Keeping a record…

Posted in Uncategorized on August 16, 2008 by Phil Alcorn

For most of you, I’m afraid this post will make no sense… however, it is the best place at the moment for me to be recording these thoughts, dreams and ideas that are to follow, as by posting them here the relevant people can see and remember the important bits…

Sorry if that, or the following, makes no sense to you.

Boardroom meeting. Chairman says, “Dont forget about Evangeline” or “Remember Evangeline” or something like that.
Evangeline: Good news; bearer of good news  -> is this the meaning of ‘Evangeline’ in the above situation?
Dream occured during second semester term time, year 07/08

Big tent appeared from nowhere at Castlewellan castle, seen from castle car park. Situated roughly in front of lake, to the right of small Lake car park. Tent bright, like light, though not lighting area around it, and not dazzlingly bright. Disappeared when attempt made to photograph it.
Occured before easter, during second semester term time, year 07/08

“Sometimes dreams teach…”
Message received after easter, during second semester term time, year 07/08

Brother views scene, feels as though viewing it from a rear view mirror. Man walks up a street, in the road. Night-time, pouring rain, man has his hood up. Crowd lines each side of the street, watching man. One individual in crowd, a man, seems particularly angry. Man walking up the road falls to his knees. Another man enters, places his hands on the fallen mans shoulders, and whispers in his ear.
Dream occured during summer following second semester, year 07/08

Darkness all around, except for people dressed as soldiers standing in a circle of light, colour and grass, all facing outwards towards the darkness. The boundary is marked by a bright line. The line grows outwards, and more area becomes light, green and alive. The soldiers step forward to occupy the new area, stopping when they reach the new boundary. The boundary grows again, the soldiers advance again. Scene seen almost like the creation of Narnia as described in ‘The Magicians Nephew’, and the soliders occupy the new area retrieved from the darkness
Picture received one night in prayer time at late love at fisherwick, end of year 06/07 or start of year 07/08

“I saw a ruined city, nothing but rubble, destroyed buildings and fires. In this ruined city were people; people with dirty faces, broken bones, wounds and sores and with a look of pure sadness about them. Beyond the city was sheer darkness; as if the people in this ruined city were surrounded by a sea of night. They were afraid of the darkness, almost as if hid from their view a tide of demons ready to break against the ruins and sweep away those who remained.  Inside the city, however, there was a change.  One man sat looking towards the darkness.  As he sat he heard the sounds of change… the sounds of revolution.  In broken buildings secret crowds started to gather… started to move.  Some came together in worship.  Each of their faces told a different story:  some stories of pain from the past, some of hope for the future and some just stood with hands aloft in adoration.  Others gathered to mull over an ancient text.  They studied words of scripture, letting it permeate each and every one of their thoughts.  They read it together and were filled with joy at the good news of which it told.
From the rubble of the city the people got up and started to move purposefully towards the darkness, like an army ready to attack. Then I saw the reason. The people emerging from the city were backed by an Army of Angels. I heard a voice sing “maybe redemption has stories to tell” and on those notes the people and the Army of Angels started to run, like a charge had been sounded against the darkness. Then the music stopped and the voice just cried ‘salvation is here.’  Time slowed down, like the people and the Army of Angels were bracing themselves for when they broke upon the darkness. Then time stopped altogether.”
Named the ‘Dare you to move’ dream

“the world is screwed up. thats a fact
its one big rotating mass of deceit, violence and storms
lightning rips through the skies of human existence, evidence of the storms raging within every life
the torrential dounpour of hatred, racism, intolerance, of INDIFFERENCE, beats down upon me

i look down at what ive become
a victim of society
a statistic of the state
just another passer by on the boulevard of mediocrity

my lips speak of a light my life can hardly show

whilst the world tears itself apart into darkness
whilst the ‘martyrs’ breed wars of hatred and revenge
whilst the west walks the road paved with indifference and apathy
i find myself trudging through the endless mediocrity that my life has become

the rain still pours down upon me
the lightning still flashes above
and from within the pits of my dispair and self-loathng at what i have let myself become, i finally see it

the figure, standing in the midst of the raging storms of self-doubt and destruction
he stands on the streets, in the secret world of peoples hearts
standing on the boulevard of broken dreams, of broken bottles, of tears that well up in the darkness of the private moments
the alleyway of pain
the arena of self-destruction
the backyard of apathy
standing barefoot among the rocks and glass

the rains of doubt and dispair beat against his body
a torrential downpour surges over him
but he does not become wet
he does not absorb it
he does not drink it in

the winds of indifference, of apathy, of fear and of impatience tear past him
but he is unmoved

the lightning of disruption sears open the sky above him
but he stays focused on those around him

i see him now, standing amidst the darkest of the worlds dark, the most agonising of the planets pains
he looks up at me, tear-stained face and puffy eyes revealing his pain for the suffering around him

then he smiles

and i see all that ive become, all that i am – and realise i fall hideously short
but in that same moment, rain pummeling against my body, wind tearing against me, i see something else
i see what i can be

i see me in pain, i see me weeping, i see me battered and bruised, i see me ridiculed and rejected

but not for self pity, not over myself

i see myself in pain, all those things
for him
for his world
as he is in the world, amidst its darkest dispairs, sharing its greatest pains, but is not OF the world, not DEFINED by the world
so too i can see my potential for such a position

the smile…

raises me from my stupor
the rain beats harder
the wind tears stronger
the lightning flashes hotter
and he is beside me

‘come… my strength i give to you, with my light i fill you…
come… this is your path… take up your cross, and follow me…’

i can feel it now
the opposition grows stronger
the apathy fighting to control me grows more intense
the rain, the wind, fight to keep me in place

but he is with me
the road before me is no easier
the rocks and glass do not disappear
the storm does not ease
but together… we take a step forward…”

Written two years ago at time of posting

Related? Unrelated? Meaning?

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I have faith…

Posted in Uncategorized on August 2, 2008 by Phil Alcorn

I hope this isnt a misleading title… I didn’t name this post with any idea or plan on how this post was going to turn out. That being said, I must stress that this is not one of my attempts to just write a post without plan or care, and see what comes out. No, I am writing this post for a reason, a reason I don’t understand just yet. I am writing this post because, tonight, I feel I must. God, I believe, is leading me to post something tonight. I’m not saying it’s going to be spectacular, or breathtaking, or profound – i expect nothing of the sort, I am merely saying that whatever this post becomes shall be simply a result of my having faith that God wants me to post tonight.

I have been talking tonight with a guy who has become much more than a friend to me… he has been my guide, my teacher, my encourager, my companion… he is my brother. He has been with me this year, through my highs, and through my lows… he has listened to my ramblings, my deepest secrets, my theories on life, my theological ideas… he has shared in my joys and my griefs alike, been with me on the nights when I need an adventure, the nights when I need to vent, and the nights when I simply need a friend. We have walked together, taken photos together, driven together, prayed together, praised together, questioned together, eaten together, postulated together, laughed together, cried together, stood together and kneeled together. And God has led us, together, along a road I don’t understand…

I have posted before about Belfast, but not often. I can’t recall if I have ever spoken about my dreams for this place, dreams which my brother and I have shared. God has led us along a road this past year, a road that leads somewhere… though where the road ends, I cannot tell you. I cannot tell you, because I simply do not know. All I know is that God has big plans for Belfast, for this city… and God has been leading my brother and I along a road of preparation. We havent always understood the journey, or the steps along the way… We may now have more questions and fewer answers than we started with… But God has been leading us here, and leading us here for a reason. We have both grown along the way, and have both helped each other to grow. I don’t know how much longer we will continue on this road together. I dont know where this road ends, for one or both of us. I dont know if I am ready to continue along this road without him, without my friend, my brother, my companion. I don’t know what the future holds. All I know is that coming this far with him has been an honour. Without him, I would not have gotten to this stage. Without his constant support, his prayers, his listening ear and his caring heart, I would not be where I am now…

Dude, you know who you are. And I want to say thank you. Thank you for eveything you have done for me, and with me. Thank you for everything I have written here, and everything I havent. I love you, my brother, and I hope and pray God will bless me by allowing our journey together to continue… but even if he doesn’t, know this – friendship may be unstable, but brotherhood is forever.

Random amusement… yet oddly appropriate…

Posted in funny, personality, randomness with tags , , , on July 11, 2008 by Phil Alcorn

I’m aware I haven’t posted in a while… It isn’t that there hasn’t been blogworthy news, quite the opposite in fact… it’s just that I’m not really sure what to say about it all…

There is, however, another post on the way. In the meantime though, this was todays edition of a webcomic I’m kinda partial to… I found it oddly relevant to my own life…

Now, as for me, is my body clock east or west of where I live???

Now, as for me, is my body clock east or west of where I live???

Hope, track 7…

Posted in christianity, creative, Foy Vance with tags , , , , on May 20, 2008 by Phil Alcorn

The street was alive with people. Old and young, male and female, everyone bustled about their daily business. The sheer busyness of the place was almost tangible, like a fog that hung in the air, blinding those below it to the existence of anything but the task in hand. The cacophony of sounds that is life in the city centre only served to add to the mayhem. Shop doors opened and closed, engines growled as the cars and buses flew past, ignorant of the pedestrians crossing the street… Snippets of conversations, cries of newspaper sellers, blaring of horns… This was it, this was life in the mainstream.

The man sat quietly in a recess in the wall. Though his legs stretched out into the street in front of him, he was in no danger of being trodden on. He often liked to think of this place as his home… after all, it was where he sat, where he slept, where he lived and breathed and hoped and dreamed. Yes, he liked to think of it as home. It made it easier to believe that the people purposefully walking by the kerbside were not avoiding him, but merely respecting his space. After all, he would never dream of taking a stroll through their living rooms, would he?

With his arm outstreched and his hand open, palm up, it was clear to see this vagabond had not washed in some time. His fingers were grubby and weathered, the rest of his hand hidden by a pair of worn fingerless black gloves. A green jacket hung on his narrow shoulders, over an old wollen jumper. His jeans were torn at the left knee, and had at one time been a bright blue. An old white pair of trainers and a red woollen hat completed his get-up, with his face placed his age as being somewhere mid-thirties. His scruff of a beard, existent more by lack of shaving equipment than an intentional accessory, was a dark ginger, contrastic starkly with his hat. His eyes, green as a fir tree in winter, now watched each person that hurried by, too busy to stop. He watched, trying to make eye contact, trying to catch someone off guard, trying to stir up within people that feeling of sympathy and guilt that wouldn’t let them just walk by and ignore him… though by this stage, it was clear to see from the vacant resignation in his gaze, that he had all but given up on these people. They wouldn’t stop for him, he knew. To them, he was no more than another homeless guy, another figure to be avoided on this busy street, another person worth less than the task at hand. You see, they just think he’s going to take their money and then go and spend it on dope…

A young woman dressed in a navy trouser suit hurried past with a briefcase, looking with great intensity at something across the street that seemed to have just caught her intention. The vagabond sighed slowly to himself. No, he thought, these people didn’t understand… how could they? In the busyness of day to day city centre life, one can’t afford the time to stop and consider the complexities of life of a homeless person… after all, everyone has their own life to lead, why stop and think about the life of another?

Time passed, almost as fast as the people. The vagabond continued to look out at his fellow inhabitants of the city, his mind contemplating that great unsolved phenomenon… So often these days, he found himself thinking about it, of how despite being in the middle of such a crowd, how huge the feeling of lonliness can become. So engrossed was he, in fact, in analysing his own seeming non-existence in this world, his own isolation in a world of company, that he didn’t notice the man who had stopped by his side. No, he didn’t notice him at all, not until the first words were spoken…

A thoroughly unremarkable individual in terms of appearance, this visitor had seemingly arrived from nowhere. Dressed in an ordinary pair of combat trousers and a green t-shirt, he crouched down beside the vagabond, and spoke softly in his ear. The surprise on the vagabond’s face was immediate, turning his head to view this new arrival in bewilderment. The visitor continued to speak, his smile beaming out from his face. Indeed, even his eyes betrayed the happiness he seemed to feel feel inside, shining out and seeming to laugh along with the words he was speaking. After a good number of minutes the visitor, still talking, saw the first few tears forming on the vagabond’s eyes. The look of shock had never left his face, almost as though it was a mask, an emotion frozen in time. The visitor stopped talking for a moment, knowing the vagabond was about to cut in…
“Why?” His gruff voice cracked a little, as the first tear rolled down his cheek, into the wiry strands of his beard… “Why? Look at me, can’t you see what I am, where I am? I lost my job, my family and friends have disowned me… God can’t love me. I’m a lost cause…”
He felt the hopelessness rising up within him once more… Unable to continue, he merely sobbed quietly into his hands. The visitor watched on, the compassion in his eyes so tangible it seemed to almost flow out of him… stretching out an arm, he placed a hand on the vagabond’s shoulder, and gently squeezed. He opened his mouth one final time, and spoke in the same soft, uplifting voice as before…
“Be at peace, my child… Salvation is here today.”

**************************************************

The street was alive with people. Old and young, male and female, everyone bustled about their daily business. The sheer busyness of the place was almost tangible, like a fog that hung in the air, blinding those below it to the existence of anything but the task in hand. The cacophony of sounds that is life in the city centre only served to add to the mayhem. Shop doors opened and closed, engines growled as the cars and buses flew past, ignorant of the pedestrians crossing the street… Snippets of conversations, cries of newspaper sellers, blaring of horns… This was it, this was life in the mainstream. But something was different, something had changed… people were stopping, turning around in the street. The homeless guy, the one everyone tried to ignore, the one who sat quietly in his recess day after day was standing up and shouting out to the world around him…

“Hallelujah!” he cried, “Hallelujah!” Tears were rolling down his face, as unhindered as his shouts. Looking around at the people stopping around him, he continued to call out…
“Hallelujah! Everyone, listen! This man, this man… There’s someone here you gotta meet! Someone you just gotta meet…”

He whirled around, pointing to where the visitor was stood. He looked once more into the face of his new friend, into those compassionate eyes. That same warm smile broke out on the visitor’s face one more time… and he was gone. The vagabond looked in amazement for a few seconds at the spot which had just been emptied of the visitor’s presence, before whirling around again, trying to see where he had disappeared to. Turning on the spot, looking wildly around himself, the crowd began to laugh. He looked up at them, unable to make out their faces now, his vision blurred by the tears still streaming down his face. He stumbled forward, into the crowd itself, still looking for the visitor. He barely noticied the jeers and taunts, the laughter of those around him as he pushed his way down the busy street. Eventually, the people around him continued about their business, losing interest in this clearly delusional man…

Onward he walked, looking around him, wiping away the tears with the sleeve of his jacket. As his vision cleared and he scanned the faces around him, he saw a young woman sitting on the ground, back against the window of a fast-food shop. She was well dressed, wearing a pair of blue designer jeans and expensive looking brown leather boots. Her red shirt was buttoned up just so far as to be a little revealing, and her long, straight black hair had obviously been styled. The vagabond watched as she pulled her knees in towards her, hugging her legs as she stared the the pavement before her. He saw the people hurry past her, not noticing the single tear escape her eye… sympathy welling up inside him, the realisation of all that had happened suddenly hit home. Abandoning his search for the visitor, the search he now knew was fruitless anyway, he walked up to the girl, taking a seat on the ground next to her. She didn’t seem to notice him at first, not until he spoke…

**************************************************

The street was alive with people. Old and young, male and female, everyone bustled about their daily business. The sheer busyness of the place was almost tangible, like a fog that hung in the air, blinding those below it to the existence of anything but the task in hand. The cacophony of sounds that is life in the city centre only served to add to the mayhem. Shop doors opened and closed, engines growled as the cars and buses flew past, ignorant of the pedestrians crossing the street… Snippets of conversations, cries of newspaper sellers, blaring of horns… This was it, this was life in the mainstream. But something was different, something had changed… people were stopping, turning around in the street. The homeless guy, the one everyone tried to ignore, the one who sat quietly in his recess day after day was standing up and shouting out to the world around him… and a girl was with him, some new friend he seemed to have found. The two of them were stood in the street, crying out to those around them…

“Hallelujah! Hallelujah! There’s someone here you we have found!”

**************************************************

The sun was setting as the vagabond walked down the gradual hill towards his destination. He said a little prayer, just to give thanks to God for the view which he beheld; the valley sides illumiunated by the tawny-orange hue of sunset. Not many people were still out and about at this time; in fact, save the vagabond and the man walking along beside him, not a single person was to be seen on this street…

“You’re right…” the vagabond’s companion spoke into the silence. “I don’t think anyone could have expected it… Some have dreamed of it, of course, have been desiring it and praying for it for as long as I can remember, but I doubt anyone woke up this morning and knew it would start today…”

The walked onward a little more, reaching the bottom of the hill and turning into a new street. The companion spoke once more, continuing his thread. “I’ve been praying for it myself, y’know… many nights I would sit in my room, looking out the window at the lights of this city… praying for revival to come…”

They turned in through a gateway, stopping at the door as the vagabond’s companion fumbled in his pocket for his key. The vagabond turned around, looking out at the street before him. The school on the other side of the street stood tall, blocking his view back up the hill they had just descended. Pulling out his keyring, the vagabond’s companion led the way into the house. “I’ll have the kettle on in a jiffy,” he said, gesturing the vagabond towards the sofa in the sitting room to the right. “By the way, I had meant to ask you earlier… The visitor you were telling me about, what exactly did he say to you? Did he tell you his name?”
The vagabond smiled as he moved towards the sofa. “His name… he told me it was Gabriel.”
The vagabond’s companion stopped midstep, halfway to the kitchen. He was well aware of the significance of that name… turning to face the vagabond, he asked again, “What did he say? What was his message?”
The vagabond’s smile broadened, and a laugh escaped his lips… He gave his new companion the answer he sought…

“Hope…”

The face in the window…

Posted in creative, friends, rain on May 2, 2008 by Phil Alcorn

Alone, he sat, fingers hovering over the keys. He knew, of course, what he wanted to say… The words had already taken shape in his mind’s eye, already given themselves form and reason. He knew, knew all too well what it was he wished to complete this post with. But, as had happened so many times before, hesitation had taken hold. Its bony fingers grasped his wrists, holding them back from the keyboard with a steady but strong restraint…

Sighing, he swivelled around in his chair, turning to gaze out of the murky window. The first few beads of condensation began to form at it’s extremeties, mirroring the raindrops clinging to the other side. He barely noticed, however, focusing instead on the street below, beyond this current realm of his. It was deserted now, save a few parked cars and a cat taking shelter by the gates of the school opposite his house. Small streams flowed down the roadway, pouring themselves into the waiting drains. The puddles on the footpath shook and spat as each new raindrop crashed down upon them, sending the reflection of the dull amber streetlight dancing in all directions. Somewhere in the distance, the sky flashed, lighting up but for a moment the maze of clouds that swirled overhead. The thunder rumbled a few seconds later, a low menacing threat of more to come.

Mind churning, he turned away from the window once more. The glow of the computer screen cast a strange shadow across his face, witnessed by no one. Sighing once more, he paused the song that had been playing on repeat for the past ten minutes. The melody coming softly though his speakers halted abruptly, giving way to the gentle tapping of the raindrops outside. Throwing his arms nehind his head, he swivelled in his chair a second time, now facing the interior of his room. Bible verses and inspiring quotes adorned his walls, seeming to glow out at him in the light from his lamps. His guitar stood in its stand, standing guard in the corner of the room. A half finished book lay on his bedside table, sat open at the point he had reached the night before. And everywhere, everywhere, was the stillness. The rain pattered against the window like a metronome, as he contemplated the absolute stillness of his realm. The silenced music added now to the emptiness he perceived around him, the isolation he felt creeping into the edges of his mind…

His blog post forgotten, he turned again to the window, unable to face his room any longer. Turning his attention back to the street outside, his mind fought to shut out the lonliness that so often plagued him on these late nights. Silently, and unknown to him, the clock on his computer screen clocked forward by one digit. 2:34am.

What would one think, he found himself wondering, if they glanced up at my window as they walked past outside? It was foolish, he knew, to imagine anyone going for a walk in the rain at that time of night. But the question remained. They would see a face. They would see my face… but what would they think? Would they know I exist… I mean, really exist? Would they wonder about my story? Would they ponder over what makes me tick, how I live, what I feel and hope for and dream of? Or is that all that I would be… a face in the window…

Slowly, he turned back to his computer. It would do no good to start dealing with these thoughts tonight. Better to sleep, to rest, and face the new dawn with a new resolve. These feelings that come at night, they’re so much easier to ignore during the day… best to go to sleep, and speed it’s arrival…

His eyes focused on the screen in front of him. His own words shone back. This post would not be finished tonight, he knew. He could not write what he wanted to… it was not right to do so. He saved the post, to be finished another time, and shut down his computer. Turning off his lamps and closing the curtains, he lay down on his bed, allowing the steady drumming of the heavier oncoming rain to lull him off to sleep. How many other faces are at windows tonight? he wondered, as he drifted off into slumber. I wonder if anyone thinks of them too…

*********************************

Steadily, he paced through the wind blowing against him. Camera bag over his shoulder, tripod under his arm, and raincoat flapping around him, he made his way home along the road. The night hadn’t been a total waste – he had managed to get some pretty good snaps of the clouds before the rain simply became too heavy for him to risk soaking his camera any further. He pressed on, feeling the water from the puddles entering his shoes with every step… old trainers may be comfortable, but they have their downsides too. Passing by the school, he stole a glance up at his friends house. There, in the window, illuminated by the glow of a computer screen, sat his friend. It was hard to make out, the fog on the inside of the window reaching almost halfway to the top of the glass. Stopping, he considered calling his friend on his mobile, stopping for a cup of tea, having a chat… the late hour, he knew, would not necessarily be a problem. As he watched, however, the glow of the computer screen died, and the curtains closed. He turned away, and proceeded with his walk back to his own house. Better not to bother his friend if he was heading to bed – sleep is a valuable thing, they both knew that all too well. Still, he thought, it would have been nice to have a chat, to hear what his friend had been up to, share stories of the past few days… their chats were always something he looked forward to.

Walking on, the rain continued to pelt against him, and the wind began to strengthen. Lightning flashed once more, as he thought about his friend, the face in the window, and gave thanks for him. That face in the window, though he didn’t always know it, was a real blessing…

Interaction…

Posted in blog, confused, creative, friends, randomness on April 2, 2008 by Phil Alcorn

Ok. Something new. Something unexpected. Something that may well fall flat on its face, though I hope it doesn’t.

I’m looking for interaction from YOU. Yes, you. You, reading this blog, right now. I am looking for you to leave a comment to this post. And in that comment, I am asking you to say what the word ‘hope’ means to you. And I for one certainly hope you take me up on this challenge…

Thanks guys. Peace out.

flickr…

Posted in Morocco, photography on March 30, 2008 by Phil Alcorn

I’m gonna make a post soon about my thoughts on Morocco… but for now, check out my flickr for some snaps of the trip. Or rather, for about 15 of the 450…