Hidden 

DasWortgewand, Pixabay

I felt the need to further explore my character Amunet’s past and this is the result. There appeared to be an underlying message in this “communication”. It was connected to the land and a people that seemed to vanish into forgetfulness and legend. In this chapter she appears as a woman called Magali (the Occitan form of Magdalene). Magali, as she was named by the Cathars who took her in, was considered a living embodiment of a Sleeper. One who decides at death to step back from the cycle of life and death and instead remain asleep in the land, dreaming, foretelling, and communing with all life.

The Cathars (“Pure Ones”) were condemned as heretics by the Church in the 13th century, in an age when its doctrines had hardened into dogma and politicking. The fate of these people was terrible, ending in 1244, in a nine month siege of their mountain fortress of Montsègur (in the Ariège department, south-western France). It culminated in a massacre. Many legends have grown around these mysterious people, with their true essence being hidden beneath a covering of subterfuge and illusion.

Occitan is a Romance language spoken in southern France and other areas. Occitania is the nomenclature given to the area where the language was first spoken and covers the Occitan Valleys in the Italian Alps, the old Aquitaine, Languedoc-Roussillon, the Aran Valley in the Pyrenees and the Principality of Monaco. Here ends my very brief outline. I visited the region many years ago and can testify to its special atmosphere. There is more, but that journey is for another time when the inner silence reveals another piece of the puzzle and allows me a clearer vision of these people. My fascination with them has a purpose. What does Magali have to say?

Mysticsartdesign, Pixabay

Where is here? A place where there are remnants of a people I once knew. I dreamed their fate, touched their fears and yearning, but they’re gone. Crumbled into dust, and scattered by the winds. I slept but was stirred back into life, heard their cries for help, saw what approached. Their eyes stared unseeing at visions rising from the horizon, an omen of things hidden within, cloaked from recognition. Their time was at an end, was foretold, of an age when hate and ignorance would rise in the place of greatest darkness.

My eyes saw their disintegration, as piece by piece their souls flew from shells burning on a multitude of pyres. Danger reigned supreme and the river of poison ran fast and deep, dragged their carcasses to places that should not be uttered aloud. The wind mourned them, brought whispered entreaties, and showered these ruins in melancholy. What an ignominious end to such a civilisation! Yet, hope clung on and Light retreated to a place of safety, waiting and watching.

Where people once enjoyed lives of serenity and contemplation is now shrouded in a loveliness born of sadness and tears. We search the past to find meaning in the present. Brush away earth and sand to reveal artefacts to catalogue, name and display as a manifestation of a knowledge that is ultimately empty. The land will not reveal its secrets to those who have no understanding of the meaning of this life and the mysteries of the Universe. I will not reveal knowledge and understanding that must be earned, in hardships many times. If you will not listen to me, then you are free to meet your fate on the road ahead, do not bemoan what befalls you.

These ruined buildings of stone and mud brick decay in this dry, wind and sun blasted place but life always find a way. It sends roots deep into the earth, is nourished by the heart of the planet. The spirits of this city sing to me, welcome me back but know it has come at a cost. More than they care to acknowledge. What glories this place has seen, drawing in luminaries from worlds seen and unseen. Bejewelled towers sprang forth to vanish into the clouds, testimony to a civilisation worthy of its name, now forgotten. I call to it, urge it to rise from its untimely grave. Hear me my beloved heart, take my hand and walk the roads of illumination and majesty that were once your right. Perfection of the spirit was your ultimate destination, it was the spring from which your people drank and bathed their sacred centres. I tended to the gardens of their soul, taught them the ways of mysteries, brought them to the place of death, and rebirth into a second life.

Mysticsartdesign, Pixabay

As for me, I stand with feet buried in sand and memories, see dreams cast shadows across eyes that stare unseeing across the ages. See me for who I really am and be welcome. I bring the deep comfort of a mother’s arms, nourish your soul and aspirations, and cut the cord joining us when the time comes. My blade has a sharp kiss, and draws blood that fall like rubies, embodying both beauty and terror. I hold your ancestral history and my blood is your blood, ruby red and filled with wonders. I was Hidden but reveal myself now. See me, hear me.

 

Mysticsartdesign, Pixabay

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Pause for Breath

StockSnap, Pixabay

My last post may have sounded doom filled and steeped in angst. It wasn’t meant to be. The posts that are most personal and intimate (emotionally) emerge when the inner world responds like a boat’s sail to winds bringing change and guidance. They herald moments of introspection and the need for silence.

My Muse, Anubis, tends to choose such moments to offer words of wisdom. You have to understand the interaction isn’t purely a creative device; it’s a glimpse into worlds a Seeker after Wisdom and Self-Insight finds themselves travelling. Legions of such Seekers, from all spiritual traditions and none, have undertaken journeys that have profoundly changed them and their perception of this world.

For some people the journey never ends as they search for elusive truths and answers. They place one foot after the other and walk through doorway after doorway. The Universe offers them a glimpse of a world that has suddenly become unfamiliar. It has always been the same but our perception of it has changed.

StockSnap, Pixabay

We become perplexed and doubt the validity of reality, doubt our ability to function without the illusion of a stable Universe. The truth is it’s never been stable, it’s in constant flux, shaped by our thoughts, actions and speech.  During moments of quiet we can hear the inner voice speaking its truth and engaging in dialogue, dialogue that is usually drowned out by the noise of our lives.

It appears many people can’t bear silence, makes you wonder what they’re fearful of hearing when the noise stops.

Pause for breath and listen to what the inner voice has to say.

The link is to a lovely piece of music evoking the beauty and grandeur of nature. It may help in your moments of pausing.

http://player.lemonadebox.com/kkbtwz
“Tundra” by the Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo (lyrics by Charles Anthony Silverstein)

Meeting at the Crossroads

JanBaby, Pixabay

A crossroad beckons on the horizon once more, and my feet are approaching it at a leisurely pace. So unlike me it has to be said. Evidently I’m mellowing in middle age.

Change is a coming and I’m not sure how to face it. Much like my reaction to prevailing weather conditions. It’s been cold, windy and rainy for weeks, and I haven’t even ventured into the garden to say hello to its inhabitants. My usual seat at the kitchen table has remained empty, which is a shame as it’s an important part of my writing and dreaming. It’s window facing and provides a lovely view of life unfolding through the seasons. It also gives me space to go inwards and sense the emotion of my inner landscape. One might say being a spectator has its uses, but disengaging from participating in life’s dramas makes Jan a dullard indeed.

The spectres of inertia and frustration are ever-present in our lives, beasts that are unwilling to loosen their grip. They gnaw at our innards and inject soporific poisons into our veins. We need all our courage and survival instincts to break free and run. That is until we get to a place of safety and gather our resources, summon our magician’s powers and bind the damned creatures. I’m talking more Gandalf than Harry Potter.

“More Gandalf than Harry Potter?” a voice queries from behind me.

That voice, with deep threads of mystery and dark wickedness running through it. His Nibs. I’ve neglected him for a while, just as well. No disrespect mighty one, the work we will be undertaking will require all of my strength and resilience, as well as hope. The path I’ve chosen to walk isn’t easy, more fool me! When you ask to enter into the service of Anubis, you need to carefully consider the implications of your decision. He’ll test your substance and spirit to almost breaking point.

He mutters with indignation, “that sounds a little harsh, you’ll scare them off.”

“Sorry, but it’s the truth. No point in sugar-coating what’s essentially a season ticket to the Underworld and Duat, ferrying the dead, lost, guiding initiates, breaking through fear, glimpsing awe-filled mysteries. I could go on.”

“Fine, things have been a little difficult for you lately, that’ll die away. Sorry, occupational hazard.” His voice trails off at the withering look on my face.

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View from kitchen window, Jan Malique

Human existence appears to be experienced in cycles and tantalising episodes in a rite of passage drama. Rites of passage seem to be barely celebrated in modern societies; almost becoming relics from a past that’s viewed with curiosity and nostalgia. That’s my opinion. Commercialism and materialism have taken over, retailers dictate when and what we should be celebrating. We’re urged to empty our wallets and spend rashly on the old plastic in order to show our affection and commiseration on specified dates. Why? Can’t we be trusted with showing care at any point in the calendar year?

“I like seeing you like this, a good rant releases useful chemicals in the brain. Go for it my little friend.” Says an ancient Egyptian God wearing a hoodie.

He then flashes the Ace of Spades in my face. I look at it and wonder why he’s showing me the card.

The Jackal God watches closely, absorbing every detail of my expression.

“The Ace of Spades is traditionally considered the Death card, but not always with physical death. It’s associated with personal transformation, changes, endings and beginnings. Such things are sometimes viewed with fear and troubled minds. Yet, there’s no rebirth without the ending of our old selves. New growth can’t flourish without removal of all that’s dead. This card symbolises ancient mysteries and hidden truths. See it and drink in its message.”

I understand and tell him “Death has appeared many times when I’ve consulted the oracle.”

“Who’s the oracle? Anyone we know?” he asks quietly.

I answer equally quietly “The Magician’s Tarot by Quareia.”

Pexels, Pixabay

I can see the readings vividly in my mind, beautiful but disquieting images. Portents of seemingly dire events and possible futures, of messages from powers beyond this plane, of restriction, illness and healing. The Abyss and Underworld showed their faces. There was more but I’m not jumping to any conclusions. He knows all this but isn’t saying anything. Our meeting at the Crossroads heralds a time of reassessment, doesn’t it always!

“How may I serve?” I ask again, for it’s a question that needs to be articulated, with confidence and without fear. I’ve searched for him for so long, entered into the womb of the Underworld and returned changed, not always prepared for what’s unfolded. In hindsight it’s helped in the process of shattering a restrictive carapace and unhealthy conditioning.

I look at the hoodie wearing God of the Dead and Transformations and call his name, ask for guidance and clarification. I ask to learn the songs of grief and unchaining as my journey progresses, I ask for the wisdom to recognise and acknowledge the lessons being bestowed, for myself and others. He takes me to the Saqqara, the necropolis of ancient Memphis in Egypt, a place he’s walked again and again in long distant times. The sun bleached sand and stone of its landscape still holds a sleeping power, resonating with echoes of the dead and curiosity of throngs of the living.

We watch the two worlds intermingle, their inhabitants pass by each other, sometimes catching glimpses of things that puzzle and induce longing. The centuries roll by before us, he’s seen it all. Time falls like a huge waterfall, drenching us in its spray. There’s only silence flowing around us, gleaming like water illuminated by the Sun. It stretches beyond the horizon. It’s the Silence of Knowing. A tool to break our shackles.

NeuPaddy, Pixabay

 

Whispers of the Heart: Is This Love?

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an_photos, Pixabay

Seraph’s fall into manifestation continues as does my journey with him. He, Amunet and Anubis form an important triad of universal forces. I place my feet in their footsteps, see through their eyes and feel the heartbeat within their chests. Amunet and Seraph were birthed into existence as a result of flash fiction challenges and have remained with me through various adventures. Anubis has always been with me. Their journeys are part of a greater project, this much I can see. This blog was started initially to record my musings about life and the Universe, as well as to generate ideas for bigger projects. I had no idea where it would either go or whether it would fizzle out after a while.

It’s becoming apparent to me that the main blog is coalescing into a few threads that form the matrix of a bigger web; one stretching into infinity. That’s how it feels. The search for meaning in an endless Universe can appear overwhelming, sometimes we touch sparks of star light that have a story to tell. All we can do is listen and record their tales.

On this occasion one such spark, named Seraph for convenience, has descended into human form for reasons that will become clearer further down the path. An angelic being, consisting of pure energy finds themselves inhabiting flesh and bone. What a dilemma! It’s not an easy state of being, force has been poured into a form and experiencing all its attendant problems. Imagine eons of feeling unfamiliar emotions and physical sensations. They’ve changed gender throughout many lifetimes. In this incarnation Seraph is female and this short excerpt shows her trying to cope with the realities of love and loss, bittersweet twin poles of human existence. Seraph turns to Amunet for solace. I’m not sure whether I’ve captured the true essence of this experience, but here goes:

Engin_Akyurt, Pixabay

Seraph:

Their life force pulses, ebbs and flows, finds your innermost places, whispers sweetly of worldly things, promises heaven. He touched my face with the gentlest of fingers, traced my lips in adoration, and looked at me with eyes brimming with light. I touched his heart, watched it take breath after breath, heard its whispers of longing, it called my name and I answered. Is this love Amunet? Arms held me within a such a grip, as if I was a treasure beyond compare. What could I do but respond and bury my face in his neck, draw in his scent, kiss his jaw. Skin to skin we lay on the grass, the stars being witness to entwining, heart to heart, soul to soul. I was lost, truly lost in these moments of love, of shared joy at being alive. My tears flowed, tasted of the Great Ocean of Life. Is this love Amunet?

Amunet:

My dear, dear Seraph, I can feel such pain in your words. Yes, it is love and much more. This is an integral part of their existence, of being human. It can bring with it utterly sublime experiences, filled with both tears and laughter. Let your sorrow bring healing, let it go my friend. You’ve been witness to eons upon eons of life cycles, seen the natural order of things, take the essence of such an experience and treasure it.

Seraph:

Yes, such has been my experience, never being drawn into the minutiae of life. Taking such sights and offering them to the Greater Consciousness. As for now, it was my choice to see their world. Their lives are played out on a stage filled with regrets, yearnings, greed, hatred, joy and love. Many wander the long road in search of meaning, in search of themselves. He came to me naked of pretence, filled my life with laughter, and enriched my knowledge of this unfamiliar world. I find it difficult to seek the words to describe how I truly feel at his loss. He became diminished, life essence bleeding away over time. Then one day, his heart no longer spoke to me, it whispered a song of departure. I listened, urged it to live. He went, left me. This is the sword hanging over all that are made of mortality. I know that, but it’s hard to accept.

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pixel2013, Pixabay

Amunet:

(Gently cradles Seraph in her arms and rocks her).

That’s it, let the tears flow. Capture these moments as memories frozen in time and space and place them in the Vaults of Remembrance my dear, dear Seraph. They will give you solace when the time comes to return to the stars, love is worth its weight in gold, forever incorruptible, remember that.

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rawpixel, Pixabay

 

A Pox on All Spammers

Image: James_Jester, Pixabay

It appears one of my posts has been favoured by a select group of spammers. They’ ve been lavishing fragrant words of flattery and guile on it for months. Elusive is the post in question, and Elusive it’s going to be as I’ve deleted it now.

I’m sure His Nibs will be amused at the turn of events. One lot of spammers appear to indulge in nonsensical prose and the others, they’re linked to various porn sites. Quelle horreur! My delicate nature was terribly shocked, I had to resort to tea and cake to calm down. Perhaps I’m being naive, an innocent journeying through unsafe waters filled with all manner of sea monsters. To be honest I’ve been quite lucky with responses to my posts. So what am I complaining for?

This issue is irritating, like a banal pop tune stuck in your mind. Or a runny nose and unproductive cough. His Nibs is shaking his head in despair, it appears I’m enjoying complaining.  How rude! What is the world coming to when you can’t even moan in your own Shed. He gives me a look that speaks volumes in several known and unknown languages. Wrong move on my part…

I’ve not had much time to concentrate on developing the blog due to longstanding commitments. My recent wanderings have given me sore feet and precipitated a certain ennui deep within the spirit. Perhaps it’s due to the separation from familiar friends, Anubis, and the troublesome Hare (yes, I’m talking about you, you tea drinking fiend). Perhaps it’s due to being caught in a rut, of going over familiar ground over and over again. So much so that I’m stuck in mud up to my ankles.

The inner creative landscape has shifted profoundly, ebbing and flowing. At times emerging scorched from the rays of an ever-growing sun. One evolving into a giant, ready to go supernova. Then the greening of this landscape began at the close of last year. I finally managed to clean the dust off many projects, vowing to get back on my spiritual quests. Too many distractions caused me to lose focus. Have they taught me anything? Much. The Hero engaged upon the greatest quest of their life often suffers doubt, lack of faith and despair. Their inner resolve is prey to dangers lurking on the path, which can seem terribly lonely and lacking light in many ways.

What does this have to do with my spammers? Not much, except to release the words that have been dammed for so long. My musings had become a mystery to even to me.

His Nibs smiles beguilingly, we have an important appointment approaching. So you’ll have to excuse me. The Shed is due for redecoration and I have to contemplate my navel and ponder on the meaning of Lif. Or fight dragons, but as I like dragons this isn’t going to happen any time soon.

If You Want To Start A Revolution, Start A Garden — Heathen Embers

This post may resonate with many people, its message is positive and empowering.

Forget protesting in the streets. The most revolutionary thing you can do is to plant a garden. Ideally a garden that nourishes all aspects of your being, not just your belly but your overall physical, mental and spiritual health. A garden is a place of many activities and benefits, but primarily it is a place […]

via If You Want To Start A Revolution, Start A Garden — Heathen Embers

The Impossible is Possible He Says: A Return to the Beginning of Things

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Me in 2015

I don’t like being photographed, due to shyness mainly. For purposes of this post a decision was made to use a photo, a selfie (I dislike those things usually) taken in 2015. She stares at me with a look I remember well, filled with secrets and questions. The core of this person remains unchanged, as much as a whirling vortex can.

A whirling vortex?” he repeats slowly, the look on his face is thoughtful. His Nibs appears out of thin air, typical of these deities to indulge in dramatic behaviour.

His absence has been longer than usual, which has given me time to tie up a few loose ends. I look at his face for indication, any indication of his thought processes. He draws sigils and hieroglyphs into the air, sacred symbols etched in fire. I see a raging ocean struck many times by lightning. The First Time. Anubis is in his golden form orchestrating the play of elements. There is silence in this place of the first creation, a silence that is infused with many layers of meaning. The Mound is yet to appear. Strange that I should be witness to this again.

Image: Golden Anubis, Jan Malique

Being born is an initiation, a period of trial, tribulation and learning. We infuse our lives with beauty, pepper it with tears and sadness, and write its story in our personal Book of Life. The time has come to continue my story in the Book of Life. He hands it to me gently and smiles. I stare at it with the same look my other self had in the photo. She was yearning for change and wondering whether her circumstances would shift, evolve. Sometimes the perceived impossibility of the task at hand can throw you off kilter. Introspection can bring with it fears and uncertainties. They are unavoidable but necessary.

“I’ve stood on the edge of towering sand dunes peered down at you, watching your every move and thought. Your eyes have reflected the incandescent light of stars burning at the edge of galaxies, throwing illumination into the heart of darkness. You seek, question and demand, as you should. What answers have you obtained? You smile and give me that look. Filled with secrets and questions. Are you ready to serve, to pierce the illusions of this world and act? Take care to speak honestly and without prevarication. Serve higher ideals. The Impossible is Possible”

Anubis intends these words for those who are ready for the Journey.

His eyes burn with ancient fire and his hand gestures towards the unfolding of creation within the First Time. This journey is one towards the beginning of all things, a return to Source. We sit on the Sacred Mound beneath the waters of Chaos, the Eight peer at us intently, alien frog and snake headed creatures from a time before time. A return to the original womb of being can involve dangers, realisations of truths we may not be ready to face. I sense movement of the Eight and also of something more…The waters of Chaos bubble and shift constantly. His Nibs watches, silent as the depths of the Void, and as inscrutable.

The storm continues around us, but we‘re sitting in a space set apart deep within the eye of the storm. A place of deep significance and sacredness, the First Temple from which all others were birthed. Again I sense movement of the Eight and also of something more. From out of the gloom emerge his priests, jackal headed men bearing his mark. They stretch into infinity, forming a processional way into the depths. This is the path into the depths of the subconscious, hence the guardians of the portals safeguarding the way. There are places where no light has ever pierced, where no voice has uttered sound. We dare to pass through these halls of silence, and dare to emerge intact.

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Image: Trandoshan, Pixabay

He employs sleight of hand, confuses our senses, makes us believe the real is unreal and takes us to the very edge of reality. We stand on the precipice and peer over the edge. We peer deep within our selves, for that is the purpose of this journey, of any journey, to find our truth and speak it.

The Eight churn the waters of Chaos, creating life where there was possibility and promise. The Sacred Mound waits our return, it is time for emergence, manifestation of all possibilities and promises. The Benu bird utters the first sound that breaks the eternal silence and the child Ra emerges from the waters in his womb of Blue Lotus. His light pierces the eternal darkness and so it begins. The Sacred Mound waits on our return and embraces us as we emerge. From silence and darkness does life emerge, looking out into a vast Universe filled with mysteries.

Anubis is known by many names, one being the Walker between the Worlds, another being Psychopomp, and another The Opener. He’s a shaman par excellence, guardian of the portals between the different states of consciousness. We meet him at significant points in life, so as to be eased into states of death and resurrection, symbolic and real. What’s prompted this bout of soul searching? I’d ordered a book written about Anubis and had to wait nearly three months for it, due to delays that seemed to go and on. This issue tested my patience severely, at one point I thought he was “pulling on my chain” just to see what I would do. It unveiled aspects of myself that needed looking at, and here I am looking at some of them.

Emulating Banksy: My Life On A Wall

Bull rhyton, bought from a favourite shop in London, , ©Jan Malique 2018

I haven’t taken up graffiting but look to Banksy for inspiration on this occasion. The anonymous graffiti artist, political activist and film director has attracted controversy, criticism and praise in the pursuit of his art form. Some may view his activities as vandalism, others as an important commentary on the socio-political life of this world. I leave that up to you. What of my efforts?

I photographed a number of personal objects and applied a photographic effect, funnily enough called Banksy from the Superphoto app. Loved the results. It was a surreal experience seeing much-loved associations take on new nuances.

Imagine walking down familiar streets day in day out, absorbed in your thoughts, focussed on getting to your destination, bored, happy, sad, angry. Then one day you emerge from your cocoon to find startling images on the walls in your neighbourhood. They look familiar, in fact they’re aspects of your life. Snapshots placed in a huge scrapbook that’s the world of sense and imagination.

You stop and stare, wonder who created these intriguing images and for what purpose. They look back at you and say “you’re the canvas we’re painted on”.

You may notice a lack of people in these images, that’s because I want to preserve their privacy. Although there is one image showing myself, a cousin and siblings on a visit to London Zoo. It captures a happy moment in our lives and is therefore treasured. Books feature for many reasons…

Anubis stauette, what can I say that hasn’t been said?, ©Jan Malique 2018

Buddha statuette, a present from a former colleague who bought it in Thailand and had it blessed by a monk, ©Jan Malique 2018

Ptah pendant, one of my most valued possessions, as he is my main ‘man’,©Jan Malique 2018

Cookery books, encapsulating life, hospitality and warmth, ©Jan Malique 2018

A childhood memory, visiting London Zoo, ©Jan Malique 2018

A favourite book, uplifting and profound, ©Jan Malique 2018

Passion for Gardening, and source of healing,©Jan Malique 2018

Alchemy and Mysticism, a journey of twin paths, ©Jan Malique 2018

Another favourite book by Jeremy Naydler, and a focus of my studies,©Jan Malique 2018

Carl Kerenyi’s classic of things hidden and transcendent, ©Jan Malique 2018

A treasured find, and a mystery still unravelling,©Jan Malique 2018

Entrance to Bryn Celli Ddu, neolithic burial chamber on Anglesey, a portal between worlds,©Jan Malique

Shiva Nataraja (Lord of the Dance), heartbeat of the Universe,©Jan Malique

A great passion: Tango, ©Jan Malique

A great passion: Flamenco, ©Jan Malique

 

Reflections in a Train Window

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Image: Free-Photos, Pixabay

I was trying to avoid writing a review of the past year, only to prevent horrible flash backs you understand. To protect the identities of the guilty and reviled I shall keep this piece as innocuous as possible. The very thought brings tears to my eyes, or is that the onions?  I return to work next Monday after a week’s holiday and not sure how I should react. It appears my ambition of winning the lottery hasn’t manifested, so feign bitter disappointment perhaps? I jest (with tongue firmly in cheek).

Why title this small but slightly cranky little post Reflections in a Train Window? Why indeed? Oh, you want me to elaborate? I’ve used public transport nearly all my life and don’t mind using it on the whole. It’s been a lifeline since I moved from a busy city to rural Wales. Admittedly I rely on my partner and taxis to take me to the train station which is 20-25 minutes away. We don’t have a bus service where we live, unfortunately rural areas aren’t well served and I don’t see it improving. London was a different prospect, buses, trains and the underground rail system were easily accessible. Now my independence has been curtailed a little but I knew there were compromises to be made when making the decision to move.

Back to trains. They’ve been a source of adventure when my journeys have been for pleasure rather than for work. That’s the positive side, the reality is underfunding of the rolling stock, high ticket prices (and high profits for shareholders), and safety issues. For many trains are a lifeline and they’re being priced out. The railway system is ripe for nationalisation folks. I did say this post was going to be cranky.

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Image: ulleo, Pixabay

As for the reflections part. I like window seats, they give me an opportunity to dream and stare at the passing terrain. Stories get woven, insights obtained from introspection, and people to watch, including my reflection. At times it feels like we’re passing through life rather than live it and immerse ourselves in its waters. This may be a reality for many, next time you’re travelling just look at the faces of your fellow passengers. What are they thinking, dreaming of? Many times I’ve wanted to get off my commuter train and jump on another train to fresh horizons, to sit, watch, write, feel the wind on my face and breathe sea air. Perhaps the perceived shackles are ready to be kicked off, the ice bound instruments of frustration are thawing, brittle and waiting for the kiss of a hammer.

Changes are afoot deep, deep inside. It’s like looking through that train window and seeing things of interest flash by, like fish in a fast flowing river, like foxes peering through the long grass, and curious blackbirds watching on a branch. My journeys may be metaphorical, for now, but the reality is weaving itself as I write this piece. No New Year resolutions have been made, only promises to myself that have been planted, now gestating in the dark, waiting for the kiss of the strengthening Sun. It’s a time of releasing, cleansing, and forgiveness. Also a time for reconnecting with people and projects that are important.