The Light in The Darkness

Put yourself in a dark place. A place full of complete darkness and a place where you feel somewhat uncomfortable. You are alone in this place. You are alone and left to ponder each and every thought that comes into your mind.

There are some good thoughts. Some thoughts of freedom and hope. As these thoughts enter your mind, somebody you know enters the room and hands you a candle. The light emitted from this candle is so sweet and warming. It fills the room with a positive energy. As the light revolves around the room, you recognise where you are. Where are you? Who handed you the candle?

Just like there were some magnificently positive thoughts phasing into your mind, there were some maliciously negative ones too. Your mind causes you to think some terrible and daunting thoughts; the worst things that you can possibly imagine. As these thoughts come into your mind, somebody you know enters the room and puts out the candle, leaving you in utter darkness, once again. Who was this person that put out the candle?

Let’s go back to reality. Who was the person that first entered the room and handed you the candle? Am I right in thinking they bring happiness into your life? Who was the person that put the candle out? Is it likely that this person sucks the happiness from your life or brings you sorrow? When I told you to place yourself in the dark room at the beginning, where did you automatically think of Furthermore, when the light from the candle allowed you to see where you were, which room were you in? What emotions do you associate with these rooms?

Please tell me your answers, I would like to know.

The Mandala Concept: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

So I was talking to a friend in work. The kind of friend who I can talk to for hours on end about things would go over many people’s heads, in great detail, for hours on end. I was telling him about the Mandela Theory. In few words (as this is something I would like to touch upon another time) it’s about believing very strongly that something happened in a specific way, even though it may never have happened at all. For example, we all remember the saying, “mirror mirror on the wall” innately. We know this is the famous line from Snow White. Many of us would swear upon our own lives that that’s how it goes right? Well if I told you that the saying was actually “magic mirror on the wall” you would look at me with a confused face and tell me that I was wrong. Well this is a brief example of the Mandela Effect. Due to recollection, you’ve heard the former saying more times than the latter so it has become your reality – the correct way of hearing and saying it. Look it up online and see which is the correct saying. 

So you may be wondering why the title says “Mandala” and not “Mandela” and this is a good observation. This is not a spelling mistake however, as “Mandala” is the focal point of this post. As I was explaining the Mandela Effect to my friend, they told me they thought I was talking about something completely different, and mentioned Mandala Tattoos. My friend then went on to tell me about the patterns used in these tattoos and explained their origin and meaning. They told me that there was a culture that would invest large amounts of time into making such intricate patterns on the ground. They would have an uncharacteristically complex amount of detail in them and they would be visually pleasing to say the least. My friend went onto tell me how some of the different designs have been replicated as body art. I was surprised when he told me that they would then destroy these patterns after spending so much time making them. Initially, I smiled. Initially in confusion but then the smile changed to a content one, one of appreciation. Though I won’t always understand some of the practices of other cultures, I will never fail to find them fascinating. Amongst this confusion however, there is no disrespect and there is an abundance of appreciation, no matter how profound they may appear.

As my friend was talking to me about these patterns, my mind began to wonder. Not in a disrespectful way, I was just very inspired. I began to think of how these tattoos could be a relate to the lives we live. For example, the beauty of the tattoos. As the saying goes, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and I couldn’t agree more. So when one person, or a whole culture for that matter, thinks something might be the most visually pleasing thing, another could see it in a negative light. Thinking further outside the box than being visually appealing, ideals sprang into mind. Whilst one person might get such pleasure from an idea or practise there are several others who simply cannot see the beauty of it, so in the eye of their mind, it goes unnoticed.

I had many different examples of this springing to mind, but then the apple hit me on the head – Mandala Patterns could actually be a direct representation of our lives, depending on how we interpret it. Please stay with me as I try and get my thoughts into writing. So as I mentioned before, the people of this culture would invest so much time and effort into making these patterns only to one day have them disappear. So what if we look at the things we spend our time on and invest our emotions in. Living in a Western society, undoubtedly we do focus on a lot of material things, so you could say, we spend so much time cherishing, say, an item of expensive clothing, only to have it one day disappear. This could be applied to anything material but I want to delve deeper than just material things.

Jobs? Pleasure? What about friendship and relationships. Think about the emotions that are accumulated over the course of a friendship or relationship. Anger. Love. Happiness or sadness, just to name a few from a very long list. Whilst working on said relationship we do invest a lot of these emotions. Think of the relationship as a work of art. It starts as a blank, untouched canvas. Everything that happens is a brush stroke of a different colour. Every stroke of envy leaves a venomous green streak on the canvas. The passionate times where love is experienced, leave an intense red reminder on the canvas and all of the confusion that accumulates over the course leaves a dull grey colour which contrasts the white streaks of purity from the beginning of the relationship. Once the canvas is filled and the piece of art is completed, is it a beautiful picture or is it grotesque? Some might say, despite all of the colours of negative emotions on the canvas that it is a truly remarkable piece of art. Others might think that it is simply dreadful. But like I said before, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

My mind went further into this idea. When the relationship ends and the once empty canvas is destroyed, where is the true beauty? The artist is left with nothing, and now holds a new white canvas, with hopes of filling that one up with a new palette of colours. The original canvas might’ve looked wonderful when it was intact but now that it is gone there is no beauty.

But let’s take the Mandala way of looking at things. Even though the canvas once represented something so intricate and something so wonderful, there is nothing to see anymore. The only thing that remains is simply the memory that it once existed. There is no way to see the beauty that once ensued, only abstract visions of it. These memories and the knowledge that the art once existed is the true treasure. Appreciating the canvass’ former splendour is the way of bypassing the fact that it no longer exists. It’s better to see the art as something that exists as a journey, and not a destination. A process and not a product. It is better to enjoy the build-up. To enjoy decorating the canvas with the many colours. To enjoy looking at the end product. And when it’s gone, cherish the memories of the piece of art that once existed, just like what is done with Mandala Patterns.

Culture or Class?

He laces his Jordans up with pride and places his jeans over the top of the shoe. 

He slips his suede loafers on, a gap between the shoe and the pants. 

He puts his icy chain over the top of his distressed hoodie.

He fastens his Rolex under the sleeve of his pressed, fitted silk shirt.

He prefers his music with a punchy kick and a deep bass.

He reckons vocals should be the most prevalent part of the song.

He thinks going to concerts are sick.

He really enjoys the atmosphere inside the theatre.

His idea of fun consists of chills with his boys.

He prefers a glass of wine with his accomplices.

“yo, you good bro?” he asks with a face of stone.

Hello there, how are you today?” he asks with a face as soft as wax.

He is often referred to as arrogant.

He doesn’t go a day without being called a snob.

He thinks his culture defines him as an individual.

He thinks his class plays a key role in who he chooses to be.

Supply & Demand

So there I was, waiting. It was a Wednesday morning. 12th April 2017 at about 9:15 AM. I didn’t mind waiting even though it was freezing and I was a quarter of an hour early. For what it’s worth I didn’t mind waiting because I had Drake on shuffle so I was kept entertained.

However it got to a point where the music was playing in my ears but I wasn’t focused or listening to it. My attention was drawn to something else. Something strange. Something peculiar. I noticed I wasn’t the only one waiting, in fact there were about a dozen people all waiting for presumably the same thing as me. Well not the same thing as me but they were there for similar reasons.

I knew their reasons were different because on closer inspection they didn’t look like their intentions were the same. I know it isn’t open minded to judge people based on their appearance but at this moment in time I’m just saying what I saw. They looked as though they were being deprived of something. Something they were desperate for. Something they couldn’t live without and something that was absolutely necessary for them to have. People were starting to look agitated as we drew closer to 9:30, the time we were all meant to be seen to. As the clock on my phone struck 9:31 the crowd began to check their watches and pace around in frustration. It was clear they didn’t want to be kept waiting for whatever it was they were waiting for.

There’s me, one person amongst a crowd yet I feel as though I’m not a part of the crowd. I knew my reasons for being here were different simply because my body language was different. I was more laid back and not phased by the fact we were kept waiting. By this point I had turned my music off and was in full observation of my surroundings. They were not only pacing around but going towards the windows and looking through. Probably only to find disappointment when the only thing they’d see would’ve been their own reflections staring back at them due to the lights inside the building being turned off. People did seem almost zombie like with their actions and I could see that they were fully dependent upon the reason they were stood outside in the cold, early doors on a Wednesday morning.

At about 9:36. The doors opened and we were all greeted by a woman in a suit. A smile plastered on her face, she held the door open for everybody and each person from the crowd hastily made their way into the doors, and queued up in an orderly fashion, almost relieved that they no longer had to wait in the cold. But what could’ve been so important that they persevered?

I’ll tell you the answer to that question. The fact that we were waiting outside a bank and banks are our access to the one thing that we have such a dependency on. The bankers essentially become our dealers and when we don’t have access to money our lives change drastically. We go to such lengths to get our hands on some of their product that we may end up acting irrationally. If we can’t get it legally we turn to illegal methods to gain it. I’m sure if it was throwing it down that morning the people still would’ve waited patiently.

The saying “money makes the world go round” can be interpreted in many ways but it speaks many truths. The need for money isn’t the issue. The need for the things money can buy is. We need money for pretty much every aspect of life. Survival and pleasure. Want and need. When you factor the limited ways it can be obtained legally, and the fact that a large number of factors prevent that you see how easily it is to be left with few options. Either try and survive without it, or turn to illegal means to get some. Either way is frowned upon by society.

When you can’t get a job because of a lack of education or experience what do you do? When it’s a factor you can’t control what do you do? Either become the “dirty homeless” or the “filthy criminal”

If you can obtain it legally then hats off to you. But then what happens when you factor all the lifestyle features that cost money? Mortgage. Bills. General needs. Debt. Even with money, there is still stress associated with it. The stress of needing more money. Those with money worry about it just as much as those who don’t have it. There’s a cost of living and that price will always be too high.

Break from More Life

23rd March? I think that’s todays date. It’s 20:41 at the time of starting this. I just feel to write, for no specific reason, not just yet anyway so I’ll see where this takes me. Right now I’m taking a break from listening to More Life. For those who don’t know it’s a playlist by Drake that came out almost a week ago. That doesn’t mean I’m not listening to music though. Nas – Nas, debatably my favourite album, is playing through my Bluetooth speaker and I’ll probably get told to turn it down. I will touch upon that album later on. In conjunction to listening to this album I’m playing Infinite Warfare on the ps4. It’s good to have a couple of days off work and do my own thing. He says after cooking dinner for the family. And they say men can’t multitask. In all fairness I took a break because my connection was dire. Upon investigation I found out that my sister was watching something on Netflix so a significant proportion of the WIFI was being used on her.

This stage of my break from education has been treating me well. I feel it’s very productive. Last night I was up late creating music on Fruit Loops Studio and after frustration caused me to quit I found myself falling asleep watching tutorial videos on how to replicate the styles of certain artists. Drake, Kanye West and J Cole just to name a few. It goes without saying my goal was to wake up and get back to work. So inevitably, when I woke up I found myself pulling my laptop out from under my bed, connecting the mouse and MIDI keyboard and putting to use some of the techniques I learned last night. After fiddling around with the millions of knobs, sounds and plugins the software had to offer I realised I had spent a couple of hours without much to show for. Yet still I felt satisfied. There’s something about minor progression to an unknown end goal that makes me feel happy. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Speaking of which, “Socially Constructed” was a significant achievement for me in my personal life. Creating a concept that was envisioned in my head, and allowing others to experience it is something I have always wanted to do. The fact that the feedback was good and people enjoyed it inspires me to work on other things. After all, it sharpens my mind for September when I will be studying English Language in university. As a little side note for those who read parts 1 through 5 of “Socially Constructed” part 4 was written to Kanye Wests album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”. Well, from the beginning to Devil in a Red Dress. The final part was written to Runaway, which has become my favourite song. The album really inspired me to finish the story because in all honesty, I had lost interest and all motivation by the time I had gotten to part 3.

Right, an idea has popped into my head and I’m off to make something of it. Watch this space.

Topic of Discussion

Friday morning. 02:15 AM. I know full well I won’t be getting any sleep so there’s no point in trying. I’ve found my way to Yungens mixtape, Topic of Discussion. The irony because there are so many topics and issues that I need to discuss. But what I say might make me the topic of discussion. The last track and probably my favourite track on the mixtape is called Insomnia. The irony. Enough of music for now anyway, more on that later. By later I mean another post. By later I mean probably tonight depending on which ridiculous hour of the morning I stay up until.

Today (technically today because I don’t class it as “tomorrow” until I’ve slept and woken up) has been a productive one. I got to spend some quality time with myself with my headphones on, walking, just letting the world come to me. Obviously I wasn’t just walking aimlessly. I’m not that sad just yet. I did spend some good time with some good people which is always priceless. It’s mad how moments will turn to memories and conversations one day. Just like all the fun times in high school with all the laughs and high spirits. The sad thing is you don’t realise this transition and you take some things for granted. But I guess that is a fault of all human beings. I won’t be cliche and say you don’t know what you’ve got til…

I had a meeting with an important person, well not really that important in the bigger scheme of things but important in my life at this moment in time. I would say who but there are some things that really should be kept private. And now you’re wondering who this mystery person is but you really shouldn’t give it that much thought. But I’m still talking about it so this person must be more important than I’m making them out to be, but that’s just the power of words. Keep talking about something for long enough and it remains the topic of discussion. Stop talking about something and people will start to question whether it’s even relevant anymore.

That’s the thing about life things are only relevant when they’re in the limelight it seems. But what about the things that are hidden away, are they still important? Like the fact you could be reading this instead of your revision notes ahead of your important exams next months? If that’s not relevant to you then I apologise. Hit and miss I suppose. I digress again. But no, world issues like Ebola. Are people still dying of it or has it been cured because it doesn’t headline on the news and on newspapers? Poverty. Do homeless people only matter when when we campaign and have groups raise awareness. Or do they still matter when there are people sleeping on the cold hard floors in the unforgiving city of Manchester and unfortunately every other city in Europe, no possibly every other city in the world. And black history month, do I even need to ask the question?

So the mixtape has finished and immediately I know which one I’m in the mood for. Wretchercise. The slow pacing and deep lyrics are perfect for this time of night. Wretch 32 (pronounced 3-2 not 32 for reference) has been one of the most influential artists in my life. Some of his lyrics I can relate to. I remember having 6 words on repeat for hours on end because I could feel the inspiration behind the song. That kind of thing makes me wish I was musically talented. Maybe I am. Maybe I am but I just don’t know it yet. Some doors need keys to open them and maybe I haven’t found the key yet.

I don’t know, I’m going off topic and feel I should conclude here and enjoy some more music. I don’t want to say anything that makes me the Topic of Discussion for the wrong reasons, I Don’t Know About You but I’m off.

MJRM

The Beginning

Okay. Its 22:52 at the time of writing this. Drakes mixtape/album “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” accompanies my ears. It’s towards the later end of the piece where it is much slower. The calm music helps to get my creative juices flowing and the ideas racing through my mind. Enough of music, I could go on all day about that. I will do just not on this post.

Now marks the last hour of what has been a very typical April Fools Day. I woke up relatively late so I missed the frenzy of fake pregnancy posts and whatnot. If you were paying attention, you would’ve noticed the release date for my so-called mixtape was today. Yeah, released on April 1st. Other than that, today has been quite normal.

The idea of writing to an empty audience with hopes of somebody reading this is a weird feeling, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it. The mouse on this laptop is so unresponsive. It feels as though it isn’t sensitive enough, but when I raise the sensitivity it feels too high. The best thing about writing on my own blog is that I can digress and nobody can have a go at me for it. Anyways, back on track, this is a big thing for me, having somebody see some of the things that go through my mind and sharing things online. But the idea of it seems fun. Plus, it helps me keep on top of my writing whilst I take a break from education. I suppose it can’t look too bad on a personal statement when applying to university to do English Language. Whilst this “blog” isn’t hidden, it isn’t made public for everyone to see because I suppose everybody will hold their own opinions when they see it.

“Look at this sad guy writing on a blog, who really cares”

But past experience taught me that you have to look past what people think and do what makes you happy. Now this is beginning to sound like some kind of motivational, inspirational, deep piece of writing and it really isn’t that. I would say the purpose of this thing you’re reading right now is just to break the ice of a “first post” before I barrage whoever’s interested with my thoughts on, basketball, music, games, life, people (no names ever mentioned on here) and everything in between. I’ll probably offend some people with the things I say but ah well that should be fun. You know how to contact me should that happen and I love speaking, so if I ever do, lets meet up and speak like adults. I really am going off topic and talking about anything and everything so now is probably a good place to conclude this. If you’re still reading this, you’re good.

Goodbye for now.

MJRM