Terry Robinson is the handsome fellow in the second image from the top and the pretty young ladies are members of his family. The images are from his new book of poetry which he was kind enough to send me along with a beautiful short letter that was in perfect synch with some thoughts I had as I was struggling to fall asleep this morning. I received the book today and was actually shocked at how much both some of his poems (I haven't had the chance to read all of them, but am enjoying the ones I have immensely) and his letter were in step with some thoughts I had about human existence, and the enormous beauty and wonder of our ephemeral lives.
Terry Robinson is also the author of A Walk With An Irishman published in 2008 by Moonshine Press. It was this book which provided me with a sort of lifeline to sanity a matter of nights ago. Those of you who know me, know that the last few years-2009 in particular have been rough ones for me. God only knows I have bitched about and moaned about things enough to fill a balloon with hot air-(hopefully this balloon would not be one belonging to the horrible Heene "I want my 15 minutes of fame to turn into an hour" parents!) This is one aspect of my personality I hope to change and work on immediately-and this desire to change in a positive manner came from reading Terry's book. Thanks by the way to those of you who have stood by me through my various meltdowns-this past year especially! Good think I'm not a nuclear reactor eh? I woulda Chernobyl'd us all by now!
A Walk With An Irishman is about Terry's life. One might think -ok a book about one of us regular workaday people with no murders, no vast accumuations of fortunes gained and lost etcetera-how interesting could that be? My answer-extremely interesting! Terry Robinson has a great gift -a way-of talking about the events and people in his life that makes you want to turn the next page.
Terry had a breakdown at the age of 53 that lasted quite some time. But what he couldn't have imagined at this point in his life-this nadir and bottomless pit of hopelessness, was that he was to emerge like the mythical Phoenix triumphantly after a series of globetrotting adventures. Terry describes perfectly the way I was feeling a matter of nights (and well into the early am) ago. That night I was in a state of desperation. Getting the paperwork together for my disability case was turning into something that felt like being in a Woody Allen movie directed by David Lynch! I don't know how many of you will have seen "Inland Empire"-but at one point when I was talking to one of the people who were supposed to help me I wouldn't have been surprised if the soundtrack to that movie started in the background along with the dancing girls and rabbits. I truly felt on this night that after the day I had had, that I might be having a mental breakdown. Not only that but my body felt like the proverbial wet dishrag. I was in pain and had barely enough energy to make it to the bathroom
I had this thought- "I know we aren't supposed to kill ourselves but what if one truly feels that they have nothing left to give to others-and at the same time feel like an enormous mountain -sized burden on the people that you love. Would it be such a horrible thing to do? Would it be such a karma- soaked basket of consequences in the next world (if there is one) or another human existence (if there is one)?" Then I remembered the struggles of Terry Robinson. I remembered he had an awful time and had come through his difficulties and strife with a beautiful new outlook on life. I went to the page where he describes his initial breakdown: "I woke up one morning feeling as though my body had completely given up on me. It was the most horrible feeling of hopelessness to ever touch my being. I could hardly move my limbs and my body felt as if all the blood had been drawn from it...Later in the day I dragged myself out to the back door steps and sat there completely demoralized. I felt as if I was living in a void. In my shattered state of mind I found it hard to relate to anything except anxiety."
Terry's words describe my own state of a few nights ago perfectly. However, even though I was still in quite a state-questioning the value of continuing on -somehow I knew I would find something in his words and thoughts to get me through the most "nightus horribilus" of my life. Sorry for the lame take on QE2's "annus horribilus"! And Terry Robinson being the treasure he is, provided me with a lifeline-a rope to lift myself up-whereas before I might have found an object to hang myself with! So obviously I can't understate the value of his friendship and his books (2 of them now-A Walk With An Irishman is about his life (with some wonderful poetry from the soul thrown in! and the book pictured above is a book of poetry) to me!
I will close with a poem by Terry from his latest book. I hope to return in the future to some thoughts Terry has shared in his book, poetry and correspondence that resonate with everything from Buddhism, Christianity, and other religions and philosophies to certain modern (and ancient) seekers of truth.
I will never be able to thank you enough Terry! Sending love and hugs to you and your wonderful family from Arizona to New Zealand!