I had a meltdown not long back. I totally lost it. My head was so messed up that everything was black. Let me tell you: if I’d have known then what I know now about the role of decent values, then I would have had a much easier time of it. What I’m going to share with you now are the three values that pulled me out of those dark days into the light.

The beauty that I see in my life now is, in a way, down to the fact that heaven sent you here for me. I know it’s a cliché but you’re the angel that’s saved me. With all I’ve learned from the past, I just know that this time it’s going to be okay. We’re going to be okay. I know that I’m not going to repeat history.

It’s amazing how I’ve been accepted now. I met your family on Sunday and it was such a sweet day. We all went into town together and then, after going to your family’s place to change, we took a picnic into the countryside and spread the cloth in the shade of a big old oak tree and ate and laughed and drank and ran around and then drank a little more. I tell you, I was giddy by the time we set off back. Then on Monday, you know how it was. We just couldn’t get enough of each other. I ended up feeling good from the tips of my toes right up to the top of my head.

So yeah, what about those values. Well, in the dark times I couldn’t see any hope for the future. But that’s because I wasn’t planning for one. The thing about the future is that it doesn’t come along all by itself. I know that you imagine it should and does, but it’s not the future that’s coming up; it’s the past. When you don’t sit down and figure out what you’re going to do with your life then the same things that happened in the past repeat on you. That’s what I mean by the future not coming along by itself. Deliberately thinking about what I wanted for the future became very valuable to me. It became the first value on the path to my transformation into a happier person.

I know for a fact that you used to like other people as well as me. Everyone told me so. They said, don’t you mess around with that one because you’ll never be number one. You’ll just be a number. I didn’t want to be just another person to play around with. So that’s why I’m going to be doing something very special for you. Without going into too much detail, I’m going to do and be everything for you. I’m going to fulfil your every need. Pick almost any room in the house and I’ll be there for you. I mean, obviously there are some places where you need a little privacy; but apart from that – I got your back. I’ll be jumping through every hoop I can think of to do this for you. If love is an Olympic event, I’m going to win gold.

And that brings me to the second value that I’ve adopted in order to change my life from dark to light: giving. Before this, I was the most selfish person you could imagine. Everything was for me, me, me. Anything I did was solely because I wanted to do it. I was the most important person in the universe and I made sure that no-one got in the way of that. If someone wanted me to do something and it didn’t suit me, then I wouldn’t do it. I just sailed on by, content that I was doing okay if I was putting a smile on my face by following my own desires. It didn’t matter how many people around me were unhappy so long as I was fulfilled in my own little bubble of happiness. That was before I realised how valuable it was to give to those around me. You have become the centre of my world. I give myself to you.

Actually, you’re totally worth anything I could ever give you because you’re perfect in every way. You’re too good to be true, in fact, but that’s not going to stop me from showering an infinite amount of love on you. Like I said, you’re worth it because everything that I give to you, I get back double. It just feels great to be with you. It feels tremendous to run by your side instead of running away from life, people and you all the time.

The third value I’ve taken on is related to what I just said. It’s trust. I had such a problem with trusting people before now. I’ve been betrayed you see. People have come along and I’ve tried to trust them, but always, in the back of my mind there’s been a fear that they would hurt me and so I held a small part of me back. They must have sensed my fear and my reserve and it must have caused the inevitable betrayal. People who have the value of trust give everything to those around them and they don’t do it out of compulsion, they do it for love. Because my love for you is infinite, and because I’ll do anything and everything for you, it’s certain that you’ll never need anyone else.

This is stuff that I usually don’t do, but for you, I kind of want to, because you’re there for me and I’m there for you too.

So that’s my story. I was in a dark place, but with the help of my newfound values of planning for the future, giving everything that I have and trusting that you and the world will do right by me, I’ve turned myself around. I’m in a position to be able to spread love and light around me now. Thank you for your part in this, and thanks for listening.

Arts Council England Project

The following links are connected to a story about Michael, a homeless man in York, called, in it’s final form, Imago (most recent posts are at the top):

But before I wrote any of the above I conceived the idea of writing biographies of homeless people on another blog of mine:

I think I might apply for funding from the Arts Council England to bring this writing biographies of homeless people project into being. Strikes me that if I can get some local (or national, if it takes off) authors involved, and we get some money for the printing costs then this has a chance of bringing benefit to a lot of people.

This is the view from the step where Michael sat:

Michael View

Working Out the Plot for Michael

So, there are two main threads:

  • The narrator’s (writing in first person singular (I), first person plural (we = unknown (as yet) friends), second person (you =the reader) and third person (he = Michael). The narrator tells the story of how he wants to write the life-stories of homeless people to (a) give them something to exchange for money and (b) to compile into a book that will be a history/overview of homelessness. This will be a win for all parties.
  • Michael’s, told in stream-of-consciousness first person, which will be a version of his life recorded (on a smartphone) in-situ (the steps of St Michael le Belfrey) on an autumn day for transcribing later.

There can be three scenes:

  1. Talking about the project as the narrator is making the photocopies of the biography that Michael will sell
  2. Talking to Michael and recording life-story on the steps of the church
  3. Delivering the biography to Michael and finding him gone. Perhaps the priest can confirm he has passed? There’s a butterfly.

The theme is transformation through suffering. This is indicated at various points in the story by:

  • The butterfly in the last scene
  • The philosophy of sainthood from the priest in the last scene (we prayed for him (and all homeless people))
  • Something that came up in a conversation about Buddhism in the photocopier scene
  • Parts of Michael’s stream, but not decided what he says yet
  • Thoughts of the narrator in last scene.

Just need to decide on the order and write the scenes. Or maybe I should just write the scenes and decide on the order afterwards. Would love to write the stream-of-consciousness whilst out of it, but I’m not going to do that. Not even for my art.


This is all connected to anything you see on this blog about Michael or Imago. Here are some links for you to investigate further (one of them leads to this post):

Creatures Within

I hate that I might become hateful
I fear to reveal the fearful side of me
I am indifferent to my indifference
I’m rather habituated to habituation
I’ve seen boredom and it bores me
Avert from aversion is my battle cry
I’m disgusted whenever I feel disgust
And revolted by feelings of revulsion
I always fear to have fearful feelings
I’m anxious that anxiety will hold me
I dread the dread that sneaks inside
Any kind of anger makes me angry
I rage against the rage that burns me
I’m so sorry when sorrow takes hold
I grieve sorely when I hold onto grief
I’m frustrated by frustration’s grasp
Disappointment just disappoints me
I am discontented by discontentment
I feel so restless with my restlessness
I’m proud that I have traces of pride
Avarice makes me want more avarice
Greedy, greedy, greedy give me greed
I’m a real miser with my miserliness
I envy the envious streak in myself
I’m excessively jealous of my jealousy
My cruelty make me cruel to my cruelty.

But I purely love that there is love within me, for the creatures in my depths.

Good From Bad

 I drew this in the boring part of a meeting. I was going to say that it’s an example of good coming from bad, but now that I look at it – I’m not so sure.

However, I do know that when I’m in a bad mood or when I’m bored, and yet I still push myself to be creative, I can produce some good stuff. Do you ever find that?

Things To Change

Here are some things (according to an authoritative source) that I need to change, or work on, within myself:

  • Don’t badmouth others (friends and family in particular)
  • Take responsibility for your own feelings
  • Appreciate and acknowledge the things that other people do
  • Do things that need doing when they need doing
  • Smile more
  • Stop complaining.

The original heading of this piece was ‘Complaints About Robert’, but in view of the last item on the list, I changed it. It would have just been too ironic otherwise.