Images #1

Closer to “something” – the settling of the Sun…..

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*All featured photographs / images are the property of Tim Phillips-White (2013) – Please ask permission before copying or using. One off editions of these prints are available to purchase. Please email for further information.

 

 

 

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All that I’ve lost, and all that could have been.

We’re all alone in the end.

I’ve always blamed myself for what happened. Impossible I know, but I’ve always felt responsible. The nagging doubt has always been there, eating away at me inside, refusing to budge, refusing to let me go.

This has always been a huge invisible barrier in my life; even though it’s entirely one of my own making. It has held me back in my career, and it has acted like a white elephant to any meaningful relationship I may have been involved in. It might sound odd to say that I have never minded, or been afraid of being alone. Being an only child makes one used to your own company, even if at times it becomes rather tiresome. After all, we’re all alone in the end.

Has this left me incapable of feeling or showing love? No, I’ve been lucky. There are those who entered my life, those that stayed for a while, whom I have loved. On the other hand, there were those who were never mine to love in the first place; they may have been the deepest, most heartbreaking love of all. The love of your life.

Those moments when the guard comes down are rare these days. I began to fill the empty space by other means; be it drink, meaningless sex or other ill-conceived relationships. This may provide you with some sort of temporary respite, a brief diversion; however the reality is always there waiting for you. You become cold, hard, cynical, almost machine like. Showing emotion becomes a sign of weakness, letting people become too close to you something to be avoided at all costs. You isolate yourself, become oblivious to those around you who care about you, and in time, forget what real happiness feels like.

No man is an island; but you can build a tall, unbreakable wall around that island, constantly checking for possible gaps. Over the years this is bound to take its inevitable toll. You become tired; not only of the constant effort required, but of yourself, and your own stupidity. Surely only a complete idiot would set out to screw up their own life? Who would actively make their existence cold and empty?

It all comes back to guilt; a debt to be paid for that event where the responsibility still hangs like a millstone around your neck.

As I sit and think and write about this, I’m fully aware as to how stupid and self-pitying this must sound. I know that in reality I was not responsible for my Mothers death at such a young age. I know that it was just a complete fluke that on a cold November week in 1993, she caught the flu, possibly off me, that caused what in the end was a sudden, quick and fatal asthma attack. I also know that there was nothing that I could have possibly done to change events. Nothing could have prevented such a tragic, wasteful loss of such a young life.

Stars have their moment and then they die.

I don’t look for sympathy. I’ve never wanted it, or expected it. I’ve never wanted people to feel sorry for me. Despite the words that have gone before, I do not wallow in a pool of self-pity. I have always tried to get on with my life in the best way that I can, quiet and with as much dignity and self-respect as was possible. There are many periods of my life when I do feel happiness. There are those in my life who provide me with support, laughter and unconditional love.

Perhaps that’s enough? Perhaps at the end of the end that is all that really matters.

Time passes, memories fade.

I’ve noticed something rather disturbing recently. In truth, I notice a lot of disturbing things, but this one thing has become very hard to fathom.

Those that know me, or have read previous posts will be aware that I lost both my parents by the time that I had reached the age of twenty. As I race towards the grand old age of forty, this seems longer ago than ever before, and this leads me onto my problem.

The longer that time pushes ahead, the less I remember what my parents actually looked like.

This might seem like an odd thing to say, after all, why don’t I don’t look at some old photos? The fact is, I don’t have any. Not one. All my family photos were lost when I was in the process of selling my late Mothers house following her death in 1993. I don’t know how they all got lost; the answer to that remains as lost as the photos themselves.

All I have left are memories, and it breaks my heart that these are becoming more fragmented and distant as time passes. As far as my Dad is concerned this presents less of a problem, after all, I only have to look in the mirror and he’s looking straight back at me. What breaks me up is the fact that my Mum is slipping from my mind; not my memories of her, they will always remain and there’s never been a single day when I’ve not thought about her, however the visual recollection is almost lost to me.

This is what upsets me the most, the one person in the world who was closest to me, and I can no longer remember her face. I don’t think I could possibly begin to describe to you the sorrow and emptiness that has filled those memories, and if I were talking to you face to face, I doubt if I could even try.

Every once in a while I see my Mum in dreams. I always remember them, and for that brief moment I see her how I once remembered her. In those few, short, fuzzy minutes when waking up this always comes as a nice, warm comforting moment. I’m always thankful for this when it happens, although it’s not that often. The worst part of this is the feeling that a whole part of my past is now lost to me; I started writing about my childhood last year in an effort to help me remember. This was a difficult decision to make, by my very nature I’m a very private man, I try to keep my most personal thoughts and feelings to myself. I’ve always tried to protect myself from heartbreak, and perhaps the end result of this is a misconception that I’m a rather cold individual. I guess that by writing about these things it makes it easier to say the things that I would be unable to say to people in person. Not because I don’t want to, but because I’m wary of giving too much of myself away, or sadly of letting anyone get too close to the real me. Of course, there have been rare occasions when people have got past the facade; have caught a brief glimpse of the other me. I hope those people over the years realised how very special I thought they were, and of how much they meant or mean to me. I don’t know if they do or don’t, but the fact remains that it takes an amazing person to get inside my heart and more importantly, my mind. Unfortunately though, life is often a cruel mistress, hopes and dreams are often dashed. Even when those you want and love the most in life are out of reach to you.

Random thoughts on the train to work (1)

Damp leaves. Empty streets. Crowded platform. Can’t concentrate. Late train. Sun rises over the fields. Starlings whirl.

Mist begins to clear, although not in my mind. Think about the day ahead – no enthusiasm, no point. I can’t get what I want.

Day dreaming. Rain on train windows. Take me far away from here. Who can save me from myself? Strength is not everlasting, something has to give. Brown eyes, deep sighs. Racing heart. Nervous goodbyes.

From the first I was lost and to the last I am yours. What’s the point of second best?

There’s not another soul in the world I could possibly belong to.

When I’m near you, my heart just won’t be told. Desire, pain and sadness – a continuous raging storm that will never blow itself out.

Like my childhood, I think I could miss you forever. I no longer know anything worth mentioning. Out of the blue, I must shoulder the blame for breaking myself in two.

Ripples, butterflies, driving rain, a hurricane. Life is too short for shyness and guilt. I must let you go, though I love you so.

Life shouldn’t be about “I’m happy, but…..” Always chase the impossible. Something’s in life are worth the chaos that arrives.

Lightning does strike twice

Why is it so hard to move away from certain aspects of ones life? As a younger man I found it almost too easy to walk away from anything, be it a person, situation, or both. This may have been forced upon me  at the time, but the fact it that it’s something that I became rather adept at – no attachments, and those that did slip through the net didn’t last too long.

Now as the years have piled upon me and I edge towards an unwanted middle age I find it increasingly hard to let go; even when all my instincts tell me otherwise. I’m not sure anymore if this is just the simple effect of getting older, or perhaps an attempt to cling onto something that doesn’t exist. If the personal events of 2010 taught me anything it was not to let my guard down at any point, to keep focused and detached; to keep moving forward, even if that meant being alone.

Of course, being the idiot that I sometimes find great success at being, I did the complete opposite of that, but then, I’ve never been one to make my life easy for myself, that would be far too simple and dull. Indeed, for some unfathomable reason known only to me, I’ve found great success at fucking my own life up at the drop of a hat; almost like having ones finger permanently glued to the self-destruct button. Of course, the danger is that you not only hurt yourself, but those around you. Those that don’t in any way deserve to get caught up in your own personal Nile full of shit. I possibly come across here as a man who doesn’t care. That premise couldn’t be further from the truth; I do care, sometimes too much. I would burn in Hell rather than set out to hurt those who in truth mean the whole world to me.

Moving on though, letting go; this presents me with more of a problem.

Here, six weeks into 2011, this is not a problem that I want or need, and yet there it is. Holding onto something that you can’t have and will never have can be a painful exercise. A hopeless, unreachable dream; a dream which in reality soon becomes a living nightmare. In time, this wears you down, it leaves you weak, you become careless and unpredictable. So, you look in desperation for a solution; you remove yourself from that situation, you shut yourself away and you rebuild the wall that had previously been smashed to pieces by the most beautiful creature on Earth. You try to start again, to regain some semblance of order in your life; to regain control.

You convince yourself that life will soon begin to flow again if you can overcome the seemingly impossible task of letting go. Time moves on apace, other problems are taking up your time, and you’re almost glad, it’s almost a welcome distraction – something else to worry about, another thing to lose sleep over.

And then…..

Here it comes again. Punching its way like a heavyweight from the back of your mind. The old feelings are still there; of course they’ve never really been away, just covered up like the furniture left standing in an empty house. You’ve tried to let go and then BANG! A situation presents itself and you find yourself slap back in the
middle of the storm – the last thing you wanted to happen has now fucking happened – lightning does in fact strike twice it seems.