In 1995 I was in a very dark place; I’d been suffering from depression for years but had no idea. I was also in a dead-end and brain numbingly boring job, working for the Royal Mail in Swindon, Wiltshire. I desperately wanted to break free of my humdrum existence and decided to pursue something completely different and creative. I had always been a big fan of rock and blues music and like many, played a mean ham-fisted guitar. My guitars were my pride and joy and I decided I was going to become a full-time student at New College in Swindon on their BTEC ”Popular Music” course. It was a huge decision; it meant giving up full time employment and struggling by on casual jobs, such as washing pots and bar work; but I decided that I really needed the adventure. A while before the course was due to start, the college informed me they were not running the popular music course, but offered me “BTEC Performing Arts” as an alternative. I’m glad I decided to take them up on their offer because in no time at all after the onset of the course, I realised that I was not a very good guitarist after all, in fact I was just short of mediocre. I was 40 years old and attending a sixth form college, and there were kids of 16 playing guitar like Jimi Hendrix. But out of the darkness there came a light. I may have been a rubbish musician, but I found a flair for acting that I didn’t know I had; and little did I know at the time that it would be my experience on stage, both as a member of a theatre company and as a solo performer, that would prepare me for my work as a medium in the future. Anyway, I digress; this story is not meant to be about me, but I did need to paint a picture for you.
Around about Christmas time in 1995 two young students at New College (whom I didn’t know) decided they were going to race their cars up Queens Drive in Swindon on their way home. One of them tried to overtake on the inside lane and lost control of his vehicle. He mounted the grass verge and continued onto the pavement. Another young student, walking home, took the full impact of the car and was rammed into a wall. The wall was demolished and the young man left his body there and then. I didn’t know the young man; indeed I only heard about the incident from the other students in my group and ascertained that his name was Mark.
Even though I didn’t know Mark, and if he were to stand before me now I would not know that it was him, I was really struck by how deeply his passing affected the kids in my group. Seeing how touched they were, in turn, touched me. So much so that in January 1996 I was prompted from within to write a poem that I simply called ”Mark”. I came into college one day and read the poem out and showed it around. Many were touched by it and news of the poem reached Mark’s parents who, via the grapevine, requested a copy. back then computers were very much alien to me and I had written the poem by hand. I was very pleased that news of my work had reached Mark’s parents and even more pleased that they requested a copy; so it was with great joy that I hand-wrote them another. The poem was not a piece of literary genius; in fact it was a very, very simple piece of writing. But its power was in its simplicity. Now to the whole point of this article.
It is difficult for many to understand that the entire human race is one whole inter-connected family. Human logic does tend to equate with the physical form and the boundaries and limitations imposed by our much tormented minds. But to me this incident proves that time, space and physical presence are of no consequence to the Divine Spirit that is our deepest and highest truth. I never knew Mark at all, but I was touched deeply within my heart; his parents never knew me (and still don’t) but they were touched deeply in their hearts. It wasn’t our physical forms that had an impact on our respective lives; it was our very souls reaching out to each other across time and space. There is also a great symbolism within this incident that my troubled mind at the time could never have recognised. There is an example in here of The Holy Trinity* ; how creation and life in general is a series of cycles heavily influenced by the number 3. Out of love Mark’s parents (God The Father) begat Mark (God The Son) who out of his love (spirit) touched (begat) me (God The Holy Spirit). From within I wrote (begat) the poem that touched Mark’s parents, and so the cycle (the trinity) was complete. I have reproduced the poem below for what I hope is your enjoyment, and I strongly believe that the poem itself is living proof that the human spirit is not limited by a tormented mind either, as mine was at the time.
* The Holy Trinity is and always has been symbolic; it was never meant to refer to an old man with a beard (God) who had a son (Jesus) and somewhere or other there is a spirit flying around. The ultimate example of The Holy Trinity is: God The Father (the Ocean of Love that exists beyond vibratory creation), God The Son (God manifested as flesh here on earth, or the human race) and God The Holy Spirit (The Christ Concsiousness). Atainment by humans of ”Christ Consciousness (self) realisation” allows the individual soul to return to the ocean of love from whence it came, thus completing the cycle (trinity).
Gather your thoughts as you read these words
A friend has departed, the emotions are stirred
As he winds his way up to Heaven above
We think of him and extend our love
He’s happy now we surely know
But it broke our hearts to see him go
A far away land a pasture green
The most beautiful place you’ve ever seen
We shall meet you again when our time is done
In that beautiful place with the never setting sun
The flame of your memory Burns deep in our soul
And shall burn eternal ‘till the hills cease to roll
So think of us Mark from your beautiful place
And send us a postcard of your smiling face
Richard Holmes – January 1996
the words are beautiful they touch the heart 🙂 x
A beautiful post and a beautiful poem. Thank you for explaining about the Holy Trinity. Your words have touched me deeply. Evidence, then…
Glad you enjoyed it Janice and thanks for taking the time to comment.
I love reading your articles Richard. This poem is beautiful – no other word for it and I can imagine how much peace and comfort you gave to Mark’s parents x x
Thanks Kim that’s a great compliment coming from a book person such as yourself. 🙂
Reblogged this on Author, Artist, Geezer and Jolly Good Bloke – Richard F Holmes and commented:
Here’s another post from 2011 (based on a true story). It has a certain naïve charm to it. When I read these old posts I can see clearly how I’ve evolved and how my writing has changed. Still worth a read though I think!
Beautifully written dear Richard. Best wishes and Sairam.