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Reflections…Week Forty

This week I have written and submitted a poem Man…#poetry#poem to Restoke’s – ManUp, they replied, very kindly offering to let me read my poem out loud at one of their events. To which I quickly turned them down. I am not at the point of being in the public light that much yet.

Never being the one for performing spoken word, I still feel the knots in my stomach from when I had to at High School in the English lessons, it was always something that one shied away from. Whilst this is the case, the inner person who has written the poem does not want to see someone else read it also. Oh the horror of it being read incorrectly.

I have a strange relationship with speech, with the ‘breakdown’ came a new way of speaking. Although the Dr’s have never worked out what caused the change or why, it does have links to Anxiety. The higher the Anxiety the more pronounced the problem. At one point it took my body painful contortions to get my words out, that leaves a mark on your memory. One I don’t wish to repeat.

One day my self esteem and self belief will be at a point that not only will I do spoken poetry, My poetry, but I will also be looking forward to it.

Maybe it will be the incorrect reading of my poetry by someone else that will break that barrier down.

We shall see.

 

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2017

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Reflections…Week Thirty Nine

canstockphoto8630797This is a reflection of remembrance.

I found out on Thursday that a person whom I shared time with at art class passed away last week.

I did not know him well  but he, and his artistic style, will be remembered for some time.

He had earned himself the nickname of grumpy Pete, but I think it was, once you got to know him better, a tool for his own entertainment. Many a time I saw that whilst he was grumping away, he was also suppressing a smile, I have never seen a truly grumpy person do that.  And after he had said what he wanted to say, he would inevitably look around the room for takers. If none took a bite he would then direct the grump towards an individual. You could even say it was his way to start a conversation.

His artistic style was nearly polar opposite to mine, and in one conversation he also had an effect in the way I tried to approach my work. His painting were splodge’s, dabs, an almost haphazard placement of paint on canvas, layers upon layers of paint. I do not recall ever seeing a smooth painting of his. Nor did I ever see him worrying about blending colours on the canvas to create tone or shadow. Shadows themselves were created by the texture of the pain put onto canvas. Light, and the different angles of it, had a direct effect on his work. This meant that at different times of the day the same picture could have a slightly different look about it, just from the shadows cast.

His passing was of a surprise, he was of about the same age as me, however he suffered from epilepsy and it was one of these fits that ultimately put him in a coma to which he was never to wake from.

The words that he said that altered my perspective on my art could also be applied to life as well. I may not have them as a direct quote but I will do my best.

Here’s to you Pete

You know, people often think that creating art is all about drawing the outline. That they have to draw it as one line. But I found that if you draw lot of little lines, and not worry about where you put them so much, the outline just appears.”

 

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2017

Reflections…Week Thirty Eight

Again no poem this week, to be honest I miss working one out, but one has been busy writing.

One would like to say on a book, or something positive. Alas it has been more sombre than that. A couple of services that I use have, under the guise of being — Non Clinical — lost or in the process of loosing funding.

I have written a Blog on the subject (1345 words) , but since it links with both of the charities, I have asked that the donating information be approved by head office. The others are statements from myself on the use of the services and the benefits one has received (3526 words and 1016 words).

I don’t think I wrote that much on my wind generator project  paper at college, and that was worth 40% of the final exam score.

Fed up of quietly complaining, one will endeavour to pick out the positives that have come from the reading of my work, by support workers and head office. In a swamp of bleh, One will try to be a firefly (the little insect not the spacecraft, although that would be cool).

All have said I am talented, writing this still does not make that statement feel about me, yet.

I have been asked if my work can be used by fundraising manager and the chief exec .

That’s my work, being sent to the big boss, and not to get me into trouble.

I have to admit it did feel like one was being reported to the Head master a wee bit more than one would have liked, thank you Mr Street, the fear of being sent to you in infant school has stuck with me, the reason why I was in trouble has not, but now I know this is part of my inferiority complex with authority figures. Knowing this connection is a positive insofar as it can now be worked on.

And, I accepted the compliments, with the grace of a new born foal, but I accepted them. This is on the back of words from the poetry group organiser, because one went, “hmmm”, as thanks for a compliment. I nearly got told off for saying “sorry” as my response to those ‘words.’

So in effect one has written something that could, in its own way, make a difference, a positive difference, to someone else life.

Thats a long way from when I wrote my first blog.

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2017

Side note to self- will start work on a new poem Monday.

Reflections…Week Thirty One

It’s been a whirlwind week! Dad is in hospital, again, my Son has his leg in a cast to try and stretch his… I want to say muscles but that does not sound right, my Niece has had hospital trips which meant the ‘Monster” has been visiting more and to top it off my Sister had vertigo from a wasp sting.

Out of all of them this was the one that was the most of an unusual day. A phone call for help, the doctors appointment was at the same time as the ‘monster’ finishing nursery, in 45 minutes, and I had to get there. The trip usually takes 45 minutes, so no pressure.

I got there and my niece luckily had a carer there, so she was sorted, my sister was there – kind of and I did a car swap. I swiped my small car, a panda, for a wheelchair adapted van, the big ones. Have I mentioned this was my first time driving it?

Luckily I have driven a van before, albeit a long time before, but boy did it feel big after just getting out of mine. First we head on over the the nursery to get the ‘monster’, engine started, handbrake of…where is the handbrake? If my sister hadn’t been in the van I would have ended up still sitting there now, its on the righthand side of the seat – that far down I nearly got my arm stuck.

That sorted off we go…over the first speed bump…Wobble to the left, thud, wobble to the right, wobble to the left, thud wobble to the right, thought my sister was going to upchuck on the first “hurdle”. Get to the end of the lane and I cannot feel the bite of the breaks, nothing, nothing…emergency stop! Lets all lurch forward. Still my sister kept down what was desperately trying to come up, just! The rest of the journey was approached, as it was on quiet lanes, with trepidation.

‘Monster’ picked up, slightly confused with me being in the drivers seat, and it is off to the doctors 10 minutes late. This is where I am told I will have to put my foot down when on the main road to get there as it is already after the appointment. Luckily the appointment was made by the ambulance crew who originally saw her so the doctor knew of the situation with me having to get there.

I have just noticed I have used the term luckily more than once, my sister would have at this point not classed this as being a lucky day.

We get there, slowly, but not my fault, by which time ‘monster’ is asleep, so I am allowed to eat my lunch uninterrupted by a tiny hand trying to use the force to snatch it from me. We got there late, therefore we left late, now I have 40 minutes to get my sister back home, swap cars and get back home for my sons 3 hour visit, my Mum is there to great him should I be late. Back to my Sisters and I now have 30 minutes, but my sister looks like crap, so I am transporting all of them back to Mums.

My Sister was part way through doing a blend for my Niece, liquidised food to go through her peg, basically a tube to her stomach from her belly, that needs to be done before we can leave. My Nieces carer leaves and I get the van ramp down ready, ‘monster’ is still asleep, bonus! Time to see if I can remember how my Niece is strapped down in her chair and how the chair is strapped down in the van. My niece at this point decided that she would make my life more awkward and play up, not the create holly hell play up, more the wouldn’t it be funny if I made this more a game of non cooperation.

“Are you managing in there?” came the call from the kitchen, “There is a lot of giggling”, “Done it!” with more enthusiasm than was warranted by the situation, was my reply. Off to the Van, Wheelchair in and fastened down, Sister in and Wheelchair fasted down correctly, I was so close. 20 Minutes to get there, no hope, and to top it off he arrives early.

Apparently my driving is both horrendously rollercoaster and hilariously funny, depending on whether you listened to my Sisters groans or my Nieces giggling, at one point we thought she would make herself sick. Actually that could be said for both.

As for ‘monster’, he slept through it all.

We arrived 25 minutes late and with my Sisters stomach contents surprisingly still in her stomach. My son was eagerly awaiting our arrival to show off his cast and give me a clunky cuddle. And we all trundled in.

My niece found the return drive equally funny, once we dropped her Nan off at the hospital and not her. My Sister by this time had started to feel better and the return journey was more pleasant.

Well not so much pleasant, more…less uncomfortable.

 

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2017

Reflections…Week Twenty One

canstockphoto8630797Burnt noggin day down by the canal.

It was the Etruria canal festival this weekend and as we had a good time last year we went again today. The weather started as a usual child typical Saturday, overcast and looking like rain later, but the sun came out just after we had lunch, and promptly cooked us. I usually wear a hat when out but forgot today for some unknown reason, and the sun cream was left on the side. Well prepared we were not.

I took the camera with me but I knew from last year it would really get used tomorrow on the return trip with Spot, specifically to take the photos; and hopefully some usable video. As usual my notebook will be travelling with me for blog inspirations as they happen, and a shirt, and a big hat, maybe some suncream to scare it away, the sun that is, it works in the back garden at home. I am hoping to get some ideas or at least notes for the poetry class here as well.

The creative writing/poetry class was a bust this week, even the lady who runs it failed to show. I did not write a poem,  however  a shopping list of words connected to my theme has been created, I will continue to work on the construction of a poem from this list as I go on. But not wanting to show up ’empty handed’, as it were, a poem by Wilfred Owen was printed off and take along.

The theme for this week was – a loss of a person, the poem was told to me, and my class, at school by a substitute teacher we had for two weeks. He also told us how clever Hitler was on his use of language and its manipulation of it in his speeches, a theme that seems to be reoccurring these days too.

This is a moving poem, that still has a pattern of rhyming my brain can follow, so here it is – one for every 14 year old…

Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

You see in a way this has been locked into my long term memory,  a poem that follows a format I can follow, it is about horrific subject matter, but still it follows a known format of rhyming the end words.

The  skill of wordsmithing he possessed is awe-inspiring, and although I forgot the poem itself, I never forgot the subject matter and the search for it online was easy. The words may have become distant, but the power of the words have remained with me till this day.

One day I will write a poem or a written piece that will have a lasting effect such as this one, yes the bar is set high; but nobody has said one cannot use a pair of ladders to get over it.

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2017

 

Reflections…Week Nineteen

canstockphoto8630797As usual my brothers birthday is fast approaching and until today I have had no idea of what to get him, to be honest it usually applies to all birthdays, or I have an idea but the cost is too high. If it works it will be a hit I am sure, if not he will have the cop-out cash in card.

I have been sitting on a colouring in picture for Leo, my son, for over a week now and it was in showing it to him this afternoon the idea came to me. The picture is on glossy paper and I needed to take a photo of it to print it out onto normal paper for him, if he wanted to do it.

The picture – two carp in simple Chinese style.

It was being pushed as a kiddies colour in picture but I recon it would easily pass as an adult one. A bit of jiggling around and drawing the fish myself, the 914 x 356mm (or 36 x 14inch) canvas I have in the wardrobe would be the perfect size to be able to set the fish off and not crowd the detail of the scales. As I sit writing this the fish has been 2/3rds completed. I am chuffed too bits that the drawing has gone so smoothly, I have tried to do fish before but they always look terrible, even the outline looks oddly shaped normally, but this one looks good.

This weeks reflection is early and it is short, but I need to get back to this drawing now the little fella has gone to bed, and before my meds kick in and skew anything I draw away from what it is I am trying to do.

As it is a new project, it will be broken down as photos for each stage and placed onto my website at a date post birthday.

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2017

Reflections…Week Eighteen

canstockphoto8630797I once had to dump my motorbike and jump into the side of an Artic Lorry Cab, leaving a dent in the cab door and wrapping my tobacco tin around my thigh where it hit the cab wheel. I was bruised and I ached the next day but I went back to my very manual job. Just another day, just another bruise. It was a walk away, though for the motorbike it was the end, that went under the wheel – and then under it a second time as he reversed back over it to see what he had hit.

I’m older now, not so able to just shake off the knocks, but I manage. What I find difficult is the days I wake up with every muscle aching for no reason, my head swimming like it is the morning after the night before, including the hissss – sunlight – shut the curtains and block it out, and the brain fog.  Yesterday was bad, I hardly moved out of my darkened room, my head in limbo from one thought to the next, even prompting by spot didn’t get me out of the house.  It took most of today to work up the momentum to do it, sometimes going outside is like walking against a strong wind, but only you feel it, and until you do, you don’t really understand how difficult it is.

Spot has been a godsend in my recovery, she knows when I am dipping, she plays the fool more elaborately to cheer me up, in her mind it works because I take steps to divert it when I can, she is my early warning system when I don’t wake with it in place. She will prompt me for going out, to the point of anoyance, and a simple day out for a walk with her is something to aim for .

And she gives good cuddles without asking.

But even with Spot in place the constant pain is starting to wear me down, I have support in place, but I just want to know what is happening and why my feet feel like someone is trying to rip them apart. These are the worst parts and at the same time these are the ‘worst’ parts.

They hurt the most and they hinder the most, I cannot remember a time without some sort of pain in them now. I hate being given ‘advice’, the meaning well’ness is there, but if it aggravates whatever it is, I suffer the next day maybe two. An exercise for one complaint can be torture for another. That is why I am waiting for an answer from the doctors before I start anything new, heck even they have offered no exercises to do that I am not already doing.

Its been two and a half years now and though I have a few “it’s not” statements the path has run its course and i am being signed off, so I have to start right back at the beginning because I was sent the wrong way. Not that I was expecting much from Neuro, they admitted that my stammer/stutter and twitch, which appeared out of the blue five years ago, was neurological but they did not know why, off I was sent to ‘receive help’ to accept this new feature, job done. But never have I been treated like I was dog  dirt on a shoe for being there, on another doctors referral, and wasting his time before.

All I want is an answer to the question….”Whats up doc?”

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2017