Oh my, yet another year, yet another set of resolutions

1. Get organised – my neuropsychologist says I must do this if I want to stay on the same planet as everyone else, so i’ll try

2. Go to gym –  yeah right, that one was made to break

3. Don’t drink so much –  the new tablets I’m on get me drunk very quickly so it won’t be too difficult keeping this one, hopefully

4. Go swimming – even less likely than gym, but I can have ambitions

5.. Learn to cook apple crumble – mmmm, I’m hungry

6. Make some money for once – anyone want to buy a beautifully hand-crafted limited edition Rude Mechanicals poster of a beastly creation?

artist

Incidents and accidents, hints and allegations

manyheaded

This is my head, yes there are a lot of voices in it, talking away, trying to control what I think and do. I’m trying to quiet them a bit at the moment, sssshhhhh… Can you spot yourself in there? Lots of my friends have become voices, it is not good. However, although they are problematic I am also addicted to them somehow, I talk to them constantly, and my brain also unconsciously searches for voices in the fans, in the light buzzing, in the noise after the record. This is why I chose the old gods, because its better for the voices to be gods than people I know. The clock is in the drawing because I always get the feeling that I should be doing something other than what I am doing, like now I should be tiding the flat and buying food for the dinner I’m giving tonight, and preparing for the interview I have on Saturday and the workshop I’m giving in the afternoon and so on. I must stop this feeling.

But now I must correct some mistakes, hints, and allegations…

Firstly I am NOT a born again christian, or indeed a christian of any sort. A reader of my blog somehow came to this conclusion. I think it is more likely that I get burnt at the stake. When I talk of God I am referring to a huge, unspeakable thing that IS. It can be talked of as a symptom of my brain disease but it is more than anything else and must always be in my life. It appears in the most ridiculous things, bottle tops, cracks in the paving stones, stains on the table, but no matter how ridiculous its placement it still is everything, life, the abyss, everything. This is very different from the Christian God I think.

Secondly, children. Just not meant to be.

Do I have them or want them? I’m very frequently asked this, it is annoying!

I guess it is asked of all women of a certain age and I’m just glad I wasn’t born 50 years earlier. The truth is I may look alright but I am in fact an alien in disguise, my body doesn’t comply with the things other human bodies do. It is not just my brain, I get endless surprised comments from doctors about the oddities of my body. I know my uterus isn’t “right”, this doesn’t definitely mean I can’t have children, but history suggests there is something not happening. And I’m fine about that.

I like children a lot, but really I knew from an early age I wasn’t going to have any. I was going to take over the world (obviously, I’m alien) and there just was no time for this children lark. My family disagreed though, they are a very child based family, “women that don’t have children go weird” they said. When I’m with my family I feel valueless because I don’t have children, and this, in the past has made me want them. The idea of having a child has also been an imagined escape route, a way to change my life when I am not happy with it.

Around this time last year, after the removal of the large cyst from my ovary, I ceased having periods, my stomach swelled and I felt nausea a lot. I did a pregnancy test and it was positive. I went to the doctor, I wasn’t pregnant, it was a side-effect of the operation. It broke my heart though, in a way, because it made me picture a loving family of my own which I can never have.

That makes it sound like I am upset that I can’t have children doesn’t it? But I am not. I like my life as it is, and children and conversing with God are two things that have historically never gone well together.

Kay, the cat, is a cat, and not a baby, I have had animals around me all my life, why must people now assume I only have them to satisfy my need for children? And if I do turn into a mad cat lady so be it! I shall have company in the cats, God, the voices in my head, and the ability to draw trees. Anymore would be greedy. (Oh yes, and I’m taking over the world, along with the trees, very very slowly)

Aliens hanging around the place

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The aliens are here now. They have been hanging around for the last three weeks. At first they were just in my flat but now they are following me around. They were at the print club last night, it was a little disconcerting it being such a small room.

At first I thought they were my neighbours next door, there is a lot of very energetic men in there 20’s next door, who are always sliding in and out of windows and fences, but if it was them they’d have done something by now, not just hang around. Then I thought it might be the council because they want me out of my flat they are trying to find evidence against me, or even the government. Then I realised it was aliens again, they have visited me before, and for some reason this is much more believable and comfortable. I don’t know what they are doing but it doesn’t seem to be harmful.

Yes of course it is me hallucinating, my brain being mutant, but that is just one side. For me to say they are simply hallucinations and try to completely ignore them is for me to hide from myself. It is better for me to accept that aliens are visiting me with good intent and live happily with that.

They are from a realm, or dimension, or whatever, that exists here just next to ours all the time, we just don’t normally have access to it. It is very powerful. My seizures, and I imagine certain drugs, open the door to it. That is not necessarily a good thing, the seizure I had today was painful and involved my bedroom pillow growing many faces which were laughing at me and tearing apart my being, tearing apart everything I am from inside.

Time and space do not exist there in the same way as they exist here. An omnipotent being is in everything and everything is breathing. It is a mistake to try and hold on to your identity there, because it will be ripped apart and torn from you.

But yes, the aliens hiding in the corners of my flat, dashing past me when I’m cooking or watching the computer, curling up with the cat or standing next to the coats, are visitors from this alternative realm and in a way I am pleased to see them. They remind me that there is always an alternative, and that somehow, I have no idea how, there is a way to break the current flatlined  spell we are under.

Beetle Fascination, The Fifth Dimension and Nettle Soup

The beetle strutting across the dead stag’s shoulder was a Dor Beetle, a type of dung beetle. I look it up when I get back to London. It is of the scarab beetle family and looks very much like the ancient Egyptian symbol. I decide to draw it on hand made paper, a drawing of its back and a drawing of its blue belly. I will make a scroll, though it is taking a long time to draw!

London seems very flat in comparison to the woods. I struggle making conversation with people, there doesn’t seem to be much to say. On the Tuesday I visit the garden a friend has donated to me (sort of). I dig up lots of stinging nettles. It seems like a waste to just throw them out so I decide to make nettle soup that evening. My hands get stung to bits in the process of making it, but it tastes alright.

There is some left over so I have it again the following night and now it tastes delicious. It also seems to have the effect of making me ludicrously happy. Rude Mechanicals are having a band meeting round Jowe’s and I just can’t help praising the effects of nettle soup and the wonder of the scarab beetle.  I’m also hallucinating quite a bit, the guitarist Cos turns into ex member Phil, “Man from Uranus”, at one point and everything is decorated by exotic spiders. The wine soon calms that though.

Thursday night I volunteer at Treadwell’s bookshop and learn about magic stones in the medieval period.

Today, Friday, I feel like I have a cold. I can’t walk properly because I dropped a spade on my foot whilst gardening, it wasn’t painful at the time but now hurts a lot. I spend the day drawing the beetle and poplar tree branches which is very enjoyable. Why do I find drawing by hand so much more enjoyable than drawing on the computer?

On a stroll about Newington Green I smell a very strong smell like burning rubber. I look for somewhere to hide but all I can find in a hurry is a doorway. I curl up in a ball on the pavement and look intently at the ground for the pavement is doing amazing things. It has become something like out of space and is covered in very intricate colourful patterns, but the patterns are also people I know, not sure who, and then they are no longer people but gods. Only gods is the word I use for them now, at the time they were all powerful things that knew everything. And there was a snake like creature that swam in between them laughing. It is a different dimension, the rules that apply normally don’t apply there.

Anyway, I come round to several very worried looking faces starring at me. The pharmacist from the chemist takes me into the shop and gives me some water, when I have my words back I explain to him that it was just epilepsy and it has passed.

And that was my week. I’m teaching tomorrow so better go to bed now.

IMG_0663A picture of nettles and some variegated plant.

Death amoungst the Trees

There was a beautiful stag lying on the floor of the wood, it had obviously been lying there for some time. My arriving made it panic, it thrashed its head about madly but couldn’t move its body. I hadn’t seen it till I turned the corner, it shocked me. It was dying slowly.

i pulled away and circled it from a distance. I couldn’t see any wound, there was no blood. It was a male, quite young I think, and well fed. He lay under the oak tree I drew last September and just before the beech tree where I had found the dead pigeon that moved with maggots. How odd that I should see two deaths in the same part of the wood. At the time I saw the pigeon I was worried about my dog dying, the dying stag brought that back to me, the night spent listening to him gasping for breath, his beloved food left in the bowl, stroking him on the vets table as they gave him the final injection. I’m told he was buried under a rose bush.

The stag seemed symbolic somehow,  I felt the woods telling me an old story.

If I see the death of the stag as an offering to Jupiter under his symbol, the oak, does that make it seem more just?

It is not that I mind things dying, things have to die, but why was I there to see its slow death? I told Lou and Mike who own the woods, and took them to the spot where he lay. They considered trying to speed up his death but weren’t sure how. A phone call to a friend who knows about such things told them to leave him, stags are strong and hard to kill, we may have just made his death more horrific. When I got back to the cabin I gave a little prayer for him, to whichever god was listening.

At 10 the next morning Mike reported that the stag was still alive. I didn’t go and see him, didn’t want to frighten him any more. At 4 in the afternoon Mike visited again and reported him dead. I went up into the wood to see for myself. The area stank now. Mike had moved the body from its original position and dragged it into some bushes, its eyes had glazed over and insects were clustering around the edges. A very handsome black Beetle was determined to climb onto the body and after repeated attempts triumphantly strolled across its right shoulder with its fine petrol blue legs. The flies were gathering, this was now food.

Not an offering to Jupiter or any other human God, but an offering to the woods.

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Successful escape and no angels taken hostage.

Today was beautiful. It is the day after my birthday. I wasn’t teaching as I do that on the weekends at the moment. The sun was out, I accidentally ended up strolling down the canal, had a coffee at a small hut by a lock and watched the water pass on by. I thought about how much happier I am now to how I was this time last year, how stressed and anxious I was in that flat in Hammersmith. I think it was the traffic that did it, six lanes of traffic going past my door. It made me ill psychologically and physically. I don’t think I can quite blame it for the cyst on my ovary, but the general poor immune system it caused didn’t help.

Every day I walked out of my door I cursed the traffic. I dreamt of them all crashing hideously into each other, imagined how I could blow them up. I’d walk down the street cursing them under my breath. There was black dirt under my nails all the time, I’m sure my skin was grey, if it was raining the traffic would race though puddles splashing pedestrians with black water so that my coat had a permanent grime to it no matter how often it was cleaned. The traffic haunted me, its sound spilled over the flat despite the heavily reinforced windows, it would appear in my sleep in the early mornings as I started to become conscious. I would sometimes sit on my sofa in the front room and watch the traffic jam outside, wishing death on every single person who sat behind a wheel on that road. I was a real life troll in the basement. The smell of engine fumes tainted everything.

The council had offered me the place seven years ago. I’d moved in because it was cheap, big, had a garden and my previous drunken neighbour had been threatening to throw me out of the window. I thought I would get used to the traffic, some people can, I didn’t. If anything I grew to hate it more each time I walked down the street. It put a bitterness to everything. As soon as I could I joined the the council housing swap site, but this proved to be futile, full of daydreamers who like snooping around other peoples homes.

An article in the local paper warned visitors to the area to avoid walking down Talgarth road, especially asthma sufferers or those with health problems. Nothing was mentioned about the residents.

The men I dated became my dream of an escape route. I would move in to his big house in Clapton/help him decorate his flat in Finchley/buy a narrow boat with him on the canal/escape with him to Hastings. All these failed of course, how could they not, a lover is not an escape route. When the last of those dreams collapsed I got very depressed. The pain in my abdomen from the ovarian cyst made things worse.

The old alien in the brain, with its propensity to cause hallucinations means depression in me can become paranoia. Friends were plotting against me, I was trapped,  I couldn’t breath properly, they were poisoning my air. I managed to keep it under some control, age helps you learn how to deal with these things better, I managed to hide this from those close to me but it spilt out occasionally. I remember being horrible to friends, getting angry with my band, shouting at a friend who had organised a gig for us, and for all this I am very ashamed.

Rude Mechanicals, my band, have a song called Flying Lessons. It is about how I have captured an angel and am tearing off his wings for myself and learning to fly. It is a song about the desire to escape. I wrote it a long time ago. It seems I have spent a lot of my life in situations I don’t like but relying on others to get me out. I think now I am learning how to escape on my own.

In the end I had an operation to remove the ovarian cyst, which got rid of the pain. Wow, sometimes one forgets what not being in pain is like!

The lovely Mr Hastings left me for the east end of London. I gave the home swap one more determined effort and prayed to the gods. It worked! I have escaped Talgarth Road!

The bundle of hatred and anxiety I was is unravelling itself and for now at least I am the happiest I have been in a very long time with no need to escape.

Happy birthday to me

a dinner party
Etiquette – A Rude Mechanicals song. Drawn on computer by me trying to get to grips with Adobe illustrator