Memories of Freedom

I remember in the summertime
Collecting fresh green herbs,
Morn ’till night shone the sun
Upon my eager eyes,
Feasting on, oh devouring,
Landscapes pleasing to my heart,
Bella Italia, Bella Italia,

Words were hushed,
My lips sealed tight,
I searched for love
Amongst stars of night,
Between vineyards twisting
Waiting for a hand to clasp,
A palm grown strong
With creases that changed,
A life-line inventing and re-inventing
Like mountains I climbed up,
To reach the peak
And never come back down,
Because the wind loved me,
The sun loved me,
The breathing ground loved me,

Flames mesmerized my thoughts,
Before laying on a bed of fern leaves
Only between my body and
Cold, hard concrete,
I shivered and turned
Wearing a one euro jumper,
Whispering “I love to be free.”


Itchy feet

It’s been nine months since I landed in England but didn’t really stop travelling and in ways still haven’t now. For the first few months I stayed with my sister, then stayed at my father’s, before finding a house to rent with a couple of friends and next month I move again to rent a room in a family home with a lovely woman who is an art therapist. Each place in different locations made feasible via a flurry of six mediocre jobs in an attempt to keep myself afloat. A hard task starting from zero in constant upheaval.

My ideas have led to a possibility of studying again but this time Psychology with the Open University allowing me to fulfil my dreams of saving humanities’ emotional suffering after 6 years completion.

But always in my mind swimming around are thoughts of adventure. Escape! Freedom! Living with nature or exploring bountiful cultures! Feeling alive! Because there is no better way to feel alive than travelling. No other way to feel the beauty of your life stretching behind you in glorious sunsets parallel to feeling that every moment you live and every molecule of air you breathe is yours and you belong to it like it belongs to you. As if you are one together; living, breathing, loving with the magic of the universe. This is where you see real magic woven between Silver-birch trees and meshed within muddy footsteps leading you on a path known only to the stars. Bravery is your middle name, courage knows no fear except for sometimes in the night when you fear for your safety but you are safe and you are powerful and the only thing you can be more afraid of is yourself. Nothing can be more frightening than depths of a mind’s disease so you are, fearless. The way to realise is to throw yourself into the deep end before you’ve learned to swim so you have two choices and when you choose you will see all of the reasons you chose to survive, to smile, to hope, and to thrash your entire body just to keep your pulsating heart from sinking.

We are Alive

It is recently that I have comprehended and accepted both of my parent’s inclusion or more realistically, lack of inclusion in my childhood. Memories and confusion flooded my mind when I was trapped within mental illness and nightmares of crippling words and abandonment re-played over and over. I had fallen victim to my abusive childhood but I also blamed my parents for the situation I was in. I blamed them for not being there for me when I was bullied, I blamed them for not understanding me, I blamed them for my lack of direction in life, for my excessive drinking, and for my depression. There are elements in my upbringing that I can say have resulted in particular events and characteristics within myself because that is only human nature. We are created by our upbringing and our environment, and parents sub-consciously influence our characters with their every word and action.

I reached a moment when I suddenly realised that I could not put the blame upon my parents anymore and I was responsible for my own feelings, my own life. I was angry because I had inherited the mental illnesses that I had watched my mother succumb to and I feared they would destroy my life as they had destroyed hers.

When I was travelling I met a young man from Israel who always wore a brightly coloured patchwork jacket and a bountiful head of long twisted curls. He regularly expressed his views on alien life and his theories of our own alien origins induced by the South American drug Ayuahasca. He spoke of parallel universes he had explored whilst strumming his eight string mini guitar.

There came a day when he returned from a nearby town to explain he had received no more than an email stating that his father had taken his own life. The young Israelite appeared detached and aloof as he sat amongst us twirling his fingers through his curls. But he understood and he accepted with such grace the traumatic situation that had so unexpectedly landed in his life. He was aware of a suffering his father lived through that deemed the world an unbearable place of inhabutance, and now the pain was over. Now the pain was to live through the family left behind. Now this young man had to end his freedom, his choices and his own direction to return home and work to provide for his family.

In my childhood my mother had confessed on numerous occasions that she had tried to take her own life, that she didn’t wish to be alive, and for this I blamed myself. In her mental instability she cursed the day I was born inadvertently reducing me to a worthless incapable excuse of a human being. I have grown to understand reasons for my mother’s behaviour and am able to help her where she could not help me. Because underneath the exterior that labels her as my mother, she is a human being who has experienced a great fear, who has been rejected and abused by those closest and has lived through the darkened shadows of society. And that is what matters today; that she is alive. That today, she is alive and I am alive.