While Anne-Marie is fulfilling her life long dream of penning the greatest of works, she has honored me by asking me to guest blog for her. This is a first for me, and although tempted to try and find some long forgotten work no one has seen before, I thought I would attempt something fresh and new, so there you have it or rather, here you have it.
Charles is a friend of mine, single dad, who lost two children in a fire in the winter of 1996, in their home in Northwest Arkansas. This is what he shared with me happened the following November, in the valley, it’s what I now share with you. – Daniel
Charlie dons the valley, like a coat of sunset colors, as he sinks into spring waters past his knees. Above him climbs the maple, in November where his Able, thought his first look at the stars helped him believe. Charlie stares at water, that is colder than hells hotter, and he bends a little closer just to see. Was it just this summer that he moved into the meadow, where the tall grass met the stones that bore two names. Was it just the ghost of fire that came down from the hollow, was it grief delirium, was he insane?
That was just a skimmer, swimming through light growing dimmer, as he sits up in the water to his waist. From the leafless bustle in the maple comes a rustle, and he looks up, as if he hears his name. Airless for his trouble, as his eyes close to the struggle of the pictures that his Shaland drew that day. Daddy, I am near you, when you’re eating your cold dinner, when you’re not in the valley, when you’re away.
Charlie stares at dead land, cross the meadow grayer, colder like disease. Hattie’s woods are glowing, cross the bottom, ghost are showing, children moving in degrees. Up the valley stands a chimney, ravens flying, waters cold as it slips beneath his sleeves. Able stirring, his hair moving, summoning the November breeze. Shaland flying, moving dead grass, her essence, beckoning creations relief. Charlie screams into the water, crying louder no more please.
Death cannot make death go away, winter storms do not hold fire at bay, when the kingdom sums, a child’s breath does succumb, not one but two a valley view, cannot control this man of grief this day.
Charlie of the valley, less his children in the vale, bones melted as they fell.
His head slips in the stream, what darkness love can bring, he floats beneath, to end the final day.
Charlie dons the valley, moving water, moving water, and she blesses him with the parting of the waves. He reaches for someone, two arms glow like the sun, the judged of man, has risen from his grave. Charlie walks the valley, Hattie’s woods upon the border, watching ghost so full of order come to play. Able moves his way, Shaland wants to stay, their arms still wet, they smile and fade to grey.
Charlie dons the valley, like a coat of sunset colors, as he moves into his life from dusk to day. – דָּנִיֵּאל
Many people have inspired me as I go through this journey of life. My mum and dad probably most of all. They taught me about justice and love. About forgiveness and mercy. And truth.
Since I’ve come to Worpress, I have found many here who continue to form my education and whose words and hearts inspire me still.
A few weeks ago I read two posts from two separate bloggers here. Their words touched me deeply and I wrote on it and saved it to draft.
I’ve been caught up in the political framework in my land. In discovering truths.
Lisa and Daniel formed these words in my mind. They come to you untouched from the first writing.
I’ve read today of mercy,
Divine and human.
Or is there only divine?
One taken, one returned
From the edge.
Both seeing what lies beyond.
Humility the mark of
Part of this journey,
Bowed to wonder
I’ve read today of suffering,
Lambs caught up in life.
My wonder, my gladness,
That what was gained
Was worth it.
As I continue my journey here in Scotland and in life I will continue to apply those values instilled in me from birth and developed further here. My blog will undergo a change.
I might as well tell you now as later.
I expect to become more involved in politics. I have been shut off from active engagement for many years, despising the lies and disillusioned by the representatives. Over the year here I have read and researched here and elsewhere and found that others feel the same. Right across the globe. Over the last number of months I have discovered facts about my own country that I was unaware of. But many of us know them now. Just not enough did. I intend to rectify that as best I can.
I’m telling you this because I also know that many people don’t come to WP to read about politics. So feel free to unfollow. I thought to close my account here so that I can focus more on what is now of vital importance to me. And to the future I leave my children. One day, I too will know death as Lisa came close to, as Daniel shared in his post. When that happens, I want to meet the maker I believe in knowing that I did what I could to reveal truth, to see justice done, to bring understanding.
May God forgive the elected and the media. All of those complicit.
I include myself in this in not doing enough early enough. I have always rather shunned social media. But not any more.
England and the rest of the UK are about to get up in arms over the promises made to persuade the fearful and less well-informed, the aged who receive their information through more traditional means. Vows made will be broken or rehashed. As the UK heads into shambles over the ‘Scottish mess’ (not my words) I intend to help clear it up.
The information is out there if you look and others share.
Scotland is not subsidised by the UK. We subsidise ourselves and then some.
Money talked. As it does right across the globe. We were never getting independence. They couldn’t afford to let us go. How hard do you fight to retain ‘subsidy junkies’? How hard do you fight for freedom if you know you can do it? But that’s not the message being preached in the English newspapers where feelings are now being roused among people who don’t know.
Facts don’t speak louder than opinion and spin unless they are heard.
On Friday evening thugs, carrying union jacks, converged on George Square, Glasgow. There was trouble. Facebook postings were pouring in, pictures and video footage of a very different sort of nationalism than had been seen worldwide only hours earlier. Nazi salutes and cries of ‘No Surrender’ where previously saltires were raised in celebration at Glasgow’s pro-indy vote.
The message was clear from this dark underbelly. Don’t mess with the status quo. We’re British. Now, I’m not suggesting that normal No voters were instrumental in this ugliness. Many people are condemning them. Some, however, are denying it happened. Despite evidence to the contrary.
Compare their reasons for riot with the fact that on 31st January, 1919, the ‘Riot Act’ was read for the last time in George’s Square in an attempt to quell workers seeking justice.
The facts are out there. The truth is out there. History has not yet been rewritten. Neither is it being learned.
I beseech the people of the UK and elsewhere to read. Read all you can. Arm yourselves with facts. With truth. Those are the only weapons we want to make or house. I don’t want to see violence on the streets of any of the cities around this land. But incitement is taking place in the arguments now flowing. In the disparity of headlines in newspapers between Scotland and England.
I enjoy board games. Particularly chess and scrabble. I always have. I don’t even mind losing. As long as the rules are stuck to. Politics should not be a game where the rules change and the pawns are us. I’ve let politicians and others play with my life for too long. No one is playing games any more with me and mine. I will fight, peacefully, for justice and love. I’ll pray for forgiveness and mercy in my heart while I do so. And I will speak the truth when I see it. Just like mum and dad taught me.
My apologies to Lisa and Daniel. I have rather stolen this post. But maybe you can see why. I am inspired. I am passionate about this.
The title of this post was the title I had given for the poem when I wrote it. It fits so I’m keeping it. Inspired by those who inspire me.
My stomach is doing somersaults and my heart is racing.
I can’t eat.
It’s the eve of the Scottish Referendum.
Tomorrow I will go to the polls along with my fellow countrymen to cast a vote that will determine whether Scotland stays within the 307 year union of the United Kingdom or declares its wish for independence.
For me there is no doubt in my mind that a vote for independence is the right thing for Scotland.
And, perhaps, more importantly, the right thing for the rest of the world.
A rather grand claim, some may say. And yes, I quite understand the doubts that billions of people would have in imagining that a nation of just over 5,000,000 people could have any great impact on the rest of the world.
What possible benefit could the rest of humanity gain by Scotland declaring itself as a self-governing nation?
You would have to know us, to understand us, to believe what so many of us believe. Our history has written our character as the history of any nation has written theirs. What makes the heart of a country are the common experiences of its people.
Here I could hark back to the past as all peoples can do, review a chequered history and claim, with some justification, that we were robbed of self-determination.
I could. But I won’t.
Suffice to say that, ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. And there is truth in that.
Our hearts have been tested and they ache for the plight of all disenfranchised. They ache for the poor and the hungry. For the homeless and the destitute. Those with no clothes to their back. Those who live in the shadow of weapons that could annihilate millions.
Our history is littered with occasions that have caused hearts to ache fit to breaking. We know and understand that justice begins with one hand reaching to help another. Out hearts have not broken. They are stronger.
When our hands are free we, the people, not the politicians, determine the path we follow in aiding justice and peace in our nation.
From there the ripples grow.
I have no enemies. None in the UK. None in any part of the world.
The enemy I deal with is the the lack of hope that people have around the world when those elected in our name pay lip service to the needs of people and to the good of our planet as a whole.
We are all culpable in how the world stands today.
Only voices and action will change the status quo.
The mood in Scotland is one of renewed hope. The movement has risen from the ground to the surface. The people believe in a better way. The people are capable of delivering a better way.
There are no bullets here. Only a ballot box. And the will of the Scottish people.
I pray with all my heart and soul that the majority of the Scottish electorate will vote tomorrow for independence. That, in gaining a free hand, we will reach our hands out to embrace justice and peace. And others may believe, that if a mere two million voters can declare for this cause, so can the world.
My sickness has turned, after writing this, to tears. I want a future worth having for my seven children and for all the children in the world.
Every song I like or love is because they speak to me in some way. It may only be because of the beat or the rhythm. Perhaps because of memories they evoke. It could be that the vocals or instruments are so rhapsodic that I’m in awe. Sometimes it’s because of associations they hold with people and times. It could be because of the words.
I’ve already posted my favourite song because it is also from my favourite movie and that was a question for day Day 11.
The title of this song, Who Wants To Live Forever?’ draws me in every time I hear it like no other song does. The lyrics remind me to live and to love. Now.
“Who Wants To Live Forever”
There’s no time for us,
There’s no place for us,
What is this thing that builds our dreams, yet slips away from us.
Who wants to live forever,
Who wants to live forever…..?
There’s no chance for us,
It’s all decided for us,
This world has only one sweet moment set aside for us.
Who wants to live forever,
Who dares to love forever,
When love must die.
But touch my tears with your lips,
Touch my world with your fingertips,
And we can have forever,
And we can love forever,
Forever is our today,
Who wants to live forever,
Who wants to live forever,
Forever is our today,
Who waits forever anyway?
But, as I’ve already posted this song, Twindaddy’s request for today must be another. I’m going for my favourite of today. It’s on the current in car CD and has been played to and from work every day this week.
On the way home today, with the sun shining, the skies the most gorgeous pale blue and only light fluffy clouds around – not a single rain cloud in sight – the thought of a four day weekend after tomorrow’s shift, a breeze generated by the open windows and this music on, I felt so happy. I’ve had all the depression I ever care to experience. Life is for capturing the happiness in each day. ‘Who waits forever anyway?’ ‘Anything Could Happen’.
Many years ago I studied the poem, ‘Icarus Allsorts’ by Roger McGough, as part of the war poems series my year group had to learn for a ‘major’ exam. I learned it by heart at the time. I think his poem is as valid today as it ever was although, back then, the preoccupation with impending nuclear war felt like a creepy necessity; a scary dystopia we more than imagined we had every chance of being part of sooner rather than later.
The last song, alphabetically, on my I-pod play list, as requested by Twindaddy, made me recollect this poem. It is ’99 Red Balloons’ by Goldfinger.
OK. NOT he who shall be obeyed, but the pussycat with ‘the helmet that scares the bejaysus out of me’ is asking, for question 9 of the 25 day music challenge, which song I associate with hope. Oops, hold on. Need to insert a little image here. Every other bugger has it.
And I will figure out how to put this fecker in my side bar. Makes life so much easier when things are organised. I aspire to organisation. Aspirations. Got to have them.
I thought about this all day.
Back and forth. In between other bits of things like work and weans.
And, at first, I thought of ‘I Will Survive’, because most hope is a wish for something in the face of adversity. And that particular song is a kind of ‘get-it-up-you’, sort of finger to the north wind type of song. Well, it is if you live where the north wind raises your kilt and blows round your nethers, irking every part of you that should be warm and cosy.
Then I came home from work and had a rethink.
And do you know what? I changed my mind. Woman. Prerogative.
Now, I’ve posted here before about my wish that if I could be any sort of creature I wanted (apart from a woman which, obviously, would be everyone’s choice) I’d want to be an eagle. Mainly because it can fly. And it’s gorgeous. And it is master/mistress in its own world. Why would anyone not want that?
Then. I had another thought. I’m not really worthy of being an eagle. Eagles are powerful, magnificent wing-beaters of immense proportions in their world. They are majestic. They demand and command the skies. They are the pinnacle of birds. And answer to no one.
I do. I answer to life. To responsibilities. To commitments. To so much. An eagle is therefore my metaphor for escape when I can’t cope. It’s my mercy bird. Please don’t eat me. Save me.
Then I got to thinking that I don’t want majesty. I want mercy. For all the times I’ve been a shit. An unhopeful, desperate, fall to my knees, gawd-somebody-help-me sort of shit.
Then I thought I’d have a wee nap cos I was up to all hours last night planning a lottery win with TD. (They’re on, btw, TD! Two nights worth!)
Then my brain went, ‘Aye! You think so?!’ Give me all this gear to work on then think you’ll wake up to a wee poem, ready made? No sleep for you, china. Have it now or not at all.’
This came to be.
shale shifts beneath my tread,
i flail and stumble,
a rumble from beneath, within,
this mountain that i scale
pours forth its scarlet
and bleeds its heat through soles.
I fall. I kneel.
raising eyes, i spy a distant image,
nearing, circling, searching for its prey,
its majesty knows mercy
and i mumble, then cry unto its
eye to make its way
to where i’ve risen, on this journey upwards,
on shaky legs, with stoic heart and hope,
and, just when all seems lost to fear and reason,
it dives and lifts,
i’m airborne and i cope.
the wings beneath my essence
are much stronger
than the wind beneath my own
when all seems bleak,
heavenwards i raise my heart
and mind and spirit.
Inner core is known. No need to speak.
So, ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ it is. Only, most days, I fly without wings. Depending instead on the wings of others, in whatever form, to raise me up.
And, on a slight aside here, TD. One of your other contributors commented in a post that it was becoming more difficult.
I know where she’s coming from. Unlike my self-imposed A-Z mythology challenge, music permeates everything.
It’s in every part of our lives, from the first arse-rocking rhythm that a babe sways along to, to every piece ever heard in the course of our lives that ever meant anything to us. That’s a lot of music. Tons of the stuff to try and filter to something that encapsulates your questions.
But, do you know what? It rocks.
From the moment of thinking, ‘This is the one’ to the realisation that, ‘No. This speaks better for me.’ Quite a feat.
And I do so like a challenge that seeks to condense.
How many days left? Apologies to all the bloggers I’m not reading as frequently as I would. Blame the guy in the mask. And my own need to rise to a challenge. Aspirations. Got to have them. 😉