AT THE EDGE

There is nothing between us now
I am at the edge
Looking in
And suddenly
I am there, part of the picture
Alone
But All One
As the sunset enters my soul
No longer a picture
But part of me
I part of it
And in this moment
I know
Eternity

#FOWC

https://fivedotoh.com/2022/01/23/fowc-with-fandango-dogged/

She had a look of DOGGED determination on her face. At the age of ninety, she could almost be forgiven. But you just couldn’t take her anywhere any more. 

It was a Sunday morning. The morning that her son Pete always took her out. He had come to dread it. Usually she wanted to go to a Garden Centre or something. She was happy amongst plants. She was also happy where she could get up to mischief. And usually there was no shortage of places where mischief could be got up to. Pete was worried. They were going to a real big Garden Centre today. She could cause avsolute chaos.

Pete was right to be worried. Just as they were making their way to the coffee shop, Flo spied a kind of hammock thing that swung backwards and forwards. On it was a Notice which said,

“Do Not Sit Here.”

That was like a red rag to a bull with Flo. How could she possibly resist? She suddenly put on a spurt, and the next thing that Pete knew was that she had gone right up to the hammock thing, removed the Notice and sat down on it. There she was, swinging back and forth, her legs going up into the air. Pete was mortified, yet, underneath, he was having to stifle a giggle.

“Good old Flo,” he thought. “Nothing is going to stop her.” And in a way he was proud of her. This was his mum.

STORY PROPOSAL

I am considering writing my story of going blind – or at least part of it – here. I am busy when I am well enough to, writing my life story, which is a very different kind of life story, which I am not posting in here. But for various reasons I think it would be good to post some of my story of going blind and what it is like, and how it affects people going blind later in life, in here.

I have often been compared with other blind people (often unfavourably), because most blind people seem to manage. I was often compared with another blind lady at a group I used to go to, but she was much younger than me and had the constant help of her able bodied husband. She could also walk, and was not ill in any other way. When that happens I remain silent because what point is there in saying anything else?

My husband and I have worked very very hard at finding ways through. Of finding aids. Of learning Apps on the iPad (I can’t use a laptop because I am unable to get into the ohysical position necessary to use it). There are other issues too. The pandemic has not helped, though, there is little if any help available in our area. We live in a backwater and even the RNIB has no voulnteers in our area.

We are left to deal with the problem – which we try to do.

However, there have been a few people who have wanted to know my story of going blnd. I intend to post some things. Until this last week I could still just about see in a very faint, blurred fashion, on my iPad if I held it only about three inches from my eyes. Now, I can’t even do that. I am using a variety of methods – dictating to hubby and him doing the typing. Dictation ,which regularly picks up my words wrongly, and various other Apps. I have Dream Writer installed,which reads every word after you have typed it, but I cannot see the letters on the keyboard on the iPad so that causes problems.

All in all, I am struggling, but want to still write .

I want to write my story of going blind. So if it appears here and you want to give it a miss, please do so. I know that some people want to read it. I will write the raw truth. I can only be honest. Even if it is unpopular. So, if and when it appears you can choose whether to read it or not.bxx

GOING BLIND – A Poem of sorts

Staring into the fog that assaults my eyes
I become disorientated
I know not
Which way I am facing
Or where I am
I become confused
Bewildered
Lost
Afraid
Like being lost on a mountain
Desperate for rescue
But knowing there is none
This is it
My life now
I wish to sleep
In the hypothermic fog
No warm blankets of comfort
Just the cold reality
I cannot see
My mind is active
Full of thoughts
Full of poems
Full of books
But there they stay
In my mind
I feel a scream rising
Someone hear me
Someone hear me
And yet i am afraid to let the scream out
For fear
It will drive people away
And so the scream strangles me
I reach out my hand
Please take my hand someone
In this awful blindness
Soothe my tears
Let me know you are there
In this fog that will never lift
But only intensify
Will the fog smother me?
Will I suffocate?
Please hold me
Guide me through the fog

TWO SIDES

I am thinking a lot about light and dark at the moment, and of the interplay between the two. This is an old poem that I have posted before, but it says what I feel about light and darkness.

Two sides,
Light, dark, hold hands,
Both are part of the whole,
Each one is the truth in one soul,
Needed
My friend
For the soul’s good health, combined they
Make us whole, authentic,
A living light,
Shining

3TC

https://pensitivity101.wordpress.com/2022/01/22/three-things-challenge-851/

The MELODY rang out from the old wireless. All was still as we listened. The air was electric. It was her favourite piece of music – and MINE too. Every Sunday night, this was how we would MAKE our entertainment. The old wireless crackled, sometimes wavering and sliding off the station. Fading and coming back, fading and coming back. But we could still hear the tune – Nimrod. It was my grandmother’s favourite. Pop was sat in the corner by the fire puffing on his pipe after a hard day on the farm. Perfect. A perfect evening.

MEETING UP WITH AN INTERNET FRIEND – A FUNNY STORY BLIND WILDERNESS

https://murisopsis.wordpress.com/2022/01/19/looking-at-friends/

This post was inspired by Val’s post on her blog, “A Different Perspective” about meeting up with internet friends. I would like to tell you an hysterically funny story about how I met a person from a forum I used to frequent. She revealed where she lived, and it was not far from where I lived. We became friendly within the forum, and so agreed to meet. I insisted, for safety’s sake that we met in a coffee shop.

I had no idea what this person looked like, but I knew that she had a disabled son. She seemed absolutely fine.

As we chatted over coffee in the coffee shop she revealed, to my consternation, that she used to steal people’s purses! However, she had realised how wrong this was and had turned over a new leaf and had become a Eucharistic minister in the Catholic Church. It was many years since she had stolen purses.

I felt a bit bombed out by this meeting, but apart from that we got on well. I will call her Rosemary.

I must admit that I did surreptitiously search to see if I was still in possession of my purse. All was well, much to my relief. We agreed to meet at a local nature park with our husbands there too, and she said she would bring her disabled son as well. He was in a wheelchair. We had a great time, and there followed quite a few meetings at the nature park. Eventually we felt comfortable enough to visit each other’s homes. My husband and I visited her first in her home, and everything was O.K. Next, it was my turn to have her visit me in my home.

She arrived, and I had bought some cream cakes as a special surprise. I m not sure that I can describe well enough how funny it all was, but Rosemary was like a child with the cream cakes. She ended up with cream all over her fingers and her face, right up to her eyebrows. Then she said to me, “You should see me with a cream horn.” My mind boggled!

After that, she said that all the furniture in the front part of the through lounge should be in the back part so that we could sit and look out through the patio window at the back. I just said that it wouldn’t all fit that way round. With that, she was up, and started moving all the furniture round. I looked, aghast, but was so intrigued that I did not stop her. She moved every bit of furniture including the piano and sideboard. The dining table was now in the front half too. She plonked two chairs right in front of the patio window and told me to go and sit there with her.

You might wonder why I did not stop all this but, secretly, I wondered if she could do it. It looked awful! Everything was everywhere and it was horrible. Anyway, once done, she asked me if there were any more cream cakes. There weren’t.

Rosemary went home that day leaving me with all the furniture to put back in its place.

The worst of it was that after that she sent me a message in the forum saying we would not bother with the friendship any more.

I found it all hysterically funny. Most people probably wouldn’t but I have a strange sense of humour. I can still see her sitting there with all that cream on her face!

DIARY ENTRY

Since my last entry a good deal of my pain has eased. It is still there but not as excruciating as it was. I reached an all-time low the other week because I could not see hope of life improving for me since I had been told by the medical rehabilitation consultant that things were going to deteriorate and not get better. I was on the downward slope. The depression that this caused was very deep as you can probably imagine and I was plagued by a lot of deep fear.

I attempted to keep going however and not to allow the fear to take me over, this was very difficult. Fear can still plague me, as I think is natural in these conditions. The pandemic is not helping as we are having to keep away from people and keep people away from us. A letter from the NHS to me did not help much either, but raised my fear levels.

However, the one thing above all that has frightened, distressed, and caused much depression in me has been the final stage in the loss of my eyesight. I have been legally blind for a long time but I am in the final stages of sight loss now and finding it terrifying. I used to be able to just about manage with my iPad – I cannot use a laptop as I cannot sit in a position to use it without pain. So I used to hold my iPad right in front of my eyes. Now, I can no longer do that. Each day a little bit more sight has gone.

I do have various applications on my iPad and to use them when I can but as I have said before, without someone to physically sit beside you and teach you it is virtually impossible to fathom it out for yourself. I am doing my best with them but often becoming frustrated.

The thoughts of losing my ability to write scares me beyond measure, for it is my only means of communication with the world, and writing has always been my life. One thing that I find very difficult is that the one sense that blind people use to help them is that of touch. I have lost that completely. I can feel nothing with my fingers and hands. Neither can I feel anything with my feet and legs.

Someone did once ask me to write a book about going blind and going into the state in which I am now, and if I did write such a book I would want to be able to put some hope into it. I would want it not to be completely dark although there would be many dark bits in it. I have attempted to do this and have done quite a bit of it, but don’t know if it is quite as I want it yet. Much of the raw pain is there as well as the bright gems, and I don’t know whether it is something that people would really want to read or not.

I am trying very hard indeed to overcome all the things that are besieging me right now and yesterday as we went past the horse chestnut tree by the war memorial in the village where I was born I went back in time and remembered the happiness I used to know in that place. In a way it was bittersweet, but I love that old chestnut tree.

LOVE’S DARK NIGHT

I am finding it harder and harder to write poetry because with being blind I cannot see the line I have just written or keep lines in my head that I have written. However, this is an attempt at a sonnet. If there are any blind poets out there, I would welcome your telling me how you write poetry. But here is mine for now:

Put out the light and still there will be light
For this one thing the darkness cannot quench
Love’s light will push through ee’n the darkest night
Pure glory from the smallest pinpoint drench
Our souls and bodies cry out in deep pain
All hope seems gone our spirits start to die
We feel that we will never live again
Upon our lips the starkest question “why”
In our deep pit the answer will not come
We scrabble with our hands and claw in vain
In deepest depths our freedom will be won
Towards the light we push in anguished pain
We find a way to climb towards the sun
Its light shines on our dark night will be gone

TRUE LOVE

Quiet
Surrounds the one
Who truly does Love’s will,
Love is not a clanging cymbal,
Empty,
Shouting,
Announcing your prowess, seeking
For glorification,
I hear it all,
And cringe

Love is
Gentle, seeks not
To boast, nor dwells in pride,
Real love does not attack the weak,
Nor masks
The truth,
But lives in dying to the Self,
Steps back from the limelight,
Silently waits,
Watching

#FOWC

https://fivedotoh.com/2022/01/20/fowc-with-fandango-slip/

Jo looked sadly at the iron railings alongside the washdyke, remembering days as a child when everything was different. Kids used to play in the washdyke, fishing, collecting frogspawn and then going into the church and putting it in the font, and generally mucking about. She remembered her grandmother holding onto her hand tightly, occasionally pulling her roughly away from the edge of the bank that led down to the washdyke.

“Watch it or you’ll SLIP in,” she kept saying.

And then there was Mr. Cattle. Every Sunday morning he would be found in the washdyke after a Saturday night at the Working Men’s Club.

“Poor little Mrs. Cattle,” everyone used to say.

Now, there were no kids playing in the street. Everyone had cars and you were lucky if you ever got to talk to your neighbours. There was never any forgspawn in the font, and Mr. Cattle had been dead for years now.

Jo brushed aside a tear. Life was just not what it used to be. R

CALLING

Soft rays fall gently as I remember
Days in your presence
When my heart was full
And birdsong filled the air
The warmth of summer’s breeze
Danced on my skin
Until the whole of my body danced too
Hearing the cries of love
In the calling of the birds
“Come my sweet one come,
Follow me wither I go,
Across the sky
Onto the sea
Soaring above the mountains
Follow, follow,
Let me hear your sweet voice sing
As we become One with the Universe
I love you, I love you,”
And I believed
And followed
Emptied myself of all but you
Together we danced the Dance of Love
Ate at a banquet for kings and queens
Bathed in the gently flowing water
Drank from the water that gushed from the rock
But now the soft rays turn to darkness
The wind blows cold
No longer do I hear your voice
Calling, calling,
I am alone,
Abandoned
Sightless
No longer can my feet dance
No longer do we twist and twirl together
In the Dance of Life
For now I live in darkness
Unable even to tie my own belt
In a place where I did not want to go
And in this place
I cry out your name
“Come to me, Come to me”
But there is no answer
“Where are you? Where are You?” I cry
The wind blows the sound of my voice back at me
I look up
See my name in the sky
And in that moment
Know that you are with me

THE SHOCKING PINK SOCKS AND THE GREAT ESCAPE

It happened between Adoration and Mass. I ran away! It must have been something to do with the shocking pink socks that I was wearing. Glaring at me from out of my open toed sandals. Daring me. As if to say,

“Go on. You chose me for a reason. You WANT to break out. You WANT to shout.”

It didn’t take long for the plot to hatch. It happened in an instant. Unobtrusively I turned my powered wheelchair round, and faced the set of heavy double doors that blocked my way out. Determinedly I felt my way to them with my white blind stick. The pink socks were shouting at me,

“Go on. You can do it.”

Reaching the doors, I pushed on them with my foot. The shocking pink sock must have been proud of me as it entered the fray. I grabbed the door with my left had, my right hand being engaged in holding the joy stick of my wheelchair in the Forward position. All was well until my wheelchair’s rear end came almost level with the outer edge of the door. At that point I had to let go of the door, in order to go any further, and it came crashing back heavily onto my wheelchair.

“Ouch!” yelled the shocking pink socks.

“I don’t know what you’re yelling for,” I said. “You got me into this.”

Gradually inch by inch, I made my way beyond the door, into the corridor, feeling my way along with my blind stick.
Immediately in front of me was another set of heavy double doors. The same process was repeated, until eventually I reached the doors that led out into the church car park.

“Go for it,” shouted the pink socks.

Out in the car park, I breathed fresh air. At last, I was alone. No one to smother me. No one to encroach upon my being. I breathed deeply. Freedom!

#FPQ

https://fivedotoh.com/2022/01/19/fandangos-provocative-question-153/

What has been the most difficult, hardest, or most painful decision you’ve ever had to make in your life?

In answering the above question, I know that I might be a bit controversial. However, the most difficult and painful decision I ever had to make was to go forwards with chemotherapy when I was diagnosed with very advanced cancer. It was a blood cancer that affects the immune system and all the lymph nodes. But it had produced huge tumours all over my body and in critical places too. I was literally at death’s door. Something inside me did not want to fight, but wanted to give in to the inevitable and get it over with quickly. It was as the Ward Sister said to me, a “leap of faith” anyway. Not bound to work for me. The thoughts of going through gruelling chemotgerapy did not appeal. No, I had a chance to be at rest now, after a very, very painful and difficult life. However, in the end I did decide to fight. I have no idea if I would have made the same decision had I known how I would end up – blind, unable to walk and in constant pain, with lung and heart problems. But I am still here, and I have written so much in these last years, and there is so much more that I want to write.

AN EXCERPT FROM WRITING ABOUT MY LIFE – Meeting and marrying

We met at College. Well, I was. He was at University in the same city. I was training to teach, and he was training to be a chemical engineer. It was a strange world that I was inhabiting then. So different to the world that I had left. Life in Halls was strange, but nice in an odd kind of a way. One thing was, you were never alone in Halls. There was always someone’s door to go knocking on, and someone always knocking on your door. It kind of made me feel safe and secure. I was surrounded by friends, and there was always something to do. It was the end of the sixties era, and College students certainly lived it up, and made the most of it. I would say it was a great time in many ways but a confusing one in others. One of my more vivid memories is of a pile of us girls all being in one room drinking, and for some reason, just for the hell of it, I mixed pale ale, sherry and cider in one big drink. There we all were, piled one on top of the other on the bed, and I was the one on top of the pile, so I was the one to fall off onto the floor. I then got up and opened the window and yelled at the top of my voice to the whole world. They would not let me forget it the next morning! It was a good time though.

He belonged to my best friend actually. Well, kind of! Barbara. They were always together. They boasted about having been to a Joan Baez concert. Both of them smoked, and both were trying, without much success, to stop smoking. I am not sure they really wanted to anyway! There was a fair bit of ribbing going on!

There didn’t seem to be much softness or gentleness between them – in fact Barbara didn’t seem to really like him that much. I reckoned she was just using him as someone to go out and have a good time with. One night, there were a few of us all in a room in Halls together, and there was some joking going on. I looked at him and he looked at me, and we both knew it – there was something there for each other. I jokingly went and sat on his knee. Barbara wasn’t bothered at all. It was almost Christmas, and Barbara gave him to me as a Christmas present! Problem was, we all had to go home for Christmas then, so we didn’t see each other for a while. When we got back to College and University however, we went on a twenty mile night hike. I figured that if we could stand doing that together we could stand anything. Except that Anne got in the way. We went to an event together and he spent the whole time with Anne! I have to admit she wore a shorter skirt than me – but not much! However, he repented and came back to me, tail between legs. I never did understand what went on that day, but he never strayed again.

He was on what was called a Sandwich Course, which meant he was six months at the University and six months working in industry. So off he went, and every day we wrote each other a love letter! I still have some of those letters, only I can’t see them now. He was an expert at the flattering and romantic phrase or sentence, and I fell for him big time. He asked me to marry him, and of course I said “Yes” immediately. I went with him to meet his parents and his brother and sister, and I remember to this day them warning me about his temper, and that he was stubborn. I made nothing of it however. It hadn’t been a problem between us so I ignored it. We planned a conventional wedding back in my home town, but we toyed with the idea of running away to Gretna Green to wed, just for the hell of it. He was not yet 21 anyway, and in those days you needed your parents’ consent below the age of 21, except in Gretna Green! I still regret not doing that, as it was in the end a tense, miserable day, partly courtesy of my mother and partly because I hate being on show and being stared at. I remember at the rehearsal the night before being told,“Whatever you do, don’t look down when you are walking down the aisle at the end.” So what did I do? I looked down! It was a terrible day to me and I wondered why we had to go through all that palava! All that I wanted to do was sign a bit of paper and have done with it! What we did do was go down to London on the train afterwards. We only stayed one night as it was all we could afford, and spent just one day looking round London, mostly trying to find food!

PART 16 of MURDER MYSTERY

Liza did not relish her visit to Radchester. Too much was swilling around in her head. How come Susan Wray had been murdered at the exact same time as her mother’s murder case of years ago had been re-opened. Were the two murders linked? It seemed almost impossible that they weren’t. The big question was, were they both murdered by the same person and if so, who was it? And what was Susan Wray doing being at the back of the Church of the Holy Name?

Liza realised that she had to get all these thoughts out of her head, as she had important business to attend to, namely the status of her Ph.D. and the problem of her disappearing supervisor. She was beginning to feel that she might like to do a disappearing act herself. Life was becoming far too complicated and actually frightening. Her idyllic new life in the tiny cottage amongst the hills was sadly disappearing. She thought of Lisbet and the good times they used to have. All the escapades and the giggles. Maybe her escape act could take her to Sweden Stockholm. Yes, that would be good. Stockholm! Had Lisbet managed to devour all the men in Stockholm yet?

She was nearly at the University. She parked her car on one of the roads behind it. Slowly, she walked through the University grounds, looking at the various trees and plants. It was quite beautiful actually. Soon she was mounting the steps up into the University. The pleasant walk through the grounds had relaxed her a little. She walked down the corridor to the coffee shop where she was to meet the esteemed Canon Goodenough. She had no idea what to expect. All that she knew about him was that he specialised in the Reformation Music of Henry VIII. He had told her that he would be sitting in the corner of the coffee shop by the window. As she entered, she found herself looking at a very small man, with thick framed glasses, and very dark hair that seemed to fall all over his face. He was lounging comfortably on a chair near to the window. Tentatively she made her way across to him.

“Hello, i’m Liza Ward,” she said. “Are you Canon Basil Goodenough?”

“Indeed I am,” replied the man. He got up off his chair and held out his hand to Liza.

“I’ll go and get you a coffee,” he said.

“Oh, oh, thankyou,” said Liza, a little nervously.

“Call me Basil,” he said, when he returned with the coffee. “I can’t be doing with titles. I gather you’re having a spot of trouble with some of them academics.”

“Too true,” said Liza. “They’ve messed my life up good and proper.”

“Tell me about it,” said Basil. “When I was doing my Ph.D. I had four different supervisors. Kept doing disappearing acts. It’s a wonder I ever got to the end of it. They pop up in all sorts of places. Found one of mine at the University of Katmandu!”

“Oh my God,” said Liza.

“Yes indeed,” said Basil. “He recognised me and treated me like I was some kind of buddy, and nothing had gone wrong really.”

“Hmm,” said Liza. “Well I’m not planning on going to Katmandu” she laughed.

“No, neither was I,” said Basil. “But somehow or other I found myself on the wrong plane. God only knows how it happened. Anyway, I decided to take a look at the University while I was there.”

“Well anyway, I don’t know what’s going to happen to me,” said Liza. “I just feel like giving the whole thing up now. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve done and I was never in it for the letters attached to my name anyway.”

“Maybe it’s time to turn to something else now then. Use what you’ve done so far in some practical way. Maybe do a bit of tutoring yourself.”

“Oh I’ve already done a few lectures,” said Liza.”

“Well there you are then. Build on that. Keep researching in your own way. I think you’ll find you are happy doing that. Kind of like being your own boss. And much cheaper too.”

“That’s for sure,” said Liza. “I’m certainly much poorer in financial terms from pursuing this Ph.D.”.

“Hear that?” asked Basil.

“What?” replied Liza.

“That pop music.”

“Oh that,” said Liza. “I try to ignore it.”

“Well I could tell you something about the pop music of Henry VIII.”

“Oh yes, I’m intrigued,” said Liza.

Basil started to go into full flow about his pet subject.
Suddenly he stopped, as if an arrow had struck him. “Oh my goodness,” he exclaimed. “Did you know about our local murder.”

Liza gulped.

“Yes,” she said.

All of a sudden it was as if all her controls had gone.

“And we’ve got our own local murder where I live too. And guess what. The young girl murdered here is the daughter of the woman who was murdered in the place where I live. It was some years ago now though, and they got the wrong man for it. The case has just been re-opened.”

“Where do you live?” asked Basil.

“Grimswell,” replied Liza.

Basil gave out a kind of roar that seemed almost too loud for such a tiny man.

“Whoa, I used to know the vicar there. Knew him quite well actually. And now I come to think of it, there was a murder took place while he was there. Some woman escaping from domestic violence. She lived at The Oaks whilst trying to sort her life out. My friend used to visit up there. Felt very sorry for the poor women. Cedric, his name was. Cedric Johnston.”

“What a small world it is,” remarked Liza.

“Yes, even stretching to Katmandu,” observed Basil.

“Apparently she was bludgeoned to death,” said Basil. “Susan Wray was her name. Poor girl. Had something to do with that monstrosity over the road. Church of the Holy Name or something. Wasn’t very holy what happened to her though. Seems she was a bit of a candlestick thief.”

Liza gasped.

“Oh my God,” she said.

“Did you know her?” asked Basil.

“Well, kind of,” said Liza. “It’s a long story. All to do with a bell. “I wonder who murdered her?”

“Why don’t you come back and see me again next week,” said Basil. “We’ll do a bit of digging before then. I’ll see if I can find Cedric and have a chat with him.

“O.K.” Said Liza. “See you next week then.”

3TC

https://pensitivity101.wordpress.com/2022/01/19/three-things-challenge-848/

Jack never won anything. Until he won the JACKPOT.

Now it might sound strange, but the jackpot consisted of massive sacks of carrots, potatoes, and various other vegetables. Jack didn’t go out much really. Until he decided to go on a JAUNT to the local Sale of harvest produce. Nothing too exciting really.

It was quite an event. You bought a raffle ticket on the way in – well, most people did anyway. Jack followed suit without thinking much about it.

The church hall was bursting with people. It was one of the main events of the year in the village. Although Jack was a bit of a recluse, he found he quite enjoyed being with a few people.

The evening wore on, until at the end the winner of the raffle was announced. Jack gasped as he heard his number read out. He had won the jackpot. Some viewed him with JEALOUSY. Why should someone like him win the jackpot? He never went near the church whilst they went every week. It should have been one of them who won the jackpot.

Jack looked at the huge sack of potatoes and carrots and wondered what on earth he was going to do with them. He began to wonder if it had been a good idea to come after all. He imaginedd himself consuming carrot and potato soup for the rest of the year! And how was he going to get the sack home anyway.

Suddenly he kicked the sack and then tore it open. All the vegetables poured out onto the floor. He had been aware of the jealousy and pettiness of the people around him.

“There” he said. “It’s yours. Take your pick oof that lot.” And with that he stalked out of the hall.

SESTINA KINGFISHER

I wrote this some years ago and have never forgotten the experience. As we wait for the Spring I turn my mind to better days, and though I will never see the kingfisher again I have this memory. Strange to say, things become dimmer in your mind as you go deeper into blindness and you can no longer remember what things look like! An older poem but a lovely memory:

I sit one day looking at the fields,
A flash of colour takes my eye,
It darts so fast across the water,
I am mesmerised by such deep, rich colour,
It lands quite suddenly on a branch,
A beautiful tiny kingfisher.

For the very first time I see the kingfisher,
In a dyke surrounding the fields,
So close it sits on the swaying branch,
I see it clearly in my eye,
I am entranced by its wonderful colour,
Gently flows the water.

It sits looking at the moving water,
Containing fish for the kingfisher,
How amazing is its colour,
Matching the green of the fields,
Showing up on the grey-brown branch,
I can hardly move my eye.

I see it fluttering in my eye,
It starts to dart across the water,
Flying off the swaying branch,
This beautiful little kingfisher,
The wind blows gently on the fields,
The grass a shimmering green in colour.

I become aware of deeper colour,
Wherever I cast my eye,
Whether it be on the sky or on the water,
On the wild flowers in the fields,
Or on the little kingfisher,
That fluttered off the grey-brown branch.

Inside I thank God for that grey-brown branch,
My life now is full of deeper colour,
Brought into being by the kingfisher,
On which I feasted my eye,
As I look at the colours in the field,
I thank God for the moving water.

The sun shines on the water enhancing dancing colour ,
Even the brown-grey branch, that draws my eye,
Catching the shimmering green of the field, reflected in kingfishers wing.

ASK hER

She stared at the world through blinded eyes,
From many different places,
In the warmth, the cold, the rain, the wind,
From her bed, the car, the seashore,
Saw forests, flowers and birds,
She smelled and tasted and felt
The weight of her grief
But also a wealth of joy,
Though now she had to remember,
But as time passed she realised
That she could no longer remember,
Even the faces of those she loved,
And so she said “Goodbye”
Made a new relationship with the world,
One that only she knew
And felt,
A place where she dwelt alone,
Sometimes lonely, sometimes sad,
But sometimes glorious in her insight,
Would she change it?
Ask her

DIARY ENTRY

I am, thankfully, managing to write a bit more now. It is an effort but to give in is not good. I still have bad pain, which frightens me. It is still an uphill battle to get through each day. Sometimes it is still a matter of getting through each minute at a time.

I wish that I could report something better. I am trying to get the murder mystery back on track again, for that gives me something to focus on.

I am looking at my goals for this year, and one of them is to get my book finished. It might sound like a tall order, but I really want to do it.

If any of you read my piece about Jade and the beetle, that was our old dog who has now passed on. She was a complete nutter! To match her mum lol. I might write a little bit more about her, and maybe our other dogs too. We have always had rough collies – you know, the Lassie type ones. We have Hope at the moment and she is now 6 so quite a handful. We’d hoped for a queter dog as we got older, but no chance!

So that is my Diary Update for today! Xx

3TC

https://pensitivity101.wordpress.com/2022/01/18/three-things-challenge-847/

The whole congregation gasped as she walked in, head held high. All the women were dressed in long grey skirts, with a grey head covering on their heads. She had on a short tight fitting red dress and as she walked confidently down the aisle her high heels clicked on the tiled floor of the church. Her black hair was long and flowing.

“Look at her,” one of the congregation was heard to say.

“It’s disgusting,” said another.

“She’s IMPURE” said yet another.

“INDEED,” said another.

“Hush, you’re being UNFAIR” came a voice from the back. “Don’t you know, it says in the Bible that nothing is impure really, only if we make it so.”

Carly went and took a seat at the front of the church. The priest entered, stood in front of the congregation and said,

“This is Carly. I wondered how you would react when she came into the church like this. I guessed that you might judge her without knowing anything about her, and you have.”

Another gasp went up from the congregation.

Then, in an onerous voice the priest said,

“Judge not that ye be not judged. You do this at your own peril.”

JADE AND THE BEETLE

I don’t remember absolutely everything that happened leading up to my being there, but there I was. For a while they had been taking me to a big hall where there were lots of other dogs. We had to do things that dogs don’t normally do, like being obedient. Obedient was something I had never been. I was always rather wayward and where I was born me and my sister used to play rough and fast. My sister was called Enya. Then these people came to look at me and after that they decided that they were going to take me home with them. They were my new mum and dad. From the very beginning I led them a dance. They didn’t really seem to mind though and they found it quite funny. I could do almost anything and they still loved me. But being obedient was something different. I wondered what it was all about but all the other dogs there were being obedient as well and they all seemed to take great pride in being obedient. Then one day I found myself with mum and dad in a big field where there were lots and lots of other dogs and lots of strange things going on. Mum and dad got dressed up in some strange clothes and they kept on and on brushing me. It seemed they could not brush me enough. They messed around with my hair and kept making sure that my hairstyle was okay. It was not to my liking though. I hated being kempt. and all I wanted was to be unkempt with my hair all over the place. The wilder the better. It did not become a dog to be neat and tidy and for the hair to be all smooth and unruffled. No decent dog would want to look like that.

Anyway, lots of things were going on in the middle of the field and there were lots of dogs with their mummies or daddies running round in a circle and there seemed to be some person in charge watching everything that was happening. That person then went to each dog in turn and started tickling and feeling it. Then that person made the mummy or daddy run the dog round the field on its own without the other dogs. In the end there seemed to be one special dog that was made a real big fuss of and it looked very chuffed. It was really proud of itself and its mummy and daddy were also looking very chuffed.

Then my mummy took me into the middle of the field and we ran round in a big circle as well. Eventually we all had to stand still for awhile and it was then that it happened. I spied a beetle. Now how could any respectable dog stand still when there is a beetle around. I certainly couldn’t and I suddenly started pawing at the beetle. I was jumping around excitedly. No one could do anything with me. Secretly mummy and daddy thought it was funny but they were not allowed to laugh. This was all very serious and I would not let the person in charge tickle or feel me at all. I just refused to stand still as I was determined to catch that beetle. Then I heard a word. It was “disqualified.” I don’t think it was a very popular word, and mum and dad had to take me away. I thought though, that if there was one beetle there would be lots more, and I dug my claws into the ground, and refused to be pulled away. Then J kept pouncing on the ground thinking I had got a beetle. But I hadn’t. Mum and dad weren’t cross with me though, and they ended up laughing and saying, “Let a dog be a dog. Natural like. Not all ponced up for them dog shows. It’s unnatural.” And I never got taken to a dog show agan, and I have never been obedient since.

ONE DAY

One day
They were all gone
Berries plump with new life
Already their life had journeyed
Plucked from
Green tree
As the summer sun died in skies
Now grey, winter waiting
Offstage, while birds
Feast, store…….

Plumpness
To see them through
Dark days and raging storms
We too have a banquet prepared
Take, eat,
Savour
The delights there for the taking
Nourish
Your soul
And live through the darkest of nights
Sustained by Love offered
Freely, just take
And liveR

REVIVaL

The tree is stripped now,
Ready to rest,
After giving of its all,
Now it stands there in its stark beauty,
Exposed, bare,
Now no birds can feed,
Nor rest hidden in its leaves,
It has nothing to offer,
Except its stillness,
Its quietude,
Saying, “I’m still here,
But my surface beauty has gone,
I no longer hold secrets within,
All that I am you can see,
Yet in my starkness is my real beauty,
For it speaks the truth,
In sharpness,
In directness,
Now you see my essence,
That still through the cold and the dark,
Will survive,
And with my strength,
One day I will bear leaves again,
And fruit aplenty,
Give of my abundance,
And like me,
You too will survive,
And bear fruit in abundance,
But now is the time to rest,
Just rest,
And you will be revived.”

MY LIFES JOURNEY

When you are young you never think you are going to be old. In fact you probably think you are never going to die. It is not that you don’t know about death. It is just that it is so remote to you that you don’t think it is going to affect you. I suppose I first learned about death at my grandparents’ farm when one of the animals died. There followed a long discussion between me and my grandparents about death whereby I discovered that people died too. However , I immediately put it out of my mind as something that was not going to affect me. Even as I grew older I hardly thought of death at all as relating to me.Until I got cancer. That changed everything.

Prior to getting cancer I had been a most active person with many hobbies and interests and I would also say a very fit person. I had had many experiences in life and lived a very full life. I was an academic living in the academic world, it was a world that I loved. Having been a child who questioned a great deal looking up at the night sky holding onto my grandmother’s hand and questioning the universe I grew up still asking the sane questions, I questioned a great deal about God. This led to me to do first of all a degree in theology, then a Masters in theology and then a PhD in theology. It was in no way an attempt to get letters after my name for I did not care about such things at all. It was just that at heart I am a very deep. questioner.

At the age of 13 I thought I had found my answer to the God question. It is a very long story which appears in my book which I hope I will eventually finish. I found what I called faith in a loving God. I will not go into this anymore just here, but many things happened to me after that and yet I still continued to wrestle with the idea of faith in a loving God. I ended up in a place that was very aligned to many of the mystics including Saint John of the Cross. To me his writings seemed to epitomise the whole of my life, especially the concept of the dark night of the soul. And yet deep inside me I am still wrestling with the concept of faith and I certainly do not see God as a wonder worker who holds a magic wand. I am a rebel at heart. This much to the annoyance of many people.

As my body gives up on me and I feel more and more that death is coming closer I am experiencing much fear. I feel myself in constant grief as I have to say goodbye to the many things that I knew.

Losing my eyesight has affected me deeply as has becoming totally dependent upon other people even for my most basic needs. I feel as though deep inside me I am grappling with so much. I do not want to say goodbye to the things that made up my life prior to getting cancer, and yet I have no choice. I feel trapped. I feel as though I am living in a tiny black box cut off from the rest of the world. In fact my blog is the only place where I have contact with the world.

It is a very frightening place to be.I am a person who likes control and by that I mean control over my own life and now I have lost that completely and have to give control to another. I suppose I see death as another form of control and something that I cannot face easily. In order to die you have to entirely give up any control at all. Because of this I am seeking still to live. I am working hard at overcoming the obstacles in my path but finding it almost impossible because of the confines of my body. Some days I feel inside me a rising fear almost becoming hysteria. I lie in the darkness on the bed in pain hearing the sounds of life outside my bedroom window and feel totally cut off from life. Often I feel as though I am in a deep pit where no one can reach me. The experience of going blind is one of the most horrible things I have ever gone through. I know there are many people who are blind and I know there are many people who are blind who cope admirably with it but when you go blind to later in life there is no availability of teaching how to live as a blind person. You are just old and that is that.

It is so easy to grieve the life that you have lost and I believe that you have to go through that grief and in someway come through on the other side even if that turns out to be death itself. These are all the things I am struggling with at the moment. I do not have answers. I am simply wrestling with the life that I have.

RIDING THE WAVES

Swimming
When the going is rough
And the rough is in the going
Take me on the tide
To a better place
But first let me ride the waves
Tread on the stones
That sharpen my wit
And strengthen my resolve
And lead me to calmer shores
Where I can eat and enjoy
The fruits of my labour
Lie in the sun
And savour the delights of heaven

PART 15 MURDER MYSTERY

The Press Conference was scheduled for 10 am the next day. Liza arranged to meet Jack in a coffee shop so that they could listen to it together on Jack’s mobile phone. Liza had an appointment at the University at 3 pm that day. She drove apprehensively into Grimswell in the morning wondering what on earth they were going to find out. All sorts of ideas had come to their heads but the only way they were going to find out anything for sure was by listening to the Press Conference.

“I still have an awful feeling inside me about that man who came into the Hare and Hounds that night,” said Liza. “ I haven’t been able to shake it off and I have felt as if I have had a dark shadow over me for days now.”

Jack knew better than to make fun of Liza’s feelings or to dismiss them. He knew her well enough to know that her feelings however strange they may seem were usually right. She was an incredibly sensitive soul, and if she said there was something strange about someone then it very likely was true.

When Liza got to the coffee shop she found Jack already there. He stood up when he saw her approaching the table where he was sitting.
“I’ll get the coffees,” he said. “Shall we have a fancy coffee today to cheer us up a bit?”

“Good idea” said Liza. “I’ll have one of those ginger muffins as well”. Jack went and ordered the coffees and muffins and then sat down opposite Liza. At 10 o’clock precisely the conference began. Superintendent Barrington spent a few minutes outlining the case. Liza and Jack sat there impatiently and almost nervously waiting to hear the name of the victim. Eventually it came. The name of the victim was Susan Wray.

Liza and Jack both gasped loudly. Everyone in the coffee shop turned their eyes towards them. They looked at each other in amazement. Neither of them knew quite what to say. Eventually Liza exclaimed,

“Oh my God!“. They both then fell silent for a while trying to take it in. Suddenly even ginger muffins seemed unimportant. Neither of them had an appetite for them anymore.

“And I’ve got to go there later today,” said Liza. “ I have an appointment at 3 o’clock this afternoon with the Anglican chaplain about my situation with my supervisor. My head was in a mess and I didn’t know what to do about it and so made an appointment to have a chat with him. I know that going there now I will feel very queer.”

“ Do you know him?“ asked Jack.

“ No,“ said Liza. “But I understand he’s a very good man.”

“ What’s his name?“ asked Jack.

“ The Reverend Goodenough,” replied Liza.

Jack laughed. “Oh well if his name is anything to go by then he should be okay,“ observed Jack. A most suitable name for a vicar.

“Well I don’t think he’s actually a vicar,” said Liza. “He’s quite high up in the scheme of things. He’s actually a Canon and a renowned theologian.”

“Hmmm,” said Jack. “ well he’ll certainly know that he’s got you,“ said Jack. “You’ve never pull any punches.

“ No,“ said Liza. “But I am not myself today.

“ Well if you are not yourself who are you then?” asked Jack, laughing.

“Whoever I am, I am wishing I was someone else right now,” said Liza. “That bell has a lot to answer for!”

“As has your supervisor,” said Jack.

“Yes indeed,” said Liza.” “Do you know those Ph.D.’s cost thousands of pounds to do. Some people get funding to do them but others like me, pay for them themselves. I’ve invested so much in it, both in money and in effort and time. I’ve enjoyed doing it but nevertheless at the end of the day these professors can treat you how they like. “

“Yes,” said Jack. “Sadly it’s the way of the world.”

“Yes,” said Liza. “But at least I’m still alive. Unlike that poor girl. She didn’t have much chance in life did she!”

“No,” said Jack.

They both looked down, sadly.

“I wonder who murdered her,” said Jack. “It seems funny that her mother was murdered, and now her.”

“Just what I was thinking,” said Liza. “And it seems funny it happening just as they’re re-opening the case on her mother.”

They looked at each other, both asking the same question without voicing it.

DIARY ENTRY

I posted a poem called “Battle” this morning and that truly describes what I feel myself to be in.  Even the tiniest thing like brushing my teeth seems like climbing a mountain to me.  Eating is almost impossible but I just about manage.

Life really is one huge battle, both physically and emotionally.  I do not know where it is leading.  I find it terrifying.  I try to read my blog and cannot see at all, and feel my life slipping away from me.  It has become a case of living each moment at a time.  I am scared.

This has all happened quite suddenly.  I hope that things improve but I fear they won’t.n i knew that my disease was progressive but I guess I hoped it wouldn’t get bad for a long time.

The one thing that I will not let go without a fight is my blog.  It is my life.  My only means of communication.  And it may be that someone has to post what I dictate, but I hope that things will not deteriorate even more.

I read, or have read to me every single comment and message, and appreciate so much all your kindness.  I hope that one day soon I will be able to reply to each one individually.

Thankyou so much for still reading my blog and bearing withh me xx

SNOWDROPS SPEAK

I feel obsessed with the thoughts of snowdrops at the moment. In the darkness of severe bodily pain they raise. My spirits a little bit. I see them in my mind.

Even
The snowdrops cry,
Although the sun shines bright,
Hanging their heads towards the earth,
Fragile,
Yet strong,
For soon dark clouds will come again
And there will be no sun,
And healing tears
Will fall

STATE OF FEAR

If you have read my previous post you will understand what this is about.

I find myself in a state of utter terror at the moment. We are hanging on a very thin thread that threatens to break at any point, my husband and I are totally alone in this world. Both of us are disabled and trying to care for each other.

Much of this may be reflected in some of the poems I am writing at the moment. I like to try and make my poems upbeat in some way even when I am writing about dark situations and feelings. I like to put a glimmer of hope into them at some point but I find that hard to do right now. I am writing about raw emotions.

Once again my husband is typing this for me

DID ANYONE HEAR THE NEWS?

Did anyone hear the news last night in the UK? If so you may have heard about how the caring industry in our country is in a state of collapse. So much pressure has been put onto the companies as a result of the pandemic that many of them are unable to take on any extra clients and even when people need to be discharged from hospital, they are unable to be discharged because the caring companies are not taking on any more clients.

Whether you go through social services or simply try to pay for your own care privately it is impossible to find a company that has any spaces left for new people. This has been the case for a very long time now. My husband and I have found ourselves in the position whereby we can get no one at all to help us. I could write a lot more about this but at the moment I feel too raw to be able to do it. As many of you know my brother and sister turned their backs on me and rejected me following my mother‘s death in 2019. We are left in a critical position with no family and no friends because we had not lived here long enough to make friends before I got my cancer. I do not know what is going to happen to our country regarding care for people but all I know is that it can leave some people hanging on a very fine thread that threatens to break at any time. That is the position me and my husband are in.

DIARY ENTRY

Sadly things have gone downhill again. Hubby had somenkind of stomach thing yesrerday, and my pain has got bad again.

I posted one poem today but that might be all for today. We’ll see. Thankyou again for all your kind comments. So much appreciated xx

YOUR SONG

Another older poem but it expresses something relevant to now:

Lovesongs
Fall from your lips
Like the tears in my eyes
That fall gently, brushing my face,
Your song
Rests there
Down on the ground where my eyes fall
Shining with clear pure light

FIRES OF LIFE

An old poem but very relevant for now:

Never ending
The path that we tread
Beset with perils,
Darkest nights
We lose our bearings,
Stretch out our hands,
Feel our way,
Terror strikes us,
In fear we fall,
But there on the ground we find
Bright gems,
Shining,
Again we rise,
Like gold,
Tested,
Tried,
Proved,
In the fires of life

DIARY ENTRY – MADE IT!

Well I am glad to report that I managed to make it out yesterday. I felt as if I had climbed a mountain and it made me so happy that I had managed to do it. It was wonderful to be out in the car and although I could see nothing at all I knew that I was in a different place. At one point we went very close to the little lane where the snowdrops will soon be blooming and that also made me feel happy and once again though I cannot actually see the snowdrops I can know that they are there and I can visualise their beauty in my mind and what snowdrops represent to me. I do of course feel sad that I can no longer see them and that I will no longer see the daffodils either when they come in the spring but at least I can remind myself of what they look like and that makes me feel happy.

Sadly during the night my pain returned really badly and this morning it has eased somewhat so I’m hoping that it continues to ease so that I can go out again today. I find if I don’t manage to do something normal in a day then I become very depressed and it’s important to me still to try and live. It’s so easy to give in to depression and allow that black blanket to cover me when I’m in pain and it’s so easy to look back on your life and wonder what happened. We had envisaged a retirement of living amongst the hills and having wonderful walks in the hills with our dogs but it didn’t turn out like that for my husband himself had to retire from work early due to his post polio syndrome. We then moved back to my home county and I almost immediately got cancer which has left me like this. I just want to say if there is something you want to do do it now. Do it while you can. For there too may come a day when you can hardly do anything at all. Take chances as they come to you. Don’t let them pass you by. I have dictated this and as I have said sometimes before it does not always pick up my words correctly and does I cannot see to read what has been typed I cannot tell whether it is typed what I wanted to say so I apologise if there are any mistakes.

DIARY ENTRY

I am not quite sure what happened but as is well known I do spend a lot of my day in bed although as often as it’s possible I go out in the car with my husband for a drive in the afternoon. The other day I have been sat in the bed doing some posting and various other things on my iPad and suddenly I got a tremendous pain roundabout the area of my right hip and lowe back. This is nothing unusual but the unusual thing about it was that it was worse than usual and went on for much longer and even resting didn’t seem to help it. I have spent the last three days mostly lying down in the bed finding it difficult even to find a position where there is no pain. I’ve got my husband to make some posts a couple of days ago and yesterday I managed to make two of my own. I mysel am dictating this. Coupled with the blindness and everything else that is happening to me I have found this very distressing and deeply depressing because I have wondered whether it is going to get better. I know that it is as a result of the wastage of my muscles which means that I have hardly any muscles at all around the area of my buttocks and upper legs and that is why I need to use a wheelchair. Although I am always in pain the pain is now worse and although this was predicted it is still deeply deeply distressing and depressing and I have spent a lot of the last few days in tears. It just feels as though my body is deteriorating so quickly and so badly and I find that frightening and especially in a time of pandemic when our hospitals are full to overflowing and there is a chance of catching the virus if you have to go to hospital. I am trying to stop this happening and I keep thinking that if I rest enough it will put itself right but so far it has improved somewhat but not enough for me to continue my life as I was doing. This is just to explain what is happening to me and it feels very black to me at the moment but I’m trying to keep my hopes up and I’m trying desperately to keep myself going. My one aim is to keep my blog going because my contact with my readers and in WordPress is the only contact I have with people outside of this house. Thank you for bearing with me and for being so kind to me in your comments which I have not been able to reply to always but I will do as soon as I’m well enough. My husband just read them to me so I know what you have said and you have all been exceedingly kind so thank you very much. Xx

DIARY ENTRY UPDATE

This is Lorraine writing this. I managed to post some poems myself this morning but still can’t sit up for very long so the murder mystery will have to wait. Many apologies. The pain si getting slightly better but still struggling. I don’t intend letting my blog go! Please bear with me.
Lorraine xx