Fractured

20191215_185506.jpg

Self-help/lifestyle books and sites are full of tips to assist you to “lead your best life”.

I  am not exactly in love with that phrase, nor some of the iffy suppositions behind it.

The general themes involve the person with the less than best life adopting new mental and physical practices,and sooner or later(preferably sooner) their life is transformed.

There are big assumptions in all of this – first, that you are able to help yourself (it wouldn’t be self-help otherwise!) and, secondly, that what has improved one person will do the same for another.

Sometimes true, often false.

Hard to assess, given the range of “solutions” on offer run the gamut from plain old common sense to ludicrous and even dangerous fads.

And mostly, the improvement schemes are aimed at ,and picked up by, those whose lives are just a bit “off “. Easy marks.

People who are broken, whose lives are fractured, fragmented, do not reach for lists with titles like “10 Ways To A Happier You – Now!” They don’t give a flying f**k about trite inspirational messages on cushions,bumper stickers or coffee mugs. If the Dalai Lama  himself showed up on the doorstep,with his sweet infinite wisdom, they would tell him to piss off. And nobody, I repeat, nobody, needs a coffee enema…

When you cannot do life ,you can’t do “need to do” bullet point lists.

The ones who are lost, trust me on this, don’t need to be told how to make themselves whole or found ,or whatever.

They need to be understood and accepted ,and there is no quick fix in that. Only time, and the love of others, will reach the soul and give the fractured the wherewithal to move themselves on.

 

 

 

 

 

I’d Be Lost Without You

20191008_171958 (3).jpg

All my life I have had fascination with maps and cartography (the mapmaker’s art). I have a geography degree that hasn’t earned me a cent, but I don’t care.

As a child, I would pore over atlases and maps with their linear representations of different parts of the world – seas, mountains, rivers ,deserts, towns and cities.

I would get lost in those pages and charts, but a good lost, y’know ?

I took this photo of an old map on my recent travels in Scotland. It depicts Fife and its coastline. Heights in feet, depths in fathoms, as it was, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Look closer.

It’s really a guide to the lost and endangered, or maybe a series of warnings to prevent yourself getting in those predicaments in the first place.

Beacons, lights, storm signals and lifeboats(!) and their locations.

Because (and I say this from harsh experience),when you are truly lost (the bad lost), you need external direction and you must heed the signals that you receive from around you.

You might have a moral compass, but you ,alone, cannot be your own map…