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.
It always feels good to reconnect... it always feels good to go back to somewhere you haven't been in a while... it is always good to see people who you have always felt a connection with... it always feels good to do something you haven't done for a while, but from the moment that you start doing something again, or from the moment that you see someone again, it feels like no time has passed - because almost immediately your muscle memory starts to kick in and deeply ingrained instincts begin to rise to the surface of your mind palpably fast. It always feels good to pick up and read a book that you haven't read since you were a child and instantly notice certain details about certain characters that you might have previously missed - and, because of the intervening time, it is as if the way that you once imagined people to appear in your minds eye has changed and evolved just as we all change throughout the many chapter of our life... it always feels good to hear a song that will always define an important moment in your life that ever time you hear it has the power to be able to transport you back in time to when and to where you felt affected by it for the first time. It always feels good to start a new adventure that you immediately know will be filled with experiences that will shape you, will mould you, and ultimately caste you in such a fundamental way that going forwards nothing will ever be the same... it always feels good to open your mind... it always feels good to let your thoughts and your ideas speak for themselves... it always feels good to find others like us so that we do not feel like we are alone... it always feels good to not have to worry and to feel free to let whatever is inside of us all out.
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.
For too long now so many people have been deprived of many vital things: work, travel, entertainment, and most importantly physical interactions with friends and family - but now we have all been given the permission to engage in "cautionary hugs"; if there could ever be such a thing? Never the less, it is now permissable for people to embrace their love ones in close quarters and show physical affection for someone openly for all the world to see... even though the virus plaguing the world continues to rage in variations across the planet, some of us are now able to meet up and talk with someone, inside somewhere, in ways that for so long have felt like distant memories or the stuff of dreams. It's has been so long now since people were able to kiss, hug, and be with people who they know so well, and it has been so long since people have been able to interact with someone of significance, face to face, that it will undoubtedly be hard for some people at first to revert back to how people used act without thinking with one another... some people might be more than a little reticent to eat inside a restaurant, or to sit in close proximity to someone who they do not personally know - because they may have lost the meaning and the importance at the heart of why people want and need to have close associations with other people for the benefit of their own mental health. I realize that everybody has their own individual process when attempting to adapt to rapid differences in circumstance - and we all know how hard it was when we were first told that we had to stay apart, that we had keep our distance, and that we had to protect ourselves from what we might be unwittingly exposed to; but there comes a time when enough is enough - and to me, as long as the world proceeds with caution down this long and winding road back to normality, and as long as people continue to volunteer to do their part and be vaccinated for the good of the many, then why not give people to right to have something and to give something meaningful to someone else as simple, and as a much needed and long overdue, as a hug.
Life is a livestream without a pause button... when something happens we can't commit every detail of every moment to memory... life sometimes feels like it is in a state of fast-forward... when someone scrolls through the posts of someone else who appears to be living the life that they have always wanted sometimes people can feel envy - however life is filled with more depth of perspective and colour than any resolution of screen could ever display perfectly... when a photograph is taken a thousand words could be used to describe what the two dimensions apparently show - but to go beyond a static image and dive into what preceeded it and what came after it you have to look to what appears in the background that may not be as easy to see, but take it from me it is there that you will see a picture's true poetry... there is no way yet to recall what the first face that we saw after we were born was, nor is there yet a way to know what the first sound that we heard was, nor who the first voice that we heard belonged to; but, make no mistake, our entire life of experiences are all saved within our brains - the good, the bad, the tragic, and the funny - and if at the end of everything each of us do indeed see our entire life flash before our eyes so fast that every moment merges together into a burst of bright light, be sure to try and do what people do every day when they see something on their phone that they think is worth capturing: remember what you can, while you can, and if necessary take a screenshot.
Nothing stays pristine forever... no one stays the same way for all the days of their life... over time things wear out like old leather... no one stays untarnished - over time the power of the sun damages the outer skin of something or someone after a prolonged period of exposure. Everything is impacted by outside influences... everybody is marked by their time on Earth... everything has a journey from its creation to its destruction made up of events that came as a result of their encounter with outside forces... everybody has their own individual path through life and at several points everybody experiences moments of significance on par with a moment of rebirth. Life isn't a race... life isn't meant to be rushed... life isn't only about the world around us - because so much of what connects us lies above us in outer space... for some people life is like a rock that needs to be constantly admired and occasionally polished; but, to me, what makes life so special is that every day, upon every thing and everyone, another layer of character is added to what makes something and someone what they are - and some things and some people are meant to be, and they are meant to remain unrestored, tarnished, and imprinted with life's indellible marks.
I will never forget the epic music and the iconic yellow text of the opening crawl that first introduced me to the story of these out of this world characters who lived a long time in a galaxy far, far away… I will never forget seeing the sight of that Imperial Star-Destroyer chasing down and firing at that Rebel Alliance ship carrying Princess Leia… I will never forget the fear that I felt when I first saw the imposing Darth Vader… I will never forget seeing the droids R2-D2 and C3PO being jettisoned into space and finding themselves on the desert planet of Tatooine with the blueprints of the "Death Star" super-weapon, as well as a message for the "only hope" of the Rebel Alliance - someone called "Obi-wan Kenobi"… I will never forget seeing the iconic image of Luke Skywalker looking to the horizon as the twin suns of his planet began to set… I will never forget Luke Skywalker and C3PO following R2-D2 into the desert and being attacked by "Sand People" and Obi-wan Kenobi having to come to their rescue… I will never forget Luke Skywalker first igniting his father's blue Lightsaber - however unaware that his father, Anakin Skywalker, who he thought was now dead was still alive and was now none other than the evil Darth Vader… I will never forget Obi-wan Kenobi explaining the nature of The Force to Luke Skywalker… I will never forget seeing Obi-wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker arrive at the city of Mos Eisley and be introduced to Han Solo and Chewbacca - and then watch Han Solo shoot first in a stand-off against a green alien named Greedo… I will never forget the first time I saw the Millennium Falcon freighter take off and then be taken aboard the Death Star not long after the super-weapon had destroyed Princess Leia's homeworld of Alderaan… I will never forget seeing Luke, Han, and Chewbacca break Leia free of her cell and then dive head-first into the Death Star's trash-compactor… I will never forget seeing the former master and the apprentice, Jedi Master Obi-wan Kenobi and Sith Dark Lord Darth Vader, reunite and face-off against one another... I will never forget being entranced by Obi-wan and Darth Vader dueling one another with their blue and red lightsabers… I will never forget Luke Skywalker watching Darth Vader strike down Obi-wan Kenobi - not knowing that Obi-wan had learned how to live on after death and become a "Force ghost"… I will never forget seeing the Millennium Falcon surrounded by Imperial Tie Fighters and then jump into hyperspace and eventually deliver the stolen plans for the Death Star to the Rebel Alliance… I will never forget Luke Skywalker participating in the attack on the Death Star and being assured by the voice of Obi-wan that "The Force will be with you, always" - just before Luke Skywalker delivers the one in a million shot into the exhaust port of the Death Star leading to its destruction... I will never forget the ceremony when Luke Skywalker, Han Solo - but unfortunately not Chewbacca - were given a medal by Princess Leia for all that they did to destroy the Death Star… Oh yes, I will never forget the first time that I ever saw every moment of George Lucas' revolutionary space-opera film that changed cinema and the world forever: I will never forget the first time I saw the 1977 film that simply used to be called "Star Wars".
Everybody envisions that they are the centre of their own universe... when we are children we believe, and we can come to expect, that what we want we will always get... everybody can imagine that there will come a time when we will believe that we have nothing more to learn; however, things are not always as they seem, things are not always as they appear to be in our dreams - because things change, people come and people go, life expands beyond the confines of an imaginary frame, people teach us who we are in ways that only someone who is an observer of us can expose... over time the gift within each of us calls out for someone to hear it, to notice it, to identify it, to give it a spotlight - however, the bright spark present within some people may only show itself in a flash just long enough to influence another person into remembering and recalling who they were, who they are and who they will always be - and if you who are reading this right now then you know that you have the power to be who you want to be.
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.