Setting the Scene 2: To medicate or not?

I'm very aware that in the West, pharmaceuticals are an integral part of our medical treatment.
And I am grateful for that in all the forms it comes in to assist with quality and length of life.

Working with my GP, I was not surprised that he considered an SSRI as an adjunct to my work with the Psych.
Anti - Anxiety meds work well to help calm the fight and flight reflex so it made sense as part of the over all treatment plan. Nonetheless I still nurse some reservations about this. I'm not sure why  - after all much of my work has a mental health and pastoral care focus and I would recommend to people seeing their GP and having a conversation about this very thing!  
So after trying a very common anti-anxiety med for three days . . . .  pretty much nothing to report.
I felt a bit nauseous and hot for the first two days and today that feels pretty much gone - but I feel like I've just got over the flu.

All pretty normal effects apparently and will pass soon with any luck . …

Setting the Scene 1: Dorsal Fatigue

So after actually realising that things were not going so well I spent some good time with a psychologist friend. After a few sessions, over a long lunch, in a light bulb moment, she gently says " I think you might have dorsal fatigue"

Dorsal Fatigue (to my understanding) is when the para sympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems  - the fight/flight reflex which is an ancient way of protecting us - either goes into overdrive or shuts down. In my case it seems that I have just learnt to cope with levels of stress and anxiety rather than letting them go - and my body (as they do) reacted by saying "enough!". 

The affects of not really relaxing or getting into flow are that the subconscious pushes to restrict activities so that I can conserve the energy that is being eaten up elsewhere - energy that in the face of my dads passing I no longer had available to control the anxiety and fight/flight.

So clear now - but not then!!!

So although this is not a perfect fit for me…

Rebooting the blog and most of me

So I thought I'd finished with this blog but the universe seems to have conspired to line up events in such a way that I couldn't help but to write about it . . . . 

October 2016 I'm in Caen, France, after spending 4 glorious days in Paris seeing the sites and eating some great food. Caen is a wonderful small town where I wander with my friends, enjoy the history that I am there to learn and reveal in the experience of travel. Early one morning I awaken to missed calls and texts messages. My Dad is fatally ill. Can you come home?
36 hours later via trains and planes, some sleep, much wine, I am down in Mandurah  sitting with Dad, listening to him breathe gently and then finally, with a slight dramatic flourish, dying. The usual chaos follows - family, funerals, fights, and then suddenly . . . . its back to work. 

February 2017 I'm exhausted. In such a way that I have never experienced. The summer slipped by in weariness, books and not much else.

A good Psychologist frien…


O Key of David
Mystery beyond my control
Who cannot be boxed
Who seeks my all,
and nothing less

who comes
on the late afternoon breeze
in the quickening pace of last minute shopping
in excited squeals
and overwhelmed tears

Who comes
in the midnight silence of those
Keeping vigil
the cloistered ones
the mothers
the ill

in ancient words of emmanuel

Advent 3

blurry mornings 
weary bones

days warm 
minds slow 


heart needing 
despite the weather

that day
which dawns everything
still comes too quick
it's surprise leaving 
as if there is just
the child and I
as if we two
can make the world whole
through our shared gaze

i have no gift to bring
but this torn 
bent out of shape 
a year of encounters
leaving their mark 

the child 
has no wealth
but love

Beginning Lent

Like many others, Lent seems to have arrived a bit by surprise this year. As I wrote on the usual social media site, I have been looking for what discipline I was going to embrace for the next six weeks. I really wanted to avoid the "give up chocolate, television, trashy magazines " mentality which seems rife at this time of year, looking for something bait deeper and life-giving.

The Spirit seems to have ideas for me however, as bed bound with a virus this weekend, I rediscovered two of my heroes - John Henry Newman , Cardinal and Anglo Catholic convert, and Mother Maria Skobtsova, Paris living, intellectual, mother, and Russian orthodox nun.

So using this reading plan, and the Skobtsova page above, spiritual reading along with saying the office (morning prayer and compline with the family), and making an effort to be very good and kind this Lent, seems like the way.

tidal waves from behind . . .

joe cocker and the mad dogs grace the player saturday night was bowling lanes with les enfants fedoras grace the hat-stand black for winter straw for summer my t-shirt advertises long since forgotten japanese rock shows skinny ties are worn for formal occasions along with ancient doc martens princess collects tea set antiques while the prince pursues futuristic eighties cartoons ancient liturgies are celebrated with passion latin is beginning to be understood books from childhood are revisited. i cook from elizabeth david and consider riding my bicycle more
this retro life- is it escape from our modern madness malady by retreat to an idolised past?
a passing fancy?
or is dwelling in the present moment  only possible whilst looking behind?