Journal Entry – Bruce Springsteen Concert



Wednesday July 24th – Part 1

This morning I am consumed by three feelings, excitement, anxiety and fear.  I am going to a concert tonight and I am excited.  I will be going to a new state of the art arena on its opening night, and whatever the collective name is for butterflies, I have it deep in my stomach; it is obviously as excited as I am at the prospect of seeing Brue Springsteen live. Not that I am “into him” in any big way, but his music evokes in me memories of a time  when I was, and I am looking forward to the atmosphere of a live concert as much as the music itself.  The butterflies have divided into groups matching how I feel, and some are clinging fervently to fear and anxiety.  Why?

Because in order to do what I am going to do tonight, I need to use a wheelchair for the first time. So I have been working hard on changing my attitude toward my illness and its progression. The tickets were booked back in February; the concert seemed an age away and it was very easy to decide to go.  I have given it very little thought since then thinking, perhaps in a rather convoluted way, that July might never arrive and I wouldn’t have to face what is now upon me, at the same time wanting very much to face it willingly.

I spoke yesterday to a friend in the same situation, but an “old hand” and she suggested to me that by agreeing to use a wheelchair I am being kind to myself, showing care and compassion. This makes sense to me, I think. (I am smiling; it’s not as though thousands of people are going to the arena tonight to see me).  She then said, “If you feel you need to, just wear a fake pot and pretend you’ve broken your leg”.  This made me laugh and ponder the strangeness of the human mind, how we can so easily think illogically.

Time to go and get ready for “The Boss”.

July 25th – Part 2

This morning I am feeling soberly hung over. I am still drinking in, absorbing and processing the success of last night’s efforts. I also feel very proud of myself for finally breaking down another huge barrier surrounding this illness. Oh, and Bruce was pretty good too! He performed non stop for more than three hours and his audience participation skills left me smiling out loud. He was well worth the heartache I had given myself in the weeks preceding the concert, and I had dished myself more than a fair share.

The wheelchair experience wasn’t anywhere near as traumatic as I had imagined it would be. I just kept in mind the words of my friend, who said that when sitting in a wheelchair, we have a very different view of the world; it consists mainly of bums!  I now know this to be true!

I do believe that most things we go through in life involve a process. When I was in early recovery from alcoholism, I learned that we change things when we have had enough pain; until this happens it is not possible to move forward.  It applies in other areas of life too.  I am aware that I recently arrived at a place where the desire to do something, in this case, go to the concert, began to outweigh the fear and anxiety of accepting a wheelchair, the end result being a chance to move forward toward new adventures.

My souvenirs from last night’s concert – a programme, (£15!!!! but essential!), a T shirt, a mug, and a gentle reinforcement of the knowledge that nothing changes if nothing changes.


Baby Solomon John!

Welcome to the world

joining a growing family

a baby grandson!!

Baby solomon and flowers 109

Borrowed Canvas

I attempted to reblog a post entitled Borrowed Canvas by my good friend Bennetta Faire. But the picture was huge and WP wouldn’t allow me to change it. I sent it to trash and started again but now it says it is already reblogged and I cant do it again!! So not to be defeated I am doing it this way! The picture is by me and Bennetta very kindly wrote an exquisite poem to accompany it.

Bennetta is a very talented poet and writer at



oil pastel 011

Of sky, or heart—same
Canvas, stretched to hold starbursts
Alight, love’s palette.
Life: daubs, brushstrokes—joys, trials—
Sobs flash, pale….‘mid wonderments.

Passion’s Rose—flowers,
Turns magenta, on strong vine.
Cool wisdom—rain runs
A river, feeds green streams, sun-
Warmed for dipping toes, growing.

Leaves, brown-crisped in fall,
Precede slow whispering snow;
And we’ll lie, mittened—
Making crystal angel wings;
Singing spring blooms’ sure return.

Colored flurries: pulse
Beats, marv’ling breaths—living art;
Seasons, rhythmic, drift.
Creator’s hand, grace Spirit—
Heaven, borrowed for a time.

Pink peonies, blue
Misted trees; fog flourishes
Of distant friendship—
Dear artist-poet, handmaid-
In-waiting, beloved by God.

©Bennetta Faire, 2013

Slip Sliding


This morning when I woke up
I could feel it;
it’s been hovering for weeks,
inescapable feeling of losing grip,
oil-coated life slipping
through slithery-dithery hands.
Dependant on so many
for so much,
each doing their
not-good-enough best
because it’s not my way;
simultaneous overspill of gratitude;
Thank you for this, thank you so much for that;
I appreciate all your help, I really do…

 I feel confused,
and sad.
None of this was in the plan,
not mine.
Mine was to fly free,
up high among birds in a limitless sky,
oyster-world opportunities, well-earned.
So whose plan is this,
and why?
Or is it simply nature
being as cruel as it can be kind?

Strange Encounter (More prose)

 I sat on a bench outside the hospital awaiting the arrival of a taxi. They said ten minutes; they always say ten minutes.

A disheveled looking man occupying an electric wheelchair made his way toward me. He wore pale blue pyjamas, plain, standard hospital. A roll up, pointed inwards, was pinched between middle finger and thumb. It started to rain; he pulled a hood over his head.
“How’s you today?” he asked, throwing away the roll up, not waiting for an answer. “They don’t know what’s wrong with me; that’s why they’re keeping me in”. The roll up lay smouldering.

 He was upset he was going to be in hospital for the start of Ramadan. I felt the need to be polite ; I asked how long it lasted, even though I already knew. His eyes, vaguely focused on some middle distance point, seemed vacant as he informed me it lasted a month, fasting during daylight hours. I enquired about drinking water. He shook his head solemnly. That’s why he was hoping it wouldn’t be too warm. I expressed surprise at the notion of taking no liquid, and he stared at me intently.
“It’s only a month”. he said. “The Prophet did it for a whole year”.
I felt uncomfortable.
“That’s a long time”, I said, a little weakly. “I wonder how he coped”. I heard myself; it sounded a silly thing to say. Still staring hard, he pointed a determined index finger, arm stretched to full length, toward the sky; he remained silent throughout the whole process.

 My taxi arrived. He smiled
“Have a nice day”, he said.

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