Today I Was A Soldier

I have returned ‘home’ – to my mother’s house.

To start this time off well, to hit the ground running – I set off to Church this morning.

I thought a calming and comforting environment would be nice, maybe one or two familiar faces that I would not be opposed to seeing.

I found myself surrounded by people who knew me, knew my grandparents and who greeted me with large smiles.

I had not expected to be approached by the vicar and asked to play a role, “would you like to be a soldier?” I had not expected to say yes, to be thankful and grateful for being asked. A reading took place, everyone had a role to play, a few lines to read.

Speaking out loud is not my cup of tea. For a while as a teenager, I was mute. Speaking out loud in public situations is sometimes still difficult. But I did it and I did it loudly.

The morning was spent being much more sociable than I had expected it to be, a whole morning of;

“Hello, Chloe.”
“How are you, Chloe?”
“Nice to see you, Chloe!”
“How are you enjoying University?”

I almost made someone cry. She had not heard I had moved, that I had got into University. Her joy was shown in the many hugs she could not stop giving me, in the misty eyes looking into mine and in her words, “everything comes around eventually, Chloe. Hearing this has just made my day!”

I did not know what I was expecting, but the unexpected was perhaps the best thing that could have happened. I feel as though I have a little more breath in my lungs and as though a part of me has fallen back into place.

I feel so proud for speaking aloud and being able to hold a conversation with people. Something that I would not have managed quite so effortlessly just a few short months ago.

 

 

Sunday

It is 8am, I am so tired. The neighbours have kept me awake until the early hours and they pay no consideration to me having made plans.

It is 9am, I need to get ready. The weather here has been cold and dreary and I have no idea what to wear, only that it needs to be smart and presentable.

It is 10am, I am leaving. I really should have brought a scarf for the walk – the wind is biting but within five minutes I arrive.

It is 10:15am and I am seated in the Minster, next to a Nun. There are greetings and conversation, I feel embraced.

It is 11:45am, I am leaving. The beauty of the service I just participated in was so immensely beautiful that I found my emotions were brought straight to the surface. The moment the choir started to sing, I found myself teary eyed.

I needed this.

A small town person in a strange City, being completely embraced by strangers – I have no words other than:

I needed this.

I thank you, every one of you, I thank you.

Divine Intervention

It was not planned, it was not something I had thought I was going to do today. Sitting by the grave, looking at their names carved into the headstone, I talk…

“I need some sort of divine intervention. I don’t know what to do. Do I move to the City and work to improve my life or just stay where I am and work to improve things here?”

I leave, put in my headphones and catch the end of the song that is playing…

…It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright
Bright lights in the big city
Belongs to us tonight
I’ve got the magic in me
Every time I touch that track it turns into gold
Know everybody knows I’ve got the magic in me

The next song plays and I hear these words:

Live life like you’re giving up
‘Cause you act like you are
Go ahead and just live it up
Go on and tear me apart
Hold on

I choose to believe that this was what I had asked for.
I thank you and I love you. 

 

 

( Songwriters: Benjamin Heyward Iii Allen / Anthony Rhichardo Reyes / Thomas Decarlo Callaway Trebles Finals: Bright Lights Bigger City/Magic lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management )

( Songwriters: Amy Wadge / Ed Sheeran Even My Dad Does Sometimes lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC )

 

Inspiration is Everywhere

pink-amas-live-2012-billboard-1548( https://www.billboard.com/articles/events/amas/8039126/pink-amas-performance-2012-try-best-list )

40th+American+Music+Awards+Show+Rr-qwxm2oJWx( http://www.zimbio.com/photos/Pink/40th+American+Music+Awards+Show/Rr-qwxm2oJw )

Swan-Lake-3D-3( http://yewon.myblog.arts.ac.uk/2014/01/27/matthew-bournes-swan-lake/ )

sl1( https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Bournes-SWAN-LAKE-Returns-to-New-York-NY-City-Center-Oct-13-Nov-17-20100831-page8 )

stillife_1-1500x1000( https://iso.500px.com/tag/still-life/page/2/ )

shutterstock_329614487( http://zenfulspirit.com/2017/05/17/the-science-of-forgiveness/ )

As always – credit where credit is due. None of these images belong to me.
Be respectful of other’s art and reference them.
xoxo. 

 

 

Stigmata (1999)

v1.bTsxMTM3MzUyODtqOzE3OTUxOzEyMDA7MTUzNjsyMDQ4( https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/stigmata/ )

The first time I watched this film was in 2004, I was 13 years old. As a child, horror films never bothered me. I wasn’t often scared or afraid when it came to even the worst of horror films.

I then re-watched Stigmata as an adult and found myself feeling extremely on edge. Unsure and afraid that something like this might be a possibility.

I was a fan of Patricia Arquette before I even knew who she was. This film was my introduction to her and I was immediately taken by her.

As someone who has flittered in and out of religion, I found it fascinating. As an adult, I had access to the internet and found myself using Google to find out if this ‘Stigmata’ was an actual thing that people may have experienced before.

Is it real? Is it psychosis? Is it hoax? It then brought about the questions regarding whether the stigmata should appear on the palms or through the wrists…

I think out of all the scary parts of this film, the part that terrified me the most was the unknown. Putting myself in her shoes and not knowing what is happening to me or how to control or stop it… horrifying.

Today as I watch it, I don’t feel scared. I watch it and I don’t believe it to be the greatest film ever made but it is worth re-watching. The history behind Stigmata still interests me, the history behind religion itself has always interested me.

I believe in what I see, I believe in science. I also believe in God, I have an immense amount of faith.

I am a contradiction.

Flashback

I don’t think it was a good idea, but maybe it was. I was meant to be taking photographs – “our official church photographer.” I did indeed get the job done, but mostly I sat there in awe. The service was beautiful and it was a ceremony I had not borne witness to before. In the moments of silence; silence that I usually draw strength and peace from – I struggled.
On this day, instead of finding peace, I found panic. I flashed back to my Grandfather’s coffin, to the flowers and the despair.
On this day, I felt depressive. My friend is dying and for all the prayers that I could send her way, I don’t imagine the outcome will differ.

I don’t think it was a good idea, but maybe it was. I struggled but I remained calm. I got through all the negative thoughts and connotations and did what I had set out to do. I spoke with my community and socialised with my peers. I did all of this by myself, for myself. I am proud of the small achievements, of staying in a situation, of speaking with individuals that I do not know well and of trusting myself in those desperate moments of panic.