A Poem For All Those Folk Who Feel Depressed/Oppressed/Bullied/Lonely

You judge me though you don’t really know me at all
You bully & belittle & make me feel small
Your words can be destructive you don’t realise their power
You are killing me slowly with every passing hour

I don’t need you to hurt me, so please let me be
I am human & I’m broken & I want to be set free
You can chain me & bind me & throw away the key
Yet somehow I will find the strength deep within me

TO BREAK FREE!!

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Where Am I Going?

So, I have been thinking long and hard about where my life is headed. In other words ‘Where Am I Going?’ Five years ago I thought that by now (2014) I would be living the remainder of my life in Taiwan. Why Taiwan? Because it is a place I have visited many time previously. I have made some wonderful life-long friends, I like the culture, adore the people and the Island itself.

Then things became a little more complex. My father has been in failing health for a number of years. I have concerns that should be living abroad when he passes, I would forever have foregone the chance to say a final goodbye.

To some that may sound like an excuse. That I am not fully committed to living in a far away foreign land. There may be a small (if insignificant) grain of truth in that statement. Why? Because the UK holds no future for me. I don’t like where the UK is headed. I don’t like the constant lies of the politicians who seek to serve only themselves and their paymasters.

So, where am I going? I’ll tell you. TAIWAN!

Vanity: Some People Need To Take A Good Long Look At Themselves

What is it with people? Well, certain people at least. They claim to be on your level. They claim to be open and honest. They claim  to be you friend.

YET…..They are anything but. Why? Because all the time you have known them or been acquainted with them, they have been having you on. All the time you invested in them is totally wasted. Why? Because they are in LOVE with themselves! Consumed with VANITY!  Self opinionated. Full of themselves. ‘Hey, I’m the bees knees!’ ‘I way too smart to hang with you’ ‘Hey dude, you don’t belong with the likes of me!’ You get the picture?

People like that get on my nerves. Sadly I have recently become aware of such an individual. I really believed they were a genuine, understanding and honest person. I was greatly mistaken. I must admit I was taken aback by their attitude. Their sudden lack of interest and interaction. Then it dawned on me. VANITY!  I was no longer deemed good enough.

Take a good hard look in the mirror. The person staring back at you is shameless. An empty vessel. Doomed to wonder through life in isolation and loneliness.

Your loss, not mine.

A Man Who Touched My Soul

After the untimely death of Robin Williams (Actor) in-part due to his ongoing struggle with depression, I looked back over my life when I have battled my own demons and somehow came through those difficult and dark days.

My first and most severe bout of depression struck me when I was only 19 years old. My good friend ‘Bluey’ because of her amazing blue eyes, was struck down by a drink driver in December of 1984. After a week in a coma she sadly passed away aged just 20 years old.

My first instinct was to enact so sort of revenge on the driver of the car. Nasty thoughts came to me both night and day. Luckily, and looking back on the situation, I didn’t pursue my initial instinct.

I would spend hours looking over pictures of Bluey. Time would simply melt away. I neglected my studies and quit my part-time job. I talked to her and begged her to reply. Obviously she didn’t. How could she, she was dead. I simply wasn’t thinking logically.

I had lost weight. I cared not what anyone had to say. I was (looking back) in a terminal decline. I turned to alcohol. I was a mess. If only I could be with Bluey. No one would miss me. No one would care. I’d be just another statistic. (This wasn’t the case of course. My parents loved me more than I ever deserved. They would have been devastated. But at that time it didn’t register with me.)

Then one day, I was walking aimlessly, I had nowhere to go and no thoughts of where I was headed. Suddenly I found myself walking along an old abandoned railway bridge. Now I knew the location, I knew it was miles from where I lived, I knew I shouldn’t be up there. Yet looking down into the valley below I felt a strange calmness come over me. Should I step onto the ledge? I could fall and everything would be over with in just a matter of seconds.

Well, you’re reading this so you know I didn’t jump, right? Why not? Because I wasn’t brave enough? Because I didn’t love Bluey enough to go and be with her? Because I though there was light at the end of a very dark tunnel? If I’m being honest, I don’t know why I didn’t jump.

A few days later I was running an errand for an elderly neighbour. He was a kind man. A Polish refugee from WW2. I didn’t know much about him. He was just an old man. However, on that day when I arrived to deliver the goods I had gotten for him, he invited me into his home. He told me how he had noticed a change in my personality. How I seldom said ‘hello’ even less smile. How he was concerned for me. Why was I so sad? I related to him the same issues I have related to you. He sat there, opposite from me, unblinking for what seemed an age.

Then he spoke just a few words which changed my outlook on life. ‘Mark, carry with you those you love, those you cherish. Don’t think of them with a sad heart Remember them and smile, laugh and even joke with them as though they are still by your side. For they are you and you are them. Your lives were interwoven for a reason. Be strong. Look ahead. Live life.’

With that he shook my hand. Sir, I remember your words of wisdom. I carry YOU with ME every single day.

A man who touched my soul!

Chih Chang

I have just returned from (yet another) trip to Taiwan. This is the

first time I have been there during the Chinese New Year celebrations

and it was nice to witness the celebrations first hand. I spent a week in

Chih Chang in Eastern Taiwan. here are a couple of pictures I took during

my stay.

Here we see a lion dance being perform. These guys are very agile and their performance was excellent. Given the rainy weather conditions this paused a threat to their safety but they bravely put a show on for us. This dance was performed within the grounds of a temple, here is a picture.

The food is placed before God for the people who have gone to heaven before us. After the celebrations are over, the food is taken home and enjoyed by all the family.

 

Overall, a very enjoyable experience. Friendly people, colourful and delightful celebrations.

Birthday

I suppose I’d better wish myself a Happy Birthday. Each passing year seems to speed by more quickly than the previous one. Days, weeks and months become blurred, a mish-mash of memories and events, not all together forgotten, but somehow diminished with the passing of time.

Oddly I can clearly remember those birthday’s I had when I was a kid. The excitement, the cards, the occasional present and the special tea mum would make me. Badges (pins) declaring how old I was, 7 then 8 then 9 and so on. How did those days slip away so quickly? That excitable little boy gone forever.

We didn’t have a camera back then, so there is no record of those happy days, no reminder of a moment frozen in time for me to share with the world. So the pictures I recall in my mind. Those people who are no longer around to wish me a Happy Birthday are sadly missed, yet forever smiling in those memories of yesteryear.

Still, time will march on relentless. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Mark.