Suggested Audio Candy:
 Orbital The Box”
 The Chemical Brothers “Block Rockin’ Beats”
 Vangelis “Blade Runner”
1. the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal.
2. emotional or intellectual energy or intensity, especially as revealed in a work of art or an artistic performance.
I have forever had an intense fascination with the soul. There are many components which make up the tapestry of a human and there is little idiosyncratic about the heart that beats within our chests or the brain which collects all data topside. Sure, we are all individual, and much depends on the hand of which we are dealt at birth. However there is one body part which escapes categorization and is impossible to pinpoint. If I have learned a solitary thing during the turbulent two years which lay behind me, then it would be that our souls are our most precious commodity and, without them, everything else begins to wilt. My soul affords me direct communication with my father and it is from here that he offers his suggestion. Every dash of honor and integrity that I pride myself on also originates from this inconceivable organ. I haven’t the vaguest inkling as to the coordinates of said soul but would imagine that it resides somewhere near my abdomen as gut feelings are rarely ill-advised. Wherever its occupancy; I know precisely how to access this tool at any given moment. Indeed, it provides the ink for the Crimson Quill.
There are numerous stages to recovering from a breakdown and a number of factors to figure into one’s rehabilitation. My first concern was my mind as it appeared as though this was in the most jeopardy once my world capitulated before me. I doubted my sanity and even booked in for psychiatric evaluation, fully expectant of my very own straitjacket and padded cell to bounce around in. Others were suggesting that the cogs of my mind weren’t turning correctly and a broken man can do little but believe such to be true. My gatekeeper took me to the hospital for my analysis and I remember the scene with great clarity as it was here that the first of many angels revealed her stunning protective wings. The seraph in question is one of my most treasured friends, but more than simply a lifetime confidant, she is family to me now. As I prepared to hear my judgement, she encouraged me to access her soul, and draw all of the strength that I needed. This was the first time I had ever known an empath and I figured I had nothing to lose as her terms were unselfish and her only intention was for me to get through my date with destiny intact.
The evaluation went well, so well in fact, that my own supposed gatekeeper was forced into eating his own words. He was convinced that I was ga-ga and did a fairly astute job of persuading me around to his way of thinking. However, I had a marvellous conversation with the physician, and he didn’t feel necessary to challenge my observation as I was clear and concise at all times. His final prognosis was anything but conspicuous and he labelled me “fit” much to my associate’s astonishment. I could have leaned across to my friend, who has since proved to be lacking in the minerals to refer to himself as such, and said “Ha! Suck my calf udders you miserable self-loathing Sasquatch” but that is not my style. With grace and poise I stood up from my seat and declared myself fit to leave. The drive home was a quiet one with hardly a word uttered between us as he refused to accept that my hinges were still intact. I knew full well that they were as the seraph had told me so before my appointment. I will forever be beyond grateful to my guardian angel for empowering me in this moment. She and many, many others have played their part in my reconstruction.
Armed with the freshly procured knowledge that I wasn’t destined for the cuckoo’s nest after all, I attempted to fathom my next move. I had been prescribed antidepressants whilst at my most disoriented and these were evidently having an adverse effect on my state of mind, especially given the harmful chemicals coursing around my body at the time. The next few months were critical to my restoration and I met another soul within this period whose contribution to my cause was incalculable. This particularly radiant soul shone brightly through my darkest hours from October-December 2013 and reminded me that I wasn’t in fact normal at all. While many would consider this intelligence as bogus, to me it was sweet music to my ears. You see, it turns out that neither am I abnormal. I know what you’re thinking; well it has to be one or the other right? Or perhaps I’m perched on the dividing fence? Anyone who knows me will be more than aware that, while I may be many things, indifferent is not one of them. No, in fact, it was relayed to me that I am beyond normal. That’s right; I’m a freakazoid.
I always dreamed of being classified beyond normal since the first time I watched Uri Geller bend a spoon with the power of thought as a boy. However, the curvature of cutlery was of no real interest to me, and I had entirely different aspirations. I always knew that my adaptability was a strength, particularly with people. Moreover, I felt as though I could peek a little deeper beneath the veil than was customary. I’m not suggesting that I can read minds but I am remarkably observant when it comes to what exists beneath the hood. Like many blessings, it also flips three-sixty into Curseville as being reflective isn’t necessarily the gift that keeps giving. It is because of my reflective nature that I have spent so many of my years my very own worst enemy and always found it easier to beat myself up than self-administer a shoulder rub. Society does its foul bit here too; reminding us that being individual isn’t the path of righteousness and that it is more advisable to join the flock and conform than exhibit the faintest whiff of invention. My mind was proving to be a cunning adversary but I had been given the medical all-clear thus all that remained was to take the power back myself. I would be required to become a warrior. Fuck yes I thought; I’ve always wanted to be one of those.
It turns out that the plucky die-hard spirit is rather effective in battle scenarios and a short pilgrimage to a dear friend and brother who is almost Nordic with his manliness allowed me to finally kick the pesky meds. I returned from his domain firstly relieved that he hadn’t sent his vikings chums to my homestead to rape and pillage my live stock while I had been absent and, secondly, a darn sight stronger. The mind was fixed or, at least, as fixed as it was every likely to be. There have been times since when I have questioned my sanity and all results thrown back have thankfully been reassuring. Yes, I am certifiable, but I also mean no harm with it. No villanous plots for world domination and no necessity for a personal troop of flying monkeys either although I’m still pandering to the notion. Think what those airborne gibbons could achieve. Then try telling me they’re a waste of resources. I could have any hat I desire simply by saying “Maurice, go grab me a Trilby will you and make it pinstriped”. I may be a crazy but I am a happy crazy and a harmless one at that.
So anyhoots, enough of the mind. I could give you a blow-by-blow account of 2014 too but I’m conscious of time and that can be a story for another day I feel. 2013 was the year whereby I finally figured my mind. I couldn’t have achieved anything like the results I did during this crestfallen winter had it not been for our old friend Mr Soul. The relevance of this is that, in a few days time, I will be tackling an altogether different challenge and that is to finally treat my body like the temple it should be as opposed to a dilapidated cattle shed with groaning fixtures. Health is my agenda and, living a long and prosperous life, tantamount to proceedings as is falling in love with life all over again. During this two-week period I shall lay decidedly low and focus on getting myself ship-shape although that doesn’t mean I’ll be sending out the tumbleweed either. I will take each day as it arrives, breathe in clean air, watch movies, smile and laugh in an environment conducive to my mending. No more cigarettes, no more vile metallic energy drinks, no more self-punishment. Just growth and the most sublime sense of happiness as I have finally located The Rose Trail. It appeared to me in a dream and informed me that I have the tools for a fight and the fire in my belly also. It’s also the reason I simply will not fail.
It is hard to find prose majestic enough to explain what this means to me. I am happy now, just as I was when I was a small child, with the additional wisdom that forty years of life provides. Young whippersnappers may not be aware that yellow snow is a distinct no-no but I have a wealth experience to fall back on and will do so unerringly. My soul will see me good and the reason for this is that I know precisely how to operate this piece of imperceptible machinery. It has taken this long just to suss out where my life is headed and now I know exactly where that will be. The Rose Trail leads me to a place where I will never again doubt, waste no time worrying about what I cannot affect, and instead walk forth with the courage of a mountain lion and the balls of a burly ox. My soul is in the most serene place right now and this provides a vista lavished with serendipity. Never before have I known my mind quite as well and now I will become reacquainted with my body and remember that I’m growing older and need to halt its decline before a lung packs up or my heart explodes in my chest. The latter may appear to be an honorable way of marking a warrior’s exit but I prefer the concept of said champion surviving battle and celebrating with an extensive banquet. I know my soul, am fully aware what it feels, how to consult it, and how to supply it oxygen to breathe.
So you see, what I am suggesting in my customary around the houses manner, is that soul is everything. Mind and body are vital too but in the great scheme of things it is soul which drives us, as long as we haven’t already signed it over to Beelzebub during an inebriated poker flop. Remember folks; he operates a strict no-returns policy and it is far more advisable holding onto this piece of kit and continuing to learn of its exclusive endowments. You will know when the stars align and the route forward will finally become clear. When this occurs, you will find the inner peace you crave and can pay this forward to others. My soul is in the safest keeping possible and I rest easy at night knowing that no cantankerous night terrors can snatch it away while I’m incognizant. Fuck you demons, fuck you right beneath your tail stumps in the rectal boulevard. You won’t ever defeat me and I will wake in the morning with soul aplenty regardless of your nocturnal skullduggery. There are no imps on The Rose Trail; just purity and light. It’s a beautiful day to be alive Grueheads. Because of soul the clouds have parted and I’m going to need one helluva sunblock.