On Sacrifice

For various reasons, I am taking a break from my writing here for now,  but following a period of reflection and meditation, I am sharing some thoughts on sacrifice over on my Medium blog.

 

In the meantime, I shall leave you with some of Anne Bronte’s lesser known poetry – this is from ‘Last Lines’, written in January 1849:

 

That secret labour to sustain

With humble patience every blow,

To gather fortitude from pain

And hope and holiness from woe.

Thus let me serve Thee from my heart

Whatever be my written fate,

Whether thus early to depart

Or yet awhile to wait.

If Thou shouldst bring me back to life

More humbled I should be;

More wise, more strengthened for the strife,

More apt to lean on Thee.

 

Poem: How Porcupines Make Love

If you were here now

– a little less prickly,

I would say

My darling, I promise you this;

If you were here now

 – maybe less bristley,

I would tell you

I promise, I promise you this;

No wounds, no tears of sacred grief

No scars, no fears, no jowley cheeks

No troubles of mind or bodily pride

Could chase me away from you, or

Cause me to doubt, it’s true

If you were here now

  it would always be so,

There is only my heart

  full of love to say this;

If you were here now

It would ever be so,

I promise, I promise

I promise you this.

Poem: Oh, Precious Smile

The Girl with a Pearl Earring – by Johannes Vermeer, 1665

There is a smile I seek each day

It causes palpitations;

And heartfelt

fluctuations of my breathing.

There is a smile I seek each morning

Which causes mine to broaden

With extraordinary

chemical reactions.

No spell could cast a smile more perfect

Never disappointing

However long the waiting,

for this smile is worth it.

Come see what your vast smile

Has heartfelt grown in me

– Oh, but I think

You know; come, my love, and see.

Sam Cooke: What A Wonderful World…

I’m a sucker for a Sam Cooke song. So just because, here’s an old favourite…

 

 

Now, I don’t claim to be an A student
But I’m trying to be
For maybe by being an A student, baby
I can win your love for me

Don’t know much about history
Don’t know much biology
Don’t know much about a science book
Don’t know much about the French I took

But I do know that I love you
And I know that if you love me, too
What a wonderful world this would be…

Poem: Storm, Be Still

The storm in your head

The raging in your heart..

You cried out: get away, get away!

But

here, here was love dearest

And hope

 

The storm in my head

The raging in my heart…

  I heard, oh I heard: get away, get away!

  But

here, here is love darling

And hope

And how the storm raged, raged on

And hearts were caged..

Imprisoned,

unprotected,

weeping, hearing

get away!

get away!

Yet stayed the loved,

And stays

And hopes

Come home

Where peace eases, and heals

Oil poured on troubles

And love is free

Unbound, safe, protected

Free, growing strong

Stay

Come home

Poem: Musings On a Beard

I like a beard –

A proper beard,

Not shiny and gleaming

From waxing and preening.

I like a beard –

On the right face

A little wild and rough

Like a Papa Bear Gruff.

To snuggle a beard –

A beard that is shy

Worn to hide jowly cheeks

From the tenderness they seek.

I like a beard –

a beard makes me sigh

They remind me I need you

They remind me I love you.

I like a beard –

Or at least

I like yours.

Image result for beards

Deep Fried Mars Bars Pt 4: The Strangers in My Head [CN/TW]

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10 (NIV)

This post discusses intrusive thoughts associated with PTSD. Intrusive thoughts are also associated with other mental health issues including (but not limited to) OCD,  Body Dysmorphic Disorder, depression and ADHD.  

It has been a really difficult couple of weeks dealing with a bombardment of Intrusive thoughts.  It started a couple of weekends ago at work – a comment made by a customer on the telephone: a nasty, unnecessary comment which maybe some people would be able to ignore, and which I don’t doubt some people would excuse or justify in some way.

It was enough though. More than enough, and it is only in the last day or so that the severity of them has started to lessen again.

It is hard to describe what it’s like. The best analogy I have found so far is that it is like waking up in the morning to find a stranger in your kitchen, offering you a cup of coffee and an image of some appalling awful thing happening to someone you love. Worse, this stranger is telling you that this awful thing is something you are going to do. (No, it does not help to know that you would never do it).

Then you find another stranger in your bathroom, and this one offers a different image of something really horrible, being done to you by someone you love.  (And no, it doesn’t help to know that the person you love would never ever do such a thing).

And as you walk around your home you find that your house is full of strangers, all offering up different grotesque, vile images until there is nowhere you can go; even closing your eyes and pulling the duvet up over your head does nothing except make you feel totally alone with all these strangers, who seem to really really want these awful things to happen, because they wont shut up about it.

Those strangers steal everything: energy, emotion, sense of self, feeling, words – until inevitably, you break down, melt down, screaming and crying in a desperate effort to purge yourself of these … well, for want of a better word, demons running around your head and your house wreaking havoc.

Which, of course, doesn’t work, and all the demons are still sat around your table, eating your food, making a mess and plastering those horrid images everywhere you look.

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Those images – all of them, every single last one of them – are lies. Black, twisted ugly lies whose power is rooted, not in their falsehood, but in the veneer of truth that they steal from the past trauma(s) which have given birth to them.  These lies are not just meant to rob me of life, and of love: they are meant to steal those things away from the ones I love too.

For if I were to believe those lies, (and sometimes it is very hard not to), then I would tell my children I could not be their mother. I would tell my family I could not be their daughter, sister, niece, aunt. I would tell my friends that I was no good for them, I would tell my lovers that I am bad and a waste of time. I would live my life in hiding – and in fear.

I would (and sometimes have) push my friends, my family and my lovers, as far from myself as I possibly could, because the single biggest lie those intrusive thoughts tell me is that pushing them away from me is the only way to protect them.

But of course, by pushing them away, I am doing the very opposite of protecting them.

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Some days, most days, faith is all there is: not even religious faith – just a basic, hanging-by-a-thread-faith, that somehow, one day, or one little step at a time, there will be one less screeching demon with its vile images running around my head tomorrow.

Music helps – if music be the food of love, the play on (and on, and on please). Books don’t help (I love to read but simply can’t focus), but writing can – not poetry though: I need a quiet head for that. Increasingly, looking at paintings and photography helps. Anything really, that takes me out of my own head and takes focus off the thoughts and images that so belittle and undermine me.

Anything that stops me being so afraid to love.

Poem: Love, For the Giving

 

For the ones you most love in all of the world,

You would do what needs to be done;

No matter the danger, no matter the cost,

No matter how deep the scars of the battle

the scars left by sacrifice, the scars left by loss

the scars that yet heal when the battle is done.

When the ones you most love in all of the world

Still fight in a battle your heart pleads to end;

No matter how deeply the ache of the burden,

No matter how fear stalks the space of the waiting,

       yet keeping the faith, though so deeply you’re missing

   the ones you most love and so long to be living.

When the ones you most love in all of the world,

Have not yet come home, are not yet at the door

When to wait seems like the most meagre of things

When its seems like a love too piteous to bring

   yet whilst your heart beats you’d you still give it for them

   for the ones you most love, that they might live again.

   .