Wish

20140505-225012.jpg

Trace the sky with my gaze. Searching for fiery celestial ending to cast my wish upon. Beauty above me, grand expanse of breathtaking sky. Reminder of impossibility, of hope and wonder. Sadness gives way to a smile, my wish uttered in awe of life.

Words errantsatiety image courtesy of AStarAboveU on deviantART

Humour me

snow-white

I want to talk of metaphor. How it shapes us, our thoughts, our self, our very being, of who we dream we are, who we were, who we are to become. I read a post today it reminded me of a passionate interest I have. I had been searching before reading this of something I wrote long ago, a series of questions during my master’s studies that I put to a group of people. I wanted to post it here but it has been lost, multiple changes of address and hard drives but the passion still excites me. I want to you ask you my dear readers what story defines you? What metaphor drives you? Are you aware or is it under the surface defining you without your knowledge.

Did you know that the brain cleverly and economically functions on metaphor. It is the most brilliant method of data storage we have in our organic super computer brains. We think the super computers we carry in our hands now days are amazing yet the function of our human brain is beyond anything we can create, yet. I refer to this as the human brain has an incredible ability to serve or destroy us. Created like the universe in a magnificent inexplicable evolutionary moment similar to the ‘big bang’ (or for the creationists among us when the word of God brought about the world) the Homo sapiens brain evolved and was able to remember, formulate future, to imagine, to plan and to create on a level that no other creature on Earth comes close. It didn’t happen to all of them, just some and over time there were more (through genetics and learning). Yet there was a cost, a high cost. The cost was the need for a high protein diet, the need to attend to our young for much longer than any other creature on this planet. These brains of ours are large and are not fully grown when we are born. We seem to be born with a relatively open template for growth that we can adapt to incredible differences in languages, in culture and in environment. To do so we spend 50% of our childhood sleeping in the REM state. What is the REM state? Dreaming. Did you know that within the cycle of sleep we spend a significant period of every 90 minutes dreaming? This dreaming period expends as much energy as the ‘awake’ brain does. Did you know that you experience the REM state while awake? Every 90 minutes (more or less, the time varies person to person) during your waking day you ‘trance out’ (know the feeling when you need a glass of water, a nap, a break, a walk, a coffee, some food….). This is the moment needed to solidify learning or let go of experiences not needed. Same as when we sleep.

Significantly we dream to release the emotional arousal or expectations of the day. We dream in metaphor to avoid any issues as the brain, elegant as it is, does not know the difference between the real, the imagined or the dreamed. This process is sometimes referred to as ‘Expectation fulfillment theory’ or the ‘flush toilet mechanism’. A simple example is perhaps the boss says something that you do not like but cannot without jeopardising your employment say what you would like to them. That night fuming you go home, fall asleep and dream of telling someone in authority, say an old teacher or public political figure etc, exactly what you think of them. You wake and return to your work environment without feeling emotionally aroused and ready to tell you boss: ‘F *%& you buddy you can F*&%ing stick your stupid job’.

But back to the point, what stories defined you as a child? Have you updated these ideas or inadvertently is your brain still seeking to fulfill these metaphorical ideals? My personal example is the classic ‘Snow White’ story. I didn’t have many books, in fact very few, but I had this one book with wood block prints and lyrical verse. I was lost to it. But this metaphor defined me far longer than I ever intended. Until I consciously realised and created a new metaphor for myself that launched me into something unexpected. I wrote something simple and childish to bridge the gap between where my metaphorical expectations were and where my adult self realized I wanted to be. I defined myself as a ‘knight in shining pink armour on a quest of knowledge and learning’. My metaphor before this (as defined by Snow White) was that I was persecuted for who I was and would be hunted by women of perceived power and those within the execution of their will and my only hope was to be saved by a prince on a white charger… seriously these stories we read have great effect (I am no feminist just one who has seen and experienced the difference this choice makes for man and woman). I have had several more metaphors since this first consciously rewritten one which was playful and made me smile in the face of adversary. Metaphors don’t need to be elaborate…. Can you remember what your favourite childhood story was? Is it relevant now? Does it still have a hold on you? Do you need to take charge of that magnificent brain of yours and feed it some better information setting it on a search for a much richer and wonderful tomorrow? Humour me. Lets see what comes to mind in the next few days….

Words by Errant Satiety image from here. Major credit to the Human Givens Institute.

Please feel free to email me privately with any questions.

Three tastes of today…

Milky Way Galaxy Exploding from Mount Rainier, David Morrow

A dreaming

Sleep escaped me. Exhausted I sought her with desperation yet she fled me amused. Words that had been pent up, bound by circumstance, eager for freedom burst forth laughing, cohering with sleep, defying my ability to close my mind. Do not expect a miracle I am all out of those as I reach beyond for a beauty sensed but misplaced, lucid at the edge of the dream world, asleep within the real. I reach for hope in her glorious flight, yet find faith, strangest of creatures to taste today. Deep within me an infant galaxy stirs misplacing time as I walk resurrected holding hands with courage we talk of distant suns and a past remade. As finally my eyes close they are kissed awake by loving sun and I pass into dreaming my life.

Gratitude as a way to walk with others

Beneath the heavy weight of life I learn to swim, I feel the changing tides of sentiment and dance with them. I hear the beloved in every word and speak only of truth and gratitude. Harsh realities soften in waters well tamed, words heard slower so the real is touched not ego. Change is easier submerged in the waters of life; remember the heartbeat that called you into being, the sounds of the world smoothed by the body of the mother who bore you. Fallen we forget and taste bitterness. Fallen we loose sight of the beauty we knew before we were, before we were not. Fall into the deep embrace of the beloved see into the reflection, not Narcissi but the true.

Angel song

At times, when I stop listening I hear them. If I listen forcefully I hear only harsh critic. If I quiet myself the whisper becomes clearer, almost song. Noise crowds them out with hate and malice. I know they are there the dark ones that draw me from myself, and the beautiful that invite me into myself. My soul a metronome, rhythmically tuning between the poles; between the lost and found; between the ache of love and the sting of loneliness; between the nonsensical and the sublime; between faith and fear. Paradoxes all. As the light and the dark, neither one without the other in this strange haunting land. Yet I hear them, the distant stars, the grains of sand; they sing of each breath as a chance to taste heaven within this world.

Words by Errant Satiety image by David Morrow