“Dip your toes in the water” she spoke, almost a whisper, like a prayer to a mere mortal. The warm July wind hummed across the the Cote d’Azur, singing softly through the trees. He stared pensively to the blue, hesitant to offer any response. Still, she prayed once more:
“Dip, just try it, dip, dip your toes in the water”. Her call was sweet, and despite her beauty, she was no siren, there was no temptress tone in her words.
The pain was still too great. The fear, crippling. For dipping would lead to heels, heels to which his head would fall over too quickly.
Her soft fingers traced down his sunbrown back. Sand stuck to his lightly sweated neck. Flinching, he was unable to dissuade her hearts call to touch.
“Just a toe” she whispered.
His cheek flinched, the sun sparkling rays of warmth into his otherwise cold soul. His raised arm over his face no match from the glare from the blue. He shifted, nestling under the protection of the vine, shielding, as if it were, from the warmth. Her words resonated. Echoed. Bounced off the walls of his heavily guarded heart. Still, her hand gently persistent, tracing ‘eternity’ around his squared, pensive shoulders.
“One dip, it’s all I ask” sweetness permeated from her lips. He wondered, picking his salt-dried lips, wondered, wondered, wondered why. The pain gripped him around the throat one more time, angrily choking the wonder from his mind.
He remembered the cruel sea. He remembered the pain of the dark blue. The storms. The angry wind, the viscous waves. The grave of the deep reaching his angry hand to drag him down. The siren of the water, that whore, promising pleasure, leaving him shipwrecked, alone, adrift.
Still, he wondered.
She stared out across the Mediterranean. Her fingers, massaging the nape of his neck, prying the anger away from his throat. Her warm fingers. Twirling a lock. Tracing the bones of his spine. Being.
They hadn’t spoken since her proclamation in Marseilles, since he shut down, wondering why she would ruin what they had with something so reckless as love. His broken heart still clenched tight, he angered at why she would dare. Why she would be so foolish as to entrust such a thing in him. Still, her fingers lingered.
“Try me” she implored once again “Just dip your toe in, just once” her words, reassuring, her repetition comforting. He found himself inching towards the thought.
He trained his eyes on the sea. The white caps of the waves, the boats rocking like distant metronomes on the water. He felt the tempest recede inside of him. He wondered, just wondered.
“Dip your toe in the water, my darling, dip it in the water, with me” her voice once again gently persistent like the incoming tide, coming up to meet him, to meet his shore.
The storm still stirred, yet he turned, turned towards her. Her eyes deep as the blue before him, he mustered a squint and a smile
“I’ll dip my toe in the water, I’ll dip it with you”.
Image from http://swim-in-the-sea-count-the-stars.tumblr.com/post/112132247487
Writer’s note: I wrote this not to advocate any position, or to say anything in particular. It’s simply a collection of observations, stories, hushed chats and whispers. There’s stories in here that aren’t my own, and it’s certainly not my intention to sound like I’m advocating a position. It’s in a minor key, it’s a bundle of observations and a collection of mumbles.
Bekka’s turning 18, coming of age, party at mum and dads. Scotty spins the tunes and dad throws up the fairy lights, mum caters to fill teenage stomachs – it’ll come up in the front paddock in a few hours anyway.
Mason’s got a new truck, lifted with an LED bar light to be seen from space. He’s the first to arrive at this festive event, and his country dimples cover valleys of insecurity. Cowboy hat bent at the front, ma and pa secretly hope he’d turn his eyes towards their Bek – if only they knew.
Stace, Maria and Bree tumble out of someone’s back seat, pre-loaded. Dressed to the nines, their heels sink into soft country soil, squealing with each squelch, their lives work to snob you off.
Jase makes an entrance, circle work in his beat up ute. The joker, always the laugh. Bekka’s beau, the half bottle of cheap bourbon held by it’s neck. He’s the joker, but she’s got a creeping suspicion the joke’s on him. 20 years old, on the same an hour, with no prospects of increase.
Family comes, smiles abound. Uncle Frank and Aunt Nina, there’s grandma and gramps. Cousins of all ages. Dad playfully grabs Danny in a headlock, trying to explain that his sodomite son is merely creative, like you can try to explain the gay away. Thanks dad, but they both grieve, unable to move past recent revelations.
Raye and Chrissy sit in the tray of Mason’s ute, necking cheap vodka straight from the bottle. He could have both in a heartbeat, but his sights are set on other targets, perhaps tonight he’ll pipe up the confidence to tell her.
Dwayne sings along to the country ditties, he’s unusually talented that way. Laughing off the compliments, he wonders how life might be different if not yoked with three generations of expectation breathing down his neck. Still, he hums along, wondering, even for a second, if things were different.
Kal, as everyone agrees, is classic wife material, the mother hen of the group. She chats CWA with mum, half an eye on Danny, blissfully unaware he’ll make no woman honest. She mistakes his compliments for flirting, and the thought crosses his mind that perhaps he could fake it, until he made it.
Speeches, and mum and dad praise their perfect Bekka. She spies Jase, he’s getting amorous with Raye, and way too close to his bourbon. She pats her tummy – a week late, and she wonders how daddy will react if she breaks the news to him.
And the party continues, and the fire crackles. They all continue to live their lives together, all in secret.
Picture from https://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lovethispic.com%2Fuploaded_images%2F108685-Bonfire-Party.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lovethispic.com%2Fimage%2F108685%2Fbonfire-party&docid=2BomfXY3f8L2kM&tbnid=ahC-QHXakHIw-M%3A&vet=1&w=500&h=332&bih=708&biw=1517&q=teenagers%20party%20bonfire&ved=0ahUKEwiY4ePVj7_SAhVrrFQKHcKHDpgQMwhFKCMwIw&iact=mrc&uact=8#h=332&imgrc=ahC-QHXakHIw-M:&vet=1&w=500
My son came home from Kindy yesterday with some craft, as he so often does. He had brought home a picture of a bucket with things inside. He’d learned about ‘love buckets’. You’ve probably hear about something similar – needs, love banks and alike. My son exclaimed that we need to put deposits into each others love buckets. You can make deposits be being kind, saying nice things, showing someone you love them. For the record, I’m accepting deposits into my ego bank at the moment 😉 .
Why do we put deposits into someone’s love bucket? I guess some answers would be because we love them, we want to show them and we want to invest in their life.
In a sense, love is an investment. I’m quite sure we invest love into someone, because we expect some type of return – love, support, kindness, companionship, the best for them. Whilst I think it’s wrong to give, expecting some type of return (this will usually lead to disappointment), deep inside I think we all want some type of return on our investment.
So the question is, what do you do when someone invests love into you?
What do you do with the love that is shown and given to you?
Some people’s hearts are high-risk investments. They are volatile, their return fluctuates depending on a myriad of factors. Sometimes, they give a huge return, showing massive amounts of appreciation, support and love. Other times, they are a negative investment, taking all that you have to give, the return on the investment is hurt and disappointment. The giver of love is left in deficit, the taker of love has squandered the gift entrusted to them.
There are hearts that seem to be closed to deposits. You know the type – people who’ve built walls around their life for whatever reason. People, where you’ve tried to show them you’re feelings and thoughts towards them, but they just don’t seem to be receptive to you in any way. Maybe you’re married to this type of person?
Then there’s are hearts who gives a steady return on an investment. A heart that pays interest adds to the love already deposited in it. What do I mean? Unlike a bank, there’s no cost to paying interest on a deposit of love in your heart. When a bank pays interest, they have already carefully calculated the cost of paying interest. There’s no cost to paying interest on a deposit of love, however!
So how can you pay interest on a deposit of love? I think there’s a range of ways. A word that isn’t used that often is gratitude. Being grateful to the one who deposited love into your heart. Being thankful of the love that’s being deposited can be a great way to pay interest on an investment of love. It might pay to ask the best way to pay interest on the deposit of love – you may be surprised! Showing love back is a huge return on the investment put in your heart.
Is there someone trying to put deposits of love into your heart? What type of bank are they investing into?
Are they risking it all to sow into your life – will their investment tank or will you allow it to build you up?
Is your bank open to deposits? Can you allow someone to invest love into your life?
Is your heart a bank that will warmly pay interest on the love it’s been entrusted with?
Open up the bank of your heart. Be receptive to the love someone wants to invest in you. Be generous with the interest you pay that love. It’s the only investment where both people give, and both people are richer for it.
So you want to date my sister?
First up, this has no relation to my sister, or that boy that keeps showing up in her Instagram photos. Or any of my brothers who are hell bent on protecting our sister from teenage boy tomfoolery. No relation what so ever. Everyone in this blog is purely fictional. Please, if you think this is in relation to you, it’s not.
So, you’ve taken an interest in my sister?
That’s nice. So have others.
When you started showing up in my sister’s Instagram photos, I joked with her that I’d probably start checking the police database and googling your name, just to do some preliminary searches. You know, you can never be too careful, can you now?
So after joking that you might wake up next to a horse’s head, my sister told me that you could ‘easily’ beat me in a fight. Now, I expect that she’s right in that respect. Just to dispel any lingering doubt, we probably should go toe-to-toe. I’m usually a bareknuckle man, but we can use gloves if your hands are particularly dainty.
I need to mention that I’m on first name terms with police in every reporting district in SE Queensland and Northern New South Wales. For some reason, I thought you might like to know that.
Well boy, I expect you are quite nice. By the look of those Instagram pics, you certainly have kind and soft features. Let’s not beat around the bush – many gals these days enjoy the company of a ‘beta’ guy. Naturally, I’d prefer my sister to be keen on someone more masculine, but each to their own.
So if this relationship is meant to be, I expect we’ll be seeing a whole lot more of you. Of course, we will love to warmly welcome you into the family. I think I speak for my brothers that we are all looking forward to meeting you and getting to know you.
I’m sure my sister has mentioned it, but every year all the brothers like to go away for a fishing and camping week – we’d love to extend an invitation to you. You can fish, can’t you? I could not see any evidence of fishing, hunting, camping, fire-making, drinking home brew or any other usual manly activities on your Instagram, facebook or snapchat messages that seemed to have made their way into my possession. I remember two years ago with the annual boys camping trip when we brought our sisters last boyfriend, Wayne. Gosh, he was a nice guy, but it’s a shame he left the camping trip mid-week and was never found again, not even by police or emergency services. I do hope Wayne turns up, he was such a nice guy.
Again, I do eagerly await getting to know you some more and spending some time with you.
p.s. a word of advice – when you meet my sisters parents, please, for the love of God, dress up. A shirt, dress pants and highly polished shoes as an absolute minimum. Please come prepared with your resume, your parents last tax assessments and your fathers occupation and of course, yours and your parents birth certificates, if they have been issued in Australia or similar Commonwealth country (Canadian or British preferably) – I’m sure you’ll agree you don’t want to be dating ‘outside your own kind’!
The wilderness. A place far away. The wilderness of the soul. The wilderness of relationship. The wilderness of being. A place where all senses are both parched, starved and then finally, restored.
I’ve been pondering times when I, and those around me have been in the wilderness. When ones I’ve loved have been far away – either physically, mentally, relationally or spiritually. Times when no amount of reaching out could save them from the scorched earth they have found themselves in.
History is littered with times of people who have had wilderness experiences. Some are self-imposed, some are enforced by outside forces. I think of Joseph, head filled with dreams and promises, sold as a slave. I think of Moses, wondering around the Middle Eastern desert for many, many years. I think of David, who was promised to become king, running into the desert for his life.
All these stories have similarities. These men’s lives start full of promise – whether it be dreams, a royal upbringing or a promise of greatness. I think of a life changing event or events these men had – challenges on their life, a fissure between their promised glory and their present reality. I try to empathise with these men – how would I react if everything I held dear was ripped away from me? My home, my family, my comfort, my stability taken away and I was flung into the desert.
There’s a few ways we can react when we are having a wilderness experience. When everything seems far away, when even a little comfort seems unattainable. When we thirst for refreshment of the soul, of the mind, of the spirit or some nourishment relationally.
I guess there’s a stack of ways you can act when you’re in the wilderness. You could just let it overcome you. You could fight it out. You could go into survival mode. I guess everyone is different and deals with those experiences differently.
The more I hear of people that have had ‘wilderness experiences’, the more I see an emerging pattern. After being in the wilderness, there’s a restoration, but that restoration is always a choice. People generally don’t chose to stay in the desert forever. We all know the aforementioned stories end – Joseph does not lose sight of his visions, regardless of what life throws at him (and a stack is thrown at him). He stays true, he believes, he is lead through his many wildernesses. Moses? He led the Israelites out of Egypt. That’s no mean feat! David? From shepherd boy to giant killer to desert wanderer to King.
Here’s the crunch. What were those dreams you had in your heart, all those years ago? Where are they now? Have they been snubbed out by life? By a wilderness experience? Maybe your partner walked out on you. Perhaps you lost your job. Maybe your faith has been battered by the storms of life. Maybe the lure of riches ended up just being a rusty fishhook.
I truly believe those dreams were put in your heart for a reason. I also truly believe sometimes we need a wilderness experience to remember those dreams. To remember what it is you believed in, those many years ago. You don’t need to be in the wilderness forever. You don’t need to be separated – from life, from promise, from relationship, from destiny, from hope forever.
What has being in the wilderness taught you? When all has been stripped away, what is really important to you?
What’s stopping you from getting out of the wilderness? Pride? Past hurts? You’re right on your own? You like being in the middle of the desert? Whatever it is, you can be restored – but you need to make the decision.
Look around you – the world is full of stories of the odds being battled. Of sunshine after the rain. Of the stillness after the storm has past.
It’s time for you to write your story of coming out of the wilderness.
Image from http://www.hashtagpics.com/?p=595
Being selfish to help others. Is there such a thing?
I was having an
argument robust discussion with a friends the other night. The wife in the relationship explained how she tended to all her children’s needs before tending to her own. The husband told me that he had to look after himself before he could help others.
Have you ever met those people that do everything for everyone else and look absolutely ragged? The person that seems to help everyone except themselves? You know the type – the martyr that just looks tired and worn? Sure, they are selfless and generous and loving, but they wear everyone else down with their – their – I’m not too sure what the term is! They just seem to draw attention to themselves by being the one that ‘always helps out at great expense to themselves’.
Then there seem to be the other group of ‘pathological helpers’. These people still manage to do amazing things BUT they look after themselves first. It might be going to the gym, reading or gardening. People that seem to ascribe to the old airplane rule of ‘help yourself before you help others’. They are selfish, so they can help others. Their selfishness is often unseen – waking early for a morning gym session or stealing away at lunchtime for a quiet read. They do things to recharge their own batteries before helping others.
So what am I trying to say? There’s no point in running yourself into the ground to help others (even your own family) if it’s going to be at your expense. I know there are times when your personal resilience is going to be put to the test, when you’re going to be busy and when life just sucks. I’m convinced however that everyone has the ability to make time for themselves, to recharge their own batteries.
There’s a Pearl Jam tune called ‘All those yesterdays’. The lyrics are here:
“All Those Yesterdays”
Don’t you think you ought to rest?
Don’t you think you ought to lay your head down?
Don’t you think you want to sleep?
Don’t you think you ought to lay your head down tonight?
Don’t you think you’ve done enough?
Oh, don’t you think you’ve got enough, well maybe.
You don’t think there’s time to stop
There’s time enough for you to lay your head down, tonight, tonight
Let it wash away
All those yesterdays
What are you running from?
Taking pills to get along
Creating walls to call your own
So no one catches you drifting off and
Doing all the things that we all do
Let them wash away
All those yesterdays
All those yesterdays
All those paper plates
You’ve got time, you’ve got time to escape
There’s still time, it’s no crime to escape
It’s no crime to escape, it’s no crime to escape
There’s still time, so escape
It’s no crime, crime.
All those yesterdays
If you’re one of those people that loves helping, how do you manage your own resilience? is it boundaries? Doing your own thing? Having your own escape? Are you one of those people that just seems to have no time to themselves? How do you plan on changing that – for you?
Life’s like being on an airplane. You can’t help others until you help yourself.
Image from: http://elmo.cl/?m=200609
OkCupid. EHarmony. AshleyMaddison. Tindr. Grindr. Adult Friend Finder. Match.com. Introduction agencies. Speed dating. Dating coaches. Dating advice websites. The Game. Swagger. That Will Smith movie.
All resources to help you in the dating market. All missing one crucial element.
Want to know how to catch the biggest fish in your pond? Want to get a second date? Want to impress? You know what you need? That’s right. You need to discover the lost art of makin’ a mixtape.
For all you young pups born after 1985, you won’t have any idea what I’m banging’ on about, and that’s one of the things that’s wrong with you people. So let me help you out. Forget inappropriate snap-chats. Forget illicit KIK conversations. Forget suggestive self-made pictures on the instagram. You want to impress a gal? Here’s what you need. You need to learn how to make a mix-tape.
Now I totally get that you probably don’t have an FM wireless set with built-in cassette recorder, so you’ll just have to use up your parents interweb downloads and some sort of USB device to relay the music electronically to your romantic interest.
‘So what is a mix-tape?‘ I hear you ask. A mix-tape is where you select a range of songs for your romantic interest and painstakingly record them onto your USB device for her listening pleasure.
‘But Vidins, how do I know what music to put on the mix-tape?‘. Good question, chaps. A rookie mistake of making a mix-tape is recording songs that are outside your understanding. So often I hear of teen-age boys making mix-tapes with rap music by coloureds or unusual tunes from the orient. Whilst there may be an exotic novelty to these aberrations in music, it will only serve to confuse your potential lady-friend. Beneath the beats and interesting harmonies, the lyrics often speak of promiscuity, drug-use and unwholesome thoughts. Chaps, you want your mix-tape to tell your gal that you are a wholesome, upright guy. Don’t select music that may lead her to believe you are interesting in mixing things that shouldn’t be mixed!
It is integral that you select music that conveys your romantic intentions, but are not too suggestive. Explore the catalogue of music that can be found on the You-tubes and perhaps consult your church music library for appropriate music for youngsters. You want to relay to your gal that you admire her many character traits and find her physically striking. Nothing impresses a gal more than the ability to convey ones intentions to a catchy ‘boom-chicka’ beat! Why, when I was of dating age and courting Mrs Vidins, I impressed her on a number of occasions with a mix-tape laden with the wholesome sounds of Johnny Cash and the Carter Family band. You might scoff, but the results speak for themselves – we have been married happily for many a moon now!
Pups, you have the distinct advantage of being able to legitimately and legally source ‘music files’ at the click of a button. Why, when I was your age, I had to wait up for the Country Music Countdown or Monday Night Melodies with a fresh cassette tape ready, just waiting for the right songs to record! It is quite a skill being able to pause the cassette tape recording just before the disk-jockey throws to a commercial advertisement or the next tune!
‘Vidins, tell us more!‘ Ok calm down you eager beavers! Here’s some things to consider:
– Don’t be scared to record a personalised message at the start of your mix-tape. Record a few words expressing your thoughts towards your gal. ‘But my voice is still breaking – it sounds embarrassing’ I hear you say. Boys, it’s time to man up. If your voice still has a squeaky shrill, ask your father or uncle for some of his chewing tobacco. I promise, after a week of chewing, you will have developed a well-rounded, deep and masculine voice that will literally send ripples through your gals eardrums, into her soul.
– Start with something catchy. No one wants to listen to dreary sounds at the start of a mix-tape. Think of a catchy tune that will get her hooked. I personally think something from KC and the Sunshine Band or, if you’re thinking instrumental, some of Glenn Miller’s post-war melodies are always a hit!
– Avoid anything too topical or popular. When the song fades from the pops, so will your gals affections for you. I’ve seen it a million times before.
– Always have a strong ending. Think of something she will enjoy listening to before bed-time. Something that will give her pleasant thoughts before resting! I’ve found a selection of romantic tunes from Simon & Garfunkel’s folk collection will often suffice in this department.
– A handwritten note (sprayed with an appropriate cologne) will always give your gal both a visual and olfactory cue to enhance the listening experience.
So there you have it chaps. So much ‘modern’ dating advice is salacious and inappropriate at best. Let me implore you to employ the mix-tape in your dating arsenal. I promise you it will bring results!
photo sourced from the interwebs here: http://www.theweeklymeat.com/the_weekly_meat/2014/01/mixtape-2013-2014.html