To tell a story of your heart feels impossible… in moments of pure magic the thoughts and feelings are so strong. They are impossible to capture in a way that you can do it any justice or will ever make sense to another..
In my best efforts to find a way of describing this journey to a moment, I already know it will fall short, but it won’t stop me trying…
It started at the weekend…Well, threads from before, but that’s where I’ll start.
I saw a client who filled me with such joy I was overflowing with pride. They captured my heart in a way that in that second we overlapped…
Their joy became my joy and my joy became theirs. When I think of honesty in a room, it doesn”t get any more honest than that.
I knew I had so much to get done from the moment I got home. The never-ending pressures to deliver to deadlines. How life was feeling like one big deadline when my heart was desperately wanting to float in a feeling of timelessness.
To just be able to feel what I feel ..
Love does not want to work to deadlines… it wants to be free to enjoy every single second in all of its beauty..
But life and duties demand something else sometimes, so just for now I would let that dictate to me. But it’s just an illusion. Life is for living and loving and that is the way I am made.
On Sunday my head was not in the place for being dictated to. My heart was crying out for its freedom. Another’s dreams were the order of that day. What a truly happy place to be. Caught in another persons magic. To partly see a picture they are painting and want to add some extra canvas for them to create their dream into something everyone can see. Everyone should see it.
How amazingly wonderful it sounded..
It left me struggling to fit myself into the tiny boxes that had been given to me. How was I meant to squeeze myself into those. They can’t contain me, anymore than this blog can… to shrink yourself to fit just makes me crazy!!!
I mean f**king crazy!!!!
Surely you have a tune for craziness… oh yes… many!!!!
I could keep them coming.. I know what crazy looks like… A quietly glowing ember that seeks the spark to become a raging fire that will never be put out.
But I guess these boxes are like putting a stamp on a thoughtful gift, packaged up tightly. They just get it to where it needs to go. And when it arrives the treasure inside can be revealed in all it’s glory.
So I switched off my heart just for a moment, and let it rest, while I just did what needed to be done.. a lot of something but without a single anything..
And all the while the quiet ember burning like a warm sun on a cold day….
I often think of my days, my years, my life as stepping stones that lead to a point. Sometimes the way they fit together can feel so unconnected until the final piece goes in and suddenly it all makes sense.. so onto the next I jump…
A fire breathing dragon who wields her power in a way that leaves her alone on the top of her castle. She has the power to destroy dreams and leave you wounded should you wish to fight back. But her lack of respect for fires more powerful then she could ever imagine will be her eventual downfall. No power can match hearts of raging fire. It would be like fighting the sun.
I was left thinking about power all day… Those that have it but never feel the need to use it and those that love to use it and without it, have nothing..
And I was reminded by two knights, of the power of many.
I’m not a girl who needs to be rescued. I am a quiet warrior hidden inside a dandelion fairy.
But having those who believe in you, inspire you and stand alongside you, is the strength and power I love.
And suddenly the story switches to a whole new place. I leapt across to a new stone. Why? Because sometimes it just happens that way … something makes you travel in a a certain direction. I was injured but the fire was still quietly burning…
And so to another day… this story swings from fantasy to real but they sit together in perfect equilibrium in my world..
This day, without me knowing, would be all about power..
I awoke at 5.30 am. I hadn’t prepared for my morning ahead.. I was too tired the night before. I had needed to recharge like the contactless machine I had just plugged in..
My bags were filled with something very special. Alone in my mission but united by others.
I said in my last blog if I ran out of words I would share my reason for the girl in the red coat.. I have more words than I have ever had, but…
After a very long time of considering it but being too scared to share my thoughts, it became a reality on the day I was inspired by my girl and what would become my first ever post.
About 6 months ago I had read a book called Insomniac City by Bill Hayes. It was a revelation for me. He wrote it in a way that had so much feeling and was about the simpleness of life with a thread of pure love. He described the world around him in the way it looked through his eyes. It felt like I’d found a brother from another mother. At times his thoughts could have been mine, only much more articulately written. The most exquisite thing I have ever read.
I sat on a bench along the southbank and in five minutes I created myself ..GITRC.
I had always wanted a red coat since I was really young. Red has always been my favourite colour.
And I found one on a trip a year ago in Madrid with my besties.
At the time I said , “ if ever I write a blog that will be my name.”
How many adventures that have happened and passed by and will never appear, and yet I don’t think that matters. The stories are different but they all have the same coating. The red coat is my heart. It lives on the outside of me. It envelopes every choice I make, every thought I have but more so all the feelings that rush through me like a giant tidal wave, every minute of every day
….. The Red Coat is the story..
So to the tube I walked, ready for something. I knew it would be something. And in my ears played Heart of Courage.. I had found it the day before and shared it, and suddenly it felt like the right tune for me, for that walk .. and in the quiet empty early morning street it made me feel like there was such power within me and all around me. I strode forward with fearless steps as though marching with an invisible army.
I sat quietly on the tube protecting the valuable contents of my bags.
I suddenly felt a little nervous, I wasn’t sure why. I wasn’t doing anything that required any real skills but I wanted to do it well. It felt important to do it well.
I arrived at my destination and travelled the escalators that I had travelled so many times over recent years. It was a reason that I had chosen here. There was significance in being in this place and doing what I was doing. As I travelled up I thought of the first time I had made that journey. The anticipation, the nervousness the excitement. Those feelings felt very real again.
How I wanted to be transported back to that time.
It was funny.. the night before I had been to my new writing course. I had struggled to lose the feelings left by that fire breathing dragon. She had invaded my new and special place and I couldn’t connect with anything. So I wrote about a party that took place round the corner a couple of years ago. I was almost embarrassed to read it. It was very real, very dreamy and very me but not the brief… but they really liked it and I was caught in a crossfire of questions. It felt like they were hooked on the story so they didn’t care about the brief. They left me with a lovely feeling.
Anyways, I was guided by three lovely staff members at that station. Their warmth and friendliness made me feel at home. At least for the next few hours. A friendliness that is probably never acknowledged in a persons journey. Part of the workings of the underground system but never really seen until something goes wrong. Then they are seen and feel the full force of everyone’s frustrations of life, which are cleverly disguised as the delayed train.
The office was so warm and cosy in contrast with the freezing breeze that whips through the ticket hall and down those stairs. Wrap up warm they had said, but it was always going to be the red coat. The home of one of the many faceless voices, that I hear on all my journeys in the mornings and evenings. When I arrived a lovely lady who put a revolving message on the tannoy to assist me and made sure that I had everything I needed and later on when I was leaving a cool fella who was proper chatty and I matched him in that. Told him it was my birthday next week and he thought of what I might like to do for that. How I love people.
Outside again those same 3 staff members were there to help me. They wanted to help me, more than excited by my contactless machine and trying to think of the best location for me to be. They were like my guardian angels for the 4 hours I was there. Checking on me, smiling at me when they passed and telling me to take a break. When one of them went home she said .. are you coming back? Yeah I’m coming back next week ..
so there I stood at the bottom of the escalators with my little machine , my collection box and the very treasured box filled with Beautiful Red Poppies.
There are so many different types.. the pins, the shiny plastic clips that you can put on your bag or practical wristbands… all amazing.. but there is something so special about the traditional delicate Red Poppy made of paper and plastic.. so iconic no words are required to describe its meaning… The proudness I felt in delivering them to others I can’t even explain. Being a tiny insignificant part of something so much bigger than me. Times in history that I only know through stories, feelings I cannot possibly imagine..
A symbol of remembering those who have fallen and pride in the courage of those who continue to serve.
A full box and an empty collection pot.. Like a lost child looking for a friend. It was rush hour but as I stood there no train had arrived. It was empty apart from the blond haired guy who stood by the wall and smiled at me…
A spark.. a smile breeds a smile and that was what my morning was about …I literally stood there smiling at everyone coming by. There was something about being behind those poppies that made it easier for me to smile at people as though I had known them my whole life. The more I smiled … the more they smiled .. the more they smiled… the more I smiled..
It was like a perfect wave that to and fro’d and created a rhythm and a glow that I will never be able to describe.
As people stopped to get their poppies we chatted.. where are you off to? .. you’re the first poppy person I’ve seen.. Thankyou for being so generous… Thankyou for standing in the cold..
Can I take your photo and Instagram it .. I love your Halloween look. Your Red Devil eyes are amazing .. Omg you have a contactless machine.. That machine was a celebrity in itself. People passed by and smiled. Their smiles were more than just an exchange between humans… There was an acknowledgement. It was about what the Poppy’s represented… a pride, a warmth, a tradition… and this tradition had no type. I would struggle to list all the different people who wanted to donate and take their poppy or just donate. With such generosity. B I used a phrase in a previous blog.. knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing… There is no price to a poppy. It is all a matter of what you want or can afford to give.. That poppy was valued far beyond money….
so for 4 hours I stood in that same spot giving and receiving a million smiles..
How a million smiles can reach you at the deepest level and repair a million wounds.
One of the most wonderful mornings of my life. I was alone and yet I’ve never felt less alone. And as the tube station became quiet and my poppy supplies were almost depleted and my hands had lost all feeling I made my way back up to the tube office and collected my things. No more the poppy girl. Just me in my red coat. But something had changed. People were still smiling at me or was I smiling at them? I felt alive in the world, connected to others. Or perhaps reconnected, on a level that I always used to. And it stayed with me the whole day. Till I got the tube home after finishing work. And crazily when I got on the tube a man smiled at me and got up to let me sit down. And I recognised him from my morning. He hadn’t stopped for a poppy but had really smiled at me as he walked past and went up the escalators and for whatever reason I remembered him. He had a suit on this morning but now he was in running gear. So I thanked him and smiled back and then he got off and smiled at me one last time. What a random meeting of a stranger. I guess I was still the poppy girl in my red coat to him. It made me happy!
And as I walked back up the hill I knew I had had a special day..the air felt full of magic and my heart was a raging fire.
This day was a moment that was about power.
But in the best way possible..
The Power of a Poppy
The Power of a Smile
The Power of the Many
The Power of a Heart….