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November, 2015:

And if you choose to die today. (Crowded House – Don’t dream it’s over)

And if you choose to die today, then go knowing this :

Imagine that everything you put into life, every time you built, every time you contributed, every time you gave, in intention to build, every time you worked hard, got up earlier than you wanted to, attended meetings you could easily have done without, put in the time, the hours, the energy, because you believed in something. You believed in contributing to your family, you believed in building a legacy. Imagine that every time you gave willingly, and the times you gave out of necessity, and the times you gave because you had to. Imagine that none of that ever comes back. That it’s a lie and a fallacy to believe the adages of what goes around comes around, as you sow so shall you reap. Because we have all seen the hundreds of times, when in our most limited view, a man sowed, and toiled, and gave, according to the letter of the law, the specifications of universal, moral and religious laws, and he did not reap. He reaped only loss, and pain and despair. We have all seen it. A hundred times. So imagine if you will, just for one moment, that it doesn’t come back, and is only as Solomon said – all futile. All purposeless. What then? What indeed then? Its a crazy world. We are here then only to be taught a lesson. The sins of generations bearing down on us.

People say to take your own life is the coward’s way out. If it’s cowardice, then how can you be so bold as to face the pain and do it anyway. Nothing lasts forever. Pain is temporary. Physical and emotional, although the nature of temporary is relative. Thus, how I choose to go, is my way of saying goodbye to this world and it’s lessons. How I choose to exit is part of my dance, part of my existence. As every stage actor knows, you hold character until the curtain is properly closed. You hold character until you have exited the stage far enough into the wings that you can no longer be seen.

So how you exit is all part of the dramatic effect of your life. Sometimes that is scripted and sometimes you are entitled to exit, stage left. Take your bow, say your thank-yous.

Your lessons have been learnt, you need neither approval nor permission to leave. You have fought your demons, the warrior decides his own fate. A destination decided. And say, “I’m coming home.”

But know that the “what if” is always there. What if it is all worth while? What if there is a chance, however slim, that my giving, contributing, being, has served a purpose. What if, in building – although my house has been shattered by tornadoes, the glass has splintered and exploded, – what if – my house has been torn to shreds by a gale force wind that none of us predicted, and all that building and gaining and earning, although it seems that it lies wasted, what if -  it has laid a foundation for someone, for the archaeologist from the future to say, this was the original site, the beginning of, the the palace that we now stand upon.

What if?

Then if you choose to die today, know that one more room in that palace won’t be built, one more stone won’t be laid, one more stained glass window won’t be crafted, because you left too soon. You threw it away without the ‘what if’. So, in truth, the adages are not seen to be true, they are not displayed as universal principles that if applied carry results. Life is too cruel for that. Life is too whimsical and fickle for that. But… what if…. what if…. what if your standing ovation is yet to come, and you closed your curtains too soon?

(with tribute to my friend for the blueprint idea)

 

 

Nothing stays the same, but if you willing to play the game… Carley Simon

The flip side of the coin. You always hear it. Two sides to the story. The other side of the coin. Head and tails. But how many people spend their entire lives looking only at the one side of the coin so exclusively that they cannot possibly conceive that the other side may be right, or good, or perhaps even exist. There must have been some statistical study done on the odds of heads vs tails, on which side wins most often. I’ve not heard any odds, nor do I care to investigate it, because, in my world, I always see the flip side. And this is perhaps both my greatest blessing and my greatest cure. I am not often sure which side is the correct one, if there even is such a concept, which side is right, better, more – terminology that in and of itself carries such a weight of judgement. But of this one thing I am absolutely sure. And yes, I did need to qualify just how sure I am – with the absolutely. I am sure that the two sides always do exist.
I have often times heard it said – heard judgement delivered, ironically always from men, as they deliver their very male perspective – as of course they are doomed – one might say to offer – as it is indeed who they have been socialised to be – their socially taught observation on single or divorced women at the 40 year old mark. I have heard variations on the ‘she is so desperate to get a young good looking man because its her last chance to do so’, or ‘she is desperate because her looks are fading fast, and its now or never’ always the reek of desperation, always the time factor. And I look at the women who are the objects – again – a very deliberate choice of term – objects of this judgement, or perhaps even scorn. And I see women celebrating their bodies, I see them wearing skin tight outfits, muscularly lean bodies, hard earned, beautiful figures, well presented appearances, and I see them dancing with disbandment, I see them moving and laughing and talking and flirting and socialising in a way that credits and supports the observations and the nodded concurrences. But I walk around and look at the other side of the coin.
And my G-d. It’s a marvel. Its wonderful. Its sheer delight. Its reckless abandon of all but joy. It’s creation celebrating itself in a way that you only can when you are 40. In a way that is only possible when life has fucked you over in so many ways that all that is left is self acceptance. When you lust and want and desire and have no filters that you need to apply. You have already played coy. For too many years. You have already played the faithful wife, the demure, loving, gentle, discreet object of your husband’s affection. You have already played the victim of self hatred, of body dysmorphia the self talk of not – fill in the blank – enough. Not pretty enough, not thin enough, not sexy enough, not good enough. We have PLAYED those cards. And they got us into a poverty mentality. They bought us years of waste. They bought us cheating husbands. They bought us jobs that suited our role and not our worth. They bought us careers centred around our duties and responsibilities instead of around our talents and hopes and ambitions. We played the wife, the saint, the mother, the duty bound lover.
And now – watch that egg crack, watch that BIRTH.
Its exquisitely beautiful.
Its captivating in its incredible splendour as all of those sticky labels fall off, and we realise for the first time, our power, our worth, and more than that, our souls. We feel the energy of life coursing through our veins, and we have no reason left, no reason at all to play small to suit your definition of acceptable.
To suit your side of the coin.
The side you think is heads.
The side you think places a value on the coin.
Oh, it’s like that first burst of laughter, when it literally bubbles, like carbonated fizz, up from your core, from your soul, up through your oesophagus, up and out of your mouth, and you laugh.
You laugh at life.
And at all you once wanted. At all you once valued. At all you once thought was right. At all the games that “they” now play, or are trapped in playing.
And in our freedom, we dance. And in our freedom, we attract. And in our freedom – we don’t give a damn. Frankly, my dears. This is our time. This is about us. This is about reckless abandon of the body. Having no hang-ups. Liberated after 20 odd years jail time. Where you had to behave in a certain way for fear of. Fear of disapproval. Fear of judgement. Fear of retribution, of punishment. Fear.
This is our liberation dance. And it’s exquisitely beautiful.
And if you see the side of the coin that has the value mark on it, the heads, denoting the designated value, then my friend, you are the trapped. You are still the victim. You are still playing by the rules that others prescribe. You have equations – that neatly tie up – amounts – values – results – add one value to another and you get a specific answer. An equation that doesn’t alter.
But come – walk around this side, when you have the choice to, rather than when life forces you to – come and see patterns, and shapes – come and see kaleidoscopes, come and see laughter. No, don’t hear laughter. Anyone with ears can hear laughter. SEE laughter. Seeing it is a very different experience than hearing it. And it only happens on the flip side of the coin. Come feel life. Come laugh with us at it all. Come to a place where the sad and the pitied are only those who are still trapped in age definitions, in structures, in opinions, in what they think is heads, because they still see the coin. On the flip side, the coin has been spun around so many times, on the flip side – heads and tails have been spun so many times, won and lost, that the spinning is just part of the kaleidoscopic experience. And come and dance with us women, who at last, at long long last, know how to celebrate life.

Words don’t come easy to me… (F.R. David)

As you grow up you learn new words, new phrases, new sentences. The most primal need to communicate, to share ideas and emotions with others, the ability to use words marks every developmental phase. And the more of these random squiggles and shapes, combined in the correct order you are able to learn, the more clearly and succinctly you are able to make yourself, your needs, your thoughts, opinions and ideas known.
But often, those words are not only the black and white squiggles on paper, that we are able to recognize and identify and pronounce. Often, those words are physical, tangible emotions. Raw, burning emotions, bubbling exciting emotions, represented by a combination of sounds. When words truly carry a power, when we truly understand a word, it is not due to the accessibility of a dictionary, but rather due to the vulnerability of a heart that has felt that word, rather than cognitively understood it. A heart that knows what the word means because it has experienced the word. The heart has to have experienced the full force and impact of the word before its truly understood. A word, known that way, holds the power, just a combination of vowel and consonant blends, holds the power to cause you to lash out, to giggle, to smile, smirk, boil, to alter and fluctuate in mood and temperature. Physical reactions to a  combination of sounds.

When you experience words in a way that a classroom, dictionary or thesaurus can never explain, that’s really learning. That is when you never forget,

Jealousy, lust, passion, love. We know the definitions, but for the lucky ones, we have experienced the definitions. In every cell in our body. We have allowed the word combinations to pulse through our veins, to wreck havoc with our blood pressure, with our ability to process information logically, to physically move us from one destination to another.

The lucky ones have lived words. Not just read them. Lucky still when the words have negative connotations, for what is life if lived only as a voyeur, as a journalist reporting on the visually observed, but never being part of the actual experience. What is life if the beat of the iambic pentameter can not be measured in blood?

You can intellectualize words and sympathize with the experience of the protagonist of the story, but you will never have known the word unless you have felt it. Unless the word itself has consumed you. And in consuming you, you become an altered state of what you were. For nothing is consumed and remains as it originally was.

Don’t be afraid of words. They are only markings on a page. But be afraid that that is all they will ever be to you. For it’s in the provocation of a reaction that the true power of language lies. When your stomach knots and your jaws clench and your mind narrows, when ONE word can make you feel so alive you want to burst. When one word can set you alight, when one word can produce a physical response that burns inside of you, for better or worse. Lust. Passion. Desire. Jealousy. Loss. Pain. When you come alive inside and every nerve ending tingles, and every sinew contracts, when that word explodes in your innermost core, when that word implodes on your heart, when that word explodes out of your mouth, your eyes, your sweat, when that word – that ONE word can alter the course of destiny, that is when you have lived. Made your mark. Invoked a destiny. For generations to come.

Passion.

The passion that drives sports teams to give every bit of their guts.

The passion that makes you pay a price you never deemed yourself able to pay, yet you do pay it, against all odds.

The passion that makes your knees go weak, your breathing erratic, your heart pound in your chest.

The passion that takes you late into the night and makes you wake up early in the morning.

The passion that drives you on beyond your limits.

The passion that asks for more when you have no more to give, yet you find a reserve deep within your soul.

That is a word that goes beyond the Oxford definition of “strong emotion” or “strong enthusiasm”.

Its a sensation that washes over you and changes destinies. Changes histories.

You let it fill your entire soul, you let it drench your soul, you let it flood your mind, you let yourself drown in that word.

In a tribute to my friend who said: ” There is no end to the Passion in all I do, or even say. My words will touch you when you hear my voice, my actions will move you; and your body and mind will be locked in a tantric blissful state. Unable to look away as our eyes lock, as I explain things to you. So much passion. So much Desire. A divine energy that connects you to all of me. That is my passion. All that is around us. Life.

Words must never be just words. Give in and give consent so that they can fill you. Understand them from all perspectives. Let them in and get to know them. Experience it for yourself . Define it your way. Provoke the emotion in yourself – or be – dare I say – curious enough to provoke it in others.”

That my friend, at the end of the day, is proper connection, a connection that defies words. Intellect. Time.

Words.