“… no matter what, no matter what, draw the dream you want to grow.”
tell the truth.
Truth is a buzz word that sets emotions humming, I know. That’s why I like remembering the way George Carlin used it to close some of his sets as a heartfelt reminder to college kids on campuses throughout America. George said, “tell the truth” in a way that inspired audiences to ask themselves what truth meant for them.
~Not as a collective of anything but the united nation of self, centered at the core of individual groove, overall, in the circle of no doubt about it.
He confronted truth every time he took the stage and dared listeners to ask themselves who taught them mind control. He did it with barbs and sarcasm. He was also candid in ways that made it possible to look at the fact that we lie to ourselves in many ways and that it doesn’t just it hurt us, individually, it hurts everyone.
I think about truth. I wonder what it means to us, as humans. I find words difficult, at times, when writing a post because words don’t define a dimensional truth. They don’t convey, adequately, the phenomena we experience throughout life; sometimes, through ignorance, they wound. Perhaps the wounding is intentional. Perhaps not. Either way, it brings me to an awareness that using words is an art form for me, and not a platform.
I wrote, at one time about the presence of “agoraphobia” in my life. I poked fun at myself, but it wasn’t funny. Ironically, I started dreaming about George Carlin. I’d argue with him that without sarcasm I’d have no material. He ought to understand that. “Fuck ’em,” he’d say in response. “You’re an audience of one, and the one that matters isn’t square with the truth.”
Boof! He’d be nothing but a dream, and I’d be awake wondering exactly what I shouldn’t lie to myself about in the next post. More and more often, I’d read a post instead of write one. Delete a rant. Watch the world without shooting a single photo.
I learned a life I’d never known.
One day, I thought about an architecture assignment I’d done relating to marketing and the use of gigantism– creating over-sized structures relative to human scale (approximated to a 5’8″ European Standard) to generate certain, emotional effects. Joy was not one of the emotions humans generally feel in the presence of gigantism. They feel overwhelmed. Powerless. And… that is often the intent of using gigantism in architecture.
I don’t like being overwhelmed. I don’t like being intimidated to join in with things that don’t resonate with me, either. But I do understand that, at times, I face intimidating, non-resonant challenges because they exist. I not only face them, I walk with them until it’s time to turn a corner, and walk a different direction.
The day I returned to the concepts I learned about gigantism, I turned a corner in my understanding of mental health, mind, and self worth. I sat down and thought like a mental architect, beginning with the question,
are you a 5′ 8″ human prototype?
I am not.
What was I, then? What were my needs? Question after question came together, then answers, more answers… then quiet.
Finally, I believed me, and then… and then, a lot of crap ended.
Presently, I’m sorting, and cleaning up loose ends.
This is the official, final posting for Living is Not Mental Illness. In the years this blog has run posts I’ve participated in challenges, done some wonderful collaborations, learned a lot about social media, and found community among other writers and creative artists. What a ride! And you know how it happened?
I told the truth as best i knew
(and found the way to the me I am).
Thank you for sharing this wonderful time, this adventure I always hoped might be. Before I knew of internet and laptops, I knew I wanted to write without downing trees. I didn’t know how it could happen, but I hoped it would. Maybe this is not the perfect outcome, but it’s amazingly close to a long-loved daydream.
How cool that dreams come true!
And when the news is… not new… but truth is spoken tenderly.
… don’t buy it.
Once, I watched a man, grey as the end of a burnt match, leaning thinly against a check-in desk as he waited for the clerk to process his chart for the upcoming heart procedure scheduled for noon. I felt many things but it wasn’t my story to live. Only to tell, I guess.
This man I saw looked tired beyond living. Why was he standing? No, leaning; he was leaning against the counter, holding his dignity in check and I wondered how on earth people want to seek health care, considering the reductionist attitude toward these sacred things called bodies.
Do we care about L.I.F.E.? I screamed in my head.
He needs a chair, come out of there… out of that cubicle thing so you can hear, and he doesn’t drop! Do you care?
Do you care? Do you understand human care?
When does logic enter the picture?
When we exit reductionist thinking.
we”ll be with you in a minute, though it looks like you’re down to just a few…
we’ll just add another stint to that heart, you’ll be good as new…
we’ll just keep him overnight… gosh, he had quite a spell.
who knew? how old is he, again… (punch in codes)!!! oh, well.
I thought my chest would hit the floor when no one heard him rasp, cold… i’m cold. need a blanket.
At the desk, I asked for some. Warmed blankets, please.
I wondered why cell phones are allowed in recovery rooms, and then realized it didn’t matter to others. It’s an issue for me. Recovery room styles change.
Breathe, Meredith, breathe… I did, and turned within.
I understand trauma.
I don’t get neglect,
or indifference, or
fingers punching at phones
grasping a hand…
a hand that’s cold
but holding on,
knowing death still walks the floor.
When health care feels like a Monty Python movie, I don’t laugh; there’s got to be more than finding ways to distract ourselves with objects that go BING!