City Street

You lay beneath the feet of man,

The condescending  hierarchy.

Imposed as though inadequacy.

To be so boldly vilified, 

And publicised, 

In view of many stoney eyes.

Know not what brought you to this point,

There is no room for simple thought, 

And so I stand and condescend, 

I have no choice my Stoney friend. 

Visions seen before my time,

Too great for one within the hour.

I am but man. 


Guise. 

Unicorns 

You can’t cage a unicorn. 

A very wise man once told me, everyone that comes into our lives is a challenge, one with learning to come from it. This stuck with me from that moment, because it rung true with what I had believed about people in my life for a long time. 

It was 7 months ago when I made a decision in my life which was not about money, but about acknowledging that as eager as I was (am), I wasn’t ready for what I wanted to be ready for. I rejected an opportunity to be someone bigger, someone more important. 

At the time I thought I had made the decision to allow myself to grow in a professional sense, I didn’t know that what I was looking for was personal guidance and growth. Demons I had hidden and thought to forget, conversations I refused to have with myself and loved ones. 

It was that decision which led me to find a unicorn. One of those overachieving,over-the-top, good at everything they do, destined for greatness kinds of people. A unicorn. One who with unruly persistence, human understanding and fortitude to bring it to the forefront, helped me find that personal growth I needed. 

But unfortunately, you can’t cage a unicorn. If you meet one, you have to know that they are fleeting, can’t be tied down, always on to the next thing. And for all the good they can do for you,you have to accept that for them, they need to move.

 So thank you. For everything. You’ll always have my gratitude, and my friendship. 
Good luck. 

Guise. 

Why Guise? 

Since putting myself a bit more out there in the last few months, I’ve been asked the same question a lot. Why Guise? (Which has been pronounced “Goy-se” “Gwe-se” amongst others, innocently). 

I guess it’s a good question. A questions which sparks many others. Why hide behind a pseudonym? Why do I feel the need to disassociate myself from my work? 

To be honest, it started off just as a gimmick, a character that I could bring to life and bring meaning to later. It evolved from that, though, because I soon developed a great insecurity about the quality of my writing, and the topics that hit close to loved ones. So it soon stopped being a character, and started being my shield. Guise had become a representation of objectivity, free from prejudice with which people may associate with my true being. 

Now, Guise doesn’t hold such a grim definition for me. This moniker of an “appearance other than me” is no longer a shackle to my work, but for me, it is becoming that character that I hoped it could be. The question is, how much longer do I need it. Time will tell, and I will grow, and needs will change. Until then, you can call me Guise. 

For the record, it’s pronounced “Guys”. 

Conquering the Uncomfortable 

There’s growing up, and then there’s growing. As we approach adulthood, and then well into this state of responsibility and obligations, we become so consumed in all the changes that are forced upon us, that some of us forget to change on our own terms. 

We don’t celebrate this enough. We don’t appreciate the times that make those little wins enough. It’s either that we find ourselves comparing to others, becoming drowned the magnitude of the greater goal we want, or are riddled with doubt that we are capable of doing good things. 

And then, we are taken by surprise, because someone tells us they are proud of us. For something simple. For stepping outside the comfort zone. 

I’ve seen this ALOT in the past week, with myself and with others. I don’t feel like I have grown for my experience, but that recognition reinforces what I haven’t appreciated in myself. And that is what will set me up to grow in the near future. 

In the cases with others, I’ve watched that growth and sense of self-belief radiate from their smile. 

I guess the lesson is to appreciate our actions, and the actions of others, for what they are. Not being disappointed because it didn’t change the world, but enjoying that you decided that the regular, and the comfortable, was not enough. And you survived it. 

Guise. 

The Death of Opinion

With Google’s DeepMind and IBM’s Watson only a couple of the major Artificial Intelligence systems currently growing and changing, we need to recognise that it is only a matter of time before these systems learn and absorb facts and data at such an exponential rate that humanity is launched into a renaissance of knowledge. 

While the reality of the machine uprising and termination of human life is a possible consequence of this development, I’m interested in another great loss. When these systems absorb all of the world’s truth, all that we will deal with is fact. Speculation and opinion will cease to be relevant. 

So then, what does a human existence without opinion look like? For starter, we can do away with politicians, because when interpretation of best interests is trumped by pure output of facts by AI, we will not need elected representatives spinning words for meaning. Each meaning will be but simple truth. 

Working life will change also, in that, there would likely be little purpose for human workers, as the AI will have the capacity to think,  solve complex problems and adapt to the most efficient and effective form of conduct possible. 

Where does that leave currency? Without a workforce, the purpose of currency will be rendered useless, effectively wiping the class systems in the majority of countries in the world. 

It will be the end of civil and religious wars. The end of true privacy. The end of human life as we know it, but maybe not altogether. 

A world where science fiction meets reality. 

I welcome it. At the end of the day, we just as likely to head towards our own destruction at the will of man anyway. If we’re going to do it, we might aswell do it right. 

Guise. 

Our Lives, they are’a Changin’

Even when it feels like our world is crashing down, we have a remarkable ability to persevere, to break through the barriers. We are but creatures of adaptation, but our ability to adjust is esoteric, it is a gift of the gods. 

I have a saying, and I’ve shared it with many people over the years and that is, “whether for the good or the bad, change is coming”. 

The reason this thought has stuck with me for so long, I think, is because it is realistic. It does not offer lofty promises of brighter times just around the corner, but it also does not dwell on the grim reality of an unfortunate or unpleasant situation. What it does do, is it acknowledges that like death and taxes, change is inevitable. 

Whether that change leads to better times, or whether it leads to worse, accepting that everything is temporary is cathartic. Whatever tomorrow brings, it will be different from today, and we will have different perceptions, different options, different solutions, and different risks. 

It is with this knowledge,  with this acceptance, that we can nurture our resilience. It teaches you to ride the good times high, and appreciate them when they are here. It teaches you to push, and to hold on when our experiences are low, when we are at our most tested. 

The contradiction in this thought is that sometimes though, we have to accept when we do not have the resilience to be resilient. This is not a shameful characteristic, nor one to hide away. It is these times that we find ourselves in our darkest holes, and we feel every grain of despair blow in our winds. These are the times to seek help. Take solace in knowing that change is inevitable. It’s just that sometimes we need to give that change a kick up backside. 

I wish you resilience and courage, from this day to the next. 

Guise. 

New Year, Same Me

By some grace of might and magic, did anyone really believe that a change in some arbitrary number, based on a potentially inaccurate calendar was going to make any different to the shit we hate about ourselves. 

“New Year, New Me” they laud as they drink the same beer they did a week ago, smoke the same cigarettes and eat the same food. They stop looking for jobs and convince themselves that 2017 would be a completely different formula, one which is flawless, radical, and instantaneous. What is our obsession with making decisions in schedule with practically meaningless occasions? 

I mean, I sit here, post- new years resolution to contribute to this blog on a now weekly basis, and yet on the 3rd January 2017, I still haven’t even posted my first which was due two days ago. Same old procrastinating Guise. 

There is a complacency, and an inadequacy, in believing that a “New Year” will effortlessly transform our lives. We must take change by the horns and commit all we can to it, and not rely on the cosmos to enact our intentions. 

But there is some mettle to this measure. A mindset of commitment may very well be the catalyst for change in that persons life. So then, what’s holding you back from being the 2017 version of you, complacency or commitment, procrastination or poor decision making. 

Don’t wait for the new year to be over before the new you shows up. 

Happy New Year, and I’ll be back next week. 

Guise.