More Pos-psych, I learnt the words of two protest songs on guitar and learnt my Blake songs on keyboard - which I enjoy singing more than on guitar, funnily, it feels freer and I feel more able to improvise melodies. Also, I found out that my book review has been published, tho i havent' received a copy of the journal yet. An enormous Yes, Dasein!
I really desperately want to get my doctoral writing going again, but it stays just out of reach - I won't give up reaching and I will get there. I do think accentuating the positive and capturing it for review can be helpful, but, of course, not everything can be spun in this way.
My Aunt May died. May's story is not a very happy one, really. She grew up with dad and her other sister in a back-to-back terraced house (knocked down as 'slums' later) and experienced something in her very early twenties (in the late 1940s or early 1950s) which knocked her life off course. It's all very sketchy, because nobody talked about nothin' back then. The secrets that destroy, or what? Well, I guess it was some kind of mental breakdown. This from Wikipedia:
Mental breakdown (also known as a nervous breakdown) is a colloquial term for an acute, time-limited psychiatric disorder that manifests primarily as severe stress-induced depression, anxiety or dissociation in a previously functional individual, to the extent that they are no longer able to function on a day-to-day basis until the disorder is resolved. A mental breakdown is defined by its temporary nature, and often closely tied to psychological burnout, severe overwork, sleep deprivation and similar stressors, which combine to temporarily overwhelm an individual with otherwise sound mental faculties.Something happened to May when her caring brother was away in very distant Egypt on his National Service. And, whatever it was, they put her into a loony bin as everybody used to call it - Bracebridge Asylum at Lincoln, a very long way away from Grimsby in those days. I can only guess, but I always felt that any chance of her situation being time-limited was destroyed. And she was in that rather alien and scary environment until 'Care in the Community' came along and they found her a shared and monitored house in Lincoln itself. And then dementia came along. For fuck's sake. So, her last ten years were in a care home and the last year or so has been mostly spent in her bed - each visit saw her slip further and further away from even the barest communication and her body was a bag of bones.
Is there something positive from this? I don't know. I felt very low. Given that May was never really able to play a full part in anybody's family life, and she essentially held the status of visitee to my dad and me (the only people who did visit her), I have been taken aback by how much her going has affected me - I felt somehow that the world had shifted somehow. It makes me awfully sad to think of her absence as I'm writing here. Perhaps a couple of months back, dad was unable to visit, so I went and I sang her a couple of songs and then as I was leaving she spoke what - to me at least - were her final words before she was unable to communicate any more. I told her I loved her very much and she said 'Thank you, Dear.'
May, thank you, Dear.