1000 Followers! Thank You!

Thank you so much. Thanks to the small fraction of followers who like posts, the even smaller amount that comment on them and the one mystery person who shares them. In particular, I’d like to thank my top commenters of late. You make the writing experience enjoyable and fill it with pockets of hope.
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An octopus was once asked, “Which one of your suckers is your favourite?”

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“Indeed, I don’t prefer one to another as they all perform the same function. Yet, each tentacle can have a different purpose. On occasion that purpose is merely to appear elegant, or crude or artistic. In a situation where I wish to eat a particular snack deep within a tight crevice, I’d favor the sucker upon my longest reach.”

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“What?”

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“… What?”

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It’s hard to pick favourites, but at the moment two of my favourite little suckers are Gateway and The Love I Have For You.

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When I post to wordpress, what you read is the first draft. I fill blank space on a page and just throw it out there. My ‘favourite’ story I’ve posted is Silence.

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It’s funny, the most popular posts on this page are the only non-creative ones: Instagram and Self Sabotage and, of course, Tinder and the Death of Romance. I actually really enjoyed writing these, but they are rants, nothing more.

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It actually saddens me that people would rather read dribble than something creative and less on the nose. Something that may make you think just a little bit harder.

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Anyway…

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What’s next?

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Well, I’m aiming to have The Vile Mint published as a little chap book in the near future. It has works that have never been online as well as reworked poems from this site. I’m also hoping to die a tragic death so my family can capitalise on selling a dead poet’s signed book. I guess if you want a signed copy, just comment below and I’ll reply to you when it’s ready.

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Also, I don’t think I’m a good strategist when it comes to building a large audience for my blog. I’m always open to suggestions. If you could help in any way I’d love to hear from you.

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Thanks again! Here’s to another 1000!

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Randall Evans.

Simultaneity


When stress begins to take control.

Begin to think of time as whole.

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Streams keep flowing as you think,

And death takes men with every blink.

One foot in fire; One in ice.

Arms outstretched in depth and height.

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A child dies within the womb,

A flower dances in it’s bloom.

Love’s first kiss on nervous lips.

Flying birds and sinking ships.

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Midnight, midday, they are the now,

Awake, Asleep, a death, a vow.

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What are we but selfish beings?

Emotions flow immediately.

Perspective points of different seeing,

Stuck not in time, in sensory.

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If I were time I’d laugh and cry.

In every second I pass by.

With focus on each lone event,

A flapping wing, a final breath.

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Stress all you want and waste the day.

The trees don’t stress, they only sway.

A butterfly lands on a child’s nose,

And time holds more than what you know.

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Written by Randall Evans.

The Cave

I ventured deep inside a cave. Down into the warmth of the earth. Into a place where the sounds of the surface are left behind.

reflection -- jenolan caves -- caves -- river -- underground -- lake -- australia -- travel -- sydney -- lights -- hike

It’s beautiful.

The rocks were magnificent. Each different formation had a name, ‘Actors on a stage’ or ‘The father of federation’, who faced the only exit.

But these were young names given to impossibly old monuments that have no thoughts or feelings. They neither love nor hate.

Yet attractive and full of mystery, the cave didn’t seem an important place for humans to venture. 

That is, until my light went out.

reflection -- stalic tight - jenolan caves -- caves -- river -- underground -- lake -- australia -- travel -- sydney -- chapel -- lucas -- explore

It was total darkness. No phone screens, no torches and no lighters.

Nothing.

I could not see my hand in front of my face.

Heavy is the air that held me.

In that pure darkness, with my breath held silently in the still air, I discovered something.

I exist.

reflection -- stalic tight - jenolan caves -- caves -- river -- underground -- lake -- australia -- travel -- sydney

I could still feel my hands. I could feel the texture of the rocks surrounding me.

To base existence on the perceived reality of touch, or any other sense, is far from profound. It was more than that. I based my existence on the following:

I felt the gentle warmth of skin brush past me for a split second.

In the billions of years the cave took to form, that minuscule fraction of time was the most powerful. A fraction of time smaller than a particle of mist that lands in the ocean.

I exist and so do you.
reflection -- jenolan caves -- caves -- river -- underground -- lake -- australia -- travel -- sydney -- stairs

The external is real.

I climb to the surface with the other explorers. The sounds of nature return to my ears.

My eyes have become windows. I’m now a guest in this world.

In the light under the warmth of the sun, I feel that moment of invisible beauty.

Existence.

reflection -- jenolan caves -- caves -- river -- underground -- lake -- australia -- travel -- sydney

– By Randall Evans.

The Train

“Be careful, it’s quite slippery.”

“I will. You taking photos?”

“Yeah, you?”

“Nah, i’m hoping to see a ghost.”

Helensburgh--station--train--haunted--nature--cool--photography--locations--sydney--nsw
Old Helensburgh Railway Station – Original Vile Mint Photo

The man’s camera flash echoed through the tunnel.

“Oh?”

“Yeah, I’ve been here before, but didn’t see anything. How long have you been in here?”

“I only just arrived.”

The abandoned train line was still and quiet.  It was beautiful in the day and ominous at night. People often came to take photos or go on guided ghost tours.

“Why do you want to see a ghost?”

“Because I’ve never seen one before.”

The flash echoes down the tunnel.

“What will you do when you find one?

“Probably run away.”

“Ah, so you are just thrill seeking.”

“Maybe…”

The flash echoes.

The woman slips on some mud and grabs the strangers shoulder to prevent herself falling down.

“I’m sorry, it’s so slippery.”

“It’s okay. How far down are you going to go?”

The darkness was thickening around them as they walked.

“As far as I have to to see a ghost.”

The man stopped in his tracks.

“Well, you had better stop walking.”

Helensburgh--station--train--haunted
Old Helensburgh Railway Station – Original Vile Mint Photo

The tunnel was silent but for a few drips of water. The mancontinued:

“This tunnel used to have trains passing through every hour full of different people. People in the rat race on the way to work, old men on their way to see their granddaughters and young children on their way to school.”

Darkness.

“For a time they were all together in the same carriage passing through the same tunnel. On late mornings they would have to run to make their train and on late evenings they would rest their heads agains the glass window and stare out into the darkness of this tunnel.”

The man turns his camera off.

“We are the only ghosts in this tunnel.”

– By Randall Evans.

India Part 3 – Feet

“This is a very dangerous area,” says the driver, “can not drive through here after six o’clock.”

RJ looks at his watch.

7:15pm

Staying in India is an odd experience for an outsider. The constant noise of traffic, the animals on the streets and the rubbish are all so different to things back home. Yet, these elements blanket the real experience. It’s only after a few days, when these things become normal, that this blanket is lifted. These distractions are not the real experiences India has to offer.

“So, you like living in Australia?”

RJ puts down his Indian style coffee, which is small and very sweet.

“Yeah, it’s not bad.”

The host nods his head.

“How is the electricity?”

All complaints about RJ’s home vanished in an instant. It’s too far from the city, the train station is a 10 minute drive away, the people are too nice and always wave, the cafe shuts at 5:00, the birds at the lake always swoop people… all gone.

Looking up at the single lightbulb on the roof and its wiring running down the wall and into the another room, RJ answers the host.

“It’s… it’s pretty good… can’t complain…”

The host nods… his eyes wandering in deep thought…

India--Indian--Slums--slums--slumdog--wall--calcutta--kids--happy--poor--blog--wordpress--photography--tourist--experience--travel

On the last visit to the slum, RJ exchanges smiles with familiar faces. Faces that he never knew, but now, can never forget.

We see ourselves in the eyes of each other. The People in the slums suffer in silence, while the rest of the world tweets their emotions on a global scale.

He opens the door to the van, but as he does two small slum kids run up to him and touch his feet. Pranāma.

The blanket is lifted.

For one reason or another, RJ felt that he should be the one to touch their feet. Not the other way around. They were the ones who opened his eyes and they were the ones he respected.

India--Indian--Slums--slums--slumdog--wall--calcutta--kids--happy--poor--blog--wordpress--photography--tourist--experience--travel--elderly--old--woman--grandma--

It’s 7:15.

The van travels in the dark down the forbidden road. The small hands that touched RJ’s feet keep a tight grip on his heart.

Small and very sweet.

“This is a very dangerous area,” says the driver…

Dangerous indeed…

– By Randall Evans.

Delay

Once upon a time, the stories weren’t so far away… And their heart were even closer.

If you ever look up from your newspaper or phone on the train, you will notice that everyone’s head moves in the same pattern. They all drift along with motion of the train.

Inertia: a property of matter by which  an object continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force.

The train comes to its regular stop at the station. A few people get off, a few people get on. After a 23 second delay, people start to look at their watches.

7 seconds more…

“Stand clear, doors closing.”

A sigh of relief is shared by the passengers…

But, the train doesn’t move.

What could only be described as ‘A junky’, starts to swear under his breath. A young student looks over at him from the corner of her eyes.

“Attention passengers,” The speakers don’t have to be so loud, “We are currently waiting for a signal to change, we should be off shortly.”

It’s odd, people that read books on the train always seem to stop reading when there is a delay. They stop and stare out the window.

The landscape never changes. The train never moves.

A girl gets out her phone.

Disease: A disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury:

“The train is delayed…. I don’t know… I’ll try and get off…”

The train doors open.

“Attention passengers, we may be here for a long time, so we have opened the doors if you would like to get out. We apologize for this inconvenience. We are just waiting for the police to give the all-clear as a bodily object has obstructed the train ahead of us.”

A small frown forms on the few passengers who have nowhere to go.

“A bodily object…”

The disease spreads. More people get out there phones and stand on the train platform. Peak hour is no time for the trains to stop running. People want to get home to their families or have a drink with their friends.

A staff member of the rail network talks to some people outside. They have no new information.

“They have no idea how long it will take, can you just come and get me?”

Ignorance used to be bliss.

“Yeah, I’m going to be late. Well… Look… I understand that….”

But humankind has evolved.

“Really? No one can come and get me?  I’ve had a really long day!”

Apathy is bliss.

The train doesn’t move, and neither do the people.

At the next station rests a body upon the track. No more pain. No more suffering. No more life.

Once upon a time, we weren’t so far away… And our hearts were even closer.

– By Randall Evans.

India Part 2 – The Mountains

Based on my trip to India. 

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

One man’s day is another’s forever.

It is odd, thinks RJ, that such poverty could exist in the shadow of the worlds greatest mountain range. It is odd that the worlds tallest mountain is only tall enough to see man at the most basic level.

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Rj is sitting in a cool van with a camera on his lap. The real work is about to begin. The van travels through the town to a long road that RJ dubbed ‘slum drive’. Slum drive is a road that even the pigs avoid.

At this point, RJ is still fascinated by the number of animals that roam the streets freely. Pigs, cows, dogs (filthy dogs) and chickens go wherever they please until their owner brings them home.

The van stops.

The team travel off the main road and into the real slums. The only sounds that reaches RJ’s ears are the sounds of feet on earth. The crunching of shoes on dirt echo in his brain. Soon enough, his feet take to the ruins of an old building wall, the only way to continue on the path and stay out of the deepening mud holes.

Still the footsteps echo.

“Are we really here?”

“Am I really here?”

“Where am I?”

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He turns on the camera  and films his feet as they walk along the rubbish. Oh, the rubbish? You see, In India there is no garbage collection or waste management. The earth is the dump.

The camera makes it’s way up to the reveal the rest of the team as they walk along.

“I am the audience…” Thinks RJ.

Filming is like organising a wedding. Excitement and happiness are on one side and organisation and work on the other. To be efficient, it is essential to transcend oneself and become the camera. Become cruel and cold. Become nothing but procedure, settings, distances and angles. Emotions that could cause the camera to become more like a fragile human being are destroyed before they can be felt.

In this particular case, filming was more like planning a funeral.

In a ‘house’ lived seven people. A house of mud and stone. It’s roof lay above your waste and it’s beds as comfortable as cement could be.

In this house lives a 14 year old boy living with a disability. He was born with his bladder on the outside of his skin. He constantly wets himself. Medical treatment is far beyond the means of a slum community. _MG_7875 copy

The camera shakes. RJ gets out a cloth to clean the lens. The best practice for when one needs to take a deep breath.

Back in the van. The short journey to the hotel is a quiet one. Why do the streets now seem normal?

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

One man’s day is another’s forever.

– By Randall Evans.