passing away

Now THIS man is a true leader!

dhamma footsteps


POSTCARD #226: New Delhi:
October 13 2016, at the end of that day, I came downstairs and Jiab looked up from her Thai friends fb page and said: the king is dead. Jiab has this minimalist way of communicating. I checked on the internet and got the necessary information and for the rest of the evening there was no discussion, silence, clink of cutlery on dinner plate.

Next morning a Thai friend came to see us and she was wearing black. All through the weekend I could hear Jiab’s fb videos of the mourning, I looked from time to time and people were distressed, in tears, the entire population wearing black now for one year, newsreaders on TV wear black, any unnecessary colour is avoided. Many Thais change their fb profile image to black and white for the duration of breavement.

I’ve seen it before when Galyani Vadhana, Princess…

View original post 289 more words

A Slow Crescendo


With each gust of wind yellow finger-like walnut leaves shower down on our heads– like large, yellow snowflakes– a foretaste of snowfalls to come.  The sun’s shadows grow long as twilight nears.  Soon the white cloud “lions and tigers and bears” will arise in the black of night.  The summer has died, and in dying, gave birth to fall.  The comfortable rhythm of the changing season beats in our sometimes unhearing hearts.

(Play music with video)

Late Summer Visions

Poetry is gone, visions my only words.

DSCF8607_edited-1 DSCF8590_edited-1 DSCF8583_edited-1 DSCF8579_edited-1 DSCF8572_edited-1 DSCF8570_edited-1 DSCF8564_edited-1 DSCF8559_edited-1 DSCF8548_edited-1 DSCF8526_edited-1 DSCF8521_edited-1

In My Own Voice

My dear friend, Kitt, is a natural public speaker and a wonderful advocate for the mentally ill. She and I are both Bipolar. She is Bipolar 2 and I am Bipolar 1. In this post she successfully achieves what I was trying to do in my book, “Eye-locks and Other Fearsome Things.”

Kitt O'Malley

The weekend after I attended BlogHer16, my local NAMI Orange County office hosted an In Our Own Voice (IOOV) training.

In Our Own Voice (IOOV)

Hi, I’m Kitt O’Malley

  • Mother of a teen son, wife, mental health advocate
  • You can find me any given day on social media
  • I enjoy reading, writing, art, photography, flowers & nature
  • Relate to audience

The National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, is the nation’s largest grassroots organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons living with serious mental illness and their families. Founded in 1979, NAMI has become the nation’s voice on mental illness. With organizations and affiliates in every state, NAMI effectively provides advocacy, research, support, and education about serious mental illness. Members of NAMI include those living with mental illness, families and friends of people living with mental illnesses, mental health providers, students, educators, law enforcement, public officials, politicians, members…

View original post 1,216 more words

Night Visions


I look up and
my head swims
with delight
making me giddy
with awe.
So humbled
one being
like all others
on this earth
gazing heaven toward
under a canopy
of stars.
with infinitesimal degrees
of infinite distance.
Each a quiet distant world
in one of endless galaxies
in one of endless universes
in one of untold possibilities.

Street Life in New York City

Inspired by a post by Tiramit at Dhamma Footsteps

Have seen the plight of the working poor in India, especially working women in films like Ankur,” and in many other Indian films.  But it is not just India.  It is everywhere. And it is not just the working poor.


The belongings of the first resident to set up camp near a seminary and a church

A block away from our apartment in New York City is a tiny campsite of homeless people. I think of them every morning at prayer. I wonder should I bring them food? Coffee? Meantime, in shame and shamefully, I cross the street to avoid walking into their bedroom. I feel for them especially when I am sick and think how horrible to be homeless when sick. But actually it is a daily horror.  Only a scaffolding protects against the elements, the heat of summer and the bitter cold of winter. And know I could be there, too, if not for the grace of God.  For these people are most likely unemployable.  Most likely they are mentally ill, like me, only unlike me, unable to work because they are untreated and homeless.  My husband, a retired psychiatric social worker had many homeless clients who could not work and could not get it together to get disability.  These clients spoke of the horrors of homeless shelters and explained how living in the streets is preferable.

The residents of this little homeless camp seek refuge and food in the church across the street. As they huddle in comforters in winter and on the sidewalk in summer, I ponder their lot in life while we have our little lives, wrapped in middle class comforts.

And in the United States we have a candidate who speaks to the rascist and xenophobic of our country.  To our shame to have even running.  But he also speaks to the working poor who are failing despite working one, two and three jobs, to the people who would despise the people down the block because the residents are not working.   And he promises his followers a better life.  And they believe his fantastic lies.  Such are among the many problems of having an underclass of the working poor.


A slice of reality, not just of Mother India, from my friend, Tiramit at Dhamma Footsteps…

dhamma footsteps


POSTCARD #219: Delhi: Everything comes to a stop when I see this photo, sent by Jiab in Gujarat, West India. All the pain and suffering I’ve experienced recently is suddenly nothing when I see the endeavor of this woman pulling what looks to be the trailer belonging to a truck. Even so, some would say, it’s easy for me to say, easy for me, comfortable in my male middle class security… and I search for words: admiration, respect, deference. None of these seem to describe the way that lady who looks like my Auntie is pulling that thing with the momentum of a short run at it, to get up and over the incline leading up to the bridge, then over the top and holding the weight as the trailer gathers speed on the downside.

When I first examined the photo it looked like there were two women pulling the…

View original post 439 more words


Another beautiful post from my friend, Tiramit!

dhamma footsteps

IMG_0682POSTCARD #218: New Delhi: Jiab sent me this pic of the cow in Gujarat. There’s always something that ‘clicks’ inside me when I see the cow in the city traffic in India. The aloof separateness of the Gods. Something about the bovine ‘mother’, sacred cow that all Hindus are conscious of.

There’s also  a memory of something from my home on the farm in the North of Scotland when I was a kid. I remember long nights and short days, aunties and grannies wearing comfortable wooly cardigans, porridge in a cracked bowl, coal and wood fires, cows in the fields, a black-and-white collie dog – and it’s this that I notice about the rural/urban Indian cities, cows sitting on the pavement, goats nibbling and chickens pecking around, the sound of a cockerel in the distance. It’s the farmyard scene where I was brought up that followed me here!

There’s a…

View original post 431 more words

as the crow flies

From my friend, Tiramit, over at Dhamma Footsteps… pure poetry…

dhamma footsteps

IMG_2982POSTCARD #211: Delhi/Bangkok flight: I arrived at the place and couldn’t remember how exactly I came to be there except for the journey returning to me in flashes; scanned by X-ray machines, identified, processed, held in aircraft cabin pressure for 4 hours… then look out the window and see small green rice fields with water everywhere; 1800 miles southeast on the Asia map as the crow flies.

Placed on the ground and I have to get my things quickly, put together the parts of who I think I am in this new context of a day I missed the beginning of, and things out there are just happening anyway. Extraordinary, even so – catching up on the rebound, the momentum of the journey, the sense of something recharged, action endowed with purpose because I’ve arrived in what remains of a day that belongs to other people, those who have…

View original post 385 more words

Illusion Crumbles




Age has crept up on us

like a thief in the night

I think

as I watch the clock hands

remain stuck on 1:30

as I wait

in the third doctor’s office

in six days

with my newly retired husband

ill again

with the illness

that drove him

from his beloved work

with the poorest of the poor

mentally ill

and I wonder

as I worry

about him

how did he do it

and why

and why

did he marry me

taking my major mental illness

as a dowry

and I wonder

how did it happen

that we got so old

we look at people

30 years our junior

on the TV

in the waiting room

and think ourselves

like them

but we are not

old age has crept in

like a thief in the night

were we always broken

cast under a veil

of delusion

which now becomes

seen at times

as bodies

fall ill

and age creeps in

are we finally seeing

the unreality of the “reality”?



%d bloggers like this: