Thursday, May 19, 2011

Don't Panic, Mr Mainwaring!



I must admit that the last post may have been a bit.....odd. But hey, that's the nature of the beast. It was a brief journey off piste and quite lovely in lots of ways, though I realise that if I'd overindulged, the results would have been broadly the same as acid-abuse. I have never taken acid as far as I know, though there was a very unfortunate incident at Glastonbury a couple of years ago, that makes me wonder. I've never really got on with drugs. It's not a morality thing per se; I tried most things in my youth. It's rather that they always had an unexpected effect on me. I'd sleep instead of laugh, or be sick instead of dance and so I gave it all up as a bad job. After that last post, one can't help but be grateful for small mercies.

I seem to be able to trip without the need for drugs at all. 

Anyway,I have been out of commission for 36 hours because someone posted the details of a writing comp through my door on Tuesday morning and its deadline is tomorrow. In reality, since Tuesday was spoken for, it meant I had Wednesday to write it and Thursday (today) to post it.
Spikey can't resist a challenge and so set herself the task of dreaming the storyline overnight on Tuesday and simply committing it to paper it on Wednesday. Job done. In theory. But in the end, tiny foxes scampered around my room whilst I slept and it annoyed me, because they used up precious dream time.
 I needed 2, 500 words! I hadn't tried that in 20 years. I had managed 250 by lunchtime, which wasn't to schedule by anyone's book. I tried to cat nap to refresh myself but pesky foxes kept getting in the way. Then I realised that they were signposting me to a memory and then it wrote itself. 
I slept for 5 hours last night as it still wasn't finished, and began again at 6am. I felt sick from looking at the screen for so long and from lack of sleep; I had a migraine. Then I realised I had 2536 words and a Post Office deadline to meet for guaranteed next day delivery. So, double vision notwithstanding, I axed a few and had no time to proof read it again. The 200 word cover letter about myself suffered, as by that point I had decided they'd have to make do with a paw print and 'See Blog!' and I headed off down to the Post Office. I had decided to include an A4 sized photocopied print of myself, rather than the passport photos I had had taken for my driving license last month. Those had left me wondering why no one had ever thought to tell me that I'd had a stroke.

Now, you ask, why did I bother at all? It's simple. It was the second competition posted through my door in 48 hours and I decided that if I was going to start listening to the universe, then I'd be as well to start immediately.
I know that I have a miniscule chance of winning, and I know that it won't be everyone's cup of tea, but I was proud of it; despite the errors I have found since sending it, despite the lack of location information, despite myself. It was the best I could do in 24 hours, and it wasn't half bad. I know that because once I finished, I kept bursting into tears and getting all emotional and the crying reminded me of how I felt after I gave birth. It was my baby, being sent off to be judged by strangers. 
I will love it however ugly it is thought to be, because it is my story.

Monday, May 16, 2011


This bipolar business is a bit sneaky. It plays tricks on you. I am this Monday, marvelling at its sneakiness and having a giggle. It's tried to pull a fast one, but there aren't many flies on me! To be fair, there are some, but there aren't many.view details

I have been to Brighton! view details
(That's not the sneaky part- I knew  I was going, it wasn't a delusion or anything)

Anyway, free at last, I began to write down some thoughts for a blog on the way down, creativity had been lacking of late  and certainly a couple of blog entries were so shoe-horned that I removed them completely afterwards in shame. So, I was delighted to see the muse returning. I had been so enjoying my Buddhism classes, that I wanted some time to think about them since I had gone from hating it on Week 1, to finding it ridiculous but curiously comforting on Week 2, to loving it on Week 3. I was also STILL reading 'Eat, Pray, Love' by Elizabeth Gilbert (third time it has been renewed at the library) which is filled with Meditation and religion and the search for inner quietitude. I can't wait till I get to the Javier Bardem bit!  Tbh, I had virtually decided, that I could be a non believing, all embracing buddhist if it was going to find me a bit of peace and allowing myself that, brought enormous waves of relief -a tsunami of a plan.      

view detailsI seem to have spent most of my adult life denying myself a religion because of stigmas and rules and common sense and and and.... What I am now coming to believe is that religion of any sort (even a dedication to the healing power of stilettos perhaps) is a way of bringing peace to a life and I was beginning to feel that, this weekend, everything was converging and I was keen to discover all that I could. I could feel myself rushing towards pseudo-Buddhism like coming home. I was desperate to get there. As Harry says to Sally in the iconic film "Once you know you want to spend the rest of your life with someone (something in my case) you want that life to begin as soon as possible."Buddha statue

So, whilst I was away, I kept the comfort of my new wisdom with me, still having beers and milkshakes and seeing a concert that will stay with me for the rest of my life for reasons I may lay down in another blog : I gossiped, I lusted a little and all the while, felt this desire to rush toward calm water with open arms and felt that the day was coming.
On the way home the following day, I uttered my chant to Tare, the mother buddha, "Om Tare, Tu Tare, Tare Soha" whilst mentally asking for blessings. Suddenly, I found myself exactly in the same place in that train, same people in front and behind, but speeding through space and time with everyone else in my carriage. I could see clearly that we were all heading in the same direction on life's journey at that particular moment and that we were hurtling, quite safely through time and space and life, whilst simultaneously passing through the Home Counties; trees and housing passed by us at speed. I didn't think I was in a void. I'm not nuts!
Train conductor avatar Later on, I listened to some music that usually invokes emotion in me and I felt it so clearly. I felt it in colour and with every nerve end in my body;  then I asked for Tare's blessings and once more hurtled through the universe in my train, the conductor checking tickets to the truth that lies beyond. I didn't feel scared in the least -quite the opposite. These episodes lasted only seconds at a time, but I found  great peace and comfort in staring down the carriage thereafter. This religion thing was going to work for me.

Between changing trains, I sat down to record some of it but my pen couldn't write quickly enough. I decided to give myself a break and to read back over the (physical and mental) journey I'd travelled in 24 hours. I began with the first paragraph, written yesterday, 9.40 am.
" On a train to Brighton. Just had caffeine in the form of a skinny latte.I just thought 'bugger it! (I no longer allow myself caffeine normally) There must be 2 or 3 expressos in it. Hope it's OK".  Then there followed discussion of my new found faith in faith which contained the sentences,  "Religion is the essence of humanity. I can feel the euphoria building of what is to come."

BINGO!!  That medium-sized word, euphoria. I knew in that instance that I wasn't having a religious experience at all, I was entering a manic state. Told you it was sneaky! It hides itself in all sorts of guises and now the terrible thirst that I have had for the last week and the pain in my shoulder blade, that I assumed was lung cancer, but in reality is my age old tension spot brought on when I start clenching my jaw and grinding my teeth, register themselves in my consciousness.  So, it seems that these depression flags are present before mania too. Interesting!

I had a bit of fun with it later, I pushed the boundaries to see how far I could go before reigning it in and I had a lovely day if I am being honest. I listened to music that touched every sense in my body, I danced,
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 I laughed, I felt the wonder of life.
I spilled over with every emotion expressed in the music as I channelled the essence of the musician.

 Every couple of songs, I'd put on a slow one to bring me down a little before cranking it back up. I do feel bad for those who cannot feel in colour; whose bodies cannot hum with the joy of being alive, with hope and wonder and beauty. Who do not feel, really feel with every fibre of their being.Chinese new year dragon and fireworksIt is awesome.
I have that ability. I don't want to let it go. Maybe I don't have to, I just have to learn to integrate it better and I need to look after myself during these phases as much as during my depression. I need to get out my comfort box and tend to myself like a mother. In fact, I'll do that now.
                                                             Clouds and flowers

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