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Saturday, 26 November 2011

The fog

As I sleepily pulled open the blinds, something was different. It took me a few seconds to realise that everything had vanished. Mother Nature had pulled off one of her greatest illusions whilst I was asleep. All 800ft of glass, steel and concrete was gone in a theatrical flourish. Even the flashing beacon at the apex had disappeared. Canary Wharf had vanished along with everything else around it. David Copperfield couldn't have done it better.
Zipping up my jacket, I took my first step outside just as the damp scent hit my nostrils and rushed down into my lungs. Horizon was replaced by an eerie blanket of dense fog with nothing but silhouettes of bare trees to guide the way. The world seemed like a different place.
Journeying into the thick of it, I couldn't help but wonder what it means to feel lost. Sometimes we find ourselves in a personal fog with no sense of direction and our questions are greeted with silence. The sense of disorientation is so palpable; we forget that beyond the clouds is a bright shining sun of potential that has been there the whole time.
Some days are more dazzling than others and sometimes we just need to get caught in a fog in order to see things clearly.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

il bel viaggio

I once whizzed through the streets of Florence on the back of a bike...
Squeezing the helmet onto my head, I felt the foam cover my ears and turn the bustle of the city down to a muffle. Once I was settled in my seat, my friend turned around to look at me.
"Ready?” he asked with a cheeky grin. With a nod from me, we were off. I was amazed at how quickly we accelerated over the cobbled street and out into the open. I'm sure I felt my hair blowing in the wind under the helmet. The rush literally took my breath away. With every twist and turn, I had to remind myself to hold on for dear life and stay seated. Cars came and went in a Florentine blur. After a while, I felt my body relax as I started to breathe. It was amazing and exhilarating and freeing. The city looked stunning from this velocity.
And on we rode. I never once stopped smiling.
"How was that?" he asked pulling off his helmet.
"Incredible!" I declared with a massive grin.
Stepping off, he laughed and confided that because I held on so tightly to the bike, it was harder for him to ride and actually changed the way we handled the road. He could feel every bit of tension in my body through the bike.
I realised in that moment that life will always have its hairy moments and sometimes we just have to let go and move with the flow. The harder we hold on, the more difficult the ride.
The beautiful streets of Florence whispered in my ear that evening. She told me to be light with life and everything will always be ok.

Don't forget to follow, share and comment. Grazie mille!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

There's something about Helen

As she held out her hand, I noticed her perfectly polished nails which shone a deep red in the dimly lit cabaret bar. Her long brown hair glistened as she popped up onto a stool next to me and settled in at the bar. Drink in hand we wished our mutual friend luck as he turned and walked backstage to get ready for the show. There was a shy confidence about her and I liked the way that her eyes would glance momentarily at the floor before answering a question.
We talked about life, love and everything in between. I laughed a lot. She was charming and intelligent.
Stepping onto the last tube train of the evening I followed her to take a seat and watched as the doors closed.
As we set off I began to notice that other people were interested in Helen. Her lightness filled the carriage and the passengers couldn't help but look in her direction. There was a buzz around the carriage that I had never witnessed before.
We chatted until the train slowed to signal my stop. Slinging my bag over my body I said goodbye and how much I had enjoyed her company. I kissed her cheek, gave her a hug and stepped out onto the warm, empty platform.
Watching the bright lights of the train slowly accelerate and vanish into the dark, I suddenly felt sad.
Once out into the cool night air, I wondered at what point she had realised that she was living in the wrong body.
Her personal courage and conviction was stunning and despite now being a woman, her balls were bigger than any I had ever seen.
Fear often stops us from declaring to the world who we truly are and the more honest we are with ourselves and others, the more inspiring and beautiful we become.

Thank you to this courageous woman for living your truth and also to my brave friend Mark who is in the massive process of coming out. May you find your own amazing power.