Feeling sadness and some anger

I see our world today and how it is disintegrating slowly but surely. I feel deep sadness and also anger possibly in equal measures. There is so much war and tyranny and then then are the natural events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and extreme weather. No wonder people try to find somewhere else to live.

I know what it is like to be homeless or nearly so and to live in squalid conditions. When I was younger and my two children were only just at school, I lived in a series of one bedroom flats or apartments where the facilities for cooking and washing were very basic. At one point I shared a damp falling apart house where I and my children had a bedroom but shared the small damp living room and kitchen. There was only cold water, no hot water except from a kettle on the gas stove and the toilet was across the yard. I was on a council housing list and it was only when a doctor visited because I was ill that things started to change. I soon found myself with a nice two bedroom house but no furniture apart from a bed and a table. Luckily I was working and able to start to get the things we needed.

Later a few years ago my landlord asked me to leave. Again as I was in a different area and on a council housing list I managed to get a little bungalow with the help of the local councillor.

As I have written before I remember certain events from the Second World War and can easily understand how people must feel when surrounded by falling bombs and explosions. I have great sympathy for those trying to escape also for those living with a tyrannical leader.

But I see the leaders of various countries not wanting to help those fleeing such areas yet often it is those leaders who made the mess to start with. It seems to be a case of not in my backyard as the saying goes and let’s pass the problem on to somewhere else. I also understand that our country is small and has limited space for more houses but the refugee situation is only going to get worse as the climate changes force people from their homes to go and find somewhere else to live and work. Parts of our world are already turning into desert lands while others are becoming too hot to live there so what are we going to do as a world not just as one country? Surely we should all work together to help those in need.

Some forty or more years ago I painted what was for me a very special painting. I gave it the title of Sanctuary. I refused to sell it but one day it was in an exhibition and this woman kept coming to stand in front of it and wanted to buy it. On the last day of the exhibition I asked her why and she told me her story. I gave it to her after that. Her need was greater then mine.

Staying and being true to yourself

A recent report in the news made me think about this blog written some years ago and I decided to reblog it as it is important to me at least. Being true to yourself is something that has cropped up quite a bit in my life. When thinking about this some words kept popping into my head from a poem by John Clare; ‘I am – yet what I am none cares or knows’. These words and the rest of the poem used to be stuck to a board on the wall many years ago. But today the words ‘I am’ mean something different.

I am what I am and hopefully I stay true to this. I know that from my childhood I have always felt different from others and went my own way much to the disgust of my mother. But how
do we stay true to who we really are? In my young days it was easier to do this. The only pressure on you was from your parents and family and your peers. TV was in its early years
and advertising was mainly on hoardings and buses and other transport.

Today we are bombarded with advertising telling us to look like this, eat this, do this and so on. We see children and teenagers wanting what their friends have even if their parents
cannot afford to buy these items. They feel they want to be the same as others. But it is not a crime to feel different. When my children were teenagers I said that there was nothing wrong wanting to be different from the rest of their class mates or wanting to do different things. I remember my daughter wanting to know why I could not wear the same kind of clothes that the other mothers wore and my answer was that I wore the clothes that I liked and not what others wanted me to wear.

As a teacher clothes were important in that I could not wear trousers only skirts or dresses which are definitely not me. However over the years the rules were relaxed and once I was
established as a good teacher I often was allowed to wear trousers as long as they were not jeans. From recent newspapers I see that certain standards of dress are still important but should they be? If you are clean and tidy does what you wear matter? What I wear reflects who I am and what I do and think. For me it is who I am and what I do that is important not what I wear. In my present circumstances I see what others wear and what they feel they should wear now they are retired. Being retired meant that I could wear whatever I wanted without restrictions and that is still what I do. I try to be true to myself and live the way I believe is right for me. I try to stay true to my ideals and who I know I am. If others don’t like it, then tough, that is their problem not mine.

Changes over time

I am old enough to remember the snow of 1947 and how I still walked to school in it. I remember jumping into drifts and the snow coming over the top of my wellies. I remember the snow of 1978/9 as well when I had no heating as everything was frozen. Eventually a friend in the village took me and my two young children in and warmed us all up and cared for us until everything was repaired. I also remember what seemed like long hot summers when as a child I played out all day.

I remember when I was a young child that we had no washing machine or fridge. We did have a gas cooker but water was boiled in a kettle on the hob on the coal fire. We had a meat safe, a wooden case with mesh wire to let in air but not flies and a marble slab in the larder to keep things cool. We also only bought exactly what we needed for the week. No large bags of potatoes with either too many or not enough but loose potatoes which went straight into the shopping bag. It was the same with all the veggies and things like butter and cheese were cut in blocks to the size you wanted before being wrapped in greaseproof paper.

When I was older and had my own family we eventually owned a washing machine and a fridge and later a freezer but this was like 30 years later in the 1970s and 1980s. Sliced bread had also arrived by then and made life easier for many. I still prefer a loaf of bread I can cut myself! Plastic also came along and there were Tupperware parties where you could buy the latest plastic item that you might need. But I still knitted and made some of my own clothes. My early training with my mother saw to that. I still do for that matter.

But now you can buy anything you need, washing machine, dryer, cookers and fridge freezers which generally arrive with a coat of some kind of plastic.Phones and cars are there for all. I can’t remember when I finally had a landline phone but it was not until about 1975 or so. We used the phone box down the road. I have never had a car and never wanted one really.

So to today, cars queue up by the traffic lights and emit fumes which choke you. Everything is covered with plastic much of which is not recyclable. We see mountains of plastics in the sea and rivers. The air we breathe is contaminated and gives us lung disease. The rivers are polluted and our water supply is not as good as it used to be. Too many houses are being built on floodplains and green belt land with no thought for extra doctors, schools and hospitals. Is this what we really want?

The recent climate conference has just ended and many promises have been made. Many people understand that we need to change the way we live but there are many who although they agree are not prepared to change the way they live their lives. My son was trying to park his car where I live but could not get into a space because someone had left a Range rover in the centre blocking all the spaces, with its engine running and the doors open. If we all did one small thing it would help. But I suspect that is not going to happen until it is too late. Our local Co-op is now collecting what are called soft plastics for recycling but how many are going to do that? If one person per household did something like that and reduced their plastic waste, it would make the world a nicer place to live.

Come on people, change your ways so we can all have a better world.

Dragon energy

I have always loved dragons. I visited South Wales once and bought a large red felt stuffed dragon. He was lovely and when the shop owner put him in a paper bag she said she would leave his head out so he could see where he was going! Since then I have worked with dragons in the spirit world on many occasions. I also have two dragon tarot decks. My friend Peter Royston Smith has written a book called ‘The Dragons Edge’ and we, with others had been discussing the book yesterday.

As I was lying in bed last night this little story came to me. The ending is for you to decide but I hope you like it.

The 12 earth dragons were still asleep. They had been asleep now for many years as no one had called on them for help. They were scattered around the planet mainly asleep in caves deep down in the earth. The large black dragon stirred. He kept hearing voices asking for him to wake up and help them. He sent out a message, telepathically of course as that is what dragons do, and asked the other dragons if they had heard the same message. They all responded in the same way. They had all heard the messages. Now was the time for the dragons to do something to help but what. The young golden dragon said she would go up and find out while they got ready to help with whatever was needed.

When the young golden dragon returned she was weeping. ‘I cannot believe what the humans have done to our planet’ she said. ‘The forests are almost gone and the ice is melting. There are unusual weather patterns and drought and famine are on the way. And the air is very polluted.’ The dragons sighed and wondered what to do. They needed to stay where they were until the air was better but they wanted to help.

The green dragon came up with an idea, ‘let us lend some of our energy to those who have been contacting us so they can use it themselves. If we lend enough energy to those who can do something with it then everything will get better.’ So this is what they did. The humans kept the dragon energy coiled up inside them at the base of their spines and when necessary they brought up the energy to deal with the nasty things going on so that gradually the planet recovered.

So now you can write the ending to this very short story. Find your dragon energy and use it for good.