There Isn’t Enough Time With You

There was a time when as the stars passed by in the night outside my window, I would stare out at them with hopeful eyes. They were most beautiful thing I had ever seen. So full of potential, so full of life, so grandiose and yet so small in comparison to the black sky. I saw my future in them, every star a new possibility and awed at their very presence. And they filled my heart, with such great wonder.


Isn’t it amazing that we share the same time as every other person on this planet Earth, and yet when we are together, each passing moment seems to move so unforgivably faster.

How ironic it is, that no matter how much time I get with you, each second still seems to shorten its length, and that the time I do get vanishes, more fleeting than he last. The more I love you, the more that time seems to slip away from me without my permission. And as I love you more, each and every day. And each and every day I come to realise, more so than before, that no matter how much time I get with you, it will never be enough.

How remarkable it is, that mundane tasks are now no longer taxing. As I make coffee in the morning; if it is for myself, my feet scuff along the carpet and my eyes roll around my head uncouthly. I loosely lift the kettle and the weight of it clashes against my mug. I rub my eyes and shield them from the light of day, as I consider returning to bed instead, and snoozing until I no longer can.

But when I make coffee for you, when I have the pleasure – my heels lift off of the floor as I walk to the kitchen. I select ground of coffee that look the freshest, I stir for longer than usual, to make sure the sugar that you like does not settle at the bottom of the mug that I bought you. I clean the rim with a dishtowel, to ensure it looks as good as I hope it tastes and then I carry it slowly, and I bring it to you with a smile on my face.

I will never tire, not for one day, at the look you give me when I enter the room. The way your resting body seems to come to life, and your eyes meet mine. The way your body rises, with new air, and the way you seem to brighten up the room with every breath. That smile that you give me… that beautiful smile that appears from nowhere. It renders me vulnerable every time.

As the day begins to pass with you, never once is there a moment when I am not completely and utterly in love.

Never before, could I imagined that a human so beautiful, so thoughtful, so kind, and so wonderful could exist in this world, let alone choose to spend their time with me. Never before, could I have thought someone could be so delicate and fragile, and yet so strong and fierce all at once. So caring, so clever, and so determined as you are. Never before could I have dreamed, that a room could be brightened, and that the grey of colours could dissipate into the background, just by your very presence. You bring about the sun to shine the smiles of faces. You are the warmth, through the night.

I could watch the hair fall over the corner of your glasses a thousand times, and still catch my jaw in awe of falling strands. I would watch as your curled fingers grasp around them, and pull them back into place behind your left ear. If I’m very lucky, you’ll smile at me as you do it. And just as in the morning, it will take me by surprise. Suddenly I’m smiling too; although I think I have been for a while and not realised it until now.

At night you sit on the couch with a blanket cradling your toes. Your legs are folded underneath you, and if a book is not in front of your eyes then you hand rests gently against your chin as you “watch” something on TV. Really, we’re both just trying not to stare at one another. Still, I play the game. I’ll watch random iridescent images flash in the iris of your eyes. A slightly skewed version of those images on your eyes reflects onto your glasses, dancing. You close your eyes. Slowly, your eye lashes begin to open, and you look at me.

I still melt. Every time. If I’m lucky, you’ll give in and look at me first. You’ll shake your head – same as I do. We’re laughing; we’re smiling. Because still it is unbelievable a concept to us, that we love each other as much as we do.


There was a time when as the stars passed by in the night outside my window, I would stare out at them with hopeful eyes. They were most beautiful thing I had ever seen. So full of potential, so full of life, so grandiose and yet so small in comparison to the black sky. I saw my future in them, every star a new possibility and awed at their very presence. And they filled my heart, with such great wonder.

But that was a time.  Now, as I walk to bed, I do not stare up at the sky, and the splendour of the great beyond outside my window. I close the curtains; I don’t need them anymore.

I lie in bed, and struggle to stay awake for as long as I can; for the dreams I’ll have, could be no comparison to the reality of you. My eyes begin to falter, and I stare at your face as they do. I wish for just one more day; so that I can spend it with you.

And as sleep comes over upon me, I do not miss those days when I gazed out at the sky. For I no longer see my future in the stars, but instead I see them in you.

Discussion: Language, without barometer

Suppose that in ten million years, humanity has been long wiped off the face of the planet. Some life still remains, but it has regressed to a more primitive state, due to some cataclysmic event, caused by our own iniquity, or some element of chance.
No animal that could understand the basics of calculus has existed on the rock called Earth for a very long time.

When one day, entirely by chance, our no longer blue planet is discovered, by some nomadic civilisation, who managed to achieve travel into the stars without using that same technology to blow each themselves up. In the ruins alone, under the assumption that concrete has eroded into mere particles that blew in the wind, and pages from books lost their ink; this civilisation would be able to piece together very little of what we were. Even if somehow some homestead had managed to endure the withering of time – if it had been cocooned in a blanket of ice, for instance; where would you even begin to understand what objects were?

A slab of metal and glass filled with silicon lines, in the corner of a room, where every piece of furniture is pointed at it. Knives and forks on the dinner table, for fighting no doubt. Window frames on the second floor, because we could jump so high, and often used that for quick access. Cloth in wooden containers, powdered energy in glass jars, animal carcasses in large white frozen boxes. It would be a frightening world of guesswork without a basis by which to guess. Everyone has had that experience of trying to tell a story, that was funny at the time, but after telling it out loud you find the other person does not find it so. Think of this, except not only do you not speak the same language, but you share no history, no culture, no prospects, no allegiances, and perhaps not even the same galaxy.

Now let’s suggest that humanity as a collective decides that the idea of a future civilisation discovering our remains and not being able to fabricate who we were is just too harsh a thought to bare. So they decide to devise a solution to this, or at least to devise a means in which to help these future nomads. And as a collective, they have decided to accept applications from anyone on the planet, and accept any ideas anyone on the planet may have on how best to communicate with the future visitors.

The problem then becomes the focus of this article: How do you communicate with these visitors? How do you construct a language, without barometer? In our own world, translations of works are inherently different to the language in which they were originally written, mainly because there is no word which translates over 100% – but at least we have something by which we can vaguely relate it to. But with an alien visitor -you don’t even have a set of words, objects, animals, or plants, by which you could guarantee you share. Not only this, but you cannot even predict the senses this alien might use to perceive the world around them. It is not enough to suggest you could communicate in a language that is a concatenation of a number of languages that are most frequently used or most expressive; because you cannot guarantee this creature has ears. Or perhaps they do but do not hear in the same frequency as we do. Perhaps you wish to communicate in symbols? – Well it has taken us thousands of years to build up semiotics to the point we can look at something and register to which category it belongs to at a glance, and even now most humans struggle with all of them, they differ in time and they differ from culture to culture. Equally, as before, the visiting nomads may not have eyes. Or if they do, maybe they do not see colour in the same range that we do. Lets say that they do have eyes – well what do they even register as a note? Say they looked at English at a glance, they could interpret the white space between the letters as the symbols rather than the letters themselves.

The possibilities are near endless for interpretation. This would be fair to say of something that came from our planet, or even our galaxy. But this could be a visitor that we may not even recognise as intelligent life, and yet regardless, it is. So much so that it had travelled through the stars to find us.

Furthermore then, we have an obligation to protect intelligent life as best as we can. To avoid any kind of pain and anguish where we can. If something can intelligent understand the universe and perceive its own consciousness, it must be our responsibility to ensure it.
It is important then to have this discussion – say we are aware of what brought about our destruction. It is our obligation then, to warn these visitors of the dangers we could not avoid. Perhaps areas of contamination, physical or otherwise, should be left in the past and certain technologies either avoided or proceeded with caution. The question being, how do we do this?

How would you communicate to something that may not even perceive the world in the same way that you do? And on a more personal note… Would you? Would you personally make an application to share your thoughts on how best to do this?

Arguably our only efforts to communicate without language thus far, is music. For thousands of years, we have communicated celebration, happiness, fear and war to others through music. No lyrics required to communicate exactly how we feel. Perhaps this would be our best bet to begin. Perhaps the sound of children laughing, the rain forest, or the ocean reaching the shoreline. The times at which we as a species were most at peace.
But then, while this may provide an example of our environment – it doesn’t necessarily define who we were or are. When we were good or bad. When we loved, and when we hated.

If we continue on a scientific trend – would we leave behind a hologram of a child as an ark of information, to provide context to who we were? Would this be the most realistic option, to convey our messages of peace in as many images and as many words as we possibly could? Could this child hold out a hand, with the bumps on his hand spelling in braille, and his words echoed in every other language, and Morse code? Would what the child spoke even resonate on any parallel? Should we literally throw sounds and light in some form of pattern, and hope that something sticks? Data dump our history and languages in as many different patterns as possible? Perhaps an AI, that can use everything that we are currently to determine what COULD be encountered in the future? Statistically, this is probably necessary. As much as they would like to earn us, we may need to learn it first, in the form of some machine learning. To discuss topics not only do we not understand yet, but we may never even have encountered in our cosmically short lifespan.

What if we decided that we wanted to communicate, only that which we wanted to communicate. I.e. perhaps we would wish to leave out the horrid parts of our history, or tell much more embellished versions of it in myth, legend, and art rather than the much more hard to swallow science and objectivity. If we were to do that, how could we separate semantics from pragmatism? To say very clearly what is, and not what we meant to say. This applies to our language, and also our visualisation of our culture. Say we built, or painted, or sculpted a grand cathedral, and hid it in some frozen ark – we may try to convey how complex and grandiose we were in our architectural choice – only to find that our visitor friends interpret the use of space as inefficient. They may regard our distinct lack of compactness instead, as a sign we were not intelligent whatsoever. That we were too wasteful. Perhaps then, they would be right.

The questions are endless, and arguably you could discuss for the millions of years we are hypothetically wiped out discussing what we could and should do – if and when we should – why and where we should. In fact, this question, which its infinite possibilities seems to grand a task to bestow upon us, and too great a burden to endure.

But if something is important enough, you must always try. Even if the expected outcome, is failure.

However; the question remains: Would you? And if so, how? How would you begin to construct a language to speak beyond the stars, without barometer?

Go.

Shorts: Smiling for a reason.

You’re smiling. Why are you smiling?

A long time has passed, although for all you know, it could’ve been the passing of some moments. You don’t look at your phone, or to the windows, and the sound of the clock has disappeared. Minutes and hours flow past, like tiny brittle rock slipped into a gentle stream, the underbelly of the little rock coursing against the river floor. It too will travel with turbulence, to a place of rest, where it needs to be.

Light fills the room, although not so much as to cause you to look away from the source. Feet are intertwined hanging off the edge of the bed. The two bodies look merged into one from under cover.

By the pillows, her nose is tucked into your shoulder, under the warmth of the sheets. Her cheeks tingle at the softness against her face. The covers bring a comfort, surpassed only by the press of her body along the length of yours. She pulls herself close to you in small motions, like tide lines on the sand. Her skin warms yours, although she clings to you for the heat, and something more.

Her hand rests, fingers splayed out across your chest, lovingly scratching at your skin. She looks at you now and then, hoping to catch your eye; but her beauty is so stark, you cannot hold a gaze for long. When she does not catch your look, she smiles into your chest instead. Occasionally, she lets out a long satisfied sigh as she does it.

Her hair smells sublime. But of nothing you can identify. Your fingers scratch lightly against the small of her back, and your hand smooths out across her body, feeling every groove. You mark them in your memory. You focus on things to remember later; because you can think of no place where you’d find greater joy and comfort. Its your happy place, the place you’ll return to when you need it most. You pull her closer, or hypothetically you do, for there is no closer you could be now. As your fingers run through her hair, you lie and think how thankful you are, that she’s there.

Suddenly you realise the room was never that bright, you were tricked by the ethereal glow that seems to follow her. She has a habit of accidentally tricking you with that.

At some point, she pulls her body to you even more tightly; and as her breasts press against your side, you take a breath, and you sigh.

She looks up and you, with those amazing eyes, entirely piercing and completely vulnerable all at once. She asks you, in almost a whisper, “What’re you smiling at?” with a cheeky grin. She bites her lip and rolls her tongue over the front of her teeth, waiting for the response.

You return the pearly whites, “Nothing.”, you say. But you know fine well you’re smiling for a reason.

You’re happy. You’re so happy. You’re in love.

And that’s all there is to it.

Shorts: The Call of the Void – (L’appel du vide)

You’ve had a great day at work. Perhaps someone complimented your appearance, or your hard work received the recognition you feel it deserves. You’re going home to your favourite meal, and since you’re ahead in all your chores, there is little to do but put your feet up, and relax the night away. You stand at the train station, as a light rain pours down, with a smile on your face as you think of all these simple delights that await you. At some point, you glance over, and see that a train is approaching. It is not your train, and it does not stop at this station so it’s going at a fairly high speed. And although you are happy, a coldness washes over you. You stare blankly at the lights on the front of the train. And from somewhere in the attic of your mind, you suddenly think, “Jump.”

It’s a thought and a whisper and a command all at once. “Jump… Jump onto the tracks. Right. Now.”

The train blazes by. It’s gone undisturbed. The train driver is still smiling, completely unaware of what you just thought about doing. You watch the train for longer than usual, before staring blankly ahead. What just happened? Why did you think that?

L’appel du vide. The Call of the Void.

A french term, referring to that feeling we get, even for a brief moment, where we just think – “I could do something terrible in every sense of the word right now. For no particular reason at all.”

It can range from the example I’ve given above, to thinking you could just crash your car into a tree while the kids argue in the back. Or perhaps that you could push your beloved friend over a mountainside as you both stand enjoying the view. It could be to cause damage to yourself, or to a loved one, or just generally do something horrible, like knocking an ice cream cone from the hands of a child, simply because you can.

While this is a scary thought to think about, and we often feel at our most insane in these moments, the good news is… we all have them. You are not bad. We’ve all thought about doing something like that, and sometimes frequently. But most importantly… it’s completely normal. You’re not saying you WILL do them, or even thinking you should. It’s just a combination of a sudden feeling of power revealing itself at an opportune moment. It’s a sudden realisation that in this moment, you have control, and a power to do anything, regardless of whether it’s good or not.

It’s actually beautiful in a way, because for a brief second, we feel truly empowered. It just manifest’s itself negatively, because thankfully we don’t often think these thoughts, and so we seize our brief moment to do so.

The next time you do have one of these moments, be comforted by the fact that it is so common place, the French have a name for it. Be comforted knowing the kindest people you know, have thought these things also. And be thankful that while you thought them, you did not do them.

Instead, watch the train, or the tree, or the shrinking mountainside go by, smile and laugh to yourself, “L’appel du vide…”

Shorts: Adelante

It does not matter how far you go, and certainly not how fast.

Whether you run, walk or crawl; go forward. “Adelante.”

Sometimes you’ll move on flat ground, and other times it will be considerably more mountainous. The destination is always changing, so don’t worry about reaching the pinnacle. It is a false peak. And that isn’t something to be worried about, in fact it’s magnificent. You will always strive for bigger and better.

And when you are on that journey, don’t worry about looking for a path, or necessarily even a guide, for those paths often travelled may not have the best view, and the ground below may be worn. Also, while you may take the same path as someone else for whatever reason, there is no telling what kind of shoes that person wore, how far along the path they started, or if they were carried there by someone else.

Do not compare, comparison is the enemy of joy. Instead keep a goal in sight, and off-road your way there. Learn to enjoy the bumps in the road, rather than wallow in anticipation of them.

If you find that you’ve got yourself turned around; either because you’ve been blinded by fog, or you’ve had your eyes closed for so long, don’t worry about it. You can turn right around, realign yourself to your goals, and march. Maybe you tripped. Maybe you failed. Don’t worry. Realign. March.

Sometimes obstacles will get in your way. Not only that, but they will push you back and with great evil intent and fervour. You may be kidnapped for a bit, to another place. Perhaps convinced to head in a direction, you wish you had avoided. You will be pulled and prodded, bruised, and tired. You will wear, and tear, and find yourself short of breath. Beautiful trees around you may be replaced with the winter worn. Colours may conspire to grey themselves, and your destination may look bleak.

Life may not be kind. It may be unfair. And when it beats you down, it sees its advantage and it beats you down even more.

But when you lay on hand and knee, after you’ve been beaten by the day.

Simply whisper to yourself; “Adelante.”

Shorts: Mother’s Day(s)

According to the dictionary, to mother, is to;

  1. bring up (a child) with care and affection.
    “the art of mothering”

And so apt a definition it is. It’s an art, because it’s beautiful. It’s wonderful. It’s hidden in plain site, and often it’s significance forgotten. If you’re looking for a definition of kindness, or a reason to continue believing in this world in a time of tempest and uncertainty, motherhood should be your guide.

Your mother has held you in the cold, with cotton wrapped around your infant body. She has held you against her, when tears have streamed down your face at matters trivial or otherwise. Your mother has taught you; inspired you; in ways more than one. She has clothed you, paid your debts, and listened to what makes you unique as an individual. She’s cared about it, and listened for countless hours, for the stories you tell her, she will surely tell to anyone who will listen, including strangers, in moments of pride.

She does all this from the moment you are born, knowing you will one day lie to her. Knowing you will one day upset her, move on to other things without her, and act selfishly towards her. You’ll put your feelings first, you’ll reject her advice, and you’ll forget in the moment, all that she has done.

And yet still, unwavering, she will be waiting with forgiving arms. She will not remind you that she told you better, she will not put you down, but raise you up, and she will not ask for favour in return. But only love.

I cannot think, of a kindness, grander, than a mother’s. The act once itself, is so gorgeous one could write a poem. But more astonishing, is rather the constancy of the act.

To all mother’s out there, thank you. For birthing and raising every one of us, since the dawn of human kind. Thank you for your unimaginable kindness, for so many years. So grand a span of time, to consistently be kind. Thank you for listening to us, seeing who we truly are, caring for us, and sharing yourself with us, so that we may learn, and grow.

And to my own mother, thank you. Words sadly fail me, for I cannot describe how wonderful you are. How inspiring you are, every day of my life. How decisions I make, and thoughts I have, are done with you in mind. You’re a thought that does not leave my mind, even though some things pressing may appear for it to be so. I love you with all my heart, for everything that you’ve done.

I love you for your support, your kindness, your friendship, and for being my inspiration to be a better man, for as long as I live.

Happy Mothers Day.

P.s. Spoil your mothers. Treat them. Remind them you love them, and you’re thankful for all they have done. Just be sure, not to limit it, to this one day.