Friday, 21 December 2012

Looking the Mayan calendar

We are well into the 21st century and the technological era. In the last five decades human knowledge has advanced way beyond the realms of imagination of our ancestors.  Never before has humanity pooled and shared so much knowledge and made it available, freely, to so many.

The true age of enlightenment is nigh!

It is ironic then  that we are still surrounded by so many people who refuse to absorb the available knowledge to make sense of their existence and place in nature.


People who are religious, conservative, stubborn and lazy and believe our ancestors knew something we don't know.

People who look back in time for inspiration and guidance to their future.

People who believe, through blind faith, that ancient scribes (writers) had the inexplicable and exclusive rights to communicate with gods that were mere figments of their own imagination.

And no matter how many times science proves our ancestors wrong and misguided, those people continue to refuse to allow their minds to evolve and  discard all myth and superstition.

Let us look at the Mayan Calendar fiasco:

Some 5200 years ago the Mayan society commissioned a group of scholars to create a calendar that would be used as a tool to date and record their history.

Those early astronomers already had a rudimentary knowledge of the movement of stars - through observation - and in short, knew that every 365 days the celestial pattern in their night sky would repeat itself exactly. Hence, the yearly calendar was created.

Clever for the time?

Most certainly.

Divine and mystical?

Most certainly not.

And so to all those who believed the Mayans were privy to knowledge from the cosmos and the oncoming Apocalypse, I say;

"Get a life", or better still, "get an education."


Worse still, and much more dangerous, are those same conservative/religious people who not only believe in our ancestors ability to communicate with gods, but also believe we should live by, and impose on others, the beliefs of those ancient scribes - who were at best mere mortals and at worse self-indulgent drug users ( scribes were the artists of their time and we all know what artists are like).

HISTORY should not be used by backward-looking individuals with no sense or imagination, as a guide to moral standards and wholesome living.

HISTORY is a recording (often incorrect) of the past, not an instruction manual for the future.

HISTORY - important as it is - should only be used to learn from past mistakes in order not to repeat them and to continue work-in-progress research.

HISTORY is yesterday - today's memory. Tomorrow, where we should set our sights, is today's dream.

Sleep well...


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Childhood tears of fears

When I was young I used to worry a good deal about death  and the inevitable eventual loss of a loved one.

When I heard of someone outside of my extended family dying, I used to feel terribly sad for his/hers relatives. I would imagine how I'd feel in their place; how I'd cope with the grief and pain of mourning.  At times tears would well up in my eyes and I'd feel the pressure build up in my chest along with the empty hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach. These fear-filled thoughts would usually enter my mind at bed time and often would make me get up. I would then sneak quietly into the living room to watch whatever happened to be on television.

Back in those days of terrestrial TV most channels would stop broadcasting around midnight, except for BBC2 when it would either switch to displaying news headlines on Ceefax or, if I was in luck, show Open University educational programs, back to back, for a couple of hours.

One particular night I was in time to watch some footage of a gas explosion that had happened that day in a primary school somewhere in South America. The disaster happened during class hours. The building collapsed, killing dozens of young children and their teachers.  I remember seeing desperate parents digging at the rubble with their bare hands, frantically searching for and trying to rescue their little ones - to no avail.  I felt their pain. I wept in silence as those poor mothers screamed and the fathers carried the look of absolute helplessness and heartbreak.

I knew there and then, there was no god.  No way would a divine father or all-powerful creator allow  innocent little children to die in such a cruel and wasteful way.

The recent tragic event at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, USA has once again brought to the surface the despair and grief I felt as a child.

I can't bear to look at the photos of the dead children on TV, their angelic innocent faces or the distraught and anguished parents. Lives cut short, destroyed by some mad man who had little difficulty obtaining a weapon made specifically for the mass-murder of human beings.

I hope the Democrats can now act and push through the gun sale control legislation Bill Clinton fought so hard for but the Republicans successfully refuted.

Fucking Republicans!   How can any "decent" person ever vote for them?

It is only a matter of time before another, and another and another Sandy Hook incident happens.

The NRA, (National Rifle Association or National Republican Association) and their cowboy members (only 4.3 million) will continue to fight to maintain the "right to bear arms" in the US constitution.

It's just  like me saying I want the "right" to drive my car whilst under the influence of alcohol.


Friday, 14 December 2012

To you my love, you who are a stranger

The person I refer to in this poem will remain anonymous, but will be in no doubt, should she read it.

With heart torn asunder
and mind in turmoil
a decision I have reached
to leave this hallowed soil
heavy with the burden
of many a sleepless night
it's down to when and with whom
I shall book the flight

As the impulsiveness of youth
gets left behind
and with you, my secret love
constantly on my mind
a planned new beginning
takes longer to prepare
and makes the pain of departure
that much harder to bear

But depart I must
for I doubt you´ll ever be mine
and with your image and sound
etched deep in my mind
and the pain of unrequited love
weighing heavy in my heart
I will endeavour, once again
to make a brand new start


Monday, 10 December 2012

A Christmas wish

The festive season is well under way in Madeira. The city's streets, trees and buildings are sprinkled with a multi-coloured array of lights and decorations.

I remember with fondness and sadness in equal measure, how I always looked forward to Christmases past.

 I remember how I shared the joy and anticipation with my little ones as they savoured the first chocolate drop of their advent calendars.

I remember the pine-scented aromas wafting through the house and the neatly wrapped presents crowding the bases of gloriously dressed Christmas trees.

I remember one particular Christmas morning when I was awakened by my excited 6 year old son Mattie, stomping into the bedroom asking ´"is it morning already?"  I jumped out of bed, picked him up and hugged and kissed him as we made our way to the kitchen to prepare his beloved cup of tea (he still drinks it by the gallon). Every other morning I would hand him his cooled-down tea in his spouted cup, turn on the TV and he'd sit on my lap, gulping non-stop until the last drop, as we watched children's programmes - but not on Christmas morning. He would run to the stack of presents, cup in hand  and with a Cheshire-cat smile on his beautiful face.

Those fond memories of a time gone by are what will make this Christmas particularly painful. I will wake up in an apartment devoid of decorations and mountain-pine fragrance and of the sounds of present wrappers being ripped apart.  And, most importantly, the sound of a child's ecstatic voice echoing through the house.

If only...