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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Haiku on Stranded/ Black/ Watch/ Event


Stranded and braided
Someone's hair on a wig stand
Awaiting bald girls

Fat man at Bondi
A stranded whale on the beach
Needing protection

Respirator care
Stranded between life and death
Accident victim


Told to clean some boots
No black polish anywhere
Just have to lick them

A really foul mood
The Black Dog of Depression
Just bit him again

I wake from blackness
Was trying to meditate
Just too exhausted


You can watch this space
With your no mind vacant stare
Meditation girl

A watch with no face
Hour and minute hands move
We still mark the time

With respectful awe
We watch the storm unfolding
Passive observers


Cross country event
Jumping over poles and dams
Race against the clock

No event this month
So in about eight months time
May be an event

An eventful year
Excitement has never stopped
Can we take a break?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Haiku on Spike/ Winter/ Jaws/ Journey


Spike in referrals
More and more people depressed
Terrorism News

Temperature spike
Body fighting infection
Immune system rage

A grumpy old sod
Irritated by most things
Parents named him 'Spike'


Without your loving
Life would be one long winter
Miserably cold

UK for Christmas
Experiencing winter
And then flying home

Remembering loss
And all those special people
Winter in your smile

Garden in winter
Sleeping and dreaming in peace
Renewing its soul


Jaws is a good word
Playing serious Scrabble
A score of fourteen

Big jaws, hands and feet
Could be neurological

Jaws on to a close
Comedian's monologue
One final sound bite


Journeyman painter
Travels with expeditions
Captures animals

They came in thousands
To journey up the mountain
Seeking the Godhead

Souls journey through life
At the terminus they change
To begin again

Transverse Myelitis and Confidence

In my constant search for improvement in my recovery, I am finding it may be a question of confidence in my ability, rather than the ability itself, that has been slowing my progress. I guess if you walk funny like I do, you avoid walking in public places.
But it is more than that. I continue to be unsteady on my feet when walking. I am also a visually impaired in my right eye. So if I cannot see a path through a crowd, I tend to wait until can.  That makes me tentative, and I miss opportunities. Then I get cross with myself (particularly if we are on a tight schedule), and I am sure that does not help. So I try to stay positive and believe that the crowd will open up to let me through. I have been using a stick for a couple of years, and this does act as a signal for others to avoid me (but then not everyone is setting out to be aware of cripples; they just want to get on with their own lives).
I find that I overplan a journey, visualising each step of the process. So we went to the ballet to see ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ the other week, in honour of Jan’s birthday and our wedding anniversary. I drove into Brisbane from home, and was pleased that I had remembered the route, and had made enough time to get into the city and find a car park. I had ‘rested’ for a couple of days to ensure I had the energy. So I was able to climb stairs from the underground park to the forecourt, and get to the closest restaurant. Sitting eating dinner provided a rest, and refreshed me to do the walk along the concourse to the theatre. I felt really confident. Then I was thrown. Jan had trundled off to get the tickets, but by chance had come across a wheelchair and attendant who agreed to take me to the theatre. I was really cross, which was stupid. It was a great idea, and very caring, and was conserving energy etc. But I had planned it all carefully, thought I could do it, and just that small incident threw me into a spin, and it took time to swallow my pride, and just get on with it. Jan was just being kind and sensible. But I had to work at stopping being a prick. And for a while I felt my loss of confidence.
Anyway, the ballet was fabulous, the seats had extra leg room (recommended when I ordered the tickets), and once I was over myself, the evening went back to being a success (give or take a couple of hiccups).
As I have noted in a couple of recent posts, I have been gradually building up my walking, and also the frequency (up to 3 times a week) and length of getting on the indoor bike (from 20-25 mins).
So yesterday we went to the wedding of a nephew and new niece. Great family gathering! Again, I planned out the route and the timing. I had been to the toilet 24 hours before, so that problem was fixed (and fixed in my mind). I actually restricted my fluids the night before and in the morning in case there was no toilet at the church. No problems. I drove down the motorway, and we used the ‘Navlady’ to find the church, arriving with 25 minutes to spare. All good. Except for the fact I had forgotten my stick. Ah well, walk funny, go slowly, get on with it.
Went to the toilet, just as part of my routine, but did not really need to go. The church was built on a hillside, so there were two flights of steps to get in…. Just get on with it… slowly. Got a nice rest during the ceremony and during photography, and then we piled into cars and drove to the reception in a great place overlooking the Brisbane River. We negotiated the 5pm Friday traffic, and found a handicapped park close to the venue, and I felt able to walk as long as I had Jan’s hand protecting and supporting me. Nothing else for it but to get on with it.
Great evening, very classy reception, and lovely to catch up with extended family. So towards the end there was great dance music, and we were both watching with envy. Jan and I met at ballroom dancing classes when we were 15, and had always been great movers (or thought we were). So taking my confidence in one hand and Jan’s hand in the other I suggested we get on the floor with everyone else. I do not move freely, so I planted my feet and moved my body to the music, allowing Jan to dance more freely (admittedly on the spot…). I had not seen that smile of hers like that for a long time. I was so glad I did it.
So after some more rest, and then a round of goodbyes and hugs (all supported by Jan’s little hand in mine, we did the ritual toilet break, walked to the car, and I drove home.
So how did I do all that, with my residual paraplegia? It is a matter of confidence. If you like I may be doing some sort of ‘confidence trick’ on myself, but it worked. We have come to earn that pushing me a bit is not detrimental, as long as I can do something, and then have a rest before doing something more (an amazing insight for me). I did not have an accident (which could have undermined the whole thing).

I am a bit sore today. But I do not care.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Haiku on Champion/ More/ Hard/ Curse


You could do so well
Perhaps be a champion
In throwing tantrums

Do me a favour
Would you be my champion
And fight all my fights

A champion in bed
Has time to finish first twice
Before I get there

I used to dream dreams
Always being the winner
Champion dreamer


I'm more or less old
Much more old than yesterday
Less than tomorrow

More, said Sir Thomas
My surname is proudly more
Then he lost his head

Could do so much more
With cash from tax avoiders
To improve world health


Let thoughts come and go
It's hard to think of nothing
Remember, and smile

Hard lesson in life
To let all your loved ones go
Remember, and smile

Everyday walks
Recovery from nothing
A hard fought battle


This rain is a curse
Except to all the farmers
For them a blessing

With incantations
And recipes from witches
They lifted the curse

Twenty seven club
Morrison, Joplin, Cobain
Curse of musicians

Monday, April 11, 2016

Haiku on Luck/ Bare/ Least/ Storm


A smoking joss stick
By chance my favourite one
As luck would have it

'New' luck maker kit
A totally empty box
'Coz you make your own

I'm lucky at cards
And I am lucky in love
So much for 'sayings'


Asked to bare my soul
I took my shoes and socks off
Fool! The other soul...

Bare necessities
All tucked into my back pack
Other things can wait

We are barely sane
After all the massacres
Humanity lost


The least I could do
Passive smoking evidence
Gave it all away

The least we can do
Those struggling with their health
Must receive free care

A strange conundrum
The least important of us
Is still an equal


The storm is over
Righteous anger muted
Until a next time

He put his oar in
Stirring quite vigorously...
Storm in a teacup

The lightning flashed
Thunder roared from the storm clouds
Blue bird flew away