Buoyant isn’t the Word

Hello Everyone,

The Ragtag Daily Prompt yesterday was BUOYANT. Sadly, I wasn’t feeling buoyant enough to write anything — even though it was the prompt word I chose.

I did get some suitable pictures from Pixabay to illustrate the concept, like this cute hot air balloon:
air-balloon-festival-954908_640

Thankfully, I’m feeling much more buoyant today and almost completely recovered from the cold & sinus woes that laid me low for almost two weeks.

But life hasn’t been bubbles of joy this month for other reasons, too, as my sister has been in hospital for over three weeks now. She went in with pneumonia & infection and had a rough time of it, according to her husband. But things were looking up; last week he thought she’d be out by the end of the week. However, when I talked to him last night, he said she’d caught another infection and would remain in hospital until the end of this week for sure, right through Christmas.

Rose had treatment for lung cancer and reacted to the first chemo, so was in hospital most of December last year. To them and their family this is going to seem like a sad repeat. I’d love to visit her but, being sick as I was, I decided it wouldn’t be a kindness. and this week I have to work more shifts. So I’ll continue to send good wishes through her husband and hope next week will bring a good day to go.

I’ve tried to contact my sister Donna several times in the last few months, but she’s either moved or cancelled her phone service. It’s during seasons of “family visits and goodwill” that I really wish for closer ties with my siblings, but we did grow up apart and live such different lives now, too. Though we always had contact and spent the summers together, I was raised by my Uncle & Aunt Forsyth from the time I was three months old, mostly several hours away from my family.

In case anyone reader is interested: My brother Jim is 11 months older than me; as children we were really close. I come second; Donna is 3 1/2 years younger. We were close, too. Rose is 5 years younger, but lived with my Aunt and Uncle, too, for three of her preschool years because of her health issues. Wilma is 6 years younger than me and Lorraine 11 years younger than me. I’ve had very little contact with the youngest two.

Now back to the present: I’m breathing easier, hacking less, and I have the day to myself. Maybe I can get some things accomplished here at home, including posting something for this morning’s Ragtag daily prompt. Here’s wishing you all vim, vigor, and a buoyant holiday week.

balloons-1018299_640

Life In A Dark Bubble

Yesterday’s Word of the Day prompt was BUBBLE. I’m coming in rather late here, but this is my response.

paranoia
life in a dark bubble
everybody hates me

mind-767584_640
Image by Gerd Altmann

Not long before this prompt came up, I’d an account I wrote some years ago about a woman I met on a trip we took. She likely would have been diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic — if she’d ever sought medical help. It sounds like her doctors had suggested mental illness, but why should she listen to doctors when they’ve all been ordered by the government to destroy people like her? Another man friend tried drugs, but hated the side effects.

I’ve visited with several afflicted ones over the years, enough to give me some picture of what their world must be like. I know there’s a wide range of symptoms and reactions to treatment, but here’s my non-medical insight, for what it’s worth.

“When I was in the hospital,” this woman explained to me, her eyes shining, “they did experiments on me. They poison a person with mercury. The mercury slowly comes out of you through your skin, you know; I see little silver drops on my carpet all the time.”

What could I say? You’re imagining this? But she wasn’t. She actually saw these drops. Just as someone else saw an upside-down cross on a hospital curtain one night — a sure omen of evil to come. Who can understand why or how the mind perceives silver drops, or beetles on all the plants, or people pulling their hair in the night? For the sufferer, the only “logical” explanation is that someone is trying to drive them mad. Once mad, they’ll be taken to the psych ward and quietly disposed of.

“There are two kinds of people in this world,” another fearful person told me years ago. “Those who wish I was dead, and those who think I already am.”

“Most of the people in this world don’t even know you exist,” I replied. However, that’s reality, and reality usually doesn’t cut through such fear. I wasted my breath.

Many, many times people trying to help a person through their hallucinations waste their breath trying to explain that, “No, it isn’t what you imagine. You still have all your hair; no one has pulled it out.”

I’ve learned that my rational explanations will never combat paranoia; they just can’t pierce that bubble of fear. The afflicted, be they on welfare, members of ethnic minorities, Christians, or whatever else makes them unique, see themselves as slated for destruction — and no one recognizes the danger they’re in. If you don’t agree, if you won’t see how the government is out to destroy people like them, you are either burying your head in the sand or you’re delusional.

Sadly, some misguided religious people see all mental illness as “demonic” and their answer is some type of exorcism. This is usually a double whammy for the sufferers. Not only are they NOT cured by this ritual, plus now they live with the guilt of being possessed by evil spirits, and/or the thought that God must have given up on them, too.

From what I’ve observed, medication has had limited success in treating this type of mental illness. Some works great — for a time. There is some healing in the aging process. I once read that schizophrenia loses some of its grip on a person’s mind after age fifty. The problem is the dangerous situations they tend to live in, often being homeless and isolating themselves.

Another friend of mine who has suffered from fears very much through the years became a Christian in her twenties and the words that help her the most are the scriptures about God looking after his own. He does see, He does care, and He has looked after her amazingly well in her circumstances. When she calls me, greatly distressed because something suspicious happened, or someone said something threatening, we talk about the day when the trials of this life will be behind us and we’ll live in Heaven, safe from evil, free from care. Focusing on that better place makes the troubles of this world more bearable.

Book: Love of Finished Years

When I read a good book, I like to tell people about it. This story reminds me of something British writer D E Stevenson, another excellent author, would write.

Love of Finished Years
by Gregory Erich Phillips

This moving debut novel by Gregory Erich Phillips won the Grand Prize for best book of the year in the Chanticleer Reviews International writing Competition.

From the first paragraph to the last, this compelling story illustrates the desperate poverty of one immigrant family from Germany who landed at Ellis Island in 1905. After struggling to earn a living for several years, their dejected father abandons the family, so the mother and two daughters work in sweatshops, determined to survive.

The heroine of our story, Elsa, finds a friend at work who teaches her English. Later she manages to find work as a secretary, ostensibly a German-English translator for an American businessman, but Esla basically becomes the companion of his daughter Dafne and is introduced to the world of the privileged.

This story is so realistic it could have been a biography. I felt along with Elsa and her family as they faced a new life in an alien world. I believe this reflects the lot of many immigrants. Slowly the three immigrant women manage to pull their way out of desperate poverty, maintaining close ties. Then comes World War I and they must cope with anti-German hostilities and the tragedy that results.

While she is companion to Dafne, the debutante is engaged to Glenn and when war comes he’s eager to go and serve his country, do his part to deliver the world from the evil aggressor. Glenn’s war experience and his enlightenment was very realistic. I have to agree with the writer’s take on the idea of a “just” war: all the “save the world” idealism is a thin veneer covering various hidden agenda.

I thought the writer portrayed Dafne with fairness, too. An immature, spoiled debutante carried away by adult dreams too big for her to really comprehend, she really needed more parental guidance than she got. Thankfully, through their years together Elsa filled the place of a big sister and guided her in many ways.

It really is an engaging, well written tale.

On Breaking & Replacing

Lego + quote

ONE BROKEN DREAM
by Edgar Guest

One broken dream is not the end of dreaming,
One shattered hope is not the end of all,
Beyond the storm and tempest stars are gleaming,
Still build your castles, though your castles fall.

Though many dreams come tumbling in disaster,
And pain and heartache meet us down the years,
Still keep your faith, your dreams and hopes to master
And seek to find the lesson of your tears.

Not all is as it should be! See how littered
With sorry wreckage is life’s restless stream.
Some dreams are vain, but be you not embittered
And never cry that you have ceased to dream!

From the book, Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest,
©1934 by the Reilly & Lee Company

pick up pieces quote

The Ragtag Daily Prompt word this morning was BROKEN.

Dreams & Designs

A NEW DAY

Crest of a wave on the eastern horizon
a barely discernible glow at first
seeps over to inundate the heavens
driving night to the west end of time.

As it travels across the sky it washes
away the pain and sorrows of yesterday
prompts pardon for past wrongs
effects forgiveness in its undercurrent.

The sun arrives to shake the sleepyheads
insisting on new designs and dreams.
People open their eyes to grumble, moan,
or thank God for a new day!

— Christine Goodnough