Mikel Ocean Azure



past PRESENT future

Posted by Cobaltsoul on April 21, 2012 at 6:30 AM Comments comments (0)

It is one of the glories of humanity that we remember our past and we dream about our future.  It is one of the tragedies of humanity that we dream about the future and remember our past and allow these magical abilities to cheat us of our present.

There is some pretty good research around these days which suggests that what we remember of our personal past serves not so much as a factual data collection of what actually happened but rather as one thread of the story of meaning we are making of our lives as we live it. 

I'm not suggesting that our memory of our past is a fabrication, I'm pretty sure that evolution weeded out the creatures who'se record of the past was entirely inaccurate and therefore a dangerous basis on which to make survival decisions.

Our memory of our past is OUR memory of OUR past,  in that moment when it was our present we took in only certain parts of the whole reality, we paid more attention to the hateful look our sister gave us and less attention to the loving affirmation in the face of our mother, for example, and forever more our memory of that moment is a memory of being judged, when in that moment we were being judged by one and loved by another.  The power of that memory inside us flows from the way we weighted what we experienced AS we were recording that memory.  They are not false memories but they certainly are subjective memories. 

More than merely subjective, they are harnessed and weighted to support whatever the story is we tell ourselves about ourselves and our life.   Of course,  until we make a different choice as adults, if we ever do,  the story we started out telling ourselves about ourselves was the story our parents told us about ourselves.  Not the story they put into words, though what they said to us might have been consistent with how they treated us, but the story of who we were that was in the way they treated us. 

If my parents neglect me then clearly I am unimportant, of no value.

If my parents worship me then clearly I am a god and deserve to be worshipped by all.

If my parents blame me for their anger and violence then clearly I am a bad child who deserves to be punished and limited/imprisoned.

Our parents give us the first story of who we are.

We interpret experiences and lay them down in our memories weighted to support the story our parents gave us.

It turns out, this is an aside from my main point, that we can return to those memories, unpack the parts not formally noticed or balanced, and re weight our own life story, find the hidden glories and truths in it that show us a wider picture of who we are than the one our parents gave us.  As adults we can wash away the story our parents gave us about who we are and decide for ourselves who we are.  It's not easy, but it's possible.  Lots of research in this area,  one area to look into  "Brain Plasticity", if your'e interested.

Most of us dream about the future.  Some of us make plans for the future we hope we will have.  Some of us take action in the present to create the future we dream about.

Not many of us really NOTICE our present.

The power of the past and the escape of the dreamed of future both serve to distract us from experiencing the present moment.

In truth the present moment is the only living moment we have.

I don't exist in the past or the future.  I only exist NOW.  Now is the whole truth.

Sure we can have a faith about the future and hope for the future, but even if our faith is entirely accurate, which we can't know until it arrives, we will only experience the future in the future AS A LIVING NOW.  

Now is all there is.

So it's a tragedy that we pay so little attention to our now.  We notice such a tiny percentage of what any given moment contains. 

I'm just going to make one point about one area of our NOW experience while there are many different elements of our now experience we could lift our attention to.

How much of what you are feeling right now do you actually notice? 

Some of what we feel floats up into our awareness with a vague quality of "something", without us ever really noticing it or describing it or enjoying it or learning from it.  Mostly the strident feelings might jag our attention, or the feelings we've given major roles in our self story might regularly get our attention, but the whole range of things we are experiencing in our inner world simply flow past without recognition.

We experience our present moment more like robots than like beings.

You might read this and say I'm writing as a man and that women's relationship to their now feelings is different.  Well, it might be different but at fifty years of age I have to say I have seen little evidence that women are any better connected to the range of feelings they are experiencing than men are.    Most women definitely have a better emotionally vocabularly than most men but that's a learned thing.  Generally our western cultures tell women that their emotions are a legitimate part of their female identity while telling men that only strong emotions that serve power and domination of others are a legitimate part of our male identity.  

I'm not sure I've ever come across anything that suggests women are more healthily connected their emotions than men are.  I'd be very interested if such research exists.

My point being that we all tend to NOT be IN our PRESENT fully.

We miss out on a great deal of richness and insight into ourselves as a result.

If we are only alive NOW, then the more of what's happening for us and in us NOW that we touch, taste, notice, engage  then the more alive we are.

Far as I can tell my present is infinite.  No matter how wide and deep I open my awareness, no matter how delicate I set my feelers, there is always more of my Present Being to experience in any moment.

Just a thought.


You Never Know Who's Around The Corner.

Posted by Cobaltsoul on March 18, 2012 at 5:25 AM Comments comments (1)

Serendipity is a term conjured up by folk who wanted to recognise how life sometimes throws you strange connections that are totally cool and feel as if "someone" or "something" arranged it for you but you don't want to say something as religious as "God did it". 

Regardless of what you call it,  we all recognise those moments when life seems to change out of no-where, no warning, no planning, no reason to expect it, just.....POP!  something changes and you can feel the difference.

I think I just had one of those days.  Hindsight will confirm it but I'm enjoying the moment enough to blog about it so clearly something happened that I am feeling pretty fine and dandy about. :)

I have chatted with many, many nice women online over the last five years.  Even chatted to a few face to face.  One woman whom I had many long, honest and playful conversations with somehow slipped from my fingers, or I slipped from her, it's not exactly clear which, to either of us.  :)   We stopped chatting and for some reason the attempts we each made to re-connect failed in such a way that we both thought the other person had made a firm decision not to respond to us.

But I never stopped remembering her.

I decided this week that I would write one final email, in what I considered as a hopeless last attempt at re-connecting to the woman who's company I enjoyed the most over the previous five years.  I wrote it, I sent it, it arrived, she checked, she read it, she replied.  Serendipity, at the time I am thinking most clearly and fondly of her, she is thinking the same way and entirely free to follow thru when my email reaches her.

So, we chatted.  The energy is as easy and playful and honest as it ever was.  She still thinks I'm handsome (Go figure that one out!).  I still find myself watching her vivacious face as if the answer to my deepest questions is hidden in her eyes and her smile.

I could NOT have written that last email.  It was such a faint hope in my mind that I could have easily not bothered, never re-connected, never opened the door that just opened...

You have to let things go, if you want them but they just don't happen, especially when the "thing" is a connection to another human being.  You cannot live your life as if you are in a fairy tale, waiting decades for your lost love to return.  If what you need and want cannot be found in one place, no matter how beautiful and perfect that place might be, then you move on, turn your back, let the memories fade and go in search of somewhere, someone, who CAN share with you the life you want to share.  That was the point I wrote that final email.  If you like - it was kind of "cleaning house" - checking one last time before letting her go for ever.  I was just making sure one last time so I could walk away clean and certain,  never look back.

Life is like this, you just don't know what's coming next.  Not on the good side, not on the bad side.

It's pretty cool really, no knowing what's next.

It's also terrifying, but maybe most of the time we don't let ourselves feel that terror, who can live in the awareness of "terror" every minute of every day?

I am smiling like a drunk fool, you know the smile I mean?  The smile a happy puppy would make if it smiled instead of wagging it's tail.

Yup, something went POP today and I can't stop wagging my tail.



Why It Works When It Works.

Posted by Cobaltsoul on December 31, 2011 at 3:45 AM Comments comments (0)

New Year's Eve and that seems like good enough reason to blog.

I think, actually, the idea of blogging was originally that you didn't need a reason, you just splurged any old nonsense onto the digital space and in a thoroughly post modern gestalt someone might read it and connect, or not.

Returning to my thought...  oh, right...   On those occassions, rare as they may be, that a New Year's Resolution actually works there is a good reason in our design why it works.  We attribute significance to things without reference to their actual significance.  When I say "actual significance" it kind of begs a question, how one determines "actual" significance.  If you are Theist of any colour then the answer is easy,  "actual significance" is some pure or absolute thing determined in the eyes, or whatever, of some perfect and all knowing entity/being/force.  (Frankly I think the idea of "the universe/force" as any kind of substitute for an actual Being is pretty silly.  Seems to me as soon as you say a force is "knowing" then your saying the force is actual a Being and we are back to talking about God in one or another guise.  If your force remains purely a thing of non-Being then it seems to me you've chosen a spirituality a tad irrelevant to Beings.)

Returning again to my thought...humans attribute significance to things entirely subjectively.  Indeed this attribution of significance happens not only on the level of consciousness.  It turns out that our brains have developed a marvelous pattern recognition capacity as a way of processing the virtually infinite amount of information our senses flood us with every moment of our waking life.  Not just processing that information but organising it.  The information our senses take in is useless without organisation.  Our brains organise the information and what do you think it uses to organise?  Previous patterns that have been found useful for the same task.  It's not mere human stupidity that causes us to struggle with seeing important changes in our environment and our situations, it's hardwired into our brains to first trust old ways of organising and interpreting information. 

This is a real example from my past - I see a field mouse scurrying away from my lawn mower and I stop to watch with a sense of wonder and delight at discovering a little bit of Wildlife right at my feet.  My friend, mowing the same field sees a field mouse scurrying away from his lawn mower and stomps on the mouse, killing it.  I don't know what significance he attributed to that mouse but clearly not the same as I did. 

We attribute significance from within us.  Sometimes reality forces a significance on us but even those we have a lot of choices in how we frame what cannot be denied or ignored.  Everything less than catastrophe or bald tragedy is open to our own decisions about the attribution of significance.

If the resolutions you make this New Year are significant to you, then they'll stick.  If they don't stick, just admit the change wasn't that important to you, not down in your belly where it matters.  That's the learning potential right there - the gap between what you think is important to you and what is actually important to you.  It can be a pretty confronting gap, which is why most of us mostly don't notice it.  :)

Happy New Year.

Mikel O Azure.

Real Family?

Posted by Cobaltsoul on October 14, 2011 at 10:10 PM Comments comments (1)

In The West we have endless myths about Family.

We are given the idea, somehow, that family relationships have a special quality that excludes them from the normal shittiness of human hearts. 

We are quietly conned into thinking that somewhere out there is a normal family full of unconditional love and mature mutual respect for all family members.  We are sure that family must exist but we all know it's not OUR family.  In that comparision OUR family suffers terribly. 

I don't use family in the traditional sense in my own thinking these days.  For me, family is still that ideal thing - unconditional love and mutual respect - but it has nothing to do with blood relationships or the house I grew up in.

Blood relations are no different to any other stranger - some of them are fantastic, some of them are criminal, some of them are selfish, some of them are nice, some of them are takers, some of them are givers.  You get the picture, just because someone is your blood relation has no bearing on how they will treat you.   If you accept that fact then you just totally exploded the myth we all tend to buy into - blood family is something special. 

In fact, a bad family member is MORE dangerous and damaging to you than a bad stranger.

Now the reverse is also true, if an important member of your family is a really wonderful person, that has a bigger impact on you than if a stranger is a wonderful person to you for five minutes.

But it's a major lottery about which kind of family member you are going to grow up with.

Most of us grow up sharing a house with people who cannot help burdening us with the overflow of their own gross imperfections.  The nature of that overflow can be across a wide range - from the parent or sibling who is constantly violent towards us, the parent who neglects us or ignores us, the parent who loves us but with a serious amount of their own self loathing staining the message, the parent who loves us pretty well but also leaves us feeling a bit afraid of the world and feeling weak, the parent who overflows with love and positive energy but struggles to let us go and be fully grown up,.....  etc etec............it's a wide range.

None of that range measures up the mythical family we all wish was our family.  No-one has that mythical family, it doesn't exist. 

For those who suffered in families at the really shit end of the scale, the myth of a normal happy family is a massive burden, one because it makes us think our crap family is less normal than it is and two because it stops other people recognising the whole truth about the families they are looking at - so we stay isolated, not recognising how much helpe we all need.  We all tend to push out of our minds the suffering and pain we see in other families because seeing it everywhere undermines our grasp of that comforting myth - normal happy families are common.

No such thing as a normal happy family.

But if we see that, really admit it, then we have to ask ourselves a whole load of uncomfortable questions about humanity and our society and our culture and our beliefs. 

Most humans are walking around ignoring the pit of loneliness and pain sitting in well of their soul.  Clumsy sentence but you got the drift of it. 

By holding onto the idea that happiness is common and normal and that families are the happiest places of all, we train ourselves to only see THAT reality rather than actual reality.  We train ourselves away from noticing other people's pain, and thus, our own as well.  Perhaps it works the other way, by refusing to feel our own pain we make ourselves incapable of feeling other people's pain.  Every stick has two ends, can't pick up one end without picking up the other end.

I don't have any "moral" to this blog.  It's just a blog.  Something I was thinking and I'm trying to really put into practice the knowledge that for me writing is good therapy even if it seems pointless in terms of structure and content.

Oh, do you think this blog means I'm anti-family, as if you can be "anti-family", family is unavoidable.  I'm not anti-family but I certainly don't put a special frame around family relationships, they are just relationships like any other and contain all the good and bad any relationship might, in the same ratios but with greater power over us because we are IN those relationships so closely and intensely for the first twenty or so years of our life.

What's more important, in my mind, than the blood group I was born into, is the relationships in my life that ARE about unconditional love and mutual respect.  In fact, I'm happy for them to be "less" conditional love and mutual respect as I think "un" conditional love is pretty rare. 

Not just being in them,  making the effort to create them.  I'm not so good at that,  my own blood family left me with really good self isolating skills and if I don't pay attention I tend to ignore the very people in my life who offer me the richest friendships and the freest love.  (Sorry Dave.)

OK, blog over.


Where Do You Find Beauty?

Posted by Cobaltsoul on August 31, 2011 at 5:35 AM Comments comments (2)

Hey there,

I've been silent for a long time.  That's me, a typical tortured writer, full of things to say, not saying them.

I am listening to Trance.  Trance music that is.  Some deliciously rich tracks I purchased just a few days back.  I'm a bit of a Trance addict.

When I was in my early teens my Father's sister, a truly gifted keyboard musician, like my Dad, had purchased a LP, I think it was called "Hooked on Bach".  Hold on, let me go google that, to make sure it's right.  No, it was Wendy Carlos'  "Switched on Bach", apparently the first classical music album to break various records.  No surprise, it was a real kicker.  My aunt didn't like it so she handed it to me.  I loved it.  There was the start of my addiction to synthesizer music.   Synthesizer, Moog mostly, performances of Bach classical organ music!  Awesome.

Pink Floyd fed my addiction, one of my top ten albums is "Wish You Were Here", which still hasn't dated, in my humble opinion.

A bit later on was German dudes Tangerine Dream,  in the era of cassettes and walkmans Tangerine Dream were my favourite companions.

Long break, then I discovered Trance music about twenty years on.  Then I discovered Daft Punk long after everyone else noticed them. :)

All of this history to prime the question, where do you find beauty?

The track I'm listening to right now just hit "the space"....(Don't Stop by the Sleepwalkers)  synth music can generate a huge spacey quality, it's not all duf duf duf.   When the space hits, it's all bliss.....  like being taken to a new universe,  your soul seems to open up and start to expand, grow, deeper and wider. 

This music is one of the arts that can bring me to tears.

Beauty brings me to tears.

Takes my breathe away.

Shifts my consciousness.

I find beauty in a wide range of places, Trance music is just one of them, but a rich one.

Where else?





Female beauty.  (Which may be visual but might also be auditory, soulful, tactile or enacted.)


For me, beauty and awe are intertwined,  the feeling of both is close for me, close together.

Beauty silences me at the same time as another part of me seeks to name it, praise it, elevate it, give voice to the wonder and blessing I am lost inside.

Now I have to be honest,  I think if I was a totally whole male, I'd have the same response to male beauty as I do to female beauty.  I've seen some men who I thought were beautiful, simply stunningly gorgeous manifestations of the male form in a purely visual frame of reference.  Their beauty didn't silence me.  I recognised it, but it didn't plumb my depths the way a similarly gorgeous woman does. 

I think the damage our cultures do to our sense of "male and female" is behind this difference in me. 

Anyway,  beauty I discover beauty down many different avenues.

How about you?



The Adjustment Bureau

Posted by Cobaltsoul on June 28, 2011 at 7:38 AM Comments comments (0)




I just watched a great movie, but one that did not crack it big at the box office because it was a genre ambiguous movie.



This was a romantic movie, also a mythic movie and a theological movie. It was fast moving with plenty of chase scenes and that was how it was advertised, more a thriller than a romance.



Mythology is full ofstories of mere mortals challenging the “gods”. It is an important theme in our story telling history. This movie is in that lineage even though “the gods” are kept thoroughly low key and the movie tries to avoid any traditional theological interpretation of who or what the highest power is. This element of the movie is not well handled, not badly, but not with a real grasp of the pointlessness of being vague when telling this kind of mythic narrative. If you tell it well enough, the theological specifics you use become tertiary and the story carries the universal truths forward regardless of your narrative's particularity.



One man meets his full on soulmate, they both feel it. The powers once intended them to be together but the plan has been revised and now they should only meet for this one moment, then never meet again.



He discovers the Power's meddling and is convinced by them to let her disappear out of his life.



He tries to let her go but he cannot.



She is his “the one,the only” and she feels it too.



So, eventually, he challenges the Powers, willing to risk being wiped clean and reduced to an empty vessel in one all or nothing venture to be WITH her.



Their story resonates because so many of us have felt that feeling, that THIS one is THE one.



Their story resonates despite the fact that so many of us have felt that feeling and then discovered we were tragically wrong and THIS one was just a horrible mistake or a sad mistake or a failed chance or an unfortunate coincidence of mutually triggering wounds and family pathologies. Despite our experience of the pain that comes with believing in “soulmates” we go right on believing in them and hoping ours is just around the corner.



I suspect the hunger underneath this belief is the hunger to be “the one” for someone else and to feel ourselves absolutely surrendering to them, the freedom of self abnegation without care or fear, to feel that safe, that loved, that known, that welcomed, that embraced and penetrated. We hunger for absolute acceptance from one other. We desire to feel able to GIVE absolute acceptance to one other.



So, we believe in a soulmate.



The downside of that belief system is that it tends to be a system that relieves us of any responsibility to build something good, to choose well, to work for our lives. If our perfect soulmate is out there somewhere then all we need to do is find them and when we meet, it will go perfectly well from then on without any real effort from us. If it hasn't gone perfectly easily, then they were not our soulmate and we need to keep looking.



I think that might actually be possible, in a few small number of cases. If you grew up in a healthy family with lots of balanced affection and discipline, where both your parents were mostly balanced and mature in their adulthood and did not contaminate your young psych with serious warps and impossible needs and if the partner you meet had a similar family experience and it just so happens that the internal patterns that gave you and the internal patterns that gave your partner are mutually complementary and balanced, then you can merge together healthily, not loosing yourselves while still being thoroughly open and exposed to each other. It's a rare thing.



For most of us much more work is required.

I think it IS possibleto be richly fulfilled by the way another human being sees us, welcomes us and embraces us. I think it IS possible for them to behaving that experience from us at the same time we are having it from them. It's possible but it for most of us it requires SERIOUS work, on ourselves and on the relationship we are in.



The intimacy and fulfilment that is evoked in the idea of soulmates is something I still believe in and still anticipate experiencing in my life. I expect it will require hard work as part of it's ongoing realisation. Two people, together birthing the full goodness of their partnership into reality.



In the movie, the hero, and then his heroine when she realises she has a choice, decide to reject the simplicity of going with the flow and take the chance of fighting for what they believe can exist between them. In that sense they challenge the soulmate stereotype. It is not easy for them to be together and they are prepared to challenge even God (Not called that in the movie.) in pursuit of their own desired future. I think that is excellent theology. The movie is more subtle than most will appreciate, it implies that what can be seen as fate or predestination and used by some in power to force people into certain paths and roles is not as simplistic as all that, not even close. I think that also is excellent theology.



The movie is based on a Philip K Dick short story, so of course it would not fit into tidy little Hollywood genre patterns. It is a better movie for not trying to fit into such constricted pigeon holes. It is nicely balanced between character development and fast paced storyline, New York looks fantastic and adds huge wallops of character to the whole affair, the two leads are convincing and engaging and the unreal elements are so well handled you buy into them without noticing you just did. It is hugely romantic and seriously theological/philosophical simultaneously. This is one I will beadding to my dvd collection.







Posted by Cobaltsoul on February 24, 2011 at 10:27 AM Comments comments (1)

How brave am I?  How brave are you?

When I'm driving the taxi on a Friday and Saturday night I listen to the BBC World Service.  Recent coverage, as you might expect, is Tunisa and Egypt and Libya.  I am awed.


My sisters and brothers who have the courage to go out on the street, knowing that there are guns out there.  They awe me.

My brothers and sisters who basically walk out naked into a world they know is controlled by brutal old men who don't value their lives or care if they die.  Brutal old men who are merely play ground bullies writ large.  Bullies who can bury whole families, bullies who can hide you in their cellar and have you tortured simply because they are scared of one voice. 

Would you walk out into that street?

I listen to radio interviews live from Egypt or Libya with a local person and in the background is the sound of gunfire.

Think about it.  Would you go out into the streets to claim your nation's freedom when you knew it could get you killed?  Really?  Killed.

My brothers and sisters on the streets humble me. 

I wish I had their courage. 

How about you?




Posted by Cobaltsoul on January 24, 2011 at 9:28 PM Comments comments (1)

The end of your last year at school provides a striking example of damaging false thinking.  The false idea is the one that says your entire future depends on what university you get into. 

What a load of bollocks.

The false idea is even more stupid than that first formulation.  Working back from which uni you get into the all or nothing lie appears when students are choosing the subjects they will study years before their last year.  Students are told that they need to pick "the right" subjects in their early teens so they can get into the right streams and get the right marks and get into the right university and get the right career and that if they get it wrong some massive life tragedy will ensue.

What a load of rancid bollocks.

When it comes to education paths and career paths there are multiple routes to the same destinations.  Assuming that most fourteen year olds can actually know where they want to be in twenty years time still does not mean any decision they make at fourteen will absolutely rule out any destination they ultimately want to reach.

You can get accepted to a "lesser" university, go, excell and use that excellence to shoe horn your way into "better" universities.  You can excell at the "lesser" university and enter the career stream you desire and THEN use your excellence to move toward the ultimate career goal you started with.  You can skip university initially,  get straight into the work area you want to be in and then use your work experience to gain admission to the university of your choice.  Multiple paths.  It's not all or nothing. 

I've illustrated it with the student education path but the general principle is the same,  in most things in life there are multiple paths to get us there.  Not everything, but most things.

The all or nothing lie puts false pressure on people at decision points.  The lie makes us think the decision we are making is between utopia and misery.  That false perspective makes each decision a burden when it need not be so.  It also creates a false expectation in us, that THIS decision is the one that will ensure our life long happiness.  When this decision does not ensure our happiness we feel life has cheated us.  Life has not cheated us,  we have a false idea and false expectations.  

There surely are a few decisions we could make that DO have a truly monumental impact on everything that comes after that decision AND which are irreversible decisions.  But those quality of decisions are rare. 

Most of our decisions are not all or nothing. 

Most of our decisions can be unmade or remade with subsequent choices.

Life is complex and there are multiple paths to the same destinations.

If you are a parent, please don't burden your children with the all or nothing lie.

If you are an adult then you are now parent to yourself, don't burden yourself with the all or nothing lie.

In our lives, in the search for fulfillment and happiness

We have more chances than we think.



We Love Stories.

Posted by Cobaltsoul on January 21, 2011 at 4:52 AM Comments comments (0)

Why do we love stories?

Pretty much that's all I've got, the question.

Maybe you think you don't love stories.


Do you love even one movie?

Do you regular WANT to watch even one tv show?

Is there even one song you love and will always love?


Then you love stories, just like the rest of the human race.

But why do we love stories?

What I can tell you, as a long time story lover and story teller is this:

Stories have power.

Stories have joy.

Stories have life.

Stories carry me to some other place.

Stories touch me in hidden places.

I don't protect myself from fiction the same way I protect myself from reality.

Fiction can share truth with me when I'm still denying it in reality.

That much I know.

I think there is plenty more to know about stories.

I also think that you can tell good ones without understanding why they are good

Or how they work.

Something else I know.

You are a story teller even if you don't see it.

We tell stories to ourselves all the time.

We process our reality by RE-telling it to ourselves.

Think about that for a while,  it could change your life, or at least, make it richer.



Sudden Change

Posted by Cobaltsoul on January 16, 2011 at 9:11 PM Comments comments (0)

Most of us have our lives set up to support a simple fiction.  Pretty much the entire Western capitalist system is setup to support the same simple fiction.  Regardless of the news entertainment industry's relentless attempt to challenge the fiction we somehow manage to watch all the tragedy and disaster without grasping it's lesson. 

My life can change in one moment.

The fiction we cling to is that things will go along nicely just as they are and we need not consider the matter any further than that.  We do not want to think about the fact that our lives can change without reference to our intent or our plans. 

Now the news entertainment industry (Have to add the *entertainment* adjective, even in my thirty five years of paying attention to the news I recognise the dramatic shift from substance to sensation, from journalist to public relations dupe, from an ethical subculture to a corporate clone culture.) serves up a soap opera of dramatic disasters and terrible traumas and warps the perspective on it all.  More outrage at one crook who robs an old lady of her hand bag on the street than at thousands of millionaire crooks robbing millions of people of their life savings.  Think about it, consider what you've seen on the screen and you will see that matters of very different scales are reported in inappropriately similar tones.  Now consider who that might serve.

Anyway, that wasn't my point, so back to it.

So I was saying that we are surrounded by evidence that our life can change in the twinkling of an eye.  Most of us steadfastly turn away from ruminating on that reality, perhaps because most of us are more pessimistic than optimistic, we don't want to think about the possiblity of our life changing for the worst just around the corner.  There is as much reason to be optimistic, I'd argue, some other time, there is actually MORE reason to be optimistic.

Life can change for the better in the twinkling of an eye.  It can change for the better without our initiating it.  Good things simply come to us.  You might as well call them gifts as anything else.

In the last week I have experienced this and it's a pretty invigorating ride.

I have met a remarkable woman.  Now the story is not quite so compact as that.  She introduced herself to me and gave me her contact details but it was many weeks before the matter proceeded any further.  I stuffed up the first meeting without knowing I had, came away from it thinking this was a breathtakingly delightful and rich individual who I really wanted to get to know better but left her with an impression of me that was quite unhelpful.

I got a second chance when we bumped into each other again and I will admit I was in a small panic to make sure I grabbed that opportunity to say hi and what happened next is that moment, the one where your whole life shifts track.  She gave me a second chance and accepted my invitation to have a good long chat.  She had reason not to talk to me again but in that space where a decision is made, she decided for me, something entirely outside my control but with immense potential to transform my life in countless positive ways.

It is my intuition and my hope that in thirty years time this blog will be the first of many I write inspired by the impact and influence of this woman on my life.  There is good reason to hope in that direction but you can't always tell from the first paragraph if a story is going to be a long one or a short one. 

Even if our story is not a long one the impact of meeting some people even briefly can be life changing.  It depends on the quality of the person and how their qualities intersect with the open and unresolved themes in your own journey.  This woman is definitely one of those quality of individuals for me.  Her fusion of character, personality, history and hopes resonates intensely with my stuff.  Not the harsh discord of damaged patterns crashing into each other, the natural and delightful harmonies of two lives close enough to be complementary and different enough to create together a third new thing of beauty and joy.  Just knowing, first hand, that such a person exists, shifts a private but unfullfilled hope to a realistically fufillable goal.  If it can be real once, it can be real twice.  If She is not *The One* meeting her affirms to me that women like her are real and they are attainable. 

Either way,  that second conversation transforms my life.  That moment she decided to chat to me the second time is the turning point, everything after that is different.

You just don't know what's about to happen.

Our lives don't roll along unchanging but we do our best to interpret it that way because it makes us feel safe and comfortable.

It might feel safe and comfortable but I suspect it's really only a half living, we are missing a great deal of what's going on, not engaging it, not enjoying it, not growing with it, not making the most of what's offered.  For sure I'm guilty of that but I think maybe less so from now on.

Peace to us all.