The Rainbow Roller Coaster

I have many euphoric moments in my life: from the wild rides bouncing through country lanes with a best friend, acid house playing a 303 bassline and a smile wider than the River Wye on my face, to quieter moments at dawn or the middle of the night, standing still and letting the universe touch my soul.

I have quite extraordinary encounters, such as the a clown I met in the middle of a Nevada desert and our connection as we exchanged gifts: he gave me home-made pistachio ice-cream from his bicycle and I made him an ice-cold Martini Vesper.

These are the sort of tales that illustrate my life. A life filled with colour.

I am very, very blessed by my experiences and the people I know well or merely by smiles glimpsed in the watching crowd on my roller coaster ride of life; such as that desert, bike-riding clown perhaps, whose name I will never remember.

Yet, like so many of us, I still find my soul too many times tormented by human fears: those times when each step feels like a slow walk on fiery coals. A walk through fire without the cheers and shouts of a crowd to support me on what might otherwise be painless strides. My gut twists in awkward agony and I wonder wherefore my angels have forsaken me.

I am a Gemini. My life is filled with contrast. This is a fate I reach for with open arms: I see the patterns and feel the smiling sunshine on my face as much as I wake, sweaty with fear, in the middle of the lonely night wondering if I will live until the light breaks timidly through my windows.

There is an exquisite beauty in living such a life. I cannot imagine another. And the truth I struggle with is that I would not have it any other way.

It is what must be. And it must be accepted.

Through recent months I have learned a little of the art of what I call ‘self-responsibility’. This is owning and acceptance for everything (and I mean everything) that happens to me and all that I feel: from the blissful to the torturous.

All of it.

This does not mean that I am to blame for things that go awry or castigate myself for my mistakes. I just know I do my best and accept what happens as being just that: what happens. I know I am responsible for my feelings, in whatever place they may be at any particular time.

Perhaps, most importantly, I know that in taking responsibility for everything, I actually have a choice in everything, including that most wayward of human living: my feelings.

I have been blessed to find long periods where I see the good, the positive, the love that is all around as well as pained by only seeing that which is not.

I have the power to choose which I see and experience in any moment, even if my human nature fails me time and time again in this regard.  I have learned that while the answers to life and how to live to it are really very simple, this does not mean that they are very easy to do.

Far from it. This life is a challenge and the wonder of it and why I struggle with it, stumble and fight-  at times desperately – to hold on to it always amazes me.

So what now, on this knife-edge of existence?  Between the connection of all things loved, to love and be loved in return and or the other side of inky blackness, of loneliness, of failure and despair?

I do not know.

What I do know is that the struggle each day with the fear of failure is worth the moments of when life blesses one with joy. To know that even in the grey veil of rain, one may see a rainbow. Perhaps even be so lucky, as I have (twice now, here in the countryside), to be at that rainbow’s end; and to have one’s entire world experienced for a moment through a veil of multi-coloured glory.

There is no answer except HOPE: this being the knowledge that in those dark and lonely moments, we have faith in something better, glorious and amazing.

Perhaps in this modern age we have too much association with hope being nothing but a consolation prize, rather than embracing it and giving it the respect and care it deserves. To have hope is to have everything: to responsibly accept what happens, without blame or guilt, and have faith that when things don’t go right there WILL be better days.

A friend once told me at the end of one of my many magical parties, when one person had got too drunk and cast a slight shadow over proceedings: “If there wasn’t someone to spoil things then there wouldn’t be all the good people making it all such fun.”

So in my contrasted life, I take solace that the days when things don’t go right, it means that there will be those when everything does… to embrace the ups and downs, the twists and turns and to remember, always remember, the words of the late and gifted comedian, Bill Hicks:

“Remember folks, it is all just a ride. It’s just a ride.”

Here at The Tower another day dawns and I for one am running again, if nervously, towards the entrance of the roller coaster of life for another turn.

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SQUIRREL SAFETY

If ever releasing a squirrel (and trust me, if you live in the country you will need to do this at some point), make sure you do not do this in the middle of a field.

Apparently, they go for the higher ground. And that means you and your head. face, hair, eyeballs. And despite your best intentions for all concerned, they will be even more annoyed than they were before.

You have been advised…

The Child Divine in us All

When we say we have faith in God, and pray to our Father who art in heaven –  Abba, The Word, Our Lord, or other reference to the energy of the universe –  are we not really praying to connect with the divine inside us all?

When we look at Jesus Christ many if not most are drawn to the man; perhaps though, we might better think of the Christ-like qualities within us, rather than the robed rebel who seemed to cause trouble as much as he did good?

Jesus spread glad tidings to men; trying to tell us that the kingdom of heaven is here on earth, right now in this very present moment. Yet  then, as today, we choose daily to see only the bad in the world, to be tempted to see worst around us. The devil within and without, if you will.

Our newspapers and televisions are full of these horrors.

But where are the millions of happy stories, the countless smiling faces, the daily miracles in our news? Too few to give us the courage we need to know that ‘everything will be just fine, just as it should be’.

Perhaps we should take more care of the Christ in us? By doing so, we will start to acknowledge these divine qualities in others: the kindness in human hearts, the goodness, the shining energetic part of their being that gives us Life as we know it.

Is maybe the Christ figure and his stories and the words of how he was made man and sacrificed himself for our sins, not really about one man? But a tale for us all to learn from? A story about us all? A figurative, a myth on some level, a fairy tale for us to remember the helpless child, born ultimately alone and severed in sharp shock from its source; and yet also the magic and God-like in the miracle of any child’s birth and incarnation in to our reality?

That tiny child that as a baby feels rather than thinks – in fact can only feel, can only be in the present for it has no past and cannot know what the future means. Scientific studies indeed show that it is at leas 18 months before infants start to discern themselves as separate from the world around them; and a few months later enter ‘the terrible twos’ (as so many parents can attest to) as the infant child starts to test the boundaries of its growing awareness and reality.

And then, as that child as it grows, he or she can lead us to laugh deep within us at their naïve but deep powerful wisdom of simple matters we too often forget as adults.

This is the child in us all that also has felt abandoned for so, so long, that needs the love of a parent more than can ever be given by human endeavour, no matter how hard the parent tries. That is that fatal wound of being human; of suffering as much as we experience joy; perhaps of us actually being that living sacrifice? Maybe this is what is meant when Jesus spoke of these words?

I do not believe in religion, but I believe in the power of stories: the countless words that at times have been wickedly twisted to keep ourselves from touching the God within us and the love of the Christ that is there too – in each and every one of us. This is the world’s shame – both by those who keep the power of enlightenment from us in the manipulation of one true and perfect answer to contentment; and the sadness of so many who lack courage to challenge what we are fed daily by our media and others.

It is nothing to do with literal words as some will often cry out with regards to religious texts. The bible are the words of man, not the words of God. It has had many translations, much is relevant as much many will find irrelevant. But there is a divine and simple message within its pages, despite the best efforts of revisionists or just as guiltily those to try to take it so very literally.

The words are there to provide a story, a setting. The bible is a set of stories; fairy tales if you will. There is nothing wrong with that. Fairy tales do not always have happy endings outside of Disneyland, but they do provide a compass through the brambles and thorns of our lives. We love them as children for they touch the inner truth within us. This is why they are so powerful and still so loved.

And so loved are we, if we but open our eyes around us.

Breath in all of life, all of the moments of the universe in one breath. Live without thinking, feeling our heart bound in our chests and in that moment reach out our arms to the world. To embrace it all – the love, the beauty, the crisp nature of living. And yes, the sadness and sacrifice that comes with being incarnate human. As Christ tried to explain two thousand years ago and as others around us – friends, family, strangers – try to show us each and every day in the here and now.

I have no answers to how we can do this. But it felt important enough to write, even with my eyes half open, brain half asleep, temptations of wine and fags before me, but fingers typing what my heart and soul wanted to say above all:

“Embrace the Christ within. You are your own mother and father. You are whole. You are perfect. You are a living sacrifice. There is something truly powerful above all else in the universe with the nature of our very existence. We must just find our faith, through tears, through pain, through laughter, through love.

 Know that we do not have to loiter in the darker and more painful parts of our live; if we only dare to look behind us we will not find the monster we so fear, but our Lord God, our spirit, and us. Always loved, always cared for and far, far stronger than we ever really can believe.”

And so this, my friends, is the mystery of my faith and my love.

God bless us all.

The Fire and the Rain

These were words that came to me after listening on repeat to Fire and Rain by James Taylor.

Part-inspiration and part ‘re-imagining’ of the melody and words  of the original song. They reflect my thoughts last year when I moved back to the countryside, after a catastrophic house fire I survived in Brighto; this is the point where I decided to move to the wonders of Hay-on-Wye here in Wales.

THE FIRE AND THE RAIN.

Just a few months ago, I knew I would be gone.
Brighton, the plans they made put an end to you,
I drove away from the city and wrote down some words,
I just don’t know who to send them all to.

Oh, I’ve seen the fire and I’ve seen the rain…
I now see sunny days that feel they will never end.
I’ve felt lonely times… but I always had a friend
And I always knew that I’d see the fields again.

You embrace me, sweet spirit of Hay,
You just helped me make a stand,
You’ve helped me see it through another day.
My heart runs free, as you hold my hand
And I won’t have it any other way.

So dear sweet Hay I always knew that I’d see you again.

Been walking my mind to an easy time, my body warmed by the sun.
If when the cold wind blows it’ll sweep my spirit up and along.
Well, there’s hours of time and years of happiness to come,
Sweet dreams, beautiful friends and heaven all around.

Oh, I’ve seen the fire and I’ve seen the rain…
I now see sunny days that feel they will never end.
I’ve felt lonely times… but I always had a friend
And I always knew that I’d see the fields again.

Now Brighton, oh I might see you one more time again.
There’s just a few things to do this time around, now.
Thought I’d see you, thought I might walk by the sea in the rain.
There are struggles there I need to set free, I just don’t know how.

You embrace me, sweet spirit of Hay,
You just helped me make a stand.
You’ve helped me see it through another day.
My heart runs free as you hold my hand
And I won’t have it any other way.

Hay, you are now where my heart lives and reigns once again.

REFRESHMENTS FOR THE SOUL  

After falling asleep after a particularly fine luncheon and missing most of the hilarious ‘Get Him To The Greek’ – a film that is a dangerously accurate reflection of parts of my life – I woke with a thirst and vague hangover that only a martini could cure.

So, with love and the joy of sharing still pumping through my heart, here are two fresh new cocktail recipes to try in the safety of your own homes:

POMEGRANATE MARTINI

– Juice of half of one pomegranate
– Four measures of Tanqueray gin*
– Juice of one lime
– One measure of Martini Extra Dry
– One measure of Martini Rosso
– Sugar syrup measured to match the lime juice

Now the worst bit of this Sunday sharpener is actually juicing the half the pomegranate left in the fridge, alone and with not enough love on its own to justify taking apart to brighten up an imagined fruit salad.

Trust me, though; it’s well worth the effort.

Juice the illicit fruit as best as possible using a simple juicer; press and squeeze hard; filter the juice twice. You will get enough for two cocktails if you are ardent in your enthusiasm for this un-Godly task.

Now place the juices, Martinis and gin in to a cocktail shaker, fill with ice and shake until you feel your hands go numb.

Pour in to two ice cold martini glasses and garnish with a sliver of lime. Make sure you filter the juice. Elegance has no price and is worth the effort. Promise!

Relax, enjoy and feel the smile broaden immediately upon imbibing.

As the locals say here: “It’s lush” and as I usually say, “More please…”

pomegranate martini

Now, happy and in need of further merriment, but lacking neither another pomegranate, nor any countryside shops open selling such items on Sunday afternoon, inventiveness was called for.

As it happens  there was a Sicilian lemon that looked rather forlorn after being de-robed of its zest for the earlier apple and pear crumble for lunch. What better way to make use of a sad lemon than the…

APPLE CINNAMON GIN FIZZ

– Juice of one Sicilian lemon (don’t waste the zest of these beauties – they make a Sunday-lunch pudding zing)
– Sugar syrup measured to match the lemon juice
– Four measures of Tanqueray gin
– White of one large fresh free-range egg
– A slug of fresh squeezed apple juice [you can cheat like I did and use bottled stuff from the, ahem, supermarket over the border in England].

The secret here is to mix the egg white, sugar syrup and lemon juice in the cocktail shaker first. An electric hand whisk is ideal, unless you really need the exercise. Make sure you get a good froth. This is important.

Add plenty of ice, straight from the freezer (you don’t want ice melting, the temperature of which will be dangerously warm even a few minutes out of the freezer).  Now add the gin and apple juice. Shake vigorously, as though your very life depended on the success of the froth and mix (one day it might – you never know…).

Pour entire contents (including the ice cubes) evenly in to two glasses. Sprinkle or grind some cinnamon on top.

Now smile again and unless you are writing a blog post so as to immortalise these fine creations, put some cheesy 1980s pop on and dance around the kitchen.

Enjoy irresponsibly. Drinking is much more fun that way.

*see my guide to measures and martini-style drinks here: https://theonlywayishay.com/2014/12/04/breakfast-martinis-and-battlements/

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• » Hi there! I’m Amney. A Pαѕѕισηαтє L❤νєя σƒ Lιƒє and in L❤ve with inspirations! I'm not a serious blogger just yet but I cherish the fact of writing nonsense! hehe…. Well except for those who see sense in it, which is well appreciated. Nevertheless, this blog is a direct reflection about my obsession with "My Random Thoughts" & "My Passion for Food" I write and share whenever I feel inspired! I also share other articles about Life, Creativity, Spirituality, Science, Natural Remedies and the list goes on….. All in a (sometimes) Funny, Meaningful, Insightful and Beautiful way. Hope You’ll Stay a While! Enjoy and feel free to share! • »

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