Category Archives: Writing

PTSD

It’s a never ending nightmare
A long dark tunnel
A permanent panic attack
Pain in my chest
Never feeling safe
Down the rabbit hole
Into unreality
I’m reaching out
Trying to slow my fall
Wondering what is real
Hoping I will wake up
Holding in my rage
But discovering
I turned it in on myself

Advertisements

Unravelled

​I found this poem in my facebook memories for today, and had to look it up to discover where it was from. I liked it so I thought I would share it. 

The book was probably the best one I had on pregnancy loss because it was offering art as therapy rather than just commiserating about the loss. As it turned out, the art form I chose was writing (and my first attempt at NaNoWriMo was an unexpectedly intensely personal piece of fiction that I haven’t been able to even go back and edit because it was so raw, but getting it out helped me I’m sure). 

I like this poem because, while it is heart-rending and painful, it is more beautiful than dark. I hope you enjoy it.

After three months
of silent stitching

what finger let slip

what growing row of cells

unravelled, loosing life and

leaving the lap empty?

– Olson Binder, 1993

Quoted in Grief Unseen, Healing Pregnancy Loss through the Arts by Laura Seftel

Dream Fury

I’m not really here, I’m really writing NaNoWriMo, but for some reason, my dreams at night are running rampant, so I thought I’d share them!

lady-in-black-cloak

I woke up so furious from a dream, I felt as though my blood were boiling. For some reason I was back in [that other place], and offering to do an arts and crafts workshop on pens! I packed all my various sets of pens and laid them out to show a certain person who once ran the children’s group despite her own child having grown up years ago (who shall remain nameless), and she vetoed the whole thing, and said it wasn’t ‘viable’. So I packed my pens angrily away into my holdall, saying “don’t worry, I was just thinking of doing it in somebody’s home, I’ll organise it myself.” But she started saying something along the lines of that being quite impossible (as though she controlled what went on in other people’s homes!) I packed even more angrily, and she accused me of stealing some cardboard or wooden crap of her own, which I hadn’t done, I just moved it out of my way, which I told her and said it was ridiculous, why on earth would I want to steal her rubbish? So then I stormed out (storm in a teacup, remember? Bitches!) and I stormed through the market, bumping into everybody. Everybody seemed to be wearing black, and I think I was wearing a big black cloak with a hood. I wonder what on earth prompted that, after so many years.

A second dream, I was somewhere up north, I don’t know what I was doing but have a feeling I was in a hospital for some reason. Husband was supposed to be coming to meet me but he kept sending messages saying he was delayed, so I decided to drive myself. Another girl persuaded me to take her with me, and she was supposed to be going to Nottingham, but she didn’t want to go home, so we decided to just abscond together, no idea where we were going. Strange, eh?

And there was another (I think these dreams are actually in reverse order). This one may well have been set in a hospital, it was definitely some kind of institutional building, and as usual, I was on the run, rushing through the building trying to escape and eventually I hid in somebody’s bed, but we were discovered, and we rolled off the bed on to the floor and both started running again.

That last one seems to be my typical dream format. I’m always on the run or being pursued, I have no idea why.

Perhaps I’m just crazy enough to be a writer?

Abandoned Hope

Cast off the mooring,

The rope in the boat,

And watched it floating away.

No Treasure But Hope

I really know very little about Irish history, it is not something we are taught in British schools (not even the British side of the story – it’s just brushed aside completely, at least it was when I was at school, and I doubt things have changed significantly in that regard) which makes me a little sad as it is part of my heritage.

So I thought I would share this famous poem from the Easter Uprising of 1916 to mark its centenary, and since hope and despair as well as freedom and escape are such common themes on this blog.

The Rebel

I am come of the seed of the people, the people that sorrow,
That have no treasure but hope,
No riches laid up but a memory
Of an Ancient glory.
My mother bore me in bondage, in bondage my mother was born,
I am of the blood of serfs;
The children with whom I have played, the men and women with whom I have eaten,
Have had masters over them, have been under the lash of masters,
And, though gentle, have served churls;
The hands that have touched mine, the dear hands whose touch is familiar to me,
Have worn shameful manacles, have been bitten at the wrist by manacles,
Have grown hard with the manacles and the task-work of strangers,
I am flesh of the flesh of these lowly, I am bone of their bone,
I that have never submitted;
I that have a soul greater than the souls of my people’s masters,

I that have vision and prophecy and the gift of fiery speech,
I that have spoken with God on the top of His holy hill.
And because I am of the people, I understand the people,
I am sorrowful with their sorrow, I am hungry with their desire:
My heart has been heavy with the grief of mothers,
My eyes have been wet with the tears of children,
I have yearned with old wistful men,
And laughed or cursed with young men;
Their shame is my shame, and I have reddened for it,
Reddened for that they have served, they who should be free,
Reddened for that they have gone in want, while others have been full,
Reddened for that they have walked in fear of lawyers and of their jailors
With their writs of summons and their handcuffs,
Men mean and cruel!

I could have borne stripes on my body rather than this shame of my people.
And now I speak, being full of vision;
I speak to my people, and I speak in my people’s name to the masters of my people.
I say to my people that they are holy, that they are august, despite their chains,
That they are greater than those that hold them, and stronger and purer,
That they have but need of courage, and to call on the name of their God,
God the unforgetting, the dear God that loves the peoples
For whom He died naked, suffering shame.
And I say to my people’s masters: Beware,
Beware of the thing that is coming, beware of the risen people,
Who shall take what ye would not give.
Did ye think to conquer the people,
Or that Law is stronger than life and than men’s desire to be free?
We will try it out with you, ye that have harried and held,
Ye that have bullied and bribed, tyrants, hypocrites, liars

P H Pearse

In Memoriam, My Dad Spock

This post originally appeared in The Fellowship of the King magazine to coincide with the first anniversary of the death of Leonard Nimoy. The following is an edited version:

My Dad – of blessed memory – passed away in  February 2011 after a long and painful illness, a shadow of his former self. At the time, my children did not cry. Whether it was due to their youth, the long months of hospital visits or the fact that his death was not unexpected I do not know. But when Leonard Nimoy died last year all of us, myself included, unexpectedly found ourselves crying bucket-loads of tears as though the floodgates of all our former grief was opened and allowed to deluge.

When I was a little girl in the 70s, I watched Star Trek The Original Series re-runs beside my Dad, often from the safety of behind the sofa. I grew up in a religious home that was curiously dominated by stories of science fiction and time travel – partly because it was one of my Dad’s favourite topics, and I adopted his passion in part because I grew up honestly believing that it was my Dad who played Spock in the original television series. It was a foolish notion of course, and I was mistaken. But somehow, that idea came to form part of his personality, and he did occasionally play up to the part.

My Dad did bear a passing resemblance to Leonard Nimoy, with sleek black hair in his youth and a long, thin face (although he lacked the pointed ears of course). But more than that, his own character seemed to bear a striking resemblance to the logical Vulcan.

Leonard Nimoy grew up an outsider, a Ukrainian Jewish immigrant in a religious Jewish community in Boston that accounted for roughly 30% of the population that was otherwise largely Italian. That experience of ‘otherness’ undoubtedly informed Nimoy’s creation of the character of Spock. Half Vulcan and half human, he was neither one thing or the other, but he choose to establish his identity by emphasising the Vulcan side of his nature. My Dad grew up third generation Irish immigrant in north-west London, neither properly Irish nor properly British, in a culture where Irish immigrant families worked hard to hide their roots if they wanted to appear respectable, and my Dad had absorbed the traditional British reserve – quiet, apparently proud and haughty and humourless with no hint of regional accent in his speech, seldom speaking and never giving away information he didn’t need to, and above all with those famous Irish emotions firmly under control – just like Spock.

My Dad also grew up in a religious community, and although he never lost that faith, he found himself most comfortable in the company of non-believers, his closest friend being a committed atheist with whom he enjoyed a surprisingly playful debate. His friend Jim (yes, really!) seemed somehow to bring out the best in him. It was in his company that he was most often to be heard laughing and joking and arguing good-naturedly. Like Kirk with Spock, the two seemed to complement each other and Jim’s bare-faced, brutal honesty – challenging him to anyalyse why he believed what he believed – ironically allowed him to drop his guard and be the person he really was behind the mask of control and respectability. Of course, he did indeed have an undercurrent of deep emotion – joy and pain, and of course a healthy sense of humour – but other than on these rare occasions, he kept them firmly under wraps.

Leonard Nimoy wasn’t overtly religious as an adult, although he was raised in the Orthodox Jewish tradition, but he did of course bequeath to Star Trek and the wider world the traditional ‘shin’ symbol of priestly blessing representing the name ‘Shaddai’ in the form of the Vulcan greeting; and outside of Star Trek, Nimoy famous published a book of his photography of Jewish women, with commentary on Jewish tradition and scripture, entitled ‘Shekinah’, referring to the feminine aspect or presence of God.

Star Trek is replete with religious symbolism and ethical quandaries (although Gene Roddenberry is often portrayed as being an atheist and of course sought to answer the ethical questions from a secular, humanist perspective, in fact all indications point to him being a seeker and in fact in a 1994 interview he was quoted as saying “I’ve elected to believe in a God which is so far beyond our conception and real understanding that it would be nonsense to do anything in its name other than perhaps to revere all life as being part of that unfathomable greatness.”) Star Trek of course features a series of demi-gods and false gods who are capricious and unworthy of worship in the end but the topic continues to come up as though a continual question in Roddenberry’s mind, as though – unsatisfied with what he saw as the human portrayal of God, he was looking for a God who was truly worthy of worship.

Leonard Nimoy’s famous final tweet: “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP” was achingly beautiful and appropriate, but he was always one of the nicest people on Twitter – always signing off with “LLAP”, “Live long and prosper”, the traditional Vulcan greeting.

The Vulcan belief system was referred to as ‘mysticism’ rather than a religion with dogmatic formulations seeking to ‘put God in a box’, perfect for the seeker who sought a God who was too big to be put in a box.

One of the most obviously Jewish ethics is the Prime Directive itself, which may essentially be boiled down to the golden rule of “do no harm”, followed perhaps by Star Trek’s mission to explore (“to seek out strange new worlds”) and to do good, ‘Tikkun Olam’, to ‘heal the world’, a foreshadowing of the Gospel message, and that seems to have been a guiding principle of Nimoy’s own life and indeed of my Dad’s.

When Spock sacrificed himself for the crew in ‘Wrath of Khan’, resulting in his untimely death, and was then miraculously revived by the Genesis Device with a new body and a mind transformed to innocence in ‘The Search for Spock’, we can detect echoes both of the Passion and of the hope of the Resurrection to come.

“Of my friend, I can only say this: Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most… human.” – Jim Kirk of Spock, Wrath of Khan.

Ultimately, despite his Jim’s influence, my Dad’s first and deepest love was for Christ, his love for science and science fiction merely exploring aspects of the imagination and possibilities of God’s creation. My Dad was eager to depart this body of death to be with his Lord – “absent form the body, present with the Lord“. We who remain mourn, but look forward with hope and joy to a time when there is no more sorrow, no more tears, no more poverty or misery, greed or selfishness and the world is finally, fully healed and in this way the Star Trek vision will be realised.

 

 

Protected: Lessa and F’lar Erotic Fanfiction

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

The Bajoran Exile

I thought I would let you guys (and gals?) know that, in my slightly housebound/ bedbound state, fuelled with the passion of misery, I’ve been writing like crazy, just not here.

I decided to indulge one of my passions, namely Star Trek, and have started a whole new blog, The Bajoran Exile. It’s actually something of a resurrection of a blog that I used to write about 8 years ago now, but which got deleted while I was incommunicado (actually, the whole platform was deleted) when we lived in Devon with no internet connection.

ds9

I haven’t abandoned this blog, but I do get bored quite easily. Sorry. I may have to change the furniture around a bit. But if you enjoy the idea of Life, the Universe and Everything looked at through the lens of science fiction, pop on over and take a look.

Really and truly, it’s all the same old stuff really – grief, misery, anger, frustration and red-headed fury (that’s why I identified so much with Kira Nerys of course). I will try and make this my happy place.

I’ll still post reviews here of any books, films or music that isn’t science-fiction related, plus my dreams (even though they do occasionally feature Jean-Luc Picard. There’s a confession. Plus, if I have a burning desire to share my opinions on current events I’ll post it here. (I bet you’re waiting with baited breath. No?)

I haven’t had a huge amount of interaction really, so I think that ultimately (although I would like more interaction – comments and suggestions are welcome, constructive criticism only please though, please) I am writing for myself, for my own pleasure and amusement, to make sure that my (formidable) brain doesn’t turn to mush while my body seems to be deteriorating.

I did, though, a few days ago – in a very dark moment – post a challenge/ threat/ slightly suggestive of suicide note on Facebook, throwing out a ‘fleece’ for God, saying that if I wasn’t healthy by the end of 2016 that I might leave the station (DS9 of course). I don’t normally feel like that, I’m not suicidal, I’m not even sure I’m depressed. But my quality of life right at this moment is pretty damn pants, and I don’t like it. I don’t intend to allow my body to deteriorate much further.

So, unless I have any remarkable dreams to share, or a miraculous Christmas recovery, my next post will probably be along the lines of drawing up New Years Resolutions. But I do reserve the right to be completely fickle and change my mind. Catch you on the other side.

LLAP.

 

 

Life with ME

Pacing
Is a thing
We’re supposed to do –
Determining
At the start of the day
Which activities
To choose
And which
Must fall by the way.
No matter
That we only get to choose
Half a life.
Which half
Is worth preserving
And which must be
Sacrificed?
Can you pace your emotions
So you only feel half sad –
Mildly disappointed
At the injustice
Of being cut down in your prime?
There are worse things
To suffer
After all.

(c) Sharon Tootill (Shoshana) 2015

Why am I Hiding?

I dreamed a dream in which I was hiding, running, moving backstage through dark corners, behind curtains, around stairwells, navigating through a maze of books and belongings.

I was in a school. I didn’t know to begin with what I was hiding from, until I became aware that I was being pursued.

I was being pursued by a man in a light brown coat and scarf. He was of indeterminate age and features. He reminded me somehow of Mulder from the X-files. Something about his manner frightened me.

I turned around to see that he had been waylaid by a young girl. She might have been about twelve. She had light red hair in bunches. Her uniform was navy blue. She was talking to him about art and literature. They seemed engrossed in conversation. I wondered if he was really pursuing me at all? Perhaps I had imagined it.

But then she turned away from him and he was waylaid once again by a group of children who all wanted his attention.

The girl came toward me and moaned, “I am looking for the writer” and I answered and said, “You had his attention already. Why did you come to me?”

And then I looked at the man, and I knew that he was me.

I woke up. It was nearly 4am. I was a little bit dazed and confused, and wondered what it meant, when I realised the little girl was me too.

I’ll ponder the symbolism in the morning. In the meantime, I just thought I would share it as I quite liked it. My best stories come to me straight out of my dreams. 🙂