Hello my Dear Readers!
Well, being the writer of a blog it is always good to see a lot of hits and a lot of feedback when I write something. The trouble is it is hard to really know what brings in a lot of hits in the way of keywords or content or title. I have kind of been going hit and miss, trying various things. I think that as long as I have breath in me I will keep writing this blog. At the very worst I can compile all of my entries one day and have a few copies printed up as a book.
I am curious how many writers out there read my blog. For a time I was focusing on a writing theme, but more recently I have changed to a mental health theme. Any feedback would be hugely appreciated as to what people want to see more of, etc. As always, in the case of mental health and in the case of wanting to write, I should stress here how important it is to keep a journal. I started out my own writing hobby, which has almost become a career with a journal and then since I had time on my hands I expanded to write movie and book reviews in another journal. I am almost sure the first ones weren’t anything to ‘write home about’ but I kept them and one day when I feel brave I will head down to my basement and dig them up. I recall, either from the egotism of a young man or some delusional aspect of my mental illness that I felt everything I wrote should be preserved, I even expected people to save and print up my emails. I suppose that sort of thing would have its place, but it seems silly now. One way it doesn’t seem silly is when I hear about my cousin who taught at Churchill College in Cambridge that he had actually studied hand-written letters from W. Churchill himself. Amazing!
So yesterday I wrote a poem to include in my blog and I have to admit it was kind of gloomy. I was lucky enough a while back to connect with a reporter her in Edmonton who read my books and he told me he didn’t like them, that he felt they were dark and other things. I have to admit I am guilty of that. I wish somehow I could capture the dark feelings I used to get when I was young. It is sad to think of, but when I was 17 I really had the world by the balls. I had so many opportunities before me, I had a beautiful, fast car and a job that I really liked. But each day when I was on my way home I would be in a seriously dark cloud of stark depression. I had no idea at the time that it wasn’t a normal reaction to a day’s work. Lately when I let things go for a while, like today and yesterday when I have been sleeping a lot and not doing much (I have been down with a flu/cold) I get down, I even think suicidal thoughts a little, but very minor stuff, nothing like the pits of self loathing that I used to get into. It was hard to ask for help back then too, I didn’t really know where to ask. One thing I do recall was that my mom was going to get me in to see her Psychiatrist but I ended up declining at the last minute.
In my young days there were so many warning signs, but I don’t blame those around me, I kept my affairs closed up. I was reeling from constant arguments with my Dad and bullying at school and even in the home so I had pretty tight lips. I think a thing I learned in cadets would apply in this case. When we were out doing training in the field and it was raining, we would ask our assigned buddy if his socks were dry and then stick our hands into his or her boot to make sure they weren’t just trying to be tough. I think that people these days need to do a sock check, but for their buddies’ mental and physical health. What that requires is a great deal more education about mental and physical well being, something I don’t think our government in doing enough of. Personally I am going around to schools as requested giving talks about mental health for the Schizophrenia Society which is great, but something should be worked into the curriculum. A fact we like to stress in our talks to students is that 1 in 4 to 1 in 5 people will seek treatment for a major mental disorder in their lifetime. It is hard to imagine, but that is a massive chunk of the population. Anyhow, though this is something near to my heart, I should also make the point that being diagnosed or being treated for a disorder isn’t the worst thing that can happen. I recall my days being untreated negatively, but once I got a good medication working for me life really began to improve. I hate to think I am saying this too much as I am sure I have mentioned this in a post before.
Well, anyhow, on to a lighter note, I have been buying coffee table books. I bought a massive art book that must weigh 50 pounds and some smaller ones. I have so much fascination with paintings from the sixteenth and seventeenth century that are incredibly lifelike because if they are done well they can capture the very character of people that are long dead and gone. A good painting in this way is to me a lot like time travel. I enjoy a lot of art, but I am most moved by oil paintings like this. There are a lot of works to enjoy in the books I got though, and I have also bought a few coffee table books on the second world war. I used to collect war books but at one point in my life I gave away my collection but now after watching the reality TV show Pawn Stars a lot I have developed a new fascination for history. I also have some hope of writing more articles about historical events, plus my trip last year to Hawaii where I was on board the ship where the treaty to end WWII was signed has sparked a lot of interest.
My Dad seems to think I am taking too much on, and I agree with him. Sometimes my day starts at 4 am and is interspersed with naps and goes on until I am completely exhausted or have a rare day off. It is a difficult thing to balance in life because on one side a person doesn’t want to waste away their lives passively watching TV or listening to music, but it is hard to deal with stress in other ways. Once again, I would love it anyone out there reading this has insights for me.
Well, Dear Readers that is about it for today. I think I rambled on and didn’t say much but I hope someone out in that vast blog-reading world feels otherwise. As always, feel free to email at firstname.lastname@example.org and don’t forget to scroll past the below photo for today’s poem!
Hot Summer Night
To you my secret love I offer the very best of myself
I can no longer let my love waste away on a shelf
I sought for all of my time on this earth for one just like you
And finding you saved my life; made me feel born all anew
There had been so many dark days when I didn’t think love could be
And even now I admit you and I are not matched perfectly
But forever there has been something in your lovely blue eyes
That betrayed you needed me, though you knew you were truly a prize
I noticed you and saw such good in you before introducing myself
So much beauty, such wisdom, both of them better than any wealth
I knew that you and I would have things to talk about for hours and days
I found you simply fascinating in so many ways
By some strange miracle we ended up close friends then lovers
You were like an epic novel so much between the covers
But that glow from our passion one day faded away
But you are still my very best friend to this very day
Through many years you brought my life such joy
And now I’m a middle-aged man, when we met I was just a boy
I want to let you know how much happiness that you bring
Into my challenged life despite that you wear another man’s ring
Although you are the love that I wanted most as years went by
It doesn’t hurt you are pledged to another I don’t know why
As long as we can share the simple things that you and I like to do
I am happy to play second fiddle to your man for you
The love that I have for you has never felt wrong
And all of your family makes me feel like I truly belong
So I just want to tell you on this hot summer night
Your love and your friendship are my life’s greatest delight
May 26, 2015