Aching and trembling. 
Split in two; acting as one.
The divide digs deep.

A masochist, me? 
I love me some self-loathing 
And drown in sweet mud. 

Man in the mirror 
You reflect badly on me; 
It's your face I hate. 

I'll be decisive: 
Now let the image shatter!
Seven years bad luck.



Do bear with my verbosity this evening, chums, as the Laws of Metaphysics force me to be a little more delicious than usual, though my current eccentric giddiness is actually down to spirituality rather than champagne... though, admittedly, the effect is much the same. 

Sometimes, the light can shine down on us in the most unexpected places. 
For me, today it was the M&S store at the local retail park.

But first, some background: 
A while ago I told of my own version of "The Twilight Zone", a not-so-fabulous place that I occasionally go to. 
All things have their equal and opposite, of course, so it feels good to name a place that I like to call THE AURORA ZONE. 

I name it after two figures of fiction and mythology: 

[1] Princess Aurora -- aka Tchaikovsky's 'Sleeping Beauty'. 
[2] Aurora -- the Roman Goddess of the Dawn. 

As such, the Aurora Zone is the name of a place in the mind, a place where I sometimes find myself, in an almost meditative state of being... somewhere between sleepiness and illumination.


So anyway, this afternoon, my busy-work done, I felt a little tense [fall out from the anxiety-laced weekend, perhaps?] and felt the need to go shopping at the retail park -- or, as some locals term it, "big shops". 

And as I staggered into M&S [as I do], remembering what a chum had told me about the cheap booze [the pizza & Prosecco deal for £1O looking particularly fun], I suddenly and inexplicably felt myself in a different psychological place... 

A familiar place. 
A good place. 
A calm place. 

I'd been there before, and I wish I could describe it at least adequately... but I can't.  

I simply found myself wandering up and down the aisles, in a state of blissful, almost medicated, serenity. 

The other shoppers might have thought me mad, or high, or drunk. 
I wouldn't have cared. 
Even now, back at Chez Buffy several hours later, I don't care. 

The point is, this afternoon I was indeed in The Aurora Zone.

That's the only word to describe it. 

Now, this entry into the Aurora Zone did not come thru stimulants, intoxicants, or conscious effort [indeed, this weekend I'd prayed the be in such a place!] so I simply do not know how I got to be in this Zone, under the warm and bright spotlight -- and it certainly didn't happen on most days I've been to M&S. 

But I wasn't complaining. 

Often, like when pondering the Meaning of Life, we're just content to enjoy the mystery of it for the mystery that it is -- with the knowledge that trying to work it out most often leaves us knackered and a little bit mad. 

The effects of the Zone have lasted for hours, I'm happy to report. I do wish you could all join me. 

Maybe it's just me, over-sensitive as I am, simply appreciating feeling calm in an over-heightened manner? 
But essentially, of course, it doesn't matter.


This fusion of relaxed sleepiness and wide-awake enlightenment, though it sounds an inherent contradiction, is indeed one of the finest experiences around. 
It produces a slow-burning joy... one arguably finer and better than any 'high' produced in the brain.   

Once found, this place, this state of being... cannot be unfound... we might not remember where it is, but it will always be possible [if not always easy] to get back there. At some point. 

Which can only be a Good Thing. 

The possibility of it is a strong positive force in my life. 

My view is that the Aurora Zone is essentially open to all, regardless of age, gender, looks, money, geography, political persuasion, or life-circumstance: all you essentially need is a very open mind, an open heart, and a little bit of luck. 

There are more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamt of in our often narrow philosophies, indeed...

Anyway, thank you for reading these metaphysical ramblings... and while it's probably unlikely that I'll be seeing you at t'big shops, I'll look forward to seeing you in the Aurora Zone, sometime soon. 

Take it easy.


Dedicated to Ms.SG41, Big Mac and Amanda Lyle... some hasty and possibly rather ill-conceived rhyming haiku for the Sunday evening drinker... 

For sanity's sake 
Drown in the alcohol lake
Where fun is not fake!

Will you pour the gin? 
Add tonic and we'll begin.
So let's say "chin-chin".

Drinkers are no fools 
They follow Cider House Rules:
Wisdom, beyond schools.

Is it white, or red? 
Down the boozy lane I'm led 
Sod tomorrow's head! 

Just stand in my shoes; 
To thrash them Sunday night blues 
You can't beat the booze. 

Drinks all round!



I'll start with a thank you. 

Thank you to the kind bloggers who read and appreciated my rather rough poetic post last night; in the middle of my bad time, it felt like the right thing to drag myself to the computer and type out the words -- and, indeed, I began to feel better relatively quickly afterwards.

I felt so embarrassed writing it, but something instinctively told me it was the right thing to do -- and I'm so glad that I did it. 

I felt so alone, but reaching out helped:
The therapy of writing helped. 
The positivity helped. 
And the comments helped. 

But there was also one more thing.

So if you'll indulge me a moment, I'd like to pay a brief tribute to a lovely lady and kind friend... she sometimes comments on my posts here; she is responsible for getting me into blogging [yes, you can blame her!], and I refer to her as "Professor Lovely". 

Not for the first time, talking to her eased my mind and pain last night; she knows me well and knows what to say. 

We've been friends for about a year -- a very eventful year! -- and I wasn't sure what to make of her at first. She was [and is] spirited and charismatic, brave and forthright, very serious-minded yet often deliciously wicked and witty in her humour.  

-- And I was terrified of her!

The more I got to know her, the more I liked her -- and indeed with her experience of the light and the dark in life, she was the first person I ended up talking to when I Hit Rock Bottom of the end of last year. 

Her brightness in unquestionable, and her warmth unfeigned. 

-- And I'm still terrified of her!

Below is a poem that I wrote for her... but before you run off to Weston-super-Mare with the idea that I'm writing a romantic poem here, I'm not: 'tis but a simple declaration of the fondness and respect I have for a friend who happens to be female. 

Now, in January, the Professor referenced some of this poem in her own blog. But I'd like to post it here in full... 

The sunlight is in her hair. 
It's also in her soul. 
She said to me, sweetly:
"Sometimes we need to have a fucking word with ourselves."

She knows her stuff -- and I listen. 
When I've been low, I've reached out my hand
For her to gently hold it in her own; 
And hers is the hand of a sister. 

She is blessed in life, many times over, 
Though adversity has knocked on her door often. 
But I am blessed, too 
For she is my friend. 

Thank you, Professor. x   



Not lovely; but honest, I think...


Insides scooped out. 
Arms wrapped around the life-wound, tight
To stop the soul from bleeding.

On the rack.

This happened last night, too. 
I don't want it to happen on any night. 
But it does, anyway. 

Persistent fucker, it is.

This afternoon I tried to talk it out:
Good, clever friend; an immensely kind friend. 
But I just didn't do it right.

My fault. 

Some bits I kept in;
Other bits I forgot to say; 
Then we ran out of bloody time.

My fault.

It would be nice to curl up.
A big, tight, safe ball. 
Eyes clamped shut. 

A gentle implosion would be nice.

Maybe if I screw my eyes up tight
The feelings will go away? 
I'd really like to pray. 

This Too Will Pass... yes?

Keeping the tears in. 
Jaw clenched tight. 
Until it passes... whenever that is.

I feel humiliated just for expressing myself.

Maybe I should've remained silent?
My embarrassment: boundless. 
A deep well of inky shame. 

Mister Critical-Voice speaks: 

"Oh... so you've written a poem?" 
"Well lah-de-fucking-dah!"
"Why don't y'just try not being a cunt, instead?"

He knows how to make me tearful. Always did.

The mind struggles to focus. 
Too much fucking static. 
But one phrase repeats firmly:


I try to console myself: 
Nothing lasts forever. 
Not even the stab-wounds of Anxiety.

Let reassurance guide me home...


Some "Squared Poetry":



Lovely cubes? 
They make nine. 

We're talking tyres? 
Or Noble Truths? 
Someone explain! 

It's all pent-astic...
Chanel's nice perfume.
Blyton's quite Famous.
Renaults? What's yours called?
Johnny is alive!

Call it square poetry?
Maybe hexagonal? 
It's all sixes, you see. 
Each line's six syllables. 
And half a dozen lines. 
Saucy sextets, indeed...

All at sixes? Now sevens.
We just move up a number. 
Broken mirror's Bad Luck years. 
The deadly sins? They tempt me.
Bend everything like Beckham? 
I'd really rather like to.
But seven is my limit.




When I wore a younger man's clothes, I had an associate, a fairly elderly gentleman, who the locals and I would nickname "Grateful Gordon". 

Why so? 
Firstly, because his given name was Gordon. 
Secondly, because his eccentric manner included adding the [conflated] words "thankyouverymuch" to every sentence. For example:

-- "Hallo Gordon. Nice weather today." 
-- "Yes, beautifully sunny, thankyouverymuch."


-- "Off shopping, Gordon?" 
-- "Ah yes. Gotta get me fishfingers before big-shop closes for t'day, thankyouverymuch."
-- "See you, then."
-- "See you soon, thankyouverymuch."

You get the idea, anyway. 

Every. Single. Sentence. 

It was enough for him to acquire the nickname. 
I will admit, though, that it was myself who coined the nickname -- nicknaming seems to be my 'thing', and in my defence, no-one's ever been given a derogatory one [except, perhaps, my associate "Old Bastard"... but that interesting gentleman will be for another post, another time]. 

I always considered Grateful Gordon, like his contemporary, Careful Clive, to be an amiable, gentle, harmless fellow. He was "good value" in that some people found his eccentricities amusing... but I also very much admired him. In his own way, he was very wise, very profound. 

To have gratitude is to have a bright light in one's heart.

The thing is, my life is far from perfect. 
2O17 is proving very hard. 
But it's a darn sigh better than 2O16 [particularly the latter half] and, in spite of ALL the bloody awful, rubbish stuff that's coming along [Anxiety takes Gold, with Depression coming up behind... thus far] I find myself, oddly but wonderfully, being very much "a Grateful Gordon" for the good stuff that's here in my life at the moment: 


That's a pretty good list, for me [!] 
It will do nicely.  

I've noticed that when I comment on people's blogposts, I often thank them for sharing their stories, their pain, their wisdom...I sometimes wonder if, upon repetition, this could appear disingenuous? 

I hope not. 

If I wasn't actually thankful, I would just be silent... the fact remains that I appreciate every post that I read. It's heartening to know that there are so many thoughtful, intelligent people around... and that's just my limited experience of WordPress. 
[And as an aside, it's so very much better than reading British political newspaper articles...!]

As a general point, I find that people who scorn gratitude tend to be mean-spirited people. 
And I'm afraid I must confess, I do detest mean-spirited people. 

I mean: Bitterness? Oh yes, I certainly know all about that [!] 
But true mean-ness is somewhere deep in the soul, sadly. That's my philosophy.

Anyway, here's hoping we can all be a bit of a Grateful Gordon, at least once a day, maybe? 

It can keep us well -- and keep us happy.