Sleepless in a Seaside Resort ( sort of)

your body aches
as comfort evades you
your mind rummages
around dark recesses
doubling back into wounds

sneaky drafts seep through window panes along with the cries of seagulls
eyes gritty and sore, moisture absent

when will it be morn?
when this charade can be over
for another night?
when you can drag your body
towards the light
your consciousness
compromised and dull?

but it’s the best you can do
after sleepless nights
under salty cold air

Monday Morning Blues

After a weekend of play and a disruptive night of sleep, Monday dawned eventually bright. But my energy levels were low. I could have clung on to some Monday blues if I allowed myself to as that would have been easier. It would have been so easy to not do the school run and stay in bed. Why is it you can finally sleep deeply after not being able to sleep all night, just when it’s time to get up? That bugs me that.

Anyway in the process and progress of getting the kid ready for school and straightening the house, my self kicked in and thought I needed to do something to shift the funk. To shift my energy into the light.

School run down and then down into the bay for a quick dip in the sea. The sun was shimmering on the dark metallic waves. Calm. But my nerve endings and flesh and skin and bones were screaming as I entered the sea. The cold bitter and painful. But my mind was alive and sharp and grateful. I was now awake and smiling.

Add to this, once I reached home, a quick change into my running gear. And this was major for me. I haven’t been able to run for a few months now, especially after my operation. I had it on my list to start in the new year, but fear has been holding me back. The fear of not so much the pain of running. But the fear that the pain might stop me from running consistently and far from now on.

It was like starting from zero again. Couch to 5K was my training of choice and off I went with the first run of week 1. Every step I took, I was conscious of my back but it made sure that I focused on my posture as this could make or break this habit. So I want to start as I mean to go on with the right posture that supports my back which means engaging and strengthening my core. I like the sound of that.

So moving into Monday afternoon, I still feel tired after little sleep last night but I also feel proud of myself after conquering a number of fears today by recognising them, acknowledging them and then doing the thing anyway.

Looking forward to a better sleep tonight. I think I deserve it.

Work in Progress: Guildford from the banks of the Wey

Guildford from the banks of the Wey, JMW Turner

Guildford Castle on an elevated mound seen in the distance,
Turner chooses to focus on trees and sky. Planes and sycamore,
alder and birch.
Rich oily greens, olive and mustard dominate the abundant scene as the Wey flows on.

Nature captured up close in all her splendpur rendered for the casual viewer on mahogany veneer mounted onto cedar panel.
Majestic and full, there’s the
desire to connect rather than control; be within rather than without.

Little Deaths

I discard boots before I hit the sand.
Dense turfs of grass tickle my ankles.
Raised veins single the cold.

White winter light under a wolf moon. Deep. Red. Heart.
The sight of seagulls.
Wingbeat to wingbeat song.

Stripping down to my costume
rich flesh graces the air.
Dip one. Slip one. Soon come.

Into the sharp shallows.
Howling with a hunger.
Dip one. Slip one.

Handfuls of sea slipping
through fingers towards
total immersion.

Welcome these little deaths,
to be born again and again.
Here and there and afterwards,

in solitude, as traces of you linger.

Do you wanna know a secret?

Do you wanna know a secret?

Yes I thought that might get your attention. I’m willing to share my dirty little secret if you’re willing to listen?

Okay. Here goes.

I love Nordic Noir. There. It’s out now and I feel a whole heap better.

When I want to chill and relax and switch off, I switch on a Scandinavian crime drama or pick up a novel in the same genre.

There’s something about the landscapes that act as a backdrop for the crime, usually a grizzly murder, that holds my attention and enchants me. I know. Sick right! All these people getting bumped off and there’s blood and guts everywhere and I’m mesmerised by the ice and snow and the mountains that set the scene.

This genre is quality storytelling as well and solid characterisation and suspense and tension too.

I can binge watch a whole series or read a whole book in a evening ( and into early morning) when I get into a certain groove and I’m not ashamed to tell you. At the moment I’ve been making my way through Walter Presents series on All 4. Last night was Rebecka Martinsson: Arctic Murders. A Stockholm lawyer who returns to her hometown after a childhood friend’s death. And isn’t her home town remote, icy and full is lakes and mountains? Beautiful.

I know it’s pure escapism but from time to time it’s good for me, or anyone really, to suspend reality and slip into another, usually distant from the norm, world. I do believe it supports me in my day to day living and striving and thriving. A little sanctuary of make believe. I highly recommend it, I do.

A Love Letter to the Sea

Oh my. I have missed you. My life. I didn’t know how much until I re-entered you again this morning at first light.

My soul began to hum again and then began to sing once more. I’d almost forgotten what she sounded like. I’d almost forgotten myself.

There was colour in my life but not technicolour; fizzy, vibrate reds and oranges and yellows and turquoise. These singing colours have been missing until this morning. Thank you.

I do feel cleansed and purified and detoxed and lighter. My skin is stinging. My feet are tingling. I might well lose the sensation in my toes but it was worth it to get back together with you.

You hold me captive but not against my will. You just keep coming at me. Light upon a crest of a wave. A constant. Washing a little bit more of me with each cold, cold caress. Until I can take no more. And I don’t mean I leave you. No. It means I need more of you, all of you. All over me. So I sink down and take you in, all over me. The pain and pleasure mingle together to escape into a deep guttural sigh. Relief and release. Joy definitely.

But also a sacredness which colours me with grace and gratitude and love.

I’ve never through of us together as a spiritual experience. But this is the most holiest of communions for me. Nothing else compares to this, not even sex.

Here I can take you whenever I want or need. But this is not possession. There is no possession of you because you are wild and free. What it is is a surrender. Almost like praying. An appreciation and inspiration. A giving of thanks. An admiration. You are so beautiful to be with. With your dark seeping liquid, this morning like mercury, tomorrow maybe like glass.

You fill me up with love and goodness and joy. And it’s the kind of love, I want to share. It’s the kind of love from which patience and compassion flows freely. There are no obstacles, boulders in its path. It gushes this love. At times like a geyser and at others like a waterfall. Never ending, always flowing from source to sea.

Or should I say seas as you are never the same sea twice. And for which I am in awe as well as in deep appreciation.

I know I depend on you but I never knew how much until now. Until this moment. This time I come to you bruised and wounded and scared and without hope.You have renewed my hope. You have blessed me with you just being you.

I planned to be with you this morning and I made it happen. But you did all the work that needed to be done almost effortlessly. You made me whole again. You healed me. Thank you.

Happy New Year – 2020 – Power to the People

I meant to get here earlier but after a late night, my new year has started slowly. But I’m not complaining, as I strongly believe in slow and steady. It’s how I run all my marathons and how I win them. Win them meaning finishing in one piece. I’m always competing against myself, winning this race called life daily as I become closer and closer to my true self. Daily as I choose me over anyone else. It’s not a natural practice as society isn’t set up to take care of number one. We’re taught this behaviour is selfish and are made to feel guilty if we for a moment decide to put ourselves first in the workplace, in a relationship, in our own lives.

I’ve been on this path for nearly five years now of cultivating self-love, self-care and authenticity. What’s supported me through this process has been choosing a word for the year. A word or concept that I have drawn upon to guide me along this path.

2015 – Voice. 2016 – Water. 2017 – Practice. 2018 – Shakti. 2019 – Love.

I feel all these words have complimented and build upon each other, to the point of reaching 2020 and my word of the year being a natural projection of all that has gone before. All that I’m becoming.

POWER is my word of 2020. Stepping into my power. Taking back my power. Living my power. This is the focus of 2020.

I can’t wait to see feel and experience everything that unfolds. But I’m not rushing anything. Slow and steady wins my race.

Happy New Year everyone. 2020, here we come.

The Healing Properties of the Sea

My task today is to write a love letter to the body of water that has sustained me, healed me, and nurtured me.

This has to be the North Sea as it has been on my doorstep for decades, even if, I’ve just come to appreciate it more in last 10 years.

A couple of years ago, I came up with the title, ‘The Healing Properties of the Seas‘ for a project involving water. It was basically 10 second videos of bodies of water. On a website for everyone to enjoy. Accompanying this would be a symposium, interviews with me talking to other people about their connection to water etc. There would be an open submission for people around the world to share their 10 second clips of bodies of water.

I have hundreds of 10 second clicks of the North Sea and other waters and I feel I don’t appreciate water enough. The planet’s water enough. I’m fixing to change this and hopefully get, ‘The Healing Properties of Water‘, off the ground. Are you with me?

Longsands, Tynemouth, UK