Pieces about processing our emotions in a pandemic
“I found that I could not sleep. I was changed, all I could do was to lay back in the collapsed ruins of my mind”
Being Outside by Wendy
When I was little, about 5 or 6 I really believed that if I ran really, really fast I would be able to fly.
Obviously that’s not so, but when you’re small you can think things that you believe to be true, without being judged for your naivety. You are free to dream your dream.
Mine was and sometimes still is to be as free as a bird.
No matter what disasters we see, hear about or even create ourselves, you will always hear bird song.
When you do, stop, listen, close your eyes and wonder what it is they are saying to each other or singing about. It brings great joy and wonder.
I remember being in a rather bad minibus accident and being thrown through the windshield, only to come round in the middle of the road and hear the birds singing.
I knew then that I wasn’t dead.
Laughter, sorrow and tears are all things that we all experience and are all familiar with, but they fade and are lost and disappear into the distance just like the birds.
The outdoors brings so many good vibes, I love to feel the weather on my body, sun, rain, snow, wind, it makes you feel alive, it makes you feel good , in touch with yourself, aware of what is around you, aware of what nature can provide.
So you see for me the outdoors is where I feel at my best, it makes me smile, it makes me glad, it makes me see and think things through more clearly, it allows the space , time and calmness that we all need from time to time., just to be.
If it’s just a walk round the local park, a trip to the shop, just pottering in the garden or doing the BIG stuff, like fell walking, rock climbing, sailing, canoeing, gorge walking or even my next target of free swimming, it’s all out there and it’s all for free, and nature has provided it, for us all to enjoy.
The Long View of Life by David Black
You come from one single cell. Imagine if that one cell was able to think. What are you going to do as a fully formed human being when in charge of your destiny? How do you plan for all those unexpected events that occur throughout your life course?
Knowing stuff, knowing everything, expecting the unexpected.
Being prepared and being able to act surprised when stuff happens.
Your first kiss, your first relationship, your first experience of death.
Being chased around the school yard, being walked home from school.
Being the centre of another person’s attention.
Maybe even being the centre of their world at a specific point in time.
If only I had known what each of those girls had wanted with me all those decades ago. I was oblivious. But I’m not daft.
Most of my early life on the ‘posh’ estate, it was quite sheltered, we were all boys. How did this happen in the 1980’s?
It is now the early 2020’s and I am happy and contented on my own.
Happy? Yes. But what will be my legacy if I continue this trajectory?
What do I leave behind when it is all over?
I am wrapped up with a lack of control.
If only I could lose this weight dragging me down into the quicksand.
Once you realise that nobody is coming to rescue you, that fact, it can free you.
Looks like nobody’s coming mate!
But I think I can see something on the horizon.
No, that’s just the end of the world.
A plan, yes that is what we need. To make trouble work for you. To get up from
your deathbed. Treat every day like it’s my last.
While locked down at home let’s start to work on this.
Little less conversation, little more movement, please.
Little less what if, little more I will. I will eat well, I will exercise more, I can and will do this, I will take No for a question. You can be amazing every day and if the man does not like it then all the better. I am excited! Out of the flames of failure comes the stars of success.
Get your stars out. Let the stars that are in you shine freely. Don’t force them out. Just let them shine. You know, you come from nothing, you’re going back to nothing.
What have you lost? Nothing! Earth to Earth, Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust.
I’m still here by Pat Stott
I am sad that I am living alone in an old house that is much too big for me.
Full of all the things that my husband and I collected over the 50 years we had together. I am sad this pandemic has robbed me of the people who were starting to help me sort everything out.
I am sad that much of the stuff is not what anyone else would want. It is in every room and we have a lot of rooms.
I look around and my mood changes as memories are sparked. The person who brought the pile of CDs when Michael was producing programmes for a community radio station – it gave him so much pleasure.
The hats and caps that he collected from all over the world, I have kept a big furry one from our first visit to Russia in the early 1970s, bought for very little in the Gum store. A real baseball cap from a match he attended on our first visit to friends in Kentucky. Last summer, the rest went to a charity shop in a very large bag. I have kept the friends.
Hundreds of slides, our wedding among them somewhere, but an equal mix of holidays and ones used to illustrate talks and lectures. The latter always with a ‘naughty’ one a few slides in – to test that his trainees were not asleep.
The same with books, a collection of Biggles brings happy memories of the charity shop visits in a local market town and the lovely assistant who kept them back for him. Too many files of notes and cuttings, old computers and laptops on which he wrote articles and prepared his talks and bought too much on Ebay.
But it made him happy and for that I am glad.
Boxes of Military uniforms Michael wore on his WW2 reenactment trips, I am glad that I was able to accompany him on some of them But sad the clothes are still hanging in my spare room and not someone else’s.
With so many memories everywhere I look, I am strong enough to cope alone with living through the current situation.
Writing has made me realise this and helped me overcome the sadness of the task ahead.
Of moving on.
To my sister, Viv who died of Cancer in 1991 by Mary Pickin
Referencing to The Sands Of Dee by Charles Kingsley
Robin Hood’s Bay
O Mary, go and call the cattle home
Eager faces, straining ears,
little knees, striding the sand
And call the cattle home
Seven of us listening to the story
Dad’s northern voice quoting Kingsley
And call the cattle home
Hunting for crabs with his brood, his ducklings,
dipping and ducking behind him
His hands turning over stones
and spouting poetry
Across the sands of Dee
Vivvie screaming at the crabs as he grasps them
by their backs between his fingers
holding them aloft, legs and claws squiggling in the air.
‘EEH DAD PUT IT IN THE BUCKET!’
The Western wind was wild and dank with foam
rushing up the slipway, chased by the tide,
socks and sandals soaked, squealing excitement
And all alone went she
All of the ducklings grown
Vivvie sits on a rock in Robin Hood’s Bay
Too tired to run or walk fearing the relentless tide
Her breath’s short her eyes milky
The western tide crept up along the sand
And o’er and o’er the sand
As far as eye could see
Her lungs filled with fluid
‘It’s like drowning’ she says
The rolling mist came down and hid the land
And never home came she.
Staring out to sea
The waves grey and huge
The cruel crawling foam,
The cruel hungry foam,
Listening in the icy blast,
For those childhood squawks and giggles
Only the sea birds…
A hundred thousand drowning in ITUs
What would you think of this?
My darling sis. My Vivvie
“The nurses are very good”
She would say.
Glad by Spencer
There’s been so much navel gazing and self doubt in these past 12 months of lingering uncertainty. Bash the government, criticise the psyche and lament the mistakes from our days gone by.
I’m sick and tired of people complaining. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned by being part of the recovery community it’s that not one of us has a monopoly of problems.
Yet the first thing that the newsreaders, reporters, neighbours and friends seem to want to espouse is some sort of unique suffering during this damn pandemic. Literally every thing that they say is applicable to nine out of ten people they’re telling.
I find it very selfish.
We have a vaccine that is being delivered at a starting pace by an incredibly efficient NHS supported by our armed forces.
We live in a country that invented radio, television, jet propulsion, telescope, the tin can, the internet, the lightbulb and of course the chocolate bar!
We’re a nation built on honesty, humility, pride and strength. Over the recent past I’ve rediscovered and burnished my love of Britain and what she has given to the world.
Turn on the World Service, read the news and God Save the Queen and this precious stone set in a silver sea that we call home.
Here’s a vaccine. No profit, just hope. God bless.
What brings us closer by Tammy
Myself and my family are experimenting with cooking
Although it’s all sweet stuff
Just to keep them interested
It brings us closer as a family
We laugh and tease each other
Especially if something goes wrong
Mainly bits of egg shells landing in the mixing bowl
Then them trying to get it out
But best of all is the licking of the bowl when it’s finished
I’m so glad by Christine Logan
This is the best it gets and I’m so glad!
I’m so glad that I’ve got my love, my hero and my rock, always critical, always sensible – but always there for me.
I’m so glad that the Asda driver turns up smiling every Sunday morning, with treats and delights. God bless him!
I’m so glad that we are warm and cosy at home, and don’t need to battle out into the world of Covid.
I’m so glad that our children are surviving this struggle and that they are looking after our precious darlings, who ring and facetime us, with the sweetest messages of love.
I’m so glad that we have had our vaccines, and that sometime this year we will be able to go outside and breathe the air again.
I’m so glad that our friends have cared enough to ring or drop a quick message and that we haven’t been lost in the abyss.
I’m so glad that we’ve got this far, and I am able to shout out loud ‘I am so glad’!
Her by Wendy
Am mad that I could not have done more,
Am mad at myself for not trying harder
Am mad at myself for not being more persuasive
Am mad at myself cos I wasn’t there to hold her hand, to tell her it would be ok, to stroke her brow, to be a friend
Am sad I have lost her
Am sad for her family
Am sad for her friends
Am sad for her
Am sad at this world and am sad for those others who too have left us
Am glad I got to know her
Am glad she engaged when she could
Am glad I spent some time with her
Am glad I tried
Am glad her family have happy memories and her friends have them too
Am glad she won’t be forgotten
And am glad she was happy too
Why did I ask by Paul
Why did I ask for Help,
I think because I had nothing left to give,
The day that changed my life and the way I am going to try to live it came and went as unsurprisingly as any other day in the recovery ward for CoVid 19,
“You are going home in the morning”the nears Sied, good I thought.
however the next few days to follow were over powering not in a good way but quite the oppersite .
The morning I was to go home arrived a nurse sat with me and died that she will stay with me
I was puzzled, she was crying she was fighting the tears I had never seen a nurse cry
she handed me a telephone and a voice spoke “We lost Vickey”and burst into tears, in that moment.
The darkness fell in a numbing second, I asked what do you mean Kat ?
She repeated Vickey past away at 1:05 this morning . I couldn’t work out what was happening
I coulden’t speak .
I have to stay with you Paul, stead the nurse as she handed the phone back to the one in dark blue and she carried on speaking to Kat.
I could feel myself curling up into a ball trying to find out what had just happened .
The nurse was holding my hand I told her it’s ok Vickey is in Liverpool with her Mum and Kat she can’t go we’v got too much work to do first, I want to go to sleep now.
I found that I could not sleep and I was changed, all I could do was to lay back in the collapsed ruins of my mind
I couldn’t weep for her I was nothing.
They talked to me about more tests at the Freeman hospital and keep me there for some weeks and saed one evening, just before bed time Standing at the end of me bed.
Paul you have Bowl and Prostrate Cancer and there is nothing we can do for you, and left me on my own to deal with this bombshell
I was discharged the next morning As the ambulance driver was taking me through the ward the staff gave me a round of papaws
Celebrating an other patant surviving Covid19 .
A few weeks later the doctors told me if I where to stop drinking they would consider me as a candidate for surgery
and this is where I met all of you wonderful people and have helped me deal with so much in such a short length of time
Quite some feat helping me to rebuild some kind of life…It was all down to you fab people.
I will find out tomorrow what my future is going to be and whether or not I will be considered having that life giving surgery on Friday the 6th and that’s tomorrow.
However if it is not to be I can say that I have done my best and without the support I have had from Plumber Court well it would not have happened .