Take the rough ground: fighting the system – finding my own way (journal writing 2013 on starting University)

Copyright 2015 Kay/wavesandpebbles

Copyright 2015 Kay/wavesandpebbles

 

The following is a piece of journal writing that I found while sorting out papers from my first year at University.  I really did get myself into a bit of a state over how much reading I thought I needed to do and it was beginning to become something that would stop me enjoying what to me was a dream come true to be at University.  Sometimes we need to just step back and reflect on our feelings about things that are troubling us and get them in perspective.  I also discovered there’s a lot of support out there for students.

I have lots of happy memories from my first year at University in 2013/14 as a mature student.  The photo was taken on holiday in Devon, England during a wonderful walk on Dartmoor when we met up with these beautiful Dartmoor ponies.

 

‘FIGHTING AGAINST THE SYSTEM – FINDING MY WAY
Tuesday, 1 October 2013
Last week was walking on air, this week anxiety has crept in. I’m here to learn. I knew there would be lots of books. But I can’t read! Well, I can read – I know my abc – but I can’t read lots and recall. Yesterday got really stressed when I looked at the never-ending book lists that seemed to go on forever. And I have to read them all! It’s important! Of course I have to read them all – except the small number of optional – elst why would they be optional? I can feel myself dipping, lurching, wilting. And it’s only day 1 of week 1. Tasters and freshers over. This is reality. But I love to learn. It’s enthralling, exciting, inspiring. Yet how do I learn if I can’t read the books??

Today, my answer is, by being me. I’ve lived long enough and delved deep enough to know that I learn and create in unique ways. Probably that’s the key word, create. I am creative in mind. Is it no wonder that I can’t follow systems to the letter? Routine is dull, orders are dull. I need colour, variety, flexibility, spontaneity, adventure. I need to go wherever I feel in the moment. Even I know that’s not reality and I soon swing in with all the rest. Yet when the freedom to learn becomes rigidly fixed in my mind, that’s when I have to find my own way. I have the passion, commitment, desire, inquiring mind, ambition to follow through with my path in my own way. I just need to give myself permission in this world of self-study, self-responsibility, self-organisation to follow the path less travelled – in fact to take the rough ground whenever I feel as sometimes the most magnificent scenes come into our lives when we trust in life and our ability to survive and grow.’

Unblocking creativity and releasing inspiration – 10 minute writing challenge (2 of 2)

Copyright 2013 Miguel Virkkuhen Carvalho, Flickr, CC-BY, via Wylio

Copyright 2013 Miguel Virkkuhen Carvalho, Flickr, CC-BY, via Wylio

This 10 minute writing exercise was written four days after the last one posted yesterday, back in January of this year when I was in hospital.  It was a very emotional time yet at the same time my emotions were somewhat on hold, still struggling somewhere with my new situation in life, having just been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia – a fast-acting life threatening form of cancer.  Fortunately the final report revealed that I had the type APL (Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia) which has the best prognosis.  

‘Let anything come to light. Light, sun, shade, depths. My favourite colours. Pink and turquoise. Where are they now? The luminescence of my favourite pink is in my hand leading this waltz of writing. Waltz – music is within me yet it has evaded me. The song of life, the thrill of it all. The lilting sound of creativity. Creativity is to be found all around – or is it? I need to search it out, to wallow in it and bring it back to life. Life, it keeps coming up. This new, unexpected venture. How does it feel to be here? But I am not ‘here’. I am soothing my soul to do something special with creativity. There is so much around, but where is it hiding. I am on a journey and that journey is just finding me. I must avoid the logic. That is not what this is for. Storytelling was my aim and that can stay with me. I will write a short story, one that wings in from the sky above. One that I don’t think hard about, it just comes to me. Will it be real? There will be more than one – but fantasy is what breathes through my veins. A new light. Get caught up in the colour that comes to me.  Take inspiration from all that has come to be in this vessel of a room. The cards and gifts. Where am I? I am with heart. I am loving life. All is not lost it is within me. To find the light and the story. To have music in my mind. To love and to laugh. To write music is a gift that I can bring to this time. I am soaring through the sky in Florida. Such a wonderful and special time. The cool air brushing through my hair as I swirl through the clouds like a swan sweeping across the ocean.’

Unblocking creativity and releasing inspiration – 10 minute writing challenge (1 of 2)

Copyright 2009 Trug Bui Viet, Flicks, via Wylio

Copyright 2009 Trug Bui Viet, Flickr, CC-BY-SA, via Wylio

I thought I would share with you this 10 minute writing exercise I carried out after a friend gave me a very special writing book while I was in hospital.  This is the very first bit of writing I did as a result of receiving this book.  (Try it yourself – set a timer for 10 minutes and just write whatever comes into your head.)  This was written in January this year.  I have in the past month started my story … I just need to return again.  This 10 minute extract conveys the kind of autobiographical fiction I would like to write.

‘Heart of my life. This moment. Where am I? I am in a new life. I am boarding a train at Platform Life. I have my ticket to an unknown destination. It is calling me. I have no idea where I am going but I have my inside filled with the fuel of inspiration. I am alone. Yet I do not feel alone. I feel that I have my spirits with me. The special light of those I have loved and lost. Yet there is the call of mystery. This is my story. I recall when I was given a signal to get on the train and know that I was on a special journey. I received texts telling me that I was not alone. It was scary yet somehow exciting. I love trains and I was on a journey to my mystery story, the one I am going to start.

I feel it is a fantasy story. It means I can go on any plane of life. The now, the future, the past, the unknown. The hidden depths within me. I may get lost but the fragments of me will collect themselves and save me from the hardness of life as I know it at this moment. I am on a soft journey to a fantasy world. I am going to soar into a story of such powerfulness that inspires me and connects me with the people who I love now and those I have yet to meet. I feel blessed to have this opportunity. And it is going to re-alight my creativity. Take me to a place that is beyond the bounds of special. A unique, timeless experience that is so touching, so enchanting, that I will create many special characters to join me on this journey. They will be colourful, fantastical, special, heartwarming …’

Time to Play – poem written 2010 (inspired by anxiety/depression following post concussion syndrome)

Copyright 2008 Hartwig HKD, Flickr, CC-BY-ND, via Wylio

Copyright 2008 Hartwig HKD, Flickr, CC-BY-ND, via Wylio

In 2009 I slipped on ice in my back garden.  My legs must have flipped up as I became horizontal and landed flat on my back.  At the time it was as if it was happening in slow motion, I recall suddenly looking up at the clouds – seemingly in a lying down position – and wondering what was happening.  Then there was a hard thud as the back of my head hit the ground.  The end result was post concussion syndrome which resulted in extreme anxiety followed by depression.  This poem was written at that time.

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TIME TO PLAY

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Sitting here the thoughts surround me

Memories I have for sure

Dragging me along the pathway

Thinking that there is no cure

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Draining troughs of useless power

Taking all I have to give

Wish that I could be away now

Heal the hurt that’s like a sieve

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Letting all the goodness leave me

Giving me a woolly head

Save me from this awful feeling

Keeping me still in my bed

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Let the waves of colour surface

Brighten up the newborn day

Fill me with a breath of gladness

So that I may find my way

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Life is like a roller coaster

Scared is what I have become

Spread my wings and take me forward

Lift this life so wearysome

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Help me see that there are rainbows

Spread with dreams along the way

There is love and laughter waiting

Sitting there amongst the hay

The Trapped Butterfly – Poem

Copyright 2009 Donald Duss, Flickr, CC-BY, via Wylio

Copyright 2009 Donald Duss, Flickr, CC-BY, via Wylio

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The following poem was written in 2010.  A woman I had met in Brighton had talked about being a trapped butterfly and other things she spoke about encouraged me to get on and write my book.  Yes, even back then I had the intention to write a book – maybe 2015 will be the year!  I have recently made a start on two books – one is a fiction story based in Brighton which I started writing a couple of weeks ago.  The second is a book on Memories and Creativity which I started writing today.  I have made many ‘starts’ over the years – I just have to keep the momentum up and see it through …  Anyway, here is my poem.

The Trapped Butterfly

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Thoughts of freedom fill her mind

not knowing what to do

She cannot leave it all behind

to find that something new

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Life has done it once again

entrapped her in its web

Amongst it all it is the men

that cause a constant ebb

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The journey has been happy

it has not been all bad

Such gifts there’ve been for all to see

yet now she feels so sad

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The spiders web surrounds her

it’s not a pretty sight

And nothing feels the way things were

so taking all the might

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Yet through her fragile being

comes wonder and such light

That lifts and is so healing

she’s not giving up the fight

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To break through all the limits

and fly to reach the sky

To take a look to where he sits

with not a tearful eye

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So from this day now forward

she knows what she must do

To lift her high as like a bird

and give a happy coo

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A butterfly is special

it flutters here and there

But her wish is now to settle

with one that wants to share

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And the choices that she makes

are hers and hers alone

And it will be for all their sakes

though some of them may moan

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Time is slipping through her wings

the moment is now here

To feel the joys of all life brings

there’s nothing now to fear