TRIUMPH OF SPIRIT IN LOVE, NATURE & ART

Posts tagged “Cat Stevens

My Mind is Broken

It is 3 A.M. and it is another night I cannot sleep.  I have taken two sleeping pills to no avail.  When I am manic sleep does not come easily.  I write.  I eat.  I check email.  I pace the rooms back and forth, in and out of bed.  Luckily my husband does not wake during my perambulations.  The mania is not of the inflated ego variety, though I have had that at an earlier time in my life.  Years ago I remember going by Harlem on a bus route home one night when I was flagrantly psychotic and proclaiming, “These are my people!”  Why I said this I couldn’t tell you now– sparked most likely from some manic feeling of camaraderie. But, of course, it was beyond grandiosity and just plain crazy (yes, that is a psychiatric term).   Perhaps the roots arose out of the closeness I had with my Sicilian grandfather who was not exactly white and who had much spirit– what an African-American might call “soul.”  And from my father, a jazz trombonist, who spent his youth sleeping in bathtubs in Harlem when he would come to the city from white suburbia for jam sessions.  He, too, like my grandfather, had “soul”  hidden under white skin.

In any case, thanks to the anti-psychotic family of medicines I am not grandiose tonight. I did forget to take my meds the other night  and, like Karma, that affects everything about my life.   I am just raring for the day to start, for the morning to come.  I see a drunk sitting outside on a stoop smoking.  I want to see, not the people of the night, but the purposeful people of the morning, going to school, going to work, walking their dogs.  Two hours and forty-five minutes to go.  And then time to wake up, have coffee, pray, make plans for the work of the day.  How can fifteen minutes seem like an hour?  How can the cool night breeze masquerade as a morning zephyr?  I will make one last attempt to go to bed and sleep.  First, I will post a video of Jusuf’s, formerly known as Cat Stevens, of a beautiful hymn he sang, “Morning Has Broken.”  I am also posting a photo I took of a marsh in the morning light.  Enjoy!  And Good morning!

This was written a year ago in a mild manic episode.  Right now I am fighting depression triggered by Lyme disease and antibiotics.  I have zero creativity so resort to rewrites.  Hope to be back writing soon and commenting on fellow bloggers’ posts.  Please excuse the silence but that is how it is being Bipolar.   (Click http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/ellen-stockdale-wolfe.html  for information on, and to purchase, my Bipolar/Asperger’s memoir.)


“Music Magic”

Today

a lightness of being

want to share

the scintillating spark

 Cat Stevens

and his cohorts

see

the Light

music often mania makes

is this mania

or

is it the catepillar

coming out of the chrysalis of depression

being Bipolar bears

cacophonic confusion

even after 6 decades

who cares

Cat Stevens

a gift to me

from my brother

post mortem

his legacy to me

because he loved him

and because I missed him

I listened

too late to share the love

 now

my gift to you

just listen and let

soul to soul transmission

effect

its music magic

culminating

in a crescendo

of

soul


Resurrection of the Light

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Tuesday was the first day of Passover and Sunday is Easter.  A holy season.

Below a holy song by Yusuf/Cat Stevens says it all — whatever denomination.


The Beloved

For a very long time when I was alone and had no hope.   Being Bipolar and having Asperger’s,  I thought I would never find love.  I had  lost it many times.  My vision of the  future was totally black and bleak.

Years later, at age 35,  I found love again.  This time it felt right though I was filled with much uncertainty at the time.  Almost 24 years have past and it seems righter than ever.  We have nudged each other to grow and we have grown.  There is still a future to face, now of old age.  But every day can bring a new and unanticipated  revelation.  Recently, and on more than one  occasion, I have looked into the eyes of my beloved and seen a tiny glimpse of The Beloved.  An epiphany of sorts.  For love of a human is but a taste of the love of God.

In the video below, Cat Stevens, now known as Yusuf, sings of earthly love and The Divine.  For those of you who don’t know, after starting out as a folk/rock star, he found Islam and that radically changed his life.  He gave  up fame and fortune to pursue God.  In the end, he found his way back to music to use it to witness  The Beloved.  And that is the title of the song below.


La Bella Luna

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Dedicated to my brother and his favorite, and now my favorite, musician, Cat Stevens/Jusuf, and his song “Moonshadow,” a gift to me from my brother after he passed.  The song meant so much to him, and now, with him, to me.


Mood Photographs

No. 5 Homage to Rothko

No. 4 Soul Gathering

No. 3 “Moonshadow” no. 2

(Photograph after Cat Stevens/Yusuf)

No. 2 The Rush of Feeling

No. 1 “Moonshadow” (Photograph after Cat Stevens/Jusuf)

All limited edition original photographs available in different sizes and formats.


“Never, Never”

“It won’t happen again.  Never. Never. Never.  It’ll never happen again.  No. No. No.”

 The words to a song by Yusuf, better known as Cat Stevens, about a love affair gone awry.  The words reverberate in my head repeatedly in true Bipolar style, as in true Aspie style, I listen to the song over and over and over and over again.  My perseveration on the song fashions the words into a mantra, sending me full throttle into another state of consciousness, like the whirling dervishes of Istanbul who spin until they enter a mystical state.  Since I no longer alter my consciousness with alcohol, cigarettes or recreational drugs (was too crazy to go that route), and since I am on anti-psychotic medications which keep me in reality, I have to use music, meditate and  take refuge in nature to venture into my much-missed mystical states of being.  The states today are washed out versions of the vibrant intensity I was accustomed to earlier in my life.  But then, at age 28, my mind, never too strong to begin with, broke down and reality shattered into so many smithereens of glass.  “It’s always a trade-off,” the experts say.  But (and a “but” with a capital “B”) the psych meds hold me together and, most importantly of all, they allow me to love.

“It will never happen again.  No. No. No.”

I can’t say that.  My first major manic episode was ignited by a flaming crush at work that catapulted me into the fractionated world of psychosis for a very long time.  Some thirty years later I am unsure just how far away that world is.  It is not unusual for love to trigger the first manic episode in Bipolars, and I had another when I met the man who was to become my husband.  This time the psychosis lost the war– because the love was reciprocated and nurturing– the most stable thing I had ever experienced.  And (big “and”) because I was medicated. Though it felt like another break with reality was encroaching on my psyche, it never materialized and has not since.

But there have been close calls now and then.  Writing my memoir of madness while working part-time, I would go to my job with all the raw feelings I was writing about whirling around inside me and, seemingly, outside me as well, as though stamped on my forehead.  The memories and flashbacks bubbled up from deep inside like a lava flow of feelings. But no breakdown.

Mania is not the only state that flirts with psychosis.  So, too, does the underbelly of the beast, depression.  Loss of loved ones and caring for my dying mother brought me perilously close to the precipice again but extra medication kept me on the sane side of psychosis.

Even now any highly emotional experience (and being bipolar there are many) can shake the foundations of the self.   Beholding great beauty in ecstatic encounters with nature, profound connections between thoughts and ideas, connecting deeply to another person—all these can send me reeling into space wondering if I can make it back to earth.  These are all dangers I engage in somewhat recklessly for they make up the majestic magic and mystery of life. Friends and family I have helped keep my feet on the ground, but my husband is my real anchor to reality.  Should something happen to Tom, well…

No.  Unlike a dead love affair, I can’t say the descent into madness “will never happen again.”  As I drift in and out of tantalizing trips into mania and try to flee the inevitable free fall into depression, I hang on for dear life and will not let go.

Enjoy the song sung soulfully by Cat Stevens, “MaybeYou’re Right…”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUnxkW4zeM4&feature=youtube_gdata_player

(Click http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/ellen-stockdale-wolfe.html  for information on, and to purchase my Bipolar/Asperger’s memoir.)


“One Day at a Time”

At one point in my life I was just trying to get through one hour at a time.  Actually I have vivid memories of it sometimes being 15 minutes at time in which I would be praying to God in utter desperation.  Such times could come again but I would hope to be stronger if, or more likely, when they return.

Fleet-footed moments of heart-stopping anxiety visit far too often even now, maybe just to keep me in practice.  Uncontrolled thoughts of a scary future fraught with frets and worries frequent my mind, “pissing on the present,” as they say.  These visitations may be the by-product of Bipolar Disorder and/or my Asperger’s Syndrome.  In any case, my current goal is to learn “mindfulness” through meditation to correct this distortion of time and consciousness.

Long the slogan of A.A. and other methods of recovery, “one day at a time” can also be a celebration of, and desire for, peace– world peace, as well as inner peace.  Yusuf/Cat Stevens expresses this poetically, as always, in his song, “One Day at a Time,”  in this video link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-Xpa7pNKRc&feature=channel&list=UL

(Click http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/ellen-stockdale-wolfe.html  for information on, and to purchase my Bipolar/Asperger’s memoir.)