Wilf: one man’s search for wellbeing

Wilf hurt:

The marrow in his bones softly cried while his soul, inert, vaporised
His centre of gravity adrift
in the depopulated cavity of his disposition;
There had to be a fundamental shift or Wilf,
a man so entirely incidental,
was stiffed;

So this is the story of his one-man crusade for wellbeing,
a radical wholehearted re-definition
of a man in the most atrocious condition;

Six pathways converged on his noble ambition:
The physical, occupational and social
spiritual, intellectual and emotional
a beautifully, poetically conceived collision from which Wilf,
a man so comprehensively stewed
would emerge – redefined, realigned and renewed.

Given the positive frame of mind he was in,
he decided, one more cigarette and he would begin…..

The amazing thing about Lycra is just how much
it accentuates the things
that carbohydrate inflates;
Wilf was bravely having his gym induction
in a bid for significant girth reduction
when there might have been more immediate benefit from liposuction;

But fixated on just how much his first day mattered
on attempting to lift the introductory dumbells,
his glass knees shattered and he unceremoniously capitulated;
With which, amid scenes of farce,
he became the only man in fitness history
humiliated from the immediate withdrawal of his entry pass;

Given the defeated state he was in, Wilf spent the
Evening with a large bag of frozen peas, seated……

Wilf’s quest for spiritual equilibrium and a window to his soul
took him to Pondicherry
Yet on the way to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram
He contracted dysentery
where hospitalisation put a swift end
to any aspiration to a life of meditation;

Once home, recovered and robed
he lit candles and sandalwood
like every pilgrim should
And finally discovered serenity amid the janitorial sanctuary
of his under–stairs hall cupboard;

Given that he couldn’t turn around in the space he was in
Wilf backed out of anything quite so claustrophobically challenginq….

In a quest for intellectual purity Wilf threw himself horizontally
into Salinger, Goethe, Dickens, Sartre and Dostoevsky
Seasons would pass without him emerging
from his self-imposed literary exile
or arising from his gradually-spreading arse;

While the mission was intense and gruelling
His gentrified lexicon and prose and new-found love of duelling
only got him into trouble in Waitrose
in a dispute over the last available trolley
That left him with a broken nose;

Given the ridiculous breeches and wing collar Wilf found himself in,
He packed away his books
and rediscovered the preposterous frivolity of Tolkein….

This was it, Wilf was going unstoppably social,
accepting every invitation to afterwork integration
like the BIFM Devon and Cornwall
open-to-all cheese and wine  get-to-know-you conflagration

And he facebooked and tweeted it relentlessly
on his stumble home
getting camembert all over his bendy new iPhone
And, wondering why no-one replied to his exuberant excess
It was politely pointed out to him the next day
There’s no mobile signal in Totnes…

Given the desperately hungover state he was in, Wilf declined
Any further temptation to offline social networking….

Deciding that a change of job might bring
an occupational centrifugal state, Wilf abandoned
the desolate clerical obscurity of forever for
the dignified purity of manual endeavour;

Yet his role at the sawmill was cursed from the start
As his tendency to accidental self-harm
Had him a whisker severing his lower left arm
saved only by mistakenly hitting the emergency shut-off alarm
narrowly escaping with a blister;

Given the traumatic yet ultimately thankful state he was in,
Wilf returned to the inexorablle sadness of pencils
and the honesty biscuit tin….

The traumas of Wilf’s quest had left a gaping emotional chine
Which till now he happily filled only with bargain buckets
and everyday value red wine –
So Wilf decided to face his deepest-rooted issues
And dispense with the readily-dispensed tissues;

But as he turned toward the creeping shadows of dusk
He realised that the ideal self he was chasing
had rendered him a mere husk
And that manning-up, sucking-up and showing up for the shakedown
Left him on the verge of throwing up,
and a stiff-upped-lipped breakdown:

Given that he felt worse than when he first started the whole shennanegin
Wilf allowed himself a cup of builder’s tea
and a long deep breath of liberty……

Wilf is here today, yet he asked not to be identified:
his trails opened a pathway when he realised
that wellbeing is so much more to do with balance
than the hoary purgatory of penance

And that our vulnerability and not our inadequacy
Makes us what we are:


Because there is no self without others,
no belief without doubt
No good without naughty nor with without…. without
We get it wrong as often as we get it right
Its our infuriating all-too-human plight,
our birthright;

Wilf, rather surprised following his mission at how much he
now despised a wellbeing that’s become so institutionalised
declined to take the lectern –
By his own admission: so, so much left to learn.


Performed @Workstock at Workplace Trends, October 2015

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