Saturday, 26 December 2009

A Letter to my 16 year old self....


“Your not a freak, your just a musician”

Dear 16 year old me,

Right now you feel completely alone, you have no friends and feel useless, awkward and in the way. THINGS WILL GET BETTER. They really will, in a very short time you will have more friends than you know what to do with and you will become something/someone truly great.

You are at the beginning of something that will take years for you to fully understand but I am going to start this letter by saying, trust me. Everything that you are about to experience will teach you to become something bigger, brighter, better, stronger and enrich you with a sense of freedom and love. But first some words of advice to help guide you on this journey.

Your not a freak, your not crazy and you certainly aren’t mentally ill. Your just different. Most people have felt that way at some point even if they don’t like to talk about it that much. It may take you years to come to terms with that but trust me, you will. You have many amazing gifts and you will eventually learn to work with them and THOUSANDS of people will come to you and ask for your guidance because of them. You have a gift, you really do, and you aren’t alone in that, there are other people like you out there and your about to meet some of them but trust your instincts, YOUR instincts. Some people who call themselves spiritual, aren’t. You will make your own path and you will do it very well.

Your creativity will help you more than you can understand right now so do your best to ignore EVERYTHING about finding a “proper” job. You’ll like that, yes, your future self is telling you to ignore your entire family, you do anyway, but at least you can stop beating yourself up about it now. You’ll eventually run your own business doing lots of different things so don’t waste any time trying to find the ONE thing your best at. Your ability to create music, art, poems and books will take you exactly where you need to go.

Your parents love you, yes, even your dad. You won’t see this for years, you’ll spend way too long convincing yourself that your not angry with them, but you are. Accept it. The second you accept it you can begin to let it go. Just try and trust me in knowing that each person on this earth loves you as much as they can, as much as they feel secure in loving you. It may not feel like enough at times but they really are doing their best. You will speak to your dad again. You’ll see him for who he really is and you’ll love him for it. He’s not a mean ogre who hurt your family. He’s hurting within himself and is living his own journey.

You’ll never shake your mother. She’ll get crazier with age and her passion for ridiculous hats will never stop. She will marry the man she’s seeing and they will be together for years. Try not to be angry with her, she DOES love you. It’s just time to accept that she has her own path to live and her own healing to do. You’ll spend many a morning chatting with her about stupid things and your more like her than you think. And the ridiculous opera she listens to when ironing, oh yes, you’ll end up listening to it too!

Make friends with your brother. He may already have lots of friends but that doesn’t mean he isn’t as lonely as you are. I think he could use your help and your guidance. He’s not as free as he seems. You may feel like a failure for not being able to be the big brother he wants but you are the big brother he has. He may not admit it but he needs you and you’ll regret it later if your not there for him.

You’ve thought about killing yourself a lot. Killing yourself is never the answer to anything. All you are feeling right now is incredibly lonely and sometimes it can feel overwhelming. It will pass. Your life WILL get better. But stop waiting for your life to get better, get out there and make it better. It’s not as impossible as it seems. Respect your life. It sounds cheesy and believe me it is, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Otherwise you’ll waste years wondering whether you want to be on this planet or not, and you do want to be here, you just don’t want to be lonely.

You are beautiful. You are beautiful. You are BEAUTIFUL. In every sense of the word. Stop hating how you look, stop wasting time starving yourself, hurting yourself and covering yourself up. Your body is gorgeous and will improve with age. SO many people feel what you are feeling right now but I also remember how it felt and no words can take you out of that place. You’ll have to walk it on your own but I can tell you that the day will come when you’ll look in the mirror and be happy. Ironically you actually don’t have that many issues about your image, you just don’t like becoming a man, you don’t like what it means to be a man. But you are going to become your own man, in your own life and do your own thing.


This may be a bit of a shock to you but, I should tell you, your gay. It’s not a phase. Really it isn’t. Your not bi-sexual. Your gay. Completely, completely gay. The older you get the more comfortable you’ll get with it. You’ll make many amazing friends through the gay scene, yes there is one in your small city and it is actually full of lovely friendly people. You aren’t alone in this. You’d be surprised how many people around you are gay, one by one they will come out to you. Your mum will be fine about it and BELIEVE me she knows.

And now a word about LOVE. You will meet somebody beautiful and fall in love with him. The kind of ridiculous head over heels-the hills are alive-sunshine on a rainy day-the only way is up, stupid type of love. Yes, the kind you’ve been searching for. You’ll have it. It wont last forever. You will get your heart broken and the pain will be indescribable but I need you to listen carefully to me on this next bit. You will learn that the way you deal with your first heartbreak will have a major impact on all future relationships. You will learn that this moment can change the way your life goes for a long time. If you need someone to blame (and you probably do) blame him, DON’T blame love. Don’t turn your back on love. PLEASE listen to me on this. DON’T BLAME LOVE ITSELF. Love didn’t hurt you. He did. If you turn your back on love you’ll spend the following ten years moving from one loveless relationship to the next. You’ll hurt yourself more than he ever did. Everyone around you is offering advice right now and all I can say is try not to listen. They are sharing their lessons, you are learning yours. You have already learned the value of loving other people, even if you haven’t learned a respect for that yet. What would be better for you right now is to learn the value of allowing yourself to be loved. Trust me it will benefit you a lot more in the long run.

Your imagination is your strength, your creativity is your strength, your sensitivity is your strength, NEVER forget that. You were born to live YOUR life. No one else’s. So, do your best to begin to let go of other people’s expectations of you. You’ll learn as you grow up that all the love, faith and strength you need exist in worlds inside you. You’ll seek them out one by one and live them.

Your future self loves you
Your not nuts
You just want to feel loved
And you will.

All my heart

Older Ryan xxxxx

Monday, 14 December 2009

Clearing up the past...

I loved him with all the passion and fury a 19 year old has. A passion and fury I was told I could never have again, a passion and fury I convinced myself I didn't want again...and the day I decided I was ready to love again my life CHANGED. And here I am again, Ten years on, suddenly talking about you. Your suddenly involved in my life again and to be honest, it just feels weird!

One of the things about the gay community is that here in Wales it's quite small, small enough that at some points in can be quite incestious. Someone's ex is always someone else's and here in Swansea that sort of thing is rife. It's been one of the things I hated about the gay scene, you can't really go out and get drunk to get over your ex when he's on the same dance floor trying to pull someone, so, I let the scene go for a while. I turned to music and to my crafts and became focussed elsewhere partly to escape and partly to protect myself. I guess a bigger part of me knew just how self destructive I used to be and pulled me out of that whole cycle and for that I am thankful! And now im back on the love vibration and I guess I'm being called to clean up some old messes, I spoke to you for the first time in 6 years a while ago and it felt like relief. I felt like we had tied everything up, I felt like I finally had the goodbye I didn't, I wasn't ever expecting to be sat there with ANOTHER one of your ex's. I certainly didn't expect to be sat there with one of your Ex's while on a DATE with them. I was already at the he-just-kissed-me-and-I-got-butterflies-omigod-its-been-years-since-I-felt-this stage and then it tuns out we had more in common than I thought. We had you.

When my heart first broke I made a promise to myself to never be in love again. And I haven't been since. But a decision made in anger and pain has now had the chance to be undone. I liked him and I CHOSE... I CHOSE to persue that feeling. I chose that I would love again. It doesn't surprise me that you, your energy was involved in that whole process. You were there when I first loved, you were there when I first turned away, and you were there ten years later when I turned back. Thank you. I am who I am because of that process and I wouldn't change myself for the world.

I guess this blog has become a letter to you... and although the guy I went on a date with COULDN'T be with me, he was still hurting, still in pain, and from what I hear, still trying to find you. Maybe he was trying to find you in me? But your not there any more, you are my history, not my future. I hope this is the last letter I write to you, the last letter I write about you but I'm not naive, the heart has it's own journey, it heals in it's own time and in it's own way but for now I am thankful for the chance to realise it. Thankful for the opportunity to know how far I have come, thankful for the chance to CHOOSE...once more.


Thursday, 10 December 2009

Learning of love.

So are you telling yourself a story to initiate a belief or are you telling yourself a story to escape something? And there’s a FINE LINE between the two. You’d think that there would be an easy way to tell between them but sometimes it’s true that you can be happy as a “pig in shit” but as happy as you are your still a lump of pork knee deep in it’s own mess. You get sign’s from the Universe/Spirit/God; whatever you call it and I believe that…fully. It would seem so much easier too if the messages were clear AT THAT TIME but I’m assured by a sense of my soul that it would take the fun out of it. I swear I’m going to be the happiest most delirious with fun 100 year old in the nursing home….

It’s a familiar time. Incense and candles lit, appropriately melodic music, a million and three unfinished creative projects and a hot drink… I love this space a lot. And here I am today thinking on my favourite subject…love. I’d love to say I’ve met someone and have a million romantic whispers and secrets to tell you all but I haven’t met anyone yet and all my secrets are for me only. I’m here on my own. Not alone in the universe. NEVER alone within myself and free from a burden of emptiness. I feel complete. Loved. And yet I know I’ve turned away. Not from universal love, not from love for myself, but this last year has made me fearful of beginning any kind of relationship. More than any previous heartbreak I have experienced true terror this year… and lived. I faced an old lover… and smiled. I faced a new lover… and walked away. I cunningly deceived myself and chose love for MYSELF. And in that I never had to let anyone in. Or let anything out. I could stay in this space for years and feel its warmth, I could feel it’s bliss ( and I do ) and I could feel it’s love but without putting too fine a point on it staying here means I can’t grow any more than where I am and growing is a word that nature has shown us can lead to great things.

There is always a choice, moment by moment, thought by thought, word by word and at each turn I have vowed to choose love. I have done my best to prepare myself for love’s grace and create that in a union with another human being. In order to do that I have had to HEAL, I’ve had to learn how to FEEL…again. I have had to GROW UP and GROW OUT of a lot of self-inflicting behaviours and here I stand. At the end of one journey and at the very beginning of another. Do I choose love again? Do I risk getting hurt again? Do I risk loving again? It’s been a road too long to give up now so I guess it’s all in or all out…

I will walk towards the day I write a brand new love song. I will walk towards the day I can hold your hand. I will walk towards the day we rest our heads on feather filled pillows and share our dreams. I’d be lying if I said that sometimes I feel like giving up, that I feel like laying in the safe place and being here but I am so thank-filled by a memory of what love feels like and I am blessed by the KNOWING that I can feel that again… and more. To be loved by another human being is a blessing and to love them back, bliss absolute.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Let go to life.

I sat on my sofa and just watched her unravel infront of me. Wisdom that had taken a lifetime to learn and yet still learning. "Let go to life." are words she shared with me and I dont think I can forget the intent of passion with which she shared them. I have had all the usual trappings of someone who has been hurt, someone who has had their heart broken. It made me cautious, too cautious at times. Put me in a place where I was living only half of my life. All my feelings wrapped in diaries and pictures and songs because I couldn't speak them in my day to day. And now I do because I learned to LET GO. Completely. Unreservedly. My work, my ART is no longer my refuge. It's my release, my expression, my conception, my observation... absolute.

I was going to learn in this life what I was going to learn whether I went willingly or not. Whether I learned it quickly was my own doing. I am ending a lesson that has taken me ten years of my life to fully absorb. And with every lesson that has ended a new one is given.... I cant wait!


Thursday, 12 November 2009

Imogen Heap "Canvas"


Lost is not the right word.

It's such a strange thing when the past turns up, right there, in bed with you. I've felt lost before, felt terrified before but never this pull. This weird feeling that I'm re living where I've been. Re learning what I've learned and feeling AGAIN the things I'd tucked away safely. UNRAVELLING. All over the place. Very ungracefully.

Hurt has been a living thing. A way to survive when I thought I wouldn't. But there's no place for that in my life now, I'm centered, still, listening to myself. Yet here I am with a former self. Sitting side by side. He is as much of me as I have ever been. He is as hurt as I was. As confused as i was. As scared as I was. Perhaps this meeting between us was to show us both that MOVING ON IS INEVITABLE. Change is one of the constants within life and sometimes I've welcomed it and sometimes it's had to wrestle me to the ground but it has won either way. This has changed me. Last night before I went to sleep I knew the next day would bring a goodbye, I love my midnight conversations with the nightlight. I listened to the trees outside and heard the world change. Heard MY world change.

Each day I feel myself picking up where I left off. Putting the pieces of my heart back in the places they should be. HEALING.

IT is in me to LOVE.

I can LOVE. Unconditionally...Blissfully...Again.


Saturday, 17 October 2009

Salt The Earth - Poem

Salt the earth

Graveyard grass lay thick in potent smoke for years I nearly chocked on it but thankfully I learned to grieve. Sphere sized tears dribbled slowly down my tired face and in the grace of that moment I learned of heated peace. My head is hot and lips swollen from fists clenched and heart broken from snarling teeth and wounds open from hateful spit and a life that’s woken up. Not given up. I thank heaven for small graces and hell for warm places and a pillow kissed head faces that I never forget.

Inevitable my hunger filled I don’t know whats worse
Bury me, bury me and salt the earth.

Tomb like scriptures lay casually across my blanket and moments lost and captured inside a memory I made. I layed there for hours in the stillness of that breeze. My knees hurt and ache from the pressure that builds and kills one in ten and again we learn to start from scratch. I itch and pull stitches you made out of my arm, one by one, harm undone as I attempt to reincarnate this water filled flesh, this passion filled breathe will never cease to be.

Inevitable my hunger filled I don’t know whats worse
Bury me, bury me and salt the earth.

Dirt covered smothered and uncovered experiences spill from my underground across your holy ground and I have kept secrets of biblical proportion. My paper white death offers some comfort and I burn under it, almost religiously. I cannot pray inside a chapel for I was made too unclean, toounable to redeem myself, should this be my want. Send me to your nemesis you thesis of the dark, I shall hold a countless weight until my truth moistens your spark.

Inevitable my hunger filled I don’t know whats worse
Bury me, bury me and salt the earth.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Old Music

There's such a strange feeling in listening to a song you haven't heard for a while. I live for music, it's one of the most beautiful things in the world for me. I love how it can shape and help you to re-live memories and feelings, call old feelings to the surface and in a really good song, help you to find new ones. There is a song connected to every big event in my life, possibly every small one too, I like closing my eyes and putting my headphones on, a nice hot drink next to me and just allowing the music to flow through my body. I can see colours and images, memories and dreams, its one of the few things that actually stop me thinking. There is a stillness in music for me, that's probably one of the reasons I started to make it. Firstly on the violin, then the piano and eventually the bunches of things that now make up my on stage set.

The writing and crafting of a song is special for me. I love the process, scraps of paper, diaries, notes, rythyms, experiences, expression absolute, forgiveness, transcendance, love, passion, creativity, for a brief time you get to be actively involved in creating and moulding a piece of the universe. Sometimes it feels as if its all happening around you, like your just there for the ride of allowing creativity to flow through you and sometimes the song will make you work, make you live, make you RE LIVE and RELEASE and within it all there is stillness. A peace that comes from being open to interpretation. I think it is that openness to yourself and to the world around you that calls most people to music, I think it's that and much much more.

As Im now making my new album I've been spending time listening to my old music, its SO different in places and yet you can see where I was going. You could almost plot the musical path I was on, and you can definately see the emotional path I was taking. Soon I will be here ready to share a new album, a brand new slice of my life and my experiences. I offer it to you complete and in it s entirity with everything that went into it and everything that will come from it.

With Love

Monday, 28 September 2009

And here we are...

It's been a very long time since I've kept an on-line diary but here we are again. This is a place for me to share whatever thoughts I feel like sharing and talk about whatever projects I am doing. I'm normally more used to diaryland but I think this might be a new place for me to unwind mentally and get all introspective with my bad self! mwahahah.....

I have so many creative projects on the go right now that it feels good to create a space where I can share them and talk about them and focus on them. Creatively I like to stretch myself and challenge myself as often as I can and this is a new place for me to do that. Reclaim is the word. I have ALOT of diaries and journals, some are more creative than others and some are just word and paper but this one is meant to be shared so I'll do my best on that one. The nature of a diary is quite confessional in itself and I have always said that I think they are hugely beneficial for anyone that invests in them. It doesn't have to be every day, your diary can be your sketchbook, your canvas, making a place in your life to be still with your thoughts. I have kept a diary since I was 14 and I love re-reading the transitions I have travelled in my lifetime. I have looked back and seen myself grow and become the person I am today and there is something in the nature of actually reading through your previous days that helps me to fully take stock of the lessons I've learned. A good friend once said to me that "hindsight is 20-20" and she was right. Looking back you can see who you were and who you were on your way to becoming.

Im not going to get too nostalgic on you but I am going to ask you to remind yourself, periodically, about how far you have come. About how much you have grown. About how much you have loved. Take every step forward with the knowledge that you have earned it, with the knowledge that you have figured alot out, all on your own. No one is asking you to be "there", to be "sorted", just aware that you have grown.

All my heart,

Ryan x