Friday, 30 March 2018

Day 4/ We are our environment??

I done some drawings of people at work and me outside a pub. 
I've been thinking that the environment we live in everyday.  I feel we blend in to it.  Absorbed into a fabric or medium. 

I'm sure none of my ideas are new, and have probably been explored much better than I could ever do. 

I'm partly continuing with blogging my ideas and drawings etc because, I feel marginalized for a number of reasons one of which might be something to do with the pursuit of perfection instinct that seems to be in the world, maybe everyone to a greater or lesser extent.  For example religion, the arts, media so many ideologies that expound excellence.
I'm sure its a good thing.  But I wonder who and what gets left out and discarded, like me

But still I plod on, I think there can be pleasure in so many more things than we give credit and value too.

I've been drawing a few animals in their environments along side people in their work environments to help me contemplate what environment is.  Said environment quite a lot there.

I think generally, the immediate environment often goes unnoticed because we are too busy with life.  I think maybe in a similar way animals might be used to the medium of their environment, Dunno.  Just feels like the streets and city is a structure we disappear into.  I think because we are an integral part of it.  We make it function for us and use it for needs.
Maybe we are the environment. 

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Day 3 Concrete/Preserved Society-And the missing Link

Hopefully this won't end up too convoluted and overly complicated

Another train of thought to this idea I'm developing about society (Generalizing a lot at moment)

That the mainstream, work-a-day world.  The structured pavements and physical/mental routes we take each day, could benefit a lot from the wild card.

The Joker card in pack just gets discarded.

 I'm all about the initiatives like Time to Change, to talk about mental health/illness/conditions and experiences.

To normalize mental and emotion conditions to understand, share individual perspectives is the way to overcome stigma .

I think mental illness (although I don't like to define these experiences as illness) is a huge part of the human condition, that is set upon with the goal to be cured and eradicated.  Although people need to be helped to elevate suffering, but there is a lot to learn that could benefit society.

I'm thinking of this much vilified aspect of the human condition as a bit of a stereo type at the moment as the Joker Card which I need to research much more has significance of the Jester, trickster the Fool.  I think belongs to the shadow archetype. 

Not as a way of defining individual mental health issues.  But just to define an aspect of societies culture and mental health that is often rejected, mythologized /demonized and marginalized.

I think reclaiming the part of us that is disordered, chaotic and all that is what we need.

I'm thinking of the Joker Card archetype as the missing link or rejected aspect of the self in the Collective Unconscious

Like Seal's Song says

"we are never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy"

I think this song is about the benefits of being a bit crazy in an overly "sane" world.  Sane in the sense of maintaining control and functioning.  I think this mentality on a collective scale has swung way to the extreme.

I've been reading on and off The Sane Society by Erich Fromm.


Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Concrete Society - Ancestral Experience

Early Days  - 2

Working on a few quick drawings/paintings hoping to inspire myself

Questioning that the way society is structured has become much like a museum.  Experiences seem so pinned down and homogenized.  

Joni Mitchel said it best

"Took all the trees, put them in a tree museum
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to seem 'em
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you’ve got till it’s gone
Paved paradise, put up a parking lot"

It funny how our ancestors would have more than likely been terrified of tigers and elephants etc.  Now we have to protect them and feel sorry for them.  Has the spirit of exploration on this planet been used up?

I looking at Religion as a theme as a start to this project because from the previous post.  Following the pavements on a daily basis whether you want to or not are aware of it or not is in my mind like a secular religion.  Belief, in the way.

Anthropocene is a good key word I'm looking at for this idea.  I saw some Telly about concrete having a massive impact on the planet I think part of the Anthropocene

Idea about Jesus challenging society and getting arrested

Ancestral Experience/Collective Unconscious Project

1       Hello there

I'm revisting a project I started a while ago.  I've titled Concrete Society.

These are some of my thoughts so far, over this image of a drawing of an early species of man.  I need to study pre history more.  My knowledge is general at the moment.

The idea is that the paths created over time have become set in stone.  Metaphorically and Physically.  Through actual pavements, roads streets and paths. We adhere to and keep to them unconsciously and religiously.

I'm exploring the images of the city and everyday life, to get a sense of how structure formed over through history governs our everyday behaviour.
I like the idea that we a future society that is governed by the past, preserved ideas, behaviours etc

Got a long way to go before it takes shape.

I'm thinking about the Collective Unconscious and this definition by Jung

"A part of the unconscious mind, shared by a society of people or all of humankind that is a product off ancestral experience"

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

World Mental Health Day

It was World Mental Health Day yesterday. I still think labelling people with certain symptoms as mentally ill is only half the equation. Of course people suffer with a variety of emotional and mental conditions.  But I don't think stigma is understood.  From my perspective society is actually terrified and phobic of appearing different, or a bit weird, it's not acceptable to fail or to be vulnerable to show confusion or express difficulties or to be mad in any way. Infact to thrive in the mainstream society we must present well and maintain good impressions and good social skills at all costs.  No matter what is going on in ourselves or our personal lives.
I think by indentifying individuals as ill because they have 'lost control' or their behaviour or attitude is unreasonable. I think is a judgement from society. 
whitchurch hospital was located on the outskirts of town literally and metaphorically out of sight out of mind. 
Really wish we would look at our commonally shared sanity.  That is the morally enforced common code of conduct.  Keeping social interactions light and acceptable,  when many people unless society really works for you are struggling with maintaining a version of sanity which I think is a bit nuts.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Thoughts on Racism


Just posted a video about Ai Weiwei I love him a lot, below are some thoughts on racism.  His quote "If a nation cannot face it's past, it has no future" is basically what I wanted to express

 I posted this on facebook this time last year.  Please forgive its rough edges and mistakes.  I don't want to sanitize and polish undeveloped thoughts.  There is so much self conciousness and fear from looking a bit ridculous. 

I'm gonna post later about the effort made in society trying not to look ridiculous and the addiction to making good impressions, keeping up appearances is inherently to do with stigma I reckon.  Running as fast and as far away as possible from what is considered mad.  

Here's my early post on racism


 Evolution bearing fruit.

Evolution in a nutshell, or as far as I understand this subject.
A human being has for example, developed over thousands of years from an organism reproducing, then on and on developing and adapting to and with the environment. Alongside our history, evolves and develops we shape it and it shapes us.
Would it be fair to say that evolution is the result of actions a kind of cause and consequence. an animal runs a lot chasing prey, the consequence is they develop strong legs, a crude way of arguing a complex subject I know.
So if our history could be compared to evolution of organisms could it be that the actions of our fore father's in recent history the Atlantic slave trade and the subsequent thriving economy has consquences in the here and now?
Many believe racism is in the mind of people who black or brown skined and that white privilege doesn't exist. Why then do so many people have so much hate and anger towards the system?
I believe that the problems of racism inherent in the system have not been resolved. People are enraged with how they are treated not because they have a chip on their collective shoulder.
For the sake of arguement say the last 200 years of the burgeoning Capitalist system. There must be consequences to the causes of building. i.e. where does all the earth that is dug up go ? Like the new Paris development in the 19th century. A lot was discarded destroyed and people moved on to make way for progress
I believe we are starting to experience (as complex as they are) consequences emerge from these developments and although society has achieved great things. The issues we are currently experiencing inherent racism, violence and destruction of the environment are also the results. Runs very deep and long.
I think we are the generation that is going to pay the price unfortunately.

The Case for Ai Weiwei | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios

"If a nation cannot face its past,

it has no future"

-Ai Weiwei

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Conformity Dead Poets Society Link

Yin Yang

I'm finding understanding and excepting my experiences through the concept of yin yang really helps me.  I've recently been exploring Daoist philosophy. So far it seems to be about accepting life on its own terms.  That nothing is purely good or bad.  I've always thought it is good to be philosophical about life.

 Daoism seems to be something I've been looking for. It's early days.  Spirituality has been important to me for many years ive learned to understand there is no right path that everyone should follow. For me life seems like a school that we all learn from in an individual way.  Daoism seems to be a philosophy about the way life is. Which can be difficult painful wonderful and beautiful. And everything inbetween.

I like how it thinks about life and nature. My mum would quote the saying nature red of tooth and claw. She didn't like nature programs she said it was just feeding, fighting, and fornacating. Nature and the dark side of nature like all that done to survive. I think is predominately feared in society. Those things like eating, decay, death, growing old, we don't face up to in a society where we have pretty much divorced from nature. And perhaps our own authentic nature.  whereby all the seeemingly negative aspects are part of. It's as though we have santized out of life we live those bits we don't like. Stamp on them and fear them.

I like the yin yang symbol because it symbolizes the fragment of good in the dark. And humility in greatness. Often so many mistakes and difficulties have been made to achieve anything.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

My Work Story

Hello there.  I'm posting my story I wish to share with you, it's very personal.  I hope by speaking from my heart and soul I can contribute to the current debate on the issues of stigma, and the politics around work and mental illness. It is extremely honest because I think it needs to be to make the points I hope to make.

 My work story

I am a 44 year old woman, working as a Clinical Technologist within the Clinical Engineering Department at a hospital. I have a responsible job, running the Equipment Loan Service, each afternoon Monday to Friday.   This service runs as a library, which involves collecting expensive pain relief equipment, volumetric pumps for patients receiving medication in fluid form and other vital medical equipment.  I collect from ward's, clean, check, test and return items as well as booking out, delivering and resolving inquires from patients, senior and healthcare staff.  I work within a small friendly team. Everyone including me gives the work 100%.   Beforehand I worked at the hospital for three years, as a housekeeper.  As well as a social care worker with an agency.

I maintain my job well, rarely having time off, other than bouts of flu and special bereavement leave, after losing my mother last year.  However my home life is shambolic.  Looking around, as I am writing this in the morning.  I am surrounded by mess and clutter, there is a huge pile of stuff in boxes behind the door and every surface is briming over with stuff.  I have a bit of left over Christmas cake in the fridge and some milk.  So nothing for breakfast as usual, except some chocolate decorations, 3 cups of tea, a coffee and a few cigarettes is what I'm going to work on.

My entire flat is packed to the rafters with clutter.  I am going to iron my uniform now and feeling horrible, tired, anxious, depressed and a touch of looming dread.  I am not at all eager to start getting ready, stepping over things to get to the ironing board. Everything is hard and difficult, even the simplest thing.  Really really just want to sleep and I'm hungry without appetite, so feel I am running on empty.

The answer would be to sort it all out, my landlord is quite tough on me and my partner about the mess and clutter, it is very stressful.  The reason I live with this situation, all my life infact, is because of several factors.  Firstly, I never learned even the most basic housekeeping routines.  My mother was seriously depressed, as long as I can remember and relied heavily on alcohol.  We lived in abject squalor, no exaggeration.  I had ingrained dirt in my heels, matted knots in my hair.  When lifting a bin to take down, from the large pile of rotting bags, from my childhood, there were maggots and blue bottles buzzed around the light fitting.  These was an emense amount of stuff, never any food, my sibling and myself were always starving and I was continuously depressed and aggressive.  I was bullied and hated on at school for some years.  People often remarked how bad I smelled, rarely did any one sit next to me in class and teachers were often cruel.

Through much study I learned housework theory that it's habits, you learn overtime by doing a little everyday.  Applying it is a different matter.  Another factor contributing to my slovenly ways, is this;

In my 20s I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, along with the hoarding, collecting stuff and not believing I could get rid of anything or how to let go.  I suffered extreme apathy.  I was barely motivated to do the slightest thing.  So I accumulated a lot of stuff, I didn't know what to do with and still don't know.  I never learned to look after my physical needs, which I understand are vital to well being.
Unlike common preconceptions of how people can like living like that or they would do something about it.   I haven't, or ever liked it.  It's like a crushing defeat, hopeless and intolerable.  It creates the mindset of utter darkness and despair.  I have spent my life trying to obtain comfort, by organising and housework and sheer hard work i haven't got past the first square of this snakes and ladders board.  It is demoralizing.  I have thrown out and given away masses of stuff and repeatedly tackled marathon herculean cleaning and tidying sessions for myself and my mum.   It is depressing scrubbing congealed, soild fat, splattered over a cooker wall for hours.  Sifting through piles of small objects, with money and sentimental objects mixed in with rubbish odds and ends.  My patience is all but finished with card board boxes, filled with a mis-mash of precious items, photos, miscellaneous objects, rubbish, important paperwork and some expensive things, too good to throw away.  So sick and tired of this losing battle.
Along with the effect of the negative symptoms is schizophrenia ie lack of motivation, lack of concentration and flattening).  Is why I'm literally in a mess, not from a want of trying.

As you can imagine having people visit is a problem, very stressful, hardwork and avoided when possible.  As a child I had social workers in and out of our lives. Standing in the doorway, with shock and horror over their faces, passing judgements and drawing up rotas, although my mum was rarely sober.

I was judged not only at home, at school but every time I stepped out of the door.  I learned to hate myself, the maisonette, school, everything really and throughly.  I was wanting and craving something all the time food, toys etc etc.
As a teenager I self harmed, drank myself unconscious, slept around was anti social, raising hell for those around me.
The reason I felt it is important to describe my background, is because I want to explain how working has changed my life.
For me the most profound effect is a shift of perspective and deeper insight and in practical terms, there are vast improvements.

Working for the past few years have been the last pieces of the puzzle of this particular leg of my journey.  I feel what I have learned from working has illuminated areas in my history I didn't understand.  Although confused and consequently directionless  and powerless, because of a lack of awareness and knowledge.
You could say this was because I was naive.  I suffered a lot because of my circumstances as well as struggling the torments of psychosis.  I was totally encapsulated in a nightmarish interior world with demons,  angels, conspiracies. And extremes of mood high and low.  And utter emptiness, impoverished thought and misery.  It is since working, the fog cleared and I could see the world around me.  I used mental health services for many years and had no idea what was going on in the world.  I look back and think I was totally in the dark.  I have learned so much from people out in society, working to hold it all together.  With due respect I want to illustrate how the wider world looks from here.

I have always been at the brunt of societies disapproval.  I can understand the reasoning, I don't want to seem complaining, just reflect back what I experienced.  As a child I was unacceptable and called a tramp, as a teenager I was critised as wild, anti social, a problem and as an adult with schizophrenia my behaviour has been labelled weird and bizarre.

Up until fairly recently I suffered with that marginalisation.  Working has made me mentally and stronger physically.  When I was ill I slept a lot, untill evening and went to bed in the morning for some years.  In winter I hardly saw daylight.  I detest waking up, it is a dark time for me.  Sleep was a respite from the mental pain.  Although the mental pain when I get up hasn't changed, I get up at 6-7am for work.  I am more confident around people, when before I was terrified.

The pieces of puzzle I referred to, the shift in perception and deeper insight comes largely from being around people in work environments, taking public transport, the everyday struggle to do what you got to do. Conversations other than mental health.

I realised that the conversations I had in work were very different than in mental health services.  I understand it has a lot to do with appropriate work place talk. A lot more on the surface, light banter.  Although I am keenly aware, in general talk that stigma runs very deep and not far from the surface.  Even throw away comments I feel keenly on the topics of people and situations related to anti social behaviour, drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness, benefit claimants for example.  I see similar opinions in the wider society. It pervasive in this culture. That is to condemn, judge and oppose anything and anyone considered descructive towards society.

Almost everyone I can say is nice and good to be around and I understand people have to conform to societies standards without which things would soon desend towards chaos.  We need utilities, transport, taxes to be paid, to benefit the majority in a democratic society.  I gratefully acknowledge this.  Although it strikes me that there is common group mentally.  It's makes common sense to keep your home clean and tidy otherwise it becomes a health hazard affecting people and we all got to live with each other.   The penny dropped for me and the pieces came together. Mouth agape in disbelief I hadn't realised so many people were that strident about housework.  And made sense why I was an outcast. This applies to all my other social failures.  I was too busy suffering with the situations and blaming myself to really understand or know what the wider world thought about people like me.

I believe people are inheritly good natured and co operative, within context, or framework.  If something or someone challenges that order or structure, like me as a trampy child or behaving bizarrely in a social context, people react to maintain the status quo.  I understand it as the duel nature of people.   Consequently I have learned a lot about the myself and people's and societies boundaries.  I think I have become well rounded and tolerant person.

I spent years recovering, it was through sheer determination and slow painful hard work just to function fairly decently.  I have the 13 years out of work not including time spent at university, struggling and battling to get to this point, which may seem unremarkable.  It is so disheartening to be judged as a benefit scrounger by the news papers and those who read them. When I have battled just to stay alive and take myself out of the healthcare system, because I didn't want to burden anyone.  

All that is valued in society work, status, money, family, material goods are things I always aspired to achieving in some way. Like nearly everyone else.  Because those things have been so unattainable to me. What society is offering and can be attained through work.  Appears to me as higher realm, an ideal construct or system applying to everyone, we all have to play by the unwritten rules if we want to fit in and achieve.  It looks like a daily game that everyone has to play, only showing your good side.  I have run the gauntlet completed the tasks and climbed the mountain only to discover that it's not real, it's an institution.

Despite my chaotic life and mind. I am completely 'normal' in regards to wanting to live up to the standards society expects of everyone.  That is I always wanted a nice clean organised home, loving relationships, good career, a car, holidays, etc.  I desperately wanted some or all of these things.  I believed if I just did what was expected of me by OTs, CPNs, media, books and people.  I could achieve some of these things.   My biggest dream since I was young was to have a successful career in something art related, much more than getting married or having children.  I made the choice not to have children because I knew I had significant difficulties.  Unfortunately this dream has never been realised.  At this point in my life despite that I'm much better in myself I love my partner, friends, sister and job. I don't think I have achieved much through the eyes of society.  I rent from social housing, no savings, debt, walk and bus everywhere, not much time or energy for a social life a lot of that is taken up with the brain drain of clutter and trying to achieve some order.  I do try really really hard to achieve.  I have been committed to overcoming my problems and giving back to the community I had volunteered with a few organisations.  I wanted what was on offer and I always do my best.

Society seems to be very driven towards notions of success and happiness.  To the extent of a fantatism, and hero worship.  Unfortunately it's at the expense of less fortunate people.  This is a personal example, as I deeply regret believing so much in these values.  My mother was a hoarder and deeply felt the loss of her own mother.
When I was a very young child my mum remarried. I witnessed and tried to intervene in her getting brutally beaten by him. Resulting in him stabbing her in the stomach with a bread knife.  She had to have blood transfusions. While she was recuperating, we stayed in foster care.  Peer pressure effected me unconsciously.  I never questioned that depression along with other social problems need to be redressed, corrected, fixed.  The belief and assumption that it is better to be happy and functioning.   Like smiling and replying, I'm fine, when asked how are you? Despite the pain you maybe enduring.  She was a great example of how not to live your life.  I believed I had to help her, get her better, by cheering her up, solving her problems and sort out the hoarding.  Instead I wish I just accepted her as she was and loved her unconditionally, spending unpressured time with her when I had the opportunity.  She was like a dependent and we had a bond as people, beyond mother and daughter roles.  The judgements and discrimination against her was severe because her standards were so low.  I would have liked a more comfortable upbringing and life but I am grateful for having an awareness through experience of social issues that blight so many lives.  The realm of goodness, that is the society to aspire to, if you don't belong to it for any reason or don't want to be part of it then God help you.  It can be punishing and hard, worse sometimes than living with problems, to be on the end of disapproval.

  Everyone is on the end of judgements and pressures daily. Some suffer more than others.  The way society works and operates, it's rules values the result of our collective cooperation and it's results are sacrasant. Although I'm a tiny bit of the collective I feel like a casulty.

I wanted to share my perspective with you because it was discovery and also a revelation to me.  I feel I have completed a chapter in life. Thanks to some excellent support from various amazing people and the organisations they work for. I have come to accept myself for exactly who and what I am
 A person from the underclass and have maintained employment and some respect in society who's parameters for tolerating the anti social is very narrow.  Which includes being on benefits and considered shameful by the majority.  There is a vocational support officer who has helped me reach my full potential through supporting me to maintain working.  I have got out of societys basement.  I am proud of my roots and have discovered myself and relate even better to the challenges my peers are dealing with. And recognise and symphaize with everyone for the invisible pressures and stresses they are under. I see we are all linked by expectations and demands. It has not been a level playing field for a great many. Some start from a very debased stage.

Although I have been watching a lot of news for some time.  I understand the conservative party want to level this playing field in their manifesto, and there are agendas to create a healthy and fair society.  I believe it is missing something, it is one sided deal.  The redressing of stigma by encouraging talking openly about mental health issues. And building the new mental health unit next to the general hospital is a positive change, to encourage integration demystifying mental illness by normalizing it through exposure.  Although I would like to suggest that society  may have its own collective mental health condition, which is not evidently recognisable. It's always good to check and could learn a lot from the undesirable.  I think a meeting of minds half way.  As a person who experienced so many difficulties for so long I feel I'm been erased because I am putting on an acceptable face evertime I step out the door.  I feel I have to pretend, the real me is very at odds.  I and so many people like me are required to step up and join the ranks of what is considered reasonable and acceptable.  I would like to see the mainstream take a look at themselves, to consider if their behaviour really is 'the' model for what is reasonable and acceptable?

Saturday, 9 May 2015

A Schizophrenic Perspective on Tory Victory 2015

 Psychosis I believe has permanently effected how I view the world.  I, like others with this condition believe lots of what seems wacky nonsense, to many people when I've been delusional.  Usually to do with an alternative reality, based on a new world order and religious and spiritual in nature.  When the delusions are in full swing I have been driven to the brink of fear, terror or bliss and madness. So it have left an indelible mark on the way I think.   This election has sent me thinking about all sort of fantastical stuff.  As people talk about what matters to them and voting accordingly, there has been revelations for me I was totally unaware of.  I'm wondering if the heart of the nation is predominately Conservative.?  If this is true it is a frightening concept to me.  I feel Maggie has won.  Discovering what people believe and then voting for it was an absolute shock.  It was like the tv program V.  Where people uncover their true identity, which is an a mouse eating alien.  Although I do believe the following that I posted on facebook..

        ...Society seems have been atomized, isolation from each other, divorced from nature. I understand that people work really hard and have many more responsibilities and pressures than ever before. It seems that the void for co operation and the inter dependance we all share is exploited. Capitalizing on natural wants and needs and desires into shopping and spending. I honestly think most people only have time to work on the treadmill, with a well earned holiday now and again. I understand why people become resentful and vote conservative, get blind drunk on the weekends spend a lot etc. I think its been engineered to be this way. Low pay, long hours, media propagating hate for anything that doesn't fit this norm.

The country is predominately blue on the map now.  There is a war on poor and sick people. headlines.. scroungers, immigrants, homeless, and the shambolic NHS.  

I believe this is a stabbing at the heart of humanity.  I know it's very much a secular society and its now very unpopular to talk about spirituality and religion in this technological age.  Whether its something or nothing. I believe it was something that made people think about their conduct towards each other.  It obviously doesn't work all the time.  It seems like society has been engineered to be self centered and self reliant.  We really can't sustain that, like natural resources they will run out and we will be left without.  I believe that all we have really is each other, we are completely interdependent on everyone and everything. Things are getting biblical nowadays.   The milk of human kindness is going sour.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Mosaic of crazy on Pinterest

I've pinned images that I've found interesting on the theme of madness.  It's such a rich and fascinating subject to me.  The parameters of what is considered mad seem to shift and change.

I connected deeply with the album Quadrophenia as a teenager.  I find it so brilliant the film and the music.  It's illustrates so perfectly for me what it feels like to be isolated even in a crowd. 

The sea is a big character in the film.  I remember spending time gazing painfully at the sea feeling it understood me, cold and desolate.  The Rock an instrumental and Love reign o'ver me,these two songs I feel are beautiful black, bleak, cold and deep.  Really not easy listening.
I have been reading a lot on and off about isolation and loneliness.  It seems it is a really unhealthy condition not just on mental health but on physical health as well.

In my experience a feeling of loneliness brings on anxiety making it harder to relax in company and on my own.  I've started to explore that the feeling of isolation in myself might be self imposed.  Escaping my anxiety through activities and various addictions, anything to distract myself from reality.  So I starting to believe isolation is a symptom of a dissatisfaction with life.

Because people can spend a lot of time alone and be very happy or spend a lot of time with people and be very unhappy and lonely.  I am now trying to make peace with my circumstances and environment, making friends with whats around me, rather than fight with the clutter and always being busy and,just being again. Letting it do its thing, being there, looking messy and me not bolting for the exit.  It seems ok so far when I stop shouting at me, with, when am I going to sort out that?, and this stuff? etc etc.  I can see I have some lovely things to look at, I haven't looked at something for any length of time for no reason since I was a kid.  I don't remember isolation being a big deal then, despite being alone a lot, because things were beautiful, nature, shop windows, books and pictures.  Interactions come and go and they can be wonderful.  I'm seeing the immediate environment was also a friend to me.  I think I might be being a bit mindful noticing and appreciating whats around. 

This is what I think is missing from Jimmy's life (the main character in Quadrophrenia) I think he misses a lot of opportunities to truly connect because he is in so much emotional pain.

World Madness

I've been in love with this image for years.  It comes with the album Ill Communication by the Beastie Boys a favourite of mine since the early 90s.  I recommend listening to the Update.  Since I last posted I've been thinking a lot that mental illness, (which I don't think is a very good way of describing a common aspect of human nature) as inclusive of everyone.  Just an idea but I believe sanity is a rarer thing, something that has to be earned through overcoming challenges and being stretched and transformed by them.  Thinking about mental illness on a global scale I think is an obvious way of looking at it.   like the timeless Virtual Insanity by Jamiroquai.  I like to think if you .  fear losing your mind if you haven't already or feel you never will.  That feels to be like a form of insanity to be very secure in a particular world view.  I wonder if this fear or absolute certainty in our perceptions comes from the rigidity and pressure we make for ourselves in society.  That is having to appear to have it together at all times, maintain, look good, don't embarrass yourself, make good impressions and impress, be successful.  Getting a bit trainspotting "Choose life, Choose a job".....  Although many people succeed in these requirements and good on them ( I'm still trying) There doesn't seem much margin for error.  I often feel that we live in a strict and conservative society, it feels we are standing on ceremony.  Constricted in our movements emotional, mental and physical as if we were all wearing very tight corsets.  This tree of life image for me is so true of what is happening now with the priority being on superficiality. I think that at least the majority of us the way its going will look toned, youthful with great hair and clothes to greet the end of world.

 "But we're never gonna survive, unless we get a little crazy"- Seal

Sunday, 12 April 2015

I want my blog back :( Hey! back again :)

I thought I'd lost my blog forever.  So glad to see the bonkers jumble of images and thoughts again.  Its been a few years since I've posted anything.  I started a new blog collecting images that are inspiring to me, called    Beautiful Rubbish

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Galaxy Song lyrics
Songwriters: Idle, Eric; Jones, Trevor;

Whenever life gets you down, Mrs.Brown
And things seem hard or tough
And people are stupid, obnoxious or daft
And you feel that you've had quite enough

Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving
And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour
That's orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it's reckoned
A sun that is the source of all our power

The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see
Are moving at a million miles a day
In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour
Of the galaxy we call the 'milky way'

Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars
It's a hundred thousand light years side to side
It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick
But out by us, it's just three thousand light years wide

We're thirty thousand light years from galactic central point
We go 'round every two hundred million years
And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe

The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whizz
As fast as it can go, the speed of light, you know
Twelve million miles a minute and that's the fastest speed there is

So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure
How amazingly unlikely is your birth
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth

Friday, 14 October 2011


Glide along the corridor
Straight edge and hardline
Sharp left into the light
Honeyhaze against whitewashed walls
Look out to cold weather beaten blocks of concrete reflecting
back at us, ourselves.

Am I mad because I love that?

I'm buying everything today, I'll buy it all, every concept, thought, idea, picture and frame it.
Whatever you are selling, I'll give you something for it.
Everything must go.
Whatever the tune, however discordant the sound, if the timing is right we can all sing a long.

Bristling with our shared madness. Love and acceptance is the only sanity, I want to say to the doctor, all else is madness.

Moving on, I drift through the hazy maze.
Uniformity, conformity, stability, hard, cold, firm and smooth, loud and silent.
Running the tips of my fingers over these textures, the light is warm over these lonely surfaces.
Reminding me of a freezing cold, crystal clear winters morning.
All I'm wanting now is my ideal familiar Heaven. A cup of tea preferably in a glass mug, a supply of rollies with menthol tips and someone to talk too. Is what I want for complete satisfaction of my soul.

Across white plastic tables sitting on uncomfortable chairs, flowers grow.
Appropriate attitudes sterilize the air.
Spilt tea on slippery floors mean that
The drinking of Tea confided to one room and the smoking of Fags to another room.
Never the twain shall meet.

Our two holy pleasures like man and wife teared asunder, separated unnaturally.
Why did none of us think to take in a flask????

"You can separate our tea from our fags, but you can never take our..........

Can't actually end that sentence, thats all I got, thats all I want and you to talk too.

My wish
Please don't segregate

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Monday, 4 April 2011

Spirituality and Psychosis

Just wanted to add. Theres a spiritual idea that life is like a school, we learn and experience it in order to develop and grow in many ways, including spiritually. Although everything could be thought of as spiritual, for its value to teach us. Good and bad, Yin and Yang. So I think Psychosis in my experience whether delusions, moods etc. are real is not important to me.
Its what they lead me to understand about life. I think experiencing the extremes of human nature of the mind, and surviving that, leaves the person with a greater understanding about human nature. Which is what most research like the arts, medicine, religion etc are striving to understand. Not to say you can know everything.

It used to be said that mad people are touched by God. I defiantly think it can be a gift. Although it is very difficult to come through the long dark night of the soul.
There are so many stories about struggling through adversity and becoming a better and greater person for it.
I spoke to a psychiatrist about spirituality and they don't like that word, too floopy for an academic. I think we tend to see a division between life and spiritual ideas, concepts and realms, like consciousness as separate state of being, but I think thats just the higher levels of the same reality. The mundane, lonely, adverse conditions of life are just as relevant to the higher states. Night and Day.

Our existence and experiences on a daily level and the struggle we have with it, is the spiritual journey we're on. Psychosis is an extreme existential challenge, that draws on all our inner and outer resources to cope.

" A smooth sea does not a good mariner make"

I think its true a spirituality or mastery over the self is achieved by people not only with psychosis or other mental illness, but anyone who has suffered adversity.

The Fantastic James


Van Gogh portraits

John Martyn small hours 1978


Sz Icon

Sz Icon

St Dymhna as shaman

St Dymhna as shaman

A story by Izzy

Live Forever

Once upon a time, in a place far far away, there lived a beautiful and spirited woman, who was like a wild flower.

Her hair contained the most incredible dreams and wonderful magic spells, from the most beautiful parts of the earth and from the edges of the solar system.

The wind of the East fell deeply in love with her and played through her lovely locks, it became such that she could command the weather.

One day the wind spoke to the smoke of her cigarette and told it to cling to each and every strand of her beautiful hair.
The cigarette smoke obeyed the wind and saturated through everyone of the golden threads and began to decay from within.

The bright sunshine of her days began to grow dimmer and colder and she was dragged deep under ground and was sent to Whitchurch Castle in the clouds.

Here she battled tooth and nail with demons and dragons. Spoke with angels and had untold adventures with good and evil.

The beautiful dreams that dwelt in her hair, turned into terrifying nightmares.

She went to the well to wash her hair, but the water would not cleanse or renew it. The sun refused to shine upon it and the saddest of all, the wind no longer wanted to play with it.

So the young woman by this time, had become a princess, scraped back her beloved hair into a ponytail and the gold sunshine began to grow out, taking her dreams and magic spells with it.

The Castle keepers were worried about her and so gave her a magic potion to rid the evil smoke that had claim of her hair.
An eternity came and went and she grew older.

One clear day the smoke had finally gone once and for all.

She was banished from the kingdom of Whitchurch and was now expected to toil the fields with the good men and women of the outside world.

She was now mortal and pined for the Easterly wind to play with her again, but he no longer loved her.

One cold morning, she had an idea to attract him back to her, so she sat at her mirror and plaited her hair into strands and put coloured ribbon on the ends to bind them.
Would he notice her again?

With her hair plaited, he would see a string of golden tears that she cried over missing him so much.

Now she lives in a little hut in the village and has worn her hair in plaits for 2,000 years.

One day she hopes it will be unravelled, when he remembers where he left his sunny days and warm nights with her on the moon.
The End

Illustration for story Live Forever

Illustration for story Live Forever
This is a drawing of the character in a story I wrote for a digital story telling course with the Four Winds

Bay Girls

Bay Girls
This is a drawing of two of my neighbours

Zippo face warmers

Zippo face warmers