offwiththeirdollheads: (Default)
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.
offwiththeirdollheads: (Default)
There is much to celebrate and yet there is much to look back upon. These are the last moments before an inevitable change. They drift in and out of focus, bittersweet and poignant. November draws to a close whilst a dark and forlorn December is ushered in with cold winds and short days. The bare walls and cupboards speak only in echoes and I pack my life away in a multitude of boxes, stacked high by the bedside. I think to myself, 'this is the last time I will walk by this very river' or 'this is the last time I will walk through this door'. There's a sombre silence that hangs high in each empty room, like clouds of distant memories, of thoughts and of conversations. This was a home, a place of escape and fortitude. There's a certain sadness in letting go and saying goodbye but this is the process and this is what shapes the next era.

Burdened

Mar. 18th, 2014 04:30 pm
offwiththeirdollheads: (Default)
It's so easy to feel burdened. We go day-to-day carrying the events from the day before and the day before that with us. If we are not careful with what we pay attention to, these things become our burdens and serve only to hinder us and hold us back. The key is paying attention to the good experiences and the positive events. These are the driving forces of the human spirit and keep us grounded. The odd negative or constructive criticism can also provide fuel but we must learn to let the majority of negative events go. Situations take place, bad things happen, the trick is acknowledge it and then dispense of it. The greater the weight of these past events, the harder and more challenging it is to move forward. It's like they say, 'the past is the past for a reason'.
offwiththeirdollheads: (Default)
'Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace' ~ Albert Schweitzer

I have often debated whether or not I should post anything about this subject matter as it more than likely presents a minefield of various different reactions. I have landed in numerous debates around the dinner table about this topic, where I have tried to put my point across or explain my views but a lot of the time, it is either undermined or glossed over. The very last thing I want to do is to come across preachy or condescending and I can understand why some people may get defensive or don't want to talk about it. I used to act the exact same way. However, if it makes one person stop and re-think their lifestyle and make a change then I believe it to be justified.

It was a warm, sunny day in early summer in 2010. Not a cloud in the sky. It felt like any another other standard day; I awoke the same way, drank my coffee in the same manner and went about my day as I usually did. Unbeknownst to myself, I would not be going to bed as the same person. I had been browsing the internet for some part of the morning and I stumbled across a post on Facebook with a link to a video by Paul McCartney. An ex-Beatle was about to change my life. The video was called 'Glass Walls' and I distinctly remember Paul's introduction, '... I have often said if slaughter houses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.' The next fifteen minutes broke my heart. It literally felt as though someone had slashed open my own chest with a rusty blade, torn out all my internal organs and thrown the bloody mess into a meat grinder. This video had reduced a grown man to tears and made me swear from that moment onwards not to play a role in any part of that process I had just witnessed.

The strange thing is that I had always had some form of awareness about how the meat industry worked but I had found it was quite easy to detach myself from those events that took place in the slaughterhouses and farms. The neatly packaged, processed meat that can be purchased from any supermarket did not resemble the living creature it once was. It was easy to not form the connection. I had often shrugged off stories from vegetarians and vegans in the past. I did not want to acknowledge the truth and the last thing I wanted to do was to change my eating habits because someone was trying to make me feel guilty or bad about it. It was difficult not to get defensive and claim 'well everyone else does it' and 'it's unhealthy not to eat meat'. I am a little bit embarrassed looking back at those comments now. I had spent twenty-five years quite happily not acknowledging what had happened to the food on my plate. From the moment that video ended and I swore to myself 'never to eat meat again' I threw out all the meat products I had previously bought and started researching vegetarianism.

The transition was relatively easy. I did my homework on the topic and with trepidation, I looked further into the meat and animal-product industries. I was shocked to read that humans are not evolved to be carnivorous; that in fact our teeth are blunt and square and our jaws 'grind' in order to better masticate vegetation rather than sharp and pointed teeth prevalent in carnivores that are established to tear at flesh and chew. Our large intestinal pathway is not developed to process meat as with carnivores who have small intestines to quickly dispose of the flesh to prevent it going bad and causing disease. Humans also don't have claws like carnivores and so forth. I was fascinated to discover these facts but also somewhat upset and angry that I had not received this education at a younger age. I also learnt that some vegetables, nuts and seeds have high protein content and there are an abundance of health benefits as a result of not eating meat. A whole new world had opened up.

To this day, I can not comprehend the torture and barbaric treatment of sentient beings. My stomach turned as I witnessed 'factory workers' and 'farmers' secretly filmed while they cruelly beat, kicked, stabbed, threw and tortured these helpless animals. Seeing calves being taken away form their mothers and hearing their cries and seeing the fear before they are killed was unbearable. It was beyond difficult to view and I still can not understand how a human-being who is supposed to be capable of empathy and compassion act in such a way. I will never understand it.

I think there is definitely a stigma attached to vegetarians and vegans but what we have to realise is that we all have a choice and choices are not always easy things to make. I have been subjected to a lot of judgement and jokes because of my eating habits and lifestyle choices. All I ask is that people open their eyes and mind and acknowledge the truth. That is all. Whatever choice they make is up to them and that is not my business. I will not pass judgement or make jokes. My only regret is not being aware or having this information at an earlier age but the important thing now is that I am and I do.

So here is a link to that very video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql8xkSYvwJs

Please be warned, it is very graphic but I urge everyone to watch it just once. Maybe an ex-Beatle will change your life too.

Landmarks

Jan. 11th, 2014 08:50 pm
offwiththeirdollheads: (Default)
There is very little we can be sure of, we wake in the morning and we sleep at night. We can never be certain of the 'in-betweens'. As much as we try to predict what the next move will be, the game changes and the villain you thought you were fighting turns out to be yourself. You were just wearing a different mask that day. The Earth orbits the Sun. We breathe the air. We run in circles. We make people feel good. We make people feel bad. This is just the nature of the 'great game of life'. The majority is a plateau of running through the motions. For the lucky ones or the ones who make moments slightly more precious, the plateaus are few and far between. It was all a choice anyway, whether we like to believe it or not. We can choose our landmarks, they are ours for the taking. The tragedies and the heartaches do not have to be our landmarks if we do not want them to be. The freedom is in the choice. The smile from a stranger that brightened your day, an act of kindness, the greeting card you chose for a friend's birthday. It is comparatively easier to layer all the knock-backs up in one nice big piece of guilt-cake and make that your foremost landmark. That's just human nature. Unless you are a psychopath, the rules do not necessarily apply if you lack the capability for any sort of empathy and an egocentric drive. The beauty is yours for the taking. The longing, the joy or the tears if you so wish. Our landmarks don't have to be our fault-lines, they don't have to cause a great volcanic eruption or a devastating earthquake if that is what we choose. It may seem far easier to bake that guilt-cake in the oven for another decade or so but we don't have to. Start again. There is very little that we can be sure of but be sure of this: no-one else will live your life, no one else will create your landmarks.

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