Friday, 4 December 2009

Dear Durham And Dear Friends.

Dear Durham and dear friends.  There has been many a time that heading out my front door was quite the challenge. Yet, I know that I can't just wait for things to happen.  If I want a better life, I have to take action.
So once again, I journeyed up to Durham to stay with my good friends, Julie and Philip.  Having friends such as these, has been vital, in my ongoing quest, to live a happier life.  For this, I am grateful.
Oh yes, we laughed and we talked.  Like three giddy school kids, we had the time of our lives.  It's so refreshing, so invigorating, to get out of my house, my isolation, and be a part of something, so very special.
Their priceless gift of friendship has inspired me to be more involved.  Indeed, to stop worrying so much about my perceived lack of social skills.  More and more, I am beginning to understand that it okay for me to have the 'audacity' to 'impose' myself on society.  It is about unlearning behavioural patterns that filled me with niggling self doubts.

The winter sun was setting.  I gazed upon the awesome splendour that is Durham cathedral.  I thought to myself how lucky I am to have such caring friends.  The scene was perfect and my heart sang with the joy of life.
I am now back in my house.  The fond recollection of another great time resounds in my thoughts.  Dear Durham and dear friends.  Wow, life just gets better and better.


  1. Never heard of Durham before, but that place looks nice. It reminds me of Count Dracula. Ok, so maybe it has nothing to do with Transylvania, but the tower... it really looks pretty eerie.

    "Indeed, to stop worrying so much about my perceived lack of social skills. More and more, I am beginning to understand that it okay for me to have the 'audacity' to 'impose' myself on society."

    That's definitely something we have in common. I guess it's somewhat refreshing to go out with other people and visit other places... removes the monotony of daily life. It reminded me of what Aldous Huxley said about being alone:

    "We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves. The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone. Embraced, the lovers desperately try to fuse their insulated ecstacies into a single self-transcendence; in vain. By its very nature every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude."

  2. Dear Gary,
    So glad you had such a good time in Durham. It seems to have been quite the life-affirming experience for you. And, while I understand those nagging doubts you have, might I say that I think your social skills are fine and you fully deserve your place in society. To me and, I expect, many others, you always come over as a genuine, caring and funny guy.
    Anyway, glad that you are enjoying life. Bring on "Boxing Day Eve"!
    Yours with Very Best Wishes,

  3. You can't beat having good friends - when all else fails in the world you can rely on good friendships.

    Julie xx

  4. Lovely to hear your news and that you are happy and have such good friends. I love Durham too, always wanted to go to university there because of all that history! Hugs...xx

  5. Hi Ryhen,
    Durham is a very nice place. I have a real sense of peace when I visit there. Indeed, all the more peaceful, considering a couple of my dearest friends now live there.
    I can see how it kinda' might look like the sort of place Count Dracula might 'hang out' (quite literally).
    That is an excellent quote you have submitted from 'Aldous Huxley'.
    Ryhen, life can be quite the challenge. I now see that challenge in a more positive light. To work through the anxiety and come to the realisation that we have as much credibility as the next person, is a most cleansing experience. I believe the key to my own journey towards a better, happier life was when I stopped believing the 'hype' of the negative cynics who tried to devalue my humanity. Never again.
    Ryhen, you do an excellent blog. It is always a pleasure to check out your site.
    With peace and respect, Gary.

  6. Dear David,
    Thank you for such a kind and encouraging comment.
    You may recall that I recently did a blog titled 'Glowing Optimism'. I alluded to the fact that even in my times of solitude, I take great comfort in the knowledge that I have friends. Good friends such as you.
    'Boxing Day Eve' bring it on baby!
    With kindness, respect and empathy, your friend, Gary

  7. Hi Julie,
    Thank you for leaving a comment.
    Good friends and the trust that goes with it, is a powerful and inspiring combination.
    Warm wishes and happy writing, Julie.
    With respect, Gary x

  8. Greetings Carole,
    I know how much Durham means to you also. The history and that incredible cathedral, leaves me with a sense of awe.
    Hugs, your way, Gary x

  9. Hi Gary, hope you are doing well. I understand the courage this visit required. Blessings for many more of these happy days for you.


  10. Gary, I greatly enjoyed these pictures you posted. Magnificent! But I gained the most enjoyment knowing you are opening yourself to new journeys in life, allowing the world to carry you to new discoveries, and allowing yourself to find how much joy there is outside one's 'comfort zone'.

    Having good friends is truly wonderful, isn't it?(smile)

    Blessings to you,

  11. Hi Victoria,
    I am doing very well, thank you. I continue to challenge my anxiety. This has been yet another very positive step forward, thanks to the support of my friends and my inner determination.
    I hope all is well in your life, Victoria. With peace and respect, Gary

  12. Hi Mattie,
    So nice to have you drop by:-)
    I am discovering much joy out of what you might call getting out of my 'uncomfortable comfort zone'.
    I am blessed with some truly wonderful friends. They are an ongoing source of inspiration. Indeed, Mattie, I consider you an inspirational friend. For this, I am most grateful.
    With very best wishes, Gary :-)

  13. Hi Gary,
    In all the 'settings' I have experienced with you, you have an absolute delight. Who knows, we might actually meet one day. So I'm very glad to hear that getting out and enjoying yourself is so important. We all need that outlet of good friends to share in our lives. A delightful read Gary!

    In peace,
    Dixie x

  14. Hi Dixie,
    Thanks for experiencing my 'settings' via my descriptions.
    It would very nice, if one day, you could be here to immerse yourself in some of the awe inspiring beauty that has treasured my eyes.
    Delightful wishes, your way, Gary x

  15. Hi Gary
    I understand somewhat about not being able to leave the house. We had trouble answering the phone at one point because every time we did, it was more bad news. Over time we slowly have recovered and aren't afraid anymore. If I don't answer now, it's because I choose not to. I am glad you are having some fun. It's about time and you deserve to relax. Bravo!!

  16. Hi Heather,
    I know all about not wanting to answer the phone. I'm glad that you guys are usually now okay with answering the phone. Then again, the caller might be me. Yikes lol.
    Thanks for your nice comment. Hope you get some 'chill out' time. You both deserve that. 'Bravo' back atcha', Gary :-)

  17. Hi Gary – I adore Durham – lived there for a couple of years when I was a child and have very happy memories. I’m so glad you enjoyed your visit to see your friends.XX

  18. Hi Suzanne,
    I'm so pleased to note that you have happy childhood memories of Durham.
    What a magical, enchanting place to live.
    Wishing you continued happy writing.
    Warm regards, Gary x

  19. Hi Gary,

    A great and uplifting story. In a world full of people, it is a sad commentary that so many of us feel the pain of isolation based on our struggle with the past.

    It is so true that we have to take control of our lives if we want them to be better. Putting away our preconceived beliefs that blind us to the possibilities is our responsibility.

    By sharing your journey and triumphs, you have inspired me and countless others. I thank you for this.


  20. Greetings Roger,
    Thank you for your very kind response.
    I like to think, that based on my own struggle to work through my past, to overcome the self doubt; that I can, in my own small way, create some comfort and inspiration for those who may find themselves in similar circumstances.
    It is very much about taking action and realising our positive choices.
    Thanks for your positive interaction. May you, my friend, continue to inspire others with your excellent blog.
    With peace and respect, your way, Gary

  21. Durham is maybe my favourite cathedral. It has a raw energy that the later Gothic ones like York do not have. And then there is the location, on that loop of the river.

    Stay audacious Gary and collect those nice memories.

    It's partly why we blog I think; to store away memories in a more tangible form than merely relying on our minds.

  22. Hi John,
    I most certainly will keep collecting those nice memories:-)
    I must agree with you. Of all the cathedrals I have visited; Durham's is my favourite. Great city, great location.
    I like to think of our blogs as kind of an open diary. A way to verbalise our mind's thoughts. In fact, I think of blogs as a profound learning experience. I have learnt so much about others and their perspective on the world around.
    Thanks John. All the very best with your ongoing writing endeavours.
    Kind regards, Gary

  23. WOW!!! that amazing photos...

  24. Hello Aree,
    Thank you for that. Glad you liked my photos.
    Kind wishes, Gary

  25. What Great memories Gary!! Isn't it wonderful how some friends can pick you up and show you the real you... the you they see.... NOT THE YOU, YOU SEE. lol Did i use to many You's in that?

    1. Hi Terry,

      Gary is presently sleeping, but I know I can comment on his behalf :) It was very kind of you to comment on this archived posting. YOU would be correct in what YOU say :) I think Gary sees himself in a much better light these days.

      Pawsitive wishes,

      Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! :)


I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.