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Emulsion and Absolution - 22/02/2013

Furniture gradually filling the voids.

Dark Colours finally being replaced.

Some scars still require healing
Others still lurk beneath the numerous coats.

This morning I returned to tackle the skirting boards of the flat with gloss.
Upon completing the two bedrooms I slumped onto the sofa alone and in absolute despair. No matter how I tried to visualise a satisfying, fulfilling and continued existence, my soul revolted in agony. Each differing scenario culminated in projected misery at the hollowness, the downright hypocrisy.
I eased back into the embrace of the cushions and shut my eyes, my surrender to what seemed inevitable so complete I willed my heart to give out.
I scarcely took note of the message notifications that emanated from my pocket.

Yesterday I had cried from the depths, today the Lord answered my plea. The exact words are not important, suffice to say the timing was impeccable and the boost exactly what was required in that moment. I view it as proof that angels walk among us.

Though I am aware that perception and perspective is the key to seeing heaven where another sees hell, my downfall came through deluding myself into feeling powerless to steer clear of disaster, to enact sufficient and satisfying change compounded by suffering in silence. Perhaps it is unsurprising that once I ended my self imposed isolation and disclosed my pain to my partner, she ensured my perspective was reversed and a plan of positive action was hit upon.

The flat is no longer a terminus. It has ceased to be my gallows, a graveyard of dreams, a tomb of lost hope, end of the line. In a heartbeat it has become a springboard, a headquarters from where we will plan and execute our next adventure. A place to regroup. A beginning, not an end. Rebirth. Together.

Death and I are old acquaintances, we have complimented each other and lived together hand in hand this past year. I have stared deep into his eyes a hundred or more times, felt his fading heartbeat in my hands, the final shiver of nerves that whispers down the spine of his victim.
He will certainly come for me and when he does I will welcome him with same acceptance as I did today on the sofa.

But not yet.

Flat Lining - 21/02/2013

Yesterday we accompanied my parents to a carpet vendors establishment to ascertain the likely cost to essentially transform a miserable concrete cavern into some semblance of a residence.
My progress painting has been encouraging and swift, erasing the scars of the past in order to present a canvas upon which we can make our mark. As positive as this has been and may be, the cold bare floors presently succeed in absorbing any and all optimism that may arise within me.
The quote was higher than expected. £677 fitted. Cost of fitting was minimal in comparison to the carpets and the expenditure was therefore accepted.

As I awaited their man who would confirm my measurements, I received a call from the council. Of course, the person I spoke with was not the same as who had raised the enquiry about which they were calling. This invariably means you get a message and yet have little means to question and gain clarification, which in this instance would have been most welcome. The reason for the call concerned paperwork, specifically my youngest daughters lack of them.
I was not willing to explain that she is not registered and so lacked a certificate of birth on the grounds that in order to register an item, it is my belief and understanding that you have to be the owner of the chattel property you intend to register.
It is not only illegal, but unlawful to claim ownership of a human being.
That fact supersedes the secondary implications that anything you register ceases to be your own, with you accepting usury title only of the asset in return for some form of service or protection. I view myself as capable of caring for, and protecting my child, and so lack the need to outsource such to another entity, namely the State.

I'm fairly certain had I relayed the above to the lady on the phone she would've gone cross eyed and thought me very peculiar.

Still, for a time it looked as though all that I had strived for would once again be snatched away. I can't say I was too upset at the prospect, as it prompted my partner and I to evaluate alternatives, nearly all of which were vastly more attractive to me than living in a flat!

I prefer not to jump to conclusions and make rash judgements as often one is proved wrong and finds the worry and upset was unfounded. I reminded my lady love that we must see what tomorrow would bring, be they answers or yet more questions.

I was correct in my approach for when I visited the council this morning I was told all was in order... Again I was relieved and disappointed in equal measure.

Now of the belief moving in was again full steam ahead, I returned to the flat and threw myself back into painting. By the time I was done, I was in a very dark place indeed and I don't mean the bottom of the stairwell.

Perhaps it was the paint fumes (which is depressing in and of itself when one considers the poisons now present in what is destined to be our home) as I found my thoughts, feelings and conclusions took a most unpleasant turn. As I brushed a layer of undercoat on a window sill, it hit me that we have almost now come completely full circle from the life we set out to escape 3 years ago. An existence that was so devoid of fulfilment and meaning it had me miserable to the degree that I frequently thought of, and had once attempted to commit, suicide. Since our 'break', I have not been haunted by such hopeless and morbid imaginations.

It occurred to me that I was brushing that paint not for me, but for the family I would leave behind.
But in what manner would they be left? Was I to return to fix up, and continue to live in, the caravan somewhere in some woods without them? The idea was repulsive, and yet preferable to the other considered avenue.
With heart rendering sadness I imagined that once satisfied they were settled and I knew their needs would be met, I would slip out, back to the woods to die amongst the trees that until recently showed me what life really is and how satisfying it could be.
The notion was attractive for how poetic it seemed. The same site where I had lived on my own terms, I would die on my own terms. For there I was required, an important and pivotal member of a family unit who was relied upon for food, warmth and shelter. But no longer. The society man and his money has created here in the West has diminished the male to such an extent he is more of a bonus than a requirement. Indeed, I believe that single mothers are more the norm simply because it is more possible with all the State provides than ever before.

I set out to demonstrate how a man could lead his family, with next to no money, to live a life with the kinds of freedoms and pleasures enjoyed by the elite and wealthy. I succeeded, in a manner, for a time. But not long enough.
The day we move into that flat sounds the death knell to that venture. Tolls the bell of defeat. Signals the demise of a dream once made manifest.

Therein lies my quandary, my angst and my pain. I sought an existence that allowed my family to be together, nay demanded it, when society appears to increasingly create division and separation. Mothers and Fathers working forty hours a week converting labour to currency whilst children attend school in order to be indoctrinated and programmed in the ways of following their sires into the workplace and away from those they love. Families snatching little more than 48 of the 168 hours in a week to be together, and even then few can find enough minutes to enjoy meaningful time in each others company.
Fathers reach retirement and exclaim their sons and daughters grew up so quickly, the hearts in their tired old breasts full of pain and regret at the opportunity those hours presented, now long gone.

The torture of my observations has startled me. Being philosophical about such dilemmas once came so easily to me, but alas, it would appear that being 'enlightened' is much easier when one is happy and content within the borders and boundaries of ones own comfort zone.
The true test of ones presence and consciousness begins when flung into the depths of the souls darkest recess.
I truly fear that this time, I will fail to bring forward the light to burn away the darkness as it engulfs my spirit and ultimately extinguishes this sputtering flame of life.

"De profundis clamo ad te domine"

Flat Broke - 20/02/2013

Resistance is futile.

Try as I may have done to resuscitate what once was. To resurrect and continue the set of circumstances I once enjoyed. I have accepted the past as having passed. To fight what is, to resist and linger in the shadows of memory, to dwell in the realm of what is now dead would serve only to sabotage and pollute the present with needless suffering.

The period for grief and mourning is over. Now is a time of acceptance and excitement at the prospect of engaging in what will be my next experiment.
I lived in a caravan in the woods, I existed on my own terms and provided what basic human needs I could for myself and my family. In the non-physical aspects, it was the ideal way of life. Practically, it had its challenges, take floor space as an example!
So now I have the mirror opposite.

Following the advice of relatives of friends and family, and facing scant alternatives we put our plight to the local council. They deemed us entitled to a property and a few weeks of bidding culminated in the offer of a potential shelter and site of permitted existance.
Make no mistake, a price has to be paid, the invasion of privacy that comes with the numerous questions asked. One must submit time and again in return for the 'benefits' and 'privileges' desired. For this reason I rebut the widespread belief perpetuated by propaganda that authorities provide services for free. This grates and grinds my fibre purely due to the fact I am capable of housing and providing for myself as I have demonstrated. To beg another to grant me the right to live in their creation has been bitter and hard to swallow.

Despite succeeding in securing a place, I was hit by a tide of sorrow and pain. I did not feel that here was where I could be who I am.
This of course was a fiction created by my pride and ego. I have come to embrace my circumstances as a blessing and canvas upon which I can attempt to demonstrate how one can reconcile the two ideals. Mainstream outsourcing of needs at financial cost vs Self reliance.

Here is what I have to work with (photos taken Friday 15th whilst herding my youngest around);

Living Room
Master Bedroom
Second Bedroom
Generous Garden

I have spent each day and night since, decorating, collecting furniture, carpets and beds destined to landfill from local businesses, utilising freecycle, and generally attempting to outfit the place without much money. Through the sale of my air rifles, I have purchased a secondhand cooker which I will fit myself.

In conclusion, I am supremely excited to get cracking. I would like to demonstrate how one can exist this way in a manner that is in balance with my core. Measures that have come to mind;

Growing veg of course!
12v solar powered lighting?

Re-opening the fireplace,
Converting the attic space to a rifle range,
Securing shooting permissions in the local area.

Whilst a vehicle may not be in keeping with what most would expect, living so removed from resources make it indispensable presently justifying the compromise and expense.

I hope that those who dismissed my work on the grounds that not all can up sticks and move to the woods in a caravan, will now be better able to relate to my endeavours and find hope and encouragement.