Today’s Poem: (scroll down for blog and a second photo for today)
I am the shore; the beach
And I see endless waves capped by headless demons
Each with an issue of blood, a smell of death
Demons riding gentle sloping water mountains
Waves that carry Satan’s surfers
Deep in the recesses of my soul and mind
I thought only Christ could walk on water
No, not in my head
If I knew my brain would do all of this to me
What once could I have done to it?
When young; so many things undone
I thought then that life would be peaches, roses
All at once complete
Happy as the minute the clock ticks away
Finally making it to the 3:30 bell
On that last day of school
Before short precious summer days of sun and fun
Those days were not so fun
When school ended for all time for me
And life was still newly begun
February 10, 2016
Good morning Dear Readers:
Well, I don’t really have a lot off the top of my head to say, but I suppose I can still manage to rattle of f a bit of stuff. I had a very cool job interview today for a temporary position as the teacher of a writing class and I have to admit I am feeling pretty good about it. I will be helping adults to develop their writing skills and though it is part time, the hourly wage isn’t too bad. I am really looking forward to something that is my own idea, I want to try and take my class on a field trip to the amazing Edmonton Public Library and show them some of the many resources available to all citizens of our great city. Most of these people will be adults with mental health issues which makes me feel even better about the job. I have always really enjoyed working with people who are at a disadvantage, whether it be an issue of their age or mental state or physical state. For some time I volunteered at a veteran’s extended care hospital and I really loved some of the wonderful old men that were there. I got some good story ideas from it and made good friends with the hospital chaplain who in more recent times has been a great supporter of my writing efforts and a wonderful guy. I know what I do isn’t volunteering, but I would encourage anyone dealing with a mental health issue who has gotten beyond the initial difficulties of establishing housing, medication and a routine to volunteer their time in projects like this. It can only help you get regular jobs further down the line, help you to meet people and keep busy, and be an amazing learning process. I always encourage people in Edmonton to contact the volunteer network, but in many cities there are places where a person can be put in touch with volunteer opportunities. The neat thing is that you can basically choose your job. I knew a young woman with schizophrenia who was able to get valuable accounting experience using this idea.
One of these days I wouldn’t mind going through a couple of book reviews. I wonder what some of the favorite books of my readers are. My favorite book of all time is Robert M. Pirsig’s “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” in which he tells the story, a true memoir in a way, of a trip he takes across America with his son and two best friends on a motorbike. As he drifts down the highway he has these talks with himself and thinks through a lot of stuff in his life. This book was one of the first books I read that talked openly about mental illness, I think I have read it numerous times, it was so good. The same author also wrote a sequel to this book more about sailing called “Lila”.
There is another book that had a great influence on me called “The Richest Man in Babylon” but I won’t get too deeply into that now.
I suppose I could talk a bit about growing up and friends. One time I was discussing friends and friendships with my Psychiatrist, and he told me that he doesn’t have that many friends, and has no problem functioning at a high level. I had some times when I was young that I desperately wished I had friends, anyone to play with, talk to, get into trouble with. From as young as seven to even just a few short years ago I was very alone. One of the worst summers of my life was when I was sixteen and I spent the whole summer with no friends at all, deep in a depression working full time, driving around with no one to talk to, no fun things to do. What was odd about it was that just before school let out that year I had a lot of friends and even went on a few dates with some very attractive young women. Then, seemingly just as school ended everything kind of went to shit. I have played these times over and over in my head and I have never been able to understand where things went wrong, what I might have done to shun these people from me. A couple of years later when I was severely mentally ill I had such a hard time understanding why so many people seemed to be against me. It had seemed that all my life I had only contributed to the community, done good things. Maybe I will never understand.
The only thing now that I really understand is that it feels good to be a hard working, giving person and to have many friends. I also know that I would be in serious trouble without my daily medications, especially the one that stabilizes my moods and Prozac, my anti-depressant. I have been so content lately most of the time, much more so than in previous years. I really like being an adult and attending church, having neighbors who are good friends and supporters. I often associate all my good fortune partly to quitting drinking, gambling and smoking some time ago, and in a much larger way to publishing my first book (I have now published 12 and have 10 in print). What is takes is just a little concentrated effort, with a goal in mind, a destination, just a little effort each day towards that goal be it big or small, and I honestly feel dreams can come true. For many years I dreamed of being a writer and now I can honestly say I am one and that I likely have a great career ahead of me. Anyhow dear readers, I have made a decision to put out a blog with a poem a little less often, but still keep checking back for a new one once or twice a week, and as always, please feel free to contact me or to post comments to this site. firstname.lastname@example.org