Throughout my life I have come to points where I have left the past behind. It never really goes, clinging to your coat tails and biting back when it gets the chance. That has never been a chip on my shoulder as I have always taken responsibility for my actions.

I realise though, especially now, that the past defines you but doesn’t own you. You cannot escape from it but you should embrace it, learn from it and only by releasing the demons of fear of exposure will you be free of it. Skeletons in the cupboard are always found out, and the greater the investment in the cupboard will bring a greater price when discovered.

I have wasted to much time enslaved by my past, hiding it from exposure, paranoid about exposure. Although I would move on and reinvent myself, I never dealt with it and this affected my honesty with many of those who shared my journey at times.

“You have a wall around you” she complained. All the she’s complained and they were right. They only got so far and that was it. I couldn’t see it then, it was just a natural reaction for me. It wasn’t till the death of the father that the anger arose from within and reveled itself that I could see where it had developed. Seeing it allowed me to consider dismantling it.

With the Wall dismantled there is nothing to contain the past. I have heard it say that the prisoner will get released after he’s served his time, but his guard is there for life. So with the dismantling of the wall I remove the fear of whatever I put the Wall up to protect me from. Confronting this without prejudice or intellectualism is necessary to release it from my coat tails and make sure I won’t be bitten by it again.

By that I mean that our thoughts are molded from our past, our prejudices are based on our viewpoint and our viewpoint is skewed to pander to the Wall. The Wall is the controller, big brother, Orwell’s 1984. It is my fear and behind it I indulge in the illusion that I am safe. But I am simply serving a sentence, doing time.

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I used to watch the Kung Fu series religiously as Caine, a disgraced Shaolin priest, wandered around America’s wild west. Kwai Chang Caine would often refuse to fight, even when he was provoked. His Buddhist philosophy was like a breath of fresh air. Only at the end of the show would he retaliate to physical attack with the necessary force to protect himself.

I later found out that this was originally created by Bruce Lee but actor David Carradine took the role because TV producers were nervous about US audiences being able to accept an Asian star in the lead role. The Silent flute was Lee’s original story written along with James Coburn.

Lee wrote- The story illustrates a great difference between Oriental and Western thinking. This average Westerner would be intrigued by someone‚Äôs ability to catch flies with chopsticks, and would probably say that has nothing to do with how good he is in combat. But the Oriental would realize that a man who has attained such complete mastery of an art reveals his presence of mind in every action…True mastery transcends any particular art.

When as a troubled youth in my early twenties my mother died and I saw with clarity the emptiness of my life, the lack of true friends and the lack of vision. It was not long before I was enrolled in a Martial Arts class with the intent to change my life. It was not Bruce Lee that inspired me but Caine, that’s how i saw myself and to a certain extent still do. I felt that I was far from home wandering a strange land and i had all the trial and tribulations that young men have.

I have moved all my life, lived in different parts of the world and have few contacts from those areas. Had life been different i would have grown up in the Mumbles outside Swansea, but fate took me on other paths. Much of my life was apart from my parents in a regime of strict authority that created a resilience and survivalism that few can hope to achieve. It was no wonder I rebelled and the anger burst out in the mid to late 70’s and early 80’s in a rage that few recognise in me now.

During all this I recognised certain influences that were the light within the rage. I read fervently, Huxley, Gary Snyder, Carlos Castaneda, Robert Anton Wilson, Krishnamurti and Tibetan Buddhism. I sought out influential bands such as Crass that were influential and experienced their communal lifestyle. When some were starting to join Peace convoys and be identified as New Age Travellers, I chose a different route that many mistook as taking Thatcher’s shilling, joining the system, selling out. There was nothing to ‘sell out’ as that is their reality, not mine.

I worked doors and excelled and during the days and evenings I trained, trained and trained some more. I immersed myself into the science of fighting and researched arts and training methods, reading obscure coaching books from the library. Some who I had left behind were dismissive as I was the example that their self pity was bullshit. I had a child and ten months later had to bury him, taking the lead at his funeral rather allow some priest who had no knowledge of our life dictate the proceedings. My second child later came to be directly under my custody five years later.

I was growing and getting stronger and that was taking me on my route to where I am now. Everything I have done has brought me to this moment and this reflection i’ll determine where I will head towards, what trials I will have to encounter and the strength of my love for those close to me.

This blog will reflect laying my soul out to bear and ridding myself of the skeletons that could still pull me under the water, which is just what Caine did in the series.