Stories

October 7, 2021 - All That’s Good In Me

 

 

Vincent Fantuazzo talks about Dyslexia.*

‘All that’s good in me (self-portrait as son Luca)’.  Original in colour.

(Reposted for World Dyslexia Awareness Day)

 

 

Kicked out of school at 13, Vincent is still barely able to read or write.  After 20 years of isolation Vincent was diagnosed with dyslexia.  “I can’t tell you the months of the year in order or the alphabet.  I’ve tried to learn the times tables all of my life.  I’ve accepted that it’s not going to happen and that’s OK.  I can use a calculator and I’m getting along quite fine.”

“I was relieved that finally I knew I wasn’t stupid, there was just a processing problem in my brain which I could work with.”

 

* Article by Sue Smethurst in Weekend Australian Magazine (March 23-24, 2019)

Video from ABC’s Australian Story.

 

July 23, 2021 - You Will Find Relief

 

 

Song I made up to stop myself from having a panic attack just now.  Listen on SpotifyField Medic

 

 

July 22, 2021 - A Caring Approach

 

 

“If you’re depressed or anxious, you’re not weak and you’re not crazy — you’re a human being with unmet needs,” Hari says.  Johann Hari’s book, ‘Lost Connections’ and resource website.  See Black Dog’s Links page for support contacts.

IMPORTANT: If you’re on medication, do not stop without discussing with a health professional.

 

And a personal story reflecting a more caring approach, ‘Tread Carefully In Mind’ (written 2007).

 

June 18, 2021 - Me and I

 

me and i image

 

I am I .   (Barbara Blackman from book, ‘Glass After Glass’)

I am I and no other.  Not other has or ever can be this I.    It came into me as a baby.    Is the same I as in me now, a little girl, the same I that will be in me as I grow, as a grown-up, as an old old lady, and on beyond that.   What happens to this I is the ME that other people can see, acting out all this life.    So it will be all right whatever happens to ME because the inner secret I can never be changed or lost.

(Art by Charles Blackman , ‘Christabel and Her Image’ , 1966.  Original in colour.)

Reposted from 5th May, 2014

June 11, 2021 - My Octopus Teacher

 

A surprising story of how an Octopus lifts a man from the depths of a mental struggle.

May 10, 2021 - Reduce The World’s Net Suffering

An answer from, Nick Cave, The Red Hand Files …

My question is about how you perceive the utility of suffering.  What is the value of suffering to us as individuals, and to us as a species …

 

 

Nick Cave in Yorkstrabe, West Berlin, 1985.  Photograph by Bleddyn Butcher.

Dear Peter,

What do we do with suffering? As far as I can see, we have two choices—we either transform our suffering into something else, or we hold on to it, and eventually pass it on.

In order to transform our pain, we must acknowledge that all people suffer. By understanding that suffering is the universal unifying force, we can see people more compassionately, and this goes some way toward helping us forgive the world and ourselves. By acting compassionately we reduce the world’s net suffering, and defiantly rehabilitate the world. It is an alchemical act that transforms pain into beauty. This is good. This is beautiful.

To not transform our suffering and instead transmit our pain to others, in the form of abuse, torture, hatred, misanthropy, cynicism, blaming and victimhood, compounds the world’s suffering. Most sin is simply one person’s suffering passed on to another. This is not good. This is not beautiful.

The utility of suffering, then, is the opportunity it affords us to become better human beings. It is the engine of our redemption.

Love, Nick