A Recovery Blog

This blog is about my continuing recovery from severe mental illness. I celebrate this recovery by continuing to write, by sharing my music and artwork and by exploring Buddhist ideas and concepts. I claim that the yin/yang symbol is representative of all of us because I have found that even in the midst of acute psychosis there is still sense, method and even a kind of balance. We are more resilient than we think. We can cross beyond the edge of the sane world and return to tell the tale. A deeper kind of balance takes hold when we get honest, when we reach out for help, when we tell our stories.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Another Song For My Mother


In the backseat of the car
On the way to the beach
You sang folk songs to me.
I was just a child
But I loved you so much
I thought about your mortality.

With my head in your lap
And your face like the moon
You sang with such joy
I felt truly at home,
At home.

I was following your footsteps
On Westhampton Beach
Long Island, New York.
It was the 1960s in the summertime
And you were making crazy patterns for me.

I followed your lead
And the sweet simplicity
From the salt in the air
To the sound of the sea,
You were there for me.

Play Song

My Mother, Ellen Mary

I think my mother is in the end stages of her life.  Early in August she had a heart valve replacement operation.  She survived the operation, but she awoke in a demented state.  We have all speculated that she didn't get enough oxygen to her brain during the operation. Now, almost 5 months later, she stopped eating and continued to sleep a lot and so she has a feeding tube connected to her belly.  It will be my father's decision whether to remove the tube or not within the next week or so.

As my uncle wrote to me a couple of weeks ago, it is a terrible irony that my mother, with her sharp, agile, knowledgeable mind, should end her life in a demented state.  I feel empathy for her because I've been in that lost place during the acute stages of schizophrenia.  It's a place where you cannot connect with others and where you are just getting by.  It's a place of isolation within the confines of insanity. And so, I cannot reach her and she cannot reach me.

I'm relying on the faith that I've nurtured over the years that each of our lives are witnessed from beginning to end and beyond by higher forces.  Not just witnessed but guided and comforted when we reach out in our pain and confusion.  My mother is not alone.  And when she does let go of this life, I will hold on to her spirit within my spirit.  She helped so much to define me with her intelligent honesty, her humor and her kindness.

Here are two songs I wrote for her:

Go With The Flow Mother

Go with the flow      
Mother, Mother      
Leave the misery    
Behind you;      
Let go of the shell    
That confined you.  
The times of sorrow    
Will come,      
But turn your face    
Towards the sun,
Go with the flow  

Mother, sweet Mother  
Has your time come?    
Mother, sweet Mother    
Are you going to move on
Without me?    

Go with the flow  
Mother, Mother    
Don’t resist your ending  
Walk into your new beginning.    
The times of sorrow  
Have come,  
Now turn your face  
Towards the sun,  
Go with the flow
Go with the flow  
Go with the flow.  


Where are you now?
Lost in a place    
Where I cannot follow you
You know I’ve been there, too
In a place where
Angels fear to tread
But I know they do    
They did for me and now you.  

Hold on to your spirit Mother    
Make the passage quick to the other side
When you get there, watch over me;
I will remember you with so much pride.

Songs For Mom

Click to hear.