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On an early-morning flight-
just as the sun rises in the sky
and brings alive the clouds
like a wave of fire frozen in time,
like a magical world being expressed
by someone’s incredible and inspired imagination-
a man looks out his window
and simply cannot believe what he is seeing.
He cannot think, he cannot move,
he just knows that he is here for a reason.
He is sitting in his chair on a plane flying 500mph,
in the atmosphere of a planet spinning 1000mph,
with a heart in his chest beating like an unrested drum.
The man isn’t going far,
but to him every flight is like a trip to the moon.
Even as he watches the electric blue
and serene open air above the clouds,
the man swears for a moment
that he sees shooting-stars descend and streak
from above to below in short sucession-
not a trick of the light,
or momentary bursts from the sun-
actual asteroids and meteors from another world
choosing now to reign down from the heavens,
to fall into view and end their billion-year journey
right in front of him.

As the man takes a sip of hot coffee
he wonders for a second how the cup came into his hand,
who handed it to him, how unearthly and incredible the coffee tastes,
if he looked away from the window,
because he doesn’t remember when or for how long.
As the hot coffee rests in his mouth for a second
and then rushes down his throat,
the view outside the window, outside the plane,
intensifies within the blink of an eye,
and the man feels like the plane and his fellow passengers
are suddenly flying on the airplanes wings-
fixed in position, but able to be swept on their journey
by the breeze on their face and through their hair,
and by the feeling of unbelievable freedom.
It isn’t until the plane hits a slight patch of turbulence
that the man regains his faculties and his focus
and remembers where he is.

The air is different up here.
Everything you feel, think, and experience,
while free of gravity, goes straight to your head,
in ways only an astronaut could reciprocate,
or someone who finds love and happiness
for the first time in their life.

The man sleeps.
While still believing he is still awake,
while believing that he has been awake for the entire flight,
forgetting the brief conversation that he had with a passenger
who mistook him for a celebrity
while making their way back from the bathroom.
The man wakes.
The man feels more refreshed than he has done in years.
The man feels like he has been looking out the window
for what seemed like seconds,
before the announcement rang-out
and the “fasten your seat-belts” sign became illuminated
indicating that he and the plane were descending to there destination.

What does it all mean? The man asked himself,
as they passed though the clouds.
Everything means something, he repeated to himself,
from the stirred coffee in your cup that swirls
and resembles the spiral of a galaxy,
to the beautiful shapes and colours that you discover
while you’re among the clouds.

Our mind, our spirit, our consciousness, our soul-
everything about us that is the most important thing about us,
that is not of the body,
that is the most phenomenal thing about every human being,
that is deeper than any ocean anywhere on any planet,
and is the adhesive that holds together the whole.

Our essence extends beyond us.
Our mind never stops working.
While our body is resting, regenerating,
after being used to excess,
our mind interprets the messages that we have received,
but not clearly perceived, from the world around us-
a process that we can sometimes witness the progress of
while we are dreaming.

When a baby is born,
when a child first cries-out
and first extends the reach of their life-force and touches the heart
and connects with the consciousness of their parents,
the moment is so magnificent, overwhelming, and enticing-
it is as magnetic as the Earth’s core,
and as beautiful as the song of Angels.

When a body breathes its last breath,
and enacts its last deed;
when a body reaches its last instant of usefulness before death,
and you feel the sensation of being new-born again and free-
at that moment you need nothing,
at that moment you hear nothing,
at that moment your entire life unfolds before you
and reveals the meaning of your life
and why you were so integral in keeping the universe expanding,
keeping the galaxy spinning, and keeping the world as diverse,
engaging, and wonderfully-unpredictable,
as it has always been since its beginning.

People never truly die.
When we die, I believe that all that we are, all that we ever were,
and all that we forever will be, goes on-
and as we shed our mortal shackles,
as we take our final look at a sunrise or a sunset,
we understand what it all means:
why people in our life mean so much to us,
and why acceptance and realization is life’s key-
that is when all existence comes into focus,
and we understand that we are celestial beings in our natural form
of many states of reality that are not of the body.

The snow is still falling.
The world outside my window looks and feels as if it is frozen in time.
The death of my friend is like a shard of glass impaled within my heart,
the pain of which there is never any fore-warning.
I have been trying to talk about what has happened with others,
but what is on my mind I cannot express
until I am all on my own and I begin to cry.

Overwhelming grief consumes me and has cocooned me.
I think about my friend,
and as I do I am reminded of the times that we shared,
the things that we said-
discussing our mutual likes and dislikes, and opinions.
I am trying to recall as much as I can about my friend,
before the waves of time come into shore
and wash away the impressions that my friend made
on the sands of my mind, and all that I remember of him
is carried out to sea.

Death touches us when we least expect it.
We don’t know what it feels like to lose someone until we do.
I feel like something is missing in the world now,
and the universe is unsympathetic.
I can’t begin to imagine what my friend’s family is going through.

I am writing now to try and make sense of my confusion,
to reconcile my belief in reason, necessity, my philosophy on life;
however, I am finding it hard to do so-
death to the living and to the grief-stricken
is like being stabbed with a knife.

When you hear that someone has died that you know so well,
it almost feels unreal, at first,
it feels like you are stuck in a dream-
it’s like having a fog around you,
or like being imprisoned in a glass cage,
and to free yourself you feel like you have to shout and scream.

Writing is like therapy.
Writing is helping me to say what is inside me,
and what better way to express anything than through poetry.
It is still hard for me to believe that my friend is gone.
I keep thinking about all the books that he will never read,
the films that he will never see,
the things that he will never own.
Then I think to myself how my friend came into this world with nothing,
and how he left it with so much.

Saying goodbye, accepting someone’s passing,
is something that you ultimately have to deal with by yourself,
in your own time.
I am coming to terms with my friends death as best as I can.
And that is why I must cry alone.

You always think things will last forever.
You always think people are always going to be there,
in the last place that you saw them,
and that life will always draw you back together.

My friend has just died, and I have just found out.
In all honesty, I am in shock.
I want to say the right thing
to describe what I am thinking right now,
but the right words just wont come out.

I have lost members of my family over the years;
I have lost friends that I have met and made
who I knew since I was a kid;
but I have never been there to say goodbye,
I have never been with someone by their side
as I lose them forever from my life, as they lose their life,
as I look-on and can do nothing but wipe-away my own tears.

As I sit alone now, I am trying to remember the last time
that I saw and spoke to my friend-
it seems like a lifetime ago in my mind-
I just can’t remember when it was,
and it is a crime of my memory that I cannot defend.

We take things for granted. I take things for granted, sometimes-
I don’t mean to, but sometimes I also take people for granted as well.
I talk to someone one day, I know that I wont see them for a few days,
but I always anticipate that I will see them again soon
the same as they always are:
laughing and joking, quintessentially themselves in every way,
and seemingly fine and well.

I lost a friend today.
A mother and a sister lost their son.
I don’t know what to say.
My friend wasn’t everybody’s friend,
but he was my friend,
and, in some ways, to him I think I was his only one.

I want so badly to find the words to describe my friend.
I want so much to put thought into what I say about him in what I write,
but saying goodbye now, not remembering the last moment that I saw my friend,
just doesn’t feel right.

The hardest thing to conceive is the end.
The most precious thing in existence, life-
the most important gift that we all take for granted-
the finite fortune that we are all born with
that we can’t take with us when we die,
that we should all not let fall through our fingers so easily,
that we should all be careful to not over-spend.

I am sorry that I never got the chance to see you one last time,
and to shake your hand.
You were genuinely someone who everyone knew how they stood with you.
And I can tell you now that you definitely left your mark on this world,
and on everyone you knew.
No one will ever forget you.

This is the way that we part-ways.

I wish I could have said this face to face, but…
goodbye, my friend.

Snowflakes swirl, fly, and dance, in the air,
as they slowly descend to the already white-covered floor-
billions of intricate and perfect frozen tears
dusting and blanketing the world before me.
It is like standing in the middle of a snowglobe.
No one can see anything in front of them,
everyone just jeeps going as best, as fast,
and as caustiously, as they can-
not letting the weather keep them in one place,
not even this unrelenting snowfall.

Seeing familiar landmarks veiled below frozen fields
that makes everything look indistinguishable from everything else,
a new world reveals itself, a new light shines, a new beauty arises,
the sky becomes the Earth, the Earth becomes the sky;
the sun is obscurred from view, all is bright,
and suddenly every-day things that you may sometimes miss
start to catch your eye.

A red british postbox has never looked more amazing
and glowing than against a white back-drop;
roads and motorways have never seemed more ghostly,
nor more other-worldly, than when you drive down them
in the middle of a blizzard,
when you are relying on the lights of the vehicles
in front of you to save you from coming to a sudden,
immediate, and perhaps costly stop.

Walking on what you cannot see,
walking on something that you have to constantly reteach yourself
how to walk on with every step,
makes you think more about your surroundings,
forces you to not take anything for granted,
and to expect the unexpected-
it doesn’t take much to take a false step in the snow below
and seconds later to find yourself in a skid.

In this weather you need to wrap-up warm, keep on the move,
stay dry, make the most of every shelter and cover that you come across,
don’t rush to wherever you are going, give yourself time, stay inside-
the snow can seem like a disruption if you have got somewhere to go;
but you cannot not appreciate its beauty, its magic,
its gift of contemplation-
nothing else opens your eyes to the world more wide.

Looking at the world, staring at the white cloud-covered sky,
at the snow-carpeted ground, and at the bare branches of the trees,
while wearing the biggest and the warmest coat that I could find
to protect me from the cold and the ice-
I look at where I am standing,
I look at the landscape that nature is remaking,
and I smile to myself at the thought that, as things stand right now,
this must be the most perfect winter wonderland that I have ever seen,
and it would be the most sublime snowman’s paradise.

Sunlight and sound in the morning air
on a bright and beautiful brand new day-
a sight that I have not seen for a long time,
because for weeks every time I looked up at the sky
all that I could see were thick clouds of grey.

From the song of birds outside my window,
to the distant rumble of an airplane taking-off
beyond the horizon;
from the pale blue firmament above me
shimmering in the sun’s golden glow,
to the return to the world that I feel now
after feeling so removed-
I truly believe that, like the chorus of this new day,
like the remastering of the world
that appears to have happened while I was sleeping,
something amazing has just begun.

I feel like I could look up at this sky
all day and just stare.
I don’t know what it is about today of all days.
I guess there is just something in the air.

I feel like I have returned from death, returned to life,
I feel like I have been resurrected.
For over a week, I lay helpless in my bed,
as my thoughts and dreams went into overdrive
and manifested into different and varied guises,
colours, textures, and ideas- some that I do not remember entirely,
some that I choose not to recognize.

At some point in our lives,
we all have this urge that appears before our eyes
that tells us to look within and begin a journey to find ourselves;
there are so many schools of thought on the subject
of how to embark on the ultimate journey of identity:
a walk in the woods, a prolonged period of silence
and deep-thought around a fire,
reading a thought-provoking book-
all methods that I would recommend, which have served me in the past.
Being ill, however;
having your body and mind feel like they are turning against you,
feeling like you are locked in a prison cell
with your worst enemy: incapacity.

This new year has not began as I had hoped.
Unfortunately, the normal feeling of euphoria of Christmas
did not carry me over the cusp of New Years Day
with the normal feeling of joy and the smile of happiness on my face.
I felt like I had been struck by lightning
and had fallen from the tallest building in the world
to the hard and unforgiving ground below,
and it all happened so fast,
and I didn’t know exactly what had happened, I didn’t feel a thing.
I was broken. I just wanted to feel better,
and for all that I was feeling and experiencing to come to an end.

No one is a statue. No one is bullet-proof, untouchable,
unfliching of the debris of life,
and everyone is stricken from time-to-time by something
that feels foreign and alien of themselves,
that is not easy to purify ourselves of;
we all must accept that life itself,
and our interactions with what life has in store for us,
is nearly always going to be out of our control.

For the last seven days, I feel like I have been in space-
circling the world, instead of being a part of it;
coccooned in a bubble; fighting to find my way back
to feel well again- almost forgetting what normal
everyday things are that we take for granted:
the taste of food, the feeling of sunlight on my skin,
forgetting me.
Coming back to Earth now, finding my feel on solid ground
after so long of feeling weightless,
I am still regaining my balance,
I am still finding parts of my life to reconnect.

How I am feeling now is better than I was,
and I hope I continue to feel that way.
What I am feeling now makes me think of the memories
and recollections of the astronauts who went into space
and their perspectives of seeing the Earth from so far away,
and how seeing it changed them:
a way of seeing the world, which I see and understand now,
that has been called the “Overview Effect”.

There is nothing more breath-taking than a sunrise,
there is nothing more welcoming than a new day,
there is nothing more humbling and hopeful
than looking into a new-born baby’s eyes,
there is nothing more magical to behold
than the sight of the stars of the Milky Way.

I have seen people rise and fall, like day and night-
some who feel as if everything in their life is going wrong,
and some who say that life could not be better
because everything is going their way.

Life is endless. Life is varied.
Life is more than anyone could express.
Life is the acceptance that anything and everything is possible,
somewhere at some time.
Life is the struggle and the growth towards the strongest light
that touches every branch and energizes every seed.

In my life-time I have witnessed, observed, and been fascinated by,
the great leaps that humanity has taken,
the mysteries that have been revealed,
the beauty and the epic story of our universe,
and I share the passion of so many others
to continue to delve and learn more;
but what compels me and satifies me the most
is the thought that even in the life-time of everyone who will ever live
on Earth, or around a distant star,
we may believe that we know what makes the universe tick,
but we will never know what began life’s eternal clock,
nor the instigator that gave rise to all.

We find our own way in life, guided along the way by signs,
lights, and people, who will ultimately inform who will be
at the moment that we take our last breath,
as our last tears fall down our cheeks
like the last drop of rain;
and when the sun sets on us for the last time,
we shall return to life and begin again.

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