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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

As The Year Of 2006 Comes To An End, I Find Myself Comfortable With My Position In Life, While Being Part Of The Canadian Mental Health System
Like everyone says, the older you get the faster time flies, the year pasted quickly and I had several accomplishments in the arts and personally. As I have taken my pursuit of the arts more seriously, while on dis-ability pension, I have made a little bit of money at it and had been part of my first larger group art show at a local Museum. Besides selling more than one piece of art work through out the year, I got to sell my own design of Greeting Cards at the hospital through Birks house Artists. Staff Members in Psychiatry were very supportive of me pursuing the arts and I made money for myself, the art group, a local charity and something going towards a homeless man that I am friendly with. Through the Adult Educator at the art group, I will be possibly part of animated work shops at the Museum des Beaux-Arts de Montreal through Jewish Family Services mental health programs. It was something very special to me, having been part of the spring art show at the Museum in 2006, it was the one event that really made me feel like an Artist. I think it had something to do with smoozing over my creations with a glass of wine in my hand, it had a feel to it that many an Artist has felt before me, I am slated for being part of another session and show at the Museum starting in the New Year, thus anticipating the experience again. I am also re-discovering photography through taking black and photographs with my camera. It is a new and exciting challenge as I have a way of capturing neat shots on film, shooting black and white film has given me a new direction in photography that a life time can be spent mastering. I was also part of a pre-Christmas expo/sale for a fund raiser towards charitable cause, I did not sell any thing, but the Curator made for another good contact in the arts and I am preparing for another one of her shows in February. Music wise, I plugged away at my guitar lessons and practicing, I have even started to work with training my voice to sing while playing. I am presently working at singing three songs while strumming out the cords on my guitar, along with getting into playing more instrumental bluesy jazz and learning finger picking techniques. Even my room mate says my guitar playing has come a long way and she is amused how I can actually use my voice a bit. I was proud of the little singing and playing I did for my parents at Christmas, their words of encouragement were precious to me, my hard work in music is given me something more workable for putting an art show together with my own visual and auditory creations. I even have a knack for playing haunting songs on my recorder, I have three of them and take to playing them every now and again. I have one song I play from a song sheet for the recorder along with creating pieces. I am also getting a pretty good handle on banging out drum beats on my goat skinned drum to practice playing guitar to. I make the recording and develop the skill in keeping time to my own pre-reordered drum beat. It has all made for an enjoyable challenge. After being single for a year and still living with my old girl friend due to economic reasons, I ended up getting additional income from the Provincial Government to assist with my dis-ability pension. This came through at year end to make for a better budget for investing in my art and personal needs, along with figuring I could start paying off a couple of bills from when I was struggling financially, when falling through the cracks in the system during the recent past. I always felt the impact of surviving in a low income bracket while being diagnosed with schizophrenia, at least I see a way out of it through the arts. It never took much to make me happy and I find myself content developing skills in the arts while working part time cleaning and maintaining a small office building self employed with my company. My company does not make enough to provide economic freedom but it has the potential to do so, that is why I got the extra Government benefits to help with my dis-ability pension. While applying for the extra money and medication insurance plan, my company went through a complete Government audit of income and expenditures. I make for a pretty good number cruncher, the Government Agent responsible for reviewing my income and receipts for operation told me, I did an excellent job with my book keeping and she only wished more people had their paper work in such a orderly fashion, thus she told me to keep up the good work! It made me feel quite proud again at year end, at least my company books are acceptable to the Government with limited explanation. I actually have money in the bank in my commercial account at year end and looking for continued business success in the New Year. I enjoy the freedom of self employment while trying to get out of poverty and make something of myself again, this time around as an Artist and Writer of schizophrenic issues. Medical wise, I came to year end with the camera up the butt again in colonoscopy. I am a regular pallup factory according to the Doctor. He had to remove twelve small ones this December. Once again they were not cancerous and I am still working on solving constipation problems from the medication. A good diet to solve this problem can be expensive, certain foods do rectify my constipation and I am trying to consume a balance of these foods, the constipation can be what is causing the pallups. I will be back registering for the Doctor's handy cam next year again come fall to a get booking for my year end inspection for health reasons. I think I have started to put on a bit of muscle again, it is about time, I think I should started doing my sit ups and push ups again. I had stopped when I under went severe Extra Pyramidal Side Effects in the spring and early summer of this year. I only get a small tinge of an attack every now and again while continuing under the schizophrenia research at McGill Medical Services here in Montreal. Regarding relationships with women, I created a three headed Mermaid in my head to keep me on my toes. Just something to grow with as I send so much time alone. The foundation behind my three headed Mermaid is a compilation of a woman from my past, one from the present that gives me a lot to thing about, while the third one is influential in making my future. It is all symbolic of characters to help me create in the arts. I started a painting through my cousin's influence on the subject. The first painting that I am presently working on is called "MILTA'S Accension", MILTA is the Mermaid's name! It keeps me dreaming of one day meeting someone and falling in love again. So my life is not bad for a single man at 46, I still have dreams and things to master and concour, it is like a "Battle of Evermore" to succeed against all odds, as one person once put it to me.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Some Humour Themselves At The Montreal General Hospital, How I Have Become Patient Turn Therapist

So here I am plugging away at my life just being myself like the M.G.H. knows me to be and I now find myself playing guitar while providing art supplies for a friend and colleague with brain cancer in Palliative Care. Part way into the fall semester with program scheduling at the Hospital, I started visiting a friend and colleague that was diagnosed with brain cancer after the summer. While under treatment in the M.G.H. Palliative Care for his condition, I first started playing guitar at his side,as he always used to listened to me enthusiastically when I played in his presence. Before long I fell into a schedule myself playing for my Buddy, at first it was a powerful experience getting feed back from his family that flew into Montreal to be at his side when he first entered Hospital. With the selection of music I have in my song book, it made for moving moments between family and attending Hospital Staff. One time while leaving my Buddy's room once, when he slipped into a recovery sleep during my playing, a Doctor commented in passing how I added a nice touch. OK I admit I have quite the selection of music in my song book, I have put it together with the old Music Therapist at the M.G.H., she left for another position to go and study her Doctorate in Music Therapy. My binder of music was pretty well put together under her guidance when she was either studying for her Masters Degree or while she obtained her Masters Degree in Music Therapy and I was being taught by student Music Therapists under her watchful eye. The selection of music is my own compilation through access to a music library with helping hands of a Music Therapist assisting me to build my own creation of selected music. The Music Therapists at the M.G.H. past and present have given me a priceless foundation in music theory that I continue to explore music under the guiding hands at the M.G.H. ,while committing myself to playing my guitar for myself and jointly for my Buddy with Brain Cancer.