Monday, 13 April 2015

The Boss consults Q once more

The Boss consults Q his spiritual director once again

- Hi Boss, how goes?
- Ah Q it’s been a difficult time.
Q nods and waits patiently.
- You know that I have a close family friend with dementia?
- Yes.
- Well it’s really difficult and I am not handling it that well!
- Oh!
- I have been trying to make sense of it in my early morning contemplation but I am getting nowhere fast…. It helps me to think of old age and death as like flowers that gradually wither away, I find that a pleasing image, but dementia is different.
- Hmm.
- It just strips so much away, frightens people, deprives them of their humanity and causes others to mostly treat them badly… And I have to ask myself… have to say…. I believe we are created but how can God let this happen? I know that there are some things we bring on ourselves but this seems mostly not true with dementia and it feels so unfair.
- I understand.
- You do?
- Yes.
- Well explain it to me!
- I’ll try but I am not at all sure that it will satisfy you!
The Boss groaned and bowed his head into his hands, too weary to even get angry with Q.
- You know that you have those moments when it all makes sense?
- Yes! (The Boss leaned forward all eager.)
- In those moments you are not thinking?
- True, I am beyond thought… out of my mind.
- At that moment everything is reconciled? (The Boss nodded)… Even dementia?
- Oh….Even dementia! .... But how can I hold that thought?
- You can’t! What you can do it to remember the experience and trust in it.
- I like that but what if I forget it?
- You might.
- Will you remind me of it?
- Of course if I am here?
- You are not about to go away? (The Boss was a bit panicked.)
- No…. not just yet.
- Oh! (The Boss sighed.)
- Sufficient for the moment?
- Sufficient for now.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Crutch story(1)

Crutch stories: Yesterday travelled for the first time on a train to Chester for a meeting. Peter G dropped me off at the Uni café there whilst he parked his car. I picked up a sandwich, yoghurt and capacino and the woman behind the counter carried my tray for me! Lovely. On the way home got n a busy metro tram and everyone ignored my crutch and so I clung on to a pole using my recovering broken elbow for one step then grabbed an empty seat. I could have made my needs met but being English...

Friday, 30 January 2015

The Boss once more consults Q his spiritual director

The Boss hobbles into Q’s study on a crutch and settles down in the comfy armchair. He sighs and then says:
- But Q why did this happen to me…How did God let this happen… And why now… And what have I done to deserve this?
- It could have been worse!
- Whaat! The Boss was outraged.
- Well, God – if he did cause it – could have handed you an even worse accident!
- Even worse?
- Yes, brain injury for example.
- Oh.
The Boss was silent.
- Ok but the timing was awful… I was about to travel to Kenya to work there for a week.
- Hmm… but suppose it had happened closer to Christmas?
- That would have been unbearable… But are you saying that I should be thankful for small mercies… to count my blessings as my Grandmother to say?
- Cold do worse Boss.
- But really Q… why did this happen to me?
- You know! You served on your bike to avoid a pedestrian and-
- Don’t be supercilious with me Q. You know what I am asking!
- How this accident fits into the overall shape of things in God’s plan if you like?
- Yes.
- Well what happened to you in hospital and afterwards?
- I got bored a lot. Had to let people care for me even when I didn’t want them to. I was vulnerable, weak and needy which I hated. I was pathetically grateful when people did unexpected kind things for me. The male nurse who made me coffee and toast at 11pm when I was first admitted to hospital. The chatty volunteer who wheeled me in a wheel chair for communion that first Sunday.
- Hmm… a different experience of life for a while?
- Yes, and it continues. The crutch brings out the best and sometimes the worst in people, usually the best.
- Sounds like you are having a life changing experience.
- True.
- That strikes me overall as a good thing, whatever part God played or didn’t play in it.
- True and it was for me another opportunity to find out what really and truly matters to me.
- Well!

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Hospital cycle poem

Hospital cycle poem

‘I’ll need a commode soon’
She nods
The feeling becomes urgent
‘I am going to shit myself’
The words are forced out of me
She moves quickly
And arrives back
Just in time
It was a close one.

It was blind Colin
Blundering out of bed
Setting his alarm off
That woke Samuel
Who immediately began to
Climb out of his bed
Eric was asking for a nurse
In his quiet well-bred voice
It’s 4am and where am I?
Oh Yes, trauma ward in the hospital.

We settle down and then
Out of the frame
Rachel kicks off
‘Get out of here’
‘Get out of here’
She screams
And nurses get hit.

I don’t belong here
Well it’s true
I crashed off my bike
But these other guys
Have much longer back stories.

She wheels me to the chapel
For a moment of rest
And reflection
Bathed in the colours of the stained glass
And I’m weeping
Glad to be alive
And out of my head on morphine.

I feel a fraud
Just in for a quick bit of bone setting
And seeing how stressed
And over worked the nurses are
And how other people’s needs
Are legion
Compared with mine
But

It’s 9pm
And I’m wide awake
And the nurses don’t need me
I need them
But they are far away
It takes an eternity for them to
Respond to my buzzer
Or so it seems
And it’s soon over
And they vanish into the dark again
Or so it seems
It’s easier if you have
Simple physical doable needs
Or so it seems
Feeling lonely and
Needing a bit of company
Is different
Or so it seems.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

The patient with no name

The patient with no name

Please don't seem me as disabled
look beyond these signs of my frailty
Even if my mind is broken
look for my soul and spirit
Be in the moment with me if you can

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Rainbow

I aim to do some piano practice most days. It usually consists of the new piece I am working on with my piano teacher - currently Flower Duet by Delibes plus 2 or 3 old favourites - currently The Policeman's song and Autumn Leaves. The other day I decided to play Somewhere over the rainbow for the first time in about 6 months. After a couple of goes it all came back to me, my fingers remembered. Because I know and love this song so well I can put me into it more than many other songs. (You try doing a sad version of The Policeman's song!) So it becomes a subtle and different expression of my mood in that moment. Wow! Sad, angry, wistful, impatient, happy even or maybe a mixture.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Betweem me and you-and-me poem

Between me and you-and-me

Travelling
On my way
To meet you again

I travel
Therefore I am

Together
And apart

I become
A curious me
Inbetween
Being-with-you
And
Being alone