distract yourself.

- You read a newspaper but each story takes you from one horror to the next and you scour the pages attempting to find something they call 'good news' but you're suddenly at the obituaries and it all seems crystal clear now.
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2015-07-08 11:00 am

Cruel Summer

Summers seemed to stretch on for ever when I was younger. Each day would be filled with a untapped sense of euphoria and the scent of freshly mowed grass. For a few weeks I was offered a chance to experience true freedom. The rigmarole of attending school Monday to Friday was temporarily abolished and the only commitments to adhere to relied solely on eating, sleeping and how many books I could consume over the course of a week. Those were the good aspects. Of course growing up on a council estate proved interesting (for lack of a better word) and the extra free time meant having to be slightly more aware of my surroundings. Some days I had to do my best to avoid the gangs of teenagers that seemed to flock at each end of the block or not make eye contact with the Heroin addict who offered her 'services' by trying to seduce the slightly older boys so she could get her next fix. I'm sure she wasn't aware that the baseball cap and the way her eyes rolled in the back of her head weren't doing her any favours. There was also the summer a registered sex offender moved in and not to mention the number of times I had to skip over the plethora of used syringes and condoms that littered the estate like gifts that had escaped Bad Santa's sack. An insane version of Hopscotch. You don't realise these things aren't normal when you're younger. I spent those sun-tinged days imagining how my future summers would play out. I was well aware that there wouldn't be a reprieve for six weeks once I had gotten a job, yet the concept of adulthood seemed like an illusion.

Sometimes I would be friends with some of the other kids on the estate but mostly I wasn't. There was always that seed of an idea that I 'wasn't like them'. At this point, the idea of being gay in a place like that was not only unheard of, it would probably be beaten out of existence. I guess I was lucky in the sense that I was deeply in denial about that aspect of my lifestyle until I was Seventeen. Needless to say, I enjoyed the summer holidays. It meant I didn't have to be in school and I can only liken that feeling to what I would imagine it would be like for a wrongly convicted criminal to be released from Death Row. Sometimes, the summer nights got a little hard to bear especially when the house was opened up to host an all night party. The loud music and shouting from downstairs would pummel the floorboards and my sister and I spent many late nights sitting at the top of the stairs, trying to make sense of the drunken ruckus below. The worst part was the morning and the heavy stench of sticky alcohol and cigarette smoke that hung in the air. However, there was still a distinct feeling that 'anything could happen'. For some reason those few weeks in summer brought with them a promise of change. Even if it was just temporary.

I would spend afternoons lay on my bedroom floor, feet perched on my bed, watching the clouds roll past my window. I would attempt to see past that blue void and see if there was another world just waiting on the other side. It doesn't sound like much but this was when I was at my happiest. Some days the other kids would let me play with them; I remember collecting ladybugs in recycled yoghurt pots and picking cherries from the trees which have now been long cut down and built upon. Sometimes the kids would play a game called 'Let's run away from...'. I think the point was that they would insert a name at the end of the sentence and then proceed to run away from 'said person'. As soon as one of them piped up, 'let's run away from...' in a sing-song voice and a smile on their face, something in my chest fell into my baron stomach and I didn't need a mirror to know my face had transformed into a translucent shade of pale. Of course, the name was always mine, maybe it was because they knew they could get away from me because I was a little bit bigger and a little bit slower. Maybe it was because they just wanted to get away. I would compensate the experience by going for a walk, pretending I was going somewhere when really I was hoping that the destination would find me. Most often or not I would return home to read for countless hours. Joining the local library had probably saved me from being consumed by that estate. Finally, I was able to escape. It was as easy as turning over a page. I had even taken to writing my own stories upon my grandmother's old typewriter. The summer allowed me to open up the door to experience as many different worlds and characters as possible. The pages melted away and I was suddenly transposed into the stories and I didn't have to think about who or where I was.

This was summer.
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2015-07-04 10:00 pm

Saturn Return

"In horoscopic astrology, a Saturn return is an astrological transit that occurs when the planet Saturn returns to the same place in the sky that it occupied at the moment of a person's birth." *

So here I am, slap bang in the middle of my first Saturn Return and it sure does feel confusingly turbulent. Theoretically speaking,'adulthood' should be the period of our lives when all the pieces start to come together; we develop a greater understanding of who we are and what role we play in society. The last threads of childhood should be cleanly snipped away and we can finally inhabit the adult skin we've harvested on our bones for all these years.

Throughout my early twenties I was convinced that as I began to reach the next decade (I still struggle to accept the word 'thirty'), everything would start to make more sense. The truth is, personally speaking, I've never felt further away from that ideology. The world is even more confusing, I will never understand a planet that harbours war, famine, murder, prejudice, animal cruelty and all the evils we see gracing the newspapers and magazines on a daily basis. My own personal world is just as confusing; I see people creating their own families and I am forced to accept that the prospect of doing the same is very unlikely. The idea of a career is a fallacy and I find that my greatest achievement is knowing that I have been able to make it through the day.

This is beginning to sound like 'Oh, woe me.' - However, this is not the case. I'm grateful for being in the position I am. It could be worse. We are the architects of our own future. We are solely responsible in shaping our own fate and we do this by making the most of what we have. In saying this, I'm still awaiting that 'Eureka!' moment. That soul-tingling, bone-shattering, mind-imploding instant where suddenly everything makes sense and you abruptly find yourself hurtling down the right path and you kick yourself and laugh because you 'knew it all along'.

I'm sure it's coming.

I guess most of us are looking for a similar thing and by this I don't mean having lots of money or owning an expensive house or being made 'top of the class'. It's beyond possessions or any other material object. It is about finally having that knowledge of where you fit in between the land and sky. It's about understanding how your actions are contributing to a greater use, therein attempting to create a better world even if the action is small in nature. It's about contentment, fulfilment and connection, however you may find it. I guess some people spend most of their lives trying to attain even a pinch of these things. It is a journey and at this moment in time, I have no idea of the destination. I can only hope that by the time of my next Saturn Return, I will have made a little more sense of it all.



*Source [Wikipedia.org - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn_return]
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2015-07-01 12:30 am

Not an Oracle

I thought it was time for a Blog overhaul. Part of me wanted to go through all the entries from the past couple of years and delete them. There was an urgent need to wipe the slate clean and start afresh. Nonetheless, I resisted the urge and I decided to let them reside here for now; there's no harm in leaving them outside and allowing them to breathe for a while longer. A persistent niggling urge still summoned me to change something though, so I toyed around with several different formats and themes and eventually settled on this current one for the time being.

I also changed the name.

I dug a little hole and buried 'Ouija Disco'. It didn't serve a purpose anymore and I settled on the name: 'Not an Oracle'. An obvious statement one might conclude. I'm also not a professional advice-giver, psychologist or animal trainer. I'm merely a thirty year old man who thinks way too much. Both a curse and a blessing but I've gotten used to its prickly grasp. I'm not sure what use this minor modification will have but sometimes it's nice to embrace a little change, shake the sheets, blow the dust, rearrange the furniture. So for now, 'Ouija Disco' lies in a tiny make-shift grave just outside my bedroom window. The beauty of graves however, is that they can always be dug up again...
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2015-06-28 11:00 am

This is How it Needs to Be

Breaking out of the habit is the hardest thing you can do. Leaving the comfort and safety of what you already know is not an easy feat. But this is the only way to truly live; to drink up the new and open your arms to opportunities before they perish on the vine. Grow wise and be cautious but walk on that ledge and immerse yourself in the sights. The bright, bright lights and the biting breeze. The raw freedom that comes with taking a risk.

This is how life should be.

Shatter your preconceptions and never assume anything. Never take anything for granted and love like it will never last. Because it never will. Celebrate the small things and take time to look up at the stars and the sun and the moon because the answers come when we tilt our heads upwards. Connect your feet to the ground and walk wherever you can. Make that connection between your body and the land, like it was always meant to be. Be outside and live outside of yourself. The truth will come to you that way. Stretch away anything that holds you back and learn to let things go.

That is how it needs to be.
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2015-06-27 04:00 pm

In Sleep

There are lawns here, beneath the sheets.
And endless summers too.
They flicker and roam like the moment when you awake fresh from a dream.
Experiences and images are cultivated and blended together in a comforting sense of bliss.
Sleep: It breathes and pushes life inside of you, a private conception.
A solo acquisition.

This is the paradise, the place where the thorns will not grow.
The sun will taste you with her warm tongue but your skin shall not blister.
The air is sweet here and filled with birdsong and twilight.
'Bring me back.' I say over and over again as my head lays lightly on the pillow.
'Bring me back.' I continue to chant like a private prayer.
It becomes nothing more than a whisper and finally a sigh and then I return.
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2015-06-22 11:00 pm

The Tumble Box

Life is about throwing all your pieces into a box. From the small assortment of mis-shaped items of your personality to the larger fragments of memories and experiences. Then closing the lid and shaking it so hard that it feels as though your arms are about to fall off. To experience life is to open up the lid and try and make sense of what is remaining inside.

It no doubt won't be pretty and it sure won't be easy trying to furiously fit those pieces together when it looks like you have five corner pieces amidst the pile. YOU MAKE IT WORK. It takes a little time and a bucket-load of motivation. Take the support if you have it. More hands can help lighten the load but be sure that you have organisation. If one of you is trying to fit the edges together and the other one is also using some of those pieces, you'll never complete the puzzle. That's all it is at the end of the day. A puzzle. A game. The lucky ones may get to finish theirs earlier on, some may never even get to understand the big picture from the mass of pieces they have to work with.

AT LEAST YOU TRIED.
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2015-06-20 05:00 am

Changing Outer Reality

'Give me life. Give me pain. Give me myself again.' - "Little Earthquakes" - Tori Amos (1991)

'I'm so happy because today I've found my friends. They're in my head.' - "Lithium" - Nirvana (1991)


This won't be another tirade about managing to make it to the end of the day. Nor will it be an excessive list on survival tips. Instead, this will be about waking up each day and knowing that you're still alive and functioning... Barely. However we'll choose to focus on the operative word here: 'functioning'. From this point, it's uphill. A rucksack ladened with enough bricks to build a small house is firmly strapped to your back. Your feet are covered in red-hot weeping wounds which are sandpapered down to the bone by a pair of uncomfortable shoes. Your chest is caught in a pulsating death-grip by a python the size of a swimming pool and you can barely make out where you are going through bleary eyes.

But you're alive, you made it to this point and you tell yourself that you can get through it. One day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time and hell, if needs be, one second at a time. Sometimes you stumble and sometimes you can't find the words. Those are the bad days. When the words won't come and you end up resembling an inarticulate ventriloquist dummy and wonder if people notice. You know that they notice.

It's like you're caught in perpetual exorcism with yourself trying to free your mind from those entities that clog and perverse the functions of a normal, healthy brain. 'But that's okay' you tell yourself. What 'doesn't kill you makes you stronger,' right? It's about feeding yourself moments of hope. It's about having the shield up when those arrows come at you from all directions. It's about allowing yourself to run away even if it's in your mind and finding those moments to appreciate a spectacle such as a setting sun or a blinking star.

Sometimes that's all you need.

It's not easy when people expect more from you especially at the point where you feel a little bit triumphant because you've managed to make it through the day without completely losing it. Yet of course they don't see that. You know it's not their fault and you have to suppress the ideas of screaming at them how proud you are that you made it this far. That something that might seem mundane and down-right easy to them is not always that easy for the rest of us. Cut us some slack.

There's a quote from Plutarch that I often think about, 'what we achieve inwardly will change outer reality'. It's a simple concept and yet it's probably one of the most difficult theories to adopt in our everyday life, especially when our instincts may default to pressing the big ol' 'self destruct' button with a furious temper. It starts from within. We have to learn to make friends with those demons and then politely show them the door. Banish the free-fleeting thoughts about what other people might think and look after ourselves. It may sound selfish and self absorbed but battles can not be won when we are still waging war with ourselves.
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2015-06-19 08:00 pm

"I'm Disappearing"

I'm disappearing and they never warned me that it would be so difficult to remove red wine stains from the rug. A scar upon it's surface.
I'm disappearing and they don't tell you what decay smells like until you have experienced it for yourself. Skin blackened and ready to burst from the lightest of touches but you just can't bring yourself to lay your fingers upon the rancid looking flesh.
I'm disappearing and I've forgotten what it feels like to not have to worry about the undefinable future. To see through it's deceitful veil and know not of what it brings nor be affected by it's endless outcomes.

I'm disappearing and I know that they look upon me with fear in their eyes. Maybe it's not fear, maybe it's something rooted a little bit deeper. Of contempt. They do not wish to allow that sort of torture unsheathe inside of them. To feel it's pin prick as it begins to unravel and systematically shut down each of their functioning body parts. It's not your problem, it's someone else's but therein lies the problem. Not a singular person to surrender and suck the venom from the bite.
I'm disappearing but I guess you knew that already.
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2015-06-17 11:00 am

Damage Control

It must be because I am a Libra. Indecisive and eternally seeking balance in everything I do. When the truth is, the scales will always tip one way or another. The concept of the perfect balance is merely a mirage. We juggle our daily lives as best as possible and the more organised individuals may even be able to plan and juggle the events of the next few days or weeks. And then life decides to throw you a curve ball. A huge whacking asteroid-sized curve-ball that is coming straight at you full force. You suddenly find that you are now no longer juggling those elements, you're sheltering yourself from being pelted by them.

Those of us that are better equipped may just open up their arms and embrace the collision and deal with damage-control later on. Others may have refined the use of the elegant side-step approach and manage to avoid the majority of the debris. There is a third type, the ones that stay catatonically frozen in fear; desperately hoping that the laws of gravity will suddenly change and the impending damage caused by these falling parts is inevitably spared. The chances of this happening are relatively slim.

You'll notice how I mentioned that the better equipped individuals are the ones who embrace the downfall. They don't mind the cuts and the bruises caused by all the pre-juggled life shrapnel because they know that there will be plasters and splints to help repair the damage later on. Life is messy. It's complicated and downright difficult. It's also surprising, unpredictable and beautiful. Some of us have mastered the technique of keeping things going when that curve-ball is coming at you faster than a chased gazelle. These are the lucky ones, the rare breed. They can even keep a smile going at the same time and these are the true heroes, the life warriors. The ones that I have much to learn from. For now I will have to learn to ride the wave, endure the impending impact and try my hardest to make informed decisions and maybe, just maybe keep a smile on my face.
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2015-06-15 01:30 am

Hard Little Stones

The world comes at you a little differently when you're tired. It seeks to get under your skin and whisper in your ear clambering seed-sized phrases of regret, of washed-up lies and misguided flakes of advice. It will proceed to pin you firmly against the wall and take a balled-up fist to you whilst you try your best to recite a prayer you remember learning in school. The fatigue seeps through each and every muscle and you know that it will do no good to fight back. So you take each hit as best as you can.
One - for the time you stayed up all night trying to find the words to say that you're not as strong as you might believe.
Two - for the day when you wandered the streets relinquishing the thoughts of stepping out into a busy road.
Three - for the time you drank yourself into an abyss and awoke to find yourself in a strangers bed.

Four, five, six.

You take them all and you swallow each association and you turn them into hard little stones that will forever reside within your physical body. They are part of you now and those stitched-in wishes that you created on your eighteenth birthday have now fallen to the wayside. You remind yourself that it is okay. You're tired, the world is coming at you this way because you're just a little weaker today. Nothing is permanent and this too will fade away as you learn to stop counting the hits.
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2015-06-11 05:00 am

Steps for Transformation

1) Imagine that your skin is as delicate as egg-shell and your bones are as brittle as sticks of cinnamon. Smash and scratch your way out of them, break through the common form for it is not your own.


2) Exhaust yourself. Run until you fall to your knees and your eyes sting from the beads of sweat being exorcised from your pores. Crawl until you cease to bleed anymore. It is at this point that you know you are nothing but truth.


3) Lose all your memories so that you can start again.


4) Spill your words on the page, even if they make no sense. Articulate that which the voice can not. Coherence does not matter since the world doesn't follow the same rules.


5) Change your scenery. Take it in. Remember how the pieces fit together but don't apply them to your life.


6) Remember your dreams but most importantly, remember your nightmares.


7) Death is merely the end of one of many processes.