Stories

October 22, 2018 - Harry of Hope

Heads Together is a mental health initiative spearheaded by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, which combines a campaign to tackle stigma and change the conversation on mental health with fundraising for a series of innovative new mental health services.

Significant progress has been made to tackle stigma surrounding mental health in recent decades, but it still remains a key issue driven by negative associations, experience and language. Through this campaign, Their Royal Highnesses have built on the great work that is already taking place across the country, to ensure that people feel comfortable with their everyday mental well being, feel able to support their friends and families through difficult times, and that stigma no longer prevents people getting the help they need.

 

the drop

The Drop.  Poem about PTSD.  (Art by Harley Manifold).

 

heroice friendship

Redefining the Super Hero.  (Clunk & Jam book).

 

March 5, 2017 - With Intergrity

the inch

A n   I n c h .

It is my integrity that is important.

Is that so selfish?

It sells for so little,

but it’s all we have left in this place.

It is the very last inch of us,

but within that inch

we are free.

 

(R.I.P. Big Brother.  I know you liked this one.  Words by Alan Moore.)

August 10, 2016 - Set The Table

take a seat

Set the Table .

The Woman.  Is considered.  Calm.  Kind.  Knows when to rest.  Plans carefully her moves.  Her steps.  Her time.

The Little Girl. Wants to continuously play.  She dances.  Whirling in the want.  Spinning endlessly in dizzy circles.  

The Teen Girl.  Is rebellious.  Angry.  Defiant.  Unstable in her steps.   She spits at the world.  Disguises her pain as fierce independence – but she has not yet arrived.

The BOy.  Full of wonder.  Feels truth.  Sees truth through the veil of lying stories which renders him confused and restrained in the muddle.  

The Teen BOy.  Feels the world like a rash.  A responsibility to save and fix.  His mind forever grinding.  He is heavy.  Burdened. Drenched in angst.

The Man.  Knows his responsibility.  And what is not.  He stands firm in role.  Is comfortable with the soft.  The tenderness.  The knowing.

Now they come together through the collide.  The tumble.  The wrestle for a place.

Then enters another two….The Father who holds the lid.  Mother, who holds the strings.  And the struggle becomes the child.

It will be the recognition that brings all to the table.  The cleverness of a Jester to hold the juggle.  The Woman who sets them all a place.

Art Helen Smithson titled, ‘A flood of Light Streams In’, from book, ‘Bed 29 and Other Stories’ by Guy de Maupassant who died 6th July, 1893 after a, “Period of semi-madness”, they say.  Find in Clunk and Jam book.

Footnote:  Written 17th August, 2010.  Relationships are complicated – particularly the relationships between all of our many selves. 

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June 16, 2016 - Waiting For You

dumbo man

 

Everything is Waiting for You .  (By David Whyte)

Your great mistake is to act the drama as is you were alone.  As if life were a progressive and cunning crime with no witness to the tiny hidden transgressions.  To feel abandoned is to deny the intimacy of your surroundings.  Surely, even you, at times, have felt the grand array; the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding out your solo voice.  You must note the way the soap dish enables you, or the window latch grants you freedom.  Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.  The stairs are your mentor of things to come, the doors have always been there to frighten you and invite you, and the tiny speaker in the phone is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into the conversation.  The kettle is singing even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots have left their arrogant aloofness and seen the good in you at last.  All the birds and creatures of the world are unutterably themselves.  Everything is waiting for you.

A ‘Good Man’ lead me to this poem.  See also ‘The Kiss’.   Picture from Dumbo Feather, David featured before, ‘A Different Way To Tread’. 

May 22, 2016 - To Bullying

Poem by Shane Koyczan.  See the Interview on ABC.

March 2, 2016 - My Place

my place 3

My Place .

Truth is my sanctuary.  A place I enter by trusting there is another place I can be.

It’s slow.  A little reclusive.

Painful and confronting because I’m keeping company with emotions I’ve spent my life trying to escape.

Vulnerable, because I’m sitting in my insecurities.  Pursuing what I deeply care about.

Disturbing, because life, through the eyes of truth, reveals both the beauty and the beast of it.

Overwhelming, due to the acceptance of personal responsibility to create a life that soothes the pain of truth – nurtures new growth.

Lonely, from conceding that ultimately it is self-reliance that will create and secure my destiny.

Sad, from accepting my past is over.

Compassionate, from the realisation that I cannot effortlessly accept myself.  And acknowledging the degree of consciousness it’s going to take to be content with who I am.

Liberated, because the time has come to move – and from having the freedom to explore what awaits.

A stillness, from reaching a place where I feel more comfortable being different than fitting in.  Where I feel a calm but intensely emotional sense of coming home.

Footnote:

Written pre-2006.  Showed a friend this poem many years ago.  She said she was sorry this was how I felt and hoped one day I’d find peace and happiness.  For me, the poem wasn’t a downer – more a revelation.   Liberating.  When you’ve lived a life hiding and surpressing emotion and truth it’s such a breakthrough when you sit with it, allow yourself to ‘feel’ again, and emerge in a better, stronger place.  I’m not sure you find real peace and joy by constantly hanging out with happiness.  But when you break the constraints of keeping secrets and pretending to be okay – that’s when the light comes on.

See previous posts/poems on this theme.  The Crossing  Illuminate the Darkness.  Dancer and The Following Dark.   Hold On (being there for someone who is feeling intensely).  Being a Heroic FriendThe New BraveBoy Oh Boy.  Robin Small is comfortable being vulnerable and wearing his hurts.  This Rose is curious about feelings.  This Army of Ink is protesting about smiley faces.   The Black Dog Story.  Pass it on …

Poem from book, ‘In My Room’.   Artwork Ash Browne.  Design Harley Manifold.