Stories

April 13, 2022 - Hope In Cave

 

Art by Philip Guston (Original in Colour).  Story from The Red Hand Files by Nick Cave.

Following the last few years I’m feeling empty and more cynical than ever. I’m losing faith in other people, and I’m scared to pass these feelings to my little son. Do you still believe in Us (human beings)?

Dear Valerio,

You are right to be worried about your growing feelings of cynicism and you need to take action to protect yourself and those around you, especially your child. Cynicism is not a neutral position — and although it asks almost nothing of us, it is highly infectious and unbelievably destructive. In my view, it is the most common and easy of evils.

I know this because much of my early life was spent holding the world and the people in it in contempt. It was a position both seductive and indulgent. The truth is, I was young and had no idea what was coming down the line. I lacked the knowledge, the foresight, the self-awareness. I just didn’t know. It took a devastation to teach me the preciousness of life and the essential goodness of people. It took a devastation to reveal the precariousness of the world, of its very soul, to understand that it was crying out for help. It took a devastation to understand the idea of mortal value, and it took a devastation to find hope.

Unlike cynicism, hopefulness is hard-earned, makes demands upon us, and can often feel like the most indefensible and lonely place on Earth. Hopefulness is not a neutral position either. It is adversarial. It is the warrior emotion that can lay waste to cynicism. Each redemptive or loving act, as small as you like, Valerio, such as reading to your little boy, or showing him a thing you love, or singing him a song, or putting on his shoes, keeps the devil down in the hole. It says the world and its inhabitants have value and are worth defending. It says the world is worth believing in. In time, we come to find that it is so.

Love, Nick

April 11, 2022 - World Won’t Wait

 

world won't wait tree house

 

World Won’t Wait .

He felt so burdened by the despicable acts of others.  A cutting despair at not being able to get there on time to save the suffering souls, the ice from melting, trees from falling down around the corner.

Lost in the shadow of shame, cast by human kind, knowing all too well the dread awful things that come to the weak, the marginalised, the strong – and those who resist.

He carried this burden from morning into night, until one day he woke to a different tune.  In the tune he caught himself feeling his own sadness, borne from the quest to save all that felt.

Cast in his own time, he could feel every aching inch of his broken self.  The closeness to his own end.  Where he surrendered to the grueling battle.  Stopped in time to mend.

 

world won't wait little boat

 

References:  ‘Hope’ painting by George Frederic Watts, 1886.  With just one remaining in her lyre – she played on.  Little boat reference, the movie, ‘Where the Wild Things Are’, 2009.  Original childrens picture book by Maurice Sendak, 1963.   Find in Clunk & Jam book.

See ‘Strength In Wild Imagination’.   Both in Clunk & Jam book)

October 29, 2021 - Robin Small – Wearing The Hurts

 

robin small arrows

 

‘Robin Small wandered wide in avoidance of – all things hard to touch.’

(Reposted from 9.10.2018)

Footnote:  The initial thread of Robin’s story ‘avoidance of all things hard to touch’, might elude to the trouble he has getting close, or being close with others.  Touching – or being touched.  Feeling the pain of loss or disappointment.  His avoidance of feeling things at all?  Maybe Robin Small finds it difficult to connect with things deep within himself?   But maybe he’s also contemplating taking a small step towards trusting again – taking a risk?

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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

 

 

June 19, 2021 - I Think I Can

 

boy little red engine

 

And the Little Engine said;  “I think I can.  I think I can.”

‘The Little Engine That Could’ is a folktale originating from 1906 used to teach children the value of optimism and hard work.  The underlying theme is a stranded train unable to find an engine willing to take it on over the difficult terrain to its destination.  Only the little blue engine is willing to try and, while repeating the ‘I think I can’ mantra, overcomes a seemingly impossible task.

A good story to ride on when things seem impossible.  And a reminder of the importance of little blue engines in life.

BOy Series, 2009.  Similar posts in BOY Topic in Blog & featured in Clunk & Jam book.