Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

Occupy Haiku

Occupy. It means:
to do things differently.
No more – and no less.

Recipe for a Sunday Afternoon

Turn the radio on to CBC French Classical, Radio Canada.
Turn the oven on to 375 degrees Farenheit.
In a food processor, blend together 1/2 cup butter, 2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, pinch salt, 1/2 cup sugar.
Tape an orange monster with a bellyful of Buzz Lightyear stickers to the front door.
Kick 3 toys to the side of the hallway on your way to the freezer to get the pecans. Make sure you use an appropriately satisfying amount of force.
Add 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, 1 egg, a generous helping of pecans, and somewhere between 1/4 and a 1/2 cup of milk to the batter.
Pulse.
Add a child-sized number of chocolate chips.
Fill the kettle and set to boil.
Pick up 4 squashed pieces of popcorn and throw into the garbage.
Drop the batter by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Take out an overly large mug and 1 teabag of chai tea, add too much honey and a weighty splash of milk, and top up with steaming water.
Stand in the middle of the kitchen and breathe in the smells.
Thank your husband for taking your child to the movies with a quiet prayer.
Remove the cookies from the oven and turn it off.
Pick up three burning hot cookies with your fingertips and place them onto a clean plate.
Sit down.
Click on the Mahjong icon.
Next time, add more butter, less flour, exactly the same amount of sunshine.
Go back for seconds.

Ready or not

Change swirls around me, a rising tide.
Comfortable in water, I float easily, watching, wading, immersed.
I see islands of indomitable resistance flooded.
I am swept past battered shores.
Nothing is untouched, nothing is spared.
Only those of courage, confidence and conviction will forget about the wet,
and remember to look up –
at the everpresent sky.

Great Glittering Coil

Great glittering coil:
Cars. Deadlines. Chores.
Useless fluff of life.
I try not to get caught in the slithering mess,
try to grow my roots deeper.
Sun my face brighter.
Disconnect myself from the leeching,
inching,
grasping coil.
Toil.
And turn it into a toile,
a veil,
a glittering canopy of stars:
my feet freeing me to dream.

October 10 = World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day.

Here’s some facts:
– Mental health can be described as an inner state of psychological bliss and well-being; mental illness is an absence of that state, not an absence of a specific diagnosed mental disorder or disease
– the estimated rate of mental illness in Canada is 1 in 5; the World Health Organization thinks the world rate may be closer to 1 in 3
– mental illness costs jobs, it costs taxpayers, it costs lives
– mental illness doesn’t discriminate – it hits rich, poor, young, old, every culture, every education level, every body and brain type
– we do discriminate against the mentally ill
– the stigma experienced by people with a mental illness adds to the suffering, and for some, can be more destructive than the illness itself

And here’s some flavour:
– unrelenting loneliness, doubt, fear, and worry
– body aching, heart aching
– slow drip of hope, swirling away down the drain
– every day just one more to get through
“don’t talk to me, don’t look at me, don’t bother me, don’t touch me, for God’s sake don’t bump into me, leave me alone, just please go away…”
– muting of colour, amplification of sound
– sinking quietly into the deep

In the end, we all struggle, some more, some less.
But we all struggle, and we all flounder.
In my experience with mental health, and mental illness, I’ve found that no matter what, where, how, and how often we struggle –
it’s better to flounder together.

Mental illness can be treated.
All mental illnesses.
Effectively.
But not if we don’t talk about it.
Happy World Mental Health Day.

The Space Within

In me, the sky stops by
for a breath of fresh air.
It brings its cold, its wet, its draughty vastness,
and leaves them, swirling,
as it moves on.