Both my sons enjoy playing chess. Largely self taught, my young Rooks will challenge one another with the tool disguised as a game that has been used for generations to teach the strategies of war, the art of psychology and philosophy, the value of patience, forethought, mindfulness and principals that are true of life as much as they are true in Chess such as the fact it is just as important to win with grace as it is to lose with dignity, that strategy without patience is caustic, that we must remain flexible and that at the end of the day, the pawn and the king both return to the same box…
I don’t know why I stopped writing in the first place…
And that ladies and gentlemen is what you call a lie. I do know why I stopped writing but with all things regrettable, lies come to our aid on horses that can gallop faster than those carrying the truth.
So the truth? Well I don’t want to say. Thats why I didn’t.
I don’t even want to now but lets just get it over with and i’ll tell you what happened.
It was late and the bottle of wine was slowly emptying and the tongues of cigarette smoke licked my cheeks as they rose and assembled in haze above us. We said we hoped it would rain.
There are not many things that go together like lateness and wine and rain on a tin roof.
So when it rained we drank more wine and I told stories and said silly things.
And then there was Beetle.
I was at a store and bumped into the mum of a boy in my sons class who has often ridden with me on school trips.
He always rides shot gun.
He is articulate, polite, amusing…just a really cool kid.
When I saw her at the store I relayed that to her. I told her that it had been a pleasure meeting her boy, that he had always behaved respectfully, used exceptional manners and how proud she must be to have a son who was turning into such a fine young man.
He was standing next to her as I said this and was still at her side when she responded with this:
‘Pffft, well he can be a terror a lot of the time too’
Nah, dont do that to your son.
I always try to make a point of complimenting a child to their parents if they have shown beautiful character in any way. Almost every time I get a flippant, sarcastic ‘funny’ reply along the lines of ‘well you don’t see them at home when they are doing blah blah blah hahaha’
I don’t think thats funny. I don’t think thats funny at all.
Back your kids man.
This world is going to have more than enough criticism, judgement and hurtful words to sling at our sons and daughters without us joining in with the chorus of it.
Even if you’re just being flippant and ‘funny’ its not cool. That kind of stuff hurts a kid.
If someone compliments the character of your child, be proud and accept the words and then back them: “Yes, my son is a fine young man, I’m proud of him, thank you.” Then watch them grow into those words and become those words as the affirmation of their mother or father moves beyond their ears and into their spirit.
Kids are just trying to get by in this world just like we are. I have dark parts of my own character, things I’m trying to work on and deal with but if someone complimented me only for a person I love and trust to shoot that down with a sarcastic and cutting remark about me, id be devastated.
I’d feel betrayed.
My job is to stand by my sons, to give them strong and marvellous descriptions to grow into so as far as anyone else is concerned, my sons are: Strong, Brave, Polite, Considerate, Insightful, Generous, Sharp and Beautiful human beings.
The times they struggle with this world and themselves is between me and them, not fodder for me to use to embarrass them or brush off a compliment of their character from another person.
Please don’t do this to your sons and your daughters.
If someone compliments the character of your child tell them that you already know it. Tell them that your son, your daughter is not only what they have said he/she is, but that they are also brave, funny, a fast runner, a high jumper… the love of your life.
Children hear the words of the people they trust the most.
Don’t betray them.
My dad has passed away quite suddenly and thrown the world into a shambles. Please bear with me as I take some time off to do the things daughters have to do when their fathers go away.
I’m still here, I’m just going to be a little quiet for a little time…
Thank you for sticking around,
600 days! I’ve been a ghost over the last few months, but I have been very much still walking through these 1000 single days and can confirm that I am still as pure as the driven snow, I have made it to day 600 with celibacy still firmly in tact! Yahoo!
I have been neglecting the blog due to the fact that I have been holidaying in New Zealand having the best summer of my entire life. I have never been so happy and have been busy with incredible experiences and I am sorry that I haven’t published an update in so long but hey, I knew the freedom and carefree time of summer would make sticking to the single days pledge a bit harder so I have taken to keeping myself very busy to stay distracted. Oh, I have so many things to tell you about though and have been chipping away on a post when I find spare moments and will try and get that up in the next few days.
I am more content and happy now than I have ever been, now lets get the last 400 days over and done with!
Where are we? Do the days ever matter anymore?
Have I lost count? Yes.
When? I don’t remember. Probably around the time that I realized that it wasn’t about the days anymore, it wasn’t about counting down as if day 1000 was the goal. That day 1000 may never come just as tomorrow may never come as just as planning for the future keeps us facing the future, you cant place the future on a pedestal as being the point. Because it isn’t the point.
Now is the point. Just now.
I cant believe the date passed me by and I didn’t know it! On October 19th it was day: 500
My mother said that it has been so long since I had written and people may think I have ‘fallen off the wagon’ so to speak so before I go home now and write to you all properly I want to celebrate this moment with you and just let you know that there has been no falling off any wagon. I have just done 500 single days as true as I had promised I would on day one.
I have so much to tell you, oh so much! If I have learned anything these past 500 days it would be this: Life can change in a moment.
My next post will go into all the details and I will begin writing that now. HALF WAY BABY!
Little helmets arch toward
Keen to keep the moving forward
Bellies pressing, pressing more
Unto the restless splintered floor
A hundred, thousand, million strides
A million more, wont see us tired
Splinter, bruise and callous healed
Faithful, tiny battle shields
What am I?
Its been so long since I really wrote anything and for a while it was because I felt too far away from my own mind to do so, and then when I came back to my mind I found so many thoughts collected there, and just like standing before a scattered deck of cards, I didn’t know where to begin sorting through it all so I just stood there and stared at it all for weeks.
All those thoughts…
Oh my little Labyrinth worm
It looks there is no place to turn
Just walls and walls of never ending
An endless path of never bending
No miss, you must face the walls
for in the walls are hidden doors…
-Vanessa Katsoolis (My nod to one of the greatest movies of all time, ‘Labirynth‘)
I decided I would walk back to my Hotel that day, even though I had spent all day and most of my money shopping and my shoulders were aching from the weight of the bags. Flagging down a tuk-tuk would made the trip quick and easy and with the unbearable heat rising up from the sidewalk and bouncing off the city walls and radiating down from above it is a wonder I chose to walk that day but at the time I decided that I would like to wander through the alley ways and stalls and nod my head in greeting to the people of Sukhumvit Road and thats all it was at the time. But it is only in retrospect that we see the significance of seemingly small decisions such as these. We don’t realise how our preferences, no matter how small, act as the fingers and the palms and the curves and the creases of hands to clay on a spinning potters wheel. Every single movement, no matter how slight changes the shape of the clay… just as every step favoured over the other, or every appointment made in favour of the previous day, or the day after can alter the shape of our life.
And so with choosing to drag those heavy bags upon my tired shoulders on weary legs through the streets of Bangkok that day I didn’t know that it would mean meeting him, and in meeting him, I didn’t know it would change something in me for the rest of my life.
I’m in the gym right? And this exceptionally cute guy walks in.
He works out, I work out, no worries there.
But then I go upstairs to the empty mezzanine and start doing those squats against the wall with one of those big, blow-up stability balls.
So i’m squatting away alone in the room and getting pretty tired so I start gasping for air and kind of crying out a bit.
Next thing, cute gym guy comes up the stairs and pulls out a mat and starts doing some very intense crunches and after a minute he starts gasping for air and crying out too.
So there we are, me gasping for air and crying out and him gasping for air and crying out, and we just go at it, gasping for air and crying out together until our eyes meet through the mirror and we both stop dead in our tracks.
He knows it and I know it: We just had gym sex.
I drop the ball, grab my towel, run down the stairs and out of the gym.
I didn’t even catch his name…
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There is a scripture, which I think of sometimes. “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
I consider what people suggest life is about. I consider too how even those with all the ingredients for happiness: A family, job security and a place to call home, can then be struck with depression or ill health and so I wonder how then can someone truly be at peace, and if they can, where would they find it?
Things that can make me happy:
Watching someone try to whistle after getting a tooth filling
Knowing all the words to a song
The smell of the smoke after you blow out a match
The way my son doesn’t believe that I understand his jokes
The sing-song way the women talk in old movies
Films that change my life
Photographs of people doing something they always wanted to do
That cows have best friends
Things that can’t make me happy:
There is nothing that no scumbag mum or dad or uncle or upbringing can do to truly defeat you unless at some point you give up, and if you give up because it was all too much, then maybe no one could even fault you for that, but if you use that scum bag of a father or scumbag of a mother or scumbag of an upbringing to then JUSTIFY treating another human being with neglect and abuse and generally being a scum bag yourself, then you have lost a leg to stand on.
Man up/woman up and learn about accountability.
The greatest men and women in our history have created that history with nothing more than the memories of tragedy/abuse/loss/stolen innocence and an understanding that at some point you have the choice to either stop the cycle, or to keep being a scumbag.
Dont be a scumbag.
“Your blog has gone kinda quiet of late” He said. “I know” I said.
So here I am, with nothing much to say but with a sense that I should say it anyway.
I write this now from a plain. You know whenever you embark on something they all say to you ‘oh you will see the mountains and you will see the plains’ So this must be the plain. I wish there was a way to write a shrug of the shoulders. You know? When someone asks you how you are or how you’re doing and you don’t speak, you just shrug your shoulders? This post is a shoulder shrug. Its a blah. Its plain.
I credit this to one thing. Depression. Continue Reading…