Sometimes a tiny perfect moment presents itself when you find yourself at a low point. This was the case on the day I arrived in Cusco, Peru. My third country in as many weeks and I was preparing myself for the much vaunted trek to Machu Picchu. I had already decided I was going to do the 4-day Jungle Trek – chosen specifically because of all the exciting and daredevil activities it entailed – zip-wiring across hide-behind-your-hands high canyons, rollercoaster riding through angry white waters with only a soap dish and a stupid smile between you and certain death, many kilometres of breath-taking and precipitous paths – before the eventual (killer) climb to the Inca citadel in the sky.
Though this prospect undoubtedly filled me with glee and nervous excitement, there was a problem – I was physically exhausted. I had been going hard since I landed in Santiago some weeks before – I had cycled across the deserts of Chile, I had jeeped across the heights of Bolivia – those heights literally taking my breath away (a scary story in itself that I shall share at some future point). Overnight buses, with their lack of sleep and glued to the window views were taking their toll. I was once again alone in a new city, I had a chest infection, and I was all in.Read More »
It is the darndest thing. When you have a mind that, for whatever perverse reason, would rather see you suffer than be at peace. It looks for things to worry about. It looks for things that will hurt you. And, if it cannot find them readily, it will invent them. And my God is it good at that!
I have such a mind.
As I wrote in my last post, some good things have happened for me of late. They had been a long time in coming. Prior to their arrival, I was battling hard to keep on top of the anxiety monsters that were growling and growing in my stomach. Though winning most rounds in this bare-knuckle fight, some days it was a very close run thing. There were many days I had to talk myself down from a full-blown panic attack.
Then these good things came along all of a sudden. And my anxiety got really confused, and not a little angry. And ever since, it has been trying its damnedest to find new things to trouble me with. Read More »
This has been quite a week in the life of me. Things had been pretty difficult lately. Despite my best efforts I didn’t seem to be able to catch a break. That was causing some considerable stress, not only for me, but also for those closest to me. That all changed this week. And all thanks to taking one big decision. To sign up for a course I have been toying with for the longest time.
Having teetered on the brink of an anxiety cliff for too long, starting to despair at the failure of each attempt to move life forward, I finally decided enough was enough. I can either stand here waiting for panic to run at me with all its force and take us both over the edge, or I can say “Screw It!” and jump of my own accord.Read More »
Denied or destroyed for those who need them most
Created by those who should learn to look beyond
Not all walls contain within welcoming host
No safe haven given, no warmth in their bond
Built high as a punishment for those of misdeed
Built in vain if you think they’ll curb evil’s intent
Invented for security, not brutality, not greed
Barriers to freedom and compassion not meant
Tricked into our own versions, in our minds, in our hearts
But fake mortar surely crumbles witnessing tragedy’s parade
To shore us up, not break others down, or keep the world apart
Safety from passing storms, from nature’s thorns, is why they should be made
Those built with hatred between their stones will in their structure fail
Strength temporary, but fatally flawed, will crack under love’s weight
Those built with heart, with open doors, to ease our human trail
Will build the world up, will keep our heads up. This is how we will prevail
Build them up gently for our comrades who most need them
Dismantle them gently for our kin trapped in their square
Their falling is a gift for brothers and sisters seeking freedom
We will step beyond our own and find peace with you all there.
Copyright 2017 · Words & Images · Forty and Everything After
I spent a few days at my brother’s last weekend. It was so lovely to see him and his gorgeous family. I felt the most myself I have felt for a good while – briefly stepping away from current stresses (which have been causing regular nausea and anxiety), and just being with this person – who in many ways feels like the other half of the person I am. Though we do not live near one another (sadly) our shared experiences attach us with a bond that I could feel with no other human being. I don’t have to ‘Be’ anything with my brother. I am just me and he is just he. I don’t have to pretend I’m fine if I’m not, or hide the things that are not working right now, and I am pleased to say he doesn’t do that with me either. Even though we are both struggling in our different ways at present, it felt good to be there for one another. As it has always been. As it always will be.
It was so joyful (as ever) to see my niece and nephews too. What beautiful, humour filled, captivating people they are. So full of what they are doing and what comes next in their lives. I am truly envious of them sometimes. With it all ahead of them.
All of their choices there for the taking
All possible mistakes there for the making
And their young hearts open to the inevitability of breaking