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I can and will. Saturday March 11, 2017

Sunday morning, brilliant sunshine, frost on the fields. I woke up to the usual emotional tsunami, not least self reproach at making so little of so much inner turbulence. But perhaps today, I will do more than drown. Perhaps today I'll tap out a blog. Surf each wave of "If only" with a mantra: "I can and will."

Firstly, let me share my guide to keeping my head above waters of misery, regret, self-loathing: you know these seas of bitterness and anguish:

1 Be brave (get out of bed and stick your nose into the world).
2 Be kind.
3 If there's someone in your life, you love, love them wholeheartedly.
4 Make someone laugh.
5 Make something.
6 From the end of Anne Michael's novel, 'Fugitive Pieces': Learn to give what you most need.

My town, like yours no doubt, has a shaming number of homeless people, some hardly visible beneath makeshift bedding and pitiable possessions stuffed in plastic bags. It costs nothing to have a word, costs little to hand over a coffee and a sandwich. And again, the stories I hear touch me and, yes, hand me a lifeline. One amazing friend, sick of the failure of the "system" faced the problem head on and bought a homeless person a caravan. Could I emulate her? If this is way outside my scope, at least today, I can talk to the woman on the bus who travels into town every day from an isolated village and who spends busless Sundays staring from her window and hoping her daughter will call. Can I ask someone I know in that village, to knock on her door?

And perhaps I can raise a smile by sharing Dorothy Parker's poem "Résumé" with you?

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

Come on, you moodscopers out there: join me as I swim to the sandbank, I know that just as I'm about to drown, one of you will throw me an inflatable.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Anonymous Sat, Mar 11th 2017 @ 5:58am

Thank you for this inflatable! I was struggling this morning to get to my sandbank! The mental chatter was starting to feel like it was winning, on its loop, whirling on, my heart hurting. It is such a gift to have your blog land in my inbox when I need it most. In terms of strategies, thinking about your helpful list, i would probably add 'study an animal'! If I watch a creature, be it cat, dog, or out in a park or garden or field, it takes me out of my head and calms me, causing me to reflect on how they can just 'be'.

Sally Sat, Mar 11th 2017 @ 7:06am

Yes, I agree, an animal is such a tonic. The birds are very busy at the moment, their song starts around 5 a.m.

Sally Sat, Mar 11th 2017 @ 7:04am

Fantastic! Jane, you've written succinctly and affectingly and as someone who finds lists and pointers useful, this is just down my street. I love the Dorothy Parker poem ! Wry humour, works though! Thank you so much for a great blog.
"Be kind, always. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about" is a roughly remembered quote that works for me. It's what you're saying, too, in effect, isn't it?
Have a good weekend.

Hopeful One Sat, Mar 11th 2017 @ 7:17am

Hi Jane- a heartfelt blog which is most appreciated. If I may say so you are doing all the right things to keep yourself afloat "above waters of misery, regret, self-loathing: you know these seas of bitterness and anguish: "as you head for the sandbank. You do not mention meditation. That would be my short and long term inflatable for you. Particularly the " loving kindness" meditation where one begins by saying" I abandon all thoughts of self hatred, self loathing, self condemnation, self contempt ,self disgust and name calling"(one can add whatever one wants to abandon).

I am entirely with you about ' make someone laugh' - it's you I have in mind today

The visiting church school supervisor asks little Johnny during Bible class who broke down the walls of Jericho. Little Johnny replies that he does not know, but it definitely is not him. The supervisor, taken aback by this lack of basic Bible knowledge goes to the school principal and relates the whole incident. The principal replies that he knows little Johnny as well as his whole family very well and can vouch for them, if little Johnny said that he did not do it, he as principal is satisfied that it is the truth. Even more appalled the inspector goes to the regional Head of Education and relates the whole story. After listening he replies: "I cannot see why you are making such a big issue out of this; we will get three quotations and fix the damn wall."

Jul Sat, Mar 11th 2017 @ 1:05pm

Great Joke Hopeful One. Julxx

Adam G Sat, Mar 11th 2017 @ 7:42am

Great post Jane! That poem put a smile on my face!

Orangeblossom Sat, Mar 11th 2017 @ 8:27am

Thanks for the terrific blog which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Hope that you have a refreshing weekend.

Brum Mum Sat, Mar 11th 2017 @ 8:52am

As I lie. In bed your blog is a wonderful challenge for the weekend! Up to walk the dog and listen to the babbling brook...and the poem made me smile. Thank you.

Cyndi Sat, Mar 11th 2017 @ 10:35am

Thank you for your blog. I can relate to swimming through a sand bank. For me, remembering that "this too shall pass" helps. Also at times like that, doing a gratitude list helps me. The act of writing down all things I am grateful for helps to see the "sunshine" .Even if I re write the same things over and over , it helps me to see them in print. And I too love playing with my dogs.

Nicole Sat, Mar 11th 2017 @ 10:48am

Thank you that was very emotive and heartfelt. As I felt moved to tears as , I think of my Mum who I cant visit this week as I have a awful heavy cold and fever and she's an hours drive away. I call her every day , sometimes hard to listen to her unhappiness. I have felt this week so sad about all the things , work ,family ,creative, that i want to do and yet cant. its hard to get physically ill when depression and anxiety is always just at arms . yet the kindness we can do for others even with a call is a blessing and although not always easy, its nice to know that someone somewhere can be cheered and then there are others who no matter what you do and offer them over the years , seem to not really see or appreciate it. those are the polar opposites of a real life. Nothing is one way or the other, but many ways are out there and in there too.

The Gardener Sat, Mar 11th 2017 @ 10:59am

HO, that joke! Thanks Jane, will cling to your blog like a life-raft - positively I am doing loads, and causing things to happen while Mr G is in respite. BUT. This afternoon will visit my neighbour when we were in the old house - a charming, elegant lady, who has helped me immensely with all my French translations - and we are great gossipers. She is 92, suffering exhaustion and high blood pressure - her husband is 92, nearly blind, and generally regarded as the town's champion MCP. I am going to cheer HER up. I went to a funeral Thursday - a friend - neighbours were a bit worried - went in last Sunday - found dead on the floor - had been lying there since Ash Wednesday (knew that, she still had ash on her forehead). For the poor, at our local supermarket the 'Restos du Coeur' (voluntary organisation which provides free meals) hand you a list of foodstuffs, and you donate as much as you can. It's a lovely day - I have all the curtains open the length (33 metres) of the ground floor, and I am PROUD. But, again, Mr G comes home on Wednesday - every respite I plan, tell myself I CAN do better, there must be a solution to coping with his misery and refusal to do ANYTHING. I know there is not - just had a notice for tax purposes that I spent 900 euros in 6 months just having him read to twice a week. Everything for the aged costs much less than in the UK, but it still costs. Grand-son due for Easter, lovely. He was here two years ago full of love and enthusiasm for what he was going to do for Grand-dad and give me some time off. Mr G flatly refused to go out with him - yet he is a most sensible young man, responsible, loving, a good driver and a good cook. Be brave, your first Jane. I did get out of bed - heard the 7 a.m church bells, had got myself back-ache gardening yesterday, so turned on my electric blanket and slept till nine - here we call that 'profitez'.

Jul Sat, Mar 11th 2017 @ 1:08pm

Oh no. I am dreading Wednesday almost Gardener. For you, not me. I thought Mr G was in respite for three weeks this time? It seems to have gone awfully quickly. I expect it will cost you too much to ask if he could stay for one more week? Bon courage. Julxx

The Gardener Sat, Mar 11th 2017 @ 11:04am

HO, re your joke. In my class at Grammar school (in 1945 only 5% of the population got in) was a girl who must have had a flash of genius on exam day. She was gloriously and beautifully dumb (she probably went far), To the question 'Explain the Glorious First of June' she replied 'It was a lovely day and my birthday'.

Hopeful One Sat, Mar 11th 2017 @ 2:33pm

Hi Gardner- LOL.

Amy Sat, Mar 11th 2017 @ 11:11am


Jul Sat, Mar 11th 2017 @ 1:04pm

Lovely blog Jane. Yes there are always kind people out there who will help us if necessary and we help each other enormously here on Moodscope. I love the Dorothy Parker poem. Thank you for sharing this with us. I hadn't come across it before. It's glorious weather here today. Before we know it we'll be complaining about the heat. But I am going to try to enjoy this Spring weather, not too hot, no rain or clouds and enough of a faint chill in the air to be able to walk fast. We don't get enough days like this each year. (Here in the UK). I felt your blog had some promise in the air too Jane. Thank you. Julxx

Tutti Frutti Sat, Mar 11th 2017 @ 1:48pm

Thanks for the blog Jane. It hasn't been the best of days I have had a little dip recently and am tired and hassled and had a silly argument with my husband this morning but the poem raised a smile. Thanks also to HO for the joke which I enjoyed. Love TF x

Maria Sat, Mar 11th 2017 @ 2:28pm

Wonderful blog Jane. Love the poem. Being kind costs nothing but is rich in the good feeling it gives me. I volunteer for an organization that provides food, supplies and (during the winter) shelter to the homeless population in my community. It's funny, I may be having a really rough day but I feel so much better when I help others.

DAVE Sat, Mar 11th 2017 @ 4:01pm

Well done JANE,
Such a forward thinking positive, uplifting, delightful, inspirational blog.....Like the TV on/off switch....We let only the good enter our hearts and the rest is in someone else's imagination !
More please JANE.
Dave X.

The Gardener Sat, Mar 11th 2017 @ 5:25pm

Jul, thanks for your concern - people 'rallying' neighbours backing me up, saying don't worry if Mr G bothers them. I decided 'now or never' and signed up for Facebook. Now can't understand the technology. Lovely day, attacked my garden, but it fought back meanly and now I'm short of sticking plasters!

Leah Sat, Mar 11th 2017 @ 8:11pm

What an uplifting blog.. I read Fugitive pieces nearly 20 years ago as part of a book club and found it moving on many levels. I thnkk many of us intuitively give what we need. I see that on Moodscope all time when another is struggling people rich to write supportive comments even if they are struggling themselves.
Dorothy Parker has been a favourite writer of mine and that poem makes me sad and smile.
Not only will I throw you an inflatable I will then bring you onto my boat!
Thanks again for being honest . Leah x

Jane Sat, Mar 11th 2017 @ 11:21pm

Hi all, just wanted to clear up any confusion. This wasn't my blog, must be another Jane. I'm the Jane whose brother died and has commented a lot lately. Looks like I may need to change my blog name now! Anyway - to the Jane who did write this, great blog!

AlieN Sun, Mar 12th 2017 @ 9:20am

Death is a brick through the window
Shards of glass cut us to ribbons
The loneliness of loss: a bulldozer
Destroying life
But still the seeds
Want to grow.

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