1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, Memoir and Reflections, Song Lyric Sunday, Spotlight Sunday, The Insightful Wanderer

On Holding On and On Letting Go, #SongLyricSunday

I listen to music to help fight off the madness.

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I never mean it to sound like I diminish the experiences of mental illness and other conditions and concerns, but the madness threatens us all, in one way or another.

Song Lyric Sunday

I didn’t realize, until these last few years, just how it might feel. I can at least glimpse the feeling, the state of being, or however I’m likely misspeaking on its reality.

Still, I try to decide, to help fight these feelings inside of me and from world events and at the state of things, if I can trust the holding onto of others or if that’s only a temporary life raft.

It feels a little like Jack and Rose, in Titanic (which was released nearly ten years before I ever heard this song I believe. The young lovers only have each other to hold onto and the ship’s going down, no matter what they do.

***

Michael Jackson (Feat. Carlos Santana)

He gives another smile, tries to understand her side
To show that he cares
She can’t stay in the room
She’s consumed with everything that’s been goin’ on
She says
Whatever happens, don’t let go of my hand

Everything will be alright, he assures her
But she doesn’t hear a word that he say
Preoccupied, she’s afraid
Afraid what they’ve been doing’s not right
He doesn’t know what to say, so he prays
Whatever, whatever, whatever

Whatever happens, don’t let go of my hand
Whatever happens, don’t let go of my hand
Whatever happens, don’t you let go of my hand
Don’t let go of my hand
Don’t let go of my hand

He’s working day and night, thinks he’ll make her happy
Forgetting all the dreams that he had
He doesn’t realize it’s not the end of the world
It doesn’t have to be that bad
She tried to explain, “It’s you that makes me happy,”
Whatever, whatever, whatever

Whatever happens, don’t let go of my hand
See, whatever happens, don’t let go of my hand
Whatever happens, don’t let go of my hand
See, whatever happens, don’t let go of my hand
See, whatever happens, don’t you let go of my hand
See, don’t you do it baby
I said yeah
Don’t you let go baby
See, you
Don’t you do it
Whatever happens, don’t let go of my hand
Whatever happens, don’t let go of my hand
Whatever happens, don’t you let go of my hand
Don’t you let go baby
Don’t you, don’t you let go
I said yeah
Can I get how it feels baby
Don’t you let go baby
Yeah
Oh

Whatever happens, just don’t let go of, my hand.

LYRICS

***

This song played, on repeat, on my new tiny, red iPod ten years or so ago it was now. I found it and could not let go, never getting enough of its sound, and it feels like it illustrates a world gone mad.

I can feel the urgency, desperation, and intensity in every note. Utter madness.

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Happy Hump Day, Kerry's Causes

He Is A Killer | HastyWords #DCfC

A great campaign, much needed, made up of different voices, all who fight the demons brought on by depression. Mental illness, mental health; talk about it!

Sidereal Catalyst

Please open your hearts and minds for our ‘Fight With Us | #DCfC‘ guest today, HastyWords.  She is brave enough to open up about her battle with depression and share some of that experience with you here.

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Piece of Cake, RIP, Shows and Events, Special Occasions, TToT

TToT: March Winds and April Showers – Lions and Lambs, #10Thankful

“April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.”

–T.S. Eliot

Think this quote has been taken to mean “taxes” more recently, but I like to take the entire quote at its original wording.

Okay, so it’s more snow than rain around here at the moment. Lousy April Fools’ joke if you ask me. That was two days ago you know!

I don’t have a lamb or a lion, but Lumos is still a feline. I’d hoped to have a humorous shot of him to include here, but I seem to have misplaced it.

brianchristmas-2016-04-3-07-59.jpg

From the sounds of things around here this week, lots of regulars with the TToT are having trouble coming up with 10 T’s. Mine are to follow, minus any photos this week I’m afraid. Ooh, except for one…because we were celebrating him this week. It was taken back at Christmas, but you get the idea.

🙂

As for the TToT, some are borrowing thankfuls from other members. I am scrambling, somewhat and after a week of feeling sick, for mine, but here goes nothing.

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

For Patty Duke.

The Miracle Worker, 1962

She died this week, but she is remembered, for me, as Helen Keller, plus all her work as a mental illness advocate.

For my younger brother’s existence, while celebrating his birthday.

He’s the best brother anyone could ask for, one hell of a musician, and the strongest person I’ve ever known.

Can’t believe this is the final year of his twenties. Due to some extremely unforeseen events since his previous birthday, we came close to losing him, or at least the “him” we’ve become so accustomed to.

🙂

On this birthday of his in particular, I am thankful for the brother I know, better than nearly anyone else.

For organ donation and the newest friend to receive a new lease on life.

My brother has had this gift given and is making the most of it for the last three years now, but now it’s been another person’s turn.

My family have known her and hers since she was only a few years old and since I was first diagnosed with kidney disease. It’s been twenty years, in fact, since our families met.

She has gone through more than many people, a lot in her life, and she is finally free after years of endless dialysis treatments.

The whole organ donation thing is, I fully acknowledge, a touchy subject. If you’ve never known someone who was truly in need, you can’t possibly understand what it means to be free of machines and fatigue and fear.

I struggle because it means someone lost their life. I don’t celebrate that. I only see the good that can come from something so awful. I will forever be torn, even though my brother and myself have and will probably benefit from organ donation more in the years to come, barring major medical advancements.

For a lovely walk, fresh air, after being sick and cooped up for what felt like days.

It was growing dark and all it was was a short walk down the block in my parent’s neighbourhood. My nephew loved tossing stones into the water that had accumulated there.

The wind was biting, but it was also refreshing. I needed the air to flood my recently so stuffy lungs.

For not being sick anymore.

I was sick and tired of all the aches, coughing, and the monster.

Ozzy Osbourne sings a line in one of his songs that I love about “being sick and tired of being sick and tired” and this is not totally gone away from my life, but after a bad cold finally vacates my body, I am often able to realize how happy I am to have one less thing to deal with.

For the return of my normal voice.

It sounded, for a few days there, as if a monster had taken over my body, specifically my vocal cords.

I hope to finally have another violin lesson. Unforeseen events, my feeling unwell, these have resulted in me only getting one lesson this past month or so. Not cool.

For old memories, nostalgia, and endless laughter.

The Things I’ve Seen and Heard

My brother and I listened to old tapes he is digitalizing. All the laughter was hard on my body, after the cold, but it also felt nice, like shaking off cobwebs in the corners of a room that has been shut up to the open for too many consecutive days.

For the passing of yet another April Fools’ Day, for another year.

I am the first one to advocate for more humour in the world, as was one of my 10 from last week, but the day set aside for jokes and pranks is more of a nuisance than a laugh for me now.

I am highly gullible. Although a lot of the jokes played by and on me in person were a thing of my youth, now it’s all on Facebook. So much so, that I may stay off of Facebook entirely next April 1st.

For baseball starting up for the 2016 season.

Today was the first season game and Toronto won!!! Keep that up boys.

And for this song.

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Feminism, History, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, Memoir and Reflections, RIP

Saying Farewell to Patty Duke, #RIP #WomensHistoryMonth #HelenKeller

Most know actress Patty Duke as Helen Keller, in the famous water pump scene from the 1962 screen adaptation of “The Miracle Worker”, but few have seen the movie in its entirety.

Patty Duke as Helen Keller in “The Miracle Worker”

For a role where she hardly said a word, making mostly sounds (cries, moans, and the word “water”) – this character had a profound effect on me, since I was quite young. Of course, the effect had a lot to do with Anne Bancroft (Anne Sullivan) and the other characters with more of the speaking roles, but as a blind child watching the movie, I felt Duke’s determination to portray Keller as authentically as possible.

I held the VHS case in my hands. I remember the iconic picture on the front, the one from the end of the film where Helen (Duke) spelled out the word “teacher” into Anne’s hand. I stared at that black and white image again and again, as I probably checked the video out from my local library dozens of times.

After learning about who Helen Keller was, when I was read a book about her by someone when I was eight years old, I became fascinated by the story. When that same someone informed me there was a film based on the story, I proceeded to rush right out and find it in the movie section of the library. This was my first introduction to old movies and I liked them, this one in particular.

She was an actress, a singer, author, and advocate. I don’t know Patty Duke from anything else, not from “The Patty Duke Show”. I really can’t even picture what she sounded like, as I said, I hardly heard her speak in the film or afterword. I did not know her in any other roles, but she did something great for me.

People who are blind are not represented, in great numbers, in society or the media. Helen Keller became famous for several reasons, but finally I saw her story shown in the most moving and beautiful of ways, Oscar worthy performances all around in my opinion, but Patty Duke was at the centre of what gave me something, in the world of others with disabilities, in history, to look up to. I would never get to see Helen Keller, as she passed away around the same time “The Miracle Worker” was made. However, there existed an amazing representation of the girl she must have been.

I wish I could have been around to witness the original portrayal of “The Miracle Worker” and Patty and Anne’s portrayals of Helen and Anne on Broadway, in the late 1950s. Though Duke went on to switch roles in later years, playing Anne Sullivan in a later version of the film, her iconic role, played with skill, this will be a special one to me always.

Finally, years after I held that VHS and stared at the cover, imagining that relationship between student and teacher, although fictionalized, I held my very own DVD copy. This was the first DVD I ever owned.

A few years later, upon stumbling on a new film obsession (Lord of the Rings), I learned one of the main characters of the trilogy (Sean Astin) was Duke’s son.

Patty Duke was the youngest person to win an Academy Award, at the age of just sixteen and she went on to speak up for mental illness awareness, after being finally diagnosed, after years of turmoil, living with bipolar disorder.

On this second last day of Women’s History Month, I wanted to pay my respects to Patty Duke, a woman who brought awareness to mental illness when it was just beginning to truly be understood, the one who took on a role that must have been a difficult one, hard to live up to in her performance of a once living person who stood for so much in the disabled community, over the last one hundred years. That must have been a mighty big pair of shoes to fill, a difficult task to take on, but she did a marvellous job. She managed to make me feel, so deeply, and to find a relatable personality, brought to life for me, on screen.

RIP Patty, (1946-2016).

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Blogging, Kerry's Causes, TToT

TToT: An Air of Mighty February Freshness – Can you smell it? #10Thankful

Wow! Okay, so I usually begin my TToT with some sage words, but upon searching quotes for February I came across nothing but doom, despair, and dying. These were all words used in the quotes that my Google search came up with

Is February really that bad? Does it stink that much or what?

So instead, me and my birth month might not get some wise literary or philosophical musings, but I do have my very own February song.

February Air – Lights

It feels more like fall or even spring out there, as the final hours of January fade away into a new month.

I was going to try my hand at

The April A-to-Z Challenge,

but I got so frustrated by the sign-up process that I gave up.

What is it, first National Novel Writing Month and now this?

I can go ahead with it anyway, do my own A to Z in April or whenever I want, but likely I would have to do without all the new readers I would find and be found by.

For February I will stick with the romance theme here, as February means Valentine’s Day, and devote the entire month to come for

the subject of love,

but I will still be here once a week because I love it so much.

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

For an email that arrived at the perfect moment.

Last week I spoke of being rejected for a publication I love and really wanted to have my writing in. Well, less than one week after that devastating email I received one of acceptance.

For the chance to spread my message.

To the People Who’ve Never Heard of My Rare Disease – The Mighty

The last day of February is the day set aside for the awareness of rare diseases and I really wanted to speak up about mine. These are no more serious or worth fighting than cancer, diabetes, or MS, but just a lot less spoken about. So many diseases so little time.

🙂

I want to thank website “The Mighty” and all the family and friends who took the time to share and help me spread my message just a little bit farther.

So, supposedly now I am a contributor and have an in road with the site. Guess this means I can continue to write for them, after they’ve approved of whatever that is. Guess this is how these sites work? I am still new to all this.

For a lot of talk, with the one-and-only man himself. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared on television, for an hour talking about an important subject.

#BellLetsTalk

Not sure if this is more than a Canadian event, as it’s represented by Bell, the phone company.

Of course there is also a lot of talk about how a huge corporation is in it to look good and is getting something more out of it, but I focused on the fact that depression deserves the air time and attention and Trudeau spoke with sensitivity and commanding poise about the struggles with depression in his own family and what he, as the leader of Canada, hopes for those who live with mental illness.

For the notification that I’ve reached five hundred WordPress followers.

This comes just short of my two-year blogging anniversary next week.

I have more on top of that five hundred, but that little sound on my phone to inform me of the milestone made my day.

For the invitation to join as a blogging co-host for the week.

What I Learned In 2015

This was my second week participating and I particularly loved this prompt.

For another “successful” vidchat with friends.

It’s amazing that so many come together like that, through Google Hangouts.

I lost them there near the end, but that’s technology for you: nothing’s perfect.

For the fact that I figured out how to correctly hold my phone so this week I wasn’t just a dark spot on everyone’s screens, while the rest were visually themselves for everyone else to see.

For jokes.

Well, the thing I almost love more than the joke would have to be how people individually and uniquely react to hearing it.

Some laugh hysterically, while others do not. It can’t be explained, but even if I am in that second group, seeing the mirth of the first group is always enough to get me to crack a smile.

For the end of one month and for the arrival of another, but not just any month.

For the completion of last month’s daily prompt writing challenge (jotting challenge technically

January definitely had its highlights,

(like the writing adventure I attended

or

Just Jot It January 2016),

but I’m actually looking forward to February and the arrival of the day I was born.

I hope for lots of good things as I usher in the second month of 2016: from movies I’m really looking forward to coming out, to my favourite television series starting a new season, to the challenge of learning a new skill and working on another.

More of all that in the days and weeks to come.

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Dobby and I are glad to welcome February. How about you?

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Blogging, Happy Hump Day, History, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, Memoir and Reflections

Just Jot It January: Don’t Stand By, Let’s Talk, and the Obscure #JusJoJan #BellLetsTalk

Just Jot It January, #JusJoJan

If I had remembered that yesterday was Tuesday, that Linda would be looking for a prompt word from someone and I had earned the honour, I can guarantee

mendaciloquent

would not have been my choice. This should be interesting.

🙂

        This word didn’t appear on any of the usual dictionary sites in the Google search I did. Most times, when I look up a word for its meaning, there’s Dictionary.com and Merriam-Webster. Not this time.

There was also someone with a Twitter name that included the word in it. Really?

This prompt word is so obscure that my dictionary app on my phone didn’t even have a definition.

It reminds me of Maleficent.

I appreciate being introduced to just such a word, but instead I will just jot down a few thoughts I’ve been having today. Maybe, somehow, a line can be drawn to connect these thoughts to “mendaciloquent”. See if you can find it.

I bailed out of a group for writers on Facebook today. I couldn’t keep up. I need to find writers and blogs more organically than a list I am given and told to like and share. I have met writers through Facebook groups, but I feel like I can’t compete with some of them and the speed in which they are writing, sharing, and being published. This is art, creativity, the world of writing.

Okay, well it’s just January and I was published on The Mighty already. I can’t be doing so bad, but then why does the doubt still nag at me?

Then a conversation was had about writers and how they are generally so desperate for validation, to be read by others, that they are willing to give their work away, for less then they deserve. Some feel this isn’t right. I can’t say I disagree.

When do you decide your work and time are worth more? I’m kind of already used to not feeling good enough.

Also, today is Bell Let’s Talk Day, talking about mental health and it’s Holocaust Remembrance Day as well.

Both things are distressing to me. However, someone just pointed out that today is also Chocolate Cake Day and that stressed is desserts spelled backward.

🙂

I don’t have true mental illness. My depression, if you can call it that, is episodic and depends on how I am dealing with my blindness or my chronic pain or whatever.

I still know the pain and the suffering and the isolation and the hopelessness. I know that when something goes on and on and on it takes over and is harder to fight. I just don’t know about these big corporations who are being so generous as to donate such-and-such for every text, tweet, or share of the #BellLetsTalk hash tag. I guess I am often suspicious of big corporations and companies.

I am currently watching an interview. The man being interviewed is a bit of a boring intellectual sort, but the discussion is over Hitler’s book. (I won’t say its name.)

It’s selling again, upon a new release. I know these texts must be studied, as I said when a well-known Canadian killer wrote a book recently, but it won’t be by me. I wish it had never been written by a maniac in a jail cell in the 1920s, but it was. What happened happened.

Oh wait…would you say Hitler was mendaciloquent? From the way the word is being used in a few other blogs, I think I am correct to say that. Okay, well there you go. I used the word. Pheeeewwww.

I wrote posts devoted to Bell Let’s Talk Day and Holocaust Remembrance Day on my blog last year. It was my attempt to sort through my experiences being in a relationship with someone with depression and then 2015 was seventy-five years since the freeing of Auschwitz concentration camp near the end of World War II.

Both of these are difficult topics for me to think about let alone write about and share, but I couldn’t not.

However, I was weighed heavily by both.

It was hard for me to see someone I cared about struggle, but so many people do.

As for the post I did on the Holocaust, I was under a dark cloud all day last Holocaust Remembrance Day. I was glad it wasn’t the same day as Bell Let’s Talk last year, but this year it is and I am full of thoughts on both subjects.

I don’t know what to say about obscure words, but I don’t quite know what to say about anything when my mind is this bogged down.

I want to heal those who are suffering, from whatever it may be, but I know I can’t. It keeps pulling down on my spirit, so I need to do things that make me happy, and keep moving forward.

I am looking forward to February, but until then…

Just What is Just Jot It January?

And here is the writer who supplied this most difficult word for a prompt:

The only writer with the word “mendaciloquent” right in her blog name.”

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Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, History, Kerry's Causes, Memoir and Reflections

Just Jot It January: Sunshine, Moonlight, and This Crazy World, #JusJoJan

The saying goes that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Well, I do a lot of the same things over and over again. I guess I can’t be surprised when I get the same sorts of things happening. I keep hoping, expecting something new. I think we all do this sometimes.

Today’s #JusJoJan is brought to you by

Fiction Favourites

and writer John Whowell.

I am obsessed with a particular Facebook page:

Asylum Projects

I know about the stigma surrounding mental illness. I feel uncomfortable at the history of it all, but I can’t pretend it never happened.

I keep wanting to write on my experiences, but I can’t quite say what I want to say with any clarity.

I know how often “insane”, “crazy”, and “mental” are used in everyday conversation and speech. There is always an undercurrent of seriousness. I try to keep the mood light because some of the realities are frightening to me.

I can relate and always felt that way. I know about stigma and stereotyping. I know about the fear that people feel at illness and disability. It scares us all that we are, every one of us, just one event or experience away from having it heaped upon us without warning.

Some disabilities are obvious and other disabilities are not. Some are silent and subtle, to everyone but the one living with them. To those people, the sound is loudest of all in their own head and it is impossible to escape from that noise.

It’s always been so easy, best, most convenient to keep such things hidden away and behind closed doors, so as not to upset anyone else, to let the “normal” people get on with life.

I don’t want to keep that going, but yet I don’t want to hear about the alternative either. I am no different, but I want to be.

If insane asylums were still the common term, then this prompt word would be both easier and harder to write about, but instead we’ve come a long way since those days of institutions and barbaric treatment practises.

I spent one warm and sunny afternoon on the grounds of an old and nearly abandoned mental hospital from the last century and one chilled and moonlit evening visiting a brand new and modernized facility for mental illness.

I sat in a theatre and watched a documentary about the silences of mental illness, listening to how many people must walk around and hold inside the pain and anguish they live with on a daily basis, and I had to get up and leave the theatre. The silence was suddenly the loudest sound of all.

I didn’t want to be that mental illness patient. I knew I was one breakdown or bout of depression away from being just that. Suddenly, all the physical disabilities I’ve ever lived with seemed like nothing compared to the fear of finding myself diagnosed with emotional problems.

I don’t know how any of us avoid insanity. I see it everywhere, if I know now where to look for it. Life can drive us crazy. It’s unavoidable really. The world is, has gone, is going mental.

What is sane really anyway?

http://lindaghill.com/2016/01/10/just-jot-it-january-10th-sane/

Just Jot It January, #JusJoJan

The rules for JJJ are here:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/12/31/just-jot-it-january-2016-rules/

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