Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

In mind of my father, I would like to say: [Poem follows]

December 8, 2013

This is a piece of work I  have written in memory of my father, who died just over a year ago.  I have been grieving over the loss of him since his death, but for the first few months I was so busy organising the funeral and dealing with family conflicts viz his will, and liaising with my sister over the house & contents sale that followed his death that I didn’t begin the popularly understood phases of it until the spring this year.

When the fire burns will you cool me down; Will you love me enough to be there, still love me when I'm cool when I'm cool too?

When the fire burns will you cool me down; Will you love me enough to be there, still love me when I’m cool (!) too?

Then later on, nearer to the first anniversary of his death and burial, but before the estate had been divided, ‘case closed’, I entered a different ‘hypo-manic’ phase of grief.  I recognised the signs and resolved to remain mindful for fear of a full ‘relapse’  due to (unresolved) trauma and grief, and I relied on friends to help me to learn to take control of this little beast, – the adrenalin driven ‘depression with severe anxiety’ which appears to psychiatrists as colourful symptoms of ‘early stage onset’  of ‘hypo-mania’ which might be treated by daily visits and drug popping but no case for involuntary hospitalisation if at all unless hyper-mania is suspected to be imminent.

Janie beng very zany - and not in a good way : it just gets toooo much!

Janie beng very zany – and not in a good way : it just gets toooo much!

Family names are different. To some family members it is ‘here are early warning signs – what can I do to help’ . To others it is ‘she’s effing mad as apeshit, and as crazy as a box of frogs’ and then exasperation and impatience, even intolerance ensue. Other friend’s are patient and accepting and nurturing – that’s the best medicine of all.

That my dad and I were and are ‘classic and colourful cases of bipolar disorder (class 1)’ we both know. He’s gone now, but I hear him (no not literally, calm down) laughing. I’m still here.  I miss him dreadfully but I’m far from done with my little spot in ‘heaven on earth’. I’m creating a chilling space out of what is yet a house I’m hiding in; it’s going to be the palace of my life and loves.

Even alone sitting in my own house, houses either side of me, one of them audible and connected: I can get to feel claustrophobic. Especially when one of them’s connected all down one side. So -I’m gonna keep some of my wild patch amongst the apple and plum trees just as it is. Then beside it I’ll have a ‘the shed’:  a place for chilling while I work, rest and play,  ‘away from the madding crowds’.

It’s where I will go when I want to get:-

At Rest, Mindfully.

At Rest, Mindfully.

In mind of my father,

I would like to say:                                                                      [Poem Follows:]

Dad Formal & Serious

Dad Formal & Serious

My father’s not going,

my father’s not gone:

He  was never much in –

though  nature gave

him that clefted chin,

those ice blue eyes;

that laziness in his swing

That swung in everything  –

Including the drumming

And the piano blasts

All singing All smoking

All singing, All smoking

And the music that jazzed

Wherever he was.

He is a swinger, a jazz man,

An artist of soul

Who mere mortals judged

And pilloried

When the shit hit the fan

inner pain, outer glimpse

inner pain, outer glimpse

And that’s music too,

A story of love,

And Tragedy-

Comedy,

His Labours of Love:

Jainey in a very zany pose - her dad was never photographed when off his nut lol

Jainey in a very zany pose – her dad was never photographed when off his nut lol

He loved too much, too deeply,

For the tall proud swan,

Though not enough,

as a cash-flow king,

For the one who took her place:

Cute little kestral

Cute little kestrel

Who was a cute little kestrel ,

Beady-eyed, who doubted

this Cash-Meister big-time.

So she curled up,

in disappointed fear,

Something to grip onto for dear life and death

Something to grip onto for dear life and death

Around the cash that was left –

And wouldn’t part with it.

Leaving him lonely.

And that was the nub of it.

the ultimate cause of the heartbreak.

His Acute yet prolonged Despair

His Acute yet prolonged Despair

The true love of his life was music:

Cameras, cash & women came

a close-run second to that.

But  his fatal addiction

was women..

Though his appetite for

Savile Row rags,

Handmade Italian shoes

and his Frank Sinatra hat,

showed a passion for finery

Be yourself:- a beautifully ridiculous genius.

Be yourself:- a beautifully ridiculous genius.

That needed cash

that wasn’t made quite right.

You could see it

In the way he smoked  his fags

–           It was his critical weakness point:

That cute, possessive little kestrel with her eyes on the look out for his wanting any cash.

That cute, possessive little kestrel with her eyes on the look out for his wanting any cash.

When that went, too

He lost the taste for living,

and found the air too stale to breathe.

So, while no-one

continued to listen,

Got trapped & killed at Depression Stage; NHS & Charity partly responsible according to Janie Greville.

Got trapped & killed at Depression Stage; NHS & Charity partly responsible according to Janie Greville.

He fucked off

to the bar

(in the sky).

You’ll find him there still:-

Dad's safest where he is just now...

The gate-way to heaven above, bouncers below keeping the masses out. Dad at the bar near the piano & drums, probably chatting with Doll.

In peace – at last!.

For Anthony Pierre Greville, Born 14th July, 1930 – Died 4th October 2012.

His  spirit was purified by Sept 28th at the latest; his spirit was released during a private family service about three weeks later.

His spirit was purified by Sept 28th at the very latest; his soul was released, during a private family service, about three weeks after his death.

This entry, like all published in this site to date,  is the intellectual property of MissionMiraculus Ltd., and in particular all the copyrights of its contents belong to ‘J.Knee Operations Ltd’ . Anyone else who is invited to write for this site will keep their copyrights intact with a contract with MissionMiraculus &/or ‘J.Knee Ops Inc’  in relation to it’s publisher rights.

This  piece December 7-8th, 2013

Enter the Oriab Mountain Dreamer…

December 1, 2013

 

Be yourself:- a beautifully ridiculous genius.

Be yourself:- a beautifully ridiculous genius.

 

Sent to me by Anita, on 9th august 2009:

 

‘Wondered if you had read this rather aptly titled poem… It’s by Oriab Mountain Dreamer…..XXXX’
 
“Cultivating Courage in an Uncertain World,”

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.
 

inner pain, outer glimpse

inner pain, outer glimpse

 

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

 

fun and joy unhampered by fear

fun and joy unhampered by fear

 

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

 

Stuck in the mud; trying to get clear again

Stuck in the mud trying to get up again

 

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

 

Peter Greville, Photographer, Drummer, Granpa

keeping up the grin for the kids

 

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

 

By whom was this poem written? I have never before or since heard of  ‘The Oriab Mountain Dreamer’: The text, however, resonated and resonates, powerfully, with me. I hope it resonates with you.  Tell us what you think and how it relates to your inner life experience and outlook.

 

Poetic Interlude : Adrenalin Junkie.

November 27, 2013

 There’s going to be a lot of space in this update because I’ve copied and pasted from Word and for some reason the format has stretched out. At some point I’ll train myself up re IT skills so I can reformat stuff – but for now, please bear with me. 😉

Poet at Rest

Poet at Rest

 Adrenalin Junkie.

 Let no-one fool you:

 It’s not a roller coaster ride.

 

You’re in an aeroplane

and you’re feeling tense;

You have an immense sense

of what’s to befall you:

 

You concentrate intensely

on your every strand

of knowledge, training,

Imagination

 

And you feel good. So good.

The door is by your side.

All your need is this:

Slide it open.

 

And you do. The blast of air

that nearly pulls you out,

sucks you in against the walls

of your every hope, stuns you.

 

You can hardly gather breath.

But you have your eyes on the sky –

It’s vast, it’s blue, it’s white, it calls you –

And of course you go, fly,

 

leave your parachute behind.

 

Wow! The air is clear, cold,

everything you ever thought it could be.

You’re free and you’re falling

Through air.

 

English: Cliffs at Gaitnip In the late afterno...

English: Cliffs at Gaitnip In the late afternoon sun. Wideford Hill in the centre, above the line of the cliffs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over mountains, over  housetops,

over  trees and the fields so green;

over sea, over cliffs.

And back. Over cliffs.

 

The land Is nearer now,

and you reach for your parachute

button much, much too late.

Too late to reverse your velocity,

 

too late for retrieving your life-

 

saving equipment, too late for second thoughts

And a considered plan of free-flying action

The rocks beneath and the lashing waves invite you:

With their black and white and blue they’re going to kill you.

 

1998/Janie G/ originally titled ‘manic depression’.

Maya inadvertantly embodies MM-us values; Aesthetic Science in Motion.

November 3, 2013

The values of MissionMiraculus Ltd (= MM-us) have been articulated across a range of documents authored by MissionMiraculus & Janie Greville. All of this material is Copyrighted with All Rights Reserved. Today, in particular, we would like to draw your attention to the term ‘Aesthetic Science’. Although Janie Greville has coined this term originally, together with a concept of meaning that refers in and outward to a deep and wide network of knowledges and affective references; it is not the first usage of this term.

One company offering cosmetic surgery have misused the term vis a vis the dictionary definition of the term within The Shorter Oxford Dictionary, a common reference manual for such disagreements, and therefore we anticipate this commercial concern will shortly be renaming their company.

A book as been edited by Arthur P. Shimamura and Stephen E. Palmer, with a telling subtitle – ‘Connecting Minds, Brains, and Experience’. This sounds as if the focal zone for the collection of authors in this volume is subjective experience, not including the subjectivity of the  material body – I  may be mistaken, but I shall order and read this volume within the next month and let you know – if anyone else would like to do likewise that would be great.

For the time being I believe we are the first collective genius to create the new theory of ‘Aesthetic Science’ which will literally, in one swoop, demolish both western science and Modernism, with it’s ‘Post-Modernist‘ spin offs. It will in fact a cosmic blow to post Newtonian Britain and the entire world, but especially USA; UK and Europe (including Russia/USSR).

In addition, quite by accident it will lead to an open and forceful alliance between Sweden & the UK – two unusually strongly independent states / countries within the larger territory of Europe, stretching from Norway and Ireland across to Russia, down to the mediterranean shores of Cyprus, Turkey and Afghanistan.  Communities within two latter, and other ‘borderline’ states,  to have both European and Asian identity issues cheek-by-jowl.  Previous efforts to quell the squabbling have been led by the highly warrior spirited USA and UK organisations; notably, the UN is largely USA controlled with UK support and encouragement too often.  The Teutonic inclination to fire before thinking is balanced by the Viking soul of the Scandinavian’s (including the ‘netherlandish) post-imperial wisdom of taking the following approach to trouble: ‘Think about it, map it, analyse it; reach for the most effective, economic, humane, solution.’ We believe that the ‘nords’ have it sorted. War is no more in these lands. Let’s spread the joy, is what MissionMiraculus thinks.

The theory of Aesthetic Science created, constructed and in the wings of publication, is the brain child of MissMiracle’s MIC & Friends; sister company to MissionMiraculus Ltd.  Though the theory in totalis is not yet visible, it exists. Any use or misuse of these concepts with this name or any other created via MissionMiraculus.com; Talkheals.wordpress.com; facebook pages for missionmiraculus, Arrabella Faith & Janie Greville or referred to or discussed across her networks of colleagues and private friends, will be pursued actively in relation to Copyright Laws. Many thanks for your co-operation.

 

 

What I’ve noticed – have you?

September 13, 2013
Faulty Mechanics Led to Contextual Misery

Faulty Mechanics Led to Contextual Misery

What I’ve noticed is that there are several different adddresses to this blog – some to art lovers, some to mental health freaks, some to Janie Greville e

nthusiasts, some to poetry.

It’s hardly a focussed audience.

Needs some thinking through.

Any ideas?

😉

Janie

Hello, Good Evening and Welcome! (‘taking tips from walter benjamin’)

September 5, 2013
ZanyJaney 2010; Cannon Hill Pk; Road2Recovery Show

ZanyJaney 2010; Cannon Hill Pk; Road2Recovery Show

…deary me, am I being possessed by David Frost? Please, no, his jacket’s wouldn’t fit me… my shoulders are straight, straight like my mother’s, they look wide and also strong… no there I’m wrong – she looks strong, I’m fragile to gaze at…  lucky me, full of vulnerability – I couldn’t be more pleased… tragedy lies in the line of solid strength, storms will break the impermeable oak; while the willow bends its face beneath the water then,….. sways up again as healthy as before…

What happens when I let my mind wander… (‘loosening of association’)

so – not Seamus Heaney either….
Who else has died this week?
Who’s been born?
Who’s lurking in the shadows,
Scared to be seen?
Who’s losing hope and tiptoe-ing out of the room?
Who’s timidly hiding and slightly showing,
And wishing, someone would lift her to the light?

Who’s visibly playing, playfully dancing,
in this completely heavenly life?
:- Even if moaning at times and crying,
Even if coping badly,
Even if attracting disgrace?
Come out to the playground,

Stop watching the others
Stop thinking that someone wants to hurt you,
Stop counting yourself out of the human race,
By definition you have a full place –
Relax now, get out to enjoy it…
…it’s merely a game away.

Copyright Janie Greville, 11.15pm Sept.5th,2013, All rights reserved.

ooh dear, whoopsy a daisy – just a bit of a loop there, quite forgot what I was supposed to be doing.. remembered tea, got that in the oven, am noticing the strange disconnect between just talking and then suddenly posing as a ‘serious poet’ and a ‘successful one’ (with some conviction) …. deary deary me….

I must put a little hand on that watch…..

I have so very very much to tell you I don’t know where to start….
Let’s call this the introduction, to a book called ‘And the Spark Finally Glides Back into View’ – or some equally enticing title that is both quirky and interesting and – true to the soul of its contents.

I wrote a poem back in the nineties – around 1994 I’d say, thou I’m not sure, which began ‘There’s something in the air’ … I wonder what was going on unbeknownst to me in my district then? I wonder who moved into the atmosphere?

I still don’t know the answer to this question/these questions. It might matter, it might not.

Ms Fox creeps out of her hole... is it safe?

Ms Fox creeps out of her hole… is it safe?

What I do know is that this piece, amongst others written in the 1990’s was the flowering of all my hopes in the form of words. This poem was almost certainly much more significant in the light of subsequent events and processes in my life than it could possibly have appeared back then….

I shall be offering ‘the world’ an analysis of the young artist ‘amelia greville’ (yes – very much a relation) in due course. Her work during the last year has been quite mind blowing for me personally as I’m sitting here, it’s been a labour of sporadic obsession for her, and part of a healing journey to boot – miraculously I am looking at something – it is most telling, most extraordinary, most common, seldom noticed: my children brought me up, stayed near while I suffered and have now moved off into their own lives in such a manner that their going-whilst-staying-near has worked upon me as an aesthetic triumph of healing for me too.

When Jesus said ‘suffer little children to come unto me’ I don’t think people have quite understood what he meant:
he was calling ‘send your little children to me, I am vulnerable, I need their loving hearts, I can’t cope with your abrasive strengths’.

Just a thought.

If so I’m with Jesus all the way – he and I are twins at root, just as are all we who cannot cope with the abrasiveness of adult insensitivity.

Of course – don’t think I’m meaning you if all your sensitivity enables is YOU feeling hurt about YOU. If your boundaries are that strong and tight you’re just the one whose being cuts my spirit down a little – I know you don’t want to, I know you don’t mean any harm – it’s not your fault, you’re just not yet able to see me as just another you. You see – I crave ‘connectedness’ – I don’t want to become you, I don’t want to ‘merge’ with you and I don’t want to ‘take you over’. I just like to feel connected.

Just thought I’d mention..

that I’m just too tired to carry on…. I need to go…

I hope you enjoyed that ‘introduction’. I think it is an exemplary model of ‘realism’ in writing. It is other things, – be patient: I’ve only just begun…

Merry Christmas and an Aborted Old Year !

December 10, 2012

228483_10150573506395514_893365513_18705285_5857753_n sisters

Like my style? 😉

Abortion.

What might we like to abort today?

Justice? Barely.

Injustice? Possibly.

Abortion is a sensitive, delicate subject.

..It is particularly delicate and sensitive for me.

Every Christmas since December 30th 1994 I have approached Christmas with an intent to please and make everything lovely.

And then completely ruined it.

Well – actually – I managed Christmas 94, 95, 96 just about Ok.

Probably the first because I hadn’t quite hit the wall.

Probably 95 because, well, I’d convinced myself that silence really was the way forward; false smiles the cheer of the good.

’96… 96 I was fraying within. Reaching the end of my personal, fragile weave…

’97 I’d already tipped over to the point where I’d so successfully repressed my pain and its source that I didn’t even have a conscious awareness that this… This.. THIS was the cause of my unbearable trauma.

This year I’m determined to focus on this earth, this blessing, these blessings, the beauty of all that is and all that can be.

I refuse to bleed my griefs into the fabric of the season.

Were I a good Catholic girl I would find myself in commune with those who understand my undying pain.

http://https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSpl-CyZl-kqZAvxp2-B8pj1QXRbWNMzekp2T4iULAq_BFdrpqA

But I’m not even a Catholic, let alone a good one.

By culture I’m a Scandinavian-Germanic-(Celtic) Calvinist who happens to abhor abortion simply because in my own bizarre, no doubt, eyes, every conception is, at the very instant of it – a miraculous wonder of life burgeoning: a ‘god given blessing’ to share this earth with a new innocent emerging..

http://http://uploads5.wikipaintings.org/images/sandro-botticelli/the-birth-of-venus-1485(1).jpg

My husband-of-the-time, who had announced, most decisively from my point of view (‘shared values’ etc) that he ‘wanted at least 4 or 5 children’ ordered me to have an abortion in early? mid? December 1994.

The Doctor I visited in the fervent hope and belief he would refuse such a crime on the grounds of inappropriacy and unsuitability simply reached for his form and sent me to the hospital for a scan and abort.

Question asked: ‘Why do you want an abortion?’ Question answered, in a hesitant, reluctant and reticent form as a quotation as required ‘because my husband and I think our family is complete’. Response: reach for form. Eye contact: Nil.

My husband-of-the-time came with me for the hospital appointment. He would. He’d want to ensure I went through with it.

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRlo0Bb1QTHMQ5epqLduUqoJRv7J98SqKluDEjj1m7G6biY5neZyQegB2Fp9g

I sat in the waiting area after the scan to assess age of gestation. I sobbed. Then sobbed. Then sobbed some more. I begged my H-of-the-time not to make me kill my baby.

He sat beside me watching some tv screen ahead and above him as if I weren’t there. He didn’t say a word to me. He didn’t look at me. He didn’t give a shit how I felt.

When we were called in the sister/nurse did give a shit. She took my right hand in hers, or both my hands, can’t be quite sure, and she showed caring. It was a caring I hadn’t experienced in a long while.

She told me that she had something to tell me that, under the circumstances maybe was a good thing.

The foetus, as she named it, had died within me a fortnight before. It had been poisoning my body as a result of not naturally aborting (as a ‘miscarriage’) and so if I hadn’t come for this scan I could have died.

I saw this as my baby giving up on life in the belief that I didn’t love him/her enough.

I suffered years of flashbacks and dreams about my lost baby. I imagined the nurse having been bribed to tell me this and that my baby wasn’t dead but was killed because I believed the lie.

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRVQPaXhwOHBOpuaWOahhbDANuiFfMIUAf58yRH18Tn32ep1cG_Bg

However absurd the idea of that :- my sense of myself as a murderer of my longed-for baby sat in my ‘god shaped hole’ for years. And years. And years.

It spilled out one day in 2009 in a preceptorship course session. Not very neat. Not very tidy. Not well handled (by me, I mean).

It made one of the students cry.

I shouldn’t have been glad.

But I was glad.

Especially perhaps, because it was a male student. He healed my total loss of trust in men (apart from my father and my grandfather.

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT6Zocgu_fSgcFTNzGStQTbCqHamNVYe3ZSqOS2_suVHb8Z0uU7kw
(I use an ‘in-service soldier’ image because – I believe that mental health practitioners need to realise that – that’s what they have to have the courage to be in order to do their job well)

Only now do I look back with shame as I realise –

I was glad.

At last I had shared a bit of my pain.

(But shouldn’t have got such a healing from the comfort of strangers… sadly no comfort had come from anywhere else..)(Not that it had had a chance – I’d shared it with no-one else.)

It must have lessened it.

Because in 2012 I sit here writing these words: sure – I’ve cried a river as I’ve written this, have had to stop, at times, just to protect the keyboard and find a way to carry on.

But until 2009 I was driven by my unconscious and my sleeping nightmares.

I had spent a full 11 years or more, by that time, attempting to live with an unbearable reality.

It had driven me round the bend.

Not so crazy that I so lost the plot that I didn’t know the difference between truth and reality.

I was very clear on that.

Some bits in the middle were not so easy to determine.

I must say though.

I only have and would only ever publish what I know.

I know that you visit. I know that you skim through to see what you find interesting.

I have no idea what you think.

On this particular entry: I would love to hear from you.

I imagine that most of you probably come from a pro-abortion background and may feel offended.

Please don’t.

Try to imagine that for ME PERSONALLY pregnancy in my body is always experienced as an existence of 2 in 1.

I don’t assume or judge others for having different views.

Who am I to judge?

I do judge internally and very rarely, openly – those who act to transgress my essential identity and values. Identity and values that, as it happens, are entirely legal. I don’t judge others in this value/view: I can imagine that experiences outside of mine could lead me to hold different views. But I haven’t had them. So I don’t.

Especially where I been explicit and honest about them. I used ‘the pill’ a few times. Probably about 3 months in the whole of my life. I doubt it was that long. Actually I used the ‘rhythm method’. Oh – and celibacy.

I didn’t mean to be a catholic.

It was the way I was brought up.

It was the way my heart beat.

It was where the stars were placed on the instant of my birth.

It was the result of my father’s piano playing.

It derived from my adoration of babies..

From my yearning to share the joy of living

From my wishful conviction in the multiplication of love

From my conviction that the world is always as big as the heart

….

..or as small…

Tell me.

What do YOU think? 🙂

Ghost from the Past

November 22, 2012

Thank Friendship for Hopefulness

Gosh – Now this is a find that traces the temporal flow of my mental health undulations. I have been feeling so empowered and ‘in the flow’ in recent months, including the period of my intensest grief following my dear father’s recent death, that this evidence of self doubt and ‘hope fading fast’ mood had entirely been eclipsed from my being and memory. It is still eclipsed from my sense of emotional memory, including the question in my mind as to whether at the time I may have published an entry similar to it, but still – here is ‘my (depressed) state on July 1st 2012’. Luckily hidden, I believe, from my father when Michael and I and other members of my family arrived to celebrate his 82nd Birthday on July 14th. An achievement less successful at the University of Birmingham I suspect.

It’s odd, memory – if reminded as I was today by recovering a saved draft for this blog, I do remember that I was pretty low for several months this year – so horribly low, in fact, that I just didn’t want to start the advanced research course I’d signed up for because it would mean leaving my house (‘cave’) and seeing other people (‘being seen by people’). I felt ugly, dirty, unkempt, stupid, empty, and somehow ‘infectious’ in a very bad way. It was impossible for me to believe, in my heart of hearts, that others would fail to perceive me as I was perceiving myself.

When I’m not suffering from depression I simply don’t recognise these perceptions of me as a ‘picture of me’ as I am. I see people from time to time who kind of do ‘look like’ those ‘portraits’ – usually they are homeless and unhappy people, or very ill and food deprived people, or very ill and overfed people – either way, severely neglected people – toward whom my feelings of compassion and pity are raised but about whom, also, feelings of some fear and discomfort are raised.

What I do notice, however, is that as I spiral downwards into these long and annihalating depressions I begin to assume the characteristics of the associations I perceive myself to ‘have’ – I become dirtier, more unkempt, untidier, more disorganised, less focussed, less able to concentrate, less able to remember or mentally process even the simplest thought or utterance. It gets to the stage, usually, where I can hardly string a sentence together of the most functional kind, before the spiral finally stabilises at that paralysed low for a few weeks, or months, before finally beginning to spiral upwards to ‘normality’ again.

Maybe, the associations I hold with my internal depressions are bound up with neglect and dirt and ugliness to such a degree that unconsciously I create myself as the very embodiment of them. Perhaps that is the case with others less luckily held by friends and family and one highly skilful psychotherapist.

I begin to wonder if my need is to separate my experience of these ‘qualities’ from persons. Especially from the person of me. If I cease to see myself or anyone else as ‘possessing’ ‘dirt and neglect’ perhaps I will cease to fear or be disgusted AND also cease to pity and have compassion for signs of it. Either reaction is a manner of embracing it and, as it happens, I don’t enjoy dirt and neglect so I really don’t want to carry on embracing it in any way.

I may choose to allow it to some degree – I DO choose to allow it in two rooms of my house, my front and back garden and in the loft of my house at the moment, for example. Although, as it happens, during the past year (in fact – three or four months) moves have been afoot to alter even this degree of neglect.

Nevertheless – as a home maker and maintainer I do leave a lot to be desired and, I must confess, as a woman in our culture I am more than averagely self-neglecting: I forget to file my nails; I can seldom remember where my moisturiser is, let alone wear it; I frequently leave my home and jump into the car before brushing my hair or applying make-up and not infrequently have to use my fingers as a brush and a slap to the cheeks as make-up. Were I more attentive to the decorative requirements of humanity I would no doubt apply more of my time to these immensely important matters. But I always wash and I always brush my teeth and I never leave home without clothes on – so I kind of meet my own lowish standards of ‘clean and cared for’. Ditto in relation to maintaining my home. It may be a standard that Ikea fanatics would simply die on seeing as distinct to die to see, but it’s a standard that I merely live to rise above.

And – if anyone has read this far – why thank you, for you have accompanied me, post-haste, along my journey of self-therapy ‘from chronic and severe depression to nirvana [concept not band]’: May you live a long, joyful and prosperous life.. and so may I. 😉

Now for the precipitating ghost promised at the beginning:-

July 1st 2012.

Dilemma

The project for Renata Aazman weighs upon me. I can’t have the draft I sent her published because her criticisms were spot on and I don’t want to publish so ungracefully and one sidedly. I don’t want to be in battle. I need to lay down arms. I need to move on. Yet I need to be an author in this (her) anthology – I need to be in a place where that is appropriate, not in a place I will later regret.

Anyhow, that’s not why I came back to this page. I returned with an amused recognition about my creative blocks. May God forgive me for them – and that’s not blasphemy that’s genuine prayer. Nonetheless, the prayer takes a light hearted turn.

Draft:

Diagnosis Hopelessness

I’m so powerless it exhausts me.
The grass grows despite me,
Taller every day,
Waving at my cares, carelessly
As if to force me to see
It’s free.

The honeysuckle on the lilac tree
Is strangling its delicate flowers;
The tree will soon be dead,
So strong is that persistent honeysuckle;
So weak the perishing lilac tree.

You’d think that I could overcome
that little piece of grass, but its an army
advancing and looming
like the honeysuckle on the tree,
And thus I have no possible chance
Of saving the beleaguered lilac tree.

Fear not, however. I have prowess
In relation to the sunshine
Who smiles at all who venture out
And touches all their hearts:
I stay in resolutely:
It has no power over me;

I am fear and shadow,
How can the sun reach me?

Back at last! Thanks so much for your patience :-)

September 9, 2012
English: What kind of poem did Hafez make?

English: What kind of poem did Hafez make? (Photo credit: Wikipedia) – or ‘HOW TO DESTROY AN AESTHETIC EXPERIENCE’

Hi there guys! Thanks so much for sticking around and I’m sorry that I haven’t been able to check in on this site and to update it at all over the last few weeks.

A lot has been happening at an internal and even at an external-skin level. I want to share stuff about mental health recovery with you from a first person experience perspective; I also, however, want to share other stuff with you that I’m excited about.

Today I’m excited about a find I’ve made : a guy called Eli Siegal, born 1902, died 1978, ‘founded the philosophy of Aesthetic Realism‘ and wrote a mind blowingly brilliant poem (in my eyes/mind) called ‘Hot Afternoons Have Been in Montana‘ around 1924, for which he won a prestigious award in 1925. I won’t bore you with details, you can find them on Wikipedia if you are interested. I’m not bored by the details because as I began to read my heart leapt – and this is why:

The article about Siegal, his life and his theory of Aesthetic Realism somewhat reminded  me of my claims in previous years, first that my two daughters were  my ‘best poems‘ (in process) and second that

‘I used to paint portraits of people with chalks and paints on paper and canvas. Then I got bored of it and found it uncreative. I decided to paint it directly onto the subjects with glances and words and
gestures. It costs me because I can’t charge, but I win because of the pleasure
I get from the practice of projecting loveliness and having loveliness
radiating back to me’.

I’m fibbing a little because whatever it was that I wrote a few years ago re the portrait business had the merit of brevity, sacrifice of explication – hey ho, the meaning hasn’t altered. Siegal’s Aesthetic Realism clearly had close connections with my nameless shift of identity as an artist in my own life:

In 1938, Siegel began teaching poetry classes with the view that “what makes a good poem is like what can make a good life.” In 1941, students in these classes asked him to give individual lessons in which they might learn about their own lives. These were the first Aesthetic Realism lessons.[12]

I urge you to read ‘Hot Afternoons Have Been in Montana’ – it’s not ‘Poetry’ in the stifled, cloistered, stuffy air of an overheated library corner, it’s the poetry of life sweeping cobwebs from the mind and opening the windows of the imagination.

A semi random quote from the midst of this long poem to give you a flavour:

“That bird over this green, under that sun, God, how sweet and
graceful
it is!
Could we ever do that? Machines that fly are clumsy and ugly;
Birds go into the air so softly, so fairly; see its curves; Earth!
In
Montana, men eat and have bodies paining them
Because they eat.

Kansas, with Montana, in America, has, too, men pained by
their
eating;
So has England, with Westminster Abbey, where poets lie,

dead now;
O, what their poetry can do; what poetry can do.
There is
the brain of man, a soft, puzzling, weak affair;”

Tumbling together urbanity with the prairies whilst inviting us all to consider applying aesthetics to more aspects of our lives…if not all aspects…

What a difference it will make when we do…

Watch this space because – no, don’t watch it, please, keep me to my promises, I’m clearing a space for a project, it’s a book length piece of writing project; it’s not the ‘autobiography’ type project I have wacked on about in the past. It’s got an ‘academic’ kind of subject matter from the outset but by the time I’ve worked it, trust me the academy will be weaved in so well it will be indiscernible (unless you think that more than two syllables is academic). No title yet, weaving first.

So if I don’t ‘follow through’ – prod me would  you – I have the concentration of an ant some of the time – adhd perhaps (additional heady distractions)

Over and Out Dear Friends, ’til the ‘morrow,

(or as PGW would say – ‘toodlepip’),

Janie x

Draft Dilemma…

July 1, 2012
tree protection

tree under control

 

July 1st 2012: Excerpt from unpublished work.

Dilemma: The project for Renata Aazman weighs upon me. I can’t have the draft I sent her published because her criticisms were spot on – I don’t want to publish so ungracefully and one sidedly. I don’t want to be in battle. I need to lay down arms. I need to move on. Yet I need to be an author in this (her) anthology – I need to be in a place where that is appropriate, not in a place I will later regret.

Anyhow, that’s not why I came back to this page. I returned with an amused recognition about my creative blocks. May God forgive me for them – and that’s not blasphemy that’s genuine prayer. Nonetheless, the prayer takes a light hearted turn.

Draft:

Diagnosis Hopelessness

I’m so powerless it exhausts me.
The grass grows despite me,
Taller every day,
Waving at my cares, carelessly
As if to force me to see
It’s free

The honeysuckle on the lilac tree
Is strangling its delicate flowers
The tree will soon be dead
So strong is that persistent honeysuckle
So weak the perishing lilac tree.

You’d think that I could overcome
that little piece of grass but its an army
advancing and looming
like the honeysuckle on the tree
And thus I have no possible chance
Of saving the beleaguered lilac tree

Fear not, however. I have prowess
In relation to the sunshine
Who smiles at all who venture out
And touches all their hearts:
I stay in resolutely
It has no power over me.

I am fear and shadow
How can the sun reach me?

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