What Would It Take To Be Humbled By Stars?

There is our very own stuff
And that may feel huge on any given day
In our hearts we feel the leaden weights
Of all that troubles
Of all that saddens
Whilst occasional sun infiltrates and warms

And then there is the big stuff
The too big for us to wrap our arms around stuff
The too scary to come out from behind our fingers for stuff
But some people do
And thank God for those people

And then there are the stars
And then there is the moon
And all of our stuff is just so utterly irrelevant
Beneath those stars, who have seen it all
What must they think of our earthly lunacy?
They must shake their sparkly heads in despair

I despair
Some days I just can’t believe what I see through my fingers
Most days I truly give thanks for my stuff
My own tiny, little leaden weights
That make more sense than the enormity of things I cannot bear to peek at
Why must we invent new and dangerous and heartbreaking stuff to fill the void?
When the void was always, and will always be filled with those beautiful stars

They were our beginning, and may well prove our end
What will it take to be humbled by the stars?

 


Copyright © 2017 · Forty and Everything After

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Today I Am Grateful For …

I have spent the last few days at my best friends house. Circumstances had sadly prevented me from visiting for a while, so I am especially delighted to be here now. I’ve been having lots of fun with her two sons who are full of cuddles and “I Love You!!”s. I can soak that kind of stuff up all day long. Who wouldn’t enjoy such squishy salutation every half an hour or so?

In a quiet moment (which to be fair come few and far between in a house that contains young boisterous boys) I thought I would share a little practice I took up a few years ago, which helps me to capture such smile inducing moments as these, as well as giving me a space to consider the gifts that the harder days in life may have to offer.Read More »

A New Word, A Storm & A Headache

Today I have a paint headache. I did yesterday too. I have been painting all kinds of stuff in my house over the last few days and have now been forced to leave, as I was starting to feel pretty sick with the fumes.

The reason for this intense activity is simple. My house is a scruffy mess. Walls and doors are shabby and shameful. Furniture scratched and unfit for any nice thing or person to sit upon. The last two days of warp-speed activity was long overdue and – because I am me – and I have tried to fix a million things all in one go rather than take a planned and steady approach (like a normal human being might), this has caused some considerable upheaval throughout our home. The living room that I am currently hiding from, is this very minute strewn with newspapers covered by various bulky items of furniture gently emitting their evil post-updo fumes (hence the headache).

Sitting with my husband at the weekend (prior to me having thrown the house up in the air and trying to catch it all with my trusty paint roller) we were listening to somebody else discussing some upheaval or other in their lives. My husband noted …

“You never hear much about ‘Downheaval’ do you?”

Hmmm, interesting – Is that even a thing? I quietly pondered this for a little while and realised, well of course it is a thing! Not only that, but one I have some experience with.Read More »

Tiny Perfect Moments – Midway Malaise & The Mad Monk

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 »

Poison Ivy & Ninja Skills

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 »

And Then The Whole Jigsaw Landed On My Head

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 »

Build To Build Up, Don’t Build To Keep Down

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