Archive for life

The Incomprehensible!

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2017 by kathydasilva

I have it is true a fascination for learning about computing, but, so far, the more I have delved, the worse, the old software/ computer, becomes and now I have found most of my files, sitting on my USB software files, as if it is a memory stick! Not actually on the stick part, but, inside the software on the computer? Well, update time, is due, and perhaps a change of machine. I am thinking, now, that not much is safe these days if held somewhere in transit on the internet either. Oh hail the old typewriter, for it was only the business of words to worry about, and I completely understand Will Self, for treating the whole business of internet as a thoroughly annoying distraction too.

I seem drowned in fear of ‘invasion’, however, and whatever, form, it might take, for my thoughts are precious , even if others, may think they are not. Privacy became an issue in all the debate about state surveillance, and the machine, the main culprit being the computer and its software, the main net, literally.  Glenn  Greenwald is about to come and talk in England, hooray! It took some time, and probably a vat full of courage, to tread on our soil again. I hope, we all are there, and overflowing with some appreciation for his wonderful efforts and writing. The new book, idea I had a week ago for publishing my blog pages, the ones I had to take off, are nearly ready to upload, but, I want to add some other pieces, and illustrate, the cover, maybe with some cartoon art. And progressively, I have been moving toward, some more art and essay work.

Sundays for me now are about keeping my sanity over, the whole thing of change, and adjustment. My sister, Alison, died two years ago, from motor neurons, and it is only now, that the absence of her calls, letters, and family moments, at Christmas, has begun to sink in. I had a tearful moment last Christmas, but, I have progressed through this year, surprisingly more focused than, the year in which she passed. And am about ready to get back to the main chunk of Storm.  Autumn is my favorite time, and we the ‘English’ can get back to our classrooms and are educative processes. The rigor of all that is ‘usual’.  It is like a gift the way I am feeling now. When I went to art school in Winchester, there were earlier memories, accompanying me, and the historical element of the buildings, and the earthy nature, almost suggested within the  building fabric especially the churches, and the courtyard flagstones. The town, is a true scale of what a person, can endure, without feeling lost. Such happy memories of sitting eating tea with my father as Alison tried for entrance for St Swithun’s School. Had she passed, both myself and Alison would have probably been boarders. I drew the high street on my foundation course, with people flowing up and down, abstracting the lines until they all merge, or cross over each other. My au plein air effort catching the eye of someone, who said I could sell it. The dreams and love of books, were just beginning to emerge. Even just holding an old style book with yellowed pages, and words perhaps belonging to another century, unfolding as a person reads down revealing, the nature of a previous generation who perhaps had better manners, more sense, who knows! Catherine Cookson, often talked of an earlier period of history in her novels. John Fowles also has used history to illustrate a certain mood, or feeling perhaps a loss of moral interest. If humans do not have boundaries, to live by, perhaps, we all become less grace filled. There is much to note that a good education and upbringing, can be so much better, than, young people, not really emerging knowing their own mind’s worth. The cathedral at Winchester has a tall steeple, and a long history.  The center of town, is mainly pedestrianized, and has a Tudor feel in the beams, and small windows. I took a walk to the top of the highest point in the autumn, with my aging mother trailing beside, me, with my medium format borrow from the college. King Alfred, is said to be one of England’s first real kings. His statue is erect in the lower part of the high road, which is open to traffic, and the small black lanes, are visible from the distance. I like to think of this moment, as perhaps, one of the last times, my mother had a sensible conversation with me, with all her lucidity intact. There a lifetime, there something lost too. The climb up the hill took us both along a winding path of glorious orange/brown leave litter. And at the top, I was still this uneasy person who had tried for a life of expression, and visual art. I had longed for something, still uncertain of the end. Erecting the camera, on a tripod, and trying to pick the view, that might pass as an idea for a ‘Rough Guide to Britain’. This was an assignment, for a course I had started to refresh some of my lost art career. The Rough Guide’s was a real competition. I have files now, that need to be digitized, at some point, but, it too shows, me sometimes that although the new cameras are quick to process images, the film backs, have a slightly more natural appeal to the end product. My mother had lived through, two marriages, and had ended up, realizing, that she had regrets. We had had a drink in a local pub, and something to eat, it was one of those habits of our teens, that our working mother, a landlady, chose to on occasions eat out. It had become a habit. The best part of my life, had been the times, when life trotted past, the windows of restaurants. And sometimes, food, the very thing that sustains a person, the warmth of which had a  heartening element. Overwhelmingly, today’s society, is splitting into the haves and have not, groups and it is uncomfortable to realize, this. I have since that time, born a child into the world, and suffered his loss, and my mother, then had got ill, possibly from the shock. She had had strokes, and still wonderfully, for as long as she could, she had been a counselor, and a solid friend.

I have been typing this, and repeatedly the sign saying Windows Synchronization has stopped, kept bleeping and appearing, and I have to stop and close the window in which it appears. I take this as an intrusion. A form of harassment, and it simply could be, just the software. Or the back door elements. It is totally unsettling, that cached data, can be removed without a person knowing, and yet too, this is going to be published, so why the need? I am Jane Austen, I am Charlotte Bronte, I am Katherine Da Silva. I am concerned, people, think it is OK to hack.

 

Advertisements

No It’s Not Hollywood!

Posted in Current affairs, health, politics, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2017 by kathydasilva

DSC_0150

I am mindful of the event and the post event news of the Glenfell Tower fire as I speak. My own head did the analysis thing, of weighing the information as it was bled to us the public via news media and television reportage. My heart and mind did the thing of saying so how did the people, above floor twenty think, how did they think they could be rescued? And the sad surreptitious bleed from an off duty fireman to a fellow ‘brother’ revealed a significant detail. The man passed the information privately, but, still it came to be known via a twitter feed uploaded video. The information told us the ordinary public, 42 people had been found dead in just one flat. And amongst the forty two people were young children, and elderly mainly. They had hope of rescue, and were organized, as far as possible, probably sheltering in the least damaged flat, at the outbreak of the whole ordeal. The firemen, never came, the ‘airlift’ possibility never came about. I think of the famous film Towering Inferno, and the reality was and is, there is no Steve McQueen,  or  Paul Newman, let alone some swanky additional, like Harrison Ford to come and do ‘rescue’. Yet and I repeat, yet! They could have thought outside the ‘box’. Why no use of say a helicopter for people on the roof survivors? Why no thought of ropes and pullies, and some sort of bag or stretcher to let people too frail to climb or come down stairs, be rescued? The fire raged for about four hours, from about midnight. And most of the victims, suffered really badly from smoke inhalation. But, too, smoke can make the way ahead so difficult to see, so they tripped and maybe fell and knocked themselves out too. The building housed at least 600 tennants. Someone saw a child on fire, and then they fell out of a window. And we blame it on the time of day. There are people, who can climb with the minimum of equipment the height of one of these towers for sport. The sea rescue crews, are familiar with almost impossible situations, would it have hurt to call upon their skills? Mountain rescue teams similarly, carry ropes, and safety equipment, in the most hazardous conditions. It was also tweeted, from a fireman’s phone, obviously a young fireman, because the whole horror, of what they found, was unlike anything else before that they had seen before, he had captured using the iphone technology, the picture of the tower from floor to roof, in flames and had asked the question, ‘How are we goint to get in there?’ This was uploaded to twitter and maybe youtube but, it made me think how film obsessed we have all become. ‘We’ are being brought up on the wrong architypes. Not everyone is going to be an action hero. If it is hard to contemplate what the need to have the nerve to risk one’s own life is like, then, perhaps, this decision is already something fireman have come up against. I think men have to be the heroes they were destined for to be. And that might be a risky business. Some young muslim men, did go knocking doors all round the tower block vuluntarily. No one paid them. They did it out of the duty of good will, that God teaches us all. It is the sort of situation that Edward De Bono, would have used his ‘lateral’ thinking cap for. How do you get over a hundred people of possibly frail disposition down to ground level, through thick poisonous smoke fumes? The book of ‘how’ needs to be written before the next big tragedy, and maybe it is preventative measures only that will succeed in overcoming our high rise fears.

The Grief Experience

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Current affairs, health, politics, Stories and reviews, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2017 by kathydasilva

I went yesterday to visit my child’s grave in Southampton. He, my two year old bar three weeks off his second birthday, is buried near to my grandmother and grandfather. The two people in my life, that managed to stay faithful in their marriage, and believed that the sacred vows of love until the end, were the expectation.  They, my grandparents had married first in the Church of England, and after a while, my grandfather, had grown, more and more concerned over the fact that his faith really had belonged to his origins at birth, the Roman Catholic Church.  He talked this over with his wife, my mother’s mother, and she agreed to become a Roman Catholic, with him, and they married, a second time, in the Catholic Church. Hence, all my family are now Roman Catholic at least in origin.

It meant of course that buriel was the chosen formal end ceremony. I had not expected any part of the grievance, and trauma, that came, when I had had to leave, my little baby in the coffin box, at least four feet beneath soil filled with stones. Visiting the cemetary became a frequent event for the first year after he passed. But, my head was filled with so many strange voices. I would wake believing he was talking to me, saying things like, ‘You haven’t changed my nappy’. I kept thinking, that this was real, or possibly real, and did that mean he was alive and feeling wet, from a wet nappy, and also, that it could mean he was ‘alive’. Repeatedly the trauma kept producing this kind of thought, in me, and I was in quite a bad state. It was like a glass wall between me and the people around me, for a long while. I could see people enjoying themselves, but, for me the world was never going to be the same ever again.

I did the usual counselling sessions for bereaved people. It did help a bit, and I still worried if he was alive and starving in the grave for a long time. It may sound strange, but, my hope has always been on the optimistic side of everything. I could not believe he had gone.  The counsellor gave me the model for this type of trauma, calling it the Whirl Pool of Grief, and showing me, that at times, I might feel I was getting over the loss, and then sometimes, there would be something, that would drag me back to the middle, the core of the crisis, and it would all feel momentarily bad again. And she advised me to be kind to myself, and on those days, ‘Wear your pyjammas, and relax, allow yourself time.’  I still have not written the book on grief, that in my head, I thought might help others who suffer. Many, many of the mothers, whose children died young, would talk with me at the cemetary, and share their own experiences. Some of them had had breakdowns, through trying to carry on as normal, but, of course not giving time for the grieving process to occur. Some of them, had panic attacks, sudden palpatations, and sweats, that caused one woman to stop her range rover vehicle at the side of a round about, and use the dew on the grass to wake herself up from the panic and shaking, she was experiencing. One of them, had simply gone to take her children out for the day, and had sat in her car, with her hands on the wheel, and then could not move, not one single muscle. She had been carried to the ambulance, and hospitalized for over a week. They had told her that her body had completely siezed up due to the stress of the grief.  The way a child had died, varied, from illness, dying at birth, or accident. And like any news, of loss, this weighs heavily, in the minds of those closest to the individual who has passed. I still prefer to use the word ‘passed’, because even the nature of the whole cycle of life from birth to death,  it is the later, that is so extreme, in emotion felt. I know I prefer being alive for example. God has often showed me, what the peace of heaven is. I have often had the experience of being ‘taken up in the spirit’. It is a hard thing to describe, but every ounce of anxiety vanishes, and you experience a complete sense of belonging and peace. So I just wish I could remember this when, I get to feeling so full of grief.

The worst thing about my recent visit was being watched by someone with a camera. I have been involved with the IPCC investigating, the accident I was involved in as a pedestrian a year ago. I felt completely vulnerable to the person who had a camera, and it made me a little angry. The whole solace of visiting is to remember and to feel close to where my child lays. I pray, talk to the air around me, and generally, acknowledge his passing, my missing him, and a whole host of feelings.  The thought that someone thought they had the right to photograph myself in this most intimate of situations, is vile.

The dilemma of my own child’s death, which incidentally happened in Great Ormand Street Hospital for Children, on 7th July 2005, was to leave me forever, with a memory, a tragedy within, a day of tragedy, the day of the London Bombings. The wards, in intensive care, had been cleared, but for my own baby. The reason being,  to make way for casualties. However, the babies, who were in need of intensive care, got mostly moved but for mine. And the only ‘child’ casualty that appeared to be a boy of around twelve or thirteen, in pyjammas, though no visible wounds or bandages. You hear tell of faux flags and faux dramatized events through YouTube.com but, I cannot tell if this singular boy was an actor. We the parents were instructed not to go downstairs food would be brought up if necessary as the canteen was going to be used as some sort of ‘mash’ first assessment centre.  My child had had a fibril fit, and the cause of which was in part due to cardio myopathy, and other complications.

The graveyard people, the gravediggers had made the form of a question mark with the flowers left by people, noticing the date, and possibly thinking he was a victim of the bombing attacks. The hospital had been behind with all his medication on that day. I had been told by quite a few of the doctors that my boy Marcos had had every chance of recovery.

My elderly parents, came to help me back to my town of birth, with the body of my baby, we were allowed to do this, with some special permission. Marcos was wrapped up in a large hospital blanket. We rather dramatically drove through the night to Southampton. On arrival everyone went to bed, and I with my son beside, me in my mother’s living room on her sofa bed. And the next day too, I had laid him on the sofa cushions, as if asleep. And I too, had seen what I thought was his chest rise and fall. But, people say it is an illusion. I had visited the funeral parlour where he was prepared for his funeral day. The chapel of rest, was low lit with candles, and rather sombre. But, right until the day of buriel, I had visited daily, kissed his forehead, and hoped, he would jump alive some how. I had repeatedly said, ‘Marcos, Marcos, mummy needs you’, in between sobs, and the general unreality of the whole loss. And I felt I was betraying him, somehow, if I left his side.  It is terrible, losing someone, and there is no advice to how to grieve, or for how long to grieve. I guess, I grew like the other souls around me who miss someone, learning to live with the hole that the loss creates. So in life, as much as the joy of the birth and my son’s two years of life, gave, me, in equal doses, now there is sorrow, too. I do believe in heaven, I do believe, I will see him again, and I do visit the grave not so often but, whenever, I hear his little voice, somewhere in the air. And hopefully, we will be together, when I come to the end of my own days.

It is twelve years on from that day.

If any of the above helps, at all I will feel happy, and also the counselling was a good support service that I was told about by my doctor/GP.

 

 

Breathing

Posted in Autobiography, Poetry, reviews, poetry, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , on April 2, 2017 by kathydasilva

Breathing in, and out.. is such a game..

Bellows as lungs, and heart, beats beats beats

A runaway emotion like a runaway child

 

She runs the run toward the main roads light

Remembering, time over time, the calm, the present

Tomorrows that  never come complete with news of change

 

She races, round the cliffs chalk face, toward the bar, where

Only a small few years of life, ages of feelings buried deep

The edge of the reasoning presenting life, eating and sleeping

 

Was I awake at all, hoping for something clear, like the water

Drunk from a tap, and then the same feeling of continuing to

Search souls, my soul the world for souls   that understood.

 

Bellows as lungs, and heart beats, beats, beats

A runaway emotion like a runaway child

Breathing in and out is such a game