Monday, 21 May 2012

The Visitor

Today, on my delivery, I spoke to a lady who was recently in a nasty car crash. Her three children were in the car as well but fortunately they were unharmed - physically, at least. They've had nightmares ever since. Whereas she can't remember a thing.

The last time I spoke to her was not long after the accident; she looked like she had been beaten up really bad. Her face was swollen and was made up of several colours, ranging from yellow, red, purple and blue.

When I saw her today she looked like she had recovered 100%, although she told me she still hurt inside.

She still can't remember anything that happened. Her children keep trying to kick-start her memory but to no avail.

Then she said something that resonated with what I'd been thinking and reminding myself of all morning.

'Having this experience has made me realise that it can all be over in a split second. One minute you're here, and the next you're not. We (her and her husband) haven't even made a will. We're in the process of making one now. We didn't think about it before. You think you're invincible, don't you? You go through life thinking that you're going to be here forever. But you're not.'

I shared with her the saying that goes something like, "A mere banana skin separates you from death".

'That's exactly how I feel,' she said. 'You can be gone like that.' (she clicked her fingers).

I mentioned before some resonance between what she said and what I was thinking of.

What I was reminding myself of was making me feel great. It was making me perceive things more clearly. Gratitude was overflowing from within. My senses came alive every time I uttered it. I was soaking up everything. And the more I reminded myself of this one statement, which only consists of three words, the more elevated I felt.

And those three words were . . .


Monday, 14 May 2012



I try and be honest as much as I can. I don't like to feel like I'm being fake or my integrity is being compromised.

It becomes tricky when feelings come into the equation; whether they belong to you or somebody else.

We (I say We, but I can only speak for myself) don't like to upset or offend anybody by being honest, but sometimes the honesty has to be expressed, and if there is awareness there and the honesty is taken on board with openness and acceptance, then personal growth can develop.

Lately, I've had to be honest with a couple of friends and I wasn't sure how they would react and if our friendship would be put under strain. It had troubled me for a few days, causing mental static and stickiness.

I live in the same building as a Buddhist nun, and she said to me, 'They might be good people, and that's why you don't want to hurt their feelings, but if they are good friends, then they will stick by you and your decision.'

Then she said, 'I think in times these, we know deep down what has to be done.'

And she was right.

I had made up my mind to tell my friends how I felt, but I was delaying doing so out of fear.

After speaking to her I went straight to my laptop and sent both my friends an email telling them what was bothering me.

Within moments they replied saying how they completely understood; how they felt the same way and how they would continue to support me with my endeavours.

The metaphorical weight I had gained on my shoulders was unnecessary, but it in an instant it got lifted and left behind.

They were good people - and they were friends.

What a feeling.

There're times when honesty comes from a place of irritation, though, and doesn't really benefit the people involved.

A man on my delivery was cutting his grass. He stopped, looked at me and said, 'Don't you postmen wear uniforms now?'

I looked down and my uniform, then back at the man and said, 'Yes, mate, I'm wearing it.'

He looked me up and down and said, 'Well, you look shit.'


(The words stung a little, but then I realised that they had nothing to do with me whatsoever. Come to think about it - have any?)

Monday, 7 May 2012


As someone who likes to write, I find it hard when I can't think of anything to write about. So I'm sat here at my desk, writing about what it feels like when there's nothing to write about - kind of like an exercise.

'Just write!' is common advice amongst writers, so this is how this post is going to unfold - I'm just going to write.

Two days ago I got told about the death of Adam Yauch aka MCA from the Beastie Boys. I couldn't let it go. My mind was clinging to it. Why couldn't I let the fact that someone (who I didn't even know) had made the transition we call death?

I can remember when I was in my teens and I was going through my Prodigy phase. I loved the Prodigy, they shaped my youth and they also gave rise to dreams of becoming a music producer.

My science teacher at the time (Mr Clarkson) said to a 14 years old Gav Whyte, 'If you can get a list of people who would like to go and see the Prodigy, I'll take you'. I easily got the list and the tickets were ordered. We went in a small minibus along with another teacher called Miss Farey, who taught Media Studies.

That gig changed my life. The pounding bass and the buzz of the atmosphere was something that I will never forget. The Prodigy were at their peak with Fat of the Land and they certainly proved themselves to be an excellent live act. I can remember looking to my left and seeing Mr Clarkson stood at the side of the venue whilst Miss Farey was at the front. There she grabbed hold of Keith Flint (Prodigy's front man) and he spat at her - all part of the rock and roll experience, I guess.

The morning after the gig, I remember waking up and looking around my room at the Prodigy posters covering every bit of the wallpaper. And this is what I thought, 'I can't believe I was in the same room as them. They were there at the front. I saw them'.

In an instant they became real.

That was my first experience of how we make others who we look up to larger than life.

They can do no wrong. We're in awe of them. In our heads they are gods. We want to be them. We will follow what they say, what they do and what they wear and copy them - not realising that we're getting further and further away from expressing who we are. 

I can remember telling a mate how I found it amazing that the Prodigy were in the same country as us. That they looked up at the same moon at night. This blew my mind! Then my mate, who was a fan of Oasis, said, 'Yeah and the Gallaghers are less than an hour away in Manchester'. Wow!!

As time went on I stopped being 'starstruck' and got used to the fact that the people we idolise have their faults, just like we do. They were born and they will die, just like the rest of us.

And this brings me back to MCA.

I looked up to the Beastie Boys. They are great. In my head I had made them larger than life, like gods. Sounds silly - but I wasn't aware I was doing it. It was only until MCA died that I realised I had actually made them into something that was beyond life and death - and I suppose up to a point, they are.

Once again, death acted as a wake up call to remind me of the impermanence of this level of reality.

I liked this exercise, it was good.