The Cougher

Sipping tea with family in the new pristine cafe, looking out towards North Fife across the grey Tay.
She kept clearing her throat or attempting to but failing to succeed. She kept at it, as if practising at art and getting better at it as she practiced. If only for a remote control and mute button.
Sounds as is she needed to reach further back, perhaps deeper. A constant clearing makes no headlines, it’s just bloody annoying and distracting and selfish, refusing to consider how pissed off people around her were getting. Fresh ice cream eaters, jam and cream scone salivater’s, beverage slurpers.
“Calm down man” Rich said to himself. But then.
“Come on lady, there are lessons for learning here, if she wishes,” Rich deliberated in silence.
Interesting to spy a shiny cigar tin on her table, easy to be a judge then. That lingering cough, a price to pay? How much?
The possible connection, still to be understood, whether its in the software or motherboard. Refusing to stop, (apparently the beauty is in its perceived difficulty) – wish someone would give her a good telling off or pat on the back.
air air pollution chimney clouds
Rich thought, “You are all looking, look at us all. Louder it’s getting. One piped up, he imagined “Oi, I would like to insist on implementation of the Human Rights Act”.
Act in own interests. Gaze with scornful competence and utter nothing.
Turn back to the window. Distract. Its sunny outside. Leave the cougher in peace, but plead, please leave peacefully lady.
Enough. As we take ourselves outside to the sea front, among the jousting gulls and crows, it’s a diversion from the cougher’s woe but still the gulls can’t half make a noise.
With that Rich and family left, he watched as the gulls flew to the far shore along with his compassion. Silence returned and ears rested as they walked along the riverside and park. Rich took the Frisbee from the bag.

gray scale photography of bird


Love test

“For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation.”

— Rainer Maria Rilke


Such a test to get it right all the time…and yet the ambition never wanes.


Image may contain: ocean, sky, cloud, outdoor, nature and water

The fear of tell

Rich sat in the busy cafe and pondered his next move.

It was noticeable that there has developed inside a tendency to veer clear of people who, in objective perception, attempt to tell him what to do, how to live, how to resolve etc.

Easier said, harder to embrace. but when walking the line, make sure its a line you yourself has created.

When walking that line, he realised there are two worlds. The one he carried inside and the one he was walking in and about. This to him was a profound reveal. The world out with created so much opportunity for diverse engagements, noise and stillness. The world within was once very reactionary to the exterior environment and its inhabitants, until the death of a loved one made him think, deeply about life and living.

Then again, everyone is in the same position but not everyone is aware of their perceptions and how they can alter how and what they interpret. Look at the local refinery with all its pollutants rising into the sky and seeping into the ground. Look at the make up of the creation. It’s a wonderful construction considering all the thought and deeds that went into its manufacture. Cause and effect does good and bad.

But people hide in veiled cloaks regarding the reality of the harm that is cast out into unsuspecting public is horrifying. That’s when your awareness alerts you to move away. They tell you one thing but research shows different. The pollutants take their toll over time, slowly infecting living particles inside.

Time then, for one world to leave the other behind. At last, a corridor of nature beckons.

trees in park


Before its too late

Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) was an American university professor of English literature; he famously urged his students to ‘follow your bliss.’

“Follow your bliss. If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living.

 When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be. If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else.”
On the tracks
time spent exploring and discovering
an investment at an age when days begin to erode.
Getting to understand and knowing with certainty
what to follow is an investigation well underway,
for doors to open and bliss to be experienced
as it was in the past.
On the tracks…the lights are curiously

Edinburgh skyline

Paige and happiness

Paige fifteen, writes.

“Words crafted on the page could be any old bullshit or wittily knitted prose.”

She continues studying the teachers script.

Words on the the page could be foolish tripe or the height of philosophical articulation regarding the matriculation of signals, which we encode and perceive with accuracy or display scratching heads and signposting way off the mark.

Above is what the teacher said. “Comment” is written underneath.

black and blue plastic pen non top of black covered notebook


Back to Paige, she writes.

“Words can hold a thread of interest or alarm you enough to switch off and attend to some unwanted body hair.”

“Manufactured squiggles as letters on the page, make up the words we interpret as language, which draw us in or push us away”.

“Operating the keyboard buttons, typed, chosen, controlled in the flow of imagination, that can run away with you or another or both, go-at-it.”

“Line following line fills a page (not I Paige) or more, balancing spelling and grammar.”

“Some write a single line as in a 1917 essay by William R. Kane, who wrote  “Little Shoes, Never Worn.”

“It stops short, or has it? Rather, it’s created short, yet impacts effectively and makes complete sense.”



(P.S. nearly sixteen)

accessory baby casual checkered

“Little shoes, never worn”

Lunch for two

Parking the car on the forecourt just off the M8. It’s a clear icy Winter afternoon. In need of a beverage and toilet break. (Homeward yesterday, almost caught short in the car due to a bad crash, major hold-up for about ninety minutes).

Car comes to rest, remove keys and put them in a pocket. Reach down, click, unfasten  seat-belt. Check wallet. Check. Remove book from bag. Ready, until something catches your eye through the dirty windscreen.

See them, above the gigantic firs, two amazing birds of prey. Watch in awe and full attention, hypnotised as you marvel at both, their wings spread drifting through the air, looking effortless and cruising.

Gliding flight,

soaring beauty

majestic spiralling, 

simple surveying.

Wings propelling

dropping, circling,

hovering, swooping

out of view,

then rising again,

wings, unforced motion, climbing 

glimpse a tiny creature struggling

in its clasped talons.

bird bird of prey adler raptor

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Then all three veer away

and disappear beyond the firs.


Takes the breath away when viewing two agile creatures making use of nature while neighbouring a busy forecourt off the vibrant highway. To witness such a happening makes the day.

Keys, check. Wallet and phone, check. Book check.

Self, pinch, present!


“You can never say thank you enough. We all must remember that we didn’t get where we are on our own. Acknowledge people, appreciate them.” George Raveling.

The quote above seems great and taken at face value, it is. When peoples lives are laced with positivity, affection and love, then thats terrific, all well and good. Its intentions are wonderful in the right grateful light.

But there can be a darker side to it too. Many people are in very despairing places, mentally and physically, because of the negative and cruel interventions of others. Lives have been lost, cut short and ruined because of others’ selfishness.

Acknowledge and appreciate all? Not so sure, although I am aware of the healing forgiveness can offer. The power of shame and regret can be life lasting and catastrophic. Critical and harsh words once lodged, can create internal toxicity. Devilish acts harm and linger long in the psyche. And sometimes, just sometimes, but all too often, living or not living with that, can be too much. Forgiveness is testing.

Why would those people be thanked? Unless adversity has helped a person transform towards great things and there are many stories that testify to that being the case.

The balance across the positive and the negative with reality arises as if a beacon on a misty grey day. Reality can keep a balanced score, can provide expectations that no longer surprise. The right people around you can help bathe you in a continuous prism of reality.

This evening we watched a certain groups video of a predator cat-fishing. A fifty plus year old big man lured in while chasing sexual interaction. He thought he was going to meet a girl just past her thirteenth birthday, thats her thirteenth birthday. His own doing. His own arranging. His own planning. His own trap. His own lewd sexualised suggestiveness. Him, his very own person infected by his own thinking, made in his mind of his being OK with this. Setting up a meeting with a young girl he never physically met before to seek pleasure, while wholly aware of her under age.

I do acknowledge this groups work. The pages and pages of evidence. Of facts based on his doings. I do appreciate what they do. They are not police but take action to aid the overstretched law enforcers. Being a dad, I thank them for doing what they do to keep young people safer. Children safe from the risks of dangerous sex fiends who are in dire need of some sort of help.

So there is scope to see both sides of what Mr Raveling proposes above. Avoid taking things and words for granted as trust is fragmented, tested, abused and yet, is a great glue for many relationships.

Light creeping through

Is there hope?