short stories · thoughts

~ Falling Again ~

~ Falling Again ~

“I think you need to just relax and take a step back,” she said. “You run into things too easily.”

“I can’t help it, it just takes hold of me. It’s like I don’t have a choice.”

“Honestly, you remind me of my dog – just running around wildly, chasing everything that attracts you. It must be exhausting to constantly be that way.”

“That’s funny; I’ve been told that before. But hey, at least we all like dogs, right?”

“We do but dogs are animals ruled by instinct; you have deeper feelings, you just need to make sure you don’t get hurt.” 

“I don’t mind getting hurt. I’d rather that than to not follow my heart.”

“You’re crazy.”

“Probably,” I said.

The sentiments of my friend were nothing new to me. It seems I had that classic problem: falling in love with things too easily, and throwing my heart into them with reckless abandon. I was doomed to get hurt, and I was told to be more careful, but holding back my love was even more painful than the inevitable heartbreak that would naturally ensue. I just couldn’t help myself. I fell in love with anything that stirred my soul. At first, I fell in love with the world around me. With the rivers and the woods and the fields and sunsets. I then fell in love with travelling: the sight of new people and places, grabbing my backpack from the airport conveyor-belt, staring out of the bus window and knowing that I was soon to step off into a new town. Like a flower in my heart, I poured adventure onto it and let it grow wildly. I saved up all my money and obsessed over my next trip, neglecting things like clothes and food just to get there. And when I was back in those foreign lands with a world of possibility at my feet, I felt that flower blooming in my heart with a total love for what I was doing.

I fell in love with the art of writing. The act of expressing yourself and bringing people into your world; to share your things from the deepest recesses of your heart. That feeling of relief when you got out the things you had always wanted to say, and knowing they could actually mean something to someone out there. How it could give them strength and remind them that they aren’t alone in this world. And all it took was having the courage to type your truth out onto a blank page. It made my fingertips twitch with a fervent energy. It made me stay up ’til the early hours of the morning strumming away on those keyboard keys.

I fell in love with people. With the artists and adventurers; with the sight of a soul who was radiating pure joy and passion. I remember feeling blue one day, then going for a walk in the city and watching this guy busking with his guitar. He told his story about how he had gotten laughed out of his office when he told them he was quitting his job to become a street performer. He also told how he had just been diagnosed with autism, and had all these other revelations in his life, but there he was: travelling around Europe in his van, living life on his own terms, entertaining a captivated crowd with some of the most beautiful playing I had ever heard. I looked at his smile as he strummed those strings and saw the light of the entire cosmos shining through him. That was someone I aspired to be; that was someone I loved.

Rather predictability, I fell in love with girls. With the way they walked and talked and played with their hair. With their smiles and little imperfections. With the looks in their eyes which made you wonder what their story was and what secrets were locked away in their hearts. Sometimes I could get hung up for weeks on a girl I had passed on the street, and the little romances in my life took me years to get over. And probably people thought I was crazy, but I just couldn’t help but throw myself completely into the wilderness of another human-being even if I knew it wasn’t going to work out. For me, the pain was worth it, just because the act of falling in love was like feeling a great universal truth flowing through me. It just made sense; like the rivers running into the ocean, the feeling of loving was like going home to some ineffable divine life source.

Yeah, I guess that I am a bit of a starry-eyed dreamer, a hopeless romantic as they say, but I believe most human-beings are secretly this way, only most have learnt to hold themselves back. The natural state of a person was to love; and when you look at a person when they were in love with someone or something, you could see the entire cosmos shining in their eyes. That divine light was inside us all, but the human condition makes it such a challenge to let it shine. As our lives go on, we get worn down and made cautious by the world. We build walls and barriers. We get turned bitter and resentful by the lovers who did not return our love, by the people who belittled our dreams, and by the struggles of everyday life which slowly made us jaded and deflated. Indeed, it can be a great test to keep your heart truly open to the world when the daggers have pierced you and the days tired you and the lovers betrayed you.

Sometimes it is so far buried that it didn’t appear to exist in a person at all. But I believed even the most closed and bitter individual had that love somewhere inside of them, ready to burst out when under the right circumstances. It was just a matter of getting them into the right space to let it come. I remembered one middle-aged man I met travelling. He told me how he had been depressed and angry with life for a few years following a bad divorce, but he had finally moved on by selling his house and moving abroad. He was now travelling in Spain with his new girlfriend, back to pursuing his passions of writing and playing the guitar. Only a couple of years ago he had been a depressed, bitter individual with a contempt for his existence, but now the light was back and beaming bright in his eyes. And ultimately, it was because he had allowed himself to dust off the hinges and open his heart once again to the world.

Yes, in a world where it was easy to close yourself off, it can be a test to constantly love without fear and filter, but this was always what I sought to do in every aspect of my life; to let my love be poured into whatever it was I was passionate about. And maybe I needed to believe it, but I believed that love was the answer to everything. Because this was what I always felt, this deep ineffable feeling pulling me towards whatever was good and worthwhile in my life. It had taken me around the world; it had taken me to find my passions; it had taken me to find the people who inspired and changed me; it had taken me from the haunted woods of depression to the open fields of light and life. This passion for everything which was surely found in the hearts of stars and the breaking of waves and the roots of flowers. It was an intrinsic energy that was essential for a human-being to truly be alive, and though allowing yourself to love completely meant you would leave yourself open to feel more pain, it also meant you could also feel a greater amount of joy and connection to the universe.

As time goes on, there are times when the world tests me to close myself to it, but ultimately I know I’ll never shake this overwhelming desire to run towards what my heart aches for. Right now, writing these words and dreaming up my next adventure, I am still letting that flower grow wildly in my heart, and by now I know will always be that starry-eyed dreamer, running towards what I love with wise arms and an open heart. Still a hopeless romantic; still that dog running around wildly after everything that attracts me; still writing these words and feeling the light of the cosmos flow through my fingertips. Yeah, I guess I’m still falling, I don’t ever intend to stop throwing myself into this beautiful pain.


~ Life as a Game ~


~ Life as a Game ~

Did you ever hear the theory that we are living in a giant computer simulation? That the universe is merely lines of code written by a higher technological body? That we are essentially living in the matrix? Enough scientists and physicists believe it could be a possibility that it’s actually a relatively respected theory. Hell, even that Elon Musk guy believes in it. I often think what would happen to our society if we eventually found out we were all living in a giant computer simulation. I mean, everything in society seemingly operated on the notion that this thing called existence was all very serious and that we must work and strive and chase success and find our way into whatever heaven it is that we were supposed to believe in. But for it to be revealed it was all nothing more than a computer simulation? Nothing more than a game without a serious purpose? Now what a glorious sight that would have been to behold. I imagined the great existential crisis speaking across the earth as the churches crumbled, economic systems collapsed and people who had taken the game of life too seriously were eventually driven to either ecstasy or suicide after finding out that none of it really mattered. I imagined the look on the faces of the likes of Trump, Putin and Piers Morgan as their ego collapsed inward on itself.

Me? Personally, I would have welcomed the discovery with open arms. I already liked to treat life as a game anyway. It was a philosophy that gave me some sort of carefree joy and one which I believed had solid grounds. I mean, when one looked at the laws of physics it was clear that the universe was essentially a singular energy system just dancing in the present moment without a clear end goal in mind. One only had to watch the waves crash repeatedly on a shoreline, or the leaves dance in the wind, or the clouds drift across the sky, or the dog chase a stick for no other purpose than for it to be thrown again. These weren’t trivial things; these were the little secrets that reality was merely a rhythmic dance of energy just flowing and changing shape for no apparent purpose or reason. Watch the change of the seasons: the leaves blossoming and falling; the flowers blooming and decaying; the stars shimmering like fireworks before they died and dissipated into nothingness. This was the reality of existence in a nutshell – a transient playing of energy which certainly shouldn’t be taken seriously to any considerable degree. Something more closely related to a game to be played, rather than some sort of battle to be won.

So let’s say just for fun that tomorrow physicists managed to conclusively prove the universe was a virtual simulation and that nothing really mattered in the traditional way we thought of it. My theory is that initially the world would lose its mind. Jobs would be quit, shops would be looted, suicides would be committed. We’d enter into an age of anarchy as a great existential crisis swept over humanity which lasted a few years. Eventually after that initial crisis was over, people would calm down and look at their situation with new eyes. With a collective sigh of relief that life was just some sort of virtual experiment, the world would return to a peaceful and loving one, everyone united under the banner of just enjoying the game while we had a chance to play it. We could nurture our environment, be kind to one another – spend our time pursuing our passions and creating art. Knowing that we were all just here for a bit of fun, we could put our trivial differences aside and make sure we enjoyed everything for the momentary game it is, rather than the job it most certainly is not. 

Of course, this sort of thing has been suggested in some way before, most notably by the hippy movement or by certain Eastern philosophies which described existence more as a state of play rather than something to be taken seriously. Hinduism in particular suggested we were all the drama of the godhead, letting itself go and play all these different beings and environments just for the fun of it. There was no point to it other than seeing how far out everything could go. It was a nice thought which alleviated many common worries and stresses, and it was no surprise to me that many western people who had gone through a crisis arrived at the doorstep of such a way of thinking. 

Although many people stood to benefit off this type of life philosophy, there was however a certain class of people who wouldn’t benefit from people treating life as a bit of fun. Let’s just imagine that there were people who knew the universe was a computer simulation system, but didn’t want others to find out because it would make them lose their power over others. These guardians of the game would be the bosses, the politicians, the media rulers and religious leaders. These were the people who needed others to think life was serious so they would keep anxiously toiling away in those cubicles; so they would keep donating to their churches and worshipping their gods; so they would fear for the future and buy more insurance; so they would bow down to trends and fashions because they cared what other people thought of them; so they would not go out and live their one life but compete against each other in some trivial rat race. Yes, there were many people who had a lot of power and wealth due to people taking life too seriously, and it made sense why some of them would not want people to have this state of mind. Conversely, there were also the ones out there who tried to remind you that it was all just a bit of fun and just to enjoy life as it is. These people were the artists, the musicians, the philosophers, the shamans, the jokers, the jesters. Like the prophetic Comedian Bill Hicks once said:

Some people have remembered (that life is just a ride) and they come back to us, and say: “Hey, don’t worry, don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.” … and we… kill those people. “Shut him up. Shut him up. We have a lot invested in this ride. Shut him up. Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account and my family. This just has to be real.” It’s just a ride. But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. But it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a ride…”

Hick’s speech was a piece of philosophy which stuck in my adolescent head along with many others of a similar ilk. There once was a time where I was experiencing a dark period of depression. For a long time I had suffered with the ego and the thoughts that I was failing at life and not living up to the things expected of me. Because I was still attached to taking life seriously at a fundamental level, I suffered greatly within my own psyche. But when words such as the ones from Bill entered my head, as well certain Zen philosophies from the likes of Alan Watts, I was able to let go and finally relax and just enjoy life just purely for what it was. Consequently, my depression and anxiety subsided and suddenly life became a hell of a lot more fun. This realisation of letting go from taking life seriously naturally made me think why so many had been conned into something that was tearing and twisting themselves apart. How hadn’t they also arrived at the same realisation after a few decades of running around on the hamster wheel of human existence? How hadn’t they also let go and allowed themselves to have a bit of fun? No one is getting out of here alive as they say, so ‘why so serious?’ as a certain comic-book villain once wisely said.

Now, you may think that these are just the manic musings of an existential millennial, but seriously, if you go out there and face that world tomorrow with the idea that you are merely in a game, see how different your life will become for the better. See the transient beauty of the decaying leaf, the clouds forming and dissolving in those enveloping skies, the stars shimmering high up beyond the ether before they implode on themselves. Become detached from trivial and frivolous worries that don’t deserve to occupy the space in your head. Stop wasting time doing things you feel you have to do because it’s expected of you. Imagine that all of this universe is merely a momentary playing of energy with no serious end goal or purpose. Be mindful of that fact and watch the stress and the anxiety disappear slowly; watch the trivial bickering suddenly appear meaningless; watch the world appear as mysterious and magical as it first did when you were a wide-eyed child; watch the game begin to play out more vividly and beautifully than ever before.

As some pretty famous writer once said: “all the world’s a stage, and the men and women merely players.”

Now go out there and enjoy it while you can.


~ A Natural Medicine ~

~ A Natural Medicine ~

“Never stop staring up into those starry skies; never stop looking out at those vast oceans. Be wide-eyed to the sheer immensity of it all and let it sweep over you. Yes you are small in comparison, but spend enough time in nature and you will realise that it is not there to intimidate you, but rather to teach you love and humility. In the shadow of the mountain is a temple of inner peace for the soul and spirit. So if life is getting you down a bit then get out into the wild and let the immensity of nature turn hatred into humility, anxiety into laughter, stress into mindfulness, boredom into wonder. Let the wonderland of our natural universe remind you that life is a mystery to be experienced, and not a battle to be won.”



~ Before The Bonfire ~

~ Before the Bonfire ~

One day it’s all going to turn to dust. The diamonds will turn to dust; the streets will turn to dust; the cities will turn to dust; your bones will turn to dust. The star that now gives us life will swallow everything whole. Nothing will stay solid; nothing you could possibly build here on earth will last the outgrowing fire of our burning sun. It’s all going to crumble and be incinerated in a great cosmic bonfire which will turn everything into smoke flowing throughout the galaxies of our universe. In fact, most things in your life will turn to dust just a few decades or centuries after you die. Your car will become dust, your clothes will become dust, your jewellery will become dust; you and everyone you ever loved will become dust. If this fact scares you, then it shows that you are perhaps too attached to the idea of a permanent material reality. No matter how much you cling to power and permanence, the cosmic drama of the universe will pay absolutely zero attention to your illusions. So many of us out there ignore the basic fact of transience – that we are mere matter momentarily manifested as living organisms for a brief amount of time. No doubt many of us are not ready to face this harsh fact. But if you ever have a particularly stressful day at work, then you might want to give it a try. You can look at those problems as mere dust. You can look at those hateful faces as mere dust. You can look at those mountains to climb as mere dust. With profound humility and appreciation for temporary conscious existence, suddenly life becomes a momentary dance – fleeting and free flowing. Suddenly life becomes as magical as an early-morning dream. Suddenly life becomes precious and beautiful and wonderful beyond words.”



~ The Celebration ~

~ The Celebration ~

“The great trick is to just sit and observe. Be still and the universe will deliver its secrets to you. Meanwhile people rush around the sidewalks of life like electrons around a circuit board. The kids in school are preparing for work. The people in work are preparing for retirement. Some are chasing the weekend, some are chasing riches – some are even chasing an entire afterlife. Most people are so bewitched by the future that they can’t even see the glory of the universe unfolding right before them. They can’t see the beauty of a crescent moon, or a singular leaf dancing its way down a wind-swept street. To rush around your whole life declaring war on the present moment is a tragedy great enough to make the gods weep; it is to get to the end of your life and realise you missed the music all the way along. In this chaotic and crazy culture, people so easily forget that existence is playful and not political. Just watch the way the waves go back and forth, or the way the clouds sway – or the way the leaves flutter in the morning breeze. The entire universe is nothing more than a blissful playing of energy. It is a symphony; it is a dance. Just look up at those stars fill the clear night sky like a firework display. Every moment of every day you are a part of some spectacular celebration. So, please: don’t forget to dance.”

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~ A Warrior Of The Sun ~

~ A Warrior Of The Sun ~

“Don’t ever let them make you feel small; don’t ever let them make you feel like you are absolutely nothing. Within you is the same energy force that burns the stars, that grows the flowers, that forms the mightiest mountains. That same energy that flows through your body has been flowing since the beginning of the universe. Stars have died; light has travelled billions of years; cosmic magic has been weaved all so your manifestation could take its shape and form. Your very existence is a product of the entire universe and you did not come here to dwell in the dark dungeons of dread and despair. Yes, it’s easy to feel marginalised in this society, it’s easy to feel small, but if you take the time to sit down in silence in nature – to breathe in and pause – slowly you will discover that you have the eternal energy of the cosmos flowing through your veins. Slowly you will discover that you are harmonious with the whole. Slowly you will discover that you are a child of infinity and a warrior of the sun.”

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