The Thin Places

You will know when you find yourself there
These places resting on soil and rock
Where only a thin veil of mist exists
Between the here and the earthly
And the above and the angelic
These places where you are surprised to hear your own heart speak
To creatures you cannot see and do not know
Yet you feel you are acquainted with in some deep memory

Finding yourself in such spaces
There is a shimmer
In the air and in your very cells
You sense beatific eyes and smiles upon you
You feel gentle fingers of divine love caress your shoulders
At once uncomfortable and exhilarating
Almost too much to bear
But you wish to never tear yourself away

And it doesn’t have to be mountains and sky
Though it certainly has been before
Of late it is has been found in the most mundane
The morning shower, the coffee shop, the rain-soaked window
You feel those fingers cloaked in silver reaching down
To stroke your hair, to whisper your name
Be strong they say, we are holding you up, we are here
You sense their glittering presence and draw them near

And in the night, when sleep won’t come
And you try to focus only on your breath
Praying for some rest, some relief, some peace
The light arrives, and you feel their arms surround you
They lift you and carry you through the glittering Everything
You feel the rush, full of fear yet faith
No notion of to where you are carried
Dread drops away, knowing their tender embrace is safe

Where Heaven hovers close and shows itself
The birds, and the butterflies and the recurring tortoise
Are here to show you, to know you, to will you on
Of late there have been no mountains, no expansive skies, no lightning wands
And yet the veil of iridescent, liquid light surrounds you as you walk
In your every step, in your every thought, in your simple struggle and daily endeavour
And you know that help, and courage and the purest love
Will lift you up, when the time is right, to become the star you were born from and born to become.

Copyright © 2017 · Words & Images · Forty and Everything After


One Small Step

The blanket’s embrace is calling
As it did yesterday
As you know it will tomorrow
But your dreams cannot breathe under there
Your dreams are at the windows
Noses pressed, breath shaped questions on the glass
Looking in
Contemplating the small amount of hair hiding there

Just one thing
It doesn’t have to be a big thing
One small step outside
A walk to the end of the road
A glance at the sun, a testing of the air
That might be all you can bear
Or you might walk a little further
It doesn’t matter if you don’t
Just put on some shoes

You know what has to be done
But it seems wholly monstrous from here
With its eyes fixed and teeth bared
You are sure it will feast on your fear
Yet instead it would seek to converse with you
To share its true nature and cares with you
If only you’d dare to come near
Despite the beast’s seeming enormity
It would happily walk gently in your company

Just a few steps
The world need not be traversed in one day
See those pieces on the floor?
Pick one up … just one
Feel its shape in your palm
Just do that bit
I won’t ask too much
I won’t bring you to harm
Just choose one piece to hold
We’ll take it from there
And if that feels too much
I’ll understand

No agenda
I promise
Just go stand in the rain
I know you like rain
I know, I know, but try to breathe through the pain
Just let some drops fall and see what comes
You don’t have to get drenched
Just let it fall upon your skin
And see how each drop feels within
One small step
Just dip one toe
You never know


Copyright © 2017 · Words & Images · Forty and Everything After

Midlife Enlightenment and Becoming Your Own Butterfly (or how to move on from being a disoriented grub)

Guest piece written by Forty & Everything After

Butterfly Life Cycle / Butterfly Metamorphosis

“The pupa stage is one of the coolest stages of a butterfly’s life.  As soon as a caterpillar is done growing and they have reached their full length/weight, they form themselves into a pupa, also known as a chrysalis.  From the outside of the pupa, it looks as if the caterpillar may just be resting, but the inside is where all of the action is. Inside of the pupa, the caterpillar is rapidly changing.

Now, as most people know, caterpillars are short, stubby and have no wings at all.  Within the chrysalis the old body parts of the caterpillar are undergoing a remarkable transformation, called ‘metamorphosis,’ to become the beautiful parts that make up the butterfly that will emerge”


Turning forty was not a whole heap of fun for me. Things in the years prior hadn’t turned out quite as I had planned or imagined. My work life had turned sour, my dreams of starting a family had gone awry, and this had an inevitable impact upon my close relationships. I didn’t feel much like celebrating. In the preceding two decades I had pretty much known what the next step was, where I was supposed to be headed (note the ‘supposed to’ here. It turned out to be significant), and what actions I was going to take to move me toward those so well thought out goals. As I reached this supposedly momentous occasion however, I realised I was actually at a complete loss.

The realisation came over me that I had lost my way in life. My carefully laid out plan had burst into flames in front of my eyes and, in a confused and child-like manner, I sat on my own hands and said “Right, that is it! I don’t want to play anymore!”

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