The Valentine Curse





REPORT DATE: 15.02.2018

TIME: 00:10 AM


RANK: 267


Finally, after having submitted my annual report for Valentine 2018, I rest on the plush carpet, a soft pink against my midnight curls. This love business, now fully a paper churning machine evil. Every year, a new nightmare rising. The steady influx of unwelcome yet beautifully ambitious young Cupids, slowly ebbing the rest of us old dogs out. I sigh. My emotions, a whirling mess of uncertain waves, crashing against my heart. The dance erratic. Dread charges proudly through my blood. Something was strangely off. What was it? I couldn’t place the feeling but something clung to my soul like a rag wet. Dragging myself from the comforting floor, my blurry eyes burn as I stifle a mammoth yawn. In my serene bedroom of silvery ink, I yank off my stubborn t-shirt. Thoughts scream in my ears. I had never felt this way after any other Valentine. So why this one? In mock jest my plump belly grins up at me with wicked mischievousness. Shrugging, I promise myself that by next year, I will have lost this new-found weight, greedily cuddling my midriff. Yep! no more belly grinning. But right now, I had to turn down this rave, depriving my mind of any peaceful harmony.  My insides willing to explode all over the wall. I really doubt that the next tenants would appreciate the art of merry guts hanging over their sleeping heads. With a loud yawn, I crawl under my silk silver sheets, a warm light welcomes.




LOCATION: CupidCo Headquarters, London UNITED KINGDOM 







She twitches ever so slightly, her nerves contagious. I clear my throat intentionally loud. Every single detail, a precise act of deliberate sabotage. I knew my purpose, I would not fail, no matter what presented itself.

“Ms. LM17, thank you for bringing this to my attention. I truly empathise and offer you my sincerest apologies. Please in your own words tell me what exactly has happened during your CupidCo journey. I assure you, I will do my best to rectify the situation.”

Her fidgeting stirring a small annoyance in my usually calm demeanour. I remain silently still. Her sigh, a loud echo in the sterile room. I couldn’t stand the whole Valentine fever. This was my clinical haven and she was pulling on a vortex of emotional energy, I really cared not for. I was ready to shut this down.

“I don’t know what to say. I am still rather flustered. This year, Valentine creeps up on me, filling my heart with a strange ache. I realised I was single, again. Another year, another date. I had already decided, I was not dating anymore this was final in my mind. But, I saw all the usual Valentine fuss and snapped. I had no intention to send any feedback yet there it was in my inbox, teasing me. So I just unleashed my upset on it. It’s not as if anyone particular was bothering me or the company itself. It’s all this love business, I can not make sense of it and I don’t understand why Love-Joy would set me up with such people.”

She stammers, then nervously chews on her lower lip. I smile softly trying to ease her panic. I nod reassuringly for her to continue but inside my head begins to explode in tiny painful sparks.

“I don’t want to complain or get Cupid Love-Joy into any trouble. Will this cause problems?”

I cut her off, I wanted clean endings not pitiful woes.

“Please Madam, answer the questions. At the end there will be opportunity for you to ask your own. This way it will be much easier for you.”

“Of course, of course. I am sorry. Where to begin?”

Her face pensive.

“I hated that another Valentine was here and I was this pathetic, sad loser. Waiting for my one true love. There was no way, I was going on this date. Mind you, I didn’t. I have so many painful memories. I finally decided that I wouldn’t force myself to do it anymore. My heart hurts too much, I can’t fix it. The last relationship broke me. Honestly, it was great, until he was just gone. Then nothing. I never heard from him again. I am so desperately tired of sharing my mind, body, soul and heart with someone for it to inevitably end. I don’t think I have had a single relationship, which has lasted more than 6 months. I mean in the last 7 years, I have had no successful long-term! How pathetic is that? 38 years old, yet still single. What the hell is going on? It’s not as if I am not trying to make my relationships work. I swear, no one would try harder than I do. They simply don’t. I guess, this year when Cupid Love-Joy appeared with my supposed Perfect Match, I smiled and thanked him but on the inside I wanted to vomit. In my heart, I knew it was over. I filled the feedback whilst in reflection about my terrible love experiences. I wanted to vent. This is all I have. Just questions with no one to answer them because clearly I wasn’t even worth that much. I gave it all to my last love. Now, I am empty and tired.”

I stare out of the window, her voice a dull hum in the background. My mind many memories away.






DATE: 16.02.2018

TIME: 9.07 am


The last 24 hours had been a whirlwind of madness. I should have guessed from the surprise phone call that good news was not going to follow. But in my insanely hopeful optimism, I cancelled my vacation to Bali to come to London as requested. We were not one to disobey orders. Here, I was. Of course, a promotion wasn’t on the cards. Who was I trying to fool? I blink back my tears salty. My entire life commitment shattered in three small words -“you are fired.” Obviously, it was much more of an eloquent fanfare, filled with nonsensical lies. But it was all over. In a flash, my dreams crushed. No farewells. No party. No speeches. I was out on my cold ass, with no shoulder to cry on. The icy wind freezing my tears. I sniffle loudly. And as I reach for my briefcase to find a handkerchief, a strange hissing stirs inside it. Hastily I snap it wide open, to my shock, a rose gold embossed envelope hiccups sprinkling gold glitter everywhere. Where did that come from? I had definitely not put it here. All CupidCo files were highly confidential, I certainly hadn’t seen this mystery before. With trembling fingers, I flick it open. A file flops lazily on to my bemused legs. To my great surprise it was my exit evidence file. I read it quickly. Then read it again. The shameful lies! Fury clings to my skin. How dare they? Just like that, the file randomly floats in the air and sets alight. An ash waterfall crumbles on my clean grey pants.

“LM17.” I mutter under my breath. “Who is LM17?”

Sifting through memory after memory, it eventually dawns on me. LM17 was someone I would never forget. In an instant, I am on restless feet, ready to take charge of this utter mess.





DATE: 16,02.2018

TIME: 1.30 pm


Whilst, I wait patiently, I watch as anxious patients watch the stubborn clock tick by. They were yet to be called. I know it seems drastic, perhaps even rash. I am not trying to excuse my actions, I just knew this was the right thing to do. I wasn’t angry.  I wasn’t even sure what exactly I was going to say. But, I had to be here. Before, I could get a chance to think of something, the door buzzes open.

“LJ?!” She gasps in utter shock.

I smile showing her my sparkly clean teeth and say in loud cheer.

“Hey! Surprise! I was …”

She gently takes my arm and ushers me behind swinging green doors. I follow her into her office, I presume.

“What are you doing here? This isn’t allowed! I am at work! I have clients! You can’t turn up here without any notice.”

Her voice a pitch high, scratches my poor ears.

“I am sorry, I didn’t mean to barge in here. I needed to talk to you”.

I stop. My breathing laboured suddenly.

“Talk about what? We don’t talk. It is not part of the contract. Please leave. I have appointments, I do not want to do this.”

I hear her irritation, even though she appears superficially composed.

“Sure as hell you don’t want to do this. You saw me two days ago. You could have chosen to tell me the truth about how you felt. But hey ho, you decided not too. Instead you filed a complaint.”

Blood rushes to my face, warming it. She shrinks as if I had struck her. Her body shaking slowly.

“I am sorry. I didn’t intend for that to happen. I can’t explain it.”

Calming myself, I reach out and place a hand on her shoulder.

“Please look at me. I didn’t come here to upset you. I came so I could help you. If you had the courage to speak your truth, I would have helped you. I do not want you to suffer needlessly”

Moist brown eyes meet mossy green ones.

“We are ordered to not advise or counsel our charges. Our job is to offer you a match and then proceed to set your magical encounter up. Nothing more, nothing less. But you, you have always stayed with me. It is not because something is wrong with your matches or that you are unlucky in love.”

Her voice soft, she whispers,

“Great! Absolutely great. So I am cursed. A love failure that you can’t seem to forget, even when you’re fired because of me.”

“This isn’t about anyone else but yourself. You are not a failure. You have been chasing beyond yourself for 7 years. I came today to tell you that, you will not find long-lasting true love until you look within.”

“Oh! It’s all my fault? Nothing to do with jerks who fuck off and never bother to mention they’re just not coming back?”

She snaps, her glare burning holes in my flesh.

“Actually, yes. Yes, yes it is your own fault. You refuse to look at what’s in front of you. Instead you cling to possibilities beyond your control. When they don’t work, you spend unnecessary energy trying to understand why it didn’t work. When the reality is that it didn’t work because you are your own problem. The matches can see that. I am not justifying their actions, not at all. All I am saying, you must heal yourself before you can find a meaningful relationship with depth and substance. Everyone eventually sees the cracks, unfortunately, you can’t. Broken dolls don’t mend on their own. You have to care for them, love them, nourish them. Treat them with the highest respect and kindness. YOU need to do that. No one else will do it. You can say you’re cursed all you want but we both know it’s a lie. You’re scared to face the truth. No one beyond ourselves has the power to heal us.”

She opens her mouth to speak but quickly closes it. Turning on her heel, she steely orders;

“Get out! Do not come back. Ever!”

I let out a heavy sigh.

“You are your own love story. Be your own lover first and foremost. Only then you can command pure love from another. Valentines will come and go. You will be never alone with the most authentic version of yourself. Love will find you, when the moment is right.”

I quietly close the door behind myself.





DATE: 10.12.2018



“Dear Love-Joy,

Firstly, I want to apologies for my behaviour and secondly for pestering your CupidCo associate for your details. Thank you for your honesty, you didn’t have to find me but you made the effort to do so. I know initially, I wasn’t having any of it. However, in time I came to understand that you were right. Only, I can write my own love story. I am the centre of it. Yes, Valentines will come and it will go. So will the wrong lover but I will remain the constant. I haven’t got it yet, I am sure in time I will be fine. I hope you are enjoying your new-found freedom although granted you may not have wanted it. I wish you all the very best in your new adventure.

Praying that everyone will learn to love themselves instead of seeking a love outside.

Thank you for the reminder.




Now my life is a wonderful adventure that I had forgotten it once was. The magic pooling in. When it became a slug at CupidCo, I have no idea. All, I know is that I was sleep waking into mundane monotony without even noticing. Slavery. I was a slave. I refuse to be a slave to systems. Love is more than this. Deep down I always knew, yet I was afraid to let go. And if it wasn’t for my chance encounter with LM17, I would be sinking in a rotting hell of capitalistic greed.

However, here I am, beginning my own love story.

Please join me in embracing yourself and finding your own magic.

Love you before me, only then you will love me.


Thank you.



5 Years. 5 Lessons. 5 Aha Moments.




THEY ARE ONLY LETTERS: If only life was a desert spoon, one that I savoured for the last 5 years. Alas, it was not. These 5 small letters, literally changed my world. To the rest of the beautiful world, they may mean nothing. To be honest, I am not sure even if today, they mean much to me. Over the years, I have gathered that I was a symptom, where these 5 LETTERS slotted me into an unexplained, incurable category of tidy possibles. Simply, I was summarised into the only best diagnosis of sickness. I was no longer myself but a sequence of letters that identified me. A unique prison number locking me up inside my own casket, whilst alive.

“Hey, CFS/ME’er, please come in! I understand you feel terrible but sadly I cannot do much more for you other than manage your symptoms with more pills.”

Tap. Tap. Tap. Bye! 

AHA MOMENT: Use your spoons wisely, oh dear 5 little letters or I will beat the shit out of you. Hmmm … 5 years later, I still am picking up my spoons. I may be on the slow spoon bus, however, I refuse to have no spoons at all. Now, that’s a sentence I wish not on any poor soul.

CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME: *Caring Fun Soul/Must Enjoy life*





I WILL SHOW YOU FATIGUE: You might as well have buried my coffin in the North Pole, I was not waking up anytime soon. Yes, yes, I hear your bickering tones,

“Why am I so tired, when I haven’t done anything whilst you’re slaving away at life?”

For two years straight, I asked myself that very question every waking opportunity. Fatigue never replied, instead it slapped me in the face with another sleep marathon.

“Challenge me? I will show you.” Its silent retaliation.

Shame wants to attack my heart for sleeping this wonderful life away but I do not let myself cave. Afterall, I didn’t want to be this way, I didn’t choose this. I ended up here in my denial.

AHA MOMENT: Fatigue always wins, it is a master at this game. However, if I play my cards right, I might be a step ahead but only if I live not in the denial, that I am like no other. Even in our CFS/ME bodies, we are not the same.






I AM NO POPEYE THE SAILOR MAN: Long have gone those days, where with my naked strong hands, I would crush a can of spinach and swallow the contents in one slug. Oh, no, no, no, not anymore. My poor gut quivers at even the thought, it rejects food, that I could once eat. Now, everything is a revolting mess of vomit and other not so nice human delicacies. Instead, I spend the next few years between a bordline eating disorder, which is truly of no fault of my own. One moment, I can not tolerate you. And other times, I crave everything, a normal healthy human would shun. Yes, sugar I talk about you. I love to hate you in a perverse needy way. Oh! Please don’t taunt me dear food with your evil games. I can not take anymore.

AHA MOMENT: The binge wars were a wicked mess, I wanted more than tea and toast. My staple, tolerable food. However, beneath it all, I was really deprived nutritionally. It was between the sugar and salt, I realised, I had to a find a balance. Welcome, protein shakes. You have saved the day.

BINGE WAR TRUCE: Well, dear friend, crash eating will never really be an honest friend.






I AM AN EMPTY TEA CUP: As depressing as that sounds, it was truthfully as daunting of a reality to comprehend. Nevermind accept. It was like a bitter winter, dropping icicles on already frozen skin.

I was empty.

I had nothing to give to myself, forget others. My vessel was out of fuel and I was heading straight for the iceberg with no idea if I would sink or survive. Nobody was coming to rescue my ship. Only, I. Yet, I spent years pandering around trying to fix others without pouring water into my own teacup. Each time, it came crashing down, cracking its brittle delicate shell. The handle already broken but I simply ignored the signs.

AHA MOMENT: At the Mad Hatter’s tea party, I was the only cup untouched. No one filling me, afraid that anymore pressure and I would just explode into thin air, with nothing left to remember me by. I grew old and dusty, until it begin to rain, drop by drop my teacup brimming to its edges. Did I win? Not yet but I saw the beginning. I had to stop and care for my precious self. No one was more important than myself.

TEA INVITATION: Closed until further notice.





WELCOME, DEAR SOUL: I welcome you to the toxic hell of incest, abuse, manipulation, violence and drama, there is no other way of life. I am your Master, you will oblige. My punishments are ones even I fear. This is the end. Your end. 

Falling prey to satan who dragged my heels, deliberately crushing my bones beneath his giant fists. Shackled here, I am a slave to years of trauma. I slowly sink further into the clutches of a story, I am not the author off. I was just a victim of my circumstances being mistreated by God, who willingly threw me under this bus. I was waiting for my death. I did not want to live anymore.

AHA MOMENT: It was not true, I was not a victim, I choose to be one. I could have left. Yet, I clung on, even in sickness, I grabbed on to anything I could tether myself too. Unable to seperate myself from my toxic family, their toxic enviroment, their toxic patterns. I had plenty of excuses. All of them self perputating lies. In truth, I was a junkie. Addicted to all these things I hated. Believing they didn’t let me leave. And then one day, I realised, it was me. I was afraid to leave. I feared the world beyond these walls, even though they were killing me. So, one day, I packed a bag and left. It was the best decision I made. I stepped beyond conformity, safety, false promises … the dreams of an altrustic saviour.

FUCK YOU TOXIC HELL: No, you do not win. I will not die a victim. I will live because I choose life. My life.


Thank you beautiful friends for sharing these short moments. I hope you can find some light in my reality. I pray that where ever you are in your life that you find peace and joy, no matter the circumstances. You are the best choice you will make. Nothing comes before your own well being. Let that be your truth. Peace out.

Stolen kisses



“I’m sorry, I woke you up!”

The Mad Hatter’s sigh, dropping sharp icicles everywhere, his failing arms sweeping dust invisible. A rainbow splatter of specks hissing in my irritated face.

“Wait. Shouldn’t that be I’m sorry, I’ve been kissing you whilst you were a sleep?”

My words icy cold. I snort disgruntled not only at him but also at my ridiculous rich sleeping beauty frock, a swirling mess of a fabric seeping everywhere. The pink satin sneering. All the while the Hatter, furiously muttering to himself in a world again of his making.

“Hello. I’m here.”

I snap. Tearing off the smug lace gloves, I calm myself. Three years. I had lost three years. Memories only of the Enchantress boldly burning a hole in my mind, her silken crystal music soothing during my colossal sleep. The question pressing; who was she?

The Hatter continues to ignores me, arms stubborn folded, staring ahead in infuriated indignation. I take a few moments to breathe, then breathe some more. For the first time, I noticed we were in a forest. I had been sleeping three years in a forest, the thought giving rise to panic begging to implode. My glass coffin, a bed of sunflowers. Perhaps, The Grand Lime tree would be lurking around. Only maybe then I’d get some answers. My eyes scan for him but he appears not to be amongst this lush velvet of life. Dejected, I reign control over the spiral in my gut helplessly throbbing.

“I’m sorry. Can we try again?”

I am hopeful, after all the Hatter isn’t of the petty kind. I know, I am being an idiot, my emotional roller coaster isn’t his problem. I can’t project that on him. He’s really never harmed me thus far. He turns facing where I pace, a huge smile on his spell binding face. Swinging on the branches of nervous trees, he lands at my feet. Dropping on to one knee, he takes my hand.

“Of course, my fair lady.”

The strange calling of his blood, pulling on my crazy pulse impulsive.

“I’m sorry, I upset you. Of course it would upset you.”

He slaps his palm against his forehead.

“I would be upset if you had been kissing me, whilst I was technically in a coma. So, yes be mad, my fair maiden. I do hear the insanity in that. But in my defence, It’s not easy to ask sleeping beauty for consent. However, we can work that out for next time, I promise. I swear, I didn’t think you would be gone so long. And it was in all fairness the kiss to break your curse. It worked in the end.”

He plants a wet kiss on my hand. His skipping heart awakens a familiar feeling in mine. I focus. He was right, I didn’t want to sleep forever, it was the only way so far. Strange as it seems, all fairy tales cure-all evil with one true lovers kiss. The kisser in this case, a mystery for another suspecting day. I giggle in relief.

“It’s fine, rather than you than a devil I don’t know.  Hey, I’m not angry with you. It’s just, well, a lot of misplaced frustration at losing so much time in nothingness.”

Standing up, his eyes locked in mine, he says,

“Don’t be so obtuse. You know better than that. It’s not about loss or gain. Negative assumption can really just breed distaste. Maybe you will see that it was necessary for you to heal.”

Sniffing the air, he grabs my hand sharply. Clicking two fingers, he summons his charging invisible horse. What’s wrong?

“Trouble is brewing”.

He tosses me on the horse without warning, blowing grey mist behind us.

“Hello, invisible horse.”

I say.

“I’m a unicorn.” He snarls.

The Mad Hatter snorts.

“Be nice Edward. And quit your dawdling. Come on, let’s fly.”

I try not to laugh aloud. Edward, really? He arches an eyebrow, shrugging a shoulder. We are silent for a long while. Everything a blurred mist around us. So, I’ve been in a coma for three years. I didn’t dream of much but the Enchantress. The gushing feeling of light exploding in the corners of my heart, dark for ages, dragged to life by a strange turn of possibilities. Who would have thought this was even real? I lean my head on his warm chest, still in my own whirlwind. He relaxes as our bodies imprint unspoken exchanges. The threading of a new DNA rising in the unknown stillness beckoned by our closeness . It was then, I realise that I was no longer a tin hollow shell. My body free. Painless. Powerful. Purposeful.

“Sleep was worth it, my dear.”

His whispers cooing in my ear.

His voice tickles my senses. I missed you. I always knew this would be a risk. I anticipated meeting the Enchantress, would have repercussions but the extent no one could predict. I was supposed to arrive sooner, you stayed too long. Her power, blocking your essence. I couldn’t hear you amongst her tide. And the only way to wake you was to fulfil the fairy tale. You’re a stubborn one, Wildfire.

I listen. My mind excited at this new-found gift. My own able body.

“Are we running from the Enchantress?” I say aloud.

Edward hisses at the mention of her name.

“Yes. And no, we can’t talk about it now. The time isn’t right.”

I close my eyes, relishing in his magic. I missed you too. He erupts into laughter at my next thoughts.

“Yes, Edward hears all. Don’t you old boy?”

The journey a tiring tale, Edward remained a grump in gallop. The Mad Hatter, unusually silent in reflection worrisome. Yet, oddly peace resides within unfamiliar corners. I can not explain it but the moment itself was beyond words, words that I am unable to summon so for now, I wont. Although, fear was ebbing into my veins, somehow I was perfectly composed. With that, I find myself on hard, ground shivering beneath icy fragility. Edward and the Hatter nowhere in sight. I was clearly alone, dumped at the brink of earth, with my skin as my only friend. Brightly twinkling stars penetrate a glowing silver halo above my head. A sudden lazy yawn vibrates through air frozen in ancient silence. Leaping onto feet free from metallic confines, I wipe dirt onto my hideous dress. The yawning increasingly impatient. I twirl around to find myself facing a youthful lime tree.

And beyond that a stark yellow door, clutching onto its whinging hinges bursts open.

Enchanted spells


My mind is unable to recall falling into a slumber swiftly so serene that when my eyes lazy, jolt open in surprise sudden, I find I am floating mid-air bat like in the fragile scent of sandalwood. Unsteadily I steady myself from toppling over characteristically clumsy. Sunset orange burning walls carelessly rejoicing in heat hissing against their damp coolness. Hypnotic rhymes of cheerful waves crash gently in the background blind to my vision blurred. I reach a new level of oddness. Amongst this strangeness suspiciously unsurprising, the Guru appears as the only familiar norm. A picture perfect warrior poised artistically as a father proud in full blossom. Crimson silk hovers around his slender bones, a cloak clinging in bewildered excitement. A soft beacon of blueish light glistens from long tender fingers, sparks dripping wet paint like. My entire existence prickling in his dazzling glow gleaming in glory. Tingling electricity coats, my fluid spine, elated in a joy unexpectedly pleasant for now. I am temporarily free from my redundant disabilities. My magnificent moment interrupted by the gushing greed of a mighty tornado disturbing nothing else but me alone. The stoic Guru stern as I am boarded on the fury train of winds arrogant in their grand presence. Nothing daring to stand in its proud determination as it collects a prize perplexed. I am this prize, unaware in my own inner turmoil.

Defenceless, caught in a spell commanded not by my own will, with no choice of its course or direction, I follow the natural order unravelling. We can’t always control circumstances, could we? Shivering in the arms strong of a master forging his own charged path, I refuse resistance. I am learning, I remind the noisy panic in my head. Coldness craves the warm lull of the Guru, I swallow my sobs weeping. Fear tears its way into a heart choking in grim expectation. Freezing ice, chills cool bones into a place rigidly morbid. With an abruptness rough, the wicked tornado seizes just before it dumps my stiff tin body at the peak of a snowy mountain, shy. No longer able bodied. The winds rumble, a loud clap fierce in an accent faintly oriental.

“Sorry about the ride. These paths are testing.”

My throat sandpaper dry barely manages a few words in reply.

“What path are we on?”

My grunt gruff meets with a laugh boisterous.

“Only the Guru knows”

With that unhelpful declaration, I am left deserted on a mountain top caked in velvety snow crafting fragile ice sculpture fairies in deep concentration. The elegant snow show a welcome invitation into the unknown. What was the Guru plotting this time? Weary clouds grey blink in distrust, then disgusted turn away in agitated jitters. Shadows eery drift in their place as the desperate sun gives way to a moon modestly humble, slowly filling its void. Everything unusually frozen in time, long forgotten it seems. The overwhelmed mountain quivers nervously as if contemplating thoughts unspoken. I stand straight, shaking every stuck limb. The Tin Warrior is no fake feeble one. I got this. It’s a message of some kind. A fine hour for a performance spectacular. Whilst, in my own thoughts, I muster courage unwilling to present itself. I am a star, comically gifted. My mind mocks random thoughts trickling down my apprehensive consciousness. Accidentally, in my inner scrambling, I slip, falling on the smooth skin of snow, white.

“O-o-opps, d-d-deary, b-b-be c-c-careful n-n-now.”

Stumbles the mountain in a stutter slow.

“Where am I?”

I shout above the howling wind, which ironically chooses this wise moment to gather momentum. Sadly, the reply drowns in my own hysterical giggles that are cut short by the sharp sting of stone battered by age. The path blazing in mischievous silver moonlit mayhem. Before my offended eyes unfolds the horror of a 1000 rusting elderly steps, grinning facetiously. Egged on by the chatter of millions of wintry ice coated cherry blossoms, the scene animated in a wonder of its own enchanted making. At my presence intrusive, briefly rattled blossoms silently shake solemnly. The next second they continue their hushed musing. I’m irked by their immediate dismal ignorant. Invisible, even in bitter ice age. How dare they. Demands my undignified ego. I ignore the chaos. Focusing my attention at the task at hand. Bravely, I command feet cold to charge this uncertain course, of course they refrain rather defiantly. Afraid of the unknown. With one mighty thrust I plunge onto the first step, which in a startled ambush fires to life. Beneath the surface of the stone archaic an impressive order stirs to drunken life. A miraculous world of an ocean brimming in a full blooming pregnancy impulsively surges to wakeful reality. With each step forward, wonderfully majestic sea life displays miracles never seen by eyes captivated in such curiosity. Splendid biodiversity caught in a mesmerising opera orchestrated by gifted regal tang and rainbow parrot delight. The finale a spellbinding explosion of uniquely vibrant colours of harmonious companions working as one. Gentle jellyfishes applaud in proud victory at the exotic shower of purple coral teasing cheeky crabs clicking claws excited. I feel their ecstatic joy. This is happiness, I realise. Before I know it, my aged step adventure ends with the flippant flick of a mermaids grand silver tail. Glossy emerald swirls splash in a glittering rainfall as they serenade her in an attempt honourably brave. Boldly greeted with a cheer squabbling as an octopus withered, flamboyantly hands her a bouquet colourful of soft colours. For the first time in a long time, I am present in the moment without emotional inconsistency heaving down my terrified throat.


The moon winks in delicious delight, as if uncovering truth unseen by spectators innocent. A sensation strange stirs in my gut. Why does this feel familiar? Guided by the watchful moon, I begin to stalk the cracking earthy soil. The sea life wonder, lost amongst the living. The steps, again distressed as if nothing prevailed earlier. Disturbed by the loud pounding of my heart anxious, I stare ahead. At least I can name my feelings now. Progress, whoopee. The walk is a short one, I arrive beneath the towering guide of a temple dipped in crimson ink. It’s beautiful face hidden behind a mask of cruel snow. At my feet aching, a river of molten lava silver bubbles in watchful agony. A message coded curling in the midst of waves melting in melodrama. The scent of the ocean stirring in the air still. My body betrays its fear. Where the hell was I? Finally, adjusting to light dim, I seek the moon. It’s presence greatly needed. Do not be afraid, you are the mistress of your own destiny. The Guru means no harm. Mildly reassured by my own silent voice. Nothing could go drastically wrong, right? My attention is though diverted by a fin slicing through the gurgling lava luscious. Maybe my betrayed senses are deluded by the over excitement of today’s travel. My gut remains dormant.

“You have nothing to fear but yourself,” moans the husky tones of a stranger hidden.

The voice awakening a sleeping curse deep within, without warnings much. From the watercolours of metallic silver emerges a rare exquisite beauty breathing taking. I am unable to look away, shamelessly I stare in a trance. My throat throbs in nervousness. Her graceful milky skin bewitching in erotic submission. Its velvet smoothness coated in intricately embroidered tattoos of silver linings. Messages, I gather. It was blasphemous addiction to the unfathomable unnamed cult. Intoxicated high on her ecstasy. A rush powerful fighting it’s way into my blood stream. Her body a fossil primal imprinting a language peculiarly known to my mind dizzy in this unexpected elation. Deeply drawn into her enchanted mania, I watch the fragile patterns disappear into oblivion, only to re-emerge as fresh impressions of messages singing mutely. A hushed heat creeps to consciousness beneath my embarrassing blushing flesh. Redness marks my cheeks as I gawk at her blessed heart-shaped angular face, on which deliberately arranged artistry flutters in charismatic charm. Rosebud lips smile at my naked marvel. Wide set feline mocha fireworks are sheltered with lashes thick. A darkness lurks behind her light. Intently watchful, she tilts her chin to survey my appalling stunted tin demeanour. Long waves jet black bleed into the silver liquid cooing in slow harmony now. What is wrong with me? I am being a pervert. Stop it, I order myself. Disturbed by her musical laughter echoing in this hallow between us.

“You are no fool, my friend.”

Lost words choke to spluttering life, I gasp for air grappling to breathe.

“I … I … I … um … please forgive me.”

Dismissively, she waves frail fingers, impassively cool with my immature foolishness. She draws a light bow and arrow in the midnight hues, releasing rainbow birds into the night. I try to control my befuddled senses, clutching to some reality. I am here for a reason, it certainly wouldn’t be to fall in lust with the uniquely amazing creature before me. Fighting the dreamy pool of my mind, I force my unwilling eyes to avert away from her face remarkably pristine. I sense her awareness of my conflicted confusion, yet she does nothing to aid my unplanned obsession with her. Without indication, she swims to the edge of the temple, further away from me now. However, I am forced to follow her with my pleading gaze. Blueish purple sparkles ignite at her feet, roaring to passionate wakefulness as they make contact with her skin. Within seconds she is alight in a fire restless. My heart aches in quiet longing. Tears, far too exhausted to fall.

“You cannot hold fear in your heart and hope to live freely at the same time.”

Her words rising above the spectacular flames spitting viciously.

“I don’t understand any of this. Why am I here?”

“Why wouldn’t you be here? You are no longer running, so shouldn’t your question be, where next from here? If you always stand in the same place, you will yield the same outcomes. You are obviously here because the time has begun for you to move forward. Asking stupid questions will only set you back.”

“I am moving forward!” I shout over the hungry waves licking her flesh.

Her reply a sarcastic slap.

“You lie to yourself. You are tethered to your attachments, to your bindings, to your family. You are not fully free from those shackles. You simply tell yourself that soon you will move beyond them. All a fabricated web of deceit that spins out of control every time you fall in your own trappings.”

Shocked I choke on my own words. Smoke scratching my eyeballs. I want to deny it, yet I cannot. I run itching claws in my unruly hair, hoping sanity shows up soon. I know it will not. It is not over yet, by a long shot. Curses spring to my mouth, if only the Guru was here. The fire display dies in triumph, in its path moonlight twinkle shines a spot light on her allure. Surfacing in a satin samurai warrior armour, her hair braided in hundreds of plaits, a china doll. Her markings shimmering in zesty liveliness. A spell transfixed. My fate doomed. My mouth sealed shut. Taking a step towards where I am, she glides across the tamed inky metal.

“You and I, are one of a kind. All you need is to remember your inner warrior. You are the Tin Warrior for a reason. You must wake up, in order to reach the truth. Sadly, you fall under the lull of mediocrity. Tempted by flawed altruism to heal those unprepared to see beyond their very own illusions. Bleeding in the cycle of chaos to save anyone but yourself. You see but only until you feel the pain of others, then again without rationality you enter a hell of your own kindness. Designed- implemented-executed by your mighty self. You are no martyr, my love. You are a victim of your history. A history that you are at the cusp of escaping, only if you permit yourself the freedom. However, you leech onto the dead in futile hope that they will change.”

I am overpowered by the raging rattling of my troubled bones. The closer she reaches, the more I shake helplessly. Her words slaying through the deep-set slumber inside my gut. Coiling unexpected cool fingers against my scorching ones, she draws me into her creamy lava. It bursts into pools of sneering lamps staring in suspecting wonder. Anticipation hangs in the veil of the silky night. I want to speak but my lips remain sealed. Fingers tenderly stroke my cheek. Her fingers.

“Once, I was like you. Confined to a lifeless life, with nothing but attachment to a narrow-minded family. Without opportunities, hope, possibility. Trapped by a community uninterested in my desires, in my wonderful capabilities. Defined by my sexuality and gender. I was killed everyday by my own willful submission. I wished for death. I was not meant to be that girl. So many lifetimes seem to have lapsed since I was promised to a husband in rural India, my uterus repelling at its impending rape. I refused to live a lie. Dying everyday in the breast of furious oppression. I had no choice but to defy their honour and to walk away, without regretful shame. Nobody needs attachment, obligation, duty or bindings. Especially, when it is deliberately designed to control free will. Elaborately crafted to tie you down with conformed fear. Neither of us, a stranger to this manipulation. Break their hold. They do not see you. They will neither accept or understand you. You hang your soul to this infinite death sentence. You cannot die again, repeat again, only to struggle in the same crazy mess. You want to know why you’re here? This is why. Do you hear me?”

Melting ear drums ache as her words sink beneath disobedient long standing filters. The urge wicked to block her out. However, I fail miserably because her seductive spell, strips at resistance desperately holding on to its home. She threads her way through may plaque walls. Sweet earthy scent clings to many places inside. Running her fingers gentle across my lips, she tilts my chin. Her vibrations electrifying. My power of speech forsaken for her truth. A smile small spreads across her tantalising mouth just before she grazes her mouth against mine. Stunned in shock, I cave in her clasp. Embarking on a journey new. The half snowy temple coughs loudly at this sudden combustion of fireworks. Our eyes in a lock unbreakable. My wish for words no longer wishing.

“You are beautiful.”

Her voice faint against my neck as she traces my brittle collarbone coy. Her fingers surge into bright blue light. I manage a muffled thank you between my teeth shut tight. My thoughts cut short by hands swiftly shredding open my chest and forcefully clutching my afraid heart. Her fingers throb as beads of lava sweat glares at me. A whirlwind wild jump starts in my chest, suffocating my lungs. Blue heat beats through the chaos. The imprint of her lips burning my flesh. I fall into an enchanted spell as I watch her in a stupor. Her ink toying with my sensibilities. I have no comprehension of time or space. For this special moment we are one. Our lives interlocked by this stream of wonderful light. Her soft breath crashes against my skin as my heart skips a beat. This must be what heaven feels like. She grins, her eyes drifting shut. Her body moving to music noiseless. Her hands penetrating my heart with life brimming in a will to live. I further sink into her aura majestic. Eternal peace etching its way into my soul at last restored. I am home. The magnetic charge of this moment lusting eagerly at nothing beyond this. Being present wasn’t a curse bleak. Her hands continue to craft my heart into the unknown. Its beating paced, fearing no more. Resistance is futile because in the pit of my stomach, I know I belong here. This really is home.

A rapid movement shifts the current wiping it short, the offensive outburst, breaking her attention focused. She looks up, her eyes huge in confusion. I am shattered from her hold. Tiny pieces falling apart in motion slow. Exhaustion clings to broken parts severed from her bond blinding. With a dive dismissive, she sinks beyond the gushing lava, troubled by this treachery. Her fin waving a farewell final. I am swept up in the protective arms of the Madhatter, who gallantly rides an invisible horse upside down.

Snow begins to falls at our departure premature.

Everything a bleak blur from hereon.


We will meet again, dear precious souls. We will.

Photography credit to the original artists.

What’s your brand?

Our lives are defined by many labels that are given to us by others over the course of our lives. Branded by events, people, memories, emotions, lovers- the list endless. Saturated, consumed, plotted with brands promising to define our individual existence at every corner we turn. Then one day, we die in the arms of Mother Nature to be simply buried whilst wearing a chain of once what was. Our armour worn down. Our labels now meaningless. What would have given you meaning?

So, if you had the choice, what would your very own unique brand be? Let’s begin with designing our very own personal brand. I’m on the path of self discovery, thus my canvas blank at present. But in time it will fill with its own colour. Why not break this cycle? In the meantime, I wait to decide on my own brand and would love to hear your personal ones.


“Get up! Get up!”

Her glass like scream penetrates the thin veil of my mind tested beyond limits. I stumble over myself in clumsy despair. What did I deliberately walk into?

Fuming liquid metal stings eyes unfocused. Famished heat, wickedly envelopes the burning inferno of a hell, provoked by my very own heated desires. An illusion drowning. Flames lick my feet ravished raw by coal roasting. Chasing dreams, I find myself clawing the edge of reality farcical. The passion awakening in my sleeping heart, now dying at the hands of a Rebel Queen defiant. Silver curls long, tantalisingly dance with a ground cracking in wondrous awe. Her grand ruby crown arrogantly bemused at my performance pathetic. Agile ballerina limbs poised even in fury unspoken. Skin olive silk perspiring elaborately beneath burnt orange flames. Thoughtful sea green eyes, intensely watchful. Her nonchalant milk white dress carelessly on fire. Nothing at all, deterring her will, wilfully determined.

The boxing ring from the dirtiest corner of hell, alive in chaotic chatter. I had chartered waters mad in hope blind. Reality dipping slowly in insanity prevailing.

Wiping beads of sweat from a throbbing brow, I leap to my feet again. Toes small scolding. Every bone, dying to die. The Rebel Queen sneering at unspoken defeatist thoughts aloud. Razor claws digging in skin beautifully bruised. A match easily unmatched. Thrown off guard, by the piercing gaze of the Rebel Society goddesses, I fumble against rope sweating profusely. Quick thinking escapes my frazzling brain. The squealing cheers of the army of limes gathered in my support, break my resolve unfocused. Without any provocation, an intoxicated Absolem puffs hungry smoke in my distressed face. His purple wrinkled body cool against my explosive heat. Thankfully, the Rebel Queen temporarily blurred.

“Be like water my friend.” He slurs in a slow Asian accent.

My head snaps back, anticipation tingling in my gut. Instinct is fuelled with the need to survive. With quick jerky movements, cowardly I duck instantly. Her furious fists catching Mohammad Ali’s eye surprised. He vanishes beneath layers of rainbow smoke. Absolem’s disgruntled huff loud amongst the rising rebellion.

“You cannot hide from the truth.” Her velvet voice rings in quivering hell.

Her fellow worshippers chanting her song in a trance blind. The collective noise deafening. I roll my body to a corner, hoping Absolem appears with his bongo to ease my painful pain. Luckily, my fragile vessel is gripped firmly by twig fingers and dropped in the midst of snowflake candy floss. My skin sizzles beneath the icy coolness. I look up, my voice brittle.

“Thank you, Grand Tree.”

He shakes violently cold.

“Where are we?” I ask.

We both glance quickly at the lime soldiers building a snowman, an army enthralled in joyful silence. Concentrating deeply, they are unaware of my presence.

“1979. Where all beginnings begin.”

The grand trees reply reflective.

I spread my limbs, my metal wax lumpily solidifying randomly. I let out a choked sigh.

“I was born winter 1979”.

The Grand lime tree, shrugs a branch, slowly.

“Well, then you should know why you are here.”

A sadness lingers in his sultry tones. Moist eyes avoid burning ones. Something is wrong.

“You should choose your battles wisely Tiny Warrior.”

His voice barely audible.

My desire, simple: a new purpose. Yet, here I am battered because clearly I have again missed the point. What truth am I hiding from? And why start here to uncover it? I didn’t get much chance more to ponder.

The ground groans ungratefully underneath my bones shattering. It is a mark of rebellion failed. The Rebel Queen, a victorious leader of a kingdom enthralled. No mercy for my futile weakness granted. I didn’t belong in their world. I am shaken from my swirling thoughts by a gaping hole greedily swallowing me up. Abruptly, I find myself falling down a rabbit hole.





I fall in a void dark.

The Grand Tree’s sadness lingering in the earthy scent between us. I close my eyes, blotting out his image weary. Landing ungraciously on my back, tired arms limp and unladylike legs spread across the unwelcome floor. From where I am sprawled in a heap, my eyes catch his amber flickering. Swinging boldly on the glass chandelier, his face a mask stern. Something is certainly wrong. A loose pale shirt recklessly thrown over his chest broad, teasing. Silk emerald Aladdin pants loosely swaying around his legs. He throws arms wild above his head. His Afro in a bun high scrapes the edges of the suspicious ceiling. Both uncaring in their attitudes reckless. Light casts shadows over his angles sharp.

I moan, crawling to my feet agonised. Every bone creaking in a complaint unanimous. Rag doll like, I stand unsteadily. Clearing my throat dry I take a slow glance around the intimately abandoned tea party.

With acrobatic somersaults, the MadHatter lands before his audience imaginary. Curtseying like a ballerina waif, a grin toothy spreads across his cheerful face.

“Why hello Tin Warrior.”

My voice croaks a reply in a garbled mess.

“Wonderland, really?”

“It’s my home, I couldn’t give this a miss now, could I, oh so Little one?

He lets out a laugh evil, eyes rolling he wriggles his finely shaped eyebrows.

“Having fun, are you?” His voice dripping in concern fake.

Jesting, he takes a finger to softly touch my cheek bluish purple.

“Apparently, I have to begin at the beginning to find my truth.”

“Sounds about right. No? Yes? No? Hmm. Maybe?”

Popping a grape large in his mouth, he stares unashamedly.

“I have no idea what she expected. I wasn’t expecting an initiation. I was hoping I could join them so maybe my purpose might surface. Not to find myself broken down before a massive goddess gang.”

My throat hissing.

“Maybe that was the purpose. Nothing is ever black and white, my dear.”

His voice is a whisper. The air around us gathering in a current feisty. My hair stands on it’s unruly wild ends. The thudding of my heart thunderous. He observes, a statue silent. Fear licking to life in my gut. The violent knocking on the wooden door, frightening the both of us.

“Let it go.” Purrs the Rebel Queen.

Her presence invisible yet equally intimidating.

“Let us in! Let us in! Let us is now.”

Shriek the collective tribe of unwanted familiar strangers through the cowering door. Panic surges in my body, every fibre urging my feet to run. As I turn towards the door, the large hand of the hunts man yanks my hair.

“I am going to kill you. Smash you to tiny pieces. Don’t test my patience you stupid, stupid useless bitch.”

He spits in my face, teeth sharp stabbing at my already violated arm. Then without any indication, he shimmers into the Evil Queen Mother. Her fingers fine, delicately stroke my mane rebellious. Venom drips from her tongue poisonous. She hisses, her snake tongue slapping my cheek raw.

“It’s only a matter of time, you will die a lonely miserable fool. Unloved. Unwanted. Useless. Always a fool, a desperately pathetic fool.”

I push her away, my fingers scratching her white neck swan like. Her fading cackle thin in my ears. In her place, appear the three cloned step sisters. Fair tall maidens with locks gracing their knees, grim eyes like melting chocolate sweet. Rosebud lips curled in a sly snarl permanent.

“Dear, dear sister, daydreaming of a better life still? You know the sad truth? You are nothing but a waste of space. Nothing. You are nothing. No one cares, if you live or you die. No place anywhere for your kind. It would be so much easier if you were dead, then we can all live in peace. In a world rid of your filth.”

Their cruel laughter punishing the darkest corners of my heart. The desperation to break free from their hold surging in my gut, I grab a saucer bright yellow from the nearest table terrified. It shatters loudly as hairy claws of the wolf from Red Riding Hood, snake their way down my already purple ink stains.

“It’s been along while sister.”

His growl deliberately pronounced. The sound tearing strips from my soul. I swallow my fear. This was not happening again. It would not happen again. With a forceful power rising within, I cock my head. Our eyes meeting. His ugly mouth moves.

“It’s always good to see you die, sister.”

I don’t let him finish. His words silenced on his vile decaying lips. In a swift movement, I smash my head into his hideous face. My desperate fingers tearing skin in my frenzy manic.

“Enough! Enough! It is enough. I am no longer afraid of you. I am not afraid of anyone. I refuse to play your games of evil manipulation. I am no longer part of your violent hate. I disown this history, this lineage, this fear. I am my own person. I will never be this ugly vileness. I am my own truth. No more! No more!”

Rage hysterical, a beast sleeping ignites my entire being. It’s mocking a slap across my cold face. The pain of burning bones stinging my eyes watery. Again a hand reaches out. Blindly, I swing my pounding fist. It collides artistically against bones crushing. Blood red stains my fingers weeping. Senses alive, gain consciousness.

“Oh God! I’m so sorry!” I sob.

The MadHatters disfigured face, blurring before my tears ashamed. Unaffected by my outburst surprising, he pulls me close in an embrace warm, his fingers touching my wounds. The drumming of his heart soft. He coils gentle hands in my messy mop of curls. His soothing murmur, easing my racing anxiety.

“We have to let the past go. In order to authentically discover ourselves we must face our demons. You cannot hold your emotions or fears. Our demons reappear in many forms without warning. It is the cycle of life. It is how we react to them that account for our growth. Every reappearance will show you progression.”

Amongst my inner noise, the persistent door banging is unnoticed until now. The MadHatter grins, pointedly staring at his feet.

“This is not the time to cry me a river.” He orders.

Before, I remark, both of us begin to sprout taller at a pace increasing.

“Oh oh..” says the MadHatter sheepishly.

I stare at our feet gigantic growing more as he speaks.

“Believe it or not, I was lured. It’s a plot, you see. Actually, I was seduced to eat it.”

I couldn’t help myself, I burst into a hysterical giggle. My insides free from the violence buried long. The present liberating.

“You ate the cake? Knowing the story?”

I laugh incredulously. Flippantly he tosses a hand in the air. And as he does, the stubborn door caves a little.

“What are you waiting for starry groove-stars, let’s get the hell out of here!”

He stamps his feet impatiently. Instructing them in a strict father like command.

“Groove-stars? They’re my shoes by the way. And that is no way their name.”

I remark laughter lurking in the shadows.

“Finders keepers, losers weepers.”

My magical shoes, roar to life on the MadHatters giant feet. The teal and orange ink pattern swirling into action. The encoding of their powers hidden brimming to a surface reserved. Shaking from the fear from the moment before, they whimper as they begin to bask in their vibrant light. Ignited by the energy positive of hope they spring in to action. But they choke and die before they fire up again, in a hazy cloud they launch into the sky in a puff of glitter golden.

“Stealing doth not count as finding.”

I shout over the rockets ablaze on his feet. Beneath our wild storm, the door remains unbroken albeit beaten a little. As we fade into nothingness, my fingers laced with his, I ask finally,

“Are we running from our present moment?”

Music sways against my ear, his words stark,

“No, my dear, it’s knowing when to stop and walk away. We are choosing our battles wisely. Especially, when our dormant truth has awoken.”

Together, as delicate essence, engulfed in the arms of the wind we float. My attention is drawn to life below us. Under the protective gaze of the Grand Lime Tree, the Rebel Queen and her goddesses, perform a dance tribal to the calling of music soul searching. Their limbs an enchanting cocktail of harmony. Glowing limes, floating in serenity, their twinkles illuminating amongst the midnight palette. My scent hangs in the wind. She looks up, her turquoise gaze sincere,

“To live, one must not hold the past. We bury our truths. Swallow our rage. You my precious, are beyond what you see right now. You will return to us my creatively maladjusted goddess but not before your time. Live my friend. Live.

The hammering of raindrops drowning her. I cling to the MadHatter unsure of anything more than his tenderness in this moment we share as one.

At times we hold memories, emotions, thoughts and feelings that in reality are toxic. They neither belong or serve us in our present moment. Yet, we fail to notice that we haven’t processed or released them. In that way, we restrict our own potential. Sometimes to truly let go, we must be vulnerable to our darkest, ugliest and scariest moments. With hope in our hearts, we can heal to really be our uniquely, authentic selves. Even if that means we are a not necessarily the right fit for a world unfitting for us.

Photography credit to the respectful owners. A grateful thank you to the Rebel Queen and her society for showing me it is perfectly fine to be as I am.

Explore your inner rebel with:

Healing music:

Sole Magic:

Free your inner self in a safe way. Let your goddess guide you to this awakening. Until our next endeavour, be kind to all the parts of yourselves.


Tin-y toes

The strange avocation of surprised African Burandi drums force my tiny tin toes to a blazing inferno. In the midst of this bright vacuum a glass coffin is left discarded, it still though beams haughtily. I peer from afar, hesitant in approaching. The luminous floor glares impatiently at my indecisive apprehension. A surprising gust of impulsive wind fills the startled void. In its wake, the MadHatter explodes into the unprepared space. Carelessly, juggling limes, he stops before me. Arching an eyebrow perfect, he whispers,

“What are we waiting for? Snow White’s awakening?”

I open my mouth, then close it. What was I waiting for?

Dropping the helpless limes, he pokes my ribs, as if to check if I was alive.

“Stop that!” I snap, pushing his melting chocolate fingers away.

His cheshire cat grin hanging off his face.

“Why are you here?” I ask.

“Why are you here? he replies.

Exasperated I roll my eyes. He winks, chuckling.

“Come on! Do it! Do it! Do it!”

Frustrated, at the unwanted intrusion I throw my hands in the air.

“You want me here, you just don’t know it yet.”

At that comment, I storm towards the mysterious glass coffin, shading my eyes from the furious brightness. The MadHatter, bouncing behind. He makes an odd purring sound over my tired shoulder. The glaring halo, dramatically dimming at our arrival. The beating drums persistently faster. My heart thuds at a similar rhythm in its confines. A dull blackness descends upon us. I anxiously grab the MadHatters hand, in return he squeezes it in calming comfort. The coffin simultaneously sneezes a few times. I half expect Snow White and her dwarfs to jump out but they don’t. Rathermore, under a glow soft yellow, a pair of enchanting tangy orange shoes dipped in teal hue, peer shyly at its audience. Slowly, lowering their guard, they proceed to suspiciously assess me. Maybe they were expecting someone else. The Madhatter, maddeningy unmoving.

“Well, what are you waiting for? Put them on Cinders.”

My fingertips tremble in aching anticipation as I trace them hungrily across their sleek skin soothing. The shoes begin to fidget in agitation. Their strong magical pull yanking on a sleeping cord within. Unable to resist their soulful energy strong, I feel myself connect with their persuasive power. My bare feet throbbing in eager possibilities. An unusual spark igniting in my soles, it also gives birth to fire in my chest. I cave. Slipping my toes into their tender cocoon, I sigh in heavenly delight. A warm charge surging inside; teasing life to live. Something eccentric pregnant in my soul. The MadHatter, nudges my arm,

“Dorothy, tap, tap your heels.”

He orders loudly.

“Please no more fairytale references!” I moan.

My toes brim with liveliness intense and with cheeky decisiveness, my heels click together three times. Smoke arises from beneath them, I yank the MadHatters silk purple tie, as together we disappear in a puff sparkly. The drums now humming faintly in the distance. Once the stuffy smog settles, we find ourselves in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Sadly, it is a pitiful wasteland. The putried smell of rotten damage sinking into my pores.

“Why are we in this hell?”

I choke on bile rising in my throat. The MadHatter enthusiastically scours the layers of filth. Eventually, he stops. Rejoicing for no apparent reason.

“If you choose to see hell, then that’s all you will see. It is, what it is, depending on what you decide to believe.

“Great,” I mutter sarcastically under my breath. More riddles ridiculing me.

“Did you say something?” He asks standing far to close.

I step back as he laughs at my uncomfortableness. His sudden jerky breakdance, welcome. I laugh at his quirky randomness envious of his liberated freedom. Regardless of this devastation, he finds joy. He stops dancing as quickly as he started. With a thrust of his hand, he tosses a giant gold coin towards my clumsy fingers. Boldly he states,

“We choose to see pain in our present. I don’t see devastation. I see possibility. The power is in our belief.”

I take a moment to gather myself, my thoughts, my feelings. He did not see, as I did. Why is that? What is inherently so different about us?

Perceptive reality, that’s the difference. And also mindset. I am not constantly seeking pain or punishment.”

“I don’t seek pain or punishment!” I retort remarkably quickly.

His laughter musical.

Resistence. Assumption. Judgement. At no point, did I say you were. I said I am not seeking pain or punishment.”

He was right, he hadn’t said it, yet I heard it. Clearly, my mind creating it’s own illusions. Negative ones at that. The reality not lost on my thinking mind.

“I am sorry, you are right. I guess, I am a tad sensitive.”

He takes a boney finger to tap the tip of my nose, stirring sensations new. I take a deep breath. Simply, I say,

“So I am seeing a version of reality that I have created based on my own experiences. Whereby, I am surrounded by decomposing death, you see a reality based on your experiences.”

Tossing his orange hat into the musty air in agreement, his face pensive though.

“To a degree everyone is programmed by experience. Our mind determines how we apply meaning to the world. Our emotions run on familiar pathways, they respond according to how they recall feeling. Feeling that is based on previous learning. But it is our mind that manages how we see.”

I reflect, slowly taking another look at our surroundings.

“I am programmed to experience the world in this way because of my past?”

“Only if you let it.” His answer concise.

“And if I don’t let it, I will see what you do?”

He does an elobrate series of back flips. I wait for him to finish, my mind ticking whilst my feet sink into death.

“Our brains are amazing, if you rewire them, you can change anything. However, first you have to accept, that it is possible. A negative mind will never give you a positive outcome. It is the power of intention that enables a life of abundance.

His voice a brittle echo, even when he is standing beside me.

“I see life, beauty, freedom. I see a billion trees thriving here. I see possibility as the alternative is limiting. There are boundless opportunity. However if we don’t challenge our pessimism and defeatist attitudes, how will we ever evolve. Hope and belief, allow us the opportunity to take a different course. Every negative experience, will only become consolidated if we don’t look at the possibility of positivity. This is how we end up wiring our brain to find comfort in negativity, hurt, pain, etc, etc. All of that deprives you from the magic of life, gratitude and all the magnificent blessings that surrounds us. But if only we choose to look. You can’t enjoy the now if you live in yesterday.”

At the exact point, a spellbinding burst of pink butterfly wings flash past us. The MadHatter’s point proven. He takes both of my hands in his, a charge firing up between us. Suddenly, breathless shoes begin to heat, a vibration wild burning in my toes.

“I am unstoppable.” Croon the masterpieces, firmly hugging my feet.

“You can’t change without changing your mindset. It is as basic as that. Start with a happy place, it will help you remember life and in turn you will appreciate where you are today.” Shouts the MadHatter over the boisterousness of my firey shoes.


I shut my weary eyes and focus. In order to be more present, I had to change my mindset. I guess gratitude for the experiences I cherish the most, would be a good place to refresh my memory. When I open my eyes, the MadHatter is studying me intently as if trying to take note of details, he may otherwise forget. He remains silent. Together, with our fingers laced we are at the edge of a cliff, overlooking the amazing ocean in Barbados. A moment where in my life I was truly elevated. I gather, this is a creation of my own mind.

“The power of your mind, my love”, he murmers stroking my fingers.

I snatch back my hand in confusion. Disappointment dashes across his beautiful face. Silver eyes moist, he swallows his words. I hand back his shimmering coin but he shrugs.

“Keep it as a good luck charm.”

With that he is swept up in a whirlwind.

“I have taken a shower of inner peace”.

Chant the uniquely inspirational pair of shoes. Their voices singing louder than his whirlwind.

Tears threatening to erupt. I tap my heels three times.

“Time to go Dorothy. Thank you for your tremendous trouble, new feet friends.” I shout over thundercloud threats.

“I am intutively guided by my sole and the universe.”

They sing back, shuddering to speedy life. And in a puff of glitter, we vanish too.

Smog lingering in the presence of a mighty storm.

Please kindly consider the gift of life by planting trees with me:

Awaken your heart with abundant life. Credit to the amazing inspirational artists below:


Sole magic:

Healing drumming:

Earth awareness:

Photography credit to original artists.