The Mark Hastings Experience – Episode #6: “Cool Runnings” (1993 film)

In this episode Mark talks about one of his favourite films: the 1993 American comedy sports drama “Cool Runnings” directed by Jon Turteltaub and starring John Candy, Leon Robinson, Doug E. Doug, Rawle D. Lewis, and Malik Yoba. The story of the film is loosely based on the true story of the first Jamaican Bobsled Team’s debut debut at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
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My Poem “Soak it up”

Moments of contentment -
a time to breathe, a time to be...
moments of reverence -
a time to look, a time to listen,
a time to think and not to speak...
moments of openess, moments of exposure -
a time to dream, a time to imagine...
moments of both stillness and complexity -
a time without a worry in the world,
a time without four walls around you
that can at times feel like those of a prison...
moments of me, myself, and I -
a time to close to my eyes,
a time to find a treasure within my mind
that I know will transform the more
that I give it my time and my attention...
moments of heart pounding exhilaration -
a time that feels infinite,
a time that feels enough
to see all that I need to see,
to hear all that I need to hear,
to do all that I need to do
to fulfill my heart and my soul
before my last day on Earth is through -
and it is because I feel such energy
in every moment of time
that I always choose, whenever I can,
to take the time gifted to me to smile
at the light of the shining sun,
to open my arms high and wide,
and soak it up.

The Mark Hastings – Episode #5: “First Thoughts”

In this episode Mark talks about “first thoughts” – meaning the first thing that instantly comes to mind when we are asked a particular question, such as: what is your favourite film? What is your favourite book? And Mark talks about why it is also important to sometimes revisit certain things because as we live our lives our perspective on certain things can change in unforeseen ways.

The Mark Hastings Experience – Season 3, Episode #4: “Life + Death”

In this episode Mark talks about about life, death, meaning, and why it is important to talk to people – because nobody lives in a vacuum and sometimes everybody needs someone to give them a reason to carry on, especially when things can come to seem unbearable. There is always hope. No one is ever truly alone.

My Poem “The Way of the Artist”

Everything changes...
everything evolves...
everybody doing every thing
has their own process...
new things have naturally arisen
over time to replace other things
and other ways of doing things;
however, some things never change -
and one of the things that will never change
is the way that artists are inspired,
the way that artists seek out
new sources of stimulation,
the way that artists wake up
every morning and want to create art,
the way that artists cannot settle down
to sleep without first either thinking
about or doing something about
the nugget of an idea within them.

There is something inherently human
about art and about attempting to capture
the sometimes incomparable,
about the need to express our inner most
thoughts, feelings, emotions, dreams,
hopes, fears, and our natural insecurities...
there is something primal about
the experience of having this overriding
instinct that we feel compelled to act upon...
there is something almost genetic
about how people young and old
seem to have the same unconscious ability
to be able to go to the same places
that other people are unable to,
because there exists this continuity
of connection that crosses generations
like some kind of universal melody.

All my life I have created art,
I have witnessed art being created,
and I have come to recognize
the look in a fellow artist's eyes
when they are deep within that moment
when the inspiration and the art
within them are in full-flow,
as if it were a sixth sense of mine
that I have slowly but surely
developed over time...
all my life I have looked at
the natural beauty of the world
rise like waves upon an ocean
and literally change the geography
of a well known place or monument...
all my life I have witnessed
something come from something -
and I have come to believe
that "nothing" is in fact a type of
"something" that we have not yet
given a name to, because certain things
are like energy and no matter what
they will always exist.

Looking for an answer to a question
that may have been asked for centuries
and expecting to find what has not occurred
to anyone else before, at least to me,
is not in any way a sign of madness -
in fact, I believe the art of being inquisitive
and never asking the question
"why create art in the first place?"
and just feeling this need to create
some kind of art is the most powerful gift
and the most fulfilling way of every artist.

My Poem “Over too soon”





One of the most beautiful
and truly breathtaking sights
that we mere mortals get to see
is the last glimpse of daylight
when the sun slowly disappears
below the horizon at sunset,
when day becomes night;
and to me, for some reason, a sunset
sometimes has even more of an impact
upon me than witnessing a sunrise -
because, for so many reasons,
seeing the sun set reminds us all
of how precious time is, how short life is,
and how one day we will all see a last day
when we will all close our eyes for the last time
and day will forever become an eternal night.

Sunsets happen too early for some people -
however, everybody has at least once in their life
enjoyed the experience of sitting,
or standing, like a statue or a monument,
as the last rays of the sole star
at the centre of our solar system
touches us and allows our shadow self
to be caste upon the ground behind us...
there is no more astounding moment
like sitting upon the infinite grains of sand
of a beach as the bright sunlight retreats
to its source, as the temperature drops,
as the air grows cold, and as the song
of the sun is replaced by the crashing chorus
of the waves of the sea, as the ocean tide
recreates the shoreline, as above the clouds
the stars of the cosmos sprinkle down
a healthy dose of stardust to inspire
the dreams of countless.

Sunrises remind us all of new life...
sunsets remind us all of how far
we have all come and what we have done -
and, in my experience, there is no more perfect time
to sit and reflect upon life and our place in nature
than on a summer's evening in June...
sunrises remind us all of how
amazing it is to be alive...
sunsets remind us all that sometimes
when something is over it is over
though an echo of what was 
might in some form remain -
however, I am sure that we can all agree
that the journey of some things
and the journey of some people
are sometimes over way too soon.

My Poem “Embraced”

Everybody wants to live in hope
when they are awake...
everybody wants to dream
of infinite possibilities when they asleep...
everybody sees things that for some reason
they instantly take to their heart and love...
everybody - whether they remember or not -
experiences internal moments of freedom
during which they may have imagined
that they had the gift to be able to fly,
or perhaps talk to someone living or dead -
someone who they may know, or someone
who they may have always wanted to meet.

Everybody is sometimes their own worst critic...
everybody, most of the time,
wants themselves to be a winner...
everybody has something that they
are meant to receive and to give...
everyday everybody comes up with multiple ideas,
but to be able self-actualize an idea
and see it jump from someone's mind onto a page,
and then perhaps become tangible
and seemingly "more real",
sometimes creators need to risk a part of themselves
if they truly want to see their dreams delivered.

Everybody will succeed, and everybody will fail...
everybody will find themselves throughout
their life in need of something or someone,
and everybody will sometimes find themselves
inextricably walking in circles and figuratively
chasing their own tails...
everybody has to eat... everybody has to drink...
everybody has to breathe... everybody has to sleep...
everybody sometimes has to be the chaser
and everybody sometimes has to be the chased...
everybody sometimes has to be the embracer
and sometimes everybody needs to be the embraced.

My Poem “The Burning Bulb”

This is what I remember...
this is how it used to be...
this is what I and many others
like me have been unable
to do for almost a year...
this is how I have spent
so many mornings as a writer, as a poet,
and as an observer of human nature:
sitting in my favourite café,
as the bells of a nearby clock ring out,
and feel like I am where and when
I need to be to take out my notebook
and write some new poetry.

It hasn't been the same experience,
it hasn't been the same magic -
even though I have not stopped
writing, nor creating new things,
over the last twelve months
I, like everybody, has had to adapt to living
in a world divided in so many ways...
even though I have not been
lacking in ideas, inspiration, drive,
nor passion to let my poetic side express itself -
now that I am back, sitting inside
and enjoying the ambience and the atmosphere
around me that I know so well,
which for years has fuelled my creativity,
I honestly feel as if I am able to spread
the wings of my intrinsically
poetic and artistic spirit.

I have learned over the years
to embrace every moment,
because things can very easily
be put on pause, beyond our control,
or can even be brought to an abrupt end -
which is why I often dwell upon memories
of where I have been, of what I have seen
and of what I have felt throughout my life...
I am someone who has always looked
to the distant horizon and to the future -
but when anybody goes through
a period of being within something,
or away from someone who matters to them,
everybody undoubtedly feels
this need to somehow go back,
to recapture and to relive all that to them
for so long has always felt like
a constant burning bulb of energizing
inspiration, light, and hope.

My Poem “Grieve for Them”

What can be said… what can be done…
what can be read… what can be known
about how somebody is going to act,
how somebody is going to think,
how powerless somebody is going
to feel after they lose someone
who they have known all their life –
someone who they may not have seen every day,
someone who they may not have talked
to on a regular basis,
but someone who was always there
as a source of stability and faith,
and someone who they always loved.

Words can’t describe what certain
people go through after someone
they cared for unexpectedly dies…
some people feel numb, some people feel lost,
some people feel like they have misplaced
a part of themselves immediately after
they hear the tragic news that they
will never see someone again –
and sometimes the pain that is felt is so extreme
that it overpowers a person’s
natural ability to show their sorrow
with the tears of a cry.

It’s so sad to see people suffering
from profound grief to the degree
that they recede within themselves
both physically and psychologically –
not even wanting to leave
the coccoon of their bed to eat, to drink,
to wash their face, to dress themselves
how they normally would,
nor unable to convey the hurt
that they constantly feel in their chest
as their heart attempts to heal itself
after seemingly breaking into a million pieces.

It’s a long road back to normality
after you lose someone who always made
you feel special passes away –
there isn’t anything that anybody can do for you
other than to give you the time that you need
to come to terms with the hard reality
that death is the part of life
which nobody can do anything about,
but what each and every one of us can do
is to never forget all those people
who may have left us physically
but who will always be with us in spirit,
who may have seen something in us
that we may never have seen
and who may have known us
better than we could ever truly know ourselves
and who every day we will think of,
who will love always, who we will always honour,
who we will always remember,
who we will always be grateful for the gift of,
and who not a day will go by
when we will not grieve for them.

My Poem “The Goodbye Song”

There was once a minstrel,
who walked from place to place,
who was known for being extremely lyrical,
who always had a smile on his face.

The minstrel was always outwardly hopeful,
the minstrel was always a beacon of optimism;
however, the minstrel was not invulnerable
and occasionally he felt like he was living
in some kind of psychological prison.

The minstrel loved to walk,
the minstrel loved the open road
that to him had always seemed unending;
however, one day the minstrel
found himself unable to sing,
unable to smile, unable to talk –
as if he had been struck
by a lightning bolt
that shook him to his core.

The minstrel found himself
somewhere he had never imagined existed:
the minstrel had arrived within a place
without light which he could not exit.

The minstrel did not know where he now was –
but, for the first time in his life,
having previously always known
where to go and what to say,
all that the minstrel felt
at this moment was lost.

The minstrel finally decided to take
his lute in his hands and give
the strings that he knew so well
one final strum –
and then, as he continued to walk
further into the darkness of the unknown,
the minstrel started to play,
to nobody but himself and the void,
what he called his “Goodbye Song”.