how to smile, old fart, philosophy, Self help

Shelf portrait: how to smile


We walk, breathe and go about our daily business as if we were immortal.  We are not.  The immediate comforts around us are likely to change.

How does one cope?

1. Remember you are more than the memories that have formed you.
2. Be kind,  if possible, be gentle with yourself. You have made it this far, congratulate your achievements.
3. Find old friends,  adopt a pet.  Find warmth.
4. If you’re tired,  sleep.  Stuff all the new studies.
5. Buy yourself a kindersurprise chocolate,  or a toy you have wanted for decades.
6. Be happy you are alive.
7. All those gripes about the world.  Move on.
8. Find beauty in simplicity
9. Avoid people that complain.
10. Never take yourself seriously.

Mike Scallan

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Everything is ever, even now, all


Even after everything after me speaks,
I am breathing this into the blinds,  the chair, the stones we picked up,
so the trace of me in everything might (with the friction that grief brings to stuff) do this,

remind you not of all of me who ever trod on your heart, but of,

of the me who knew always with the ever sureness of the light of a day that we did give (knowingly so) the essence of love to each other true.
I know beyond the every daily grind of days that
(and let the artefacts of my being retain this)

of all the everythings I ever held,  or saw or knew
I love you.
Every now that is left holds this as a true to give still.
The dusty everythings I own have more ever in them than me,
But I have enough love in me for them to remind you forever after,

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art, philosophy, writing

On art


Visiting my brother in Ingagane,  South Africa recently I found this piece I had made sometime in the early 90’s. It returned me to the emotions I felt then. It also made me realise why I have always been drawn to image, sometimes more so than words.

An image is a more immediate conduit of the soul. Writing is more difficult for me because the material,  words, are not as pure as colour. Colour is essentially honest and to find honesty with words involves intense excavation of the self.

It reminded me as well that the primary task of artists is to find and express that honesty.

That’s a tough gig. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Maybe I’ll get there,  maybe not. The effort though has made all the difference.

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