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I hope you feel at home amongst my words, and I hope you enjoy the important spaces in between them just as much…

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Welcome to my thinking out loud…

Iain

Listen

Posted on 8 April 2022 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
1 Comment

Listen

Two Ears – One Mouth

One Brain – A Thousand Thoughts

Limited Time – One Life

The Most Important Moment – Always Now

The Most Important Outcome – What Happens Next

The Most Important Opportunities – For You to Recognise

The Most Important Memories – For You to Make

The Most Powerful Tool – Your Ability to Think

The Most Important Truths’

You are free to choose

You are free to act

You are free to create

You are free to be whom you choose

You are free to be you

You are free

You are!

Stop talking and really listen…

© Iain Merchant 2022

I Choose

Posted on 28 March 2022 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
1 Comment

I choose

Dreams so real, just a few seconds ago,
evaporate as I become conscious once again

The day emerges from the suffocating blanket of darkness,
which runs and distorts into shadows wherever it can

My feet begin to move to the circadian rhythms of a diurnal navigator,
and the dance begins once again

I lean into the wind of change as the road rises to meet me and
I am consistently pushed back by its force
With straining effort in all joints and face contorted by the tempest
I can at times, appear to be moving, but I am, at best, stationary!

The struggle persists

I can hear only the wind…

I can feel only the pressure…

I can see, only my own tears…

I can taste, only my fading dreams…

I can touch, only the chaotic void…

This path is so utterly draining,
I am all but spent and have no desire to dance anymore

The darkness will once more creep out from the shadows
and crush the light within its fist
Ephemeral glimpses of forgotten dreams
beckon you to return to a very different dance indeed

The dance of the dreamer, where all rhythms are recognised
and the beat is that of your heart

The delusion of the narcoleptic, where everything is possible
 and none of it requires any physical effort

The Chimeras’ of the unconscious,
whose strangeness is normal in that nocturnal oasis

Diurnal dancing depletes and diminishes, whilst nocturnal rhythms replenish and revive,
such is the juxtaposition of the two lives we live!

I have had enough of leaning into the wind, and so from today forward…

I choose to dance in the darkness and dream of the light!

See you on the other side!

© Iain Merchant 2022

Floundering

Posted on 17 February 2022 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
3 Comments

Floundering

Cast aside without intention
Services no longer required
Your needs are now met by more capable people than I

Savaged by the uncertainty of tomorrow
Impacted by the absence of what had been normal
Routine completely unrequired

Every tomorrow has potential
But not all potential is to be considered whole

I don’t know what is to come
and I don’t care as much as I should

I have been fighting for too long and I’m so weary

Can someone wake me when it is sorted out?

As much as you know some things are coming, you are not in a position to prepare for them!

Then it hits you and demands your full attention, whilst offering little to no solace

The world you knew has ended, the world ahead is hidden
I used to enjoy a walk in the dark, but now I want the light
I have my hands ahead of me as the darkness has me blind
I am shuffling when I used to stride

I don’t like this, and I am so tired

I am looking forward with nothing to look forward to!
Looking back offers no clues as to what path to take?
The darkness has me pinned down…

Tomorrow has no discernible shape that I recognise

I am a nomad but do not feel free


I am floundering

© Iain Merchant 2021

Solitary

Posted on 3 January 2022 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
1 Comment

Solitary

Language is fluid
It grows and warps with time
Common usage creates new rules

Sick became great
Bad became good
Gr8 became the norm

Reality is also fluid
You do not see the world around you as it is!
You see the world around you as you are…

Life is short, is how the saying goes
But life can seem very long at times
Perception creates your reality

Circumstances impact perception
Every cloud has a silver lining
and every silver lining is accompanied by a cloud
Tomorrow is not yet defined, as it too is fluid
You however may have already set the tomorrow you intend to experience
You may be less fluid than you once were

Circumstances can weigh heavy
Situational reality can block your view
Blinded by the present and/or recent past
Tomorrow offers a beautiful sunrise
New beginnings
New opportunities

These things are always true
But are easily hidden by the hardships that tomorrow may bring you
and the realities that you have to deal with
In these cases, tomorrow does not seem to offer any opportunities
There is no promise in the sunrise that can lift your heart
There is no sleep that replenishes, just sleep that tires you further

In the truth of the world, language needs to be honoured
words need to be both understood and utilised properly
Meaning is important and is shared through the correct use of words
Written or verbal, each word has a value to both the transmitter and the receiver

Think before you speak and choose your words with care and precision
Do you wish to understand others?
Do you wish to be understood?

Let’s do something radical!
Let’s raise the bar rather than find the lowest level through laziness
Let’s be thankful for the words and their power, and equally grateful that we have them all to choose from whenever we speak

In this and many other things I have arrived at a new location in my mind
I need to find my direction back from here
I cannot stay too long as it is not kind nor comforting
It holds me back and it drags me down
It desires me to stay, and it is powerful…

Oh to be understood and to see a helping hand reach out
To feel that sunrise on my face and in my soul
To sense the opportunities that each new day may bring
To let the light push the dark into the far recesses of my world
To wish for all this is just that, a wish, a dream, a wisp of diaphanous hope whisked away by the slightest of breezes and too ethereal for me to hold on to as it tantalisingly slips through my desperate fingers

I can find no footholds here
I can find nothing to steady me
I am in the dark and see no direction
I am rudderless and there is no breeze

I am solitary!

© Iain Merchant

In – visible

Posted on 21 November 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
1 Comment

Invisible

In the heart of a furnace

There is unbearable heat

In the heart of space

There is unbearable cold

In the heart of a sunrise

There is unbearable brightness

In the heart of a shadow

There is unbearable darkness

In the heart of the truly lonely

There is unbearable sadness

Yet this seemingly endless sadness is in-visible it would seem!

All you seem to see

Strength

                   Compassion

                            Reliability

                                   Listening

                                                  Understanding

                                                            Consistency

                                                                            Consideration

You can discuss your troubles and concerns, and always receive a thoughtful, considered response with your best interests at heart.

You see what you need, and you receive what you wanted, and of course, what you expected.

You do not see my need, for you are focused on yours…

You do not feel my pain, because you are describing yours…

You do not hear my cry, because you are listening to your own voice…

You do not touch my soul, because you are expressing yours…

You do not sense my struggle because, I am practised at hiding it, and you are not practised and looking too far beyond your assumption that I am alright…

After all, I am always alright     –     Right!

I am here, and I am drowning!

And, as much as I want to help everyone I can, I am genuinely running out of resources…

Yet, it would seem that I am destined to remain, In-visible

© Iain Merchant 2021

The Spaces In-between

Posted on 1 November 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
2 Comments

The Spaces In-between

When you were here

Life was easy

When you smiled and I reflected your care

Life was easy

When things were all coming together as planned

Life was easy

When I thought I knew what lay ahead?

Life was easy

When my world was in harmony

Life was easy

In the middle of a belly laugh when I am so light

Life is easy

In the presence of a dawn or sunset sky

Life is easy

At the sound of a child laughing with delight

Life is easy

On a day when my ability to create is flowing

Life is easy

When a photoshoot is filling my soul

Life is easy

When the present storms have blown over

Life will be easy

When the current uncertainties are certain

Life will be easy

When the unknown is known

Life will be easy

When I am able to make choices

Life will be easy

When I have some control back in my life

Life will be easy

But right now, I am living in the spaces in-between!

© Iain Merchant 2021

The Walk

Posted on 23 October 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
1 Comment

The Walk

We toddle when we’re toddlers
We shuffle when we’re old
We strut it when we’re modellers
We stride when we’re being bald

We tiptoe when we’re sneaking
We stomp when we’re mad
We run when we’re leaking
We swagger when we’re bad

We trudge when we’re tired
We amble when we’ve time
We prowl when we’re wired
We hike in order to climb

We traipse when it’s a distance
We roam when on adventure
We trek when there’s resistance
We have a gait that is our nature

We march if there’s a rhythm
We wander when there’s not
We limp when there’s a schism
We trot when to it we’re hot

We saunter when there’s simply no rush
We jog when we’re low on time
We tread carefully when there are eggshells to crush
We seem to float when feeling sublime

We promenade when showing off our pride
We wend our way when the urgency’s low
We stalk when we’re trying to hide
We troop at a military show

You check the mood of the dude by the weight in the gait, and for a dudess just watch like a hawk
It’s all about whether they’re walking the walk, or like so many, just talking the talk!

© Iain Merchant 2021  


Empty

Posted on 12 October 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
1 Comment

Empty

Echoes of tomorrow reverberate through me
Cascading down my spine and impairing movement

I am lost

Voices call to me for help and yet I am alone
Tearing through my heart and hurting me deeply

I am silent

What was, and what is, collide in an emotional tempest
The storm clouds obscure my ability to see clearly

I am shrouded

Difficult choices and impossible decisions are required
Outcomes must be prioritised for others, not me

I am merely flotsam

Tomorrow will dawn but I do not care
The day proceeds and I am out of step

I am disconnected from time

In the absence of hope, there is what?
I feel empty and numb and disinterested

I am going through the motions

I need a tomorrow with some certainty in it
But I do not have the fight to shape today

I feel like the death throes of a candle’s flame

Where is my strength, my will, my purpose?
Where am I heading and why?

I am rudderless and I do not care

Shapes of the past whisper over my shoulder
Up ahead is totally obscured by thick fog

I am blind

I am blown by the winds of change
I am flown by the competing breezes

I am inexorably light and yet inordinately heavy

The maelstrom is loud in my airs
The air is violent as it pushes me around

I am still

The battle requires me to fight and fight hard
The requirement never seems to end

I have no desire to fight anymore

The debris of my previous fights are in my wake
Each step has been a lesson and a challenge

I am done with school

I am invisible where I need to be seen
I am assumed to be strong enough to cope

I have lost my strength to the ether

What does the future hold and how can I shape it?
Will tomorrow’s echo bring peace

Right now, I’m not sure I care

I don’t have the energy to climb

I don’t have the desire to fight

I need to escape from the responsibility

I don’t want to wait for the echo

I am empty

© Iain Merchant 2021

Seven

Posted on 20 September 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
1 Comment

Seven

Seven lives
Seven lovers
Seven brides
Seven brothers

Seven days
Seven dreams
Seven ways
Seven means

Seven hearts
Seven homes
Seven starts
Seven roams

Seven nights
Seven mornings
Seven rights
Seven dawning’s

Seven keys
seven locks
Seven knees
Seven knocks

Seven doors
Seven chances
Seven floors
Seven dances

Seven bright
seven strong
Seven flights
Seven songs

Seven even
Seven odds
Seven seamen
Seven Gods

Seven starts
Seven ends
Seven carts
Seven bends

Seven queries
Seven clues
Seven series
Seven choose

Seven sisters
Seven sons
Seven blisters
Seven guns

Seven times
Seven tries
Seven rhymes
Seven sighs

Seven lists
Seven chases
Seven fists
Seven faces

Seven nuns’
Seven heroes
Seven one’s
Seven zeros

Seven lost
Seven found
Seven cost
Seven sound

Seven meanings
Seven slumbers
Seven screenings
Seven numbers’

© Iain Merchant 2021




The Walls Are Down

Posted on 10 September 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
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The Walls Are Down


Facets of cut stone charged by the light
I am blinded by your luminescence

The tonal qualities of your voice come to me in colour
I am humbled by your contrast

The harmonies of shade and hue are strikingly subtle
I am rewarded by the essence of your rapport

The aroma of home that emanates from your pores
I am engulfed by the scent of your skin

The whisper of your intonation and inflection
I am spellbound by your articulation

Within the walls of my world, I have importance
My words and my meanings are solid things
They direct the path I steer and shape my future
Within the walls of my world, I sail alone

Look to the horizon of your world and wonder what may be
Look beyond the vanishing point and free your mind
Existence beyond your world is:

Real & Ephemeral

Solid & Diaphanous

Opaque & Translucent

populous & Empty

Forthwith & Eventual

Allow the wind to carry the vibrations of the music of my soul to you
and feel it raise the hairs across your skin as it travels your whole body

Seek not for a word to describe this sensation, as the part of you that recognises me has no need for the restrictions of language

It is free of rules, pronunciation, and grammar, of tongue clicks and mouth contortions, of alphabets and practised sounds

It is free to sense, to feel, to imagine and to know its own kind at the deepest level

It is neither right nor wrong
Nor is it good or bad, benefit or deficit, windfall or debt

For the reality in the soul of the world is that everything has the potential to manifest in every way imaginable, and so it is all of these things and none of these things simultaneously

Reach out and sense my presence
Breath in and taste my scent
Open your heart and feel mine beating
Free your mind and touch my thoughts

Tomorrow is yet to be drawn
Crepuscular motions must play out first
Transient rotations will have their sway
The veil is cast before rebirth
Your entry will cast you anew
Your birth will come with a new sun
Your direction of travel is yet to be chosen
The rebirth will light your way

I am to your East
But the sense of my heart will be at all compass points

I have destroyed the walls of my world to build them anew
And I will not lay a single stone until your arrival
Whilst this may leave me open to attack, I care not,
for if you are not open to attack you are not open to anything new

So, the walls are down, and I wait…

© Iain Merchant 2021

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Artist / Photographer / Author Leicestershire UK