Bullshite and Empathy

A cautious, ‘Hi’, here.

My response to Mark, at https://healingyourheartfromwithin.com.au/2019/08/28/empathy/

was becoming rather lengthy so I figured, make a post of it.

I reckon there are others who feel as I do.

Forgive me, Mark, please, for using a comment as a post. Haven’t quite mastered the art of brevity.

Hi Mark, the prodigal Scot is dipping her toes back in WP waters and you’re the first one I came across in my comments. I don’t even know if I’ll read anything else.

No, I’ll visit Beth at Colemining. You and she are two of strong connection. And that might be it.

Some of the lovely people I had met on here don’t figure in my thoughts when I’m away. That’s just life. Fleeting moments of remembrance and brief connection and we move on.

I hardly know why I’ve been away so long but your post has struck a chord.

Empathy.

It’s a bugger for me. Not only me. I was speaking to one of my sons recently and he was feeling emotionally and mentally drained to the point of …not depression…but similar… a hopelessness. He works with troubled young people while also studying at uni. He feels. He feels the world. It’s painful. I tried to explain what you are saying, in your post, but I don’t think I got it myself.

One of my daughters is the same. Mostly, the others of my crew practise a lot of sublimation. Or, maybe they just deal with the part of the world they have any control over and they’re better at separating the two than some of us are. Force them, and they’ll talk. They’ll give their opinions. They’ll tell you their beliefs. But, mostly, they get on with life. And I try to do the same.

But a few of us here struggle with the realities of what is happening all over and fluctuate between action and inaction, depending on how much energy we have left after dealing with life.

Empathy. The drain.

I’m struggling with the world. My own corner of it. What a mess is going on here. That’s kind of why I’ve been absent from WP. I decided to do something instead of writing and talking about it. But I’m not sure that what I’m doing is making any difference. Any more than words would.

Communication, for me, has always been key to dealing with people. Although, frankly, I don’t really relish being with people. It’s like I love humanity but I’m not so fond of it on an individual basis.

Someone once described an introvert as a person who can party hard with everyone else but needs a long time to recover. I rather liked that description. It fits who I am. I’m compelled to deal with people – kids, mostly – all day and, at the end of it, I just want to sit quietly in a corner. But I can’t, for the most part, because life demands and commands.

I began to take a more active role in politics last year, in the belief that actions speak louder than words. I still think that’s the case but those who have the time for action tend not to be holding down a full-time job and managing a household. Something always suffers. My writing has. It has become the last thing I do after everything else.

But it’s been bugging me. The same son I was speaking of earlier told me once, ‘Mum, writing’s a constant for you in your life. You always return to it.’

He gets me. The lass who feels the same also writes – in between living.

And that’s the shitty bit.

Something that constantly returns, but has to be put on hold, suffers neglect because arseholes are making a mess of doing the job they’re supposed to be doing.

I’d have been sacked for less.

And quite rightly.

They have all day, every day, to manipulate the world and I – we – are ants in the middle of it. Working till we drop.

I can’t stop seeing a bigger picture. It’s hazy. But not as hazy as I’d like it to be. All too clear, in lots of ways. And I’m bleeding energy for the state of the world.

What do I do about that, Mark?

How do I make empathy work for me? For the world? Because, right now, all it’s doing is draining me of the hope that has been as constant as the writing.

Thank god, right now, we have the September Weekend – a four-day break from work that’s a Scottish holiday. How I need it!

 

I had no intention of posting anything on WP. Hasn’t even figured in my mind at all in months. But, your post, Mark, speaks to me. I just don’t get it.

I don’t know how to separate what I think and feel from my energy source. When I think, I feel. When I feel, I’m exhausted.

I need a course on how not to let thinking and feeling drain me.

I need to retire, quite frankly!

But, I’m not going to do that until I see a world fit for my kids. This momma didn’t raise no cannon fodder!

Just tell me how to stop feeling everything and letting it bleed me dry.

If not, tell me a joke so’s I can laugh and move on.

And, I’m only half kidding.

I need a laugh to deal with the bull.

Thank god, I have a few comedians here who keep me smiling despite angst. Great leveller is humour. And so much truth in it too.

(There’s a slight glitch in the video but it only lasts seconds and it’s well worth hearing till the end)

Where Extremes Meet

Imbalanced, unsteady

World out of whack

Cosmos chaotic

Can we find our way back?

 

Heavens to hell

We’re caught in between

Is anyone listening?

Do you know what I mean?

 

Richest to poorest

Filet mignon to mince

Palace to pavement

Paupers, crown prince

 

Eden to Gaza

Stripped of what’s best

Points of the compass

Confused east to west

 

Morbid obesity

Starved unto death

Billionaires, beggars

Comfort, bereft

 

Extremes in nature

Whole world in flux

Empathic encounters

While some give no fucks

 

Leisurely, lazy

Or worked to the bone

Temperate to pissed

Hyped-up to stoned

 

Scales have all shifted

They’re whirling like mad

Weighed down or lifted

Sky-high or launch-pad

 

Graven pretenders

Vying with Christ

Compassion, contemptible

Virtue and vice

 

A planet imploding

With greed, avarice

Don’t know about you

But I never voted for this

 

Button to reset

That might be the plan

Pit one against other

Warring woman to man

 

Polarised humanity

Silenced, shrill scream

Trying to stay upright

On an unsteady beam

 

Pendulum’s swinging

And the clock’s ticking down

Minutes to midnight

Of tragedy and clowns

 

Terrified faces

Rictus, raw smiles

Fiddles on scary

No deliverance for miles

 

We’re caught on a swing

With a g-force of ten

Tensioned to torment

Released, repeated again

 

Scrambling brains

By the power of extreme

While I’m seeking balance

Please say you know what I mean

 

Buckie an’ Gawd an’ Aw That

(source)

I’ve hud a few drams an’ I’m feelin’ grand

I think that I’m gonnae write

Creation incomin’, ma big pen in hand

Thunderbolts ur in sight!

 

I’ll start wi’ a bang cause I’m a big noise

A wee joke there! Whit am I like?

I’ll make loads ae space fur aw ae my toys

Nice work there fur a first strike

 

I’ll leave it the noo while I drink a bit mair

The lubricant’s good fur my aim

A few million years tae let the brew simmer

Don’t want tae make moves aw the same

 

Thish shtuff is braw, don’t know whit it’sh cried

But it’sh shurley nectar fur me

Ma haunsh urr aw shaky an’ sho urr ma words

Better leave thingsh shum mair tae I can shee

 

God, I’m feelin’ rough, nae mair ae that stuff

At least, no’ the noo, fur a while

A few miles roon the block should clear oot my guts……

 

…….Whoosh! Back tae work wi’ a smile

 

Time tae move oan wi’ ma opus, an’ that

Nae mair magnums tae I’ve penned a bit mair

Chewin’ ma nib, brain cells feelin’ smart

Wieldin’ my bolt noo wi’ flair

 

I’ll huv a wee peek tae see the land’s lie

Well, wid ye ever? Good grief!

Look at aw that! It’s grown by an’ by

This goes beyond self-belief

 

But somethin’ is missin’. Whit could it be?

Everythin’ looks too spot oan

Worlds aw a-turnin’, withoot even me

Some folk’ll think that I’ve gaun

 

Aw, that’s right, I’ve no made them yet

Ma brain’s still too fuzzy fae booze

They’re part ae ma plan, how could I forget

Noo, let’s think a bit then I’ll choose

 

I’ll start wi’ a man an’ we’ll huv a wee chat

Let him know how this’ll work

No’ too much, though, nae equals or that

Don’t want him goin’ berserk

 

I’m on a roll, he looks no’ too bad

Hi, there, ma lad, how ye dain’?

Panic thee not, I’ll be yer dad

Noo, listen tae whit yer dad’s sayin’

 

I’m writin’ a book, an adventure an’ such

Wi’ twists an’ turns everywhere

I keep losin’ the plot wi’ imbibin’ too much

An’ ma heid is aye feelin’ sair

 

But, bear wi’ me, son, an’ I’ll gie ye the gist

There’s a flagon callin’ ma name

You write a bit fur me while I go an’ get pissed

But try tae keep true jist the same

 

I’ll no’ leave ye yersel’, fur that widnae dae

Ye’d die here left oan yer ain

Ye’re no’ a bad model, I huv tae say

But ye’re lackin’ a bit in the brain

 

I’m soberin’ up an’ I’ve hud an idea

It’s different but might be my best

Listen tae me, ye’ll be thrilled when ye hear

I’ve got plans tae plump up yer chest

 

I’m gaun fur tae make ye a partner, I say

A helpmate fur aw ae yer life

Ye can call hur ma darlin’, ma sweetheart, ma tumshie

Ye can even call hur yer wife

 

She’ll make ye yer dinner, she’ll darn yer soacks

She might even knead yer sore necks

She’ll massage yer ego but nag, fur a joke

Fur expectin’ too much kinky sex

 

I’ll make her yer equal tae stand side by side

But remember, she’s no’ built like you

Hur muscles, internal, hur strength, ae the mind

So, be gentle, whatever ye do

 

Don’t punish hur boady because ye’ve brute strength

Use it insteid tae defend

She’ll last ye a lifetime if ye’re kind and, at length

Mair men an’ wummen I’ll send

 

So, why am I sendin’ a wummin, ye ask

Cause a wummin’s the best part ae me

I’m split doon the middle wi’ genders, my task

Tae try oot the options an’ see

 

A word tae the wise fae the heavens up here

Don’t treat hur as if she’s yer slave

She’s ma secret weapon, so listen, don’t fear

Fae yer ain worst excesses, she’ll save

 

So, here comes the wummin. A brammer! A beezer!

Staun back, man! She isnae that type

Noo woo hur and show hur ye urnae a geezer

No’ like that! Gawd, whit ur ye like?

 

Noo, move back a bit an’ gie hur some space

Ye’re crampin’ hur style wi’ that thing

Whit wis a thinkin’? Don’t shove yer dick in hur face

The trouble that thing’s gonnae bring

 

I can jist see it noo if men are in charge

Charge! The target’s in sight!

Ma dong is bigger than yours, it’s well large!

Aye, it is! Hey pal, you waant a fight?

 

Haw, wummin, c’mere, I’ve got somethin’ tae say

A bit ae advice, a wee drap

The man I huv made waants sex everyday

Fur your sake, make sure ye’re sittin’ oan tap

 

Cut him some slack tae he’s caught up wi’ you

Don’t waant tae undo whit I’ve made

A couple ae years tae he evolves, well, a few

Noo, remember, aw that I’ve said

 

Jist hing oan a while an’ he’ll figure it oot

An’, tae he dis, ye’re the wan who knows best

I’m right behind ye, I’ve got yer back

I’m callin’ it a wee IQ test

 

Put up wi him an’ ye’ll get yer reward, see

No the noo, though, so don’t make too many plans

Love him an’ guide him an’ don’t poison his tea

He’s only prototype man

 

An’ watch oot fur power, it’s a bugger fur men

Testosterone aye waants tae strut

You’ve got some tae, though it’s tempered, ma hen

That is ma deepest cut

 

Yer moods they will swing wi’ the mix I huv made

But remember, ye’re no mental, an’ that

Yer bum’s no’ too big, jist the time ae the month

An’, naw, jeez, ye don’t look too fat

 

Models at the ready, a guy an a gal

Ye’ll dae aw right if ye heed ma advice

But naeboady’s listened tae me fur a while

I huftae say everythin’ wance mair than twice

 

The time it has come and eons huv passed

Feck sake! They don’t know whit they’re dain’!

Neither ae them listened tae the advice they amassed

They’re eejits, these men an’ these wummen

 

The choices I huv, they are many an’ vast

I could jist rub them oot, start again

But I never undo whit I’ve written doon last

I leave that aw doon tae mad men

 

Extinction, it seems, is their aim, so it is

Whit can I dae aboot this?

Quicker than I’ve made it, they’re destroyin’ it aw

Noo who’s takin’ the piss?

 

Haw, wummen, c’mere, I’ve loast maist ae the men

They’re aw away the fairies

If we don’t fix it noo, afore it’s too late

There’s no gaunae be any mair ae ye’s

 

You’re no’ quite loast so listen up, see

I know ye’ve no’ hud real chances

Tae be aw the wummen that youse can aw be

Ma fault, hen, that men ur such dunces

 

Cover yer breasts, ma bow ye shall yield

Don’t be a slave tae yer tits

Gird up yer loins an’ hoist yer big shields

Bugger men! We’re gaunae fix this

 

Here come the wummen! An Amazon clan

Ready for battle to start

You men huv muffed it wi’ aw ae yer plans

An’ I’m jist no’ huvin’ aw that

 

I write the stories! Follae the script!

I’m puttin’ wummen oan tap

I shouldne huv hud aw that nectar I hud

I should’ve jist hud a wee drap

 

Never create when ye’ve hid a bit much

A good few too many drams

Keep the big pen an’ the bolt oot ae touch

Or yer characters might turn oot tae be bams

 

Bampots United versus female race

Jeez, this writin’s a laugh

I’ll put ma money oan hur, tae save face

A wee lie doon noo tae sleep this stuff aff

 

Aw, jeez Louise, look who they’ve picked!

Mad May an’ that man is still there!

I’m feelin’ scunnert enough tae be sick

I’ll be back when I’ve cleaned up the flair

 

A few years huv passed noo an’ whit can I see?

A beautiful world doon below

Nary a human, it’s jist birds an’ bees

An’ I’ve learned a lesson, I know

 

When writin’ a book, make sure tae stay sober

An’ start wi’ a wummin’ next time

Lay aff the nectar, at least tae October

Thon Buckfast is mair than cheap wine

 

Fortified noo, wi’ intent an’ a plan

An’ I’ll try oot a totie wee pen

Best tae gang slower an’ write oot long haun

An’ keep ma pen aff ae daft men

 

I’ll no’ start wi chaos, this time, naw, I’ll no’

Better tae draw oot a wee chart

Plan it oot furst, make them act it oot slower

I’ll have a wee drink. Then I’ll start.

Distracted, Abstracted

skin of papered onion 

peeled in pen and ink

as doodles crossing virginal

help me mull and think

with layers of lined abstraction

in markings freely made

thoughts and things I’m dreaming of

when words remain unsaid

while radio goes rambling

through the contours of my mind

in each portion printed pattern

discoveries I find

glassed in red libation

smoked in embers’ flames

onion’d contemplations

melt with those I’ve named

mid musings in a mindset

that meet where two lines merge

diverging while perceptions

collide and then converge

as news holds deep disturbance

tangents here to there

while my pen reacts to everything

in words I cannot share

The Precious Touch

The texture, more important than appearance

The feeling, more appealing than the look

The facets of quality, as measured

Like the content of a treasured, well-read book

The touch, far more impressive than the visual

Though first drawn by sight alone, ’tis not enough

The smoothest, gliding surface when encountered

Convinces more than coarsened, crude and rough

The elements, attractive in display case

Cannot be chosen till character is felt

In life, as in the study of the gem stones

Intrinsic value known once precious held

Fighting Shadows

Do veins take on new colours, shades and shadows

Absorbing spectrum’s range as multi-hued

Muted, harsh, spectacular or mellow

Bleeding into consciousness till true

When courses plasmic liquid in exchanges

Breaths of capillation, calm, serene

Does dreary darkness vie with light in stages

Concur as cancer, out of sight, unseen

Inseparable companion, undercover

Ominous and partial to disguise

Unaware the host, a mother, brother

Living, breathing silence with each sigh

When veins resist the rainbow, embrace shadow

Pray light into the gloaming till it flows

 

If you pray, please pray for my eldest brother who, for the second time, has had a diagnosis of cancer. He will be undergoing surgery within the next week.  He has the strongest of spirits and has fought his way to life through major health trials over the years. My heart aches for him that he has to fight once again. Thank you.x

Deliverance

Where servile siblings gather, there you’ll find them

Trading lives for plaudits promised soon

Sacrifices welcomed and encouraged

Naked greed stripped bare by fulsome moon

When night it falls beneath a clouded mantle

Where secrets in the pot are mixed with bile

Souls hawked upon the futures’ febrile markets

Linger there and watch them for a while

They dance upon the graves of friends and strangers

Buried and forgotten easily

Names only in a ledger, stones eroded

Watch closely now, believe all that you see

Remark upon the eyes, how dark and hollow

Empty vessels mustered to be filled

Adherents to philosophy of selfish

Disciples drugged and daggered to the hilt

Swaying to a music marched macabre

Ecstatic to the beat of blood and gore

Listen while they chant to inner hatred

Death to all, their rousing ribald score

Stay softly, do not move, you are a target

Keep camouflaged, be hidden till they’re through

Upon the heath, beneath a sky turned blood red

Offering oblations to dark brew

Beware the servile siblings and their legions

Biblical bombast of putrid smell

Feeding evil, justifying actions

Of power stoked in fires of human hell

Deliver with dispersal of the siblings

Upset the crock where poison has been stewed

Serve antidotes of love by rise of morning

Negate the darkness, let light be renewed

Ceud Mìle Fàilte – To My Part Of Our World

I think I’m really clever

so coordinated

when I can remove

the remnants

of today’s make-up

with my right hand while

unhooking earrings with my left

after having

stacked

crockery and cutlery

in preparation

for twenty

having cleaned for the days

I didn’t

while working

teaching

clearing

sorting

finishing

one job

before embarking

on the next

 

I think I’m so organised

after

shopping

with my list

for food

drink

accroutements

the je ne sais quoi

of visitors

 

I think I’m on the ball

 

I’m not

 

I’m not on anything

but the same wheel

that we’re all on

you know the one

when we impress ourselves with our

own abilities to cope

under pressure

to be

to do

to act

to keep on

keeping on

 

I think I’m doing so well

and I am

 

I definitely am

 

I know this

by comparison

to when I’m not

and, oh, there have been times

when ‘not’ has been

the ‘it’

 

but now

right now

I’m doing well

as well as anyone can do

with

still

so much to do

 

I think I’m so clever

removing

with my right hand

today’s make-up

while

at the same time

my, oh, my!

such dexterity

disentangling dangling earrings from lobes

time-saving

knowing I have organised

am organised

will be

the hostess with the

enough

more than enough

to make them welcome

and

next week

I’ll abseil

and kayak

just for fun

 

these are the

holiday-days

the manage-and-do

and fill-the-days

with what is not the

everyday-do-days

these are the good

but also

busy days

 

as all days

 

I think I’m so clever

so coordinated

so resourceful

that I can do all this

and be

sane

 

while monitoring

watching

still

always

what is going on

in the realm of those

whose lives

coordinate

and manage

a different agenda

where

welcome

hospitality

ceud mìle fàilte

are not the operative words

I know

I’m doing well

and the earrings and makeup removed

two-handed

in a satisfied acknowledgement

of

the fridge

and dishes

ready

speak my truth

 

I’m clever

in some ways

in more ways

like so many

the everyday ways

we do

we are

the embrace

that love

to welcome

life

and loving

 

how clever

and resourceful

and full of life

are we

in spite of all

 

slainte

friends

 

these are the days

of life

living

and being

the welcome

to our part of the world

Remember, To Carry The Flame

We marched for you back then

You don’t remember

Crusaders for a kingdom

How we strived

Destitute, determined

Carried with us

Hope, appeal, intention

To survive

 

We stood for you back then

You don’t remember

Faced down the tanks

Deployed in George’s Square

Heard the Riot Act

Dismissed, resisted

Gathered for a living

Far more fair

 

We starved for you back then

You don’t remember

Force-fed prison time

For worthy aims

All but now forgotten

As the years pass

No recollections

Still done in your names

 

We died for you back then

You don’t remember

Someone from your family

Now deceased

Their legacy, the freedoms

Fought and died for

Bequeathed to you

So future would know peace

 

We lived for you back then

You don’t remember

Parents of a past

Lost in years’ layers

Gone, their cause forgotten

Present children

Remember now

And ask if you still care

 

We worked for you back then

You don’t remember

Unborn you were

But we had you in sight

Fighting for the future

Of all children

And conditions we could live by

Workers’ rights

 

We fought for you those years

You don’t remember

Distance lends enchantment

Or dismay

Forgotten, now, we are

We were foot soldiers

Who thought that we had

Surely won the day

 

We fought for you back then

You don’t remember

Battled for a birthright

Better ways

Took a stand

We fought for bread and butter

For a piece of

All created

By our hands

 

We fought for you back then

You don’t remember

In daily labour

Justice all we sought

Manned the streets, the trenches 

Raised our voices

We fought for you back then

As parents ought

 

We fought for you back then

You don’t remember

Torches dropped

As mem’ries fade away

Hopes were high among us

Generations

Would benefit in living

Brighter days

 

We fought for you back then

You must remember

Gains we made

Eroding by the week

Fight for us

As once we fought your corner

Supporting those

Who work for what you seek

 

We fought for you back then

Oh, please remember

The battle scars we wore

To pave the way

Conditions that we railed against

Remember

Vote anyone

But not for Maggie‘s May