He looks into his glass
Hoping to see the reflection of a saviour
In the swirl of brown liquor before him.
Propped up by the blindness of others
He sips and is violently propelled to a high
Of ethereal happiness
Narrowly just avoiding the grasps of reality
By ordering another drink
It’s funny how your laughter often sounds
Like the language my heart would speak
If with each beat it could scream
I love you.
I hope you had a good Christmas, all! 🙂
Would it really be Christmas season without the obligatory Christmas themed post? I think not, so here we are.
I think it’s really important this holiday season that we allow ourselves to be happy. I read a tweet, recently and the person who posted it said although it was her mum’s birthday all she could think about was the thousands of people who lost a parent to COVID-19 and were celebrating their first Christmas without them. The tweet was a saddening read but one that accurately reflects what most people have probably perceived to be the sentiment for this year, which has undoubtedly been a tough one. With all the loss and anxiety caused by the virus outbreak, it does almost feel quite like quite a distasteful move to allow ourselves to be happy, despite the occasion calling for it.
However, I think we must at least try, even if it just means finding happiness in the small things, whether that be from a random ad jingle, the sound of your knife and you butter your toast or the softness of your pillow as you lie to rest. The way finding happiness looks has been different this year – we’ve had to be more creative to find ways that help us relax, refresh or escape. For example, for me I often love to watch theatre productions or films in the cinema. This year has meant having to adapt; I’ve found pleasure in organising group Facetime calls or going for chilled afternoon walks with my neighbour. (And this is being said by someone who typically dislikes calls and feels no shame in taken the bus one or two stops is needed.)
There is a blessing in every minute we have, perhaps we should invest more of those minutes on being happy. In the moments where feeling happy possible it gladdens the heart and keeps us going which, let’s be honest, we’re going to need as we approach the new year.
What activities have you turned to for happiness this year? I would love to know!
I look forward to the day
you are able to scatter the ashes of your sorrows
on the wind
to the sound of vocalised victory.
Beneath the fragile surface of your laughter
the tears you are drowning in.
I’ve always been fascinated with this idea of everyone hiding a secret pain and suffering. That perhaps the strong person welding a smile or air of politeness there’s pain lingering inside. I remember when I was in primary school and in music class we learned The Beatles’ song ‘Eleanor Rigby’. In the song is the line:
‘Eleanor Rigby…waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door,
who is it for?’
I remember my young mind literally imagining a lady carefully taking a pale mask out of a jar each day and applying it to her face as she steps out of her door and into the world. But of course, nowadays- now that I am older I see it differently. Each of us wears a mask out of necessity because let’s be honest; I’m sure there have been many times where someone has asked ‘how are you?‘ and you’ve wanted to say ‘not great’ but held back. For me, that happens way too often but I’m sure its a common occurrence for many. But every time we grin and nod that’s our mask playing its role and coming into use. In fact, we probably do way more than we know, and sometimes without ourselves noticing.
I try to keep this in mind when approaching people, it’s always good to be aware that a smile hides 1000 things. It makes you navigate conversation carefully with people and more open to people maybe saying a simple ‘no’ when asked ‘Are you okay?’
Yesterday I had a moment of serenity as I walked down the path to choir rehearsal. I was on the back streets of Notting Hill, the sun shining (weakly, but shining nonetheless), cooling intervals of breeze and Shawn Mendes’ voice soothing my eardrums. Did I mention I was eating a beef patty? Well, I should have, and with every bite, I was more appreciative of the moment at hand. As I looked at the trees ahead fighting for the sun’s spotlight I thought about how everything had conspired for this moment to happen. If I had decided to go home or to a different part of London, or maybe if it had rained instead- that exact moment wouldn’t have happened. That kind of mathematics (i.e. possible worlds and alternative chains of events) I like to leave to God, but it’s amazing to think about every now and then; it gives a new meaning to the moment.
Here’s a poem a wrote to embody the feeling in such moments:
I’m stoppable, untoppable*
as I walk down the street
there is no obstacle
that can slow me down.
The wind is my fanfare and
the sun my spotlight.
My feet tread light but stride confidently.
And my worries are only echoes
My worries are only echoes.
(*technically not a word but hey ho.)