Robert Burns

Today marks the birthday of the Scottish poet Robert Burns, with many having a traditional meal with a haggis but not me. Many of us that grew up in Scotland will remember learning his works at school, I still stumble to understand and read them now. However, Burns was part of my childhood in a different way, as my beloved great uncle Lauderdale and I would always walk along the banks of the River Nith to the Robert Burns Centre in Dumfries.

Although there was a play area outside I seldom played on it, instead we’d watch the majestic swans gliding on the river, the deer that lived on a near by hill but nobody could explain to me why they were trapped in a wire cage not free to roam and the changing colours of the leaves, like the world we live in, which was often a theme of our discussions. This was in stark contrast to the exhibitions at the centre, which would never seem change; we’d laugh when the statue inside of Burns had a paint job between visits, as the centre seemed lost in a time I did not know and my great uncle had seen and now gone.

Lauderdale helped me to see as it really is, the only time that matters is now, and life’s only constant is change, although some things may seem constant with no apparent change. Yes as an adult I would love to spend another hour in his company, and feel safe with my hand in his as he’d smoke his pipe and wear his deerstalker hat, which always made his long white beard smell. Even now if I smell it in the air, I swear at times it’s him keeping me company or checking I am okay. So Mr Burns, Happy Birthday, and once more I’ll walk along the Nith with my great uncle Lauderdale.

© Fi S. J. Brown

Robert Burns Centre

Advertisements

All about me

I live life simply without excess and questioning not wanting. Taking things slowly like the tortoise, for I may belong to the human race but I will not to run in the rat race. I fall asleep when my body has had enough for the day, and rise when the sun taps out her message on my window to awaken me with birds singing their song. I sit looking out of windows day dreaming as I like to listen to the rhythm of rain falling on leaves, which seems like Morse Code giving me a message of hope and dry my own tears. I love to write not because I want to be the next J K Rowling but because there many stories yet unspoken and/or unheard. I choose to help another because I can and there is much darkness in the world without adding to it. I ask nothing of the world in return, but feel its love in my heart and soul, for it is enough.

© Fi S. J. Brown

My story

Why are those things you admire most in others the hardest to find within yourself?
No matter matter how hard I try I am destined to be the one left unsold on the shelf.

I’m tired of endless searching high and low for what seems to be hidden from sight,
My place is stood shadows not to be hogging front of stage under a big spotlight.

For my expectations of life are not all that great with no dreams fame and fortune,
But a simple life with a job, dog and house by the sea with less tears and misfortune.

I watched the others flying, rising and soaring far and wide in the sunrise at dawn,
Perhaps I am meant to fly at night with the moon when the world is full of yawn?

For now I need to keep believing it again repeating the words that they taught,
And I’ll have to keep being patient, waiting a bit more and finalised my story’s plot.

© Fi S. J. Brown

Jack

Jack was a farmer’s son, sensitive and kind to all he met. One day he was sat in the corner of the hay barn, eating his lunch of curds and whey, when a spider appeared and made young Jack jump. His twin sister Jill was eating lunch with him, laughed at her brother, pointing at him for being so silly and started to call him “Little Miss Muffet”. For he was in her eyes the little girl not the boy for she was the one that climbed the trees and helped father with the animals, he preferred to be inside with their mum and make cakes. This made young Jack cry and run out the barn, hating the spider and his sister for hurting him so, he thought one day they’ll see I’m a brave boy.

That afternoon Jill suggested they climb hill near by, Jack usually said no but thought I’ll show her that I truly am a boy and will climb it with her. So together they set off with a pail to fetch some water for the farm. Jack loved all he saw and heard, suddenly a gust of wind caught his legs and sent him tumbling down, bumping his head as he did, with Jill tumbling down beside him. On arriving home Jack’s mum sent him straight to bed with a bandage of vinegar and brown paper upon his head. As he slept the vinegar leaked through the paper to his brain, for the next day Jack was changed bitter and angry to the spider that frightened him, his sister for laughing at him and the hill for falling, he would make them pay not just now but forever.

The older Jack got the more and more people became frightened to utter his name, even a simple “Hi Jack” led to an exchange many were keen to avoid. It was rumoured he murdered people in London but that was never proven it was really him at all although known for being a lad. On his death he vowed he would haunt the world from beyond, which he continues to do even now. He points a finger unseen by the naked eye but makes all it touches dance in a shiver; the innocence he lost he uses to paint the world in a white rage; making all slip and fall like he did on that hill; and freezing all like statues for they dare not mock him like his sister did or they will end up as one.

This winter we all see and feel Jack’s revenge upon all of Planet Earth cursing his name, which gives him great delight. However, just remember spring time will come soon and will make him retreat for a few months for his angry and jealous heart and mind cannot deal with the true beauty of spring flourishing and life being born a new. His revenge shows us that our actions at all ages have consequences and can have impact beyond our lifetimes. Revenge does not pay for it only hurts others and karma will have it bounce back our way. So do not be angry and bitter as Jack at the world, the world owes us nothing and hurting those closest to us hurts us too. So embrace the world with a loving heart filled with empathy and understanding, for even the most frozen of hearts can melt with love.

© Fi S. J. Brown

Dystopian Dreams

Wandering around the city, passing the financial district, I am suddenly aware 0f how closed in I feel. The invisible walls close in around me like a scene from a movie from which I must escape. My chest tightens and the claustrophobic air suffocating. Others walk around blindly with their heads in their mobile phones or holding a take away coffee from some global company. I look for some trees but the only ones I see are like standing twigs, as naked due to winter. I feel all is spinning and shaking around me as all at once it hits me what a world I am truly living in. Tears fall from my face as I fall to my knees and I realise there is no way to really ever escape from it all.

More and more we’re choosing to living in cities, far from the nature as more things to do and easier to get to/from work. The title of a British television show “Escape to the country” flurries through my mind; it is like escaping from these concrete cages that we call cities, trapping us in like we have already to other animals in the name of food from chickens to cows. Fracking I can only see degrading our beautiful countryside, so the only option left is to be like the cows that no longer chew on the fresh green fields but forced to live in these concrete mega cities like the mega dairies I campaigned against coming to the United Kingdom only a few years ago now.

I realise that within a few of generations we will not know the ways of nature, it will be something grandparents talk of till nobody left ever remembers them at all. I recall meeting a man of twenty five from London that had never saw a sheep till the day we met, it hits me twice as hard remembering it. Gradually more and more conversation is dying, people reach for “friends” that live inside the goods they have bought and showing off with “look at me”. This leads to people wanting more and more, but cannot afford, and feel the world owes them. Food prices will increase too and people will end up fighting like I saw on images from Black Friday over manufactured food.

I resolve to spend as much time as I can with the world outside the city walls. Where I can climb hills to see it all, listen to the songs of birds, admire the beauty of the flowers that mark my path and know there is something else out there beyond the cages. I wonder if this is what it is like to finally wake from the sleep beyond the endless sleeps, as how do I know I am truly awake? Like an onion the more I peel back to try find the ultimate answer, but like Dorothy I find the wizard is no more than a fraud. Suddenly, I notice an evergreen tree in my line of sight, I do not care who sees me now, as I run up and hug him like an old friend and whisper to him “thank you, always”.

© Fi S. J. Brown

Friendship

For me one of the most powerful and beautiful things a human can do is offer the hand of friendship to another. Finding another person that accepts us for who we are and is there when we need them as we are in return. We are on this journey alone but having companions near and far in the form of friends makes the journey more fun, fulfilled and worthwhile.

As kids in the playground we found difference something to bully or tease another over but as adults we realise it is similarities that bring us together as friends with the differences where we learn more about the world we live in. We are part of a beautiful tapestry of many colours and it is the different friendships that make up the stitches and help tell our story.

True friendship is as great as any romance, as beautiful as an artwork in a gallery and unique as snowflakes, which together shine like the stars in the sky, give warmth to melt even the coldest of hearts and stronger than a rope of spider silk binding them together. Like all things of beauty, it can never be bought or sold, so let our actions and habits do the talking.

Whether a reason or a season, a ‘them’ shaped piece can be found in our hearts and soul to treasure, marking their presence in our lives and what makes us smile when we think of them. Everyone deserves to feel the love, hope and magic of friendship, so do not feel there is nobody out there caring as there is. So take a minute today and whisper our thanks.

© Fi S. J. Brown

Negatives

Some days all we seem to see is negatives, from rejection letters for job applications to bad news about our own or someone we care about’s health. However for every negative we encounter, we should try think of a positive to cancel out each one. Even we cannot make the negatives into a positive, make them neutral so then they no longer have power over or hurt us.

© Fi S. J. Brown

I wanna hold your hand

There is something uniquely special, intimate and comforting about holding someone’s hand. Perhaps as it something that reminds us of earliest childhood, that comforting feeling when a large hand enclosed our little one, creating bonds and memories throughout our lifetimes. Then as we become teenagers we no longer want to feel the hand in ours as want to feel the freedom of not being tied to our parents or anyone else.

We touch or hold hands with the person we love as bonds us together, symbolising that two souls are touching and uniting. It may not be a kiss but a clear signal to ourselves and others of our love for another. A Pagan wedding tradition is for handfasting, which entails gentle wrapping cords around the bride and groom’s clasped hands and tying a knot, symbolically binding the couple together in their declaration of unity.

As adults ourselves, we are the ones with the big hands, which comfort and bond with our little ones. We connect with friends and strangers alike in stress and crisis. We also want to hold our parents hands as now look wrinkled and older now, they seem more fragile as the child’s and want to relive our own happy and carefree memories from childhood without the responsibilities that being a grown up has brought to us.

© Fi S. J. Brown

2015

Take this box and fill it with all that hurts you, when you think it is full add some more. Then put it on a shelf to only be opened as little as possible. Now take this bottle, fill it with all that makes you happy, it will show you even on the hard days your glass is more than half full and the little things matter. Finally, take this glass. It is filled with hope, health, happiness, love and peace. Drink it so that 2015 brings all that and more to you.

© Fi S. J. Brown