Dreams

After waking up today I looked for this photo. I have no idea what was in the mind of the street artist during this piece but it is one I remember more than most. Whether or not there is method to the apparent madness, I may never know.

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I woke up, wide awake at 3am this morning and realised how many dreams I was having. My mind was incredibly active despite the fact that I have now forgotten most of what I was dreaming. It felt like a conveyor belt of different scenarios, a roller-coaster taking me through new scenes that my mind is conjuring up on the spot. Did you ever play video games in the 90’s/ early 00’s? The way city landscapes only appeared/ generated as you got closer to them? I guess we never know what we are getting into until we arrive.

I also felt like I discovered a whole new level of this thought machine we know so little about, like looking under a plank of wood and seeing a whole army of ants doing their own thing without our acknowledgement. When I woke it felt like I remembered something that I shouldn’t, like kids caught playing when they should be in bed. My brain was just farting out all kinds of weird, wacky, colorful situations that I have no option but to watch as I restore my energy. Although it has almost completely vanished from memory, I know it happened. Sometimes this reality terrifies me, other days it astounds me.

It is hard to believe that I am using my brain to analyse my brain and come to the conclusion that I do not know everything about it. Despite the fact that it is still me. It is pretty incredible that this is our reality.

Do you get so deep in thought about your own life experiences? I guess we all do to an extent. Maybe the art above is just a direct copy of what the artist was thinking just before his or her morning coffee. What is seemingly nonsensical during the day may make complete sense every night, we just forget about it most of the time.

Critical

As can be seen from my walk today, the universe couldn’t give two hoots that our terror threat level has been raised to critical. Not that this raise in concern is without justification.

Summer is finally here and there is an understandably low mood after the Manchester bombing. Not that the sun cares. From natures perspective it’s a glorious day, completely conflicting with the moods of most people this morning. I choose to highlight this with an aim to change the myth that the universe cares about us. Depressing? I don’t believe so. The less we feel we are prioritised by the universe, we may start to value ourselves a little more.

As I yanked open the door last night as I have everyday for the past four years, I almost pulled my shoulder out. It didn’t open. The door leading to the back office at work is usually unlocked as I have already input a code to get there. This time I needed to put a second code in to get to the office. With the UK’s terror threat being raised to ‘Critical’, the company I work for had strict measures in place to ensure we adhered to this. It’s fascinating how fast the measures are in place, it must have been an hour after the announcement last night. 21st century communication is amazing, we receive such updates instantaneously, something that would have taken months or even years to pass on between communities centuries ago and on such a large scale.

I noticed more of a police presence yesterday and the sound of a police helicopter flying overhead for a period of time. Whether or not this is another measure or a separate incident, I do not know. Waking up the next morning, I feel two forces at work. One of beautiful nature, treating me to glorious sunshine and a very relaxed state of mind. The other, a conscious threat of human depravity, a constant reminder that another attack may be imminent.

What a weird conflict of feelings in such a strange world.

Solace.

It is a shame that as I grow older, I feel safer in areas away from people. This should not be the case, it has always been safer to hunt in packs. Now, the busier the venue, the more uncomfortable I feel.

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Shortly after hearing of last nights attack my mum called, as is often expected after such an event. She told me she was about to call my sister and wish her luck as she is going climbing today… and to stay safe. I reassured her that I am much more content with my sister climbing a mountain than walking through a city.

How perceptions change. I do not know if this is a sign of the times or my realisation that humans can be pretty awful, more than I knew in the bubble we all grow up in as children. Nature can be brutal, but it isn’t brutal to intentionally cause suffering. This is why I cannot hate a violent storm or natural disaster, as tragic as they may be I take comfort in knowing that it wasn’t due to evil. Lightening doesn’t strike to scare you and the rain doesn’t pour to bring you down. It may scare you and bring you down but without the sadistic intention. Some people may believe such events are repercussions for human decisions, not that I have time for those people.

I am having a 24-hour withdrawal from social media today and all of the opinions, claims and blames that will no doubt be forming after yesterdays news.

Today, give me a beach, calm waters and a dog and I am happy.

Superiority

For a species that believes it is superior, nature gives humans very little time to prove it and finds an incredible number of ways to wipe us out. I took this photo in a park in Rio, I’m unsure what tree it is although I was fascinated by the size of its roots. The people below aren’t exactly noticeable.

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We are the best. The most intelligent, or so I’m told. On many occasions it’s justified. Despite this the universe only gives us a mere few decades to prove our claims of superiority, nowhere near the lifespan of a bristlecone pine tree or a giant tortoise, the former outliving civilisations and countless beliefs systems with that. 

I don’t think it is depressing to think so, more humbling. We need to be humble, the more willing we are to accept this the less we will try to prove our worth by making false claims about our place in the universe.

I’m proud of my species, it’s just crazy to consider the sheer number of things that out-live us, without having a book dedicated to them either. 

Fear

Before any flight, I have a few drinks at the bar. I am no alcoholic however if I was to have a job requiring frequent air travel, I may well become one.

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I’m not the guy in the above photo, by the way. It is a friend looking pretty relaxed on our way to a festival a couple of summers back. The sunshine didn’t cease, sadly neither did our sunburns. This weather is always a shock to our northern English skin.

I fear flying, I also love flying. I am no good with heights and the fact that -50c temperatures, 600 mph windspeeds and a 35,000 ft drop is right outside the window I’m looking out of, both astounds and terrifies me. The most extreme of extremes right there, with the odd temporary distraction whilst cabin crew hand me an orange juice. I understand that flight is so reliable that this is a pointless worry. It doesn’t help. Despite my concerns I make myself look out of the window. I tell myself that I am one of the first generations of humanity to ever experience what earth looks like above the clouds. I can travel anywhere within a day if I can afford it, to lands that my ancestors didn’t know existed.

For this reason I make myself fly. I want to experience what is unique to modern day humans. At the same time, it is frightening to consider how far behind we are. To consider that I will fly over nations that would have me killed for my opinions. Some nations still burn ‘witches’. Our technology is growing faster than our own intelligence, distance and tolerance need to coincide. With more and more people travelling overseas I can only hope we are forced into a more tolerant mindset, I guess I could advertise blogging to those that are easily offended by a differing culture. It is better to vent anger in words on a blog post than to blow up the interior of an aircraft mid flight.

Who knew militant atheism could sound so good?

Bliss

‘At what age do you think it is appropriate to inform your children that they have no legitimate purpose in life and that no matter what they do it will be for nothing?’

I have sympathy for anyone that possesses such pessimism when contending my world view. If a road has an end, why shouldn’t I enjoy the ride?
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Do such parents use the same logic when they are watching a movie or reading a book? Playing in a water park or listening to an album? All of these fun activities have an ending, an expiration date. I would never be selfish enough to tell my children, if I do one day have children, to refrain from enjoying our precious time on earth because one day it will be gone. If anything, each splash in the water park will be cherished greatly. I have more reasons to take my children places. To be that hurt by such a prospect that you inflict negativity onto your children, that is a very shitty move.

Be a better parent than that. Maybe then children won’t have to worry about what their parents think and of their own personal choices in life. Sadly, too many adults punish children for not fitting into the family ‘criteria’.

Your preferred view of this world will not effect reality but if you let your children be free to make their own decisions, their lives may one day change our reality for the better.

Peace.

‘Hi mam, awful news about Chris Cornell, such a shame x’

I hit backspace on my iPhone and deleted the text. Both of my mothers siblings died due to suicide. As much as I want to talk about another inspiration dying from suicide, I fear it is something that is still too painful to talk about. I genuinely waited for my mother to text me about the breaking news, as I felt if she wanted to talk about it, she would.

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It has been on the news that the lead singer of the band Soundgarden had killed himself by hanging today. With every suicide by a well known artist, more awareness, more understanding. At least I hope this is the case. Too many people condemn suicide. I hate the fact that people have to resort to such measures for a cease in the pain, I could not imagine being a person that condemns the individual. Whether that person had a mental illness so horrific we cannot imagine or their feet were practically melting against steel in September 2001, who are we, in a completely different frame of mind, to judge how and why individuals go to the lengths they do to escape the pain.

It angers me, truly. I don’t mind admitting that things anger me, this is healthy and if I can open up about certain feelings, I will. According to the World Health Organisation, suicide is the second leading cause of death for people aged 15-29 globally. We need to stop pretending we know how much pain people go through and that death is never the answer. Sometimes it is the answer for that person. We tell sufferers to ‘man up’. We weep at their funeral, crying to the church ceiling asking why they didn’t speak up about such problems. We create this vicious circle and we need to find alternative ways around addressing such problems without labeling suffers as weak or that they undervalue life.

Life isn’t a gift that we need to force upon people that want nothing but and end to their own consciousness. We need to make life that gift, by understanding how horrific mental illness can be and preventing such illnesses from manifesting. This won’t work by telling them how good life is because yours is more tolerable. Sadly, death provides the wings to leave this world for too many people, lets stop pretending that this world isn’t worth leaving.