My Desert Island Discs

Memory lane

Photo by Colin Lloyd on Unsplash

This got written because Lee David Tyrrell  tagged me in his Desert Island Disks. Belcairn  is part of this too. J.R. Spiers  must be involved.

My first song is Baker Street .This went with my first kiss and the first album I ever bought. I would buy albums for my sister’s birthday so that I could listen to them. Actually, I had many albums by Genesis before this.

(142) Gerry Rafferty — Baker Street (Official Video) — YouTube

Second is I want To Break Free by Queen. It is associated with college and leaving home. I love Queen, and Freddie Mercury in particular.

(142) Queen — I Want to Break Free (Official Lyric Video) — YouTube

I was care free and had lots of male company. I find men easier to connect with. That said, I have girlfriends that are long lived.

My third is Girls Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper.

(142) Girls Just Want to Have Fun — YouTube

My daughter and I would dance to this and sing the harmoniesWe had fun, and also would sit in my bed watching movies. Our household was crazy.

My fourth is With or Without You by U2. I was crazy about U2, but would play this on rare time off working in a recovery unit near L.A. I would drive up the mountain, and sit looking down at the lights.

(142) U2 — With or Without you — lyrics — YouTube

My fifth is Everybody Hurts by R.E.M. It speaks for itself. We all feel hurt sometimes

(142) REM — Everybody Hurts Lyrics — YouTube

My sixth is Romeo and Juliet by Dire Straits. It is associated with love, travel, and heartbreak. A road trip from Liverpool to Surrey with Dave, who introduced me to Dire Straits. I should have married him.

(142) Dire Straits — Romeo And Juliet — YouTube

My seventh is Sunday Girl by Blondie. I’m a Blondie nut. This song reminds me of my sister.

(142) Blondie — Sunday Girl — HD — YouTube

We spent time alone without our parents and when she went away for nurse training. This song seemed to on the radio a lot. My sister was a huge influence on me. She died too soon, much soon. Young. I miss her.

My eighth is You Bring Me The Sunshine by Jess Penner.

(142) Jess Penner — Bring Me The Sunshine — YouTube

This makes me think of me. Being loved and loving others. It is my ringtone. I love her voice, light and fresh. It makes me think of my daughter, who dances since she was three, runs cross-country, 1500m, and 4x400m relay for her school. Always placed. She canoes and paddle boards and is strikingly beautiful in a fresh, smiling way. It brings to mind the love of the recovering addicts I mothered while I researched my Ph.D.

My book would be To Kill A Mockingbird. I read it in school aged 13, and have returned to it many times.

My luxury would be seeds. Because there would be a lagoon I could lie in to get cool. Seeds for flowers, tomatoes, cucumber, and raspberries.

I want to mention Living Next Door To Alice as it is so entwined with my sister.

(142) Smokie — Living Next Door to Alice (Official Video) — YouTube

And Joy Division, Cars, The Corrs, lots of classical music.


Sadness Brings Us Closer To Ourselves

Our souls are expanded by experiencing difficulty. Whether one calls it the soul, the heart, the mind, or the spirit, humans grow as they encounter the trials of life.

Long before Freud, Jung, or any other psychologist, Rainer Maria Rilke, poet, said;
“That is at bottom the only courage that is demanded of us: to have courage for the most strange, the most singular and the most inexplicable that we may encounter.”

He wrote this in a letter to a young man in 1904.

Poets by nature reflect on many things in life. My journey in this world has shown me the suffering of others and the difficulties they face.

I have worked in countries where children die of curable diseases because rumor are spread about vaccines being some kind of western poison. In some countries, like India for example, a visit to to the doctor is incomplete if they do not leave with medicine — most commonly antibiotics. This is tragic as we become immune to them and we can die of sepsis because of the immunity. That is a terrible death.

Seeing such mysterious beliefs and so much poverty, has caused great sadness. I embrace it because I am human and thus have compassion. Sometimes, all we can do is sit and experience sadness or grief, hurt, or rejection. This is the expansion of our soul.

When we do this, we begin to know ourselves

This increases our empathy for others. We gain insight to the human condition beyond our own. We become better humans. Better poets.

We do not need to hold hold onto these feelings forever. We heal, we are heard, mostly, and we can find solace in nature, gardening, walking, or making things. Knowing ourselves.

But our souls are expanded. Enriched. We gain wisdom from our experiences as well as our education and reading. We learn to make sense of our lives and the world around us. We have self-knowledge, and therefore we are of more value to the world, even though many may walk away from our growth.

Published in Know Thyself, Heal Thyself


I realise I have lost all my resilience…

The last two years since my sister died have been very hard, and since last year when Mike ghosted me because he ‘didn’t want to be my cook, cleaner and nurse’, twenty four hours after he proclaimed his love and that he would not let me die alone, my emotional strength has been even more fragile. I also lost my dog a week or so after the death of my sister.

I have had some bad news today and have wept and feel I will never stop weeping.

All the PTSD I’ve suffered because of my neurological disease seems to haunt me again, and feelings of worthlessness are constant companions. I have no resilience to weather the storms, even literal ones. And the loss of the view of the harbour has impacted me deeply.

I am a changed person since September last year, and the passive aggression of Abby G Poetree has hurt me far more than my relationship with her warranted. I had been trying to nurture a friendship, but she is hard work.

I am grateful to Tanya and John. They are friends indeed, and during this pandemic we all need to show kindness more than ever before.