Tuesday, 23 August 2011


Grief draws
big black lines
around my loneliness
heightens all my fears
Grief lays stark every vulnerability
and doubt
and dusts away the cobwebs
of memories both lost and hidden.

It comes again and again and again
an unwanted monsoon storm,
a necessary cruelty
and I keep hoping that it is just a season
that the sun will shine on me and warm me again
but the days get colder, gloomier,
and winter must first be braved.

Friday, 19 August 2011

I doodled all the day.

And it wasn't easy, because drawing is what 
gives me the most pleasure (more than writing, even) 
and yet I always feel guilty about how "useless" it is. 
I know, I know, is the Mona Lisa useless, is 
the Taj Mahal? Have heard all that before, 
but it doesn't stop me from feeling guilty that 
I wasn't doing something more useful for humanity. 
It's the old I-must-save-the-world mentality, and yes, 
I do realise it's quite mental, but there it is. No advice 
required, I already give myself PLENTY on this topic.

Besides, guilt nonwithstanding, I did manage 

to allow myself the pleasure of a long doodling 
session with lots of twiddly details and colouring-in 
of white space. I was inspired by an old school friend 
who has a wonderful page on Facebook, The SuRealist, 
where she posts time-lapse clips of her doodles and lino cuts. 
(Go there and Like it!)

It was fun. And even better: it was useful! It cleared 

my mind of all the static that usually clutters me up 
(I'm assuming the clutter transformed and translated 
into all the squiggly bits I drew) and it made me happier 
and lighter. I suppose it was therapeutic but that sounds 
so clinical, so I'd rather just say that it just gave me joy, 
and that's a pretty useful thing to get these days.

P.S. Yes, those are elephants and no, those aren't teeth, 

they're piano keys.

Friday, 5 August 2011

How to Prevent Murder

"The dramatic term soul murder probably was coined in
the nineteenth century; it was used by the great Scandinavian
playwrights Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg. Ibsen defines it
as the destruction of the love of life in another human being.
In psychiatry, the term was made familiar by the paranoid
psychotic patient Schreber, whose Memoirs (1903) were
the subject of one of Freud's long case histories (1911)."

- Leonard Shengold, from his book Soul Murder Revisited
(click the title to read Chapter One)

Monday, 1 August 2011

Let him see you cry.

(For E.)

Let him see you cry.
He is a baby. He knows something about crying, already.
He will understand.
That you are cold and wet and alone.
That you hunger for something to fill the emptiness.
That you need a hug.
That you need him to love you.

Let him see you cry.
He is your son. He looks to you for answers
To questions he can’t yet ask.
He feels their absence too.
He senses your grief.
He watches both your sorrow and your strength
And sees how to become a man.

Let him see you cry.
He is not too young to learn what it is to be human.
Your tears teach him.
That it takes courage to show vulnerability.
That deep pain is only created by deep love.
That love is what matters.
That love is what lasts.