Archive for the ‘A note to myself’ Category

There are no set rules when it comes to bereavement, for the experience of one person is never equal, greater, or less than anyone else’s.  Life is complex, our emotions unpredictable, our personal circumstances varied.    Our responses to death are both unique and predicable but however we respond at any given time in the process, it is always the right way for us to be in that moment.

We can never escape the shadow of such loss; however we can find comfort and strength in the living light of life and remember the path that had brought us here.   We all die twice, once when we cease breathing and then finally when we fade from the memories of those who once loved us.

Paul Nichol

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A blogger who did not blog.

A reader who did not read.

A writer who did not write.

A snapper who did not snap.

A listener who did not listen.

A father who did not father.

A lover who did not make love.

For.

Over the last ten days.

I have just been.

A worker who tirelessly worked.

For money.

I now ask myself.

At what cost to me and those I truly love?

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© Paul Nichol.  March 2014

Dear Paul  aged 12

I, so therefore you have nearly reached the astonishing age of fifty, there will be times in your life when this feat will seem impossible, however this letter from the older you to yourself aged twelve proves what I write is true.   There is no easy beginning to letters such as these, so therefore I will just write my thoughts.

I wish I could tell you that you were going to have an easy life, but the truth is, you are not.   As I look back over my past life and your future, I have to tell you that I retain very few memories of our early life, but what memories I do have are the strongest and I suspect the happiest of our childhood. 

I also wish I could tell you that your need for moments of deep solitude would fade and that your family would grow to embrace your uniqueness and in the end they will celebrate your many traits of individuality, but sadly, they will not and your innate need for solitude will only grow ever stronger.

Eventually you will be lost to extended birth family, you will become a stranger in education, philosophy, political ideology and spiritual belief; you will cast yourself beyond their reach in every aspect of your existence, for it is only by doing so that you ensure your personal growth and physical survival.    Your journey will be lonely and extremely difficult, you will inflict much heartache on those you encounter, change their perceptions of humanity and destroy life.  However, your stubbornness, your strong characteristics that others condemn will prove to be your salvation and will eventually save your life. 

The struggle that you must face will be worth the personal cost, for as I write this difficult letter to you my younger self, I want you to know that you will find true happiness, a special love that will define the very purpose of life and a level of spiritual contentment unobtainable without meaningful sacrifice.

I cannot remember if you, I, were every really happy at the age of twelve, however I had to chose an age for me to write to myself and twelve seemed appropriate,  you are not too young as to be overtly naïve, or too old as to have become cynical.      I believe you still enjoy many aspects of school life and that you still participated in the many extra curriculum activities that the school offers.   You should make the most of these opportunities for it is the memories of these events that you will recall as the happiest of your childhood with the passing of many years, even though I suspect they were not so happy at the time. 

I remember one such outing, it is my strongest childhood memory, and it was our climb to the rocky summit of Great Gable.    Four schoolboys and a teacher, whose names I have forgotten but whose memories, images and influences still linger somewhere within me.    I recall it was bitterly cold, windy and the low grey clouds swept about us, but still we climbed and reached the peak.   I suspect you think me sentimental for holding on to such an average memory.    Why else would I need to write such an unconventional letter, if not because I was emotionally weak, but you would be wrong in your presumption, for I write this letter with purpose, and from a position of strength.

I intend to write to you again shortly, although for me it might be a few days, weeks or even months; however, for you, time will soon become painfully slow as you beginning our long, difficult journey.

Paul aged 50

 

I wrote these comments after reading posts that some of you wrote this year, here on WordPress, but I never send them.   I find them very interesting for they are like a diary of my first year as a blogger here on WordPress, mapping my difficult personal journey to this place.  

 

The companionship and support you have given me has been touching, and it is through your kindness that I have finally loosened my grip upon my anchor that held me, to walk slowly from the shadows, allowing the true me to seen by both you, but most importantly myself.

 

I wrote many more comments but I discarded them because through their words they revealed vulnerabilities and characteristics I was unwilling and unprepared to acknowledge at the time.

 

These unsent, unedited comments might of been the most important words I wrote over the past year.

 

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For me, the answer to your question is yes, it is the experiences of life that makes us who were are, we need to know the bite of pain, the kiss of love and the sickness of disappointment so that we can grow our innate selves. We should look into the mirror of time with pride and wear our scars with satisfaction as we walk upon the earth. I enjoyed reading this poem because I too am scarred and not perfect.

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I can only speak from experience; however, for me writing is a spiritual home. Not being able to write all the time is okay, and you should not worry but use your time in other meaningful ways. Then one day it will be like tripping over a stone in the street, a sudden need to put fingers to keyboard or pen to paper and off you will go, I promise. Life is like this, unpredictable and surprising. You can keep in touch if you like; it is always good to know someone else out there.

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I enjoyed reading this poem, because I relate to the idea that we see the world through the eyes of those who look upon us. Our face, our expressions, our eyes are mostly how others initially judge us.    We have to come to terms with our bodily characteristics and believe in ourselves to overcome such flawed prejudice.

It is not what we look like or the fashions we follow that defines us, but our endearing qualities that are only recognisable after discarding the superficial and looking beyond the skin and into the soul. That is where the true beauty or the ugliness of a person resides.

These are the thoughts that came to me after reading your poem.

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I enjoyed reading your poem; I thought it had strong imagery. The subject is not my usual reading choice but it caught my eye.  Thank you for sharing.

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I love coffee; some people have even called me a coffee addict. I loved this poem because the imagery took me straight into one of those high street coffee shops, which I hate. I can relate to your poem because I always find myself feeling sorry for the overworked coffee shop assistant, (if that is the politically correct term) , witnessing how hard they work always leaves me feeling guilty when asking them for a coffee, so therefore I now avoid these shops.

Coffee, I believe should be enjoyed in a relaxed, calming environment. There should be no guilt related to this pleasure or inference of sweatshop persecution related to it.

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It is not for me or anyone else to judge whether your poems are good or bad, but what I can say is that they made me reflect. I understood the emotions and the turmoil’s of youth you expressed. I was once a young man myself, and I have experienced much in living. The reason I did not write more your poem was that it made me think dangerously of my own adolescence, so yes I thought they were good because they made me remember. They were words of truth and words of the heart and it is never be wrong to acknowledge truth……

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This is the first of your poems I have read and what an adventure. Your poetic voice is so strong and clear and beacons the reader forward through the poem with both passion and conviction. I enjoyed the journey, thank you for sharing.

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Thank you for the comment, written in your cleaver poetic verse as always. I know I should communicate more with people. I have a habit of standing in the shadows, in the real and online worlds. It is a miracle that I ever joined this site let alone posted any poems, and then staying for a whole year.

I have only been visiting the site for a few weeks and already I am struggling, my fingers are drifting over the delete key. I have even forced myself to enter a couple of contests as a distraction. My children say I should retire to a desert island, as I love my solitude so much, silent solitude would be even better.   I suspect that in my next reincarnation I will be a monk.

I have been reading and enjoying your poems on the quiet, and I must say you are a very talented and prolific poet, and I know I should have commented on them earlier.

Do not think that I am a loon, it’s just I travel light through this life.

Your line, ‘And silently so silently, he came back to this place,’ is very apt because that is also how I live.

I know I should be more open and less quiet.

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The oceans in my mind are rarely calm, storms gather often but particularly at this the turning of the year. I am fighting the temptation to climb into my rowing boat and to row once again to my beloved deserted island where I know I will again find safety but no comfort. I am standing on the rocky shore gazing over the swirling dark waters to that place, to that time, to the events of my life that first took me there, to where I have never truly left, to where I believed I deserved to die.

I  now cast theses words upon the gathering winds of my existence, upon the page of my blog, knowing that tomorrow might be calmer, that the ropes tethering my rowboat may never be unleashed, and that its old keel might never cut the cold open ocean, and venture with me to that old place ever again.

However, life has taught me nothing is simple, so each day I will check the knot and cast a wary eye upon the horizon of my mind, in readiness ……………..

If I have not yet visited your blog to say ‘Thank You’ after you left a ‘Like’ on one of my posts, I am sorry; life got in the way and I suspect it might possibly still do so, in the future.

 

Those of you who follow my blog and have not received a comment from me thanking you for doing so, ‘I Am Sorry’; I am rubbish at socially interacting with followers.  I am also rubbish at social interaction in my everyday world; I think I would be a very happy in a hermitage.   Although I do have brief moments of online communication which are at best irregular and predictably inconsistent.   For this, I can only again apologise yet again.

 

To those fellow bloggers (and they know who they are) who were kind enough to nominate me for various awards, I have saved them my biggest, crawliest apology.   I expect you thought me impolite for not responding properly, and who could blame you, however, the truth is, I find it physically and psychologically difficult to accept gifts or praise in any form no matter how genuine the intent, and whenever gifts or kindness is offered to me, I instinctively decline or quickly give them away.

This is just my way and so please forgive me.  

All that is left for me to say now is:

 

‘Sorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry’!

I have add this post as a page to prewarn the intrepid blogger

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I am a fool

I speak out of turn

I will learn

 

Insignificant  

Inexcusable

Inauthentic

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For two weeks I have been isolated form inconsequential elements of my everyday life, for I escaped, I unplug, switched off and closed the many superficial doors, which must remain open so as to enable my family to survive financially in this modern age of man. 

 

I must have really needed a holiday.

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25th August