Starálfur

A Glastonbury a long time ago, the Other Stage, a sunset. Nostalgia.

Blá nótt yfir himininn
Blá nótt yfir mér
Horf-inn út um gluggann
Minn með hendur
Faldar undir kinn
Hugsum daginn minn
Í dag og í gær

Blá náttfötin klæða mig í
Beint upp í rúm
Breiði mjúku sængina
Loka augunum
Ég fel hausinn minn undir sæng

Starir á mig lítill álfur
Breytir mér í, en hreyfist ekki
Úr stað – sjálfur
Starálfur

Opna augun
Stírurnar úr
Teygi mig og tel (Hvort ég sé ekki)
Kominn aftur og allt allt í lagi
Samt vantar eitthvað
Eins og alla veggina

(Starir á mig lítill álfur)
(Breytir mér í)

Úr stað – sjálfur
Ég er…

In English

Staring Elf

Blue night across the sky
Blue night over me
Disappeared out my window
With hands
Folded under cheek
Thinking about my day
Today and yesterday

I dress in the blue pajamas
Straight into bed
Spread the soft covers
Close my eyes
I hide my head under covers

A little elf stares at me
Runs towards me, but doesn’t move
From its place – itself
Staring elf

I open my eyes
Wipe the crusts out
Stretch and check (whether I haven’t)
Come back and everything is alright
Still something is missing
Like all the walls

(A little elf stares at me)
(Runs towards me)

From its place – itself
I am…

Reflecting Light

May we all reflect the moon’s light. She offers something mysterious, fleeting yet secure.

Now that I’ve worn out
I’ve worn out the world
I’m on my knees in fascination
Looking through the night
And the moon’s never seen me before
But I’m reflecting light

I rode the pain down
Got off and looked up
Looked into your eyes
The lost open windows
All around
My dark heart lit up the skies

Now that I’ve worn out
I’ve worn out the world
I’m on my knees in fascination
Looking through the night
And the moon’s never seen me before
But I’m reflecting light

Give up the ground
Under your feet
Hold on to nothing for good
Turn and
Chasing you
Stand-alone and misunderstood

Now that I’ve worn out
I’ve worn out the world
I’m on my knees in fascination
Looking through the night
And the moon’s never seen me before
But I’m reflecting light

Sam Phillips

Who am I?

So…

I don’t know where to start this one. But yesterday I was asked who I am. I was floored.

I am Vic.

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But who do I present myself as? For years I’ve been me but maybe not me? Its such a confusing question. Can knowing who I am be the answer? I can’t answer it, partly because its a fluid thing and partly because I just don’t know.

I am Vic. I’m creative, passionate and imaginative.

 

For years I’ve played at being an artist and I did ok at it. I’m creatively inspired by stories true and fictional. I’m passionate about the power of the Arts and working with others. My imagination has taken me on some crazy adventures and projects, all of which I’m proud.

Over the past few years my ability to work effectively has been swallowed up by my physical and mental health. At first I said yes to everything in my excitement to be working in the Arts. I was good at what I did so work came to me and despite the struggle in terms of funding and consistency I was happy. The work grew and my company Wide Eyed Theatre was born. I worked in multiple roles for the company, as a youth worker, sessional lecturing and freelance. All aspects I have loved, and despite being poorly paid, I know along the way I have made a real difference in young people’s lives.

Maintaining this was a struggle and at some point amongst all the anxiety fear, pain and fatigue I stumbled. Something went wrong inside and no matter what I did I just couldn’t keep up or manage everything. Work was so important that the first thing to go was my social life and me time.

I began to reduce my life and cut out the extras that tipped me over the edge. I was stuck in a cycle of working or sick. I gradually got more and more fatigued, I’ve often described it as every day feeling fluey. I’d work then collapse and repeat. I had to take long breaks and nap or I just felt like I’d vomit. Everyday off and every nap carries guilt and I felt lazy and like I’d failed. So I’d go back into it full pelt, desperately not wanting to let people down. It wasn’t working. I began to feel drained creatively too. Partly from not feeding myself imaginatively by slowing down and allowing moments of peace and beauty. And partly because I was giving so much to everyone else and not myself as I was so scared.

So I fought for a diagnosis to understand why I felt the way I do. Why everyday is a struggle and why I let people down. I got used to wearing the label of chronic illness and found it easy to hide behind. In a bad place physically and mentally I also got into a bad place in a relationship and financially.

In 2013 I was diagnosed with Lupus. Since then its bounced around and things have been added and subtracted. I wrote more about the labels here. My current diagnosis stands at

  • ‘Lupus’ like auto immune disease1397203fa8512bc777ae182f1060e702
  • Suspected Behcets Syndrome
  • Joint Hyper-mobility Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Migraine
  • Bipolar
  • Borderline Features
  • Depression and Anxiety

I fought to be recognised as ill and not fobbed off and I feel like a diagnosis means I’m taken seriously and its not in my head. The trouble is that I’ve fought so hard that its consumed me. Lupus and medical took over even back here I was discontent with the Vicki that said ‘Hi I’m Vic I have Lupus’ before anything else.

So when I was asked who I am it jarred and crushed the part of me that has become swallowed by the wolf that is chronic illness. Its my defence mechanism but has made my life so unbearable that I am the wolf.

In 2016 it all imploded and I’ve been left stripped of everything. My mental and physical health is fragile. I’m currently at risk of being made homeless and bankrupt. I’m stepping back from work due to feeling so breakable. I have nothing, yet there is glory in being stripped bare.

Then in this conversation a different suggestion was made. One that may yet have viability. I am still Vic, I have a chronic illness and this is how I manage it. This is how I choose to live with and tame the wolf.

I am Vic. I’m creative, passionate and imaginative. I am fierce and tame wolves.

Trouble of the World

This evening I finished watching the stunning, brutal and heartbreaking Alex Haley’s Roots on BBC4. I read this book when I was 18 and remember it as a life changing story. Life changing for me because it demonstrated just how important knowing our story is. Lots to think about and I loved the inclusion of this song…

Soon I will be done
With the troubles of the world
Troubles of the world
Troubles of the world
Soon I will be done
Troubles of the world
I’m going home to live with God

No more weepin’ and wailin’
No more weepin’ and wailin’
No more weepin’ and wailin’
I’m going home to live with my Lord

Soon I will be done
With the troubles of the world
Troubles of the world
Troubles of the world
Soon I will be done
Troubles of the world
I’m going home to live with my Lord

I want to see my mother
I want to see my mother
I want to see my mother
I’m going home to live with God

Soon I will be done
With the troubles of the world
Troubles of the world
Troubles of the world
Soon I will be done
Troubles of the world
I’m going home to live with God

MAHALIA JACKSON

A spider in my eye

‘I’ll blow the cobwebs from your eye.’

I reply ‘Please don’t they’re not dry and old,

There’s a spider living there,

In my eye is a spider’.

SHe sees the world and remembers each frame  that flicks by.

SHe feels the same feels as I, right there in my eye.

The web SHe turns is a home and not a cob.

Sometimes I forget SHes there and almost wipe her away.

Sometimes she forgets it’s my eye and her feet leave scratches on my lens,

The world clouds over and it’s hard to see the truth.

SHe sews my eyes closed after a restless night of weaving.

SHe chatters insenently and questions everything.

Sometimes we disagree

But shes welcome, my little killer friend in my eye.

Child

Being a child is climbing the biggest hill and looking at the view and finding the forbidden forest on the horizon. 

It’s finding an old biscuit in your pocket and thinking nothing of eating it with fluff and all.

Something moves out of the corner of their eye and it turns into a ninja hunting through the leaves.

It’s valitldating the world by counting things and trying to be a exact when you’re  wildly out by days.

Only you know the story about the time a hedgehog flew onto the washing line in a great gust of wind.

It’s wobbling a tooth convincing yourself it will come out soon so the tooth fairy comes again. 

It’s the promise of pudding for breakfast if you get to bed on time ( also known as dinner too late).

Everyday means a new girl to be your girlfriend and ask to marry. It’s over quicker than it began. 

It’s using words like ‘apprehensive’ because  they sound made up and could mean anything you desire.

It’s being eternally exited about tomorrow because there’s always another adventure on its way…

Stumble trip…

Everyday has been getting slightly better, or so it seems. Everyone says how much better I look and how far I’ve come. But do you know what? I’m right back just where I started.

My heart hurts today, it doesn’t yearn for the same things anymore. It feels released from its cage and free from its bonds. Yet it sits there unfluttering and old, it feels unable to love and feel passion.

My life feels like a complete fuck up and I have nothing to show for all the kindness and fight I put out there. I watch and bask in the golden moments of other people’s lives. Or I cower in the shadows whilst the world moves without me.

I’m out of fight again with every barrier put in my way. I’m feeding something that’s useless anyway. I feel more alone than in my desperate moments. Days on end with these 4 walls.

I’m an irritant, a burden and too much. No contact from others despite trying the hardest I possibly can. I feel a terrible, terrible guilt inside for always asking.

I’ve reached the dark forest again and I can only stumble and trip through it. Tripping on the dark thoughts and grazing my knees.

Inside I’m not ok at all. I’m a mess that pours down my cheeks in rivers. I can’t keep up this better face that hides deep numbness and disappointment.

I know It’s Over

The Smith’s remind me of a time I was working for the Youth Service. I was a fiercely passionate about the young people I worked with as they were for The Smiths twenty years too late. This song for me has so much resonance with my life but more because of that memory.

Oh mother, I can feel the soil falling over my head
And as I climb into an empty bed
Oh well, enough said
I know it’s over, still I cling
I don’t know where else I can go, oh

Oh mother, I can feel the soil falling over my head
See, the sea wants to take me
The knife wants to slit me
Do you think you can help me?

Sad veiled bride, please be happy
Handsome groom, give her room
Loud, loutish lover, treat her kindly
Though she needs you
More than she loves you

And I know it’s over, still I cling
I don’t know where else I can go
Over and over and over and over
Over and over

I know it’s over
And it never really began
But in my heart it was so real
And you even spoke to me, and said

“If you’re so funny then why are you on your own tonight?
And if you’re so clever then why are you on your own tonight?
If you’re so very entertaining then why are you on your own tonight?
If you’re so very good-looking, why do you sleep alone tonight?”

“I know ’cause tonight is just like any other night
That’s why you’re on your own tonight
With your triumphs and your charms
While they’re in each other’s arms”

It’s so easy to laugh, it’s so easy to hate
It takes strength to be gentle and kind
Over, over, over, over, over
It’s so easy to laugh, it’s so easy to hate
It takes guts to be gentle and kind
Over, over

Love is natural and real
But not for you, my love
Not tonight, my love
Love is natural and real
But not for such as you and I, my love

Oh mother, I can feel the soil falling over my head
Oh mother, I can feel the soil falling over my head
Oh mother, I can feel the soil falling over my head
Oh mother, I can feel the soil falling over my head

Oh mother, I can feel the soil falling over my head
Oh mother, I can even feel the soil falling over my head
Oh mother, I can feel the soil falling over my head
Oh mother, I can feel the soil falling over my head