Born in a Belfast dry dock,
Growing bigger in every way
Their sheer size was a shock
The biggest sisters of their day
People stopped and gazed
Stirring all the time
They were looking up amazed
At the flagship of the White Star Line
All aboard the people went
Their hopes were high and free
For their money was all spent
On dreams across the sea.
Full speed ahead, the captain said
A fastest journey to best
Beat this time and forget your bed,
No time for sleep or rest
Whilst crossing the ocean,
Titanic ran out of luck
A disaster was set in motion
When an iceberg was struck
The price to live was set far too high,
And many couldn’t pay
The question was and does remain, “Why
Did hundreds have to die that day?”
These mysteries are proving hard to solve
And a sad truth awaits for some
It was not for lack of money or love
That those answers may never come
Forever deep down on the ocean bed
The sinking still a mystery
We will always remember her brave dead
And their small part in Belfast history.
The thing that was broken
Has now begun to mend
My hope has been awoken
As I near journeys end
My path has been rough
And filled with much emotion
I knew it was tough
Like sailing a stormy ocean
I do not regret my past
For without it I would not be
Able to move on at last
And finally be free
I can see in plain sight
The end of my plight
The dawn has broken
Now my hope has awoken
A future lies before me
Unwritten and totally free
Whereas before I could not see
That the best is yet to be
I will give it my all
And defiant I stand
Because I will never again fall
For upon my feet I will always land
My Journey began
So many years ago
Where it will end
I do not know
The scars I have
You cannot see
They are not on my skin
But hidden inside me
The rage that was bottled
Has now begun to crack
Once it shatters
There’s no going back
The fight is on
The dragon has awoken
Now its container
Has finally broken
I will beat this anger
And I will thrive
I am now stronger
And I will survive
You will not kill me
That much is true
You’ve done your worst
And I say ‘Goodbye to you!’
A secret hides in a little red box
Described by a word, rhyming with Ox
It awaits being mixed in many a kitchen
Into something tasty, described as bitchin
It also comes in a few different flavours
Give it more variety for us to savour
It helps make dinner time taste even better
So thank you Oxo for this little letter
I lost my dad at the age of eight,
And this opened a secret gate.
I went down this path of sorrow,
Only to return the next day, tomorrow.
If only people knew,
Of the pain I’d gone through,
They would think twice,
And take my advice,
To stand your ground and face the threat,
Rather than run away and later regret,
That you did not make that vital stand
And someday shake the hand
That you once feared.
Let me ask you a question. Could you name the most wonderful experience of your life?
Most people may describe losing their virginity, others the day they met their partner. Whatever the case, just remember and remember well!
I’m going to try and tell you about mine. I say try, because the most wonderful experiences are ones for which words are not enough to describe, a voice does not compare too and even you cannot describe the feelings and sensations you experienced, to yourself!
It all started on a family holiday to Lough Melvin in Co. Fermanagh in 2001. We were camping in a town called Garrison, on the shore of Lough Melvin, through which runs the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. ‘Twas into the last night of the trip, about 8:00pm that night, whilst my family was in the camping reception house, when I decided to go for a long walk to gather my thoughts.
As I ambled along I decided to go to the small peer jutting out into the lough. The light had begun to fade, turning the sky ever darker shades of Grey, and the wind was blowing, not strong, but enough to give a chill through the thin jacket I was wearing.
Following the shoreline, I walked into a small stone and concrete parking area and past a white van with a man and woman inside and then to the beginning of the peer.
Looking out onto the lough; the waters were dark and black. A thick carpet of cloud in the sky hid the setting sun from sight. The mountains around me were smooth with a few white house’s dotted on them, like stars laid down onto the landscape, and the occasional row of trees marked otherwise unseen field boundaries. I could make out the different shades of green grasses on the hillside and could tell where it was longer in some places.
To my right I looked back at the campsite. The few tents of different shapes and sizes, some with vehicles stationed outside, making mini boundaries, an old rock harbour big enough for the few row boats still tied there and the rocky walls being held in place by huge amounts of thick chicken wire. As I allowed my gaze to travel I could see the large circular, red brick structure with the fresh water tap, the park with a few swings and a climbing frame, the utility shed with showers and toilets with automatic outside lighting and finally the stone wall marking the edge of the site.
In-front of me was a peer maybe 40 or 50 feet long, wide enough only for one person to walk, a metal grab rail on my left and wooden decking at my feet, turned dark brown, almost black by the fading light. The peer was being supported by thick round, concrete pillars below, disappearing into the black swelling waters of Lough Melvin.
I started out. Heading for a small right angled turn at the end of the peer. As I walked, the wooden decking felt damp and slightly slippery from being soaked by the water for so long. My hand clutched the cold metal grab rail, as I looked down I could see the black water through the gaps in the decking. There was no way for me to know just how deep the water was should I have the misfortune to fall in. This realisation sent a chill up my spine and played on my nerves. But on and on I carried till I reached the end. And I looked out at the new sight that welcomed my eyes. I could see more of the Lough, more of the mountains and more of the setting sun. I could see where the thick darkening carpet above me broke and allowed some of the land below to bathe in the suns warmth. Where the carpet did break, streaks of yellow and orange light came flooding downwards and onto the mountains below. Like the heavens above opened for a short time and allowed me to bear witness.
Fear and my now over active imagination took over and I slowly proceeded to walk back along the peer. The planks beneath my feet did in deed feel slippery to my step. At one point I thought I was going to fall in, but my main concern was not for my safety, but for the expensive camera I had taken with me.
Back the way I came and onto the campsite I went. Down to the shore once again. I found a spot just a few feet from the rocky shore, sat down on the damp grass, looked and listened to the wonders happening around me. The sound of the water breaking on the rocks just feet from my feet (excuse the pun) and the sun still trying to break through the thick graying cloud carpet. Eventually the grass beneath me got too wet and I went in search for another observation point.
I found a bench made of thick wood and mounted on two concrete pillars painted white and covered in pebbles for decoration. The dark chocolate coloured seat looked inviting when compared to my current perch.
As I sat on the bench, I shivered both from the cold and the dampness of the seat but my discomfort was soon to be forgotten as I gazed out upon the shore waters once again.
And again I found myself lost in a world of beauty and peace.
The clouds now threatened to rain. I scanned the Loughs length taking in every detail my eyes could find. On the far shore white buildings stood out like stars in the night sky. An array of greens in varying shades marked field boundaries made of grasses, trees and bushes.
As the night progressed and the sun sank further into the distance, the cloud began to break and fracture allowing light, like gleaming blades, to shine upon the mountains. Almost as if God himself were viewing the land. And the waters changed colour to a deep, dark blue haze.
The evening wind started to blow, piercing my jacket and biting at my skin, and causing tiny waves to form in the waters and crashing into the rocky shoreline.
Streaks of oil floating on the surface left behind by some unknown vessel show up like white slime trails.
In the distance mist starts to roll of the shallow mountains like a hazy tide slowly coming towards me. Enveloping everything in its path. The greens and browns and yellows of fields all get swallowed by the encroaching tide.
I look up at the clouds and can clearly see the different layers. The lower parts are a light Grey turning to a graphite shale colour. The upper levels retain a light white, still being fed by the disappearing sun.
In the furthest parts of the Lough a seemingly tiny boat can be made out only by the white colouring of its sail in contrast against the darkening Lough waters.
As I sit, I admire Mother Nature and all her glory. I look at the watch on my wrist and it reads 21:30. Half nine at night. I’d been watching the Lough for what seems like 15 minutes when it has actually been 90 minutes. As I sit I think about what I had the privilege of witnessing, thoughts and feelings of peace and serenity fill my entire body extending to every nerve from the top of my head to the soles of my feet. Mere words are not enough to describe this sensation, but it is one I shall never forget.
The gentle dripping of water on my face and jacket tell me it’s going to start to rain. Time to go back to the tent and get a bite to eat and still think more of, what has possibly become, one of the most awakening and perfect experiences of my life and one which is likely to remain as fresh at the time of my death, as it is on that very same day in which they took place.
I feel like the Husky wanting to begin to pull its masters sleigh in the cold snow covered Alaskan wilderness. I want to write but a subject to liberate this urge eludes me. Sudden inspiration hits me. I think “Bingo!” I have on this the first day of February 2004 just created something which may gave vent to these frustrations. I have titled it “Dreams”. From here inspiration grows, a selection of 80s inspired power ballad type music gives energy to my fingers as they whiz about the keyboard hitting keys which my mind only decided on a split second before.
A powerful energy surges forward giving yet more life to my already speedy digits. My mind races forward so fast I have to consciously slow down as I find difficulty finishing one word before the next eagerly emerges. My mind is a frenzy of thought and activity as I type.
I urgently move quickly, for the fear of losing the very fragile idea which my mind has just acquired, is very real. I cannot recall when the last time was that I felt such a thrill. The idea of putting into words an idea which I created and allowing people to read, then witnessing expressions growing and falling from their faces as they become absorbed in my world, is another thrill in itself. I can tell just by the expression on their faces where in my journey they have reached.
This is my gift to the world. I am who and what I am and I wouldn’t change a thing. Slowly I am emerging from myself. A stormy past of thought from many years ago is giving way to this new emergence of me. I am finding myself all the time. I have been a secret to my soul. Hidden in a depth of the mind rarely explored but which always surges out as I sit down to write.
It is not enough for people to read these personal and dear thoughts, but I wish them to read and believe they are their own and it is I that plucked them from their minds. In most cases this is achieved.
The randomness of the words takes you on a journey which you cannot predict. A journey of the mind. A journey without question. Because in dreams we do things and see things that defy logic, but which never seem out of place or questioned. Defying gravity, seeing weird and strange lights which threaten to reveal the secrets of the universe aren’t questioned. Suddenly being rich or having superhero abilities become the norm. logic is turned on its head and once again, as in childhood when being told about Santa Clause or the tooth fairy, we accept this new environment of psychological creation without question.
But, even in this new totally accepted environment, we can create built in triggers to help make the experience all the more enjoyable.
What am I talking about? I’m talking about the ability to program the mind to wake up if you have a nightmare. This is the case for me. If I start to have a dream I don’t like I automatically say to myself “I don’t like this. Time to wake up.” And I do. This happens regardless of whether or not I am aware that I am dreaming. Since I started doing this I have never had a nightmare that I didn’t want. If things get to scary I just simply wake up. Nightmare over. This, as far as I’m concerned, is an extremely powerful ability, but one which I am thankful for. I don’t know when or how I started doing this.
The other thing about dreams is that about 70% of the population remember the last dream they had. Here’s an interesting question to which I do not know the answer. What percent of the population remembers the 2 or more dreams they have during the night.
Dreams occur when we enter into the deepest of sleep known as Random Eye Movement (REM). Personally I have recalled on at least one occasion when I have been dreaming and was aware that I have had 2 other dreams already. Or even more recently I have recalled in some detail 4 dreams which I had on one particular night. Quite surprising. What percentage of the population does this put me into? That is a question I would love to get answered.
The mind is indeed a powerful thing. To create sensations which have never been experienced in life but which turns out to be very accurate. Dreams and the imagination, hope to coax them into the reality of the waking world.
To fly free of this world and escape into the hidden depths of the soul. To experience sensations which would never be contemplated in the world of the real. To conquer fears and live as thy should like to. Explore thyself. Fears become nothing to be feared. Eternal energy flows through the mind.
But the greatest sensation which gives way to the greatest awe is when the reality of the dream is realised. That the world which is before my very eyes is not real. But created entirely by my mind. A sense of disbelieve fills my mind. I walk up to a door; feel the hard wood and grainy surface beneath my fingertips. I look up and see the sun shining down on me, feel the warmth of its golden rays upon my very skin. See the shadows cast by its brightness. The tarmac beneath my feet, the buildings around me. All this is not real. I feel everything I touch but it’s not real. It’s all in my mind. I am literally creating everything I see. The shock of the situation as I realise all this is overwhelming. But then once again the reality of the situation strikes like a thunderbolt. A million thoughts and ideas rush though my mind and as this is happening, an evil grin grows across my face and all sorts of possibilities flood my mind. This is my world. In here I am God!!! I can do anything I want without consequence. I am no mere mortal. I am not bound by the rules of the norm. I am beyond all. I can run faster than I can.
I try and test this theory, unsure if it will work. I have a muscle I am not sure how to use. I run! Down a street with no end. I feel my feet in my trainers beating the ground. I feel the wind in my face. The cars pass me easily. I pass a group of guys and hear the shouts of “go on ya boy” and “hurry up or you’ll never make it”, floating on the wind behind me and I think in amusement “just like real life”. But I’m not going fast enough. This is my mind. My rules! I am faster than this. Suddenly the cars appear to slow, the cracks in the pavement become blurred, the wind picks up, I feel a see sensation of speed building in by gut. I hardly notice the absence of the sensation of my feet beating the ground which was once so apparent before just seconds ago. I find a “higher gear” and suddenly lunge forward, the sensation of speed building all the time. The cars seem to be going backwards.
Time stands still.
The power is building. Shifting.
I can feel it sinking down, down deeper, down into my thighs. It’s overwhelming. The sensation of speed is trying to overload my mind.
I can’t stand it any longer. I have to do something. I feel an overpowering desire to jump, and jump I do.
A new sensation overtakes my senses. The sense and freedom of flight. No earthly boundaries. I go higher and higher into the clouds. The world drops away beneath me into the distance. I surge upwards into the heavens. I feel the wet moisture from the clouds against my face as I journey though them. Suddenly yet another overwhelming desire takes hold and urges me to fly. Fly as fast as I can.
I’m off once again. Flying into the wind. Destination not important. I feel my entire body become even lighter than before, the power builds and I increase speed. The world beneath me starts to whiz by. First tall building separated by streets merge like the white lines on the road. Their windows first hard to distinguish, then impossible. The buildings themselves turn into giant black streaks, then fades to grey as I angle upwards into the clouds once again.
The city gives way to countryside of green fields and hedgerows with the occasional farmer in his tractor tending them. Further still and I see rivers give way to mountains of multicoloured rock.
Something in the back of my mind says “faster, faster, faster, you’re faster than this.” Once again I feel the surge and then a tremendous sensation of speed. The landscape below be blurs then melts into itself as I go faster and faster and faster.
The land opens up to sea then ocean. I see the dark blue hues as I race over its rippled surface. From the depths of the ocean up ahead I see a pod of Dolphins break the waters surface. Their slick grey streaked bodies with their arching back fin break the surface. Puffs of dense white water vapour erupt up as they blow out and take another deep breath ready to return to the oceanic depths. Some of them jump clear of their watery home and take flight in a display of un-associated aerial grace.
As I fly past I see dark thunder clouds ahead of me. I approach and see white streaks of angled lighting as it travels within the cloud, followed by an ear-bursting thunderclap. I dodge the lightening easily. Faster and faster I go still increasing speed.
In the distance I see the sun. It spears to stay still as I approach its horizon. I feel yet another surge of speed and the world around me takes on yet another change. All colour fades from sight and I am enveloped in a tunnel of grey. I pass onto land and mountains become dark streaks which flash by so quick I have difficulty in realising what I have just seen.
Boredom takes hold and I once again angle up wards aiming for the blue sky itself. As I go higher and higher, the blue fades, gives way to the dark, cold blackness of space and I see billions and billions of stars. Each winking at me. Daring me to set forth and greet them personally.
Off I go. This time speed becomes irrelevant. The size of the cosmos shrinks and I pull it near as though attached by an invisible chain.
I see an array of dazzling colour and various ballets which have been performing since the dawn of time.
The universe shrinks and closes in on me. I see clouds of dazzling sparkling dust millions of light years across and at the centre is a pinprick of light which is slowly sucking the cloud closer to its ever brightening and expanding centre. This is the birth of a new star just like our own. I ponder what manner of life will evolve on the planets which will orbit it in the millions of years yet to come.
I see the sun. our sun. I feel its heat on my face. Its surface is like a boiling pond of lava. I bare witness as huge arches of fire and plasma millions of miles across reach out and wrap its boiling arm round me. I see its warm glow on my hands and feel its life giving heat on my face.
Closing my eyes I relish its cosy effect.
Journeying further I see a spiral of dust and debris heading towards an invisible black mouth, sucking all that is unfortunate enough to be taken within its reach of gravity. Not even light itself can escape its insatiable and endless unrelenting hunger.
Onwards yet again and I see a spiral disk with 2 huge towering jets of light shooting out from the top and bottom. Each is several light years long and beyond comprehension. They reach far out into space like a giant spear piercing its centre.
I go out farther still and I approach the edges of the universe itself. I reach the limit of the imagination. When I can go no further and explore no more I wake up. I realise with disappointment that my journey was a dream. I feel special. Like I have discovered the secrets of the universe. Physically I feel tired. Happy to be home. I realise that what started off as a realisation of dreaming, turned into the journey of a lifetime. The experiences and sensations I was privileged to explore are beyond praise.
All this happened in my mind. At the beginning of this journey it was important that I realise that I was dreaming and then I got lost in the beauty I was seeing and the feelings I was feeling. The power I was talking about felt like all my love and passion, hope and desire, hatred and anger and all my other emotions were compressed, magnified a million times and then turned into pure energy and released within me. Actually it feels like more than that but the words don’t exist to write what I felt. The only way to understand is to feel it. Almost as if everything in the universe was me and I it. We were one and the same. As if I am the universe and I am just flowing through it.
I would like to make clear that I have felt this way before, not when I was dreaming but when I was awake. I wrote about it before. The story is called Garrison. I won’t to into it because that story has already been written. But essentially the feelings are the same. The only difference being that in Garrison I had to make due with feeling the sensations and acknowledging they are there, in this case I was able to do something more with them and used them to take to places I can only dream about.
In garrison it was just me and what was before my eyes. There was nothing else. No worries, fears, dreams, hopes, people, nothing. Just me and what I was witnessing. Experiences such as those leave a long lasting impact on your life and I found that I don’t want to forget even a single feeling. Part of the reason why I write things down. I want my experiences to become yours.
I experienced all this and yet my mind struggles to accept that the journey didn’t happen. Or did it? You decide. I’ve made my mind up about what happened to me. I leave you to make up yours.