Poetry is gone, visions my only words.
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.”
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…
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I look up and
my head swims
making me giddy
like all others
on this earth
gazing heaven toward
under a canopy
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.
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…
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…
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Another beautiful post from my friend, Tiramit!
POSTCARD #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!
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From my friend, Tiramit, over at Dhamma Footsteps… pure poetry…
POSTCARD #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…
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Age has crept up on us
like a thief in the night
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
with the illness
that drove him
from his beloved work
with the poorest of the poor
and I wonder
as I worry
how did he do it
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
but we are not
old age has crept in
like a thief in the night
were we always broken
cast under a veil
which now becomes
seen at times
and age creeps in
are we finally seeing
the unreality of the “reality”?
Spring green and faint yellow
Sap flowing amid stone and evergreens
A burst of red
Cows heading past lone bare tree
The hide-out of the Spring Peepers
Layers of Spring texture
Greening grass at end of day