Interlude and Symphony

Welcome all to the calm beneath the sheltering branches of The Oak at Ponderton.

Its windy up there and the top branches are whipping about making an awful racket.

They keep me awake as they bang on the windows of the room that has appeared by The Mighty Oak this night.

It is the nature of Ponderton’s ever shifting landscape that you come here by all kinds of means. Sometimes you journey here intentionally, others you arrive in a room or a building somewhere in its lands. Today my glass room has formed a little too close to the whipping younger branches of the heart of the region which have been animated in a sudden storm.

Upon realisation that I had arrived here, I chose to leave the noise of the room and sit on the soft grass, back against the warm wood and look up at the glass room that is creating such a noise when I am on the inside- much like being in a conservatory- when you go outside the noise becomes pure, and the amplifications and echoes you hear when trapped inside are gone.

I look up, seeing the disturbance from the outside and try to work out what is noise from actual contact and what the level of storm is and hear truly the issues stripped of multiplications that come when bouncing of and around an enclosed space.

Doing this will allow me to calm the air that moves the branches with a proportonate effort of energy to the task in hand rather than trying to soundproof everything inside, or going mad from the noise. Both of which I have tried and failed to do on several occasions in different storms in the past.

Once again the storm that brings me to the Oak seeking solace is an old storm, but at least it now brings me here and i know how to minimise the storm damage.

All things in Ponderton require you to think about them as honestly and as objectively as you are capable of doing at that point in time to untangle them, calm them, find them, soothe them, build them, well you get the picture.

So I sit under the Tree and concentrate.

On a painful story, that becomes more ridiculous as I tell it out loud, and with each line considered the storm abates a little.

Here is a story of a rubbish friendship, like seriously a crappy attempt at lovers being friends and how stupid, blind and complicit love makes you. But when it ends it hurts. It really hurts, then you look at the facts and think actually, have I really lost anything here other than a bad habit?

Interlude and Symphony

13 years ago i met someone who changed my life.

Today, almost 13 years to the day, I have decided that road is at its end and it is time to part ways.

11 years ago almost to the day, i realised I was in love for the first time,

10 years ago almost to the day, he broke my heart

10 years ago ago i moved across the country for him. Turns out hed been with someone else the whole time who lived locally- I was his weekend entertainment. That all fell apart when I moved up….

9 years ago we didnt speak for 6 months but then suddenly it got better-

We were finally able to function as friends my life in the new location with him became wonderful, exciting and interesting

8 years ago things the spark was still there and threatening to reeignight between us, i said no sort your shit out, if you are unhappy leave your gf,

7 years ago he did leave his gf,  he picked someone else, i lost my shit at him,

For 7 years we have tried to be friends to relative degrees of success. I am not proud to say occasionally there were dalliances.

3 years ago I met someone- I moved to New Zealand for Him ( that went horriffically wrong-another story)

1 year ago i come home he says hes leaving his gf but not yet, i am an emotional wreck after NZ and just cant engage with anyone, let alone this one, but mainain polite contact.

He says hes leaving soon, and the contact ramps up. Hope floats. Contact becomes more frequent but i am still a mess. Tread carefully. Hes done this before. He is a liar and a cheat and hes broken up with his gf before and not picked you. What makes you think he wont do it again?

You know you are just something he does to entertain himself when he is bored, you look a bit more exotic than what is at home for him, your lifestyle is different to his, you just intrigue him. But hes not proud of you. He never has been, you are just someone he knows has feelings for him and uses as an ego boost.
Play this mantra on repeat

Or so you think.

The other half of your brain thinks maybe he can change.

A friend tells you hes left his gf. You ask him. Yes. He has. Ok lets meet up. Hes nice, but evasive. Doesnt match the texts that have been coming through.

Alarm bells.

Something isnt right

Poke it

When did you break up…?

Erm…. about a year ago…

LIES. Hes been lying to you for a year about stuff.

There must be a reason.

Dont qualify it. Hes lying again.

You are an idiot. You let it go.

The more you write this down, the more you wonder why he got 13 years out of you.
So, he needs time, hes just come out of a long relationship, but he keeps telling you he wants to do things, go places do this and that with you, the texts keep coming, but nothing actually comes of it.

Hes busy when you say hey, im up your way for the weekend, wanna do something, but hes still messaging you,

He tells you hes on holiday alone and then you see pictures of the girl he went on holiday with.

You know what. Its time to stop.
13 years of lies, half truths, false friendships, sneaking around, empty messages broken promises.
We arent friends. We have never been.
Ive loved you since the day I met you.

I have no idea what I am or have been to you. A distraction, entertainment, a safe bet, a constant.

Whatever we were or are it cant carry on. I confront you, you are nonchalant, acting like its been a bad year and it excuses your lies this time.

Its been a bad decade. You say when cornered you dont think there is a future for us, fine. Couldnt you have said that years ago? Why keep coming back to me?

You know how i feel- you tell me its not your fault i f have feelings for you, no its not, but you didnt have to play on them. To feed them, to dream into the future with me.

We returned to each other through several partners. I see now that was hella stupid.

For you i am merely an interlude and that is all i have ever been.

I have been in love twice. I am not sure you ever fall out of love with some people- it is different love for different people.
My love for you has been young love turned to hopeful love.

When I came back to the country thought we finally might have our time.

But it seems the dishonesty, lack of comprehension of the feelings of other people, and the selfishness of self gratification that i feared are firmly ingrained in your personality

I have never been anything but an interlude for this man, pleasant lift music as he bimbles from one bit of his life to the next, or a way of him sampling things from the menu without committing.

Realising this FUCKING HURTS

But it is also a momenent of clarity.

If a shoe has a spikes in it you may have got used to being poked while being walked. That doesnt mean you have to continue with it when you finally realise that the spike can be taken out.

Just beacause you have taken off other shoes that were hurting you doesnt mean you have to go back to your old ones just because they are the ones that you are  really fond of.

Its probably better to have no shoes than ill fitting ones. Even if you love them.

Yes it took me 13 years to realise this. I am not proud of that. I came to the concept of love late for a number of reasons and as such have a mixed up view of what it looks like and whether i am entitled to have it, all of it, in its purest and strongest form.

Its taken me until now to decide that damn well yes I am.
I am worth more than an interlude.

I am not elevator music.

I am a fraking symphony Big and noisy and layered and deserving of good acoustics should the room make its way to Ponderton.

That hall will not be one that i will seek to leave and sit outside of rather the storm will form part of the symphony and I will dance in the rain.

Until then, i sit here, in the aftermath of a painful decision, reflecting as the branches of the tree now simply sway wondering if i will feel different knowing i wont text him when im bored, or respond to the texts he sends me if he hasnt quite got the message when he is bored.

I guess some people are not meant to be friends. But we are not meant to be interludes either.

I’m not Ok

Its dark here in Ponderton.

In the words of everyones favorite panic at the chemical fallout song

Im not ok

Not at the minute anyway.

Im not as bad as ive ever been, not even close, but im not great. The pain of the last *however long* has got out its box and im mardy, distant and generally anxious, easliy upset and trying desperatly not to let the idiocy and harsh words of those i loved in the past gouge new wounds in me now.

I say this only as I have been generally functional for the last year, if not a bit emotionally remote.
Its caught up and im tired and sad at the moment.
I sit here under the Tree aware that i am a bit oversensitive and may be a bit crappier than usual at doing anything other than working and sleeping and spending quiet time with people I love who understand where Ive been and what it has done to me.

I am prone to ruining everything when my emotions get the better of me.

The aim this time is to at least keep on the straight and narrow with work as I am lucky to finally be working on things i enjoy and am passionate about, with people who are great and try and get the thoughts that cause me so much pain back in control and back thats dammned box  talked about last time.

Yes its kind of easy to talk about controlling things and letting them die when you have them under control. But what about when they aren’t? What about when the monster gets out and causes havok?

I find the best think I can do is come to Ponderton and wait for it to get back in the box itself.

You chase a dog with something it shouldnt have, it will run, you fight it, it hurts.

Come to the Tree at Ponderton and Look at It.

Why is it hurting you?

What is it about it that is causing you pain?

For me it is obsession with a situation i cant control that has result in an outcome i dont like. I take lies, betrayal, deception etc personally. Like uber to heart. I want to know why it happened, fix it, change it, take it all on myself.

The big realisations and acceptances often are:

Other peoples issues and actions are not mine to control

I cant change the past, what people have thought it was ok to do to me, or what I have been through

I do not have to accept what these situations present me as truth when the context has been in the hands of another.

What i can do is learn from the outcome and move forward.

Hopefully one day I will be stronger and better for the efforts to learn, and perhaps, it is in fact possible though i cannt quite see it now, I will find myself in a healthy relationship where I am valued, openness and integrity is commonplace my personal values and qualities are things that are respected and celebrated.

Hopefully the pain, loneliness and distrust and disgust feel now will become footnotes to my journey to my rather than things that keep me awake at night in tears.
Im not ok.

I hope one day I will be.
I know some people dont hold with public displays of emotional outpouring.
But for me they are the closest i come sometimes to saying what the problem is and how i hope to resolve it without having to say it i person.

It helps to externalise and release the pain.

When rightly or wrongly you feel alone, betrayed, helpless, iscolated or angry:

It helps you feel like you are seen.

This path may not be for you, but it is mine.

I am not ok.

But i will be

I have no way to reconcile many of my issues externally.

I will perhaps never see the person who causes so much of the pain again.
I can not tell him, I can not make him understand what he has done to me.

But the point is he doesnt care, he is gone. He has chosen to no longer to be part of my life and to cause as much damage as he could on the way out.

If he cared he would be here fixing them; or the problem would never have happened in the first place.

I must reconcile my feelings towards him with myself. This is the only way to heal and move forward.
Until then, anger and pain at him is only hurting myself.
But telling my irrational self that at 3am in the morning doesnt help.
So i am telling you. Everyone and no one.
I am telling me, reading it with my eyes.

I am not ok.

Putting my emotions in a box doesnt fix them. But it helps me control them.

Eventually they will stop being unwieldly enough that it wont be as cuttingly painful to pull the bits apart and see what to keep and what to disgard.

Until then please just accept me as I am, functional but flawed, prone to extravagance and depths of sadness, poor plastering on shaky foundations.
I am the sum of my parts, but somehow more, and yet less.

I am not ok. Today anyway. Probably not tomorrow, but some days I am. And for now, Ok is enough.

The Chained Trunk

Welcome back to Ponderton, its been a while. Ive been lost amongst the stars and the darkness in blissful quiet for a little while.
Its been a long time since this kind of stillness has been upon me, since ive felt the diamonds of the sky kiss my skin at night.
The realisation that many of the thoughts that once dug deep and caused pain in me, had come to hurt less in my many visits to to this Fair Land.
Ponderton had helped me in not only understanding my pain for many things but finding a way to live with it and reduce its impact on my daily life, and then, and this was the revelation to me, break it down into smaller pieces; so rather than dealing with an all consuming issue that i had no idea how to tackle, i was able to take it to pieces and assess each element in its purest form for what it was.
It was no simple task, or one that happened quickly for me.
But it came to me Under the Oak in Ponderton; a way to remove myself from something that was all i could be or do, or see or think about and was crippled with feelings of hurt, pain, dispair and loss and this generated huge amounts of resentment and anger in me.
So i ask you, kind visitors here Under-The-Oak, indulge me while i spin you the yarn of the Chained Trunk. Imagine if you will, the source of your pain and dispair has stopped being an emotional and physical response that you are experiencing in your body and your mind, and it has instead manifested as the most unwieldly creature you can dream of.
Mine have ranged from problematic pixies with stomping feet to creature features the necronomicon would be proud of. What ever it is however big and annoying it is, the more you focus on it, the more it feeds and grows ( this is not a new idea-see any creature that feeds on emotion in the supernatural world)
All it wants is your attention. All of it. All of the time. It is demanding obnoxious and exhausting.
Enter The Trunk.
No matter how big and powerful the creation is, you can force it into the trunk. Slam lid down and lock it. Chain it. Sit on it and breathe. Breathe the clear air and remember that the issue is in the trunk.
It exists, you need to deal with it, and it will keep trying to escape, but if it does you put it away, so you sit on it, chain that fucker closed again.
If a finger or a tentacle pokes out. Cut it off mentally. Acknoweledge that it is connected to the bigger issue, but kick it into the fire, let it burn then be done. A little hurt for a bigger win. The rest of it is still safe.

Thing is you cant ignore it forever, but what you can do is choose when you will tackle it or see what you can do about it.but if you are not feeding it constantly it wont be getting stronger.
Occasionally come along, at a time of your choosing and kick the trunk, open the trunk, poke inside  If it rolls about in fury Acknowledge it, tell it to fuck off and chain it back up as you know that you arent quite ready to deal with all this yet.
Go do something else.  Maybe make a point of sitting with your back to it and doing something nice for yourself in the vicinity of the dammed thing. Sit on it while you do something else.
If you dont feed it, it ,eventually, one day when you poke it, or even twat it with that big stick, it wont react at all, out of curiosity you will unlock it and you will look inside and will find it is still there, but is is dead, it has given up and turned to stone.

Now at this point you have to decide what to do with it, are you going to set up a rock garden of things you survived?
Are you going to leave it where it is and move on to other places. Time gets to all stone monuments eventually and will soften the edges, it can be a place of rememberance, perhaps of sadness, but like a cemetary dont cry at a grave, they are no longer there and it achieves nothing.

Alternatively you may wish to take it out and keep it as a memento to carry about with you? Remind you at all times what you have been through?
Stones are heavy, you cant carry many, especially if they are big ones, and it is easy to get hurt if someone gets hold of it and unexpectedly drops it on you, or worse offers to help you with the load then lets go and  it rolls back and crushes you. So you dont tell anyone that you have all these stones to carry about. You keep them in the chained Trunk. You worry about it, you keep it secret, you keep it safe. It is yours alone. No one else will understand or can help. You are feeding it again, but in a different way; When this happens it will become heavier and heavier until it takes all your energy and attention to carry the burden are unable to do anything else. It consumes you.

But consider that once it is stone and its not constantly trying to strangle you, trip you up, stab you or sleep with everyone you know, you can chip it into smaller bits.
Once this eldrich abomination is in bits big enough to carry, you can take them on short journies at your leisure to the river. You can dump the bits you dont want to keep here and there as you choose. In short you no longer have to carry the full weight.
Sort through the rocks you have just smashed up and work out which ones will benefit from being disected further and which ones will just smooth over by taking them to the river and letting them be erroded by the power of the elements-whittled down to sand.dust on the wind. Its not quick, but it works.

Bit for the ones you choose to keep, and those you want to disect you need to look at why you are keepinh them- is it because there is something nice or of value in there for you? Is there something that you can learn from or share with someone.
Carrying round a backpack of stones can make make you stronger, but some can make you richer. Amonst the rubble there will be diamonds.
While you are sorting through your bashed up pile, which is now in maneageable chunks,  keep an eye out for diamonds in the rough. Which things might be useful for the future? Which bits * do* you want to take with you. Not all of it needs to be left to the course of nature, gather up the bits you want. You may find a bit later you want to trade them in you  for supplies and equipment. Wood to burn, meat to eat, water to drink. Food for the soul.
Others can be cast into the sky to shine brightly and light your path when it is dark or remind you where you are and where you have been. Some can be taken home and brought to a shine, not all of your burden may need disgarding. Perhaps some when you look back on it can be treasured.
Not all rocks are useless, we just need to know how to sort through a pile of rubble and give ourselves a lot less to carry in our trunk.

Reflections of a Thunderstorm

Hail and Welcome my Companions,

I am pleased to find you here again beneath the Oaks at Ponderton.
Today i feel i should start with apologies, explainations, justifications but then I remember that none of these things are required here.

Ponderton understands that the path here is not linear, and as such my well laid intentions to introduce you to its workings in a sensible, systematic, outwardly logical and comprehensible fomat fell apart apart about 15 seconds after my first post.
I tried to work out how to do that, I really did. But where was I to start?
Meet the residents?
Where to negotiate passage to boardering lands?
Advanced specific fandom culture spotting and nerd 101 preparation as i somehow to stuff manage to stuff an obsession with a certain urban combat wizard and shoes into all my daily life?
How to navigate The Land Of Mixed Metaphors and inane witter-waffle that you might need to begin to read these posts?

The first few nights after the initial post I wanted to download everything, in detail, instantly.

Words bounced around my head, rattlling my eyeballs when i should have been doing exciting things like preparing spreadsheets, I was wondering ‘hmmm maybe i should tell people about the centaur civilisation of Upper Ponderton.’ Then a poor unfortunate colleage got caught in that thought storm as it accidentally fell out my mouth.

So much goes on in and around Ponderton, it does cause a storm in my head and occassionaly it does hit poor innocent bystanders. Hurricane Valkyrie.

And like the build up before a Thunderstorm the generation of that energy into something kinetic- a product- an action- a noise or a lightning bolt, the release can be incredibly satisfying to behold, or simply can bring peace and calm following a reduction in pressure.

This made me realise that while sometimes the posts may be along a theme and trajectory that navigates you aroud this blessed place, with hints and tips as to who lives where and a what skills can be achieved by working with which craftsmen, and what will happen when you poke which animal with which stick as opposed to offering it a treat or a game of fetch
A visit to Ponderton can achive many things, but as i have been told often, sometimes in very loud annoyed voices ‘FOR FUCKS SAKE STOP TRYING TO PLAN EVERYGODDAMNED THING ALL THE TIME, LEAVE ME ALONE’ or something like that (i dont know, i was highlighting the holiday spreadsheet at the time)

Somethings can be planned and worked on and honed and detailed to perfection.
Other things you just have to let develop naturally.

Sometimes what you create might be raw, somewhat brutal and honest. They may be hard to see, or feel, but what is there when you get past the initial shock of letting your need to control it down, may bring a natural beauty or dimension to your attention that you could not have achieved or would not have noticed if you were manhandling it too much or busy poking at it.

For me its hard to know which is which sometimes. So i am trying to learn. But i know that whatever i find in Ponderton, as is so often the case with nature will have both will have its own beauty and purpose.

All experiences in Ponderton give the freedom and the abiliy teach, to guide, to reflect to grieve or to remember.

Sometimes enough to wander through Ponderton and simply and enjoy the state of being. To exist. And to perhaps dream of what could be.
All things are possible in Ponderton- Under-The-Oaks.
Each visit is a new start, fresh beginnings, humble rememberance and hopeful endeavour.

There are many things to meet, learn, visit, to pick up and take away or places to set down burdens in Ponderton.

Ponderton-Under-The-Oakes is a safe and honest place to begin all journeys from.

Remember you are always welcome,
The borders are always open
There is always a place for you in Ponderton-Under-The-Oaks

Love Love

Red Valkyrie

Welcome to Ponderton-Under-The-Oaks

Ponderton-Under-The-Oaks:

What is it?

Where is it?

Who lives there?

Well my dearest companions I shall endeavour to take you there and help you to get to know this little known realm of random and sometimes inconsistant capitalisation ( I have finally worked out that outside of proper nouns and starts of sentences, I tend to capitalise things that i think are important parts of sentences, but if I am typing on a phone I often get lazy about changing things to upper case… )

As the first sentence may probably indicate I am prone to tangetal wanderings that probably nobody actually a) notices or if they do b) care about.

However, that is exactly the point of me introducing you to Ponderton-Under-The-Oaks.

I am prone to over analysing, editing and to a point sanitising everything I say and do during the ‘functional’part of my life to the point that my brain often rebels and keeps me awake until the wee small hours of the morning wandering down painful, weird, interesting, developmental or any other frakking path it feels like. I think this is because at this point of the day is is actually allowed to have a bit of freedom and go on a ramble.

Many of my big decisons about life have been made in the wee hours of the day after i have virtually obsessessed consciously and unconsciously about them for days, sometimes weeks. These decisons have ranged from buying cars, relationships, professional and personal development, spirituality, the major and minor plot points of books and TV series and how i will discuss them at the next available opportunity with dear friends.

What has all this tedious rambling got to do with the wonderful world of Ponderton-Under-The-Oaks? (PUTO as I will now refer to it as) i now hear you ask

Well, you see it is because of these late night adventures with my brain and mind ( the difference between my brain and mind will be the subject of a post eventually) that i found POTU.

Or more specifically POTU found me.

Over the years I have done much work with various people around meditation and visualisation. This has been for pain management, relaxation, spiritual connection and mental health rebalancing techniques.

Many of these activities will take you away from your current place or state and help you achieve a state of calm, collection or relaxation that can help you manage a number of situations.

With visualisation, if it is guided but not overly prescriptive you can end up almost anywhere your imagination can take you and through practice you can gain insight and knowledge to almost any situation or peace and distraction or calm from these locations as you require.

For me there has always been a magic in the earth and the beauty and calm that can be found in sitting and appreciating the incredible daily, monthly and yearly cycles that happen all around us, no matter what our personal situation or the goings on in the world at large.

The sun does always rise, the seasons do change and everyday is an opportunity to do something different.

It is through the realisation for me that it is ok to sit and take time to appreciate these cycles that i found the comfort and freedom and and ability to accept the restlessness of my mind and brain, that it is ok to take time to acknowledge the the difficulties experienced through pain, turmoil, injury or heartbreak, and through this acceptance i realised that there is ALWAYS time for me to sit in my favourite place in the world; against a tree on the edge of woodland at near a river, thinking things through or thinking nothing at all, just enjoying the time I have

I have been granted the blessing and ability to travel there mentally whenever I want, for 30 seconds between meetings or an hour in the dark of the night. I can also find places of connection with physical location across the world, and I have done literally the length of the planet. At my most desperate I have sat by a river in the shade of a tree and a mountain and known it will be ok.

I have been able to remember I am connected to those I love through forces I cannot see, I have felt overwhelmed, but the comfort and protection of what i have come to think of as PUTO lets me know it is ok.

Its borders are limitless.

Its borders are always open

Everyone is welcome

Here you can ponder the big, the small, the strange, mundane, reflect on what went well, what could have gone better, why on earth it is taking so long for the next Dresden File book to come out??

This can be done without judgement, without immediate answers or solutions. It is just a space to wonder, let the thoughts and feelings filter, and usually i find the answers turn up.

My grandad once said something along the lines of be be honest, be kind, be brave, be happy, i think thats a fair set of guidelines.

Love love

Red Valkyrie

*no the capitalisation isnt going to get any better, i am trying to spell check as i go, but i am also trying to not over edit or anyalse posts… so unless it is really horrific or embarrasing it will stay.