When was the last time you tried something new?
– Last month, learning the Danish language.
Do you think crying is a form of strength or weakness?
– Strength, as letting go of what is hurting us and a sign to move on from it as best we can.
Are you living or existing?
– I try to ensure I live in the moment but some days feel like it is existing by joining the dots going from day to night.
Are you holding on to something you need to let go of?
– Yes, some personal stuff that still hurts from my past and impacts on the present.
How old would you be if you didn’t know how you are?
– Mid-70s, feel I have seen the world many times over and so many repeats but yet still room for surprises too.
What makes you smile?
– Seeing a message from one of my closest friends or my niece Isabella’s excitement at life without the jadeness we gain with age.
When was the last time you listened to the sound of your own breathing?
– The other day when sat watching autumn leaves fall around me.
What has life taught you recently?
– Some people will always judge others by their standards or how they think life should be lived, best not give them your oxygen or time.
Can you describe your life in six words?
– A cryptic maze with false paths.
If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make mistakes?
– As in admitting we were wrong or caused an error leaves us feeling exposed and vulnerable, thus open to pain and hurt.
If life is short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t?
– We dwell too much on negativity and find positivity really hard, but should focus on we do have or are not would like or had.
Is it more important to love or to be loved?
– Both, as being loved shows us what love is and we should share that with those we feel are important in our lives (not just on anniversaries and special occasions).
What act of kindness were you were once shown that you will never forget?
– My closest friends by believing in me and encouraging me when I was not able to do so for myself.
What is your goal for the next six months?
– Find the middle of the maze.
If you could live one day of life over again, what day would you choose?
– Hard to single out one day as changing things would change who I am now but days filled with good memories I would like to keep being special for their uniqueness.
If we lived in a world like something from a science fiction novel where we could go for a full body scan at any time that would tell us what was physically and mentally wrong, which would be followed up with a customised pill to cure whatever was wrong with us, would we live differently to as we do now? Would we be free from bullying and abuse or jealousy and envy? How would we define or set limits to what a normal human body should and should not be capable of? Would a human being’s blueprint be just like we read about in science textbooks? What about individualism? Would we see that as dangerous as all should looks and feel the same with a hive mind? Is being different being abnormal?
Now consider the world we do live in. Why when someone is diagnosed with cancer, arthritis or asthma are our reactions different to dissociative identity disorder, schizophrenia, and anxiety? Why do some let a diagnosis change how they see a person was from the person they knew yesterday? Why are they now not normal, and what therefore is normal? We are not robots or clones, we do not experience this world in the same way as anyone else has or ever will again. A book can only so show much of the human experience, but does not allow for individualism that comes from being true to ourselves and living life the way that is normal for the journey we alone are on.
What about the future? In the past we may have swept problems or issues under the proverbial carpet to locking someone up in an asylum as a danger to society, but even now mental health issues are stigmatised as cannot see by looking at someone how much they are suffering mentally. More and more the world is getting darker with fear, greed, envy and jealousy, instead of light with hope, empathy, compassion, and understanding. Unless some of us start to punch holes in this darkness it will only continue until we all stagger around blind and deaf to the needs of others. Today World Mental Health Day, so let us use it as a stepping stone to hold open doors and windows with light today and every day.
Many trees of the forests are now ablaze with fires,
But the flames will never burn their leaves,
One by one Mother Nature painted with her brushes,
In every shade of red, yellow and orange.
Most get caught in a melancholy duel with the wind,
Sounding like a plucked harp’s many strings.
All leaves hope not hear the fatal G’s trap door open,
As automatically drops them to the ground.
Some leaves stand by on guard always in army green,
But never in wanton jealousy, hate or envy.
For these are the chosen ones to protect from Mr Frost,
With his chilling laughter turning all white.
For when he laughs the whole world shakes in terror,
Even human teeth chatter in fear of his name.
Others go to sleep to hide from his malevolent shrills,
Only to wake when the other leaves return.
The guardian trees are not alone in protecting the Earth,
Hidden are a secret air force ready to strike.
Sat high among the branches are birds in a chorus line,
Keeping their ears open for his opening aria.
So they can swoop down onto his long wrinkled fingers,
Pecking to make little holes through the skin.
And drown out his laughter with their harmonious song,
Filling his whitewashed landscapes with light.