My heart stays with you

No matter the path I walk
The words I say
Or the deeds I do
Amongst other folks
Where work, duty, or my own folly has taken me
My heart stays with you
Always

Magaluf

Every night, a different dream
Threads that bind up and make our waking world
The tall man seeks; the tall man will find you
No matter what dark room you shut yourself in
Father time comes a calling to lay you open
With forgotten emotion
Sharp as steel cooled in mother’s tears
A man cries on the steps of his old university
A girl stops by, concerned –
We’re all living out of time, he says
When old friends meet and reminisce
Book tickets to Magaluf
Two weeks of yesteryear and perhaps forget
We are no longer young

Move the World

Crying, tears, no stopping this tidal wave
Of who knows what emotion?
Tiredness, hunger, pain
Or crying for crying sake
Does it matter?
All I can do is hold you
And tell you I’ll move the world for you

A tearful eye

There was no other way
To get from there to here
Than by the path taken
For the here and now is what’s real
And dreams of paths not taken
Of futures out of reach
Are only the ghost of a reflection
In a tearful eye

Bitter-sweet Ache

Old friends, how could I forget them?
Once we were so close
He was cool
She was great in the shower
So what if all we ever did was drink and screw?
I miss those days
I miss the chances I never took
The friendships I let slide
Loves lost in the tumult of careless years
Now I can barely recall their names
Only the sad feeling of the road untrodden
Paths left for the weeds
And the bitter-sweet ache of emotions long buried
Now coming up for air
We were young and stupid and full of life
That life burns in me still

Emotion and Growth

The main barrier to learning is emotional turbulence. This is like the storm that forces our ship off course and back to safe harbour. In harbour the ship; or ego (our idea of self) is safe from shipwreck – the loss of face that comes from failure.

We should not belittle the ego too much; it is an important structure that we cannot live without. Its complete breakdown should be avoided! But equally it is not a structure in which we should build a life. Our idea of who we are should be a part of life, a structure we are constantly expanding in the light of deeper understanding. This is where the magic is – in the growth of the ego. Here we are exploring new territory and making the mysterious safe. But in our mastery we also lose our wonder – so we must constantly seek it out by expanding our interests, or by digging deeper.

Of course with self-growth there exists the danger of inflation – believing we are more and better than we are. But it is my belief that constant learning grows humility as well as competence. It is a humbling thing to realise how much we have to learn, and all there is we shall never know.

So we return to the opening statement – the main barrier to learning is emotional turbulence. To even begin learning we must be willing to allow the ego to be compromised – a little. If we cannot acknowledge that there is anything to be learned then the ego will be without breach, but will fast become stale like water that does not circulate.  Then we will become bad company, even to ourselves.

The secret is that our learning must be without end – there is no end point to growing up, there is no retirement. To stop is to stagnate. But growth is a painful process and before we can even start (or re-start) we must be willing to look slightly silly. The ego must relax its mastery; it must take off its crown and become the fool, in a land where it is not yet King. In such rebirth dwells a deeper emotion, and one that can sustain a lifetime of self-growth.

I leave you the Four Stages of Competence (which is a western version of a Taoist principle) – an excellent  model for growth. Whenever we start a new endeavour, or wish to expand beyond the horizons of our present limitations, we must be honest about which phase of learning we are at.  Only by this awareness can we plunge straight through the embarrassment and self-protecting emotions of the ego, and into the most difficult, but most rewarding,  second phase.

Unconscious incompetence, conscious incompetence, conscious competence, unconscious competence.

(C) Copyright Mark B Williams 2014
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