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I don’t want to hold the stories. Sometime they are there, sometimes they are not. When they are there it’s like they are all there is, when they are not there they don’t exist.

When I am so simple there is not a lot to say or do except respond to life. That can take me all over the place and nowhere at all. Don’t push, don’t seek, don’t chase. Just respond.

And yet, arising …

I want to push you, seek some thing from you. I want you to hold me, I want to feel you. And it’s ok, let it be. It’s all ok.

As the wanting subsides I miss it, I miss the way it pulses inside me and makes my nerves sing. I feel so alive when I want you like that. But it’s like a drug, the first hit wears off and I want more of you.

Can I be with both?

Allow the wanting to come and to go but don’t let it get in the driver ’s seat, don’t let it run the show.

Allow it to be a beautiful performance whirling through sun dappled streets in a riot of fans and feathers, sweat and sandalwood…. Leaving a fine fragrance in the air and ringing echoes in the emptiness.

Allow it, love it, let it go…

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I sit down to write ‘helpful’ stories,  ‘important’ stories about things that other people might want to know about, might value….but there’s always another story that wants to be told…

What sucks me back to the raw sticky mess of a heart torn open? There’s beauty in it, vibrance, life, promise, surrender, sweet dreams, harsh realities…

I’ve sprung a well deep below the crust of our humanity and it gushes oily black riches with seemingly no end. Yet I feel the explosive force gentling to a trickle, to spurts, to fluctuating flows that can be safely approached, caught in my bucket, examined, used for fuel, set aside and let be… or bathed in, rolled around in, dipped in.

I seem to cherish the choking, love the leaking, seek out the sinking. Can this be my work, my gift to life? It goes on and on and on and though it nourishes me and drives me in ways I can’t comprehend, I try again and again to outrun the river, to leave it behind… until tired and tender I fall back into its dizzying embrace.

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If I didn’t love you so much I could shock you, leave you, lie to you. Hurt you to try and wake you. This is not loves way. I can’t lie to you, I can’t hurt you or even pretend to leave you, no matter how many times you leave me.

I wish I could sometimes, I wish I could walk away, close the door, make you believe you’d gone too far and lost me, tested me to breaking point. Truth is I just stretch, I expand, I may vibrate with the tension, cry at the pain, but I bend and grow and wait a little more.

Each time I decide its enough, try to gather the shreds of my tattered ego, sweep up the fragments of my haughty self esteem, batten the hatches of my heart, I realise it’s just a charade, just smoke and mirrors. The pieces dissolve like fairy dust through my fingers, they never were broken, they never were real. The windows remain wide open and blowing in the gale. The latches were lost long ago.

The most painful part is the stories I tell myself about what it means to love you still. About how I demean and degrade myself by loving so entirely and unrelentingly. By taking each fist to the gut, my own flying fists in fact. I take your hand and slap my cheek with it. I throw rubber balls of need and desperation, they bounce off your defences and hit me between the eyes leaving my dazed and bruised and disorientated.

I don’t crawl in the dirt, I don’t peek through the windows in the rain, I don’t howl at the moon. I just live my life, walk my path and keep you in my heart. I don’t lock my heart away, deprive my body of loving touch or closet my potential waiting for your return, but I keep a candle burning for you, to light your way wherever you walk.

In moments of clinging, I catch no hold, you haul in your ropes and I flounder and fall back. Swim, float, build your own boat. Then I’ll welcome you aboard. You fear a drowning soul will sink your fragile ship.

And I realise I can stand, I can swim, I can fly if I want to. I am a fine vessel and the wind fills my sails. I am the ocean itself that bears your boat. As are you. There is no need for boats, when you are the ocean.

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Out it pours in torrents and floods, salty gushes and sad songs.
There’s always more, flowing through me.

Wave after wave of kindness explodes on the shore into a thousand sparkling smithereens of grief.
Don’t touch my shoulder and speak so softly
Don’t understand me and see my soul
Don’t you dare tell me you miss me.

I pulverise passion with heavy hearted hymns to melancholy
Squish delight with damp squibs of sorrow
Mush and mash the melting sweetness of what might have been with the mallet of mental chatter

Rock me awake, sway me to sleep, bring me back gently to your eyes and your arms
It’s all been a bad dream, I fell into my own mind and lost it.
Those stories aren’t you, they aren’t me, they aren’t love.
Beating myself with broken bricks from the walls that used to stand guard around my heart

I’m raw, I ache, I’m open and exposed. I’ve no protection and no way back.
I left no crumbs when I came into the forest
I brought no picnic

So I sit, and I wait and I listen.
The birds sing again, the light glitters down through the leaves once more, the stream sighs and flows on its way.
Welcome back to today.

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In an empty room with no walls, all of everywhere is full. There is so much nothing no more can fit in.

In that 99.9% of empty space love flows! love dances! love creates life. Into that empty space go all the echoes of our doing, and all the vibrations of our being, and out of that empty space comes life – the elegant alchemy of experience.

All of life is love and love comes from the sun. She animates the spaces in between star stuff. The tree sucks up the sun, fills itself root to branch with an abundance of light. Releases joyful bursts of blazing fire in the autumn.

Friction lures the sunshine back out of the wood, the warmth and the light of the sun enter our homes, illuminate our darkness, warm our bodies, enlighten our minds, makes shadows dance and eyes shine. Makes bodies soften and hearts glow.

One great hand, many puppets… the pleasure of rubbing our fingers together. One puppet cuddled close to another, sharing the warmth of the same life that animates both.

Life remembering itself, radiating itself, revelling in itself… like a kitten in the mirror.

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I could say I’m scared to get close to you because you will be leaving so soon. But I’ve done it before.

I could say I’m reluctant to get close to you because I don’t know where it’s going, but I never have.

I could say many things. Or I could say nothing at all and just welcome you with an open heart and open arms. No promises, no resistance, no hiding, no deciding.

I could let you drift back to your cosy cave. I will always let you, there’s no holding here.

Commit to love, and commit to love yourself. Follow your passion, your pleasure, your blossoming, your bliss. Follow it to me, through me, into yourself, out into the world, wherever it takes you. Here we all meet on the road, to give each other gifts. Of acceptance, of love, of freedom, of understanding.

Can you be with me as I am? Truly? Full of messy love spilling over edges and out of boxes, melting cages and splashing into other peoples lives. Flowing with tears for my own reflection. Chasing my dreams and my shadow at the same time.

Can you be with me as I am? No promises and no protection. No path to follow and no mould to fit. Flowing and free form, all moments inside this one and nothing beyond but possibility

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“Real love is a permanently self-enlarging experience” ~ M Scott Peck

If I were to write you a story, it might be for me. It might be for all of us. I might write you a story. I might let this be what I do, why make it anything else?

One starry night you came, quietly. Asking little, settling in under the radar, letting down your baggage. By the time I emerged from the depths of my heart you had already lit a fire, tending it gently, breathing in its fierce warmth. We talked for hours, my spirit at ease and happy to be seen by you in the flickering firelight. I knew I’d stayed a little too long, I couldn’t help it.

For weeks after that you were quietly there, and I felt so safe to know it. I didn’t know why my heart sang happily “he is here, all is well, ah bliss, he is here”. I felt an angel had come to my side, far from me and yet I felt you moving around the space like you were attached to my eyelash by a gossamer thread. I knew you were there, and it felt so warm and safe.

One day you came to me with fire burning in your eyes. “Tomorrow I’ll be off.” My heart jumped and I set straight to finding what had hurt you, what had shattered your peace here? It was simple enough to smooth troubled waters, no real hurt or harm was meant. I’d seen your fire, your fierce justice, your lionheart.

I took a step closer, curious to feel the fire and see its colours. After a long day of weaving I would wander, more or less aimless, to your where the evening sunlight beamed through trees and birds sang.  Walking the little path to peace and friendship. You’d roll me a cigarette, pour me a drink, and just listen… sometimes gently sharing, coaching, guiding. Often just smiling and deep chuckles.

A dance began – you came closer. Closer to staying, closer to sharing yourself. So close you had to leave to know if you should stay. The impact of your opening was powerful to me and I felt my spirit move in response. Like a subtle shift in atmosphere, like the air before a storm. Something moved just beyond my awareness.

When you returned, you invited me to dance, invited us all to dance, with a smile and open hand. After a few rounds, I accepted. We laughed, we drank, you asked your penetrating questions, opened us all up like a box of treats to share ourselves and enjoy each other. I felt your magic, saw the sparks fly in your eyes – lighting us all from within, bringing more of ourselves to the fire.

That night sitting quietly in a crowded room, your music began to play. I listened, with my heart, and tucked my toes under your thigh for the first time. Feeling at home, feeling safe and then —something exploded from inside me, burst out of its shell like a rocket and went off like a firework behind my eyes and deep in my chest. I know you… I feel you from inside… What is this?? It feels like home. Somebody took somebody’s hand and there was no resistance. Somehow knowing flowed between us like an immense charge. Nothing was said, nobody moved, nobody saw… but the whole world shifted.

We walked, in silence… we sat, in silence… we separated in silence and the whole merry band disbanded into the dawn. At the lake I waited, you didn’t come, I didn’t know if I wanted you to. I walked away into the longest day’s night. I didn’t sleep.

The next day I came back to face the sun’s light by day. I searched your face for something, you wore it like a mask. We made moments, to walk together briefly, spend a moment alone on some task. My head and hands struggling to coordinate, my heart struggling to be contained behind my mouth. My mouth unwilling to be a part of it at all.  I think you were amused, I didn’t know what to think.  I began to think I just might be, a little bit mad.

That evening after hours of discombobulated toing and froing, setting up cosy with scattered minds,  talking in circles about attraction, almost falling into sleep, I couldn’t take it. I retreated, I slept, only a little.

The days after –  my entire chest was bubbling like a cauldron, fluttering like a bird at a glass window, desperate to find a way out. My body hummed like it was preparing to take off. I couldn’t eat, sleep or think very much at all. You seemed to be walking around just fine, except the care you took not to really look at me. After three days and three long nights I felt my energy was draining away, the effort not to connect with you was taking all of my resources and I really felt I might collapse under the weight of it. I had to speak to you, or collapse right there on the ground.

I can barely express, as I could barely express, the effort it took to communicate what had come into being entirely without words, remains completely indescribable. I only know it was clumsy and brief, the words we shared. I told you I needed to give you a hug, I knew it was the only thing that would make me feel better. So I did, and then we really spoke heart to heart. Then we communicated. I felt life rush back into me, I felt and saw the sky literally light up as the dogged grey clouds suddenly swept away, the bright blue sky and radiant sun. I checked the forecast, in half an hour it had changed entirely to bright sunny skies. I laughed, you smiled, we walked and spoke no more of it.

From that moment I was filled with more energy than I knew what to do with. I had another days worth in me every day. You squeezed my neck gently… “it’s been a long day for you”. I melted.

… and the rest of the story? There’s so much more, I’ve relived it so many times but now I’m letting it go. The rest was a long lesson of all the things love isn’t quite, all the things I tried to make it be that tied a noose around the neck of what it was.

There’s just one more moment, that felt really true… riding beside you in the car you held out your hand… “what do you want?” “I want your hand…” you squeezed it, held it, glanced at me and smiled…” don’t worry about anything, life’s for living”. It felt like the start of a journey into endless possibility.

The rest is history, drama, life lessons and our best efforts with all we could muster to love ourselves, love each other and find our way. It’s all precious but it’s not the heart of the matter, it’s not the treasure I found in my heart and in yours. The rest was learning to fly.

There were moments, fleeting and deep, where I felt our hearts speaking. In the silence just before sleep, when several points up and down my core just hummed and gently pulsed, and I felt you close. In glimpses of eye contact, of recognition. In hugs of heartbumping beats of knowing. The last time I saw you when you gently kissed my shoulder and breathed deep. And let go.

So much is in the letting go, so much more than in the clinging.