Awake

by dharmamonkey on 07/5/2014

A Buddhist Koan says: “The master holds the disciple’s head underwater for a long, long time; gradually the bubbles become fewer; at the last moment, the master pulls the disciple out and revives him: when you have craved truth as you crave air, then you will know what truth is.”

An absence of another holds my head underwater and gradually I begin to drown as my air supply gives out. It is this asphyxia which reconsitutes my ‘truth’ and I prepare what in love is intractrable.

I have wakened out of this forgetfulness with a sigh. The body expresses the absence of emotion in this way: to sigh, to sigh for the bodily presence.

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Weeping Graveyards.

by dharmamonkey on 06/22/2014

When the dead weep they are beginning to recover” said the Crow solemnly
I am sorry to contradict my famous friend and colleague” said the Owl, “but as far as i’m concerned when the dead weep, it means that they do not want to die…” Collodi – The Adventures of Pinocchio

A few hundred metres up the road from my house is a large well kept Victorian graveyard. In these grounds lay my Father who died in a car accident at the age of 24.
Having never visited the site, it was with a cruel irony that I moved into a house which was only a 5 minute walk away from his current resting place.

It is a Sunday and I am bored. The silence of my mind struggles to put its thoughts into words, this suggests that I should put on my shoes and vacate the four walls of my consciousness.

For some reason I resolve to go and visit my Father’s gravestone. Having never visited a graveyard before I feel obliged to take something to leave there; perhaps some flowers picked from the yard, or some wind chimes to break the imagined eery silence? Looking at the passport picture of my little boy next to my computer, I tell myself that however poignant, this is the most sensible thing to take with me to leave there.

I make the small walk from my house to the entrance of the graveyard and pass through its gates. The clouds in the sky are high and I’m surrounded by a boisterous wind that knocks me from side to side. The air is fresh and the sun still manages to brighten up the day.

Once inside I suddenly realise how big the grounds actually are and how difficult it might be to find the headstone. I decide to make for the small chapel in the hope that some kind of reference or layout might exist.

Walking towards small Victorian chapel I consider the layout of the headstones. Are the headstones arranged in some kind of order? If so, do they arrange them by year of death? Perhaps grouping them all by age?

Passing the headstones as I walk I notice the ages upon them.. 68, 76, 77, 84 considering the eternal frustration of a 24yr old’s spirit in such elderly company. Before having time to resolve the question of ageless souls I reach the iron gates of the chapel to find them closed and locked.

Turning away I begin walking through the headstones scanning each one as I pass them. 20 minutes or so I eventually find some from the year in which he died.

After fruitlessly looking at over a 100 different headstones I decide to phone my mum to see if she can help with my search.
Oh you know what i’m like with directions. I do know that it is big black and shiny, If i’d not have been surrounded by hundreds and hundred of ‘black shiny headstones’, I may have unwittingly found this useful.
Armed with this bit of gold I decide to walk to the other side of cemetery which is closer to the road and some newly built houses.

The air here is not as deathly quiet and the sound of children playing in the nearby houses colours the atmosphere
Its here where I eventually read his name on a headstone not more than 3 metres ahead of me I stare at it and after a fleeting visit of butterflies in my tummy I approach it.

No epiphany nor bolt of lightening.

As I squat down to pick away the moss that has grown around the base of the headstone, i feel a strange familiarity tinged with a sense of sadness. My eyes well up and I fumble in my pockets for the photograph I have brought with me. I find the small picture of my son and wedge it between the big shiny black headstone and its base.

I’m buoyed by the fact that in this corner of the cemetery one can hear life in the nearby houses and bustle from the main road. I turnaround and am about to walk back towards the gates when I suddenly remember to check the neighbouring headstones. Thomas, 28 yrs old.

I begin trudging towards home. I don’t feel different but It felt good to get out of the house.

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Text Message No.1

by dharmamonkey on 04/11/2014

I’m proud to have a mixed and thoroughly individual set of people who I am proud to call my friends. Communication between us is mostly humorous, occaisionally argumentative and sometimes enlightening.

On occasion text messages can be incredibly illuminating, especially as to what goes on behind closed doors. Here is one sent at 2am on a sunday morning and not intended for my eyes. It was from a male friend meant for his future wife.

“Misin mi her indoors babe. Dyin to rape your ass man! Hope Lynsey (stepdaughter) doesn’t walk in whilst i’m crakin one off.
That would send her to a padded room. Feeling like putting on a vibrating c@ck ring on i’m sure there’s one under the bed since we last opened dirty barbie’s tool box ya lazy sluven. fu@kin’ good job shes too lazy to get down and have a look under the bed of filth. Its like something off sexcetera!! Rose you had a large one and i don’t mean someone elses tool!! love ya man. X”

“Shit. Not for you. Delete. Delete big dog.”

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Can I Kick IT

by dharmamonkey on 10/29/2013

*my mistress is a metaphor for smoking*

In August I attempted to give up my long-term mistress of many years. This is a quick note to inform anyone interested that i failed miserably. It was too much to let go of her… and her of me.

I was unable to prevent myself from leaving her slender figure alone, nevermind go without how she sets my mind at ease. It is a physical and emotional lure I could not resist. She is addictive like crack.

So yet again I find myself in danger of becoming a social pariah. People see me with her on the street and I catch them casting disdainful looks… some out of repulsion, others out of jealousy.

Occasionally when friends are over we sometime nip out the back for a ‘cheeky quickie’. I return indoors with her smell still on my fingers and a smile on my face as I’m gently reminded of the bikesheds at school…

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Last Leaf

by dharmamonkey on 10/28/2013

XX sits down in front of a blank screen and types these words out on his keyboard. It was. It will never be again.

XX stops typing and gazes out of the window at the tree at the end of the yard. Here and there some leaves still remain on its branches and XX sits deep in thought staring at the leaves.

XX contemplates a leaf and attaches all his remaining hope to it. A gust blows hard and the branch sways to and fro. The wind makes the leaf flutter frantically and XX becomes anxious, because if it should fall then XX’s hope will fall with it.

XX gets up walks to the kitchen to make a coffee. XX then walks back to the empty chair at the desk by the window and sits down. XX lights a cigarette and sips his coffee.

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Plane Sailing

by dharmamonkey on 10/20/2013

Racing towards the gate I’m pondering how I’d managed to miss all of the calls for my flight to Miami, especially the two that had specifically called me by name.

JFK’s spacious and lengthy terminal is sparsely lined by nervous American soldiers, each gripping an M16. Only six months had elapsed since 9/11 and i didn’t feel wholly comfortable racing towards young jittery men with loaded guns.

Continue reading “Plane Sailing” »

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Flick the Bean with Sausage Stew

by dharmamonkey on 10/20/2013

Inspired by The Skint Foodie winner at Observer Food Monthly awards blogger 2013, I thought I’d put up a little recipe of my own..

If you’ve read any of my blog you be aware of the fact that I have propensity to fuck most things up without any notice and at any given time.

Continue reading “Flick the Bean with Sausage Stew” »

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pareidolia

by dharmamonkey on 10/18/2013

There is an universal tendency among mankind to conceive all beings like themselves, and to transfer to every object, those qualities, with which they are familiarly acquainted, and of which they are intimately conscious. We find human faces in the moon, armies in the clouds; and by a natural propensity, if not corrected by experience and reflection, ascribe malice or good- will to every thing, that hurts or pleases us. – David Hume

-5

angry man in plaster

Continue reading “pareidolia” »

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Tennyson and the Tramp

by dharmamonkey on 10/18/2013
Often I buy my books from a little Oxfam shop in the village of Frodsham. I like to imagine lots of university lecturers have retired there which to my mind accounts for the unusually high volume of intellectual tomes and literary classics.
Walking up the street towards Oxfam I pass an unkept and trampish looking man. He looks as if he was trying to shout into his own ear and I thought I heard him say..
“Fucking Tennyson punched me in the eye.”
This rather amusing and laughed as I entered Oxfam. Not really a fan of glassware or children’s videos I made towards the book section where I noticed a pristine copy of ‘The Faber Book of Utopias’.
As I picked the book up I noticed how heavy and thick it was. I let it fall open naturally and lo and behold my eyes fell on the title ‘The Lotus Eaters’ by none other than Lord Alfred Tennyson!
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it will never be again.

by dharmamonkey on 10/17/2013

He sits down in front of a blank screen and types these words out on his keyboard. It was. It will never be again.

Later that day he returns to the study. He boots up his computer and opens up a new post on his blog. He writes until his computer screen is filled with words. Later, when he reads over all that he has written, he has trouble deciphering the words and their meaning. Those he does manage to understand do not seem to say what he thought he was saying. He then leaves his desk and warms up some stew in his microwave.

Later that night he tells himself that tomorrow is another day. New sentences begin to clamour in his head, but he does not write them down.

He decides to refer to himself as XX.

XX walks back and forth between the empty chair at the desk and the window.

XX then puts the radio on and smokes a cigarette.

Then XX writes. It was. It will never be again.

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