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I have loved music for as long as I can remember;
in all honesty, I have loved music
longer than I have loved poetry;
I have loved music, I have been changed by music,
I have felt more alive than ever
when listening to music,
I have been overcome with emotion when listening to music;
I have closed my eyes, been taken,
carried far, deep, and high-
as if I were swimming in the voice, the lyrics,
and the sound of the music, the energy of the music,
and drifting peacefully, contently, effortlessly,
free like a feather.

Music has been a big part of my life since before I could talk;
music had me running before I could walk;
music sent me to sleep and coloured my dreams;
music awoke me every morning as a child,
and within the heart of my soul
it has always been and will always be.

I must have heard thousands of songs;
I must have heard hundreds of artists,
singers, musicians, and bands;
I must have dreamed that I were John Lennon
playing guitar and singing along with the other Beatles
about fifty times, bu I could be wrong;
I must have had more favourite songs in my life
than I could count with the fingers on both of my hands.

I love songs, styles, speeds, of every type,
and possible genre, and classification, of music;
I love songs that take a hold of both my mind and my heart,
and make me feel epic;
I love songs that have unique, poetic, empathetic,
sometimes tragic, lyrics;
I love songs that are nothing short of celestial magic.

I love female voices;
I love male voices;
I love instruments;
I love voices that are soulful, special, lyrical,
incredible, unbelievable, beautiful, different;
I love who I am when a song makes me want to dance;
I love when a song puts me in a trance;
I love what I think about when a song is playing;
I love where I go within myself,
as I sing along to every song,
and as I repeat every line without mistake,
it is almost as if I am chanting or praying;
I love a song that to me is nothing short of perfect;
I love life, art, inspiration, memories,
feelings that were made, created, felt, captured,
made infinite, because of, and for,
the love of music.

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It all begins at the Birmingham Moor Street train station,
on Platform One, as I stand behind the yellow line,
and the yellow painted words ‘MIND THE GAP’,
as I wait for the 10:01 train to Stratford-upon-Avon.

I love train journeys,
but I dont make them that often-
the last train journey I took was on the New York Subway
last year, and I loved every second;
for me, going somewhere, anywhere, even if it is somewhere
I have been before, but not for a while,
is always an adventure, is always inspiring, is always fun.

It’s a rainy day, but the wet weather doesn’t leave me undettered;
the cloudy sky above looks like a black and white photograph
from another world.
Travelling by rail- through the green countryside of the places I know
so well, and seeing them and passing through them at high-speed-
gives me a new perspective of them, and I love the places I know
even more than before, and their importance to me
has never rung more true than the last time I heard the sound of a bell.

Walking the streets where Shakespeare walked,
seeing and hearing all the people who are visiting England
from all over the world,
seeing tourists of all nationalities excited about being in Stratford-upon-Avon,
William Shakespeare’s home, as much as I am, makes me smile-
and as I look and listen, see and think,
the streets, the history, and the infinite stories of so many people
jump out at me, and their latent voices talk,
and this place of inspiration I can already feel inspiring me,
and the magic of words and language that I can feel everywhere is undeniable.

I love returning to a place I have been to before, but with new eyes,
a new heart, but with already magical accumulated experiences
and memories that I bring with me and walk with me always.
I feel more at peace here now than I did before,
I keep expecting to turn a corner and actually bump into Shakespeare
still walking these roads and paths, like me,
like I am doing today, and he and I actually looking at each other
in the eyes as our mutual spirits exchange a powerful poetic connection-
like two kindred spirits- as we two hear the voice of nature
and life’s beautiful call.

This place is a writer’s paradise;
this place is an artist’s dream;
this place is a people-watcher’s place to be,
because every thing and everyone
is worth looking at more than twice;
this place is a great place to visit, feel, and to be.

Sitting and having my lunch in The Black Swan-
with a roaring hot fire to my left,
the theatre right in front of me outside the window,
and to my right the rippling river Avon-
I sit, I look, and I don’t want to leave.
The rain is stopping now.
The blue sky is returning.
I am reflecting on the day I have had,
and the journey I have taken,
that has inspired, compelled, and availed me.

The last place in Stratford-upon-Avon that I visit
is Holy Trinity Church- the place on this pilgrimage
that I wanted to revisit and pay my respects to the great
master of language, and my eternal inspiration and idol,
the one and only William Shakespeare.
Standing before Shakespeare’s grave again,
I feel introspective-
my mind, for the first time in a while, is quiet,
and as I bow my head before his grave and monument
I feel the connection between he and I so unwaveringly and so clear.
And as I leave his church I feel something amazing come over me,
and my mind feels as turbulent and changeable and full of colour-
like heights and depths of the atmosphere.

When the end of the day came, and I was on my way home on the train,
I left Stratford-upon-Avon reinvigorated with hope, optimism,
and inspiration from so many things that I saw, felt,
and experienced for the first time and again while I was there-
the moments that will not easily be washed away,
and I just wish I could have shared my time there with someone else;
but as I think that, as I am writing about my day
and as I re-read what I have already written,
I realize I have and I am sharing everything with someone else-
with you who is reading this now,
because you are interested in me and my life
and the things that inspire me like nothing else,
and because, first and foremost, you are just like me,
and because you care.

Today has been amazing.
Today has been about me meeting Shakespeare,
and about William Shakespeare meeting me.
Today has been fun, exciting, enlightening,
and in a word: inspiring.
Today has been, and will always be,
the day I found something I have been waiting to fine for a long time-
today was an adventure, a pilgrimage, a trip back in time,
that like a great book that you never want to close or put down
opened my mind wide, and like my life so far-
every second surpassed the last.
It was the most epic, great, and amazing journey.

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