Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft.

19 Apr 2016

It's a lonely place, space.

I'm not sure which is worse; calling out in pain to the universe only to have the universe ignore you, or to be calling out to a stricken fellow ship, knowing your communication is bouncing off the hull – its occupants unaware of your desire to comfort and to help.

Each of us seems to be at times an isolated craft, drifting helplessly in the blackness of infinity. We can see other spaceships out there. We can see populated planets. Sometimes it seems that we are the only ones with non-functioning communication equipment. We are alone. So alone. Everyone and everything has deserted us – even God Himself (for those of us who would claim a religious faith).

Then again, sometimes we refuse to listen.

Those of us who have pets know that if our beloved cat or dog feels unwell, they will hide away with their pain. We have to physically drag them out from under the bed or from behind the sofa and force them to the vet. Their instinct is to retreat from the world with just their pain for company.

And – I sometimes do that myself. I retreat to my writing and my books. I have friends who do just that too. I send words of hope and comfort but those words are rejected with a snarl. Just like my cat when he is ill, my friends spit and claw at me when I try to help. Except they use words, which hurt more. And their withdrawal is much further and more complete than to a hiding place on top of the kitchen cupboard. It feels as if they have withdrawn to the Garnet Star in Cassiopeia, about 5,000 light years away.

It hurts me that they are dealing with their pain alone when they don't have to.

"But I don't want you to suffer too," said one such friend recently.

"Too late. When you hurt, I hurt. Please let me help."

"You can't help. No one can help. Go away."

It has taken me many, many years to stop withdrawing when I hurt; when the blackness comes. It has taken time after time of going through the pain to understand that my friends actually want to stand by me. It has taken courage to open up and accept help. And it has taken a lot of understanding to realise that I need to train my friends in the way they can help.

Everyone is different. My friend on Garnet Star needs to train me. And they can't train me while they are hurting. I must be patient and wait for their return to earth.

In the meantime I will continue to send messages of love and support.

And hope that some of them at least, get through.

And – for those of you who now have the title of this blog as your earworm for the day – here is the glorious voice of Karen Carpenter for you – the extended mix as it was the inspiration for this blog:


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Mary Wednesday

April 20, 2016, 6:14 a.m.

Please note that I am unavailable to reply to any comments until late this afternoon. (That's assuming that there will be any comments. You never know...)


Hopeful One

April 20, 2016, 7:22 a.m.

Hi Mary- thanks for highlighting this issue which we all face. Physical pain is one thing but psychic pain is something quite else. I have read that it is considered to be worse than any physical pain we could ever suffer. The difference I suppose is that there are remedies such as drugs to relieve physical pain but virtually none for psychic pain. For that one has to communicate and get emphatic understanding something which is not so easy to find. The very nature of psychic pain makes that communication difficult for the suffer. But if we are to get any relief then we need to do that. The Joke Squadron found this one in its cross wires. A husband and wife are sitting quietly in bed reading when the wife looks over at him and asks the question.... WIFE: "What would you do if I died? Would you get married again?" HUSBAND: "Definitely not!" WIFE: "Why not? Don't you like being married?" HUSBAND: "Of course I do." WIFE: "Then why wouldn't you remarry?” HUSBAND: "Okay, okay, I'd get married again." WIFE: "You would?" (with a hurt look) HUSBAND: (makes audible groan) WIFE: "Would you live in our house?" HUSBAND: "Sure, it's a great house." WIFE: "Would you sleep with her in our bed?" HUSBAND: "Where else would we sleep?" WIFE: "Would you let her drive my car?" HUSBAND: "Probably, it is almost new." WIFE: "Would you replace my pictures with hers?" HUSBAND: "That would seem like the proper thing to do." WIFE: "Would you give her my jewellery?" HUSBAND: "No, I'm sure she'd want her own." WIFE: "Would you take her golfing with you? HUSBAND: "Yes, those are always good times." WIFE: "Would she use my clubs? HUSBAND: "No, she's left-handed." WIFE: -- silence -- HUSBAND: "****"



April 20, 2016, 9:01 a.m.

Loved this - thanks HO!:)


April 20, 2016, 7:25 a.m.

Thanks again Mary. As always I enjoy reading your blog which I find very thought-provoking & encouraging. I can also echo a great number of the points you make about wanting to withdraw & hide with my books!



April 20, 2016, 7:30 a.m.

Mary, Brilliant analogy and a great blog – great to see it from both sides. I often feel like I am in a soundproof box screaming myself hoarse and no one can hear me. But by the same token it is hard to open up to friends as there is a fear that you will scare the heck out of them and they will run screaming. Utterly amazed when I have spoken up and that this hasn’t happened. Apparently depression lies. “Everyone is different.” Blogs like this one make me feel that we are more similar than we are different and it is deeply comforting to know I am not alone and that there are others who feel like I do. Thank you for sharing. Lou



April 20, 2016, 7:47 a.m.

I have just spent some very enjoyable time watching YouTube videos of Karen Carpenter. Her voice is haunting and wonderful. Thank you Mary for reminding me. I think I need space to deal with crises in my own way and time. It's nice to know my friends are still there but I am not sure I would want them continually asking after me. When I felt ready I would rejoin them. I think that respecting a friend's wish to be silent for a while is the sign of a strong friendship. This is how I would deal with it and I know it works for me. But we have to judge the situation and our silent friend before we act. I have always dealt with crises of my own and of my family on my own so I know I can do it. I feel I need my friends more when times are good. Julxxx


Mary Wednesday

April 20, 2016, 5:24 p.m.

Jul, you have no idea how pertinent your point is, as I was very forcibly hold to be quiet recently. So - I am staying quiet although the pain it causes me to do so is - considerable. The next blog might well be on when to speak and when to stay silent!


April 20, 2016, 8:38 a.m.

Fantastic post Mary. Hope you enjoy sunbeams on your lovely face today xx


Still picking figs

April 20, 2016, 8:46 a.m.

And I'm floating in a most familiar way, but the upshot is, the stars look very different today. Useful analogy Mary, thank you.


April 20, 2016, 9:26 a.m.

I was reminded of Michael Leunig's poem: *** bless this tiny little boat And me who travels in it. It stays afloat for years and years And sinks within a minute. And so the soul in which we sail, Unknown by years of thinking, Is deeply felt and understood The minute that it's sinking.



April 20, 2016, 5:42 p.m.

Thankyou, Kat. I'm an instant fan of Michael Leunig. Peace & Love, Richard.


April 20, 2016, 4:58 p.m.

Gotto love any blog that includes Karen Carpenter! I'm not sure there are any occupants left in my ship today, but hey... if there were, they'd be waving... Lxx



April 20, 2016, 5:45 p.m.

Thankyou, Mary. As always, your blog is poignant and relevant to my life. Peace & Love, Richard.



April 20, 2016, 9:36 p.m.

Interesting, my friends are very good with me, giving me space but also letting me join in even when all I can do us turn up and sit. With regards to helping others, I tend not to unless I am asked, I have found that some peeps although telling me the same story of woe for a considerable time are not receiving, just broadcasting, and so I just have to listen as any advice or help just gets lost in space (ah, ha ha, see what I did there?) I am very happy to help those who hint or ask for it though. I need not to retreat when ill with grief or anxiety /depression as it makes me worse, so I tend to avoid it unless I'm physically I'll, which I am a bit right now. thanks Mary, hope the juggling of life is going well. And Bear and ratg hope you are well.



April 20, 2016, 10:44 p.m.

Mary what a beautiful blog. I too have learnt about how sharing helps after many years of escaping to garnet star, but still that star is so appealing and magnetic. It takes great effort to stay away from it sometimes. I love this new imagery you have given me. Thank you.


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