Posts Tagged ‘thinking’

Art for ***’s Sake….

September 9, 2013
eclectic absorptions

eclectic absorptions

A year or so ago it finally struck me. I had a completely wasted youth.
While other people played pool, football, cricket, tennis, ‘the field’, and other vital social skill arenas of skill acquisition, I hid away in libraries, my room and coffee bars where I ate rolls, drank coffee and watched other people ‘being young’.
Don’t get me wrong: I wasn’t being ‘good’ or ‘conscientious’:- I was being terrified of boys, ascerbically critical of fellow ‘girls’, and also, let’s be honest, I was being repulsively ‘intense’ and ‘earnest’ re garding my desire to get to grips with what the hell got Watford Art School into such a divisive culture that you could have cut the atmosphere between Charles Harrison (and his mate Mike Murphy – irish- liverpudlian painter, just in case you didn’t know) and Peter Shmidt , lecherous lecturer cum painter (and Michael Werner – self consciously German Jew – lovable but hopelessly outdated ageing man – probably demised by now – he was about 60 back in 1975).
My loyalties back in 1975 were easily identified. I got more praise from Charles than I did from Peter and Michael. I barely understood a word Charles said – but I yearned to, whilst Peter and Michael were incomprehensible by virtue of their gaga mysticism. Not lady Gaga – just gaga.
[Not in their public profile – Peter got Bryan Eno along to Watford Art School on more than one occasion in those 70’s days (I took Eno to be a pseudy-nerd at the time, though I’ve yet to return and check that out) (I’ve a sense that Michael Nyman showed up too, there…. but that could have been Nottingham).]
Don’t get me wrong: I love a mystery – I’m addicted to murder mysteries, have watched ‘through the key hole’ and spend hours, days, weeks – day dreaming in thought about unanswerable questions…
But I saw no mileage in surfing this life with some hazy profile and presence of mystique – especially where that mystique was appliled with an actively lecherous and arguably paedophilic appetite.
Charles made himself a real pain in the neck: but he did it with integrity (though he and his side kick had a marked soft spot for a Scottish 21 year old ‘wild kitten’ – but that was less lechery and more masculinity- she had that mixture of erotica with vulnerability that would sing to any ‘real man’s’ heart lol).
I, on the other hand was comfortably pre-adolescant. I was 18 by d.o.b. but they had probably encountered 12 year olds at a greater maturity of social and sexual identity and confidence.
Oh – and appearance. I was adult looking – my hips had spread for example, marking me out as a woman.. but it was the only symptom of my gender I think. I was flat chested, tiny waisted, short haired, scrubbed not painted face, and scruffy not scrubbed, nails lol.

Staying under water - timid of the world

Staying under water – timid of the world

I think a little of me felt jealous that others were so lovely to men and I was so invisible. It’s what I sought because anything else would have petrified me – but – I yearned to be a woman in my inner most heart of hearts. Whilst being petrified: PETRIFIED- of ‘growing up’.
Yeah, well…..
Where were we… This is why I began this essay – THIS IS WHY I BEGAN THIS ESSAY:- I wanted to tell you of my response to critiques of Clement Greenberg and of Charles Harrison.
Please notice my move there. You will see it again.

Clement Greenberg

Clement Greenberg

That’s right. I have given Charles a status of equality and comparability with Clement.
Oh dearie me = what a liberty I take – I never met Greenberg and now he’s dead. Charles wrote me a cross letter after I’d sent him a ‘moralising lecture’ about his private life decisions and never talked to me again… and here I am using their Christian names as if they’d been mates of mine.

Lol – the joy of funerals 😉

[not that it was re Charles – I was tipped over for months, cried a lot and wondered how it could have been that he went off and ‘left the room’ of this life before he and I could have had a peace making conversation… I guess that I just wasn’t important enough to him – to be fair, he didn’t figure in my thoughts much after the 1980’s] [‘til now]

Back to the ‘reason to write’ then:-

Clement Greenberg was not as far from Kandinsky’s idealism as people think. The formalism of his articulating framework was merely a method of drawing attention to the MEANS BY WHICH ARTISTS COMMUNICATE THEIR INSPIRATION. He was a better ‘realist’ than Courbet in this sense.
Greenberg was ‘handicapped’ by the imperative duty of all Americans’ during the 40’s and 50’s – to champion American Cultural production and to raise America to the foreground of International society and culture. He was, of course, doubly handicapped: there will have been his own internalised identity and then the determination of others around him to use whatever came to hand to champion and celebrate ‘American Supremacy’ across the world following the Second World War.
He could neither win nor lose. He became a pawn in the hands of official American Culture. I can’t believe this had been his wish or thought. As it happens he closely allied his own personal identity with that of the ‘official American story’ = thus it created no unbearable caveats of interest and commitment.

Let us retrieve the learnings of ‘formalism’ before we move on to ‘conceptual art’.
With formalism we learn two things:
1. A painting always resembles another painting more than it resembles anything that is not a painting.
2. The outward appearance of a thing bears an integral relationship with it’s authorship and thus with the energy and intention which brought it into being.
3. Now let’s get onto ‘conceptual art.’ You could say that conceptual art was the point at which artists in the West endeavoured to assign the greater status to the energy and status which brings into being anything s/he does.
The product/s of this process are of less value and less interest than the concept that informs the productive process….. goes the theory (does it? Just a hypothesis. If this is the case then ‘conceptual art can be seen as a ‘reaction against formalism’.. …Where formalism has in any case been misunderstood……?

Charles Harrison

Charles Harrison

Moving onto conceptual art in more detail : I’m too tired to do that now (3.51am 7th Sept 2013)

It occurs to me that truly ‘contemporary art’ and an art of ‘realism’ and of ‘aesthetic accomplishment’ will take steps away from every ‘ism’ around… It will also step back from Tracey Emin and the diamond head- dead shark in a glass case arena…’Shocking Art’ has become passé. .. Saatchi and Saatchi, sadly can’t recognise art as anything other than this… because they wouldn’t know a good work of art if it hit them with a hammer on their funny bone…
I suspect….
There are so many questions to be asked. .. So many answers to be questioned… so many assumptions to examine…. so many ‘realities’ to compare…
And so much fun ahead …….;-)


December 20, 2012
Love, Love, Love..

Love, Love, Love..

..Sounds very interesting.#

I haven’t got a copy – if you have – fancy lending it to me when you’ve finished it?

I have trawled through a few articles by this journalist today, in the online Guardian pages, pursuing more information about this little ditty, and I have been favourably impressed.

That doesn’t mean – ‘I’m impressed – quick everyone, get your visas out and make a purchase’. It means : mmmm…. now this sounds worth a look…

I was looking up ‘neuroscience’ in relation to a conference I’m thinking of sending an abstract for ‘Understanding Human Flourishing: A Postgraduate Medical Humanities Conference’ (CfP, Durham University, 16-17 May 2013) [in case you’re interested yourself] and somehow or another – don’t ask me how, because I can hardly recall, I ended up via a host of other articles I read during the hunt-down, coming across a couple of articles by Naomi – a far cry from my original intent.

But hardly a far cry from yesterday’s entry so – it must have been a case of serendipity.

The first thing I have to say to Naomi Wolf is : Brave Woman!!! In a world where, outside the (un)adventurous boundaries of the Guardian and the Independent, English society is terrified of the word ‘Vagina’ (though thoroughly comfortable with words like ‘shag’, ‘slag’ and ‘cunt’) (the last rather ironic of course as it usually is used against men as a term of abuse) here is a woman who happens to be at the forefront of the public eye and doesn’t cringe to admit that – she has one.

Quite a lot of us do, I hear rumoured.

I know, I know.. If you’re a man it’s a harsh thing to hear. Your mother has one, your daughter has one, the little old lady you passed in the street has one. Every other person you ever see has one.

How fucking outrageous!!!!

And it’s the reason why Feminism was fated to make such a shit job of improving our world.

Don’t get me wrong. Of course – women had to find a way to get seen, heard, valued in the world we found ourselves in: a world in which we frequently found ourselves valued as less than the cattle we slept with.

Sure things had to change.

Apparently they needed to change in this bizarre manner. With ‘feminism’ standing for ‘women’s rights’ to become ever more like men.


Who won then?

Who’s winning now?

The ‘femininists‘, that’s who – who love and adore men, who love and adore them – those whose object is to integrate and complete the human circle – by entering ‘woman’ as the equal and different partner of ‘man’. Ie:-

Those women and men who are beginning to wake up to the differences, that’s who. Those men and women who are learning to heed the sound of softness, of feeling, of tenderness, of subtlety: who tire of the call of gongs and trophies; who wear of the demand of competitive success; who notice how vacuous is the grand title, how precious the arrival of a new born baby.

Who notice how precious is the touch that is made for love, how futile the touch of coins and bedazzled, camera driven lust.

When will we ever learn… When will we ever…

Oh – I have to share with you the huge pleasure writing this has given me. A long time ago I was a post-grad at Leeds University and was privileged to be taught by two people I rapidly grew to love – Griselda Pollock and Fred Orton. Each of these individuals were exemplary examples of humanity at its best – warm, passionate, alert, sincere, determined – that must surely be sufficient attributes to win anyone’s love? I didn’t agree with the feminist part of my ‘social history of art’ nor did I feel qualified to disagree with anything.

But – if you get wind of this as it moves through the www air, Fred and Griselda: I want you to know: you did me the world of good: indeed, together with Charles Harrison, a man who grew to detest me but who I loved to and beyond the end: you made me who I am today.. Just because you never heard from me again doesn’t mean I lost ambition or drive. It means I walked my own path. And that ‘as they say’ – is the record of a fully achieved student. 😉


December 20, 2012

All Kinds of Roads Lead to Love

Peer Support has a strong following.

At its most normative it is the fellowship of members of a suffering group.

Frankly the suffering can be at any level. Mothers at a baby and toddlers group; men at the pub chewing over grudges in the office over a couple of pints and a lot of disassociation and a tendency to dissociate from problems and an equivalent tendency to ‘boast’ about capacities and ‘gains’ – sexual, ….mainly sexual… linked in with self representations as ’empowered’ despite underlying ‘power’ issues…

Those ‘peer support’ groups which lean toward such as mental health survivor groups (/service user groups etc) possess an almost beautiful tendency to accommodate feelings of vulnerability, of failure, of anxiety, of underlying fear.

It is not that we would want anyone to embrace fear.

It is the reverse of what anyone should embrace.


To embrace the honesty of the experience indicates an HONESTY.

Apparently ‘honesty’ is easier to embrace if one is a woman.

Women find it easier to confide in each other about their fears of failure – failing to be the ‘perfect mother’; ‘perfect homemaker’; ‘perfect earner’; ‘perfect body’; ‘perfect face’; ‘perfect lover’; ‘perfect all-rounder’…

It makes it much easier for us. By seeing ourselves as imperfect everywhere we have so much less pressure weighing down upon us…

By having so much less pressure weighing upon us we have a greater chance of achieving anything at all…

Is that a possibility?

What is ‘woman’s priority’? On the whole, by the time most women get to 30 or 35 (more likely 25 maximum as a median average) they have already chosen that the care of their children counts as top priority.

This subsumes their identity to another(s).

Meanwhile men, on the whole, are stifled by this commitment, since their commitment is predominantly still to themselves. On the whole – if a problem arises in their relationship with a female, even their parenthood will prevent them from continuing as a committed partner. Or parent. Their focus remains upon themselves.

This has multiple consequences. Although it has apparent unfortunate indications for women who are trapped by their emotional social commitments of minors depending upon them, thus tending toward lower incomes to support them: they tend to have strong friendships with fellow women including family members, and a very strong sense of purpose.

Men on the other hand are weak by comparison. Why are they weak? Because of their solitary commitments and because of their fear of confessing or showing weakness.

Perhaps where they are able to declare their victimisation at the hands of one woman they may be able to ‘buy in’ to another woman’s sympathetic loving commitment. Indeed, I’m sure we are all keenly aware of one or two men whose social (and sometimes financial) ‘salvation’ is gained this way.

How long will this last once the perpetrator of male misery has paled from view, however?

No – let’s return again to the strength of woman to woman solidarity and what it can teach men, and men and women.

A woman who tends to the misery of man to the exclusion of her own woes is as a mother to a son. A man who does similarly is as a father to a child.

The strong ‘peer support movement’ between members of the ‘mental health service users and survivors movement’ is one which can withstand strong challenges from both strength and weakness because of the empathy that holds between members.

If we forget this side of the movement and simply focus upon ‘professional commitments’ of ‘research’, ‘committees’ and ‘meetings’ – we have lost the war. Never mind the battle. Just de-frock and go home. The strength is surging through the feminine in a manner that has nothing to do with ‘feminism’ or ‘being a woman’.

It’s all about ‘yin’ and ‘yang’. I haven’t a clue which is who. But I do know that femininity needs to surge in order that humanity survive.

Amen to that.

Survival & Threat: Payment by Results

December 3, 2012
Volcanic Brightening Burst

Volcanic Brightening Burst

Survival & Threat, Recovery, Discovery, Thriving.

Where would you put your life in relation to the above concepts/standards of living?

Where is the course of your life, normatively, and progressively, in relation to them?

In a sense you could see birth through to adulthood as a mixture of survival and discovery with recovering an thriving peppered in amongst the mix. Perhaps most of us become a little more reflective as we mature, with more painful events and consequential errors of judgement causing us to retract at times and more pleasurable events and consequentially advantageous judgements enabling us to enlarge, at others.

Remembering always that consequentially destructive, constructive and creative decisions, actions and habits by no means ‘show up’ in their ‘true colours’ at once.

I sat down to write because I hadn’t published anything for a week or so (as you probably know this blog is intermittent and driven by impulse more than by systematised strategy) and I was wondering about my own ‘mental health recovery’.

My father’s death has somehow brought to light more clearly than for some time that my attitudes and values hamper my peace of mind far less than many around me who have no history of ‘mental illness’. I guess that my stability emotionally is aided by sodium valproate, a mood stabilisor, and that co-extensively and certainly more importantly my thinking is steadied and directed more helpfully by the work I have done with a psychotherapist over the last year and a half (seeing her on average about once a month).

The loving, light spirited yet somehow deeply spiritual time I shared with my father on the Saturday before his death added to my strength and the unexpected discovery that he had written a will favouring me and my sister, though it has thrown some family members into disarray, has by no means diminished my feelings of well-being – though nor has it diminished my sense of responsibility towards angry and upset family members.

Running parallel to my father’s death has been an emerging perception of me, by the mental health services, that I am ‘recovering well’ and needing little or no support from them. That said, I have four sessions with the psychologist left and running alongside that I see a ‘social worker’ also about once a month. The social worker has a value – as does the psychologist on the grounds of their sex: they are women and I have needed to align myself more strongly and trustingly with my same sex associates and to begin to feel safer in friendships with same sex people. This has been a great success and I feel altogether a more rounded, happy and contented human being since my psychologist moved me in that direction.

To be a heterosexual woman who feels uncomfortable with women makes for a very uncomfortable relationship with oneself. How can you feel safe with, trust and value yourself if you’re that kind of woman?

So – what a difference it’s making to my life!!!!

Anyway – the point is: Am I moving to be discharged from secondary services and declared fit for work because I am now well, or is it because of ‘payment by results’? I suspect it is the latter and that I’ve been allowed to recover because of the latter where I was tripped up and into ditches by the same before because it suited their own budgets and careers.

Psychiatry is a thorn in the side of positive mental health in my view – no doubt, if you know me or have ever visited this space before this view will come as no surprise to you.

Apparently my ship is due to be released from its naval fleet: Thank f***g goodness for that!! Do I sail away, never to be heard of again? Hmmm.. Good question… A sea shanty comes to mind…

Dancing in His Grave

November 11, 2012

Dad’s safest where he is just now…

This entry should be read to the song ‘What a Wonderful World’ by Louis Armstrong.

My lovely Dad must be dancing in his grave. It’s what he did on top of the soil so presumably he’ll be doing it even more now. He won’t be feeling too hot or too cold, he won’t be feeling too happy or too sad, he won’t be feeling too amused or too enraged – he’ll be as serene as ever he could have felt in this life. That’s a good thought, a good feeling – he’s past pain and past pleasure – a state of utter peace.

Those of us with breath in our lungs and blood running through our veins can’t genuinely imagine this state. After all, our very capacity to experience ourselves as living is dependent on this constant state of flux between various potentially opposite extremes. I can’t offer to throw light onto the matter either, because I don’t remember anything until I was about two so I’m blind and deaf to the eternity I was in before I was conceived and presumably that’s the same space he’s returned to now.

Of course in another sense he hasn’t because a fair few people remember him and hold him in their minds eye and in their heart. I hold him in both, and let’s face it, I hold him in the length of my arms and legs; my addictive love of music; my temptation to hedonism and my sense of humour. Oh – and in my insistence on personalising anything and everything that comes within my sphere. Oh – and one more thing he gave me – a ‘bloody good brain’. He had a very high opinion of his own, so when about a year ago he conceded that I’d inherited one of my own – well, I knew I’d ‘arrived’ 😉

I want to check with St Andrews if there are any audio or video recordings of my dad performing to his peers and carers. It would hardly assist me to show the world what a gifted man my father was but it would warm my heart to see anything to keep him alive to me.

For the time being I have his order of service card, young soulful photo at the front, heart warming image of his birthday party in July on the back. To me he’ll never die.

Which is why I’ve only sobbed about his concrete death a few times so far. I feel like he’s still with me somehow, so most of the time I feel he’s actually closer to hand than he’d been for some years. Particularly because during the last year for some reason I felt on and off that he was ‘coming back’ mentally, though of course physically he was getting frailer by the minute.

During my last seven hours with him, well, it was more special than I can say. I didn’t properly realise that he was approaching his last breath so rapidly, I thought I had a few months left with him. He, I think, had a different more accurate sense of matters. And so he was an unadulterated delight throughout and we smiled and laughed almost non stop for the whole time.

And there was a special moment when he looked into my eyes and said something that healed a thousand years of pain within me. What he said was ‘You look beautiful today Janie; I’ve never seen you look so beautiful’. It was a father’s flattery that you could discount but he and I knew just how profoundly it would get under my skin in a good way. I wasn’t ‘ugly duckling’ any more. And recently I’d stopped dying my hair dark and red so it was light and blonde like my sister’s, so I felt like he was looking into my eyes to see both of us. I hoped he was because I know how dearly he’d have treasured seeing both of us there. I’m sure he was.

Oh what a lovely outlet this is. To speak what’s in my heart in an environment stripped of people who intrude to corrupt it.

Clear the air again with a rendition of Louis Armstrong and ‘What a Wonderful World’.

Father’s Recovery

October 25, 2012
All singing All smoking

All singing, All smoking

Please read this piece to ‘That’s Life’ by Frank Sinatra. There’s a good YouTube video for it, by the way.

I don’t wish to speak on behalf of my father, but since his death I have had little alternative.

His perception of his life in the final years of it was critical. He felt hemmed in, his opinion of the food didn’t bear repeating, he appreciated the architecture and the tender heartedness of many of the human beings around him but he considered the core culture of health and care to be rooted in stupidity. As a patient and an ‘unqualified’ man no one with any influence took a blind bit of notice.

He noticed he didn’t like being held under lock and key for six and a half years and he yearned for the support he would have needed to bring the NHS to court over his treatment from 2006 until he left Houghton Regis Unit in, I believe, April 2009.

I was one person who should have been more palpably supportive. I make the excuse I wasn’t so well myself back then and until quite recently I went up and down a lot and had my children’s needs to see to etc. But excuses won’t bring my dad back to life. Nor will they give him back his liberty and dignity during the years before he died.

The stories to be found in officialdom will tell a different story.

Pass the sick bucket.

The Genesis of a Modern Myth?

August 13, 2012

Relevance at Best Contingent

“By the middle of the 19th century it was also generally accepted that the superintendent of any properly run lunatic asylum should be a physician. But the terms mental illness and mental disease survived, partly because they clearly implied that what had previously been called madness or insanity was medical territory. The doubts about causation also survived, even within the medical profession itself. Indeed, the school of psychoanalysis that emerged at the end of the 19th century regarded all mental illnesses as entirely psychogenic disorders to be treated by psychotherapy; and until the 1930s mental disease remained largely uninfluenced by the physician’s pharmacopoeia and, apart from general paresis, could not be shown to be accompanied by any cerebral pathology, macroscopic or microscopic.”
Taken from The British Journal of Psychiatry, 2001, 178:490-493

The introduction of an economic, intellectual and pragmatic framework for ‘mental illness’ as an arm of pharmaceutical (and other) medicine produced an accompanying plethora of previously ‘unnoticed’ ‘illnesses’ that became fully instated within our culture. Language is so creative – as it multiplies sounds and formations on screen or paper so it also multiplies products of its representations in the world. Thought creates reality.

The industry of ‘mental illness’ has been a resoundingly successful one – the reach of its empire has spread to at least one in four members of our society.

Those of us unfortunate enough to be ‘diagnosed’ (= described and over powered) with the ‘illnesses’ of severe’bipolar I’ and ‘schizophrenia’ will suffer a 1 in 15 chance of death by suicide. This is comparable with suicide rates of approximately 11.5 per 10,000 in the general population (over twice of these are by men).

The problem with this statistic is that it is presented as a description rather than as a prescription. However, it is a description that is inadequately explained and one that is thus too easily slipped from the lips of the well to the ears of the vulnerable, only to become a self fulfilling prophecy.

‘Functional Mental Illnesses’ are presumed to be brain disorders that erupt in the human brain and disorganise the thoughts, feelings and behaviours of the victim such that their conduct becomes altogether ‘unacceptable’ to those around them. ‘Chemical Imbalances’ are spoken of, ‘excessive Dopamine’, etc., etc.

Medicines are needed to keep the ‘illnesses’ at bay. These suppress active symptoms and in the case of ‘severe’ ‘illnesses’ also inducing depression, obesity, anxiety, irritability, potential liver damage, kidney damage etc etc.

The medicines are prescribed for life and are described as preventing ‘relapse’. In the majority of cases for schizoid and bipolar illnesses there is no clear knowledge or understanding of the cause of the ‘illness’ nor why the medication ‘works’.

Those taking it could explain. Mostly it simply shuts down dopamine production (to any useful degree) and leaves its subjects in a state of lethargic numbness, where nothing matters much any more. Life loses its colour, taste, texture, taste, sound – subjects stay around to be polite and because some part of them keeps hoping that someone, something, somewhere, will switch the life machine back on and release them from the dungeon of death to which they have been sentenced.

They don’t work because, were they fortunate enough to have a career in the first place, the consultant has probably tacitly encouraged an early pension (say – 20 or 30 years early). They have few friends because word has got round and, anyhow, it’s all too obvious, the weight gain, the poverty, the slurred speech, the slowed intellect.. They live in squalor because they can’t even motivate themselves to keep things decent. Having been turfed out of acceptable society they learn to be unacceptable.

If their first or second brush with the mental health services ended in a ‘section’ they were in all probability treated, at the most delicate, critical, vulnerable, sensitive time of their lives since birth – in the most brutal, shaming, humiliating. insensitive manner they have ever experienced. No one will allow of the possibility that they have been seriously harmed by the experience. Their subsequent collapse into a pattern of ‘illness’ as described above will be regarded as proof of the appropriacy of arrogant stupidity as protocol behaviour toward those with highly sensitised needs.

Happily at last the issue of inhumanity is being heard in the right places. However, it continues unabated in those same places, or was so doing last time I checked.

Perhaps it is time to grant to art the power of discernment when it comes to the treatment of life. Humans have an inventive capacity to produce tools to assist them in their lives and to mend those tools, to boot. These same tools should not be turned upon the lives without very careful reflection. Too little is spoken of aesthetics these days – the best of all human endeavour is … beautiful, graceful, economic, balanced, effective, satisfying.. : would that describe a bad scientific hypothesis?

Thanks for listening 😉

Bushel etc…….

July 20, 2012

I’ll get to the bushel later, let’s talk dreidels first..

Gordon popped over this morning. Car not drivable at the moment so he generously offered to collect me from sainsbury’s when I’d done my shopping. Or, as actually occurred, arrive 10 minutes before me and accompany me around the store.

Over several cups of coffee we chatted about this and that. The topic to share today was this: Yesterday I came across a guy called Tony Robbins who is an experienced broadcaster and practioner in relation to ‘strategic interventions’. He & his colleague were sharing their broad approach whilst focussing on a woman who suffered from depression.

At a particular point he raised the concept of the ‘crazy 8’ – two circles of physiology + mental focus + language that = a depressive syndrome – from passive sadness, hopelessness, despair and powerless vulnerability to active determination, anger and empowerment – back, of course, to depression in the passive state etc.

In particular in this case he noticed that the woman in question fiercely protected her depressed state.

Eureka – he introduced and explained ‘the crazy 8’.

The day has rushed by and now I shall have to continue tomorrow.

Sleep Well Everyone – thanks for being so patient during our fallow period 🙂

Welcome, CLI Students :-)

February 23, 2012

Crazy Daisy's Doodles

Many apologies for the lateness of the day in which I upload this for your benefit. I confess, it was written around 3am last night and another, on silencelol, addressing a specific question asked after Mike Smith’s session, did appear around then… I got it into my head that this one, too, had been published, but of course, because it’s just an intro, I’d saved it to draft only.

Anyhow, with no further ado: Let’s begin with this ‘Part 1’ and then later this evening ‘Part 2’ will appear. I look forward to hearing from you in response to the views shared herein – dialogue is the space where ‘collaborative learning’ takes place 😉

Peer Support Organisation: The Best Hospital Out

Well, I’m going to begin this presentation with a response to a question asked of me from one of you as I left Muirhead Tower last week. You will find this response on

(The question was, in a nutshell, ‘How do people manage to handle moving on from mental health traumas, with all the set backs that these are inclined to involve, without being lost in regrets for all the time lost on the journey?’)

And now to the presentation ‘proper’.

My topic is the ‘Shared Humanness’ concept as articulated by Tracey Holley (ex Worcestershire based mental health consultant, now living in Scotland). I would like to explain this concept a little, relating it to the ten shared capabilities which you may be aware of (I hope you are) and then referring to specific experiences that I have had during hospital stays where such values were in place and which have remained memorable and cherished as an oasis within a desert of humanity.

Hopefully, I will gain permission from Tracey to upload a version of her work for general dissemination on this site within the next few days. Til then, let’s just say, the concept derives from an all inclusive perception of sharing those qualities of human value that none of us are excepted by or from and which she proposes should form the basis for mental health practitioners ethos, right across the field.

Necessarily, this approach does away with hierarchisation (?) of personnel, including those at the ‘receiving end’ of services, without removing the care that sufferers may need at any one time.

I promised you a video presentation, so I am going to have to sort that out now. In order to do so it takes a hell of a time to upload it first to my youtube account and then to the website. So bear with us – you may not see it until tomorrow afternoon.

Mmmm don’t think I’m going to make it til the weekend or so.. let’s do a typescript and see if you’re actually listening before I bust a gut for you all shall we? 😉

Tumbling Back into Experiential Living

February 21, 2012

Preparation to Mount Yet Again 😉

– As distinct from reflective and meditative living…

More of the concrete detail about this on; here we need to focus more particularly exactly on the reflective, meditative dimensions of experiential processing and learning.

More particularly: I have promised to provide a presentation for the ‘CLI’ (=Collaborative Learning Initiative) group at the University of Birmingham in video form, to be available on Thursday this week.

I’ve accidentally filled in a form for you to use to send feedback to us – happy accident, hopefully 🙂

See you later,
Hugs from the Editorial Team

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