Thursday, August 25, 2011

25th August

Many years ago I read the book Catch 22 and whilst I can remember nothing much about the story I’ve certainly been living in the reality of it’s title today. So I need time out, some space, to help me recover from M.E., and yet I need to keep busy to avoid sinking into a pit of despair which exacerbates my health problems. If I allow myself to focus too deeply on my loss the headaches and heavy fatigue take too much of a hold, and yet it’s obvious that if I side-step my grief today it will only sit there waiting until tomorrow or next year or whenever. I have to find the right balance of engaging with the pain of my memories and building some sort of new life for the future. Today became rather intense as I allowed myself to revisit the trauma of the final weeks of Jane’s life. I know that I cannot carry that pain around with me forever; it has to be resolved in some way. Simply ignoring it won’t make it go away as it’ll just be buried in my memories. The passage of time presumably will ease the emotional rawness but for me that’s not enough; I do not want to be left with mental scars that I have to live with for the rest of my life. No, Jane was a gift from God, a wonderful blessing for me and I want her relational legacy to be only good.

Somehow I have to be able to visit these difficult memories and give them to the Lord, and perhaps that may take a number of visits to make certain I do not hold on to any pain or hurt. Jane had her professional training as an Art Therapist and over the years I had many conversations with her about this very process. More than that, on a few occasions she helped me work through issues with a clinical session, and although having one’s spouse as a personal therapist is not really ideal, I still found it very helpful. Using art as a medium to reveal the unconscious was a pretty powerful experience. She’s not here to help me anymore but maybe I’ll restart my own art work as a form of more general therapy. I used to find it very relaxing and engaging at the same time.

And then again I’ve always got my guitar and I love to play the blues, which I reckon are designed to brighten-up the saddest of times. Some suggest that the Book of Psalms might well be described as the original blues as they often link praise and lamentation together. They sometimes come with musical notation, but whilst I love the modern blues harp, I can’t quite see the Biblical harp and lyre let alone a psaltery playing a 12 bar in Bb!

Psalm 3:1-4 ‘LORD, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the LORD, and he answers me from his holy mountain.’ (NIV)

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