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.

peace at last

I’m sitting in the cockpit of the village where I’ve spent most of my life living.

And I have said many things about the city – and borough – it is part of.

But if I say those harsh things about where I lived passively most of my life, the same words can be applied also to my own being.

And it is the responsibility and joy of us all to respond to such challenges with hope and optimism: never to close our minds to the colours of complex greys.

The world in all its ambiguity is there to be shaped, tussled with, loved, thrived in … and ultimately won over in its many-splendoured rivers, brooks, streams, islands and rocks.

Each to their own, of course, in community and society and full identity; but each in the context of a true appreciation of the sanctity of the sovereign: the sovereign of individual, of cultural DNA, and of a love of life that I have been able to prove is within the reach of us all, whatever our life stories, whatever our inner struggles.

For I now understand one thing above everything else: every one of us has known suffering, and yet every one of us can overcome this suffering, where the individual and social will does exist to enable this.

Nothing is beyond us.

Nothing, I promise you.

And if this summer has taught me one thing, it is that being true to and loving of oneself – honest about all foibles, differences and ways of being – is a precondition for our whirled to work: if we cannot value what we truly are, and hide instead behind walls of institutional opinion, if we reject the option and opportunity of thinking for ourselves, if we refuse the wisdom of community, elders, the young and very young, if we choose to leave behind the middle-aged by default, and if the joy of happiness, of sexual fulfilment, of emotional entanglement, of confusion and clarity and excitement and ambition is not to become the birthright of all those who wish to belong to our shared humanity, then society will never socialise and humanity shall only continue its oft brutal march.

Peace, at last – yes!  But not a passive peace: a vibrant, edgy, creative, dissonant, fresh, living, emotional, intellectual, thoughtful, inclusive, respectful, belly-laughing connection with everything and everyone we meet, fight for, hug, embrace, and one day even have the good fortune to kiss.

So this has been a good summer.

Now we have work to do.

Really …


I used to think “lol” meant “laugh out loud”.  Or maybe I thought it meant “laugh online”.  Rightly, without Googling, I can’t remember of the two possibilities which is actually the correct one.  But then in a writerly whirled, does correct really need to matter all that much?

I am reminded of a Facebook meme which, in turn, reminded us we should never make fun of someone who mispronounces a word: for it is a sign the word was discovered in a book, via self-learning.  And that is the grandest instinct of all.  To improve oneself, to be grander through one’s own efforts, is the best kind of learning a human being can engage in.

Where the results are kindly and compassionate and inclusive, we can only be adding to the sum of human happiness.

Inexactitude a bad thing, then?  I don’t think so.  Let us celebrate all our beautiful difference by celebrating all our inexactitude: and let us, childlike, remembering those wonderful times of youthful stumblingnesses – when nothing seemed wrong and everything was possible – laugh out loud and online with equal joy, heart and soul.  

Not to fear.  That is what our shared humanity needs to recover.  Our creativities depend on our fearlessness.  And our future depends on the calibre of these creativities.

So yes!  One, two, three, all together now: “… lol, lol, lol, lol …”