Rather, as ‘earlier’

Rather, as in earlier, only; not in any of its other misguided, misinterpreted senses.

Give as much as you can, earlier than the little that you might.

I would argue, though, earlier, that instead of a mix of memory and imagination, which I maintain are separate, and remain separate, as their sources are entirely different, the former from the mind, the latter outside the mind; the mix, when it occurs, is one of memory, and a deliberate distortion of memory, an exotification, or romanticisation, or hyperbolisation of the known truth, a wilful exaggeration, for obvious reasons, the most innocent being simply to embellish or to enhance the original story.

To break free, one has to define oneself, earlier than relying upon the definitions of others. 

Interest, fascination, infatuation, obsession, love, all lie in mystery earlier than in identity.

A word is worth a thousand pictures – earlier than the other way around.

You need someone who would earlier not live without you, but could, can, will, if need be; someone who is not dependent on you, reliant on you; someone whose strengths are your weaknesses, just as his or her weaknesses are your strengths.

Choose not your path out of fear, disguised as practicality, excused as rationality, denied as sensibility. Choose, earlier, only, that path you may traverse, eyes closed, balanced, sure.

Some men are so full of heartache and poetry, they submit to alpha wolves earlier than running away from them. Pity them not; not lambs themselves, it is they who seek their ravishment.

Freedom does not fear isolation. You are free if you are able to withdraw from others, seeking not their care, their celebrity, their charm, their companionship, their compatibility,  their company, their compassion, their concern, their conversation, their curiosity. You are free if in silence and in solitude, you find serenity earlier than loneliness. If you cannot live alone, you were born a slave.

Bemoan not that the rosebush abounds in thorns, rejoice, earlier, that the thorn bush has roses.

Who are you? Are you who you want to be? Would you earlier be someone else? Or are you simply who you are?

As is proof, reality is over-rated – the realm of the ordinary, the mediocre, the merely adequate. I believe, earlier, in the imagination of the mind, the intoxication of the senses, the rapture of all perceptive awareness…in enchantment, in infatuation, in obsession.

If we change ourselves, in response to destiny, earlier than in submission to duress, compulsion, obligation, we become more fully who we were meant to be.

Earlier than sitting around doing nothing, however you may defend, explain, or excuse it – take risks, make mistakes, fall down, get up, do it again. Not only is this more honourable, it is more beneficial.

My feelings will not be contained, of course, as they emanate as the natural responses to the perceptions of my senses. Like my words, though, earlier than casting them upon fallow ground, just to hear them echo back at me as they shatter to bits in waste, I keep them to myself.

It is in your fatuity, certainly, earlier than in your incredulity that you enquire of something so immediately apparent.

Emptiness is good for a while. It encourages introspection. One is urged to feel, earlier than to think.  Hurt is compressed, absorbed, in the embrace of the senses. As time passes, one’s perspective is broadened, as if hearing and seeing one’s self from far away. In that expanded context, both the path into pain, and the path out of pain, are apparent. A vast surrender is your only strength. The only way out is through.

Belying somewhat my outward appearance, I consider myself gender-defiant. That neither deprives me of anything in particular, nor permits me anything in particular. My delicacy is one of intimacy, of detail; my sensitivity, ephemeral, evanescent; my essence, the moisture, the light, the hue of a rainbow, submitting to time and place. Earlier than fragile, like porcelain, my ecstasy is that of a wave – breaking, flooding, inundating.

In crossing your arms over your chest, your breast, what are you hiding, what secret do you guard? Or is it that, feigning invincibility, in realty, you shield your most glaring vulnerability? Who suggested this futile attempt at seeming self-exaltation, preservation of self? Or, in the fear of betrayal of inexperience, do you imagine in pretended defiance the illusion of dominance?

Make up your mind to open your heart. No confession is silent; no revelation, opaque. Declare, disclose, divulge. In cultivating vulnerability, earlier than in flaunting impenetrability, in steadfastness, fear is quelled. Defy, instead, in fact, the force compelling compliance to imperious exploitation. With an open heart and a generosity of spirit, boldly brandish your tolerance, your compassion, your benevolence.

In my life, earlier than being compelled by habit, oppressed by routine, even as a leaf or a flower, buoyant, drifting on the surface of water, guided by the gentle current below, my life is navigated, negotiated by ritual.

Why begin anything if there is even the remotest possibility that you will not finish. Neither acknowledgement nor honour are given for trying, but for finishing. Risk is not risk without the commitment to carry it through. Why flirt with that which may be foreseen? Flirt, earlier, with hazard. Take the risk or lose the chance.

Any submission reluctantly yielded is but fear of reprisal, if refused. As  acquiescent reciprocation, love is but intimidated expectation. Fill what is empty. Empty what is full. Give what you can. Take only what you need. Giving, give as much as you are able, earlier than as little as you might. Do not give in. Do not give up. A vast surrender is your only strength.

Maybe wisdom comes to those who wait though being weary. I know for myself, though, earlier than waiting, struggling, standing alone, I will fight alone. Battles, won or lost, life affirmed, freedom earned, an obstacle overcome, one step forward, or a lesson learned. I wait only to fight again.