Friday, 9 May 2014

this isn't happening

Ivan the Terrible's hair shirt (16th century). The tsar wanted to die like a monk.
Warning: this post contains language.

You find me today in a typically self-loathing mood. The main reason? WALKING INTO WORK. Again.

I'm currently averaging one day a week walking in. It's really not enough. But I know that I'll always find an excuse - "ooh, it looks like rain", "I didn't sleep well last night", and so on and so on..

To be frank, that's all bollocks.

The main thing that stops me walking into work is fear of unlikely events happening which were talked about enough in my CBT sessions a couple of years back.

Knowing how unlikely these events are doesn't mean that I can switch my brain off. The old drip-drip-drip of unhelpful thoughts can keep any of us indoors.

The day I walked in this week I had a Board Meeting - I finished at 8pm but I felt great all day. Walking home with a friend, he actually struggled to keep up with me.

I know the benefits. I KNOW the benefits.

I just need to bloody crack on with it. And posting this to you is - in a sense - a way to embarrass myself into doing it.

To offer a bit of much-needed perspective, here's a poem which I picked up on Twitter earlier. One of my old Freelance jobs was to do with Literature Development in the East Midlands, and part of that involved me working with Jo Bell. She's a poet and was formerly Director of National Poetry Day - as a boat-dweller, she's currently Canal Laureate for the Poetry Society.

As I mentioned in my last post, any song lyric can mean something to anybody at any point in their lives - see great misunderstood songs of all time like "This Land Is Your Land", "Born In The USA", "You're Gorgeous".

(although Ms CrankyPants I'm still waiting for your interpretation of "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)")

And the same can obviously be said about poetry.

But this poem - "This Isn't Happening" by Anthony Wilson - is a remarkably accurate portrayal of what happens inside your head when you're handed a medical diagnosis which your brain cannot and will not compute. It certainly took me back to my own.
This is not happening. It happened. Past tense.
One day, every day, eight years, a minute ago.
When they told me, they said, they are saying.
Mr Wilson. Anthony. (Tony). Darling. My lover.
It looks like. If you could. You have great veins.
Here is a gown. Here is a bag. Here are your pills.
Yes, you will. Yes, you will. It will, yes. All of it.
We don’t know. (We will never know). We don’t know.
No. Because. Maybe your genes. More likely your.
It’s best if you. If you can. We advise it. Everyone.
One day, that day, this, after another, today, May.
I am not angry, was not, shall not be. But I am angry.
Today, when they said ‘Actually…’ A minute ago.
With perhaps and maybe. Not No. We love Yes.
Yesterday. When it happened. (Present tense). Now then.
It left, it is leaving, it never. I am still waving goodbye.

(view the poem on Anthony's website)
Anthony was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, at the age of 42. Thanks to him for being gracious enough to let me share this here.

5 comments:

Ms. CrankyPants said...

So, did it work? Posting it to us, I mean. Hope so...the dripping, irrational brain can really do a number on you if you let it. (For example, I am now semi-convinced I have non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.)

So that SONG has a rather UN-FAMILY FRIENDLY interpretation. Or, rather, my interpretation of it is non-family friendly. I am not sure you want me sullying your blog (again) with my off-color remarks. If you insist, I can probably be convinced to share using euphemisms and such.

stevedomino said...

Hi Cranky! FULL DISCLOSURE: no walking so far, I had to work at the weekend and was ├╝ber-fatigued. Got to get home early tomorrow (social event!) so not happening tomorrow either. But it will, soon.

It's weird that I feel I have to justify myself to you!

I'm reading between the lines of your euphemistic comment, so I've kind of got some idea of your interpretation. But just so I'm clear.... Be as coy as you like!

Ms. CrankyPants said...

I think it's perfectly acceptable that you feel you have to justify yourself to me! Good thing I'm not *totally* displeased by your response. :) I'm continuing the almost-daily trudge up the six flights of stairs, mind you...

RE: the song. Are you familiar with it? I suspect not, as (a) it's crap and (b) well, see (a). I do enjoy some Hall & Oates, though. (Mortifying confession: I have their greatest hits CD!) BUT! Back to the lyrics. How to put it delicately...there's no way. So, imagine, errrrr, there's an activity a woman likes that a man doesn't necessarily find equally (or remotely) enjoyable. THAT is how I interpret the lyrics: "I'll do anything that you want me to, yeah, but I can't go for THAT (noooooo, no can do)." What do you think? Maybe I'm just demented.

stevedomino said...

AMBULATORY ACTION UPDATE:
Managed to walk in today - it was great.

OF COURSE i know that song, we had it on a record called Chart Hits 82 (or something) and as a child I was quite taken by their plastic soul stylings.

your interpretation seems fairly on-the-money and you are far from demented - i know, i'm a sweet-talker (but i'm a little disapointed in Messrs Hall & Oates if that is really what it's about - fair's fair and all that).

no reason why you would, but again i urge you to check out the true (i.e. not true) story of the back-alley songwriting duel between Hall & Oates and Kenny Loggins & Michael McDonald from Yacht Rock.

Ms. CrankyPants said...

AWESOME AMBULATORY ALERT! I'll think of you next time (errr, like tomorrow) I try to think of excuses to avoid the stairs.

Glad you agree with my interpretation. And -- YOU were disappointed?! I used to fancy Mr. Hall, but these revealing lyrics made me reconsider dating him. OH, and I thought far, FAR too late that my original comment would have been much funnier if I'd said "...that a man finds distasteful..." Alas, I was not quick witted enough.

I watched the video and was amused; thanks for reminding me. There are many "artists" in my CD collection who would be STIFF competition indeed for Loggins/McDonald/Hall/Oates.