A Broken Dream (part 3)

Continuation of A Broken Dream (part 2)

Now, I don’t want to go into detail here, but I can safely say that by 1989, our lives were fast heading in different directions. I had found a way out, had pulled myself out of the pit and had decided it was time to leave that place in search of something better. I had spent two years living in London and now, I had found Sweden. I had met some Swede’s who had invited me over. I took my chances and made best my escape. Scum didn’t get out though. He fell even deeper. He did find love, even got married. I guess it was that marriage that drove the last nail in his coffin. Scum had searched for a dream, had left home, confident things could only get better. He found out just how easily dreams can die. Drugs had become his escape from reality and reality had become a clouded, heartbreaking blur that he had somehow, lost control of. He tried so hard to get back up, fought like a true warrior to live up to the expectations of his wife. He even found a job. He got his hair cut, tried his hardest to be a normal, nineteen year old husband. He kept falling back though, couldn’t live with drugs and quite simply, couldn’t live without them.

And so Martin Wright, better known to me as Scum,decided he could take no more. He waited until his wife went to bed one night, tied a thick rope to a hook in the ceiling and stood on a chair. That night a dream died and so did one of the best friends I have ever had.

I would like to dedicate this poem to Martin (Scum) Wright

Heroin Hell

A young man in a corner,
head in knees,
his head in a muddle,
his mind seems to tease,
the marks on his arms
are jack-up scars,
he sits in a corner
and watches then cars.

He has no future,
he has no life,
his family said, “give up”
and so did his wife,
but heroin’s this man’s only life,
just like a demon takes over a soul,
the only way out’s death,
that’s his goal.

He once had a business and lots of cash,
but now just needles to hide and stash.
is this the future for youth of today,
minds that have rotten,
brains torn away,
this is then gamble
the young fools play.

Final note: Just say no!

You have not been forgotten, Scum!

May the sun shine on you today ….  Gavin

A Broken Dream (part 2)

continuation of A Broken Dream

It was summer now and days passed lethargically by rolling gently into weeks. This young and carefree teenager moved into a crammed, one room apartment. Four white-washed walls and a little gas cooker to prepare his meals on. He was happy though, was fully confident, it was only temporary. The important thing was that it was his space, his first home away from home. It’s not the apartment that counts, but the love that goes into making it a home to enjoy living in. A few posters on the bare, white walls, a bed and a cupboard space, and that was enough.

Surprisingly though, work didn’t come his way. He spent hours at the local job center, sifting through pile upon pile of job applications, went to interview after interview, but nothing. Money was fast running out and the rent needed to be paid. He decided to go on welfare assistance; would sign on and claim unemployment benefits. It was the obvious solution to his predicament. Once every other week, he would leave his job searching behind and sign for his pittance. It didn’t really matter though. There was work out there and he wasn’t work shy. It was just a matter of time and that’s the one thing he had, he thought.

It’s a fact that not all dreams come true. If only they did, this story might well have a different ending. He wasn’t the only teenager scraping by on welfare assistance, certainly wasn’t the only one desperately grasping for a piece of the social cake. He was just one of many, who had found their ways to the boiling pot of frustrated youth. A frustrated youth is an unstable soul and an unstable soul is a potential liability. This young teenage, lost soul, bewildered by his lack of success, fell in with an equally bewildered group of lost souls. He let himself go, dyed his hair, bright red and began shoplifting for extra meals.

It was 1984, summer uneasily giving way to fall. This is when I came onto the scene. I too had found my way to this seaside town in search of a better life. I too found I could barely afford to live without welfare assistance. I too found the dream fast dying, that I was only one within an ever growing mass, who were fighting, just to keep their heads above the water within the rat race of young life. I met this young teenager and we became good friends. I didn’t know him so well by his given name. His street name was Scum. I always thought it suited him pretty well actually, although his given name was Martin Wright. Scum and I spent many hours together and fall rained into winter, winter; bitter cold and windy, into spring once more. We gave up on ever finding work.

Scum began to experiment with drugs and like a fool, I allowed myself to be drawn into the horror of the long and lonely road that lead to his downfall. Our one room apartments were warm and reasonably comfortable in the summer months, although as winter gripped the land, they became quite unbearable. We both paid for heating and electricity by way of a battered, old coin meter, although usually after the second week of welfare assistance, we were unable to add more loose change. The last week of the month would be spent by candlelight.

This story continues next week. Enjoy your weekend …

Gavin

A Broken Dream

Once upon a time, in a place far from here, there lived a young and carefree teenager. His parents loved him very much, although this young teenager; wanted nothing more than to go out into the big, bad world and make a go of things for himself. He was fifteen years of age and life lay fresh and willing about his tender, innocent feet, like a brand new pair of Nike sneakers. Spring was smiling just around the next corner and he just couldn’t wait to begin writing his own memories. His parents were obviously not too happy about his decision to move away. His mind was set though. He explained to them, he wouldn’t be moving too far away, just that it was time to leave the family nest, time to spread his wings, reach out and build his own nest. Besides, they could always keep in touch by telephone.
What could they do? Their son was fast growing into a young man. They had watched him learn to walk, helped him learn to ride his first bicycle. They had watched him laugh and had seen him cry, had taken him to kindergarten and had prepared him for his school days. They had seen the days wash over him, puberty and his first steady, girlfriend.  And now the time had arrived, was time to let him go.

The next day was a big day for this young and carefree teenager. It was the first day of the rest of his life. He kissed his mother on the cheek and checked his pockets for loose change. The sun was shining brightly and a dusty, yellow double-decker bus was due at any moment. He wondered down to the bus stop with a bag of clothing, he had packed the night before. He knew exactly where he was going, his destination, a picturesque, little seaside town, no more than ten miles south.  He had always dreamed of living there, had always wanted to live in that magical place by the sea.

In time, the dusty, yellow double-decker bus pulled up and he boarded it, leaving his old world behind. The adventure had begun, his future fast becoming his reality. The seaside town gradually lifted out of thick, conifer forests and well-worked gardens of brightly colored, flowering arrays. People hustled and bustled along sun danced, cobbled sidewalks; with picnics and sun cream. Yes, finally a little piece of heaven was one with him.
The first thing he had to do was to find a place to stay. Luckily, his parents had saved money in an account for such an eventually. Then his next job would be to find work. He wasn’t in a hurry though, the weather was good and the nights were warm. He decided to sleep rough a while and save money. He was young and ready for anything, happy and totally confident; he would always be in control of his life.

Most of us recognize such a story as this, the tale of transformation from dependent child to independent adult. It’s a step we all take at one time or another, it’s inevitable. When the urge to go it alone really kicks in, there’s no turning back. The family nest can offer a temporary retreat, although sooner or later, that call from adulthood is bound to creep out from its hiding place. ‘Once upon a time,’ usually implies a very nice story and a happy ending. Not this story though. This is a true story about how a friend of mine became so caught up in his dream that it ate him up.

In my next post, I will tell you more

But until then, be safe

Gavin

 

Rocking My Boat

Last year when I was in Minnesota, I heard some terrible news, something so absolutely diabolical; it caused my blood to boil and my nerves to crawl. I was sitting with Rosie at her place in Litchfield. The sun was shining brightly outside and I was coming to the end of one wonderful month in America. I wasn’t really looking forward to leaving, wasn’t so happy about returning to Sweden, to my usual, mundane routine. That wasn’t the terrible news though. I will try and keep this post short. It’s not really a subject I enjoy writing about and it certainly doesn’t deserve a whole lot of my time or yours for that matter. What it deserves is a quick and decisive end.

On 22 July 2011, the government buildings in Oslo, Norway were bombed, resulting in the deaths of eight people. If that wasn’t enough, mass murderer, Anders Behring Breivik then carried out a mass shooting at a camp of the ‘Workers Youth League (AUF)’ of the Labor Party on the island of Utoya. He systematically gunned down sixty-nine people, mostly teenagers.

Island of Utoya

What this evil man did has shocked the world and I for one, am in contempt of his heinous crimes. This madman spent eight years just planning these atrocities, stockpiling large quantities of fertilizer and other chemicals with which to build bombs.

And now there is a court case. This animal stands proud in the courtroom, despite all he has done. The only emotion he has shown so far was when his propaganda film was shown. He cried out of sheer pride. Each time he enters the courtroom, he does a Hitler salute, his pin-like eyes scanning the room before he sits down. He is loving it, wallowing in the horror of all he has done as he looks straight into the eyes of the families who have lost their loved ones.

I am not for the death penalty; do not believe we have the right to extinguish life. I believe on the day of reckoning, God will decide our fates. We will be made to pay for our wrongdoings.

However, I fail to understand why this ten week court case needs to take place. Why must the Norwegian taxpayer fork out millions of Krowns just to find out if this man is sane or not. He is guilty of extinguishing seventy-seven lives, eight in Oslo and sixty-nine on Utoya. It doesn’t matter if this man is insane or sane. The end result will be the same. He will be locked away. I hope it will be forever, although twenty-one years is a life sentence in Norway.

Personally, I think they should save the money, lock him up and throw away the key.

Final note: If you have thoughts on this issue, we would really like to read them. Leave us a reply.

Gavin

Don’t Miss This Once in a Lifetime Opportunity!

Max the cat, Colin the crow, Lucy Brown and William Gray will come to life as you learn about them and the other characters in the wonderful, anti-bullying story by British author, Gavin Hill. The class will teach drama exercises, foundations of working together and communication.

Participants will learn the story, listen to the musical lyrics and then bring the story to life through acting it out! Participants will perform, William Gary and the Family Next Door at 4 PM on Thursday July 26, followed by a visit with author, Gavin Hill!

Class schedule:  Guide line for Grades 2-6 (although not limited to those ages)

Monday-Thursday July 16-19     2:30-4:00 PM

Monday-Thursday July 23-26     2:30-4:00 PM

Thursday July 26                        4:00-5:30 PM

(Presentation of William Gary and author visit. Everyone is welcome to attend)

Litchfield, MN High School Little Theatre

Fee and reservations through the Litchfield Community Education Office 114 Holcombe Ave. N., Suite 110 or call them at (320) 693-2354 to get on the reservation list.

If any questions, feel free to contact Rosie at rosa136@mchsi.com or call the Litchfield Community Education Office (320) 693-2354

Note from Gavin:  Hi parents and youth, I am so looking forward to working with the youth on my wonderful theater production, William Gray and The Family Next Door.  I have the costumes all packed in my suitcase just waiting now to arrive to your area!  We can’t wait to see you in July!   Bye for now, Gavin, William Gray, Lucy Brown, Colin and Max :)

Let the Voting Begin!

Ashley arrived to my home this afternoon and we decided that it was still my birth-week and we needed to celebrate. What do two single ladies do to celebrate?

Well, we could have done any number of things but we ended up driving to Saint Cloud. We found out that there are cowboy boots, work shoes, tennis shoes, flat shoes, dress shoes, sandals, leather boots, one and half inch heels, three inch heels and then there are six inch “high-heels” that say “WOW” !!!!!!  Yes, that is six exclamation marks for each inch of heel!  We spent only a ” few hours” trying on many different styles and colors of these wonderful creations! We were turning heads with our, “Oh, look at this one” and then gasping with yet another style we hadn’t seen from a quick scan a second ago. Sure, there are shoes for comfort but when a woman puts on a six inch heel she suddenly transforms into Cinderella and you forget about ever needing comfort!

Two ladies in Macy’s shoe department can really have the time of their life just “trying” on high heels.  We narrowed it down to these. Please help us decide by taking a vote with a reply. Your vote would be helping all mankind!

We both left happy and stress free; without any new shoes but the helpful sales lady told us that all “high-heels” go on sale in a few days.  What do you think … one of each?!

I highly recommend this “free” form of relaxation and wow factor experience. Thanks Ashley, I had a wonderful birthday celebration with you but we really need to go back and try on more before I can decide! :)

Bye for now and remember to help with your vote!

From Here to the Moon and Back

From here to the moon and back,

Who else in this world will love you like that?

Love ever lasting, I’ll promise you that,

From here to the moon and back.

This is the chorus to a song Dolly Parton wrote for the movie, Joyful Noise. I listened to this song and smiled. Truth be told, a few tears cascaded down my rosy cheeks as well. My father told me that he would love me to the moon and back. I miss him so much but I know he still loves me to the moon and back!  Twenty-five years ago, when I held my infant son in my arms to rock him to sleep; I would always sing silently to him. Yes, I would sing that I would love him to the moon and back. I hope in the next twenty-five years, he will have the opportunity to sing those same words to his infant as he rocks him or her to sleep. My generation to generation wish.

My wish today is that you have someone in your life that you are able to say those words to.  Be it a child, a friend, a family member. In this world of people rushing about with their daily lives, take the time to pause and say, “I love you to the moon and back” to someone. Mean it with your whole heart and if you are fortunate they will say it back to you.  So often we rush through our daily lives thinking we will have tomorrow … tomorrow to finish that to do list and to say kind words to each other. What if someday never comes and we don’t have that opportunity ever again?

Two days ago, I had a milestone birthday. I try so hard to live for today and touch someone’s hand or heart and let them know I care. I have seen the bright lights of heaven and felt its peace. I cherish each day here on earth, knowing I am still here for a reason. Maybe that reason is simply to proclaim to whoever may read this message, to remember, you are loved!

A few weeks ago, in my post, Something’s Coming, I told you that Gavin and I did a promotional video for Sweet Conclusions Area Voices. I heard from Ashley at West Central Tribune that it will air really soon! Be on the look out :)

Have a good day …

The lilacs are blooming in Mankato … are yours?

Rosie

 

 

Outside the Box (Part 3)

continuation Outside the Box 1 and 2

We say we eat healthily, yet we constantly spray our food produces with deadly pesticides.

We sit in the sun for hours on end, yet we know it could give us skin cancer.

We cut down the rainforests, yet we know it adds to global warming.

WWI  was coined as being: The War to End All Wars. Yet, there was a World War II and there have been countless wars since.

These are just a few bad things about life inside the box. There are many more. Many people have asked me how I manage to write book after book, how I manage to write poems, songs texts and write theater manuscripts. It’s easy! What I find difficult is getting up in time for work, paying my bills on time, meeting lots of people in a closed space, walking down the street and knowing there are people behind me. I am afraid for people, sometimes afraid of people, afraid of death. What I find difficult is making sense of a bus or train timetable, of deciding which packet of butter or which loaf of bread to buy, which café to drink a cup of coffee in, of people not liking me.

Nobody is perfect and all of us make mistakes. What some people can do naturally, others struggle with daily. I know people who can add, subtract and multiply in the blink of an eye. I on the other hand, can barely do it with a calculator. What they do with numbers, I do with words. I’m not a great conversationalist, have problems finding words. It’s not that I don’t have them in my head, but that they refuse to leave my mouth. Somewhere between brain and tongue, something just goes wrong. When I am on stage, when I am holding seminars, I know exactly what to say.

If you are happy to live inside the box, that’s fine. You are hard-working and you are helping to keep the machine running.  We, who don’t feel at ease within the box and those who have decided to remain outside of the box, owe you a great debt.

The ones who cannot fully live within the box though, are also important members of humanity. They produce great works of art, books for you to read, poems for you to relish, songs for you to dance to, movies for you to laugh and to cry to. They are the cultural wave that washes in against the shoreline of the box and who make life worth living. A car has thousands of parts and the ignition has no idea what the gearbox is, although both are necessary in order for the car to work.

So to all of you, both inside and outside the box, I wish you an amazing day.

A final note:  Isaiah 40:22  He sits above the circle of the earth. It is estimated the book of Isaiah was written during the 7th Century BC. I think that really puts a twist on things.

Until next time, Gavin

 

Outside the Box (Part 2)

Continuation of Outside the Box

In no way am I putting this lifestyle down. Quite the opposite, in fact, I admire it. This is the backbone of society, a workforce and a promise of financial stability for future generations. Without these people, society wouldn’t exist and humanity would fall. Society, for me, is the box and I consider myself a productive (part-time) member of the box. I have tried to reform to the box, to be one with the box, to love the box and all it stands for. I tried at school, but failed. I have had countless jobs, all nine to five or eight to four…and failed. I now work seventy-five percent, which gives me the opportunity to spend even more time outside the box.

I wrote a post a while back called, Artistic Freedom. It was about conformity, about what life would be like if we were all the same, did the same things; thought the same ways. Most art forms are kept outside the box by people who think outside the box. Art forms are thought up outside the box, taken into the box to be sold and then taken from the box again by the artist who created them.

As well as having friends who live inside the box and friends such as myself, who happily live in both worlds, I also have friends who have nothing to do with the box whatsoever and who only live outside of the box. Some of them are criminals and some have found legal ways to survive.

I don’t know if I would consider myself a fully active participant of society, a part-time one perhaps. I like to see myself as an observer, as one who travels within both worlds and who writes about my experiences within them.

Life inside the box can be a scary place for some of us. It is full of rules and regulations, of norms and recommendations that can be so difficult to live up to.

We teach our children that violence is wrong, yet we allow them to watch violent movies, let them play violent games, where the goal is to kill as many people as possible.

We teach them that they are perfect just the way they are, yet we bombard our young females with pictures of stick insect-like bodies on cat walks.

We send men and women across vast oceans to fight wars, leaving mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, wondering if they will ever see their kin again.

We spend billions on sending people to the moon when millions are starving down here.

We educate school children for tomorrow, yet we pollute their future and degrade our planet.

We call ourselves animal lovers, yet we put them to death in such an appalling manner in order to eat them.

That’s all for now … part 3 soon.

Wishing you a great day!

Gavin

 

Outside the Box

A soft, spring breeze cut swiftly through waist high beds of wild grasses, the hazy sun resting heavily behind an early morning mist. The farmstead left behind him, he gazed out across the bay, to the longboats with their red and white, squared sails and intricately designed dragon’s heads, and he prayed with all his heart, he would be permitted to travel with them on their next journey west. His father was on one of those longboats, heading out across the tranquil waters, an explorer in a brave new world. He adored his father, wanted nothing more than to be like him, wanted nothing more than to meet a courageous, Viking end, of crossing Bifrost, The Rainbow Bridge and entering Valhalla. His father feared nothing, not even the ends of the earth, where the oceans fell into Helheim.

Helheim is one of the nine worlds of Norse mythology. It was the end of all things and the place where those who died of old age, or those who were not killed in battle, went in the afterlife. Valhalla was reserved for the brave.

Back then, the earth was believed to be flat and nothing but excruciating pain awaited those unfortunate souls who happened to fall into over the edge. And it wasn’t just the Vikings.

Back in ancient India, it was believed the Earth was a disk, consisting of four separate continents grouped around a central mountain, like the petals of a flower. In ancient Japan it was believed the Earth was flat and floated like oil on water, and in ancient China, it was believed the Earth was flat and square, while the heavens were round.

At one time, it was actually believed the Earth rested in a giant box and that at nighttime; God placed a lid on it, bringing darkness. The stars were merely holes that the sun still shone through. I wonder if people ever thought about what might lie on the other side of that box.

We know now that the Earth is round. It’s not flat and in a box. It is round and magnificent, one of eight, major planets in the solar system, nine if you wish to add Pluto to the list. It would have to be a pretty big box to contain everything and our solar system isn’t the only solar system. It goes on forever, is incomprehensible, far beyond our mortal understanding.

In my daily life, I often talk about thinking ‘outside the box’ though. I don’t mean the box; some once thought we lived in, the box that protected us from the evils of Satan and his minions, in a time when mankind truly believed the sun revolved around us. I mean the box that society has created and expects us to reform to. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no anarchist, not a hater of the social system. Social norms though, for me, are the box, while I am more comfortable outside of it.

I have friends who received good grades back in their school days, went on to find good jobs, settled down and got married, had children. They have a nice car and nice home, begin work at nine and finish at five. They take their kids to soccer training on Saturdays, go to church on Sundays. They take two weeks off each summer; head off for the same summer destinations.

A continuation coming in two days.

Bye for now.

Gavin