Who am I

A very close friend, one who can get away with saying just about anything to me, told me that troubled people are attracted to me because I am honest. I will listen to them, stand by them & help them fight their demons.

But there comes a point when those same people will turn on me & attack me because the same honesty that first appealed will call them out on their blind spots, will challenge them to address the real real issues, will not put up with bullshit.

So my friends, my true friends, are those who do not “need” me but who choose to spend time in my company, knowing who I truly am; knowing that I have faults & failings; knowing my true worth.

I need to learn to recognise the former group, not so I can avoid them, but so I can let them go without being damaged by them.

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The Boy

The Boy

He was alive once,
the boy.
Eyes alight with the joy of the dance,
lithe, muscular, with the sheen of youth,
an athlete, delighting
in his speed and strength,
pushing to the limits
in sweat and blood;
a gentle soul,
perched high on the sand dunes,
watching the children play,
as he had once done,
in sparkling summers
of childhood
that last forever.
A darkness shadowing
the sparkle then;
what thoughts were there?

He was alive once,
the boy.
Learning to live
after cruelty and neglect,
learning to care
for a damaged world ;
a willing hand outstretched
as willing hands had once
reached out to him.
He gathered people round him,
attracted by the vitality,
the innocence, the dancing eyes,
a boy on the verge
of becoming a man.

He was alive once,
the boy.
But in the blinking of an eye,
the screech of brakes,
clatter of metal on tarmac,
choking fumes of scorched rubber,
a blur of movement,
the light went out,
and those eyes danced no more.
There is darkness
in the world.

I cannot walk at Gruinard now,
without seeing
the shadow of a boy
perched on the dunes,
running on the sands,
splashing through clear water,
echoes of laughter
on summer days.
Fifteen years of memories
of a boy,
whose world changed through love,
and who changed
the world around him.
Perhaps we met an angel unawares,
come briefly to earth,
a free spirit
to show us the way…..

Or perhaps
he was just a boy…..

Snail Camp

Here we are at Cruachan Farm Campsite just outside Killin in Perthshire for our second Snail Camp.

We arrived yesterday afternoon, 8 people and 7 dogs. Time was spent, as it often is in Killin, sitting outside the Falls of Dochart pub with a pint of excellent Inveralmond Brewery real ale, whilst admiring the actual Falls of Dochart roaring over the rocks and away under the bridge.

Followed by a meal in the Coach House and more real ale.

We rolled back to the campsite feeling very happy, very relaxed and very tired! Into the sleeping bags with the big screen firmly zipped shut against that scourge of Scottish summers, the midgies!

The dog, as usual, slept pressed up against the screen, not at all happy with this strange arrangement….

The morning dawned, grey and damp and midgy. I retired to the car to eat my breakfast.

I sat, looking out at the caravans, the wooden “pods” and the scattered tents. There are not many people outside, and those that are can be seen scratching themselves at intervals and moving into places where the breeze is catching.

We are gathering now ready to climb our first hill of the holiday – Meall nan Ptarmigan.

Fireside Musings

I’m really not sure it will catch on. The Christmas Tree is standing in its holder in the corner. But it is naked. Unclothed. Minimalism taken to an extreme.
It has been there for two days, having been extracted with some difficulty from the front porch. And I am kind of getting used to it – but I can’t help thinking it misses the point.
I could have decorated it, dressed it, this evening. But I am lying quite comfortably by the wood burner, which is blazing nicely, having been fed some pieces of the old floor from the church, nice dry oak wood. The dog is sprawled on the rug, her head on my legs, slumbering peacefully. I have a glass of red wine to hand & am recovering, warming up nicely after a chilly winter walk on the beach.
The boxes of baubles have been disinterred from the glory hole & are perched on the rocking chair. Perhaps if I concentrate really hard, I can transfer them to the tree without having to move…….
It isn’t working…..I am reminded of that bit in the bible where Jesus talks about moving mountains if you have faith enough. Perhaps baubles are too trivial a thing to waste faith on….or perhaps he was being figurative rather than literal.
The present buying rigmarole has been completed, the wrapping process still to come.
And the turkey has been ordered. It is probably roosting just now, blissfully unaware of its fate. Or perhaps it has a vague uneasy feeling that all is not well…
So the tree can wait I think, and join the rest of us, waiting, waiting, for a day.