Take a look in the mirror and what do you see?
Not what, who.
Now look again and meet your eyes, your beautiful eyes.
What story do they tell? Can you dare to hold your own gaze? Unflinching.
Can your unflinching gaze alight on all of you? On all of you?
Your secrets held in that gaze, tremble in the light of discovery.
Oh, it’s so easy to show the world your finest qualities. So easy. And, perhaps, these are joined a parade of pretences.
Painting your secrets hidden behind a mask.
Look again. Catch your eyes again and dare to look past the pretence. Dare to hold the gaze of your secrets. Of your shame, your guilts, your fears.
Do you flinch?
Now, look again and see your gifts, your beauty, your full wonder.
How easy is it for you to look your beauty in your own eye?
Do you flinch?
Now, look again,
Take a breath, a deep breath.
Look yourself in the deep in the eye, those exquisite eyes and know the secret you’re most afraid of.
That secret, your most terrifying secret,
Is that you are so utterly beautiful you could melt your own heart.
Spin me round,roll me over,fucking circus.
Warm the spoon,wrap a belt,find a vein…
Stab it down,clear to red,delight in the red…
Drop the plunger,blood spills down my arm,the hit reaches my brain…
Fake Tom big,turn Tom into his own worst fucking enemy.
Leave me alone,it’s my blood
Leave me alone,it’s my lie,my life
Leave me alone,it’s my death.
My needle,my blood,my life,my death.
My needle,my blood,my life,my death.
It’s,it’s,it’s my blood
It’s,it’s,it’s my life
My life. My life.
It’s,it’s,it’s my death.
My death,MY DEATH.
Only I can save me
Only I can save me
I sometimes visit about the loneliest place I know.
I go alone.
It’s dark. A dark no light can pierce.
An impenetrable cold.
I go when I’m lost. Not a little lost but I really haven’t got a fucking clue where I am lost.
It’s a good place to hide. To be ashamed. To be small.
I go there because I know this place so well.
Feeling no one could possibly love me.
I was born here you see.
Oh there was a mum and a dad but they just didn’t know how to love me. Not really.
You know the special love
when you know you’re welcome and wanted? I don’t.
Sometimes mum gave me that. So rarely I can’t really remember. But I do. Inside.
Inside I look and see her love as if inside a broken picture frame. Oh I could piece it back together but to see what was so fleeting would be simply too much to bare. All the broken promises. Too much. Much too much.
So I go to the familiar.
The place of the unloved,the unwelcome. The ghosts.
Nothing feels good,smells good,tastes good. Nothing. No feeling. Nothing.
Maybe you go here too? Maybe.
But when you do you’re alone. No matter how many of us are visiting there we’re alone.
Until we cry out in our despair.
And cry out we must,
Because then,and only then,will we be heard.
Then,and only then,when the cry is heard
will the warmth of belonging arrive.
Because as I know so well – and maybe you – hoping to be found in the grey never works. Never.
The whole point of the grey place is to die,alone,afraid,in shame and never be noticed.
So no one sees me,sees you.
So cry out if you want to feel welcome
CRY OUT from the depths of your being,in truth,if you want what’s truly yours.
Cry out in love of yourself and you will surface from the depths
will be home,
will be warm.
Loved and welcome.
That’s so gay!
Is one of my least favourite expressions.
Why? Well,I’m going with the reason that I’ve only ever heard myself say. See,that’s so gay,you’re so gay is meant as a slur. Yet it’s really about as big a compliment you could give someone. Think about it. Think about the courage it takes simply to hold hands in public in such a homophobic society as ours. I’ve never had to worry about someone yelling at me or attacking me because I was holding a girlfriend’s hand. I’ve never had to hide my sexuality in a changing room or a workplace because it wasn’t safe. My parents haven’t disowned me because I’m straight.
I hear people use this expression so often. Someone used it at work when I was running a fundraising team. I said it wasn’t ok in my team,that language like that wasn’t acceptable. A moment or two later an eighteen year old woman spoke up saying…this is a good time to tell you all I’m gay. What happens if I say nothing? A male in authority tacitly saying homophobia is ok in the workplace.
I’ve never seen two men kiss in public that I can remember other than in a pink area. A pink area! Imagine if the only place to take a partner out for a drink that was safe was the designated straight area. What colour would ours be? Red,yellow,blue? I’ve seen more lesbian couples kiss,hold hands in the coffee shop. I want to stare,to tell them I’m so glad they feel safe to do this. They’d probably think I was a little weird. If I saw two men kissing in my coffee shop I’d feel weird. I’m a guy remember and I have to be super straight. But it’s normal to think about sex. Even with the same sex. To experiment or not.
Love is love. Sex is sex. Making love is making love. And if I ever am ever as in love as the two getting married in the second clip below I’d be in heaven. Come to think of it,if my dad spoke to me in the way the father speaks there…well I wouldn’t be in heaven I’d most likely be in the ICU recovering as the man is not able to be so beautiful which is a story for another.
I’m really clear next time we here ‘that’s so gay’ it’s time to say…wow,thank you,that was such a wonderful compliment.
If you don’t believe me watch these clips-
Can you remember when you left?
No,not the warmth of your mother or the words of your father.
But when the warmth smothered and words were so harsh you left.
When you left your home here on Earth and you chased the stars.
When you left your body because the pain was so great,the shame so sheer,the memories too clear that you had to leave.
You had to leave.
When you left to find safety from the truth. A truth so black you ran or drank or slumped in front of the flickering screen making shadows in front of you that you hoped would chase the shadows behind you away. Hope to chase your nightmare away.
Can you remember when you left?
Can you remember how it was before you left?
Before the pain,the shame,the treason,the words,the beatings,the illicit touching?
Can you remember how it felt to be truly alive in your own body?
To sense,to feel,live,touch,smell the life you came here to live?
If you try,step by step,gently,holding your own hand you too can come home. You too can come home.
You too can belong.
Take a step. Just one. Then maybe the second.
Take a step. To where you belong.
Home. Come home. To where you belong.
I’ll be right be your side.
‘I have squandered my resistance for a pocket of mumbles such are promises’
I’ve accepted crumbs that I might have even a little something however much the crumbs might hurt me. Because I have learned to sell myself out for a crumb of love is to inflict the most humiliating,excruciating pain on myself.
‘And he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down or cut him till he cried out in his anger and shame.’
Is it the wound or blind courage and belief in love that has led me on a life of heartbreak in relationship? I have to say that I believe they’re interwoven as beautifully as the most intricate tapestry. Rich golds of hope and belief criss crossing black threads of betrayal.
Betrayal learned early. Very early.
The subtle betrayals when a parent shuts up a child,this child,with a sssh,not now. When tears are unwelcome,anger because I’m a bad child because good children don’t get angry.
Betray me,I learn to betray me.
Shame lives well in these circumstances. Each betrayal like morning sun to the closed flower,gently nudging it to open.
Unanswered tears,fruitless,become unshed tears. Don’t cry,there will be no one there. Good boys don’t cry. Swallow,swallow,swallow hole the pain. Betray me because I know you’ll betray me,I know no one will be there.
A little boys swallows himself whole.
A beating here,hair pulling there. But you don’t see my pain,my anger,my shame. I hide them all,betray myself because you will not see my pain. Because I know you won’t care.
Black threads slowly creep throughout the tapestry that is a beautiful child’s life,a child’s exquisite heart having to hide. Betraying myself. Hiding,lying just so you won’t betray me again.
Then unwelcome hands dance over my body. I like this. But I don’t. I want the attention. But I don’t. Who is there to love me,to keep me safe? No one. I lie that I’m ok. Swallow me whole again. Eyes far away.
Too young to cry out in my anger and shame,knowing no one will listen. Each betrayal a blow that can’t be avoided. Each shot another thread of black,overtaking unsullied gold.
Gold that lived early,alive with life. Oh god I must hide this now. Hide,hide,hide.
But I learned one thing so well,so very well. I am here to be betrayed,nausea sweeps through me as my body remembered this so well. Be betrayed,don’t dare to show my real self,my vulnerable self,betray me. Gold turns to black. Creeping like a plague into my being.
Betray me,betray me.
And so I will love you no matter what you do. And,of course, I will choose you to betray me,I will take each blow,accept each blow. Like Ali,I’m playing rope a dope,unlike Ali I couldn’t come back with a knockout. Punch me,betray me,punch me,betray me. On the ropes I sink,beaten,bereft of hope. Yet I betray myself and forgive you,again and again. No longer the heavyweight contender I walk out of the ring beaten. I am Duran,my words are No Mas.
Beaten I turn my back,I see no gold,there is black. And more black. Still unable to cry out a needle dulls my pain,watching with great fascination as my blood fills the barrel and the sweeping plunge numbs. Eight seconds it takes the heart to pump my escape around my body,into my brain. Eight seconds. I know this.
I know I’m dying but I can’t take anymore.
A moment somewhere I see gold. How? The gods showed me.
I had a chance to come back. To get back into the ring. To be true to me,say no to betrayal.
Ali had great cornermen,Dundee,Pacheco. A trainer and his cuts man. I needed,need good people in mineband they came in many forms. So many cuts. So much learning to do. And I had to learn to trust that not everyone betrays me. So they came,Tamar,John,Lucy,Mike,Anna,Ronnie,others too and some not so benevolent teaching harsh lessons I needed to learn. And spirits came too. Teachers all.
And I learned to cry out,to own shame,to rage and be angry.
And I’m learning not to betray myself. Perhaps the hardest lesson. To stand up for myself before I get lost in shame and lash out. To say no.
Saying no. There’s a thing. This is my body,not yours. My feelings,my dreams,my hopes. I’ll have them however much they might disturb you.
Saying no and learning to say yes to joy,to my heart’s desires,to life.
‘The fire still remains…’
And there is some blind courage in my pursuit of a loving relationship. Courage and faith there is a better way. A way of truth,love,intimacy,vulnerability that will both shake and soothe my soul. And I’m going to have this one day,next time. I’ll face the cyclones of uncertainty that will come with being able to relax,to trust,to feel loved. All new.
You gotta dream right? And I know dreams do can come true. Can come true.
And it’s time to open myself to my dreams.
To have the courage to face my hopes and say…yes! Yes,I’m going to risk myself to be happy,to live,to love.
So I’m staying in the ring that is life and getting up off my stool for the next round. This time I don’t have to be the heavyweight champion of the world to be accepted,to be super Tom chased by shame.
I just need to be in the ring. To be in life and be my own saviour,my own champion.
A kiss is what I crave.
Your kiss is what I desire.
Could your kiss meet more than my lips?
Could your kiss open me,open me absolutely that I might melt?
Could your kiss bring you? Would you come too? You.
All of you?
Would your kiss bring you,your grief,your ecstasy,your soul and sweep my with you?
And would you dare to kiss me,to kiss all of me that I might surrender?
Surrender all of me to you.
My vulnerability,my hopes,my desire. Would your kiss be a promise of truth?
Because I will not
Would your kiss,my kiss,our kiss hold the promise? Keep the invitation to share our truths,however dark,in deepest reverence,with absolute tenderness?
Would your kiss hold my heart?
Would you allow my kiss to hold yours?
Could I surrender to your kiss,would you surrender to mine?
Now,can I kiss you?
I’m in a funk. A funk where I feel lost and wonder when it’ll lift. I wonder if I’ll find an impetus again.
I’m stuck. Of my own choosing I’m assuming as I know deeply I’m finding ways of not moving forward.
I know I’m not long back from a trip of my lifetime,of a dream come true. A gentle voice says it’s ok, I’ll find my groove in a while,I will find some clarity,some courage,some life in me. A gentle self knows I’m scared to take steps to live a life I want.
A life that includes massage,children,a partner,writing. That leaves my current job and explores a fuller life. Follow a shamanic path,explore this,deepen this simply because I love it and I know it loves me. Perhaps my writing loves me as well?
I feel a heat as I write this. A heat of fear,of energy. Maybe the energy that I need to live freeing up a little. A sickness in my belly as well. A sense of being directionless.
So frustrating. I’d hoped I’d come back from the States fully juiced to move forwards. I was in a way then straight away work took over. It’ll be like this until Xmas with work as this is the busiest time of the year.
At least I’m writing. Facing this. I’m glad.
Flight, the home movie.
I watched the movie Flight last night. I had the vaguest notion of what it was about but it has Denzil Washington in and he’s a favourite actor so it was a definite watch once the price came down on Amazon. It came down,I watched.
And a loved it as a movie.
But it also was like watching a movie of my life without being a pilot or going to prison.
The drink,drugs,needles,lies,desperation,hurting people I love,conning others conning myself I was ok. It was horrible.
I felt sick,I cried in horror. I saw my mum in there. It was truly horrific.
I suppose I’m meant to celebrate being sober,clean,human. That was a huge reason to take the trip. To celebrate me,celebrate my living a life. But it feels hollow just now,feels bleak. I remembered the allure of being on the edge,over the edge at times,hustling. I remembered how absolved of responsibility my life was as I drank and used and I understood how wonderful that was. No one,nothing to think about except me and getting high. Getting high to run away from the emptiness of a life wasting away. A fucking horrible existence. A brutally mirroring movie.
I like the edge,thankfully less than I used to. I like to hustle,thankfully I’d rather be honest on the most part. And at times I know hustling kept me alive,that an ability to see,for the most part,where the edge I couldn’t cross was also kept me alive. And this is good. Alive is good though scary as hell because underneath the funk is the life I’d like and I’m afraid to believe in me,in spirit,in life enough to believe in dreams coming true.
Yet I just lived a dream so I’m ‘meant’ to use that as impetus aren’t I? Isn’t this meant to show me I can have dreams and not give up on them? Yet I feel angry.
Angry that I have to work for what I want,risk my heart for dreams.
Fuck! Welcome home.
Untitled because I don’t have a clue where this is going to take me.
It’s 9.30 in the morning on my birthday and I’ve been in the GA line since 4.50 so I can get the rail for my birthday show.
It’s a lot of fun,there are a bunch of us already,a boom box tearing out Corduroy and the sun is doing its best to burn off the chill.
It’s my last show. I’m sad,very sad that this wonderful trip is ending soon. My gift to myself has given me so much joy,so much reason to have faith that life works out so long as I meet spirit half way,put the footwork in,let go without giving up.
It’s special this life,special that I’m alive,that I chose to do this for me. I like I’ve done some sings so huge for me,so valuing of me,something just for me.
Today is a lot of fun and it’s only just starting. 11 hours till show time.
What would I like to hear most? Yellow Moon is just so beautiful and works so well live. Down and Alive for the obvious reasons and Wash because I’ve never had it live.
Any which way it’s goes I’m truly blessed to be here,to be alive to experience something so wonderful.
To coin a phrase…it’s a wonderful life.
So I got distracted and caught up in the world that is Pearl Jamming.
For me,the GA line was a great experience going so early and,let’s face it,being a little crazy getting up for a show that starts at 8.30pm at 4am. A lot of fun,met some great people.
The big downer was hearing about the women from Brazil who had set up on the other side from us who were robbed at 5/5.30 am. The one was in the loo when it happened,the other lost everything. Passport,cards,all travel cash. Thankfully fans did a collection so some money was raised for her and the band played Faithful for her.
I got an amazing last show. Almost 3 1/2 hours,37 songs,on the rail in front of Eddie,got a pick from Mike and Stone,had so much fun,met great people. And had so many birthday wishes from fans.
I’m pretty overwhelmed at the moment and can’t work out if I’m sad it’s over,happy I’ve done this,both or more. Time to process is needed. I need the day to rest which is the only possibility as I’m in downtown Phoenix,it’s Thanksgiving and there’s bugger all to do as everything is closed. So I’m not sure I have a clue what to do and restaurants are only doing big Thanksgiving spreads for the most part. Something will work out.
And I love this…I titled this as Untitled. And what got played later that night…Untitled for the first time I’ve seen it and we also got Down and Alive.
Now,when are the Europe dates being released….