Reflecting

A poem. Your painting or photograph. A narrative. What about some humor? Whatever and however you express yourself. These are your "stories". Maybe a gallery to follow. Let us know what you want.

 

In the meantime...

The Dax Poetry Collection at The Dax Centre in Australia "promotes mental health and wellbeing by fostering a greater understanding of the mind, mental illness and trauma through poetry and creativity." Here are two poems from their collection.

                _____________  

              

The moon rises like an opera diva full.

Old wives caterwaul and switch their tails and tales —

crime rates, sex and inmates soar — the tales are true.

I clutch in my hand the tarot card The Fool,

remain undiagnosed and indisposed to

medication’s narcoleptic kiss, and so

awake. But the future ebbs and the past flows

on tiding nights like this. Will I go mad? There

is wind on the water, mist in the mirror;

but something in me like a swimming child moves.

This is not madness, but an ending, this is love.

My old name is called from the roll of the dead,

and with the fat lady singing in my head,

my heart breaks open wide and breaks all the rules.

For a long time now I have been dreaming

while awake. I dream this poem and dream

you, lover, to slake a thirst I cannot

seem to slake. All that is denied returns:

I grow a hunch upon my back, know when

it forms his whip will crack, and the circus

commence. Will there be slapstick clowns spilling

from a tiny car, midgets on elephants,

beautiful people flying through the air?

I want to open up in sleep to this.

But sleeping is no state for lunatics:

fear of the dark’s long pale hands disfigures

childhood far from wonder. Still my panic;

be my nightlight. I fear the ringmaster.

Mal McKimmie,From The Brokenness Sonnets I-III & Other Poems,Five Islands Press, 2011

 

 

MAGNOLIA TREE

A mind beginning to know itself again

after a long period of hostage

to itself, its germs, its own wrong slant.

No beauty, no blooms,

but ugliness of repetition,

a world like a pill of grey,

dissolving in a glass of grey.

Never to be caught and never free,

like the sea when it is by itself,

as personal as a message, and blank and nameless.

The medicated mind begins again,

tries to imagine itself, a dance

of a dance, each step a memory,

this is me, it says, this is how I’d be,

with a notion of I as the one true self

hard as a bud, white as a bloom

that yet goes under, that cries in the night

for mysterious help.

Lowell called it murderous,

its five-day blooming. I have moved my bed

to see it where it blooms,

on every twig the white flowers open.

Petra White

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Both poems are in a downloadable poetry booklet at http://www.daxcentre.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Poetry_brochure_FINART.pdf

 

The Cunningham Dax Collection housed at the Dax Centre "consists of over 15,000 creative works on paper, paintings, ceramics, and textiles created by people who have experienced mental illness or psychological trauma." There are two other collections of similar size and stature, the Prinzhorn Collection in Heidelberg, Germany, and Musee L’Art Brut in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Hans Prinzhorn was a psychiatrist who collected the art of his patients, and wrote The artistry of the Mentally Ill, the book which “launched the field of psychiatric art.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artistry_of_the_Mentally_Ill.

Musee L'Art Brut was founded by the artist Jean Dubuffet, who coined the term "art brut," and has over 30,000 works.

 

 

Here is something which I find inspirational, and, yet, calming.

 

                                 Desiderata

 

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

                                                  Max Ehrmann, 1927

 

 

 

      

There are expressions of many others in Resources.[tab]

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