Archives for category: Memories

The neighbours, a sincerely lovely family, never travel or even take a holiday as far as we can see. A question, are they in some way seriously deprived? Maybe they are quite happy and contented staying at home, enjoying the pool, the barbecue and the warmth of their togetherness.
Travelling, for those who can afford the financial ruin, is said to be enriching and mind broadening. The sense of history in the old cities of Europe, the spanking newness of the cities in the East and the grandeur of the natural wonders of the world do not leave the traveler unmoved.
Here is a word of caution, try not to become the willing victim of the camera ‘phone! Twenty first century travelers are frantically snapping every new scene with their latest ‘phone and selfies are all the rage. They simply must post their snap shots on Face book immediately so that family and friends can be suitably impressed with their travels.
We have amazing technology at our disposal, that does enhance our lives, but it can also enslave us to the point of becoming immune to the real wonder of our surroundings. Mindfulness is still in vogue and hopefully always will be! Be fully present, fully aware, fully receptive in the moment. Look, listen, learn… let’s practice soaking up everything around us and we will be truly enriched. When all the social media messages have dried up, we will be able to re-live our exciting travels in the comfort of our armchairs.

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Well not quite…but here is a memory fom a road trip to Toulon

Standing on the beach of the bay
Looking at the palm branches sway
Watching the waves roll in from the sea
And surrounded by the French saying wee, wee

Feeling so strange being so far from home
Yet relishing the sun and the salt as I roam
Sipping a drink while others frolic in the waves
A solitary man taking in the ocean laves

From the two-story villa, I looked out at the naval fleet
Longing for home and the friendly birds that go tweet, tweet
Driven thro’ the streets of Monaco in a very red machine
Far more exciting than cruising in an anonymous limousine

The voices of our forebears call out to us
Remember me…your father
Remember me…your mother
Remember me…your brother, sister, cousin, uncle, aunt
Remember me…your friend
You are here because of us

The blood of our forebears courses thro’ our veins
Reminding us…of lessons taught
Reminding us…of roads less travelled
Reminding us…of pain and joy
Reminding us…of sacrifices freely made on our behalf
We are here because of them

At the break of day and at the setting of the sun
May we always remember them

The tool bag stands stubbornly on the work bench. It has a pungent smell, perhaps of metal filings. It contains tools; mainly old screw drivers with round wooden handles. There are two files, two pairs of pliers and an old manual drill.

The bag is brown in colour and can be propped open by two nasty hinges. If the hinges do not lock properly, the bag will snap shut on your fingers. It looks for all the world like a medical bag used by General Practitioners making house calls in the nineteen twenties.

The bag has been well used. If it could speak it would tell you stories about hot print shops, noisy machines and operators wearing eye shields. It would tell you about a meticulous, silver-haired engineer who treated all his tools with great care. There are not personal belongings in the bag, yet it was the only intact item in the old man’s wardrobe when he died.

A few articles of clothing, a pair of shoes, a pair of slippers and some toiletries were all that he left. It was very easy to pack up. The hands that deftly wielded the tools, the eyes that carefully measured tolerances and the legs that stood on cold, cement floors for hours on end are gone.

Only the tool bag remains.

I bite into a chocolate cake
I gaze across a wind-swept lake
And they come marching in
The dear beloved dead

I look into a loved one’s eyes
I contemplate the summer skies
And they come marching in
The dear beloved dead

I walk my dog along a path of brick
I see a man with a walking stick
And they come marching in
The dear beloved dead

I cannot really be alone
I know they are right here in my home
They marched in long ago
The dear beloved dead

The Engineer

The tools were loaded, the carriage was waiting, the compartment empty      Time to go. In went the suitcases and the engineer took his place at the window The long train started to move, ever, ever so slowly…

The wife and child kept pace on the platform, and chatted nervously
Time to speed up. They were quick stepping now, gasping last goodbyes        Then they were running alongside the carriage…

The engineer leaned out the window and began to wave, and wave, and wave
Time to cry. They were at the end of the long platform
Still his grey head and arm waving…

The experience was described by the engineer as akin to the stretching of emotions like a long elastic band…The child remembers

Have you met someone who seems familiar or visited a place that appears familiar? Perhaps you display an intense interest in a particular period of history or a particular event in the recent or distant past? Doesn’t it seem strange?

Obviously there are many explanations for these thoughts and feelings, but one can be forgiven for wondering if past lives do exist.
Why are we generally unaware of past lives, if there is such a thing, well probably because they are completely separate and there is a sort of blanket amnesia.

Maybe, once in a while, some of us are given a little glimpse of a past experience. The curtain of amnesia is opened for a split second and a picture is captured by the mind!

In standard one a teacher saved my bacon
In time another stilled my fear

In early youth a colleague helped me waken
In time to make the real me appear

In deep relationships forsaken
In time real love pulled me near

In the prime my Mum was taken
In time to miss me steer

My life in a new direction

Shivering under the cold stars up to my ankles in mud
Listening to the horses die and smelling the dark red blood
Drawing heavily on a precious cigarette
Unwrapping a small food parcel inside a dirty serviette

Trudging through the ordinance to the filthy dank latrine
Curling up in a frayed old great-coat trying hard to dream
Morning breaking over the chilly Western Front
Wiping restless sleep away and rising with a grunt

Sounding as if from another world the bugle calls us to the fray
Shells whistle overhead and men begin again to pray
Over the top we go with rifles at the ready
I did not see it coming the sniper’s hand was steady

Drifting with the smoke over the battle raging far below
Spirits free from broken bodies lying in a row
Mourning family gather at the grave
Giving thanks that he was saved

The sun has set!

The sun has set!

A man looks back over his life and tries to understand it. He thinks to himself, “at least I was a person of honesty and integrity!”
But the unspoken words have hardly left his train of thought when he realizes,
with a shock, that this is a rash claim.
Pseudo friendliness, false smiles, empty promises, lies of omission, pretence, disloyalty, flattery and many other vices were gainfully employed.
Backtracking, he thinks “at least I was a hard worker, a diligent and responsible fellow!”
That so, old chap? Were you never lazy or unpunctual, did you never shirk a responsibility? Did you fill every day “with sixty seconds distance run?”
Slowly the bald truth of it all sinks in and the thrill of “summing up” fades like the early morning mist. Reflection is not for the faint hearted!