Monday, 23 October 2017

Stories of the streets..mental health and madness..

Stories of the streets..mental health and madness..

The individual stories of people are often lost in the mass psychosis that are Mondays. I talk to people at bus stops ; at railway stations and as I move through my day I talk discuss and debate and also listen. I have lived in Penrhps for a month now and at the bus stop there always 4 or 5 of us. There is a man who is friendly, outgoing and helps everybody. I chatted to him a few mornings ago and we talked. He told me of his mental health problems over the years and I began to reflect how unusual it is for someone particularly a man to be so open. It was refreshing...
We fear mental health issues. Men are the worse . Mist men will only talk to other men about their job, their car or sport. To other men they will boast about their sex life; their pay or their triumphs. Inadequacy;fear, doubt and insecurity are denied . By and large women, those who have been through crisis ; those who have struggled through identity to new meaning and those with open minds to mental health issues talk more openly about struggles to regain stability and sanity . You often meet people like that on such days when we rush to our week and our occupations. But many are lost in the collective anxieties we all suffer from.

Yet whenever we share our own vulnerabilities we enable others to learn more and to reflect on possibilities of recovery. In the personas we create we ignore the private demons of others and often project onto others our own fears. From the populist right of today to the witch hunters of 400 years ago we project our greats onto to single mothers and the migrant. We look for the enemy within our society yet the enemy is simply the frightened inadequate part of ourselves that we deny. We are all broken, we are all at some time inadequate and afraid. The individual purely as as an individual is a myth we are all shaped by others perceptions and prejudices. The psychological of the "libertarian* is a justification of their own narcissism. The denial of the "collectivist" in the role of the individual is a denial . A healthy society must understand how mental health is both collective and individual and part control and part liberation. The madness of an indivixual; a group, a society and an illusion must be examined and challenged. Mental health is about knowing oneself , society and history. Mental ill health comes from the hobgoblin of the closed mind. It comes from the simplicities of the authoritarian right, the witch hunters and perceptions if the enemy within others. In the struggle against the authoritarian and the fascist we must start with ourselves...and then turn outwards..

 "Stories Of The Street"

The stories of the street are mine,the Spanish voices laugh.
The Cadillacs go creeping now through the night and the poison gas,
and I lean from my window sill in this old hotel I chose,
yes one hand on my suicide, one hand on the rose.
I know you've heard it's over now and war must surely come,
the cities they are broke in half and the middle men are gone.
But let me ask you one more time, O children of the dusk,
All these hunters who are shrieking now oh do they speak for us?

And where do all these highways go, now that we are free?
Why are the armies marching still that were coming home to me?
O lady with your legs so fine O stranger at your wheel,
You are locked into your suffering and your pleasures are the seal.

The age of lust is giving birth, and both the parents ask
the nurse to tell them fairy tales on both sides of the glass.
And now the infant with his cord is hauled in like a kite,
and one eye filled with blueprints, one eye filled with night.

O come with me my little one, we will find that farm
and grow us grass and apples there and keep all the animals warm.
And if by chance I wake at night and I ask you who I am,
O take me to the slaughterhouse, I will wait there with the lamb.

With one hand on the hexagram and one hand on the girl
I balance on a wishing well that all men call the world.
We are so small between the stars, so large against the sky,
and lost among the subway crowds I try to catch your eye.

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