Tag Archives: mental health

Post, pals and figuring *it* out (together, alone) – Japan Cottage Musings

Back from seitai with kindly sensei & feeling spun and bit blue / confused or some combo and wearing a dead man’s wonderful brown cotton jimbei, attempting a somewhat useful ramble while a bit scrambled up.

Namechecks and stories about/from:

* Casey Bean of The Beanpod with stickers & personal narrative 

* Diego the street sketcher with a Hermes Baby typer letter

* Pam from Pacific Blue days with BC pins (which Ichiro loved!)

* Emma Swift with LP of Bob Dylan songs & mental well-being challenges 

* Andrew McLuhan carrying on father Eric & grandfather Marshall’s media message literacy work + punk rock & poetry

* Passports from 1960s UK awaiting remixing like Jason Emde (poet of “little bit die” & Writers Read Their Early Sh*t  pod) and others filled with poetry, ephemera, maps & secret compartments 

* A side bar about Bob Dylan’s propensity for leaving the stage early (probably because he has some painting or welding to do but maybe he just has some things on his mind that he doesn’t have ability to share with someone who will just listen), then:

* Soviet-era documents sparking a conversation about what constitutes identity and why we carry a little bit of stationary to declare who we are… avoiding the rabbit hole of discussing sovereignty, residency, citizenry and other digressions.

And (another) foreshadowing about the simple task of putting postcards into an album because each is so precious i feel should talk about each one individually so maybe get around to it if you hang out with me.

A bit of the fantastic Newfoundland band “Hey Rosetta!” gently frames the conversation with “sorry this is it, cold and hard and badly lit, but there’s no backing out of it…”

And there’s a birthday greetz for John Biehler via Stanley Park and tea. 

And backdrop paintings by John Ferrie (he’s got a sale going on) providing a ‘Eye in the Sky’ panorama of our semi-recent BC invasion. 

Really I’m just grateful to have you to hang out with as it’s beneficial for my mental and emotional well-being somehow.

Poem: ‘Served my Heart’ #draft

Served my heart

Suppose its petty
And surely inelegant
but I’ll spill it anyhow
As i recollect

“I still think of all the stuff
I suddenly gave away
When I I though I will die”

All the paintings I sent away
Hoping to be remembered
My hand or another held
The brush and decision

Thought would bring
Safety net and affection
And watchful eye on escape
A photo shows up sometimes
In a flashback and fleeting

Fireworks or factories
On a Spanish coast, a grotto
Fig de Foz or Gandhi beach park

Lions gate in a windstorm
Pretending i was Varley
Taking late night ferry
Over between drunken tug boat races

All gone but for the snaps
I try to make anew
But hand only knows how
To forget and the paint
Goes on in errant blobs
Maintaining current mood

Painting: Tom Thompson

Royal Gratitude for #UW53 Birthday Greetz #trying

oh just me talking with my hands with some great John Ferrie paintings behind

A fumbly stumbly but well-intentioned message of gratitude for sending fond wishes for a birthday and whatnot.

Post-BC-trip for various reasons, been feeling a little bit mentally unwell, struggling, so I’ve been laying low while I try to pick up the pieces and figure out what comes next //

So – conciseness/brevity not being my strong point, I say something about “hooray for the trip, my brain will eventually be all right (everything is wonderful except for a few things) and something about typhoons and how I sent out a lot of cards but never seems to be quite enough.”

Then – more to that point – talk about going to an {underwhelming} van Gogh exhibit by bus and eating venison and blueberries with Ryoko & Mac-san + the incredible Ichiro Stanley.

It’s all a long clumsy way of saying “I am very grateful for you and you being part of my life and not forgetting about me”

Fondly, dvo/uw

Diary-ish: typhoons, corn, tidying up + RR

Aug. 6 I tried to clean up some email inboxes, got a bit done, so much behind on correspondence of all sorts. Can’t dare open up Messenger or Messages or DMs or whatever else is lingering. My brain just cannot get going and sleep remain elusive. Did an unscheduled clean of bedroom :( – let’s just say there are challenges involved with not having a foundation on the house

Aug. 7 A new stamp to track how I’m doing as i add different supplements, medications, processes and procedures / today is really tough as to low barometric pressure from a typhoon “somewhere nearby” is crushing my little head.

Kinda doesn’t look like it but did a little bit of a tidy up of the writing & misc desk/bookshelf area which is sort of squeezed in the corner next to the piano.

[No big deal but if you look really close you’ll notice several interesting artifacts and art pieces including an original Nick Bantock piece and some exceptional books on the shelf]

{there’s probably a German word to say how “every available flat surface quickly gets covered up by stuff”}

And that Kenwood audio deck has turned out to be a great purchase! Plays CDs plus AM/FM (all three of which we use often), also Bluetooth and USB which are used much less frequently. We’re kind of a physical media family. The two record players are in the kura.

Two headscarves (what’s the proper term?), one from Oman and one from Dubai (or is that the one from Jordan?) and a handmade cloth from island of Yap on top of the piano (which, along with the kamidana are next for a tidy up)

Family shrine in tidy up process… Top of piano not improved as yet

Aug. 8 The typhoons don’t seem close to us but a couple clicks up, down rather I guess… or lower or whatever on the barometric pressure wreaks havoc…

Borrowed from someone else’s post. Is that you? If so, thank you

and I’ve managed to pick up a lousy cold/fever from the kiddo so I’m just a big pile of grumpiness right now :(

I can see my house from here (arrow not exactly accurate, im clumsy)

Aug. 9 Not sure I’ve ever seen wife quite as happy as coming into the room to say “with that typhoon, I better cancel the trip to Tokyo”. She & Ichi were going for niece’s 1st birthday but traveling during Obon on holiday is already a drag & torrential downpours won’t make it easier.

Of course she wants to meet wee baby (Rio chan) and also had arranged with her University jazz circle friends to see their big band concert in Yokohama-area but it’s all just a bit too much.

Autumn / winter are her busy arborist seasons so we’ll look for a chance.

{And while I would love to go to see the relatives and whatnot, there’s no way I’m capable of a six hour shinkansen ride and going into the big smoke of Tokyo right now, like 0% chance. I’m in total bed lock mode with crushing head, fever etc}

To clarify, wife is happy because we’re still spinning catching up on projects from a rocky reentry from #BCInvasion + traveling during Obon holiday (when folks return to their home village to clean ancestors graves etc.) is a busy expensive hectic slog + such humid right now

A sweet and wise friend reminded me,

“You don’t owe anyone anything”

which I get however, nothing is better for wee heart and aching head then making creative projects (besides sleep) & have so many in mind from trip + tender words to say in commemoration of humans passed.

But I’m in total bed lock mode anyway so resets my parameters of what I’m capable of… I might do a bit of rough sewing as a lap project.

Also have to send notes to my big-time international accountant (who is quite literally, a legend/rockstar) so I can do in bed too.

And, finally broke down and ordered a foldable bamboo “bed desk” // wanted one for years but thought if purchased, might make me too comfortable and then remembered ‘being comfortable it’s kind of the fcking point of healing’

Memo: I didn’t do either of the above

Aug. 10

Oh my goodness, just learned Robbie Robertson passed on.

What an incredible storyteller // and while the conflicts inside “the band” break my wee heart, the music they created is beyond timeless, redefined genre and the epitome of ensemble.

Onwards to the showdown at big sky.

Royal Robertson requested donations to the Woodland cultural center in Memorial which you can find: https://woodlandculturalcentre.ca/support-us/

Our home in #Okayama is right in the “Venn diagram” where they connect

Typhoon update: Handy link for anyone who wants to follow real time these two typhoons buffet in Japan… https://www.jma.go.jp/bosai/map.html#4/32.176/136.187/&elem=root&typhoon=all&lang=en&contents=typhoon

Aug. 12 Two days ago was really blustery and the bamboo trees were swaying heavily, but yesterday and it looks like today are just hot humid and sunny.

We will be OK, remember I was a Cub Scout so I have all alarm urgency supplies :) We’re tracking it, the first typhoon has peeled off away from us and the second is slowly making its way towards us but a little bit to the east. Landfall around August 15.

Spruced up the shrine in cottage // family went up to clean up graves, usually i love love love this task but completely wiped out from yesterday’s seitai treatment.

There was also ramen involved, artfully designed shop as well as the ramen (unphotographed because “ramen is not a fashion” but my selection was delightfully fresh, zesty cold variety

I will not tell you the name of this shop

Arrived by post today:

  • Box of corn, on cob (from Gandalf’s hipper brother in Nagano)
  • Classic book of epistolary literature (used) to send to a friend, elsewhere in Japan
  • Also, Received yesterday: variety of sweet cakes from Taiwan from a visiting Canadian with Singapore ties
The aforementioned gift from Taiwan also came with a photograph of postbox from the same charming gentleman. Gratefully received

{a snippet of poem and musings about brain and soul pain} #bruised

Another *notable* one gone (you can tell when the reason/cause/method isn’t listed but conjecture abounds and the same cliches surface).

Compelled to add (into the oblivion):

Gosh, sometimes brain and heart and soul get all tangled up & so bery blue / + all the blabs about “reaching out for help” (as though resources are easy & abundant when in crisis) & then crappy meds touted as cure, or bromides about “tortured artist finding peace” are bruising :(

Compassion, empathy, assistance, acceptance for all the human travelers… especially those struggling at anytime, in any of so many ways.

So many lost along the way each day // could’ve been me – so glad not you.

My heart aches for so many so many so many…

Find a pathway.

And then thought (clearly unwisely as these sorts of trips into translucency rarely end well) to *not be cagey* and share a bit of my story, such as it is.

Thus, dug into the secret locked journals with transcriptions from scribbled notebooks and only giving a tiny slice (too much hurts too much to remember and would hurt others to read) and not like anyone’s lining up to read, except you, right?

Checked myself into Royal Jubilee
Alas majesty not on duty
So a shivering white v neck 
grab backpack and run


To a taxi 
Into the night
Ferry on a quiet room
To a safe house
A mystic tincture
then a hall which smelled like soup 
And a well made bed
Kindness in Royal Albert

No matter though
I was escaped 
I thought
Drift away from your fangs
Your rants and burns
Your distaste for happiness
Your hostage knot

I scarred my heart and 
Served on a charcuterie platter 
Made from madrona wood
Between salami and prosciutto
Ignore my hints
A call left for recompense
Said “oh nothing but…”

Still I feel irrelevant
Now disappeared, 
malcontent and pretend
To be indifferent


A shadow reconstituted by
Solitude and time
No address to ??
Just uniforms without authority 
But a few land laughs
and a misdirection 
is all I could ask 

Above prob 2015/6

Well since i’m here, comes a narrative to *someone* about a rough night / week/ month {maybe so *you* know its not just you etc and also the system of care is broken, not you (no, telephone helplines are not the solution albeit well-intentioned, i guess #shrug)

Yes I have, it was a terrible experience… I was shaking and crying for days and begging for help from doctors who didn’t really seem to care.

I self admitted myself to an energency psychiatric ward (with help from a brain injury clinic) and honestly, was treated terribly because I wasn’t either ideating suicide plans, or wasn’t a street drug “junkie“ although I was with withdrawing from prescription meds (benzos, opiates, ssris_. 

They treated me like they werent serious about my needs. Was terribly demeaning and embarrassing. 
I cried and shook and they just told me to “calm down“ and wait… I was there for over six hours in a cold the waiting room, with no headphones/earplugs, bright lights, and a TV playing news. 

I finally demanded to leave at 11:30 PM when they were going to make me sleep in the waiting room… they tried to keep me. They said odd things. 

Then was released in shorts and a sweat soaked v-neck undershirt and sandals into the night, no transport, no safe place, completely manic and wild beast.

I somehow pulled myself together to get on a ferry (I was living on an island) and go to a friends house where I “hid out” for days. 

When I finally went back home, {snip} was the worst month of my life [ed note: up to then] lousy birthday as well #heh

and a bit of a letter from (early 2018), don’t make me regret sharing this:

The wistful look in my eye you mentioned I think it’s just me trying to look happy because honestly I’m terribly depressed. 

Every day I am in terrible pain and I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to improve and nothing seems to help and I feel like I am stuck with this illness for the rest of my life and every day I will wake up in pain and I will go to bed in pain. 

And all the dreams of everything I wanted to do, been a fun and happy person, making creative projects, it’s all basically not possible anymore for me. 

My life is now just trying to get through each day without completely falling apart. 

I cry all the time, I never sleep well, and I have very little hope for any improvement. 

I’m sorry to tell you this bluntly but since you notice the look in my eyes, I thought I would just say it so you know what I’m dealing with. 

I try to smile and laugh out loud because some psychologists say helps to create new neural pathways to feel joy. 

Yes I hate to let other people see how sad I am because then the burden themselves with my troubles. It’s one of the reasons I am better to live far away so people don’t see me suffer.

oh geez, again with the pain, just so you know its not just you lost confused and in pain, date unknown, maybe 2017?

I don’t want to be medicated but I also realize my moods are all over the fucking map and meditation alone isn’t helping. I struggle with it in general And feel there must be some sort of physical marker or explanation for all of this even though all conventional wisdom says there isn’t. 

Yes I go down the snake hole about this. But what else am I supposed to do? Sit around the house and live like an old man doing three hours of activity a day and spending the rest of the time in bed? Because that seems to be the other option. And frankly I’m sick of all the self-help problem about “the best you can do is the best you can do” and all of this… Shit needs done, I want to live life with some expectation I’m at improvement and happiness. I also realize I’ve been through hell and back the last four years and just need some calm but that seems to be fucking impossible when every night I go to bed in pain, wake up exhausted and drift through the day like a zombie.

this was all may be a terrible idea, I found so much more from the diaries and journals, I read too much of the letters during the really dark times… The dark time still come back, but my life is most every measurable way is wonderful yet the demons are still lingering and ready to pounce. Recently festering.

Somehow *it* (the safety, calm, love) happened. Did I manifest? Would be powerful to think, yet somehow, the goodness all just came together. Peace to all of us. Each Day.

Diary: just a head full of question marks #video

figuring sumthing or shrug i dunno
Preamble: You’re “supposed to talk about “these things“ so I am but putting it here where no one will notice since I’m kind of sick of all the “social channels” or bored or annoyed  or frustrated by squandering potential and watching the knuckleheads use all the oxygen. I’m not giving up in a big way, just in several small ways. 

I knew it was coming – coming back from the #BcInvasion trip, three weeks now, just feeling discombobulated // knew would be physically exhausted but emotionally and mentally just can’t seem to get my head together…

Adrenals depleted, cortisol, is a very high or very low? Serotonin and dopamine trying to regenerate. Pineal gland wondering what it does anymore. 

Neural pathways coming back online, spine discs trying to slip it back in place, signal switching, which once sparked a long curvaceous route, now getting used to expressways from toes to knees to spine to shoulders and then shooting pain up through that misaligned cervical roadblock like a pebble in the boot walking out Timpanogos for 34 years since Jerome Idaho 1988, Christmas Eve.

Anyhow, the sting behind my eyes, the dull pain when i try to move or think, the brain frankly going very dark and very blue and danger-esque – and coupled with so much sad news far out of my control (so many RiP), senses of loss that I thought I’d worked through but I guess haven’t, anyway, it’s been a bit too much – so I retreat.

It’s hardly the first time, ha! it’s a on-going series of existential crisis and brain hi-jacking from lack of deep rest, increase in stress, atmospheric issues etc.

I “retreat” to the things I know how to do within the brain crash fog and which benefit my self-care and my precious darling duo: wash and fold laundry, make tea and rice, ensure mosquito net in place, and even sometimes try to manage the compost. Oh yeah, a hot bath for everyone (despite 38°+ days)!

Then step-up to bus rides to treatments (ivs & seitai) and then level-up to postcards at coffee shops.

I also gracefully remember unlike so many of my fellow #MECFS fellow travelers, I’m now getting out of bed most every day(!) I am finding bits of physical strength returning by resparking the cellular ATP process to re/build mitochondria – I carried some bricks, some trees. Sweating in a *not just peeling an orange” way. Not gentle walks, :15 of exertion then we sever.

Now, a few lap projects which I love doing in moments of quiet in the house with hemp cloth, needle and thread or drumkit, screw thread loc-tite and pliers, or bricks, charcoal and cast-iron. Improving the campsite!

[The above diary was recorded June 19, today is July 17 – post backdated to kind of hide it – I’m making steps: I receive some wonderful things in the post, some disappointing news at the hospital but also some positive referrals and new efficient systems in place, a few phone calls from elusive friends, well placed emails with snapshots of children on adventures, tomorrow will eat a watermelon, so we go on]

Pod Riffs on “Story in Mind” w/ Moss Whelan

+ Let’s go for a walk and talk with a Story in Mind +

Hey whatta fun conversation! Riffing about creative projects from 1970s to current days and how all the threads connect together in the most unexpected ways. I.e.: fanzines, chapbooks, paintings, mustaches, Ayurveda, Dead tour, grain barns of mystery, goat farms, hemp #theusual

From Moss Whelan / writer, papermaker, renegade & podmaker:
“Back in the swing—talking with {Dave Olson} about writing, art, and health”

Note: Listen above in browser or via Anchor, Apple Pod, SpotifyContinue reading Pod Riffs on “Story in Mind” w/ Moss Whelan