Can I Go Now?

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The older I get, the more frightened I become. Not of death. But of continuing to exist. Oh, I long for death. Please, death. But not this deteriorating going on. Please. I don’t want to be a pathetic, useless old woman.

The older I get, the worse my health is; the less good I am to anyone, the more of a burden I become.

Being a woman, I am scared I will outlive my husband. And, being unable to take care of myself, I wonder what horrors await me on this wretched mortal plane.

I am so scared. I am so weary.

Where is the mercy? Why can’t I go now?

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The Treasure of Pleasure

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Poor health can make one always look on the darkest side, and cultivating an awareness of pleasure can end up lost in a world of pain and suffering. So, in an effort to cultivate that awareness, as part of a mindfulness practice, here is a list – in no particular order – of 10 pleasurable things I have experienced today:

1. String resonance
2. The smell of mint and tea tree shower gel
3. A friend I can talk to about anything
4. Orgasm
5. The taste of coffee that felt like liquid velvet in my mouth
6. The scent of my son’s hair
7. Tender and passionate kisses
8. ‘Krave’ cereal
9. Watching ‘Interstellar’
10. Discovering the game ‘Blendoku’

It isn’t about some positive thinking nonsense of ‘accentuating the positive’ but, rather, noticing the pleasurable, taking delight in the delightful. Being mindful of anything at all that is nice, or just isn’t crappy. It’s easy to notice the shit, because it’s loud and obnoxious. The nice stuff can be there, but soft and subtle. Therefore, it takes looking for it and making over it. And, that’s what I’ve done here.

Managing Expectations

Fact: I am a nearly 41 year old woman with serious health issues. One could say my prime left a long time ago.

Another fact: while perhaps somewhat dimished by time, age and illness, I still have a voice worth hearing.

Contrary to some popular belief, I am confident of my ability to sing.  It’s never been in question. I greatly enjoy making music, and it is a wonderful feeling when others appreciate both the gift and hard work that has gone into a performance. The fact that I have had limited success has little to do with talent, and much more to do with wrong place, wrong time and various life situations that kept me from the right connections and being discovered on a bigger scale.

When I was young, I had a dream.  And, I believed that despite all odds and crappiness of life, I would be discovered and have a big musical career.

Decades passed.  Life continued to bombard. But, I also continued developing my craft, and I never stopped making music. Mostly because it is the fabric of who I am. As long as I am forced to live in this world, I will sing and play. And, I will always keep doing it professionally when and where I can. Since moving to the UK, I have been well received, overall. And, I’ve been given opportunities to be heard.  And, in almost every case, as I say, I’ve been very well received and the music has been appreciated.

I’ve done what I could to get the music out there.  Recording a couple of albums for download, and submitting my stuff to places like BBC Introducing.

I was heard by someone from BBC Radio when I played at a meditation centre in Leicester, and he gave me his personal e-mail to send him my stuff, telling me they champion local artists.  I sent him my stuff. Never heard back. Just like I never heard back from the BBC Introducing folks.

This is all to say, I am under no illusions. First, I am under no illusions that I am talented. Bloody well gifted, even. But, when I go on about that too much, I sound conceited.  If, on the other hand. I try to manage expectations about being heard by scouts from The Voice UK and urged to audition for the show, people begin to think I doubt myself. Believe me, I do not. I’m simply being realistic.

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The card I was handed from The Voice scouts.

Since announcing that I had been heard at the Loughborough Acoustic Club by said scouts, and that they told me I have a great voice and they would love me to audition for the show, I have been getting a steady stream of “Oh, I can’t wait to see you on the tele, Autumn; you’ll be great; we’ll vote for you!” comments.

I feel the love, people. And, genuinely, from the depths of my broken heart and contralto pipes, thank you! The support is lovely. Awesome. It makes me feel all warm and shiney. Let’s be clear: I really appreciate it. And, if by some miracle, I make it to the televised voting bit, I’ll hold you all to it.  But, let’s not count our chickens.

There was a time when I would have allowed my hopes to soar. I have learned never to do this again. Not after all these years. Not after all the attempts to “make it”.  Not after the disappointment ravaged my weary soul and left permanent marks I feel every waking moment of every single day.

I’m managing my own expectations, as well as other people’s. It’s all about perspective. Here’s what it is: I sang well (after all, I am good). I was heard and appreciated by a couple of official representitives from The Voice.  I was asked to apply to audition for the 5th series of the show. After giving it some thought (my first being, “this is like 20 years too late for me”), I’ve decided auditioning can’t hurt. Getting a day out in Birmingham and singing to some new people…well, that’s all good.  But, that’s where I expect it will end, as far as the show goes.  Other things may come out of it, or not.  But, I am not even in the slightest going to allow my mind to go to that place where I see myself on that show.  Because, if I do that, and nothing comes of it, it would be another devastating blow to an already destroyed soul.  No, I cannot afford to even entertain the notion.

It’s a day out in Birmingham. I get to sing to new people. And, it’s all good.

This Is What It’s Like

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I want things to be better, I want to get better, and when, instead, things get worse – with my health, with the way I’m feeling – it’s a severe blow. Terrible. It’s life slapping me in the face. Again. It’s pure torment.

“You can choose to be happy and enjoy life.”  What a load of bollocks. You can choose to accept and sit with the pain, as mindfulness teaches. You can choose to escape some of the pain through books, music, sex, other distractions. But, the pain is still there. The struggle is still there. And, it isn’t enjoyable.

On the days that are less intense, I let my hopes rise. But, inevitably, disappointment comes with a vengeance in these times when it’s not only bad, but worse than ever. I let myself think that maybe there could be some freedom outside of death, just to be proven, once again, there is no freedom but death.

Stronger Than I

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My period of prolific (obsessive) blogging over, it’s been a while since I’ve posted here.
I presently have the flu. It’s hit at a lousy time (is there ever a good one?). It’s half term; the kids are off school. So, rest when I really need it isn’t happening, and fever and congestion isn’t making my ability to function any improved. It’s also more difficult to keep the rage in my head at bay. My fuse gets considerably shorter, less able to cope. All in all, coming down with something always feels like taking several steps back.

I’m weary and worn, but I was weary and worn before, so I’m…yeah, not good. And…now the kids are fighting again… oh joy. No strength…to go play referee.

Back after playing referee, giving out yellow cards (sending them to their rooms, away from each other and my aching head), and now I want to cry, but I have no energy to do so.

Sigh.

What now? It’s all so frustrating and messed up. I count my blessings, I practise meditation, but I’m not holding back the tide…it’s running me over, considerably stronger than I am.

Oh, and as I write this on my phone, it rings…another call I won’t answer. This time from “unknown caller”. Stronger…

Oh yay, they’re (the kids) are whining and talking back to me again. Stronger…

I want to crawl into a hole and go to sleep forever. Stronger…

And, I still want to cry…

So much stronger than I.

Answers on a Postcard With My Boobs on It

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I must, I must, I must increase…uh, I mean, I must blog, apparently. The obsession continues. What is this now? The fifth day in a row I’ve posted? Something like that anyway.

(The photo is superfluous; nothing to do with this post whatsoever…I just did this picture to post on my Facebook page. I like it, so you get it for free.)

Boobs, you say. Well, you might not say. I said. No, I wrote. Boobs. What about ’em? My husband, a photographer, is versatile in his art. Landscapes. Urban candid. Portraiture. Artistic nude. And, in my time, I’ve posed. It’s NOT one of the things I’m ashamed of.



Jamie sells his work on the website Redbubble. Occasionally a print or t-shirt (he’s designed a few) will sell. Sometimes it’s a card or, indeed, a postcard. Moneywise it’s nothing to write home about. We’re talking pocket change (unless someone buys a large print or, even better, framed print…hint, hint…you know you want one); it’s just nice to have the art seen and appreciated…acknowledged…occasionally liked enough that someone must own a little something of it.



Today, he sold a postcard of his piece entitled Surrendered #1. It happens to be one of those artistic nudes I posed for. It features my…chest features.



I wonder, who bought the postcard? Who will receive it? What message will it carry? How far will my boobs travel? They, most likely, will end up somewhere I have never been.



My visage…my naked form… on a postcard. Royal mail, special delivery. Bonkers!



Warning! Abrupt change in subject (keep up). I feel a shift. Like a bit of darkness lifting. I’ve had more energy today than I have in months (one of the results being that photo (not the booby one; the one on this post…so, ok, it does have something to do with this post after all); if I didn’t feel better I couldn’t have gotten in that position .  Maybe, I don’t know…could I be getting a bit of a remission, a reprieve, here? Please. Oh, I would be grateful. Not holding my breath – just like when I feel wretched, it is what it is. It’s a mistake to spend precious energy in thinking too much about it…even to hope. It. Is. What. It. Is.



Hmm…bad pun warning…   Wouldn’t you say this post is rather…titillating? And, with that pun intended, I’ll leave you to contemplate “answers on a postcard”.























Then Again

After my earlier post, I did psych myself up for going out of the house after all. I played a little Ingress, as my husband suggested. The fresh air felt good. Seeing people didn’t feel good. But, I didn’t see anyone I had to talk to. It was uncomfortable, but bearable.

I came home and ate some lunch. I still feel like shit. But, it’s an accomplishment. It’s something.

My husband praised me by saying, “Good girl.” Then he went on to text that, yes, he’s allowed to call me “girl”. Ha.

He is. Allowed, that is. But, I still feel (and look) so old, tired, worn.

I thought of texting a friend that last year I spent a good deal of time with, but since Christmas we’ve had little contact. I think she’s better off without me. I have little to say, little to contribute to her right now. She has other friends…and, I’m hard to understand. Well, I’m either hard to understand (myself) or I spend mass amounts of energy faking being something else. And, right now, I have no energy to spare.

I… well, as I say, it is what it is.