Posts tagged ‘broken’

crazed but not broken

I’ve been feeling very odd – changing medications is no fun as many of you will know better than me. I have a history of either being absolutely fine and not minding ‘minor’ side effects or getting the most extreme, even life-threatening ones possible. An early experience with Duphaston that the dreadful GP refused to report lead me to be very wary of medication for nearly 20 years…

Then, for me, Citalopram has been nearly the best thing since sliced bread, and to be coming off it after 10 years was a little daunting. My lovely GP hoped Venlafaxine could help with the ‘phantom’ pain fibromyalgia creates and help me use less painkillers and maybe gain more mobility, and also as my mood has been understandably but increasingly low as the fibro has got worse, maybe help more than the maximum dose of Citalopram could. She wanted me to start before she left, and helped me by setting a smooth transition with no tapering [as recommended by consultants] and l’ve now taken Venlafaxine for 4 weeks.

At first it was fine, just a very dry mouth, but drinking extra was easy enough, though by the time l started craving ready salted crisps, it occurred to me that yes, you can drink too much… the lovely chiropractor reminded me to take care of my electrolyte balance as he could see and feel the difference when I went in this week. A friend cooked me a lovely lndian meal including dahl, which confused things a little, as legumes now give me gripey wind, so when l saw my ‘new’ GP I was clear I felt wretched, but wasn’t sure how to separate some of the symptoms out. She briskly told me it was too soon to tell [hmm, 3weeks+ ??] and would see me in early January meanwhile here’s another prescription. I left feeling disgruntled on top of feeling sea sick and on heavy ‘amplification effect’, a most disagreeable fibro symptom where you feel like all noises are TOO loud, all smells are chokingly invasive, everything is clashing with everything else…on top of sea sickness, it’s a peach…

The surgery/practice I go to is patient-centred by ethos, so I am planning to go see a different GP should this one remain brisk/ unhelpful/ dismissive when I go back, if it wasn’t heading for xmas [what, it’s still November?!] I would try to fight for another appointment, and I will definitely be more prepared to argue my corner. An inbox conversation with a friend in London really helped clarify some of what is bothering me, and luckily I went from the doctor to my therapist, so we worked on it there too.

 

Meanwhile, I have been struggling with no immediately engaging artwork around to help me focus and cope, and failing to make much at all as being too nauseous to eat enough to take the painkillers means there’s extra pain on top of all the other symptoms.

Creativity is the singing bird for me, and the tree feels very lonely without her… not all of this is because of the meds, some is because I have been ill now for 6 years and made many changes to my lifestyle, more meds, more help, more pacing, less everything else, from showers to walking, to seeing friends, all while dealing with bereavement and losing not just my allotment, but my ability to garden, and moving from being a painter to a mixed media/ fibre artist, because of damage to my collarbones. That’s a lot, and inevitably there are times when it feels like too much…but lately with the accumulated tiredness from living in a country currently run by entitled sociopaths who are draining money from democratic infrastructure like the NHS and National Insurance benefits, mostly for their own pockets, but also to fund missiles that can never be used… oh, my…that’s way too much…

Another week of feeling sea sick and resting/ lying flat and leaving my face on the floor [instead of keeping it up and smiling!] and being gloomy as all get out, has passed, and gradually the space made by letting all that gripe out has started to allow some more positive thoughts to hang around. I even managed to make some software help me [techno fool win!!] and start rebuilding my lost list of over 200 blogs/resources I used to have on my dead laptop. It has really helped, deciding that Venlafaxine is not for me and that going back to Citalopram is not perfect but will be a lot better than this, if I can also structure in some more…something? Acknowledgement of how hard chronic illness is? Not sure…

What has come to me so far is this, the affirmation that however damaged we may feel, we still have value, all the ones being Westminstered to death and painted as the problem in the media, we are treasure houses of experience and human in ways the pretenders are too frightened to acknowledge.

I’m researching around kintsugi again, and think this will be the key to a new direction or piece of work… my life/ sense of self/ sense of possibility has been shrinking and something wants to fight back…

We are strong in the broken places, we know how to live well, we know what matters, we can be the gold that illuminates…

Kintsugi

the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, a method similar to the maki-e technique. As a philosophy it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. [Wikipedia]

Not only is there no attempt to hide the damage, but the repair is literally illuminated… a kind of physical expression of the spirit of mushin….Mushin is often literally translated as “no mind,” but carries connotations of fully existing within the moment, of non-attachment, of equanimity amid changing conditions. …The vicissitudes of existence over time, to which all humans are susceptible, could not be clearer than in the breaks, the knocks, and the shattering to which ceramic ware too is subject. This poignancy or aesthetic of existence has been known in Japan as mono no aware, a compassionate sensitivity, or perhaps identification with, [things] outside oneself.
— Christy Bartlett, Flickwerk: The Aesthetics of Mended Japanese Ceramics

 

 

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fibromyalgia, the mirror

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I am making the kind of art that makes me the most happy at the moment, making beauty from discards and gifting it as street art…this is so lucky, as I have just finished my first 6 monthly review for ATOS assessment form. 6 months goes really fast, it felt like forever when I won my appeal to be put in the non-work group for ESA, but it has flown. Having the recognition of the organisers of an exhibition in London, being invited to show more than I originally submitted is very validating, and when I have also been listing my increasing health problems on a form for someone paid a bonus to discount that and ignore my distressing history and try and force me to let go of my right to welfare support after paying into a National Insurance scheme… it has been a life saver.

I have felt angry and annoyed and stressed and belittled, but I have not felt suicidal. When I had to fight for a year to get my Disability Living Allowance re-instated in 2005, I felt suicidal almost weekly, I felt sick with fear every time another letter dropped through the box, it was a very heavy burden to carry through the first year of my marriage. Without Andy’s support I would never have made it. How do people manage with no partner, no family of choice or origin, no outlet for their skills and energy? No validation of their worth to those around them?

And this is why I am so angry about the refusal of the mainstream media to carry the news of just how many people commit suicide within 6 weeks of being refused their benefits. (yes “theirs”, if a doctor signed them on the sick and they paid N.I, a private insurance company would be in court for refusing to pay the promised benefits, why isn’t the Government?)

We know it’s over a thousand in 9 months, but the Government then instructed the records to be closed, even to Freedom of Information requests. How scared are they? How big is this dirty secret? How will people feel when they realize this was the boiled-frog syndrome moment for those not using the benefit system? How did ordinary Germans go along so willingly with Nazi atrocities? By believing propaganda, by letting themselves be divided to rule…

We must stand together.

We must look in the mirror and like what we see.

Fibromyalgia is a mirror for me: I see what is truly necessary to me more clearly than ever before in my life, because when I mess up, the cost is very high. Equally, because life is increasingly limited, I can tell very easily what makes a satisfying life, what generates stress, what makes me sick to my stomach… and the thought of the MPs in Parliament getting £400 for lunch, saying working families must queue for support at a food bank truly does. As people are pointing out, how much housing benefit goes to benefit claimants and how much goes to landlords? 100% goes to private landlords getting super rich off people terrified to complain when there is mould growing on the walls, getting sick from damp, while their landlords build another heated stable for their horses… (interesting conversation with my landlord the other day –  I am his only tenant on benefits, I am the ‘deserving disabled’ mascot and to be fair, even he was genuinely horrified when I explained that using a rollator, paying for a homehelp, being on tablets galore with a therapist specializing in trauma recovery and a GP who understands fibromyalgia, in no way guarantees any support from the benefits system…I just hope I didn’t give him any ideas about evicting me…)

However hard daily tasks are for me, I must still try and make art or risk losing my ability to cope with the stress levels of my situation. I am very lucky – I have skills and talents and interests and many lovely and diverse friends who help me in many ways, including keeping me amused 😉 Humour is a life saver too! If I made art on a tablet though, perhaps given to me by caring relatives or bought by a charity, I would be under suspicion, how have I come by such an expensive item? Welfare News Service reports some people are being investigated for just such a thing…but at the same time people on benefits have to have internet to access services and apply for jobs… we are moving into a world of double think and distrust and it all needs to be wiped away.

Look in the mirror: you see a human

Every human deserves support to stay alive in a caring and compassionate society

Every human deserves to express themselves and make a contribution to the greater community and be respected for that and not be made to feel suicidal for having become ill, disabled, and in need of support

When you hear the ignorant spouting rubbish about scroungers, ask them if they pay NI (National Insurance contributions) and ask what would happen if they were in a car accident and needed a wheelchair and time off work and how if it turned out they had irreparable spine damage would they like to still be considered human and be paid the benefits of the insurance scheme and use the services of the fantastic National Health Service? or would they like to be treated as human waste and spat at and have their windows stoned and be shouted at in the street as greedy, feckless scroungers? Hmm?

Dr Seuss: Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.

Be a human, respect other humans’ needs, protect and support other humans’ right to dignity in life and death.

whole or healing?

“It is not our job to remain whole.
We came to lose our leaves
Like the trees, and be born again,
Drawing up from the great roots.”

– Robert Bly (found via the amazing CALM THINGS blog)

and when you’re lucky, it feels like this:

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but on a bad day, this can help:

smallest joy

until things feel better..STA43487-003.

Big Issue Knitathon

http://www.bigissue.org.uk/event/big-knitathon

-this link takes you to the information about the knitathon,  so if you are in Britain, you can find your nearest event or a downloadable pack to set up your own event. If you are in Nottingham, please come along to the event I’ve organised with Eleanor at Knit Nottingham and encouragement from Cherise, who promises to come to the Knit and Natter 😉

Knit Nottingham Big Issue Knitathon on facebook

Why does this matter to me? Well, they are organising it a way I like: inviting people to help on what level they can, with a big push for publicity with an attempt on the Guinness Book of Records for the biggest handknitted blanket in the world; the big blanket will be easy to convert into single blankets for those sleeping rough or in their first homes afterwards; the knit and natter will be a way for people to be sociable as they discuss social justice and why so many people are homeless or using foodbanks in order to keep paying the rent or the heating because zero hour contracts are so unfair, benefit systems are so overwhelmed and stacked against those in urgent need, and any sponsorship money will be put towards the support foundation that helps the homeless with all the many things that can have gone wrong and need turning round.

Lots of people who are homeless are also hopeless, things have gone a way they never saw coming, and while many have mental health issues, particularly trauma from abuse or being in the Army, or drug and alcohol problems, others have simply been overwhelmed by circumstances. I helped a woman leave her violent partner, who then started threatening me and stalking me. The partner was also a woman, which meant that even going to the Women’s Centre didn’t help, in fact as she used the Lesbian Centre a lot it was a particularly hard place to go, anxiety-wise. She lived two doors away and was very good friends with my house-share. Sigh…eventually things got so bad, I went to the Housing ‘Choice’ Centre as Homeless Support was then called, to the derision of all. The Emergency Homeless team rehoused me at 4.15pm on a Friday, and I moved at 9am the next morning, from the place I had been flatsitting for 2 months to be away from the abusive neighbour. At 11am the woman I was flatsitting for came back from Latin America. I was that close to having nowhere to go, because I have estranged myself from my abusive family, and because lots of people I knew were very uncomfortable at the lesbian domestic violence implications (this was the late 90s, when lesbian violence was an extremely dirty secret beginning to finally be aired, very cautiously) or helping someone being stalked. I actually didn’t know that many people either, I’d moved to Nottingham as an agoraphobic and it is very hard to build a social circle when you can barely go out. I wasn’t eligible to go to a women’s refuge because it wasn’t my partner being violent to me, and there was no where else.

I got through it, and I started the art course a year later, and life really had got a load better by the time I met Andy (my dead husband) in 2001, and very few people would imagine meeting me nowadays that I was once 45 minutes away from homelessness in the sense of no key to a door of a place I could be safe, away from a very angry abuser who wanted to punish me for helping her partner leave. But I was, and I fell between so many cracks in the system, I felt totally isolated, totally helpless. And I am an articulate middle class white cis woman, with a very strong hidden disability (agoraphobia/PTSD ) but still, relatively able to negotiate the benefits system and talk politely to council workers etc., I was emergency homeless, with no support and it seemed like I would have nowhere to go after applying to over 20 housing associations and the local council of course…it was very, very frightening.

And because of the bedroom tax, there are disabled and vulnerable people who are going to be made homeless because there is simply NO HOUSING STOCK FOR MOST OF THE PEOPLE NEEDING BEDSITS, STUDIOS AND 1 BEDROOM FLATS. Because, oh yes, Thatcher made the councils sell it all off.

I do not want anyone to be homeless, but if they are, I want them to have nonjudgmental support. No one chooses to be homeless except maybe wandering gurus/ sages/visionaries… and however they got there, there’s a lot more to the story than most people think. And I’m sorry, but it could probably happen to most people if enough bad things happened. And because the shelters and refuges have so little (if any) funding coming in, there are people who cannot leave people who are violent and abusive to them or their children, because there is nowhere else to go. Britain is in breach of the United Nations Charter of Human Rights by not providing places of safe refuge, and the government is morally bankrupt by making so many more people homeless or vulnerable to abuse…we live in desperate times. With not enough support for the desperate…

So, please choose to help how you can:

knit some 6” squares

sew squares together

sponsor a knitter

ask your local yarn shop/knit and natter etc if you can do something on Sat 16th November

send a cheque, made payable to The Big Issue Foundation to 1-5 Wandsworth Rd, London, SW8 2LN

or donate to your local refuge, consider fostering a pet for someone in a refuge, so they will have a safe companion when they make their new life, donate to a food bank or the pets projects

It will be very appreciated, and do more than you can imagine.

STA45951

beauty as a manifesto, calming as a practice

“It is [the] spiritual and evolutionary function of beauty—the power to generate life-affirming change—that is so vital to the visual arts and culture in general, and it is what is intentionally absent in much postmodern art…. Restoring the centrality of beauty in art may signal more than visual relief from the tawdriness of today’s art. It would also be a confident assertion that the future we seek is connected to our desire for beauty and to an appreciation of how beauty can help lead us to a more perfect tomorrow.”                     Carol Raphael       “The Beauty We Create” – See more at: http://ulaeinstein.com/category/art-blog/page/2/#sthash.nlrKMWNQ.dpuf
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I have been very lucky with finding some new artblogs recently – particularly as 3 of my regular ‘go to’ blogs are slowing down on posting, having slices of life I presume.
both make work I find inspiring and motivating, and make me the tiniest bit panicky 😉 I can see we have similar concerns and each have ideas they are working on that mean our work would really make a dialogue in a gallery (drags self back from delicious fantasy 😉 ) but if I don’t make more of the work in my head soon, it will look like I am bouncing off them at best and copying them at worst, when really these are ideas I have been growing for  months and years…
STA43461-001Fibromyalgia means I have to work much more slowly on production than I like, and anxiety is really bad for that, as it increases adrenalin, which increases cortisone, which heightens the pain, which reduces my ability to make…nasty vicious circle, that.
Taking time out to meditate, to skywatch and flow watch (Daoist practices) will be key, and silliness like lifting big tubs of plants or bricks to weight mulch because I am so frustrated that the other flats won’t come out and help in the garden multi 086-1has to stop. The chiropractor put my collarbone back in again on Thursday and said I would feel much better afterwards, and I do, but I’m so annoyed I let myself down again…
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I have done a little knitting of cradles and crocheting of the connectors, and already the pain is worse. So I have had a hot shower and a painkiller and an icepack and a nectarine and orange smoothie with organic ginger tea and now I am ready to plan rotations of activity to alternate muscle usage, brain usage and rest.
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Thinking/reflecting/musing/’seeing’ work all help me feel creatively active, and, as importantly, help me with planning artist statements at the different levels they are expected. One of my resolutions to come out of the courses at Nottingham Contemporary was that I would modify my statements to reflect my permaculture beliefs and not spout high flown art-speak. I make good work, that to a large extent, speaks for itself. Thanks to altermodernism, it is less necessary to enfold the art in conceptual smokescreens, and simply to say:
I make art to inspire others to think outside the norms of capitalist consumerism.
I make art to call people to beauty, who may have lost hope in this sick system that it could be possible to live more harmoniously.
I make art to present something so real and so compelling, that previous disbelief is replaced by hope and trust in healing and beauty:
a beauty with wounds that are being treated, issues that are accepted and worked through, but a beauty of balance and sharing and richness of texture, colour and line, that makes you want to reach out and touch, to take home with you, and to live with, a little more each day.

transphobia, feminism and being a permaculture activist

http://feministsfightingtransphobia.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/a-statement-of-trans-inclusive-feminism/

please read the statement at the link: it marks an historic moment, a turning point where feminists [people who believe gender-based oppression of people is wrong] are coming together to be clear that women affected by transgender have a place in feminism and women-only space, as equals, and is probably the first statement where people who identify as feminists are queuing to sign in solidarity of trans-inclusion within feminism.

diversity5-001image (Keith Turner) : detail of ‘diversity is our strength’ in situ at Nottingham Pride, 2013 Singing Bird Artist

*****TRIGGER WARNINGS: lesbian/lesbian violence, transphobic comments repeated, collusion with abusers*****

Why is this so significant?

Well, transphobia is one of the reasons so many good women lost their energy for feminism – fighting transphobic lesbian-feminists [let me be CRYSTAL CLEAR!  that’s SOME, not all lesbian-feminists] in the late 90s. I was fairly new on General Committee at Nottingham Women’s Centre when a letter came requesting clarification on the right to access the facilities, written by a post-transition woman. I read it out, and said, “well that’s a clear yes, isn’t it?” and looked up to see a variety of expressions, but all including exhaustion, on the faces of the other volunteers. To cut a very long story short, no, this was round 3 or 4 on trying to get agreement for access. I volunteered to be the ally/advocate for transgendered access (all the other lesbians on committee heaved a sigh of relief, and the Lesbian Centre sent a delegate to oversee our process and advocate remaining closed – while knowing this would mean losing all Council funding for workers and basic costs.)

diversity3-005image (Keith Turner) : detail of ‘diversity is our strength’, Nottingham Pride, 2013

The next several months  of “process” were agonising…for me, it involved becoming emergency homeless after helping a lesbian neighbour leave her violent lesbian partner and being told that the perpetrator was welcome in the Lesbian Centre and I was not. That’s the level of shunning I received… I lost all but 2 friends in Nottingham (luckily I still had 3 in Newcastle, a mere 4 hours away by train…remember I’m agoraphobic…) Meanwhile I continued to volunteer several hours a week to keep this huge unwieldy building with 40+ rooms and 60+ projects open and available, warm, dry, safe, secure (I notice I realllllllly need to let go of the £6,000 gas bill ($8,000) for one winter quarter where we would come in on a Monday to find the Lesbian centre had left the radiators on full and the windows wide open…ALL weekend) That was just one of the disillusionments….

This was the time when I came to realise that extremes meet..that the worst kind of rabid tabloid and the supposedly politically aware and analysed and completely anti-oppression transphobic lesbians both believed and would state with conscious cruelty remarks like “they’re just men in skirts” or “what about when they rape women and children”. I apologise to any people affected by transgender for repeating such hurtful crap, but it is like when discussing child abuse, some people really don’t get that some people say things like that unless you share the truth you know. I was there, it scarred me. I would go and talk in therapy about how I felt struggling to keep the centre going, for these heartless, horrible oxygen thieves….as a survivor, with a family who insisted on silencing me, I find collusion excoriating.

After public debates in more than one venue, with consultations with all the projects, eventually access was granted. I never felt the same again about the Women’s Centre, and I don’t think I ever entered the Lesbian Centre again. I started the Art Access course and found great joy in exploring such a healing space for myself. In the second year, the new head tutor asked me where I “fitted” in Lesbian Art, and I just said, “Oh, I don’t…” and he said, “Well, you must, you’re a lesbian?!?” and after a pause, I said,”No, I think I just came back out as Bi !” We both started laughing, it was a very odd experience!! 😉

diversity3image Keith Turner: detail of  ‘diversity is our strength’ in situ, Nottingham Pride, 2013 Singing Bird Artist

But I had just been researching lesbian artists, and I was very aware that I had so little in common with the more famous ones, and certainly wasn’t welcome among the local ones, but most importantly, art is where my utmost truth is crystal clear to me, and I just KNEW I didn’t fit there…2 years later I met my husband and fell head-over-heels in love, so I was right about that! 😉

But one of the sad things is that the same lesbians who are trans-phobic are also bi-phobic…and on the rare occasions I would meet a lesbian from those days, I would feel tainted, like, it would look like the only reason I supported trans-access rights was because I wasn’t lesbian enough…16 years on and I finally, finally feel I could join a feminist group again because trans-acceptance would be accepted…and  bisexuality would be accepted too. Hopefully this would be a feminism where so many more experiences would be validated too – womanism/acceptance of the dual struggle against racial prejudice, being a woman of belief (without oppressing others eg being Jewish and being welcome, but accepting Zionism would have to be left at the door; being Muslim and leaving violent jihad there too, being Celtic Pagan, Christian, Hindu , Atheist…even Daoist 😉 ) class and privilege reversed to support and education, issues of health, disability…. and then things I would call for now that weren’t really on my radar then:

access to shared organic landscapes, wildness and the right to share cultivation (bring back the REAL commons!!)

commitment to a future that values all living species and organic entities over industrialisation and dis-embodied corporations of capitalism

commitment to the future, of the planet and all the species we can protect

a redesign of society as if people and planet mattered (I just need to be clear that animals etc are people too, just not human)

– this all exists, it’s part of ‘expanded’ permaculture, which is sooooo much more than gardening design, brilliant as that system is. Read Starhawk’s ‘Fifth Sacred Thing’ to get a sense of how a state could run with that level of respect, or the second in Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy. Yes, I know they’re novels, I recommend them because they are so brilliantly written that you can imagine yourself inside that decision-making process, and feel how hard they would be….but worth it, because the alternative of yet more ‘unlimited growth’ capitalism is beyond terrifying. So I want a feminism that includes permaculture as its anti-capitalist strategy and a permaculture that welcomes all to the orchard 😉

STA45213-001visitors and my rollator at Pride 2013

And the single best thing for me is that right now feminism is the phoenix in the fire, it has the chance to spread its wings and become a campaign FOR things that would make the world better…so much of people’s opposition to feminism is based on misunderstanding, and feminism has this moment to seize the chance to re-frame, re-name and re-empower itself, ourselves, all the people, the planet, save our present and future…

How exciting is that? 😉

happy happenstance…

So by chance, I spotted this opportunity (still open for a week!) for artists affected by disability and mental illness:

https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/52149804e4b0ca9a4cf92c90?INTCMP=mic_2902

and as I had had the most beautiful wrongness happen with my camera yesterday, I got to turn around a week of feeling unproductive/ uncreative/ unrecognized in one fell swoop 😉

Due to “hurty hands” as I would have phrased it with my ‘make small of things we can’t change’ husband, I haven’t made much while sorting out listing items to sell on Amazon/eBay/Gumtree…the inertia was really hard to fight back against and when I did, I felt mentally and physically clumsy, including not just dropping the camera, but changing the settings as I grabbed it. Small change, you say, reset it! Yessss, hmm, I got it free, with no manual and a bit broken, and so far haven’t found the manual online… so I turned it on again and off again a few times, with increasing camera wobble…oh my! 😉 and theeeese effects!

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Now the opportunity is for artists with experience of disabling conditions to make a postcard sized piece that expresses what is important to them…it seems pretty open what you can choose that to mean, so I started with this last image, as the tiny compass/ helm (a charm) stood out. I inverted the colours in Picasa and cropped and came up with ‘Death of My Safe Person’. It is very hard to explain to anyone what losing the only person who wanted to be my safe person has been like…I have met others, to me it’s kind of a magnetic effect, once a total stranger on a train helped me cross the seventh pit of hell, sorry, Birmingham Railway Station – without him knowing!  As an erratic eccentric artist with bi-polar, considered loveable but deeply unreliable by his nearest and dearest, I think Andy was fascinated that I could ‘lean’ on him, and we stretched my world way open again…it was hard, and I had a lot of anxiety and upset, but I got to have an allotment and go to see Benjamin Zephaniah live and the Chalice Well Gardens and see the sun set into the sea…happy memories that have changed who I am 😉 Anyway, as well as losing my lovely partner, I also lost the person who took me places and made me safer in the world…I am still held by his effect on me and my life, and nowhere near as housebound as I was in my late 20s (classic agoraphobia onset is 27, I learned in a biography of Charles Schultz of the Peanuts cartoon strip fame, he was probably the highest earning agoraphobic of the last century). But I shocked a lot of people by going out every other day for a month after he died, I was so frightened of losing my mobility…and lately, as the fibromyalgia gets worse, I feel it creeping up on me more. It was very hard (British understatement!) to go out to the chiropractor on Thursday – luckily as soon as he crunched my neck, my mood swung right up 🙂 so I think there must be a link to feeling efficacious in the world, effective, respected, seen, empowered, supported…some blend that is crushed when you can’t hold your head up… I often feel like things are slipping through my fingers and some of that is in the image too…

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and although there is a slight atmosphere of ‘gone beyond recall’, as usual, I have balanced it with other images expressing my firmly held life mantra that there is always good stuff to find in the world:

smallest joykeep growing

and my other mantra: pay attention! This is a sunbleached fence paling, but it takes me straight to my favourite beaches of the North-East coast (please don’t let know-nothing Tories frack there!!! Osborne’s father-in-law’s Howell-er is deeply worrying if you love watching the exquisite cyclamen pink autumn moon rise out of lilac, lavender and dove grey seas…)

somewhere else

So I feel happy that those 4 images give quite a balanced view of how I live with agoraphobia, extreme PTSD and fibromyalgia – yes, things get hard, but there is so much beauty to be found, and sometimes it is the happy accidents that turn out best 😉