Tag Archives: Relationships

World Mental Health Day

Mental Health, trendy isn’t it? Everyone’s talking about it, sharing memes and copying and pasting posts right now.

What happens when the volume turns down; when the phones are off or the next distraction explodes onto our screens? What happens when the man really has to look in the mirror? What happens when it becomes….”oh that’s so 2018” or “are you still on about that?”

We keep talking, that’s what we do. We keep listening. We keep checking in our friends, the distant ones, the ones who speak to us about the things that matter to them even if it’s not our number 1. We keep on keeping on because doing it saves lives. Doing it breathes life into someone who might not necessarily take theirs but is one moment of frustration away from a breakdown.

Mental Health is more than a medical diagnosis. To have the opportunity to have a positive connection to another human being is something that impacts our ability to live our every day lives as though there really is a tomorrow.

Sometimes the darkness is so thick around us that we push away the candles that are offered. Sometimes it takes persistence from one side to help you understand that the light shining in your life is a genuine one.

I love hugs. I remember there was one guy at university who would greet most people with a hug because he believed in a moment of positivity for everyone. Cheesy as it sounds, a hug has turned my down days where I’m -100 into a day when I’m +10 in how I feel inside myself. A hug has brought tears, opened hearts, allowed friendships to find new planes. Maybe a hug for 10 or even 30 seconds is all it takes. It’s not a magic cure but it’s a start.

No matter how well-intentioned we are, I hope that World Mental Health Day becomes more than a day where we copy and paste. You don’t need to push any social media buttons to check-in with someone no matter how near or distant. Your conversation may be the pressure reliever that they had been waiting for.

May you listen intentionally and without judgment. May your connections grow deeper, may many minds be saved, all because we didn’t just copy and paste.

AJ

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Filed under Non Poetic Blogs

All Good Things

The piano tinkled one last time as a man mountain of hugs closed the final show. A stream of tears became a Mexican tidal wave that overtook us all. Grown men sobbing publicly without fear or thought to what any of the audience may think. It was real, for all of us.

We had worked with each other, for each other, we loved and laughed, we embraced as we grafted and crafted something special. We hoped that it was impactful whilst entertaining. For many of the 600 or so that came, this was essential viewing.  A conversation on masculinity and mental health has well and truly been started, how far could it go?

When the last drop of celebratory beers had been drunk, and the last of our multiple hugs had finished, each of us returned home to face the reality of life outside the bubble of a performance. I didn’t know what to do with myself, I didn’t know how to feel. For all my emotional intelligence and self-awareness I was numb. I knew I’d grown but I didn’t know how. I was exhausted and fragile yet strengthened by the experience.

As I write this, I don’t know how I’ve grown personally, maybe I’ve grown as an artist. I remember the first performances where I messed up lines but got through my solo in the show. That started an incredible mental battle that I had to overcome. Slow down so that every line can have the impact you want it to, was the message from the directors.   I duly started my piece in 1st gear rather than 3rd and found a groove that allowed me to shine. Word perfect and performances 3 – 5 got better each time. Some said they saw me grow through each one.

Some have said they’ve learned a lot from me, again I don’t know what. So I ask myself what is the legacy of Man Up for me? Perhaps it’s relationships.

Throughout my life, I didn’t have many deep connections with the males, one every blue moon at best. The connections I had were generally social and rarely along meaningful lines. Ultimately they’d fizzle and I’d be left to fend for myself. As the weeks pass, I intend to build even deeper personal connections with the family or UpMen as we called ourselves. If brotherly love must continue, being intentional is necessary.

“Yes I’m a mess but I’m blessed to be stuck with you…”

Thank you, Paul & Clare, for your direction and process of co-creation, thank you Up Men for your love for this overthinking wordsmith. We have redefined the words Man Up in a positive way. Let’s build.

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Filed under Just Living

Teenage Dream (4RW)

We were apples in fields of Perry,

Our exercise books were the gallery and shade where we ripened.

Your gallant smile garnished my appetite as my heart galloped.

At a chance glance you stirred the meat and the juices, I couldn’t decide between hunger and thirst.

I would have licked your lips for starters, chewed on your garter.

Every note was a recipe and I wanted you to cook my parsnip

Yet I was just fishing and you were already parsley.

We were like onion and garlic when English and Geography brought us together

 

Fondling the fringe of our fantasies in front of our future was a natural hazard.

Playing with the shape of you was the intention but, maybe I killed us thinking out loud.

Forethought and hindsight were toll roads asking us if we had enough change.

How deep were our pockets? Was I ready for yours in mine?

What’s a perfect 10 when you’re in year 9?

We never….so I guess I’ll never…..never mind

It was real at the time.

 

Maybe you were the first brick in a very long road

Maybe we would have found the lost city of gold

Now you’re living on the other side of a rainbow.

My flag is nowhere to be seen.

You’re the pear in a Perry field because I didn’t have the bottle.

I’m not a whine seller, simply a painter of paths.

Our moments on Fleet Street… thanks.

 

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The End

I’m in love with….I could never finish the sentence
My regrets roused rancorous desires for regression
I was colour blind as the red flags flapped,
I felt so fly, the fact that I didn’t, feels impressive.
My ego was bedded by this boo as the crowd roared us on.
Economical with the truth about either of us being The One
We phoned in that blue light to the brain as though we were seeing
the sun.
The great depression was 3 rings away from speaking up.
Green was never my shade, yet blue was our colour.
We called a spade a spade while digging crates and graves for each other
To tolerate through desperation seemed a better vow than to love each other.
Desecrating the legacies of Father, Father and Mother.
Who we fancied remained a secret that not even mirrors could fathom.
If we get on, let’s see where it goes was the best chestnut, adage
We thought we had our onions in order so we ignored the sage.
This was a fools buffet, eat now and pay later
Needed more time to date but….
We were less diligent than a fan of James Yancey
Pilot of Aaliyah’s plane on an incredible flight of fancy
If you do best at a certain altitude, why lower the standards?
If our mutual anchor had matched us, the candle position was shifting.
If walking through hell was our job, we seemed fire resistant.
We did what was expected and found some return on the investment.
Blurring the burning yearning for affection with friendship.
The words house and mate were, for the most part, unconnected.
 The moment we took the breath away, I became we, with love in a sentence.
Now if this is a confession to someone who cannot give penance.
What are we to do with the fragments of our reflections?
We end.

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Lip Service

You keep kissing me in front of all these people
Expecting me to fall in love with you.
We seem to meet before the party, then it’s hard to get in touch with you.
I died for more than double you.
Hold this L
If it’s not too much trouble how about a… hello?
Public displays of affection, rarely a conversation.
You pull up a pew and rearrange the table.
Snack with me and regurgitate it.
Why? Why take the plate if you’re not hungry?
Why tell me you love me in public?
You barely shake my hand or hug me.
You immerse in my water and refuse to plug me.
If our lips must combine like oxygen and hydrogen, why aren’t we more than friends?
Am I the luxury meat at your barbecue?
The pumice stone to your ego?
If I’m the cross road you take in a blue moon in spite of your better route
If to yourself you’re being true, this arrangement is shaky.
Sometimes I hate it.
Our snap chat, I’ll take it over an Amen on Facebook.
I might be on your speed dial for the sake of it,
It is your heart I’m truly taken with.
You are worth the chase and…although you say….
I do… without the declaration.
Some folk forsake marriage for a lifetime of dating.
The choice is yours, is this a love worth embracing?

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Filed under Faith, Random Poetics, Relationships, Society

8/ 30 More Fire!

How much more love do we really need?

Does it look like more stable marriages and less divorcees?

More faith to find a way though we disagree?

Should there be less tantrums about our wants and needs?

Is it about acceptance instead of accommodation?

Is it a contract without an escape clause .

Is it enjoying the meal in spite of the waiter

How much more love do we really need?

If it truly starts with you and me….

Is self-love a missionaries position?

Is there a bible?

What’s the core values of this religion?

Are the different types of love denominations?

How do we get to more love if some loves seem hateful?

When love shows its face why can’t some fall for it?

Mass produced in many ways, is it cheapened by brand disloyalty?

 

Your love and my love should have some common ground.

When and where can this so called more love be found?

Is it in the 18 years you stayed for the kids

Believed in second chances while refusing to forgive

Refusing to forget and let he or she live

What’s love if you’re going to act like ….well I love you too much to use you as an insult

It is uncaging, reincarnating, composing without imposing

More than doting on your yes men

It’ll give you more exposure than a naturist at a winter clothing convention

Yes!  Full of foibles, fantasies and awe-inspiring flaws

Love is adding a rug, unafraid to be naked when you open the door.

Out of love we go to war and in love, we find peace.

If love makes the world go round, it takes your will just to be.

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Filed under 30 day challenge, Random Poetics

Sailing

FreeGreatPicture.com-1203-sailing-high-definition-material

The ship has sailed, but the sea lingers

Her fingers still fondle my timbers

The spine kindles like tinder.

Blocks shading the so-called rub of the green, my heart beats turn to cinders

When I look into the future and remember I kiss my present with the question.

Why does the sea linger?

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Filed under Just Living, Relationships