Old Journals ~ an introduction

Found two more old journals stored away in the attic back at the homestead. Have spent the last few hours since I got back this afternoon “strolling” down memory lane. Found more old pictures of Tim and I from that first year we were here at the cottage, 2009, plus lots of good memories and things that make me smile.

The journals are what I have poured over the last 2 hours though. I hardly even know were to start – they cover October 11 1986, all the way through till January 12 2003. Great stuff about meeting my old girlfriend Clare for the first time at Beal, plus the boyfriends, the early twenty-something lifestyle, and the heart breaks, the marriage, the divorce. Strange decade and a bit to be honest. I look back and it seemed I was also surrounded by lots of Mental illness – Clinical Depression, many attempts at suicide by a few friends.

I at the time remembered feeling a little stunned at the amount of depression I found in my new artsy friends, I had never associated creative minds with anything but beauty and brilliance. Never once understood the nature of creativity until I went to BealArt. Later, through the mid-late ninety’s I lived with my ex-husbands clinical depression and eventual dissociation and attempted suicide. What drove my ex finally I think to the brink though was our best friend Paul’s last mental breakdown in September of 1997.

At the time I did a lot of writing, wrote poetry and began my true discovery of Gaelic/Celtic culture, Shamanism, as well as various beliefs worldwide. It was the time of Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael, and Charles DeLint’s urban fantasy worlds. It was a time of lots of beginnings and lots of endings. Lots of beauty, as well as heartache, as usual. Can’t have one without the other it seems. Great love always puts you at risk for great suffering, but such is the rhythm of life.

In the next few days I’m going to post a whole series from my time with Paul and my experience with his Bi-Polar/Schizoaffective disorder. I want to briefly step away from my current pain and examine another time of grief that took place before my Mom’s death in 2001. Perhaps I shouldn’t, but I feel compelled and therefore I am making it so.

As I read back in those journals I was reminded of the Shamanic way I saw Paul’s illness at the time. OR, rather the sense or presence of shamanism in mental illness. I for the first time wondered at the nature of mental illness and what it indicates, if anything, about our society? What can bend the mind so and take such a swing at everything someone once held dear.

I’m following this uncertain path and I have decided to just go with what is placed in front me. These journals give me perspective I think, and show me how far I’ve come, what I have seen, what I felt and even gives new interpretations of my serial house dreams I had completely forgotten.

THE FOLLOWING POEM was with others in the file folder I found – the first of which was Spiritwalker. The date is around 1996-97. I see now looking back this isn’t just any longer about Paul, but about my ex-husband and all the friends I’ve had who suffered with mental illness. It is dark, and I want to apologize for that, but I won’t.

You do not know me … I sit on the other side.
I love someone who is obsessed
with the part of self we can not describe.

I have sat and been amazed…stunned… and
I have listened…
I have been…in  MY OWN MIND…
where you should not be…understand??!!!

I can not walk in someones shoes,
that can not walk in mine.

Tonight…I wait.
You do not know me…

Continued … Lost in Helium Spheres | Part One

21 thoughts on “Old Journals ~ an introduction

  1. Can’t wait for the series of post about Paul, Paula. I don’t know what is more amazing, the life you lived or the fact that you recorded everything in journals that you kept. I’m sure there are tons of life lessons for us in those pages.


    1. I have thought about those life lessons throughout these posts…very illuminating, lots of reminders, smiles, all that jazz. Kind of a Jungian self-psycho-analysis for soul …or perhaps acknowledgment of soul.


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