About

Solitude was my default mode from the start.  I was the only child of immigrant parents traumatised by their experiences of WW2.  Years in a Nazi labour camp had made them fearful of the outside world.  ‘There’s no such thing as friends’ and ‘trust no-one’ were my father’s mottos.  I grew up hearing tales of death, destruction and betrayal as we ate dinner.

At the age of three I developed polio shortly after being given my first polio booster.  I spent six months in hospital where I learnt to speak English.  Much of my time in hospital was spent in isolation.  In the sixties parents were denied free access.  Visits were few.  My mother would hide in the rhododendrons outside my window, wave and blow kisses.  When I heard a nurse coming I would signal to my mother so she could hide. Later I remember being in a room on my own and beyond a large glass partition was the main children’s ward where they all seemed to be having great fun.  They had balloons and toys.  There was colour and noise.  I longed to be one of them.  It took a huge chunk of my adult life for me to realise that the perceived communal happiness beyond the glass was, in reality, an illusion.

My illness had left me with a limp. One leg was thinner and weaker than the other.  I became my mother’s shame…no longer the perfect child, I was now the family scapegoat. We moved from a rickety terraced house overlooking the railway line to a suburban bungalow up a dead-end street.  There was a garden with an old apple tree.  I would climb up to a high branch and look for God.  He was never around.  At the village primary school I could not join in with PE classes.  I would sit on the sidelines and watch.  Sometimes I would play piano while the others danced around the hall.  I was the smartest kid in class. I was marked out as different, the foreigner, the cripple but also someone special.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “About

  1. Moving background. I think nobody is alone though. We are all coming from the same place and will go back to this universal source again. Even if family and friends surround us, they cannot accompany us in the walk of life and death. Instead, it is possible to see a human spiritual connection beyond our physical world, which I find very helpful during times of seeming solitude. All the best!

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    1. Thanks, Mathias, for your comforting words and your reminder that there is another dimension beyond our material world. My creative work is influenced by the ideas of Carl Jung and the collective unconscious. I do believe we are all connected on some other level, that there’s no such thing as coincidence. I also find the natural world and contact with animals a great healer.

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      1. We have more in common than cats…I also do not believe in coincidence! And since I came to live in the country, far from the city I have rid myself of so much angst. I remember how it was for children who had polio in the 60’s. Unimaginable. I only had asthma, but I used to sit on the sidelines too and I remember how left out it made me feel. Best wishes to you!

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  2. Thank you Yetismith. I’m glad your move to the countryside has worked out well. Cambridgeshire is so beautiful. I went on a camping holiday there many years ago, stayed at a farm with noisy peacocks so we never got any sleep. The Far North is remote and there are disadvantages but overall I could not return to city life for more than a couple of days. Wishing you and your cats all the best for 2020!

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  3. Hmmm, I looked at some of your art, and I wonder if you do commissions? I want to convert my blog posts and stories (mostly not currently up on the site) into a book, and I want them illustrated. I’ll pay (Paypal OK?)

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    1. Thanks for taking an interest in my artwork. Not done any commissions for a while but I will have a think over the weekend and get back to you. Sorry to hear about your son moving to England at a time like this. The Pandemic rules keep changing and it is hard to keep up. Probably you would be allowed to enter from America but would be quarantined for fourteen days.

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      1. But quarantined how, where I wonder? She must have a lot of money, apartments in NYC sell for at least $500K I believe.

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        1. That kind of money would go a long way in Northern England. I think you’re supposed to self-isolate in your own residence and the police visit every day to check. Most hotels are still closed. Hopefully you will hear from them eventually.

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  4. We all have back stories, explanations, justifications, cause-effect links in longer or shorter chains. Once in a while I seek somebody out, this time I think I found you, whom I don’t feel sorry for, or judge, or want to teach….I just want to appreciate you yourself, even though I just don’t get poetry, I wonder if I ever even get anything. Soooo, last week my son called me. In a nutshell he let me know that my ex-wife sold her apartment in the Bronx and her and my other son just up and moved to England, to the north apparently. Since then, not a word have I heard. Do they even let Americans into England during the pandemic? Thank you for reading something of mine.

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