collisions make us (beautiful)

I spent most of my life asking why.

I spent most of my life not enjoying my life because I always asked why.

I asked why when a person wanted to get close.

I asked why when a person left me.

I asked why I shouldn’t ask why.

But today, after yesterday, I know only that beauty – however fleeting – needs no why.  In fact, more than needs no why it is inevitably damaged, hurt, broken, cracked, weeped, sadded, dismembered and – ultimately – lost, when we ask a person who loves us why they do.

After yesterday, it may be too late for the latest person who crossed my path – who, in the nicest possible terms and with the most honourable and outreaching of sentiments, went so far as to actually seek it out, engineer its crossing and desire its walking – to forgive me my having asked why in the destructive ways I used to.

I used to until yesterday.

But yesterday, from yesterday, no longer.

In the morning, I went to FACT Liverpool and enjoyed the collisions of art, science, humanity and reality that the latest exhibition, “No Such Thing As Gravity”, is currently teaching us and leading us to appreciate & engage with, as it aims to love our intellects, and serves to regale our emotions.


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In the evening, I wandered the streets of Liverpool and Liverpool One, in my by now habitual and standard auto-ethnographic way – in the misunderstood why which has occupied me for so long.  I got caught in the crowds at the big Christmas switch-on, and discovered – in that moment – in both my relationships with place and my relationships with people, that no whys are needed – nor, even, desirable.  So if it’s too late, Claire, then it’s too late.  But the lesson you have helped teach me has been so welcome and right, I cannot complain of the outcome.  And if one day we might share a table and a meal once or twice more, then life would indeed be righter than right.

And if not, then it will still – for me, and I hope for everyone who has tried to get close to me over the years and even so, gone and failed – be righter than right.


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This morning, meantime, over coffee in Joe & The Juice in John Lewis, Liverpool One, I have had time to reflect further on the good things in life.  I am a lucky man, a lucky man indeed; and I have only just realised my good fortune.  And bad things have happened.  And I caused some of them, it is clear – on occasions without realising; on others I am now truly ashamed of, because I should obviously have known far better – and (maybe) chose not to do so.

But I have survived, and am blessed, and I continue to try and help others to feel as I now manage to.  And if that will be my legacy, then let it be so.  And if nothing else is to happen in my life but this auto-ethnography and the joy it brings me, and I hope begins to bring yous too, I will be more than content with my impact on a world which needs good people like no other time – and more than that, needs good people to step up and show their compatriots we exist.

And to all the women, people, and indeed men and children who have encountered me over the years, I’m sorry if I hurt you.  I was hurting too.  And beyond that pain I was unable to perceive any future of any nature.

Not now.


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When you get a crush on someone, foolishness flowers.

But when you fall in love with someone from rather afar, and I think this is different from a crush, for these days enough information is out out there to allow it to happen, how can you possibly respond?

These days, most of us share ourselves.  We use Twitter publicly, Facebook with its walled garden which anyone can enter as long as they sign away at least a degree of their anonymity, and for the older or more reflective amongst us – or maybe we could argue in love with precise – there is always good old WordPress et al.

I will always be a blogging soul.  I need others’ thoughts to provoke my own, in the absence of any clear singularity I can easily provide for myself.  And this is all to the good: it shows we are social beings, above all.  I like it a lot.  I like it that I cannot function without others’ ideas.

In my life and emotions too.

I cannot love without another’s interest in me.  And yet so often in my life I have persisted too long in such matters.  And have invented the interest, even where in hindsight it became clear it never was there.  And so I have been ill advised in such matters.

No matter.

The point of today’s post is not quite anything to rightly do with me, however.

Whilst I fall deeply in love with the minds of other people as they have portrayed themselves on the web and social networks, and where their bodies attract me with their appearances too, so equally I wonder how many of us know the extent to which people we do not really know have also fallen in love with us in the same way.

Is it possible at all to gauge how many broken – or incomplete – hearts undiscovered by ourselves have almost touched our own?

And is it inconceivable that in some cases the uncertain moment of first contact between two people who might love each other, which used to precede a greater and more intimate knowledge of their beings, is now postponed for a long time – if, indeed, not forever?

That intimacy I mention – the fact that you may know my every thought before I see your face, and that maybe you hunger for my touch for years before I am even aware of you – is surely strangely peculiar to our connected times.

And I am puzzled as to its implications.  And I wonder if you are such a case.  And I am unsure how to proceed now.

And I would love to know the truth, the background, the reasoning if not the reasons before I do.  For I am weary of the machine’s signs and my having to read them from a distance.  And I would so love to know your biography and your context and your reality, and when you first thought you knew me and when you stumbled across me and when you figured you’d finally fallen in love with me.  And if not me exactly, then something about me.

I can accept love without a why.

I find it difficult to accept love without the warmth of a person’s touch in my bed and my house, and on my hands and my lips and my tongue and about my mouth.

That I do find difficult.

So show yourself, dear machine.  Show yourself once and for all.

For the language of signs tells us so much.  But the language of love is quite a different one.  And it is the language of love I now want to learn how to speak with you.

Wherever – and however – I myself want me to be.

fun and aims: a story of loving recovery

It has been a strangely exhilarating day in Liverpool today. It has been for a number of days, tbh.  Maybe for months.  Maybe for years.

Only I didn’t have the means to safely confirm this.

Now I think my intuition is fair in the overall design if not the detail.  And I would be fascinated to know the detail sometime.  Well.  As soon as poss.  But only as soon as poss.

This evening is not an evening for asking for anything.  It is an evening for being; for understanding; for appreciating the fine intelligences of others; maybe of many others; maybe more than I shall ever be able to know.

And I do appreciate these intelligences – more than you will ever know yourselves.

Thank you one and all. 


For I am bewildered, even as I am happy beyond belief. 

And if I must be bewildered, because you think this wise, then so be it.  

So be it.

So be it.