A state of bewilderment.

I have to admit I spend a lot of my time in a state of bewilderment. Of wondering what it is all about. I have always thought that there is a kind of organised chaos about this place we call home. I’ve always felt a oddness about the world. Yes, odd is a good word. So, confusion is not new territory for me.

But these days I have to admit, are some of the weirdest I think I have ever experienced. Uncomfortable. Weird. Odd.

I’m talking here of our lives in general. The everyday humdrum existence that most of us live. The routine.

And by routine, I’m not suggesting that life is somehow boring but more excepting that to live the way we do, i.e. following a day-to-day life of routine and expectations, is ok and in most cases bearable.

What I am suggesting is that this routine, these expectations seem to have changed, almost overnight. Like someone, something outside of us, is interfering.

I don’t know about you, but we appear to be living under some sort of siege. And I’m not referring to the Covid restrictions we have just come out of but that ‘coming out’ of those restrictions has introduced us to a world that we are unfamiliar with.  A world we don’t necessarily recognise. It doesn’t appear to be the same place we left BC (Before Covid).

We find ourselves in a new place.

A strange, new world that OK we ahave to admit, we have gone someway to creating for ourselves. So much is different. From the empty supermarket shelves to the strange votes for self-destruction (Brexit and Climate Change) that we appear to have made while asleep.

Like the appearance of new disease.

From the unusual people we have chosen to lead us and the amazing and breath-taking drop in intellect and honour (discuss) in those leaders…etc…etc. Something is afoot. Something is wrong.

Something is in the air.

And yes it’s a lot to do with self-affliction. As previously mentioned from Brexit to Climate Change. No-one else to blame. But all the same, weird and unexpected decisions have been made and fall upon us all like a new kind of plague, taking us by surprise and inflicting upon us obvious consequences.

It maybe just me but I mean it when I say, ‘there’s something in the air’. Literally. It’s like we are under attack? And I can’t help but wonder if our recent woes are the consequence of a new kind of warfare? Has something been released into our  atmosphere that severely harming us? Are we the first  casualties of a new way to fight a war?

Everything seems slower. There’s no energy. No electricity in the atmosphere. And perhaps the scariest thing of all, nobody appears willing to put up any kind of a fight.  Like zombies we stumble almost willingly towards our demise as though we have already lost.

There’s change afoot and I don’t like it.

It feels as though the whole human race is about to experience…something? Excuse me for a moment while I appear to go over the top and suggest, ‘the end of the world – at least as we know it’.

But it really does feel odd. I can’t explain it better than that.

The Stratfordian

ODD is a good word.

Stating the bloody obvious.

The StratfordianI know it’s stating the bloody obvious but what with everything that’s going on in the world, not just at the moment but for the past few thousand years, it’s pretty obvious we are not a very nice bunch of atoms are we?

I mean, the way we go for the jugular when we want something so bad is pretty disgusting isn’t it. There’s no need to answer that because I know you agree with me.

And there’s the other strange thing. We know what we do. We’re perfectly aware of our awfulness to each other yet still we do it. It’s no secret that if we get hungry enough we will eat each other.

Look at the evidence.

It can be something as blatant as destroying the planet (more to come) as we go along. Or murdering people because we reckon they’re living where they shouldn’t be. Or don’t look like us. Or don’t worship the same gods. Or even…worship the same gods but not in the ‘right way’. Or on an individual and trite basis, we want that person’s watch because it’s not fair that we haven’t got one like it. Crazy eh? Madness. Let’s face it we are a pretty fucking awful lot.

I sometimes wonder if it’s a disease (dis -ease) that we have carried since birth for which there is no cure or it’s something that we will grow out of as in, evolving.

Whatever it is, it’s terrifying and something that has plagued us since we first appeared on the planet. The need to have more. The need to take from our neighbours what we don’t have. Jealousy. Envy. Whatever…

I suppose it’s the ‘evil’ that people have talked and written about for eons if we have to give it a name. And I think we do because it is something we all are aware of, and on the whole disapprove of,  but still take part in. Something as confusing and destructive as that, definitely needs an identifying mark.

What is total madness is the fact that it, ‘the evil’ is blatantly obvious. Although its capability to operate in darkness is well known, it can operate also in plain view for all to see.  We are aware of its tremendous destructive power yet at the same time know full well that if defeated, if conquered our lives would change drastically, dramatically for the better. We inherently know this to be a fact. It is in our hearts.

Throughout our history certain people have told us so. Jesus Christ, Ghandi, Buddha etc, etc they have all told us so. They have all stated the obvious.

They all said in their own ways…’pack it in’, ‘behave yourselves’, ‘stop it’, ‘love one another’ etc and we always knew in our heart of hearts they were right. And did we take any notice…did we fuck.

So it remains a mystery.

Why do we treat each other like shit? Why are we so bloody greedy that we would kill for what we want? Why can’t we just stop being shits to one another?

Some believe we are being manipulated. Some suggest we are part of some macabre game. An experiment in a jam jar or petri dish on the laboratory table of some god-like creature with a sick sense of humour. I suppose it’s a possibility, I mean look at the sentient creatures we experiment on, we can’t be the only ones in this mysterious universe who are this cruel.

The only thing is. We aren’t helpless. We could fuck the experiment up by being nice to one another. We have a choice. But why can’t we make it.

Then there is the view that suggests the only thing that would change our vicious mood and behaviour is an invasion from outer space. You know…that we would have no choice but to join forces and become friends and allies to defeat the enemy.

But this has actually happened/happening. Our planet is under attack. OK, so admittedly, once again we can look to the human race rather than to aliens for the route source of the ‘attack’ i.e. lack of care for the environment but you get my point. It still does require us to get together to defeat the enemy. There is common cause which is…our…er…our survival….

But I’m afraid the common cause theory falls at the first fence.

We can’t do it. We can’t even get together to save the lump of spinning earth that we all live on. Common cause….my arse.

And because of our collective stupidity, soon we will be gone.

Pointless

I don’t know what the following is. What you might call it. If I were pushed it’s just a flow. Not worth anything. Just done because I can. Purely selfish. Pointless.

Every time I feel like I’ve found it

I lose it.

Every time I think I’ve discovered the path. My path.

My reason to be. THE POINT.

It disappears. It slips from my grasp like a bank note in a breeze.

And I fall back into a ball of confusion, of need, of definition, of decree. Of mess.

Never quite…happy.

Never quite…satisfied.

Never clear or concise.

Not quite Chaos…but close.

I want to say that this is everybody’s lot but I don’t really know.

Some Do. Some Don’t.

And if it were…So what? They are not me and I am not them.

And even if it were so and we all suffered from the same sickness why should I accept and make it my lot…my map.

I don’t like it. I won’t accept it.

I won’t acknowledge that my life is somehow under the control of other…?

Even if it means being in this state of uncomfortable dissatisfaction until the day I die.

(I wanted to say, ‘Even if it means being in this state of uncomfortable dissatisfaction until the day I am released’.

But of course that is to assume/accept that someone holds the key).

 

 

On being mixed-race.

Just to make things clear and in case there are any objections, in this article ‘On being mixed-race,  ‘mixed-race’ is the term I choose to use, to own, to describe myself.

If you don’t like the term I’m sorry but it’s the one I’ve become used to and feel comfortable with. If ‘mixed heritage is your thing then that’s ok with me but as far as I’m concerned it’s too difficult to say if you’re drunk, which in my experience is when ‘Where are you from?’ type discussions tend to take place.

Anyway, the point is throughout my life as a mixed-race man ‘we’ have been ignored.

NOT, and this is important, ignored as far as insults are concerned. We have always had them and grown used to them. The Great British Public (for it is they) have never made any distinction about shading of skin colour or indeed where you are actually from. No, as far as they are concerned if you are off white you are a **** or even worse a ******. But that is not what I am here to talk about.

I just wanted to make the point that no-one (or at least rarely in my case) has ever asked aloud, what is it like to be mixed-race? Oh sure there has been the odd book about it (I have bought most of them) but nobody seems remotely interested in the experience. So, I thought might express one or two thoughts if you don’t mind.

First of all it ain’t been easy. (Upon saying this, THIS IS NOT A MOAN).

There is, as you might think (don’t forget, this is about me. I am not talking for other mixed-race people) a lot of confusion involving  identity.

Who am I? Where exactly do I belong?

The where do I belong? question I think was my first mistake. It is a question (in my case) based entirely on looks and colouring. The sort of mistake primitive man might make. Visual. Purely visual. Where is the rest of my tribe who should look like me? Mum doesn’t look like me. Dad doesn’t look like me. Thankfully you (ME) soon grow out of this BUT are constantly reminded of your difference by the ignorant.

The answer to the problem of identity is soon countered by making your own space.

Which is actually what everybody should be doing (not just the mixed-race) Leaving tribalism behind and saying this is me, this is my space because I am unique, there is no-one else like me etc, etc. This approach if we all took it would solve a lot of problems. Owning who you are. Important.

There was a moment in my life concerning identity I shall never forget which initially bought me to tears but after much thought I decided it wasn’t as wonderful as I thought.  It happened during the time I was training to be a Priest (CofE).

I happened to have been invited to a Rasta’s Reckoning (meeting) where to cut a long story short, I was embraced as though a long-lost brother and told…’Welcome home’. Perhaps naturally, I was touched and emotionally overcome. It was only after much thought I decided it wasn’t as helpful as I first thought and my ‘positive’ reaction actually a denial of who I was.

Being mixed-race can make you the subject of attention.

People are naturally curious and need their questions answered. ‘I don’t wish to be rude but…Where are you from? Really? I thought you were Spanish/Italian/Chinese? (it’s happened).

When I was a young man I was quite successful in the romance dept purely because of curiosity. This may sound awful, but I know for a fact that some women were only interested in me because of my colour, and they wanted to satisfy er…. Certain theories, (say no more).

Growing up as a mixed-race man has had a major downside. Rejection. Rejection by both sides of the argument which is worse. To be rejected by both black and white is initially devastating.

When that first hits you…that’s when you really feel alone. BUT. It will pass. As you get older and wiser your uniqueness kicks in and you realise you wonderful, beautiful and much-missed mum, was right.

‘You can hold your head up high. You can walk tall. You are different. Unique. Special. Always remember two different races of people came together to make you.’

Thanks mum. x

The (destructive) power of Prayer.

With all the love in the world…wake up and smell the coffee.

Refugee crisis

70 years on the throne

Being Nadhim Zahawi

How many different types of US there are…

One of the most interesting things about being alive is the constant discovery of how many different types of US there are.

We’re past the shock (some of us) of discovering that some of us actually like our own sex. OK historically, I suppose quite a recent discovery. Don’t forget modern history shows us that it wasn’t that long ago it was against the law to fancy our own sex. And now look at us…we’re on to Trans people.  Equally exciting, fascinating and here we are again consumed with the rights of being people ‘not like us’.

Working on the assumption that trans people/homosexuals etc were/are always there it all seems so unfair. One can only imagine how awful life is for those who have to keep themselves to themselves.  Part of this modern world and yet ostracised and forsaken. Where nothing applies to your real self. Horrible. (See people of colour).

I always work on the sensible basis that ‘people of difference ‘ have always existed so my imagination makes me wonder how it must have been for  say, in the Middle Ages. It’s not so good for them now but in the times when people ate mud for breakfast the mind can only boggle.

Of course just because we have begun to recognise that different folk exist doesn’t mean their struggle is somehow over. They will still have to navigate through the minefield of present laws that were created and constructed for us ‘normal folk’.

In a society created for everybody but them they still have to make their way through the hate and ignorance of the knuckle-draggers who unfortunately still run the world. But there is hope. The cracks in the world of ordinariness are forming and soon perhaps in the not too distant future they will open fully and those who have had to remain hidden will be revealed.

I’m pretty sure that what I describe is nothing to do with evolution unless you talk of the evolution of thinking but that is nothing to do with genes rearranging themselves, more to do with people having had enough and speaking out. More politics than physical change.

STOP READING HERE IF YOU ARE EASILY UPSET. I AM ABOUT TO GO ROGUE.

One thing that has always garnered my interest is how far will we go to accepting everything and anything. Do not forget, time was when the issues I have described above were beyond the pale. Never discussed and seen to be forever designated to the darkest room in our minds. Indeed, once even considered figments of a sick imagination and not existing at all.

Now look at us.

Homosexuality has found its place and without doubt the debate about Trans people will soon find its rightful place in society no matter how long it takes. Pornography has come out of its shell and is free for all to see. We talk about everyday ‘perversions’ on a daily basis and find them ‘joke-worthy which I guess is a little better than abhorrent and totally disgusting.

Society has changed or is changing. Debates are admittedly raging, and prejudice still abounds but you would have to be fairly dim not to accept that change is happened or at the very least, is afoot.

So…what next?

What other areas will step forward in the future to demand change and acceptance.

Bestiality? Paedophilia?

The sheer mention of those words and the suggested possibility that one day they might be acceptable sends a shiver down my spine. A  similar shiver I suspect the majority of society felt at the mention of the existence and acceptance of homosexuality etc.

But who knows what is to come. 

No matter what happens and how… know one thing for sure…

TIMES CHANGE.

Happy Birthday to me.

Well here we are then. The 74th Happy birthday to me.

yipee

And as usual, for me there is always the very odd feeling of ‘not being here’.

Is it really me that people (family) are greeting with a ‘happy birthday’ smile, a card (maybe) and sometimes a gift (a sugar bowl???). Why?

I have always found the idea of birthdays if not a little odd, to be honest more than scary. Apart from the strange disconnect described above, the birthday is really a counting down of time. Behind the smiling faces and best wishes is the knowledge that what they are really saying is…’Not long now…’.

Strangely, for me it’s not so much the passing of time, although I do find that difficult enough to handle, but more the feeling that I am, against my will, being slowly poisoned . That something, call it ‘age’, is being at the command of what we know as ‘genes’, being slowly released into my bloodstream.

To be totally honest I feel like an experiment ( lab-rat) that is coming to the end of its time.

That year by year as the poison accumulates another little bit of me breaks off. A piece of me decides that it has done its time and will now let itself be absorbed back into the soup of the decaying body, smug in the knowledge that it has done the work assigned to it and now it can have a well-deserved rest in oblivion until it is returned to its ‘real home’, the earth.

It’s a funny old thing this birthday thing.

Once I suppose ‘a necessary’ insomuch it was a  celebration to acknowledge the fact that you had made it through another year without starving to death. Or being eaten by a wild animal. Or dying painfully at the hands of a disease that usually comprised of pus and very large black spots. Survive all that and I guess I can understand the need for cake, even with candles.

Anyway here I am trying to put a brave face on it.

A recipient of a very nice card (just the one), a sugar bowl (?) some ‘happy birthdays’ (yet to arrive) from Facebook people I don’t really know (and let’s face it they are only doing what they are told by Zuckerberg. They actually and who can blame them, couldn’t care a toss).

And then it will be over. Much of a nothingness, gone. Everybody having performed their duty and interrupted a day when they have much more important things to do.

I think we had the right ideas about birthdays when we were younger. Birthdays were part of that ‘any excuse for a party’ lifestyle. Ignore the fact that you were another year closer to death and get obliterated by alcohol instead.

Happy birthday to me.

Musical thoughts; An old fart speaks.

So that’s the excitement over for another year. Glastonbury, come and gone in the blinking of an eye. Performers become superheroes and saviours of the world all on the basis of their constructing a simple melody that strikes somewhere deep in our consciousness, enlightening us and for a short magical moment taking us on a trip fuelled not by drugs but by the very vibration of the air around us.

Music would appear to be important in our lives.

Indeed there are some that are convinced that we cannot live without its vibrations. And so we have things like Glastonbury and other festivals and concerts etc that take us away for an hour or two to another place. A place of rest and escape.

Music can and does change the world.

Its vibration, the way it moves the air, its echo can infiltrate even the hardest heart and has the ability to make people stop and think. It excites memories and in between making certain people famous and a lot of money, it can give the listener, hope.

But hey, let’s not get carried away here.

Music is also fashion item and therefore a momentary thing. Once out of fashion its power is gone (until next time around maybe). One only has to look at the various musical campaigns to ‘Feed the World’ to note the short shelf life. People dance and react with fervour and passion until the beats don’t strike home anymore and the dance that they are performing looks suddenly clumsy, old-fashioned and embarrassing. So much for the poor and starving.

For all music’s and musicians’ macabre efforts to combining entertainment and deadly disaster, music cannot be denied its most useful purpose which is the passing on of information.

Music still plays the part that it has always done.

That of the travelling minstrel. The word will get around.

Music, although it does not have the ability in itself to drastically change the world it will always be able to inform and inspire. The other amazing thing about music is it gets to the parts other systems cannot reach and that is because of its ability to float in the air. To penetrate barriers, political systems and of course its magical ability to send coded and secret messages. It can also operate in disguise. Pretending to be one thing when in fact it is another. An iron fist in a velvet glove.

There is something weird/strange/mystical about music’s vibrations that will always make people stop and think…and thereafter…who knows?

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