It’s time…

This blog as been the hole-in-the-wall that allowed you to peak through into what was my human story. I have unlocked my secret garden of memories and experiences for you to wander through at your leisure.

My writing, I hope, is experiential and visual; it is my way of showing you what I saw on this incredible journey of sight rebirth, and how that affected me.

It still affects me.

Now it’s time to get into the science of the matter. In fact, we’re really talking neuroscience here, and as for the matter; well that will be your brain. The incredible science within us all, is what is, and always has been, the raison d’etre for this blog.

So, let me introduce you to the “Talking to Lampposts” exhibition.

This will be the physical manifestation of these words…this story. It is the real, tangible place you will be able to visit to touch what I touched, and feel what I felt…and what’s more we’ll tell you what was going on inside, because that’s where the real story lies. 

Welcome to the next stage…

 

Advertisements

Luck

What is luck? No, really – what is luck?

I can’t help but feel it is two sides of a rusty old coin, but it’s more that that of course; it’s a force. It’s something that takes you over and has power over you. It’s uncontrollable.

It’s a bad thing for us control freaks; it might even be our Archenemy.

It depends on your spiritual angle of course, your opinion of the world. It’s an interpretation of how you see your life fitting in with others, how central you are. It illustrates where your boundaries lie, and exposes your value system. Sharing your definition of bad luck is tantamount to holding up your newly washed undies up to the light for inspection.

My interpretation of luck might evoke a violent reaction in you. It’s just chance or coincidence isn’t it? It’s something that shapes you whether you like it or not; but it affects you, changes you.

Sometimes we talk about ourselves being in the right place at the right time, but the two polar opposites of chance are defined and calibrated by how you see life; it’s what you want to pull out of it, or perhaps its more about what you don’t want to pull out.

We all have different expectations, and desire radically diverse things from this existence we’re given. A poet needs his imagination; an artist might need his eyes, and a composer his ears. But what value do they put on the rest of their senses? What would be their individual definition of bad luck?

What could they live without? Let’s face it; bad luck is normally about losing something…

I hear about people’s travesties all the time, illnesses and bad fortunes linger and drone around my head for longer than they might have before. They attach themselves to me, like a burr. I touch it and feel the prickles, the sharp spikes of their fear. I know fear so it’s easy to pick up someone else’s. It’s a perverse comfort to know you are not alone in your own bad luck.

I find myself assessing their fate; their personal predicament and I ask myself; was it as bad as mine? Did it grip them and change their life? Are they still affected by it?

It’s narcissistic and brutal, this measuring and comparison of suffering, but I guess if I do it, then someone else out there does it too.

The point is though; it is a useless exercise. My notion of bad luck will always be poles apart from yours, as yours is to me.

Luck is, if nothing else, distinct, personal and unavoidable….and I remind myself, it can sometimes even be good.

59 seconds…

The features of modern technology recently allowed me to eavesdrop a valuable and insightful conversation between my little one, and his four year old cousin as they walked hand in hand through a National Trust forest.

They pragmatically and succinctly discussed parental mortality; and still had time for an enlightening chat about dinosaurs – in all of 59 seconds

I’d be sad if my mama died, I’d be, in fact I’d just cry if my mummy died, and I wouldn’t stop until my mummy…”

“Our mums will die. Sometime. But only old ladies died.”

“Yes, really, really old ladies. Old ladies that are…”

“Is that your jumper?”

Yes, it’s a stegosaurus, actually it’s a gigantosaurus.”

“Oh..”

“Gigantosauruses are a meat-eating dinosaur that are really huge. They have to bend down to eat !”

“There’s a gate over there! Let’s run!”

I wonder if there’s a leaf to be extracted from their delightfully naive storybook…

Pediculus…

It’s not quite a full ‘banshee’ morning but it’s not far off. My voice has been raised for at least the last 20 minutes as my unresponsive children are systematically ignoring me. Shouting is having little impact; but the reflex is too strong to resist nevertheless.

The little one whines “Can I have the TV on?” which I choose to ignore. I am distracted as my daughter is absently scratching again; in irritation I flick her hand away from her scalp, and reach for her comb and hair bobbles. As I tug her head backwards, accompanied by the inevitable squawks, I notice something.

This has been a deep worry for me over the last year; would I notice if something was wrong with my children? What if I couldn’t see it? Could I miss some crucial clue? My instinct is on high alert; I just know something is not quite right.

As I slowly comb through her fine pale hair something catches my attention. Angling the comb a little and causing a yelp in the process, I scrape up a small black speck. I slowly transfer the comb closer to my face only to see the black spec….move.

In amused horror I realise my instinct was right, but my bemusement is interrupted again;

“Can I have the TV on?”

“No!” I hear myself yell again, “you can’t; your sister has nits!”

Thankfully my children are curious creatures, and indeed small creatures living in my daughter’s hair are suitably fascinating and exciting; that is until I mention the fact that we need to shampoo their hair. Now.

Shampoo is my children’s archenemy; so this is not good news.

“Can I have the TV on?” follows me about as I muster the big one into the shower room. She succumbs to the showering and rubbing in of repellent Lyclear in good humour; wrinkling up her nose in mock distaste.

The little one is mischievous and instinctively winds her up, unaware of his own fate. I side step furtively in his direction but he catches the look in my eye, and before “Can I have the TV on?” falls out of his mouth again he is running down the hallway shrieking. I manage to rugby tackle him at the bottom of the stairs and the next 7 minutes are wet, noisy and highly satisfying.

As my weary husband ambles through the door that evening I greet him with a fine toothcomb and the bottle of Lyclear; a salacious smile on my face.

Of course I can see nits.

 

Mr Smiley

The evening entertainment is a bawdy affair. Swarms of sweaty children weave in and out of chairs and tables whilst bored parents sit torpidly nursing glasses of tart local wine.

Nobody knows about me: Mrs NMO.

We have only engaged with a few families, smiling absently when our children have crossed paths briefly, never divulging more than which airport we flew out of. In the dim light human puppet shadows streak across the walls, bulging shapes emphasized by the fluorescent spotlights. Diabetes and heart disease slide awkwardly into the chairs next to us, flesh cascading over the arm rests. The movement causes the residue of cigarettes, after shave and stale beer to meander our way; my nose twitches its disapproval.

Loud music snaps my head back up and I find myself sniggering quietly into my warm glass. A moment of pure joy is about to play out in front of me….again.

I can only assume it is one of the male staff members that dons the shabby dog suit every evening at 8pm. Playing the pied piper he collects frenzied small people and leads a fevered trail around the room. Swaggering in an animal suit is challenging but I give him credit for trying to maintain some cool.

My son is at the other side of the dated ballroom but spots Mr Smiley as he snakes back around. Grinning inanely he lowers his blonde head ready to charge. It makes me smile how for the last 6 nights Mr Smiley has not seen my son coming; and when the moment of impact arrives he still never manages to deflect the highly accurate right hook to his groin.

I can only imagine the grimace and muttered Arabic oaths inside that furry dog head.