It stirs again.
The lighthouse that shines unfaltering into the night comes full circle, and seems to shudder at the sight of a ship. It's stranded and full of gleaming curiosities but there seems no way to help. There has to be something I can do. I run, down countless stairs and find sight of the door which opens quickly into the seemingly endless night. My feet hurt. I'm running as fast as I can but with little idea of what I'm going to do when I get to where I'm going, or even really where I'm going. The first crystal splashes of icy salt water take my breath away but I can't stop, I don't know why, I just know I can't stop. Everything I try to do isn't working and the tide pulls me further away from my quarry, and in turn pulls it further away from me. This was a bad idea. I battle through the cold night and somehow manage to get within touching distance of the ship; it's smaller than it seemed at first but as I clamber onto the deck I'm immediately aware of a sense of overwhelming vastness. There's too much to do. There's too much to see and I can't carry it all back. I need to pick the best things, the things that'll help the most. Is that two different things? Why should I have to pick between what I need and what I want? Why should any of us? I quickly become aware of the fact that nothing on here would survive the unforgiving brine and unless I dive back and seek the solitude of my lighthouse, neither will I. I need to try and remember everything that's here, absorbing anything that I can make a mental note of and quickly retreat. As quickly as it started, it ends. My breath is taken away by the cold night air and I swim with everything I have left to make the shore. It takes longer and I become aware of my frailties, it takes an effort I didn't know I possessed. I somehow manage to make it back to the sand but this voyage of misadventure has taken a toll on me. I stagger, hunched over and breathing heavily, up the beach and make it back to the bottom of the lighthouse and open the door. The stairs seem more vast than I ever remembered but I somehow am able to drag myself up them to the top and the sanctity of my domain. Warmth and light greet me as I open the door and quickly find a blanket to drape around myself. I make myself a tea and stare out into the night to see the ship has fully submerged and all that I sought to take from it is lost forever. I feel my hands growing warmer and the physical toll of my impulsive adventure seems slightly less now. I wish I could remember what I saw, it could have changed things, could have made me a better person. Foolhardiness or old age will inevitably win the war, but for now it seems I'm safe.
I wish I could write all the time and put down tales that would make people forget everything else. I'm inspired in passing by fleeting instances but I'm too aware that I can't take it all with me. I can't take it all in and I can't change the way I seem to find flashes of what might be something special, only to realise I have no way of transporting them from one place to another.
Tuesday, 2 August 2016
I don't really write about mixed martial arts too much these days, there's way too many conflicts of interest. It's not to say that I'm not moved enough to write about these things but it's easier to have these conversations with close friends without the potential headaches.
Saturday night however, made me want to write something down, at the very least so there's a tangible and permanent link to the magic that unfolded.
Every fight I judge is the most important fight I've judged up until that point and it always will be. My focus is complete and absolute when the action starts. It's hard to describe the serenity that overcomes me when I'm judging fights. It's addictive. It's a state where there's nothing else but the kinesia that I'm trying to compartmentalize. Every thing that happens in those minutes is processed, evaluated and understood.
It's only afterwards however, does the magnitude of what I've just witnessed often catch up with me and it's not till I'm generally on my own that the reflections replay themselves. I'll stare endlessly into the sky as every single detail is digested and discussed internally; a million monologues and what ifs that swim around my subconsciousness.
The good people that we see compete in this great sport are the same as us but different. They're different because they're prepared to roll that dice and stare down the barrel of the unknown. They understand the risks, the rewards and the consequences of diving headfirst into a maelstrom of danger and uncertainty. The gap between winning and losing for these unique people may be slight but the repercussions of falling either side of the line are vast beyond comprehension.
It's only when the lights come on, the intensity fades and normality resumes are we left with the realizations that we can never undo what has just taken place. More importantly though, we can never forget the magnitude of supreme sacrifices that were made on every level; to create something so beautifully chaotic that will surely last forever.
Sunday, 3 July 2016
I do this all the time.
I obsess about things for very short periods.
None of them are related, none of them are from the present day and none of them are really helpful to me in any way.
I'll read pages and pages of old interviews and news articles, watch documentaries and videos online and basically try and fit as much knowledge as my head will let me store. I'll wonder and wish that I could experience everything that happened to him/her/them and what effect that massive change would have had on me.
It's all what ifs, but then so much of life is; even if we know that really doesn't solve anything.
It moves from one thing to another with almost regimented certainty.
It'll be a band one day, a video game the next but it really can be anything including various historical and cultural events from years gone by.
I don't know why I do this but it's probably one of the most consistent mental happenings in all of my years on this planet.
Until next time
Tuesday, 10 May 2016
Every time I've got a feeling in my head about putting words down; the first image I get is one like this.
I love standing by a window watching the world go by, but it's made so much more special when that world is uninviting.
It fills me with the same sense that I used to get when I was younger and living at my mum's house.
I'd sit for hours playing videogames with various hot beverages, but I'd forever find myself lost in thought, gazing out of my window whenever it rained or snowed.
I'd see people hurrying along to try and find the shelter that we're all programmed to need from my spot, huddled next to the radiator. It's never rather him/her than me, it's a million miles away from gloating.
It's just a feeling that surrounds me like a bubble and for those seconds, there really isn't anything else that I need to do. There's nothing else to worry about because there's nothing else. Irrespective of where and how and who, the process remains drifting away in a sea of gentle neon lights and warmth; the sound of harsh winds seem a million miles away.
I always say the same things but then, these words make my arms tingle as they leave my head and appear in front of my eyes.
Until next time
Wednesday, 16 March 2016
Maybe there doesn't have to be a message to all of these, or indeed any of these.
Maybe I'm just in a spot where I wish I had more time to waste, with the people I love wasting time with.
You know who you are, you're the ones who make this whole voyage worth it. As long as every day contains me and you then that's all that matters to me at this time.
Time's such a funny old concept when you sit and think about it.
We're told to plan for the future whilst somehow learning lessons from the past. It doesn't give us a lot of room think about the present does it?
There's a constant focus on where are we going to be in 5 years time, what were you doing 10 years ago and other such clichés, but why?
I'm not saying you have to live every day like it's your last, but it's become way too easy to concentrate on what you should be doing and what you used to be doing, rather on simply what you're doing.
Until next time
Thursday, 11 February 2016
You don't get too many chances at happiness, not real happiness anyway. There's plenty of opportunities to do things that make you stop asking questions briefly; those questions that you're not sure you want to know the answers to. You make the right choice about making yourself happy however, and it's like changing a wall for a window.
You've just got to be brave enough to make that choice and to make that change. Your life will change immeasurably if you let it.
This past weekend was my first away since before Christmas and, as always happens with these things, I was equal parts excited and disquiet. The event itself, ACB 29 in Warsaw, was really good and the experience was a great one.
Flying home however, was a different kettle of fish altogether.I'd had layover in Zurich for the day where I'd managed to keep myself occupied with a combination of my tablet and a very hospitable Starbucks.
My final flight was a quick hop across to Manchester but as I sat watching Threads, I saw the sky turn angry as I waited for the minutes to tick away.
The flight itself was largely without incident but upon descent into Manchester, I became very aware of just how windy it had become. I looked once out of the window briefly and then leant back with my eyes closed, listening to Copeland.
It had always been the best music to fly to I had learned; a swirling mix of vocal magnificence and scant beauty. I felt my stomach leap upwards and then down as the plane darted towards the runway but these nerves were soon quashed as the wheels hit the deck.
Inertia held me tight, like I imagine a friendly bear would as he evaluated my threat, but I was miles away somehow; ready for the gentle braking to replace the harsh braking and for everyone to stand up before the seatbelt sign had gone out.
It was then I realised something wasn't quite right.
The harsh braking hadn't subsided and I felt more and more concious of a strange gaining of speed. I passed it off as nothing but, after a few seconds, ascertained that this wasn't the norm. I looked at the window to see nothing but clouds, a mirror of dark greyness that didn't seem to be thinning any time soon.
I looked around quickly to gauge reactions but amazingly, nobody seemed to be budging an inch from where they sat or from what they were doing. This was seemingly a common thing but in my head it felt anything but.
I'd switched my phone back on as we were landing, and managed to message Vanille to let her know I was nearly on Terra Firma but as we went back up I sent her another few messages. The problem is that only one of them sent; basically the one that said "The plane is going back into the air for some reason."
The subsequent messages to allay any fears didn't get sent as I ascended back into the great grey unknown, and therein lied the whole crux of my panic.
It wasn't about me. It wasn't about would I be ok. It was about her. It was all about not being able to see Vanille again. It was to about how she was coping with the limited information I'd given her.
I struggled for a second to cope but quickly realised my best shot was to stay calm and think positively. I hit the unlock button on my phone and was presented by the following image.
It's hard to describe what I felt exactly at that moment.
It felt like the feeling I get when I fall asleep in the sun or the feeling I get when I first come home at night. It's the feeling when she falls asleep holding on to me, and the feeling I get when my phone goes and she's sent me a message.
It was just a feeling of pure bliss and, at 20,000 ft on a perilous Sunday night, it was exactly what I needed to negotiate myself down from the heavens and back into the welcoming arms of the airport.
The rest of the journey home was relatively uneventful, save for an internal countdown that seemed to magnify the closer I got to being home.
The girl with the sunshine smile had saved my life once again and, as I lay in bed that evening, I held tightly in my head everything that had happened throughout the last few hours and tightly in my arms that which had made me brief brush with the uncertain so much easier.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that the people in life who make us the happiest, contribute way more to the fabric of our being than they could every truly imagine. Every single day is an adventure but, save for the kindred soul of the perfect person, we'd simply wander aimlessly into the dark, without map or compass or more importantly the sunshine.
Until next time.
Thursday, 28 January 2016
I'm pretty sure I've hit it.
Maybe I've been here a while.
It's hard to tell in a lot of respects where this simmering feeling of discontent comes from. There's a good chance it's been here for months, many many months. I just know things are going to have to change and I'm going to have to make them change. Daylight hours are too precious to spend wishing they were over.
Everything else is amazing btw, if this title sounds a touch melodramatic. We'll speak again soon on better circumstances I'm sure.