Yes! I know! I am a terrible Mother!!!

phone-call-from-school

I have never felt that I would ever be a serious contender for a Mother of the Year Award… because let’s face it… I’m not naturally gifted, I had zero training, have no qualifications in that particular department, often fall asleep on the job and frequently catch myself glancing at my brood and thinking that they’re lucky that I’m not a hamster or I would have eaten all of them alive by now…

And throughout the last quarter of a century, there’s been no shortage of unsolicited advice from people queueing up to tell just exactly how they think I’m doing things wrong… I’ve been too young to be pregnant… I’ve been too old to be pregnant… I’ve been deemed unfit for being a working mother and I’ve had the finger of shame pointed at me for being a stay at home mother… you get the picture… basically if you start taking on other people’s lopsided views from their little worlds then you’re always going to find yourself to be deemed as some kind of loser…

Today I felt that mythical M.O.T.Y.A. slip even further towards vanishing over the horizon…

I now inhabit yet another category that unfit mother’s dwell in… These days, I’m self-employed and it seems to be that there are people out there who either view that as oh she has a bit of a hobby or as oh she has nothing to do all day… and when I say people, I’m mostly referencing the outstanding professionals that teach my youngest son…

What are we? 3 weeks into the new school year? Something like that… like I say… I’m often somewhat lax… but yeah… we’re certainly much nearer to the start of the academic year than the end and this is not boding well as my phone is constantly ringing… Now you can call me a cnut if you like but I have practically zero tolerance for people who call me to whine about their bad day and that falls to a very chilly absolute zero when they call me out of the blue on a number given for emergency use and expect me to drop everything to listen to them…

Today, I’m doubly annoyed as it’s less than a week ago that I had a lengthy conversation with a Head of Department after putting in a complaint about this type of disruption and I was assured that I would only be contacted from now on in an emergency and that it was noted on the system…

But no… it appears that somebody didn’t get the memo… and I find myself on the end of another lengthy tirade from somebody who is allegedly highly qualified and paid to do a job… telling me that her whole class was in disruption… who then starts screaming and shouting at me when I suggest that she focuses on her classroom management skills… but… apparently… her ringing me about other people’s kids is classroom management…

Ok… whoa… M.O.T.Y.A. finally falls completely out of view and won’t be seen again in this lifetime or maybe even the next…

So… another conversation with a head of year ensues and he assures me that she is the nicest person he’s ever met so I must be mistaken that she shouted at me… I advise him that he needs to meet more people and also comment that well obviously you see a different side of her, you know, what with you being her line manager… but the way she spoke to me conveyed none of the qualities that you have been privvy to and also not the merest trace of professional conduct and I’m not having my working day interrupted to be spoken to like that…

There’s some huffing and puffing and blustering that they need to be able to speak to me when they want to and obviously there must be some problem at home that we need to work together on as your child is not happy in class and this is out of character and that my role as a caring  parent is…

Oo…Oh.. Oh… HO! HO! HO!!! OK so in future if something is important and you actually do want my view or opinion then why don’t you email me so I can read it when I have time to focus clearly, ask my son about it and then get back to you with a response?

Apparently… that has been put on the system now also… though I’m going to be lessed than surprised of my phone starts ringing again tomorrow or the next day…

So later I finally get to speak to my son and I ask him – what’s going off at school?

It’s not a pretty tale but given my experince with the rudeness of teaching staff and my son’s natural tendency to tell it how it is, I find little call to doubt his account…

He says to me… OK!!! THIS is the problem!!! I’m TOO BLOODY HONEST and I just can’t hold it in! They don’t like it when you’re honest… OK… so one teacher, she was shouting at the whole class then started picking on a boy and kept shouting SHUT UP! SHUT UP! at him and I said – you can’t do that! She said why not? And I said that he has human rights and freedom of speech and expression and she just told me to SHUT UP as well and gave me a warning…

I bite the insides of my cheeks to contain my rising smirk… and then ask him… so… is there anything else that I need to know about?

Yeah… this other teacher, she doesn’t like me being honest either she asked me what was interesting about the camera angle in the film we watched and I said there’s nothing interesting… I know she wanted me to say that it was kept on the same focus throughout the whole clip and that it took in the whole view of the scene but that’s not interesting… it’s boring… then she asked me what the advert was for and I said, some kind of car… she got really mad and shouted that is was for a Honda! and that I hadn’t been watching… I said I was watching and I know it was a car but it was boring so I don’t know what type of car and so she put me on a warning for that…

By now the insides of my cheeks are very close to bleeding…

I say to him… ok… In Japan, they have a saying…

deru kugi ha utareru – ‘the nail that sticks out gets hammered down’.

Ok son… the choice is yours… you can either keep your head down or brace yourself to be hammered…

He says… yeah but… I can’t help being honest!!

So I say well in that case son you’d best learn to stand out big enough and strong enough that the hammer bounces off…

Yes! I know! I am a terrible Mother!!!

But you know what… I’m also getting very long in the tooth and I can’t see me becoming a good mother anytime soon… besides… life’s too short to polish a M.O.T.Y.A.🙂

Reiki… Empirical or Lyrical…

Welcome to the latest Reiki Blog Hop
Joy RBH logo
THEME: Reiki, Science, and Medicine
This is one of those areas, where often I find myself at odds with other people’s views… It feels to be an area that splits, divides and polarises folk and I tend to be not so much sitting on the fence in my views but more with a personal jury that is permanently out to weigh up a final decision and as such I’ve often found myself being blasted from both ends of the spectrum. One of my first experiences in setting up business was to Google myself to see if my website was showing up only to find that some malcontent out of work double science degree antiquackery keyboard assassin with obviously way too much time on his hands had devoted a whole blog piece to not only  providing numerous links to my site but also  sharing with the world just exactly what he thought of my domain full of vacuous pseudo-scholastic scientific piffle or something like that…
I read that with mixed emotions, as well… I do have a certain penchant for indulging in pithy snark and I do enjoy a good rant on occasions  and what with having a degree in genetics myself , I was in agreement with many of the criticisms raised about holistic therapies in general though pretty peeved at the insinuation that I was a no brain wafty airy fairy who happened to have stumbled on a good trick to scam the feeble minded out of their shekels…
On the other end of the scale, there are the big pharma conspiracy theorists with their mantras of natural=good and science=evil who can get very irate if I say that I think there are many times and occasions when I feel that conventional medicine is the way to go… and I have been told to open up to entering the port hole (their words not mine…) and  blah blah blah and so on and so forth until they sign off with the obligatory namaste… and so I hit block and think yeah… I’ll take the starboard hole and I dearly hope that should you ever get cancer and you decide to self-remedy with the crushed up peach kernels that big pharma say you can’t have so they can force you into buying poison… well I hope you cure yourself before you overdose on cyanide… but it will be natural cyanide and therefore good and a great way to exit through your final PORTAL!
So with many experiences along both these lines, I come to the conclusion that fuck it!
Why even bother to attempt to explain as;
For those who believe, no proof is required and for those who don’t then no proof is ever enough…
And I find that quite a sad place to be in as when people are intent on solely seeing the only side that they want to then both sides become bent out of shape and distorted and there’s a whole middle ground that gets lost…
reiki-vs-science
However a few weeks back I had a pretty unexpected and interesting experience… I’ve had an ongoing back problem for a while now and the metaphysician in me has a bloody good idea of where the root of the problem stems from but I have more than my fair share of Virgo in my chart and when something is refusing to budge, then I want it tested on all levels…
So I found myself at the hospital for a consultation with a physiotherapist… now the first thing that surprised me was that the appointment slot was an hour long… yeah… a whole hour! Now that’s not something that I associate with conventional medicine and have always viewed as being one of the major benefits of complementary therapies… but there I was in an hour long conversation discussing my lifestyle and how it had been affected. Now eventually she asked me how I was managing my pain and listed a whole bunch of drugs and medicines and to each one I said no… no… no… until she said – so what exactly are you doing?
I paused and thought ok… I’ll just tell her… and I gave her my list… yoga stretches, Thai massage, Reiki, Meditation, breathing exercises and lots of self-medicating with Art supplies… and my mind filled with all the chatter that I’d heard recently about how the medical profession likes to drug you for everything and make mega bucks out of you… and I wondered what her response would be and she said:
BRILLIANT!!! 
And to be perfectly honest I thought she was just humouring me so she could shunt me through and move on to her next appointment as I must admit the times I’ve been involved in the medical system have been mercifully few and far between and they have all been very much conveyor belt type experiences…  but then she left the cubicle to go get me some printed sheets of exercises that she advises and I sat and listened in to the other conversations on the ward and heard meditation being recommended, breathing exercises explained and active relaxation being advocated… And finally instead of an either/or there seemed to be a direction towards developing a personal blend…
So… my personal jury had returned one small verdict and it is that when it comes to my back pain Reiki will be taken p.r.n. and also I will take Salbutamol when I experience spasms that  make it hard for me to breathe…
Now I’m sure there will be people more than happy to tell me all the risks and side-effect of Salbutamol and yeah… I know… I can read and I can decide for myself and currently I can live with them much more easily than not being able to breathe…
And I am sure that there are people who will tell me that Reiki is at best a placebo effect and yeah… to those, I offer up the following quote…
Just because I imagined it, it doesn’t make it less true
                                                                                                ~ Homer Simpson
At the end of the day, my health is my responsibility and I will make the choices and decisions that I consider to be best for me…
And I wholeheartedly advise you to do the same but please remember to make informed choices…
There’s always more than one view… that’s why we have microscopes and telescopes… both with moveable lenses…
Oh… and should a certain troll  postgraduate scientist happen to stumble this way then I hope he considers his blood pressure and leaves before my Homer Simpson quotes and ramblings  replete with  the plethora  of logical fallacies which tend to accompany these things cause him to split asunder in a Rumplestiltskinesque fashion to  then vanish up his own portal…
😉
Click on a link to visit my neighbours…

2016 September Reiki Blog Hop Master List

joyglobalpc

Today is our fourth Reiki Blog Hop!

The theme is:

Reiki, Science, and Medicine

Carrying on in a similar vein to the previous theme where Joy Vernon asked us:
“How does Reiki mesh with, augment, replace, or fulfil your spiritual or religious philosophy and practice (or lack thereof)?”
This time, we turn our attention to the topics of Science and Medicine and how we relate them to Reiki

Here is the list of participants:

  1.   Clare Cartwright http://cosmiccrystal.co.uk/?p=442

Thank you and welcome to everyone who is joining us here!

The Reiki Blog Hop will happen once every two months–our next hop will be November 15, 2016.

For more info, or if you’d like to be a part of it, please check us out on Facebook.

Oh! For the Love of St Ambrose…

Over the past couple of months, I’ve spoken to more people than I care to count but there are a couple of sentences that I’ve heard time and time again that have a decided effect on me…

Isn’t it great to speak to like minded people?

and…

I’m going to tell you now, I’m a sceptic and a bit of a cynic…

Now… one of these sentences fills me with glee… the other makes me wish that someone would cosh me over the back of the head with a sockful of wet sand so that I don’t have to listen to what I know will come next…

Yeah… stop it you like minded people! You’re killing me with your overkill and overspill of TMI sharings and assumptions… I have ambivalent attitudes and opinions towards many things and I find it strange when people want to instantly connect and overly identify with me due to some perceived label or another… There are over 7 billion people on the planet, each with unique views and perspectives, what on earth makes you think that I am in total agreement with you on every issue that you care to raise?

But I guess I’m a sucker for punishment or maybe it’s just that I have a morbid sense of humour, so I will sit and listen while I’m being talked at, as that is what these opening gambits invariably lead into… a long scripted and overly rehearsed monologue which pauses only briefly to check my eyes… not for signs of boredom or for signs of emotional distress that should be being painfully felt by the self-confessed highly sensitive soul in front of me… but for a brief pause to gaze upon their reflection… to check their teeth for stray strands of spinach, before moving on to the next verse and chapter…

Fortunately, these are not my punters…

These are the flotsam and jetsam that wash up every so often on certain shores and bump against my table… informing me that they have no need of my services and that they don’t need readings as they are just so naturally evolved and self-aware and in tune with the cosmos…

And I smile and nod, repress the urge to shout ‘buzz off!!!’ and give silent thanks that I will just for today, not have to call upon St Ambrose to curtail any stinging remarks that I may feel stirring within and that just for today, my gift of the gab can remain in its box as I won’t be required to translate snark into pleasing melliferous tones to find a tactful way of saying… No, my love, the reason that you keep getting involved time and time again with men who use and abuse you is because you’re making shitty lifestyle choices and have low self-esteem… it really really is not because they sense you are an empath…

Mmm… the irony is, I am much more closely aligned with the cynics and sceptics…

The thing is with cynics, is that they like to ask questions and to date every cynic who has approached my table has been lured into sitting down and being read for. They are invariably polite, give great feedback and usually go away pondering on yet more questions that have opened up for them, so I was quite surprised a few days ago when I finished a reading and the guy turned around and said:

You know what? I’ve just spent 15 minutes listening to you talk and I am absolutely exhausted!

Oh! Cheers! Thanks a lot buddy!😀

Oh! No no no! I don’t mean that in a negative way!  I work in a hugely stressful career and I never switch off or stop thinking about work and you’ve just made me pause and reflect in a way that really resonates, you’ve given me some sane and sensible advice that really relates to my life at present and I feel tired because this is the first time that I have actually relaxed in as long as I can remember… yeah… I want to thank you for that… I must do this more often…

Ah… cynics eh?

They say the sweetest things…

😉

Perpending Polygnosis…

Welcome to the latest Reiki Blog Hop
Joy RBH logo
THEME: Reiki, Spirituality, and Religion
How does Reiki mesh with, augment, replace, or fulfil your spiritual or religious philosophy and practice (or lack thereof)?
This is a subject that over the years, I’ve given a great deal of thought to… I was raised under the notion that there are three things that you should never discuss in polite company – sex, religion and politics…  luckily I seldom keep polite company😉 and you’re here now in my space so I’m going to shoot the breeze…
I remember being at school around age 12? 13? and I was never a fan of writing down notes and frequently I would ask questions in an attempt to sway the teacher off course and keep them talking for as long as possible… Using this ploy, I discovered that my History teacher was colour blind.. My English teacher knew how to set a trap to catch alligators… My Science teacher was building a boat… and many other things that slip my mind, but one thing that has always firmly stayed was the words of my Religious Education teacher when I asked her what her beliefs were. She told me in a very matter of fact way that her role was to impart a Religious Education and that if she was a teacher worth her salt then I would never have any detailed knowledge of what her personal beliefs were…
It was something that struck a deep chord and certainly years on and working as a holistic therapist and reading tarot, it still resonates with me as I feel that I am there to help people explore their own thoughts rather than impress mine upon them… And living in the town that I live, where we boast of having Britain’s most multi-cultural high street, I speak to people with all manner of beliefs and backgrounds… People often assume I hold certain beliefs due to the type of work I do, other people are less assuming and will ask… My typical response it that I am of No Fixed Abide…
Or sometimes I will say that I am a lapsed Scientist…
I don’t consider myself to be Spiritual, mainly because I want to know what your definition of that is before I will either confirm or deny… I don’t consider myself to be religious as I don’t actively practise a faith… yet I feel that some kind of vestigial religious thought is in my DNA…
Am I a skeptic? Well again… that all depends on the mood I’m in! I have a degree of skepticism in that I don’t openly embrace any and all woo that gets thrown at me, yet I dislike the kind of Science mind that dismisses out of hand the existence of anything beyond the known, the measured and the tangible…
I’m all for Science when it dispells dangerous quakery…But Science for the sake of Science that becomes mean spirited and soul sucking and destroying of magic… no! stop it!

I watched a program the other day as Professor Brian Cox was on there plugging his new series… I can’t help but watch him, for a couple of reasons… ok firstly, yes I’m shallow and he’s easy on the eye! (Ooops!! TMI thoughts… there’s two out of the three…😀 should I go for the hat trick and toss out some Brexit commentary… ) But also because he is very vocal and renowned for being anti-woo… yet often when he talks, I hear things that would fill a fluffy bunny’s heart with rainbow arcs of glee and glitter! But he talks science, science… and more science… Yet… somehow he retains a childlike sense of awe and wonder…And then he only went and did it(SQUEEE!!)… he said something along the lines of:
Seeing something in nature and looking at it everyday and describing the beauty of it… that’s Science… doing the same thing every day and recording beauty… that’s what Science is!

I laughed so hard! I thought… Brian! Is it really?! Oh! bless you, you sweet man with your PhD! Science?? Get out of the closet man!!

So… again I found myself wondering about what my beliefs are and a single gnosis seems somewhat arrogant to me, yet an absolute agnosis seems to kill my soul and I pondered and perpended on some more until a word started to form in my mind…

Polygnosis…

 I wasn’t sure if the word existed so I asked the Google oracle and it gave me
Polygnosticism is a pluralistic outlook which espouses that all individuals’ unique ideas about the divine, about what is sacred, and about how to approach these matters in practice are valid and significant for them. It is also a non-absolutist view which holds that no characterization of the divine or the sacred is universal (valid for everyone), and that no known divinities or sacred qualities can be called objective (existing independently of subjective perceptions).
Read the full article HERE. Polygnosis sits well with all parts of me…
So… how does this all tie in with my Reiki?
Well, I guess it wafts and weaves in and out, in much the same way that my Science brain still likes to roll theories around…
Recently I went for an MRI scan and it was not something that I was looking forward to as every now and then I can get a flutter of claustrophobia. So, I find myself in a huge machine having to lie perfectly still for a good half an hour and then this is when my mind starts to play with me… Now knocking on for 20 years ago, I found myself sat in a lecture being given by someone who practised Magnet Therapy, now I know there are people who swear by this and my attitude is still pretty much along the polygnostic highway in that, if it works for you and you’re not harming anybody else, then you use it… However… I did take exception to the way the person described how it worked… the information given was that blood contains iron and so placing a magnet next to it causes the capillaries to spin… Well… I’m sorry but no way could I let that one go as FFS!!! NO! NO! NO! Blood contains haemoglobin which is a compound containing iron but no, it’s not magnetic and even if it was why for the love of all things (un)holy would anyone want their capillaries to spin?! That kind of nonsense calls for a scientific foot stomp! So… back to the scanner… I’m corpse like in there and they made a big deal about the noise levels but they failed to tell me that the bottom plate that I was laying on would get warm… I felt this heat slowly starting to build and I thought to myself… OH… what if… what if… that magnet therapy person was right… maybe my capillaries are spinning… maybe all my blood is going to get ripped out of my body… maybe… oh… no… maybe they set it to microwave by mistake and I’m slowly cooking and I’m going to burst and then I’m going to have chunks of me dripping down and landing on me and it’s going to take forever to get it out of my hair… what am I going to do? At which point I thought… what you’re going to do Karen, is get an ‘effing grip!! You’re going to give yourself some Reiki and reel this nonsense in… and when I use Reiki, I tend to see colours but in an MRI scanner, this is how it came through…
rbh 1
That kind of surpised me… as I am so used to receiving colours but it did the trick and calmed the mind…
I tend to often use Reiki in situations that I ‘d sooner not be in…
Here’s another painting…
rbh 2
That one is from a trip to the dentist to have a rather problematic toothed pulled… these are the colours that poured over me as the work was being done…
And going from MRI scanners to Reiki scanning, here are a couple of snapshots of the pain I’ve been getting with an ongoing back problem… The first one is at its worse and the second was how it felt after I’d received Reiki from one of my students…

I’m still not entirely sure whether or not I’ve addressed the theme and answered the question…but I’ll continue into another digression and drift into Astrology… See… I told you I spent a lot of time mulling on this topic… this is my notebook from a few months back… Is it my spirituality? Is it my nature? Is it all hoo hah and I’m merely a product of nurture?

I’m just going to drop this here…

astro dispositions
Pretty much all of my chart falls in 9th house (beliefs) and 10th house (public image/recognition) and all of my planets link back to Venus which sits on my MH… so I’ve ran around my dispositions and as a summary sentence of my whole chart, I get…

My sense of aesthetic brings all my thoughts together harmoniously in a way that I can communicate to serve others seeking deeper meanings.

Yeah… I think I’m still paddling in the polygnostic pool…
Has there been a neo-renaissance yet…
I think the world would be a sweeter place if sometimes people just said:
I describe
and left it at that…
Click on a link to visit my neighbours…

Yesterday’s News…Tomorrow’s Tarot…

PREVIOUS|MASTER LIST|NEXT

Morgan Drake Eckstein was the wrangler for this hop and the theme thrown at us was:

The idea is to take some photos and\/or artwork that someone else has done, and turn it into a Tarot card. Yes, I am assuming that you get junk mail and\/or magazines. If not, there is plenty of random photos on the internet, including stock photo sites. And then, there are the meme making sites.

So… as it turns out… my junk mail is almost down to zero these days. The good news is that mail preference service works… The bad news is… the only thing that lands through my letterbox these days is takeaway flyers and menus and that didn’t provide the ingredients to give me any decent food for inspiration… A swift dip into my email inbox didn’t turn up anything either… I guess the new year spam cull was effective… So as I sat scratching my head, Mr S came home and tossed down the daily newspaper that had been left for dead on his table at work…

I opened it up and hit gold! (and I am a complete Muppet and threw the daily paper away without taking note of where this is… d’oh! ) but what a gift… Pretty much the High Priestess with no skills required… Mmm… would that be too lazy… mmm…

Tarot Junk 1

So I made my way through the rest of the pages and yes, no, maybe… mmm… sheets spread all over the room and narrowed down to a couple of images that caught my eye…

This one…

Tarot Junk 2

Now you see… I liked this one… but I just couldn’t decide… it seemed to be the hybrid offspring spawned by The Lovers on a 3 of Wands honeymoon… mmm…

Then this one…

Tarot Junk 3

Which made me laugh…

The Hanged Man’s Wife…

She laughs away merrily… oh! My silly husband… always hanging out by the pool and being such a martyr about it… hanging by his feet when it’s so much sweeter to hang your feet and let them dangle in the water…

But then I did what many women have done throughout the ages… Looked around at all the possibles strewn across the floor and then picked up the first one that I’d tried on and twirled around… asked… Does my bum look big in this… Then slipped on a few accessories…

Ta da!!!

From daily paper to evening wear…

Tarot Junk Moon

And I would have stopped there but a few days later I did get some junk mail through the door that was too cute to resist… The sign with ‘Find The Gap’ amused me… and so I turned the hedgehog into a Page of Pents student setting off to work his way around the world on his gap year…

Hit the links to open my neighbours’ post…

PREVIOUS|MASTER LIST|NEXT

In The Shipwreck Of My Mind…

It’s been a strange couple of months… April marked the first anniversary of a venture that I’m collaborating on with a colleague… it’s been an interesting and creative adventure and although pretty far from finished, it has reached a point where we felt it was time to assess what we had done to date… it felt that a necessary pause was called for and that our work should be placed into a temporary hiatus before we added even more to the load… and that is when the dreams began. You see the problem (or maybe the benefit…) of navel gazing is that it soon starts to stir up the subconscious… I found myself afloat in increasingly bizarre dreams, none of which I could hold on to for long enough to see what they were… and whilst not exactly in the doldrums, this certainly has felt to be a strange place in between the worlds and almost a perpetual twilight as messages have tried to blink their way through into the conscious world…

I tried in vain to recall the details and then decided to abandon that and wait and see what came to mind… and then it slowly started to resurface… a little segment of my childhood… a tiny chapter in a yet unfinished story but there it was… or there I was aged 10 and seeing clearly for the first time that I had residing within me the soul of a storyteller…

I’m sat opposite my teacher with a blank face or rather an expression that I now know would probably be described as dumb insolence… she waved a bunch of sheets of lined paper at me that had my pencil scrawls all over them…

Why Karen? Why?What made you do this?

I looked back at her and remained silent… deeply aware that whatever explanation I gave would only serve to further fuel her rage… My mind was putting together links of logic and reasoning and was swirling in a sense of bafflement at the what I considered to be  the ridiculous situation that I now found myself in…

Let’s take a step backwards… the day before, I’d been sat in the classroom at lunchtime, all on my own… I’d been absent in the morning at a dental appointment and this had meant that I had missed the end of year exam on composition so now I had to do it in solitary confinement… I turned over the page and there it was again! NO!!! Not that same sentence! The one that I had seen a week ago as we had to sit in silence and do a mock exam in preparation… There it was again… those words staring at me unblinking…

As I entered the woods…

Those 5 words were given as a  prompt and the rest of the story was for me to fill in… but I didn’t want to do it… why should I do it? I’d already done this a week before and the events that unfurled then had filled me with horror…

So you’re probably wondering what terrible fate had previously befallen me… so gather in close and I’ll whisper in your ear…

I’d written a story… in fact…I’d written a bloody pretty amazing story and therein lied my problem. I hadn’t realised that the teacher would rank the class and put the stories in order, in her words, from the worst to the best… and so she began to reel off names in 30th place was Robert, who squirmed in red-faced shame in his seat… 29, 28, 27… and a roll call of kids shifting uncomfortably… Oh GOD!!! Please let my name come out and let this be over with… 10, 9, 8… please!!! please make this stop!!! 3, 2, and no…oh no… my name had still not been called… this could mean only one thing… First place goes to Karen! Then it got worse… then she read my story, my story that I’d written under exam conditions and that I’d only expected to be seen by her eyes… she read my story out loud to the whole class and with each word I felt as though I died a little…  How dare she put me out on display in such a crass fashion?

I was furious… I was beyond furious and so a week later when those words appeared again…

As I entered the woods…

I felt my tinyness faced against a system that I had no power to control and something subversive stirred within me and I took my chance at a small action of silent rebellion and I put my pencil to paper and wrote the biggest pile of crap you could imagine…

So… Poor old Miss was horrified and bawling me out… What the hell is wrong with you? How can you drop from the top of the class to the bottom in one week? Why didn’t you just write the same story that you wrote before?

Well… I had 101 answers but offered none… I just watched her as the tears welled up in her eyes and she said that she had no other option than to disregard my mock result and enter on record the fail grade that I’d got on exam day…

I remember a faint fleeting thought of what difference does it make to you? and then there was a faint realisation that maybe her teaching would be called into question… so I tried to look suitably ashamed and I waited for the storm to pass…

It occurs to me now, that this was quite a traumatic event and could be described as a bit of a shipwreck moment… I pondered further on that thought and about how there are four kinds of shipwreck and then I tossed my deck overboard to see what would wash up and I moved from navel to naval gazing…

The shipwreck!

Waxing Oracle a-hoy!!

Shipwreck


wo 046

FLOTSAM…

This is the wreckage of the ship that stays afloat…

What part of me was not sunk on that day?

Strangely enough… my will to climb to the top… to climb every mountain… to  follow every dream…

wo 028

JETSAM…

This is the parts of the ship/cargo that are purposely cast overboard to lighten the load in times of distress and is the things that hopefully will wash up on shore…

What did I jettison that day?

I see a cheeky dragon with its tongue out… I threw my imagination away and my sense of magic and wonder… I threw away my own myths and legends… I cast them out to sea in the hope that they would swim to safety rather than be drowned by the arbitrary markings of a primary school teacher logging exams that really counted for nothing at all…

wo 007

LAGAN…

The wreckage that is dropped to the bottom of the ocean and is often marked by a buoy so that it can be reclaimed later…

What did I sink and leave for later use?

The ability to make bridges and connections… to be able to link together in my mind the world as I saw it, my imaginary world and also to see how this links into, extends and reaches into the minds of others…

wo 030

DERELICT…

Cargo sunk to the bottom of the ocean with no hope of recovery… also boats that are cast adrift and abandoned…

What did I want to lose that day?

The searing pain in my soul as I felt that some kind of damage/trauma was being inflicted on me… the feeling that I was being pierced and skewered and ripped open and laid bare for all to see…

But let us not finish the story there…let’s leave the classroom with its tables arranged into a horseshoe shape, firmly where it belongs… back in the 1970’s…

Let’s look at my shoreline now and see what has washed up on my beach… what parts of myself did I manage to salvage…

Salvage

wo 015

My love of colour whether that be via language or my palette…

 I use my experiences to draw on and to display a full spectrum…

I love to express via art, especially the way in which a picture can convey a thousand words and leave me feeling bathed in colour rather than exposed and vulnerable and naked…

wo 027

Oh… the churnings… yearnings… learnings…

The ebbs and flows of tides as feelings, thoughts and emotions come and go…

The way that this can dredge up the mud of the past but also how it can reveal the hidden treasure that lurks within… or the way the waves roll a rough stone up and down a beach to polish it a little more with each motion until all the rough edges are smoothed away and a humble tiny rock can gleam like the most precious of jewels…

wo 028

Ahhhhh!!!! My magical water dragon…

Purposely cast loose and told to swim buddy swim!!!

YES!!! He made it safely to shore!

’nuff said🙂

wo 013

What is this I see? Barnacles and Verde de Gris??

My derelict cargo left to sink and disappear without a trace… and somehow it makes its way to the surface to stare me in the face yet again…

Though I feel no need to repair the damage that I felt was done at the time…

Instead, I see that the rust that has formed has given it a new life and beauty and a story all of its own…

But then again… I may just  have a somewhat fanciful imagination…

Maybe I’m all washed up!😀

What do you see?

All images (c) Karen Sealey ~ The Waxing Oracle