‘Ignorance is bliss.’

I’ve heard the phrase a thousand times but I’ve never stopped to consider the truth behind it. Is ignorance really bliss? Is it truly better to be happy by lacking the knowledge of a darker reality?

I suppose the answer would depend on how you define ignorance. Ignorance, at its most basic definition, is the lack of knowledge or information. Throughout history, humans have had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and understanding. We want to know how things happen and why things happen and we want to develop. So why is it suggested that defying our basic human nature would make us happier?

Neuroscientists have recently proposed that the reason humans take pleasure from grasping new knowledge is due to a release of a natural opium-like substance in the brain. Simply put: understanding something new makes the brain feel good. So surely ignorance would be an unfavourable outcome?

Or is the phrase ‘ignorance is bliss’, referring only to the lack of awareness for negative situations? Whether you are conscious of the detrimental aspects of your life or not does not change the fact that those detrimental aspects exist. Is it better to be oblivious to something that could cause you emotional or physical pain, or is it better to be mindful of problem so you can work for a solution? For example, if you’re asleep in a burning building, is it better to stay asleep, and perish none-the-wiser, or is it better to wake up and fight for a way out?

However, ignorance does unburden you from the stress and worry that can be triggered when you discover something unfavourable. Ignorance can save you from that horrible sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach as you hear those words you just don’t want to hear, those words that cannot be unheard.

As such, small amounts of ignorance can provide happiness on a short-term scale.

Overall, ignorance can save you from immediate pain or upset and can therefore provide a sort of bliss. But in this case, bliss is not necessarily the best thing. Being unaware of a problem does not mean the problem does not exist, and only after discovering and understanding a situation can you work for a solution. People have an incredible ability to thrive despite adverse circumstances.

Ignorance can provide bliss, but true and complete bliss can only come from being fully aware.


Sand tickled her bare feet as she waltzed across the beach like a performer on the dance floor. Arms in the air, she spun and spiralled along the line where the ocean met the land, as careful as if she was walking on a high-wire in a circus.

Unperturbed by the pull of the wind against her tangled, honey-blonde hair, and the tug of the cool salt water against her toes, she was lost to the world around her. Lost to her troubles and fears.

A low chuckle rumbled from the man trailing behind her. The girl turned and gazed into the eyes of the man she loved and would always love. His sapphire eyes could rival the ocean for their beauty and depth. Her lips turned up in a smile that was mirrored on the man’s untroubled face. A smile could translate love better than words ever could. A smile was all they needed to express the intensity of their emotions.

Grabbing the hand offered to her, she pulled her lover into her embrace, fingers laced into his golden hair. She pulled comfort from his touch and happiness from his warmth. A hum of contentment resounded from her throat, and floated away on the ocean’s breeze, quickly stifled by the gentle crash of waves and the sharp cries of gulls circling gracefully above.

Pulling back, the man placed his hand gently to her rouged cheek, and she fell willingly into the contact. His hand was rough but his touch was tender and she loved him. She most definitely loved him.

‘We’ll be best friends forever,’
She tells me with glee.
A smile on her face,
Her spirit wild and free.

Daisy chains in the park,
And playing hide and seek.
‘I see you behind that tree!’
She yells with a squeak.

‘We’ll still be best friends, right?’
She asks, looking down.
I nod, but on my face,
I can’t hide my frown.

Meeting between lessons,
and sleepovers on the weekends.
Unable to predict
Life’s twists and bends.

‘I’ll see you soon, my best friend,’
She says, a tear in her eye.
As she gets into her car,
And waves me good-bye.

I watch as she leaves,
For her new school.
And I begin to wonder,
When did life become so cruel?

‘Meet my best friend,’
She states with a smile.
My heart drops.
I want to run a mile.

Her new friend wears make up,
and straightens her long golden hair.
The comparison between us,
Really isn’t fair.

‘Remember when we were best friends?’
She reminisces sincerely.
I don’t have the courage to admit.
That I miss her dearly.

Occasional catch-ups over coffee,
Cards on birthdays.
But the way she looks at me now…
It’s a stranger’s gaze.

‘I miss having you as my best friend,’
She admits one day.
I don’t respond,
I look down with dismay.

Her kids hug her legs,
Playing an old game.
A game we might have played once,
When our friendship burned full-flame.

‘You were always my best friend,’
I sob at her bedside.
I mourn the life we could have had,
The life fate denied.

Lips turned up in a smile,
But sadness in her eyes,
‘You were always mine, too,’
She says to my surprise.

‘I miss my best friend,’
I tell the people gathered.
Trying to seem strong,
But I feel broken and battered.

Death took her too early.
Death took my best friend.
I must now go on without her.
On myself I must depend.


I was in love with the idea of love
But the emotion escaped me
Lost and alone
Misery unknown
Life a haunting melody

Love was a lost illusion
A bitter conclusion
Through the lies and the pain
Bracing against the rain

But then I feel you
Washing over me
Pinned to the spot
By the passion blazing in your eyes
A mesmerising surprise

Your kiss is devastating
My heart’s pulsating
We’d be breathing the same air
If I could remember how to breathe

Your beauty moves me
Your passion paralyses me
I’m drowning in you

I’m losing myself
I’m losing you
In this world full of hate
Drowning in darkness
I can’t even contemplate

I need something worth fighting for
A flawless cure
To numb the pain
Escape the game
Or I think I’ll go insane

There’s so much to lose
I wish I could choose
An easier path
Careless and unthinking
Facing the aftermath

I was in love with the idea of love
But the emotion escaped me
Beautifully fleeting
It fled my life
An endless strife

There were flashes as she fell, tumbling slowly towards emptiness.

A single, slender figure, oblivious to what was happening, was falling.

Encased in darkness, a single bright blue light offered the only escape from the constricting blackness of her surroundings. The little blue light zipped around, always tantalisingly out of reach, but never straying too far.

The girl did not know what the light was. She did not know what the darkness was. She did not know where she was. But she knew she was falling.

Suddenly, the hard ground met the girl’s fragile body, though she felt not a pinch of pain. Rising slowly from the cold floor, she came face to face with a cheerful, tiny figure. Hovering in the air, it flew closer, it’s soft wings tickling her cheek. A bird.

But birds didn’t glow. But, despite the impossibility of the situation, the little bird with a snow white chest and a sparkling sapphire body was, indeed, glowing. It’s body flashed brightly and fiercely, like lightning. It settled on her shoulder, nuzzling her neck like a long lost friend, and the little girl felt a faint familiarity with the situation. Had she been here before?

But that question led to a more pressing conundrum: where was she?

Although her little feathered companion provided a small amount of light, the dark extinguished it a mere metre from the creature’s frail body. Gentle chirps were the only sound to break the deafening silence.

Where had she come from? Vague memories of an almost forgotten life flew fleetingly through her mind. Faces of people, no longer recognisable, faded from her memory. What was happening?

Resisting the temptation to give in to the fear and dread crawling through her body like a fleet of carnivorous insects, she braces herself. A break down was not what the situation needed. She needed to keep her calm.

As if sensing her distress, the little lightning bird chirped comfortingly, and brushed a tear the girl didn’t even know she’d shed from her cheek. Though she remembered little from her past, she was sure this behaviour wasn’t typical of birds.

Confusion settled over her again, clouding her thoughts. The confusion led to frustration and the frustration led to uncontrollable despair.

Needing to do something, anything, to escape the darkness that clung to her like moss, she began to step forwards, not caring where she was going, as long as it would relieve her from this mysterious place.  But without being able to judge her surroundings, she tripped on an unseen rock and fell against the rough expanse below her.

Another tear escaped and rolled silently down her pale cheek. She wiped it away slowly.

She climbed slowly to her feet again, determination filling her. She would escape, and she would discover what happened to her.

Her little winged friend hovered in front of her, then turned and flew away. Following her instincts, the girl followed, careful of the uneven ground under her feet.

She stumbled a few times, but her lightning bird waited. She wondered idly what she did for her life to come to a time with her trusting a flashing bird to guide her through a murky expanse to what she could only hope was a safe place. Without any other choice though, she trudged on.

It came to a time when the girl did not remember what it was like to see things through her own eyes. She forgot what light was, and what colour was. Well, all except for blue.

But slowly the glow of the bird began to fade. Or was it the darkness that was fading?

As the black around her became a little bit less black, and as the ground below her became slowly more visible, the girl stepped out of the darkness into a world unlike that of her wildest imagination.

Waterfalls and trees that reached to the heavens above, pink fairies and horned butterflies. Was this death? No, this place was far too alive to be a place of death.

A unicorn with eyes of ocean blue and hair blacker than the night galloped past, and filled the girl with a sense of serenity.

That strange feeling of familiarity returned. Somehow, she knew this place. Somehow, she knew she was home.

I marvel at the colour of her.

I marvel at her green eyes; perfect orbs of emerald, fading into aquamarine with flecks of tiffany blue. As deep as an ocean, and just as mysterious. I could swim in her eyes for hours, lost in their beauty.

I marvel at the pinkness in her cheeks, as delicate and soft as a rose petal. I wonder how warm the blush feels to her. I wonder if she knows how adorable it makes her.

I marvel at the creamy whiteness of her skin, which would richen to a golden brown in the Summer. Radiant and relucent; not cold like snow.

I marvel at her wavy blonde locks, cascading like spun gold down to her waist. Strands of butterscotch and caramel intertwine on a bed of glimmering honey , as bright as a flame in the dark. The breeze lifts her hair softly, pulling at it playfully.

I marvel at her lips. Usually a soft and pale pink; today they were painted a startling and passionate crimson red. They were as bright as a perfectly ripe cherry, and as mesmerising the flicker of fire. Smooth and soft looking, and oh so tempting.

I marvel at the deep blue of her dress, the material clinging to her body, accentuating her figure. The dress stops just above her knees, baring her long legs and I marvel at how the dark navy contrasts beautifully with her pale skin.

I marvel at the sunset behind her, and how nature has created the perfect balance of scarlet and gold to accomplish the sensation of utter peace and romance that only a star setting on the horizon can produce.

I marvel at the colour of her soul. The rainbow of warmth that washes over me when I’m in her presence.

I marvel at the colour of her.

I marvel at her.


How many decades, centuries, millennia have people spent trying to define love?

Four little letters; a whole world of meanings.

It’s involuntary; it’s unavoidable; it’s uncontrollable. We cannot command or demand love anymore than we can can change the Sun or the Stars.

Love is captivating. Whether you are in love, or in the presence of love, a certain aura flows through the air and it’s intoxicating. To give yourself to another human, mind, body and soul is a beautiful sensation. A beautiful sensation that, once had, is not so easily relinquished.

You can cling to love but ultimately, it is beyond your control. Does love ever really leave you? Is it ever entirely forgotten?

It is the most mysterious of emotions.

Love is acceptance. Acceptance of the good and bad, the easy and the difficult. It is accepting a person for who they are, and who they can be. And it is knowing that you have been accepted too, for all of your flaws and all of your failings.

Love is deeper than the oceans, and just as mystifying. Falling in love is just that: falling. It’s like jumping off of a cliff and trusting in someone to catch you.

Love is scary. Fear of rejection, fear of a broken heart, it can all be too much for some. But the risk is worth it. Because when you find love, when you find that enchanting sensation of existing as one with another person, it is the greatest reward you can hope for.

Love is the ultimate motivation. Not just romantic love, but the love for your friends and for your family, it can provoke you to do unthinkable things. Driven by love, you can accomplish more than you could ever imagine.

Love is a challenge. It’s not easy to relinquish control, but to fall in love is to do just that. A small spark can turn into a raging flame, and to be in control of that flame, to not let it spiral out of control, is a difficulty.

Love is a risk. The deeper the emotional connection, the more you have to lose. And that loss can be devastating.

You can embrace love, or you can fight it, but you cannot control how and when love will enter your life. It can strike like lightning – erratic and invincible. At the same time, love can enter your life subtly. It can creep up on you, and can sneak into your life without you noticing, until suddenly your whole world is changed.

Many people think that love is the destination, but love is the journey. From that first kiss to that first fight. It has its ups and downs; its twists and turns; its passion and its anger. You can’t predict the path that love will take you down, but you have to trust that the happiness you experience will be worth it.

So, what is love? It’s human nature to put labels on things, but maybe love is one of those things that shouldn’t be defined.

Love is incomprehensible, and that’s what makes it beautiful.