FRED FLEA AND THE BRIDGE

The bridge was huge. The little flea surveyed the bridge. Life had not been very good for him lately. It was a wonderful bridge, and it had been an incredible feat to build, spanning the wide river as it did. It was a suspension bridge and swayed in the wind. Fred flea remembered all the wonderful times that he had driven over the bridge in the past. The view was out of this world. And that was exactly where Fred flea wanted to be now , out of this world. Jumping was his speciality. It was what he was made for. So jumping off the bridge should not be too hard, especially as he would be jumping down and not up. He had tried many different means to bring an end to his problems. Nothing had worked.he had been trying for a long time and now he had come to the end. He knew no one really understood, and that people would say that there was hope. But he was only a little flea and his problems were huge. Sometimes people had said that he was not trying hard enough, but they were not in his shoes and so could not possibly know. He had had criticisms of all sorts thrown at him, but all were totally wrong and unfair. Fred figured that the world would be a better place without him. He was just a burden on others, and if he was not doing it right anyway, then the world would indeed be better off without him. Fred took one last look at his watch. Midnight. Just the right time.

INDESCRIBABLE

Some things are indescribable. We desperately want to communicate something but we can’t as there are no words. If we could communicate, then the course of events might change. They say that no man is an island but sometimes we have to be and there is no choice. Sometimes we are so alone that no other human being can come truly near to us and maybe that is how it should be. Sometimes the ache is too bad and nothing can truly change the course of events. Words are all we have sometimes but they do not suffice. One day there will be understanding but for now…………

WILL I SEE FLOWERS

Do I see flowers
In the heart of my darkness
I know that I should

Do I see flowers
When my body is in pain
I know that I should

Do I see flowers
When I stumble and fall down
I know that I should

Do I smile sweetly
When my soft heart breaks shatters
I know that I should

What do I see now
Only the gloomy darkness
Soon flowers will come

DIARY ENTRY – Looking Into the Darkness

It is a roller coaster of a ride at the moment. Nothing is ever still or settled. I often wake in a morning groaning at the thoughts of another day when I am told it is a new day and that I should be happy and grateful. I can see the logic but for me each day is such a trial in ways that no one else knows about or could even imagine. I will not go into details but I can tell you that it is grim. Having had cancer my living conditions are sadly grim. Again, I will not go into detail. Basically it is impossible to do the bare necessities of life.

I try my best to smile and be positive but it is hard. I can become very depressed and can see no end to it. I have never posted on my blog what each day is like for me and never will, but I know that most people could not endure it.

How do I deal with this? I don’t really know. My emotions are all over the place. Trying to find ways through emotionally and spiritually. I pray. I pray a lot. I know that not everyone believes in this, and sometimes I myself wonder what the truth about everything is. As a former academic my mind works on it a lot. But I find myself praying anyway and sometimes this just consists of looking into the darkness and trying to see something positive in it. I talk about the sacred darkness and in a way it is. There was a priest once who said that my pain was sacred and I knew what he meant. He is dead now and will know the answers to all things.

Yesterday I listened to something on the internet. It was from a place in Ireland. The relics of the Christian saint, St. Therese, had been brought to a church there and special Masses were held. During the Masses people were blessed by the relics of this saint. I wondered about that but more to the point I related to much of what she endured in her life. I may say more about this at some point. She embraced a simple way and was called the Little Flower. I can relate to so much of what she both endured and discovered and just for a little while I did not feel so lonely in my plight. But then this morning I woke the same as usual, fell in the bathroom, and feeling groggy I wonder about so much. I do not like or respond to modern pop psychology which seems so unreal to me. I tell my truth as it is. If I were to tell my full truth most people would run away. So I don’t. But some days I get very depressed and nauseous at my situation and see only darkness. It is so today so far.

MEMORIES IN THE RAIN

It rained rather a lot yesterday, but we still went out for a drive. At least with rain I don’t have to be able to see it, and I absolutely love the sound and the feel of it. I got out of the car at one point and just stayed there under a tree and the sound of the rain and the wind on the leaves was out of this world. It brought back memories to me of camping in the Lake District for three weeks and it never stopped raining even once. It was almost as wet in the tent as it was outside as condensation built up and all our bedding was wet. Would you believe it though, the sun came out on the last day. Typical. We were very hardy in those days and once we camped in snow. We were in Borrowdale in a fairly isolated place, and we knew it was cold and that there were a few flakes of snow. We didn’t want to let the weather beat us, and we were determined to stay, but when the gas bottle froze we knew we had to go home. We set off for home at midnight and drove through the night. When we got home we heard on the News that Borrowdale had been cut off by snow. We had had a lucky escape.

We loved camping but one night there was a terrible storm and we were camping on the coast, and we spent the night holding the tent down. That was quite and experience.

It seemed strange to me yesterday to think of all our escapades and now it is an adventure just to go out in the car lol.

SAD VISIT TO A NATURE RESERVE YESTERDAY

On days when I feel strong enough we like to try and go out somewhere. Yesterday was one such day. Before I got cancer and ultimately went blind, we used to go every day to a Nature Reserve on the banks of the River Humber. It felt like heaven there. We would spend all day there and I would often take a walk to a bird hide with my binoculars and watch and listen for the bittern, which is a rare bird here. Sometimes you can hear the bittern boom, and it is an amazing sound. I did manage to see one once, which was so wonderful. I also saw kingfishers there, and many other wonderful birds. Ducks, teals, water hens, mergansers, herons, little egrets, and all sorts of birds. It felt like heaven to me. I would sit there writing poetry very oftern, too. It was like a whole new wonderful world had opened up for me after our return to my home county.

Then I got cancer and became bed ridden. I could no longer go to this wonderful place. One terrible night, when I was lying in bed just having had chemo, there was a dreadful storm and we listened to what was happening. The River Humber flooded and people had to be evacuated from their homes. My wonderful place was flooded with what was essentially sea water too, for the river is a tidal river, and the Nature Reserve is quite near to the estuary. It was said that the land and the Reserve would never be the same again. The lakes used to be freshwater lakes and now their nature had been completely changed. The birds that used to be there would no longer be there, and the same plants like for instance wild orchids would never grow again. It was indeed a terrible night.

Yesterday, eight years later, we returned to that place. There was not one bird there, and the whole place was just full of rushes growing so high that you could not even see the lakes. Trees had been planted in a kind of plantation and the whole place felt dead. It was a very sad day. All of this due to that terrible storm one night in 2014.

MARCH ON VALIANT SOULS

This is a repost

To wake to the growing light
In the shadow of yesterday’s pain
Breathing fresher air
With hope for a clear day
Is a joy unknown to those
Whose path is bright
And as the new day comes to birth
So does my soul awake
Knowing well the treasures
Of the darkened path
And the potential for the redemption
Of each piercing pain
Though this path is hard
It cannot destroy the valiant soul
And one day we will wake
To an endless day
Where pain is no more
And tears do not ceaselessly flow
Where pure peace is our reward
O march on valiant souls
Your day will come

ANOTHER VISIT TO THE VILLAGE

All of this past week I have had in my mind a picture of the village where my ancestors lived. Although I cannot see it now, I saw it often in the past and can see it in my mind. I may have to go there again tomorrow and I have mixed feelings about it. It existed in Saxon times and is a very ancient settlement, possibly Roman. However, now, it consists mainly of modern bungalows. The church is ancient and one or two buildings. It would have had many stone built cottages in the time when my mother was a baby there. It is surrounded by forest now. I often used to go to visit my grandparents on the farm, travelling there on a bus from the town where I now live. It is about fourteen miles away. Often I would stay for a night or two there. I was about thirteen and fourteen at the time. Once the bus reached the next village it would stop by the war memorial and I would get off, and then there was a long and lonely walk out of the village to my grandparent’s farm. Each Sunday I used to go there and once there I never wanted to leave. As many of you know, my mother was highly and cruelly abusive, and I never wanted to go home again. My grandmother never knew what was happening to me at home. I loved nature and the countryside. I loved to look up into the night sky with my grandmother and see the stars. I always asked her where God was and she always said that she did not know but that He must be up there somewhere.

Often, I wish that I had lived in the time of my ancestors when life was so much more simple. They lived by the weather and the seasons. They drew from the land, and though it was harsh at times, it was a much more natural life. Tomorrow I will be remembering all this again.

I HATE BEING DEPENDANT

I will probably sound boring and repetetive, but the thing that bothers me most is being totally dependent upon someone else. I would not will this on anybody. It is a shock when you think you will recover from cancer and chemotherapy only to discover that something has gone wrong and you are never going to be even slightly independent again. It has come upon me gradually and coming to terms with it is almost impossible. I was always a lively, strong willed, forthright and independent person. To end up like I have has been soul destroying. I feel that I have lost my very life. I have to ask for absolutely everything. Having so little feeling in my fingers and hands has made the blindness even worse.

One thing that really bothers me is that I need help to navigate WordPress. I become so frustrated particularly when I read comments from people and cannot respond myself and have to wait for help. This can be anything up to four or five days and then it is really difficult. Reading comments, my heart immediately wants to respond but I can’t do it on my own. Then, also I receive people’s postings in my emails and want to go straight to read those postings but I cannot do that without help either. I just feel so frustrated as I want to read and know what is going on too.

I feel so bad because I have a fertile and lively mind in a completely useless body, and I grieve over this. I get in bad moods sometimes too. I get depressed also, and often this comes out in what I write, though I try ti not let that happen too much.

Oh to be back where I was before I got cancer. I long to be that person again but know I never will be. I try to live with it but it is so hard. I just am not by nature a dependent person. This is such a hard lesson to learn.

A VISIT TO MY ANCESTORS

Th other day I had to meet with somebody, and the meeting place had to be changed at the last minute. We met in a church, where I had never been before, but it was in the village where all my ancestors on my mother’s side came from. They can be traced right back to the 1600s. The person whom I was meeting did not know this, but it gave me an amazing feeling of connection with the past. My ancestors would have gone to that church, and I found myself wondering what was going on in those days.

The one thing that I did know for sure was that my mother lived there as a baby until she was fifteen months old, when her father died of a brain tumour. My grandmother was left with a little girl to bring up, which was very hard in the early 1920s. They lived in a little cottage but had to move when my mother’s father died. Following that, my grandmother married a wealthy farmer and it was not a love match, but a business arrangement whereby she agreed to provide him with heirs to the farm. Although it was not a love match, affection grew gradually between them. This was the wonderful farm that I used to go and stay at as a child. It was my refuge and a place of security for me. I remember with great love and gratitude.

POSITIVE THOUGHTS ABOUT THE DARKNESS

One of the books that I am reading at the moment is called “st. John of the Cross Master of Contemplation.” I have always been drawn to St. John of the Cross as he talks a lot about darkness, but it is a luminous darkness. I find affirmation within his words and this does my soul good on what is essentially a very lonely journey, stripped of so much that makes a person human. Many people see the darkness as bad and fear it and try to avoid it. Light is the all important thing and if we are not in their view walking in the light, then we are seen in a very negative light. Sorry about the unintended pun lol. For myself I have had to re assess the darkness and have found much comfort within it, though it can also often seem a very desolate place. I have found this book wonderful, and it made me feel not so alone, and it speaks of many of the things I have experienced regarding the darkness. It is not a negative place to be, though it can be frightening at first and very lonely.

I have been reading many books about the darkness, and there are many mystics who see the darkness as a wonderful place. I too have found that to be so true. I have recounted here in my blog, before, my experience of having the darkness put its arms around me when I had been put in a great deal of distress. I have never forgotten the experience and it almost felt like a mother to me, putting her arms around me. I do not despise the darkness, thought I still do often find it a frightening and isolating place to be. I have not finished reading the book yett, but I can’t wait to read more of it.

DANCING QUEENS

I have copied and pasted this from my poetry book entitled “Songs of Hope.”
The first two poems in this book are dedicated to my friend, Blossom Wilson, who hopes that others will find inspiration from the sentiments they contain. Never give up hope. Live life to the full for as long as you can, and even when life hurts, sing and dance if you can.

Tonight you and I were the Dancing Queens
With our heads held high we fulfilled our dreams
Together we danced with the joy of life
Defying death in the face of our grief,
We laughed and sang, waved our arms in the air,
In that moment of joy we didn’t care,
Nothing was going to stop us tonight,
Tears were not going to cloud our clear sight,
For one thing we knew despite all the pain
Was we’d nothing to lose and all to gain,
You are incurable, I in remission,
So while on this earth we don’t need permission
To do anything that makes us feel good,
Clinging to hope walking on this rough road,
Each helping the other to carry their load,
We laugh at the moon and sing to the stars,
The deepest of joy will always be ours

Copyright Lorraine Lewis 2015

RIP BLOSSOM

This post is about my friend Blossom, whom I met whilst undergoing chemotherapy. She had a cancer which was eventually going to kill her. She was a fighter, as we all were. She and I went out together a lot after I went into remission. We went out to the theatre, out for meals, and just out for coffees together. We always knew that she would leave us eventually. In some ways her story is very sad as her family, like mine, deserted her. She never got over it, and often got into morose, angry moods about it, which I completely understood. We had good times together for a while, until I became too blind to go out with her. We stayed in contact however. I felt so much for Blosson in her predicament.

On one occasion when we went out for a meal, she talked about where she would be buried, and she made it clear that she did not want her family to know where she was buried. She had been looking at possible places to be buried and she shared with me where some of them were. Some of them were funny and we laughed a lot.

Eventually she did die, and, true to her word, no one ever knew where she was buried. There was no funeral and only her solicitor knew where she was. I understood her feelings and why she had chosen to do this. In many ways she was very bitter about her family, and I understood. She was a very forthright person who spoke her mind, and I liked her for that. I felt her story was very sad, and remember her often and miss her. I simply pray that she has finally found her peace. R.I.P. Blossom.

SURVIVAL

Today I read about a book in which the author describes her brush with cancer. It made me think a lot. She was lucky enough to have every support going, from her family and friends and the church. She admits that she would not have got through it without all this support. In the book she talks about life being worth it.

This all touched me very deeply because sadly I had to go through my own cancer ordeal with no loving family or friends and no support from my then church. I had no idea at that point that I would survive. I did but ended up like I am now. I am asking the question as to whether I would have fought if I had known I was going to end up like this and I do not know the answer, but I suspect that I would have fought but been scared of being like this. I ask every day if my life is worth anything, as helpless as I am, and often feel worthless. I feel pain at the fact that my family abandoned me and even treated me with cruelty and now I am alone. Yet I also ask how I came through this and still come through it. I do not really know the answer.

Having read about this book, it has made me even more determined to finish my own book. There will be no answers or certainties in mine but many questions. We really do walk in the darkness sometimes and there is nothing for it but to keep going.

I AM EXCITED

I am excited. I have found a way of reading books. I used to have the KFNB reader on my iPad but it did not work very well. It was meant to read books to you. I was really fed up. I could only read books that were in Kindle or Audible. But there were lots of ordinary books that I wanted to read.

I had bought an ORCAM with some money that I got and it was a lot of money but the damned thing will not work as it is meant to and so still I could not read books. I was swearing lol.

Today I have found a new reader called the One Step Reader. It is an App that goes on my iPad and lo and behold it reads books clearly to me. UIPPPPEEEEEEEI AM EXCITED

SONG OF JOY

Today the fountain sprang
From deep within the earth
Singing its unique song to me
Uniting with the mountain streams of my past
Each with its own harmonies
Not confined to time or space
Singing a song forever new
Forever old
Bringing to birth a fresh song
Springing like the fountain
From the depths of my being
A song of joy that never
Did I sing before

THE SCREAM

A REPOST

I came across a scream one day
A’lying on the ground
I wondered where it had come from
Where could it’s home be found

I looked at it and saw it’s face
It was so full of pain
Contorted, writhing, pride all gone
I thought it was a game

“What are you doing here?” I said
It couldn’t answer me
It cried and groaned so terribly
Then silence fell on me

How could a scream be so bereft
It really should be heard
It’s loneliness did tear my heart
I couldn’t find a word

Some people came and looked at it
Said “What the hell is that?”
They stood and stared with open mouths
And then they went so flat

The scream jumped up and shocked them all
Oh what a pitiful sight
It found a mouth to be its home
It gave it such a fright

It rolled around in its new home
The owner filled with pain
She gasped and cried “Oh help me please
This scream I can’t contain

It must come out for all to hear
I have to let it go”
She opened wide her mouth right then
And tears began to flow

So let your scream come out my child
Don’t hold it deep within
Open your mouth and let it go
And live within your skin

THE SINS OF THE FATHERS

I remember when I was a kid taking the rap for something that was deemed to be bad when it was exactly the opposite. We went on a school trip to Belle Vue in Manchester. I was a poorly dressed kid, with few friends because my family was so different. My mother had given me a very small amount of spending money whilst the other kids had a lot. The first thing that I did upon arriving was to buy my mother a present with the money that she had given me. I then had none left. The other kids all jumped eagerly onto one of the rides there, and I could not go on because I did not have the money for the ride. I was not bothered and stood at the side, feeling so happy that I had got a lovely little present for my mother.

One of the teachers came up to me and scolded me for spending all my money so quickly. I was judged to be a bad kid from a bad family, but I never told the teacher the truth about the money. It can be the case that the kids can bear judgement for the lacks of the parents, as happened to me all the time. Believe it or not, exactly the same thing has happened to me recently. I am being judged poorly because of my family. How strange to think that this can happen all these years later. I have not probably explained this well at all, but it is sad when one is judged because of one’s family.