A brief diversion on the subject of John Denver: some great songs, expressing some feelings with great deftness and articulacy. Obviously the Greasy Chip Butty version is better than the original Annie's Song, but other than that... Here's the question, though: you hear someone express all these emotions, this strength of feeling, this purity of thought and love and whatever, and then (according to something I read on the internet, therefore obviously reliable) you find out that he chainsawed their bed in half as they (Denver and 'Annie') argued about their divorce. Does that diminish the art? Does the fact that Morrissey is an allegedly far-right anti-Islam supporting bellend mean the Smiths weren't good? Where to draw the line, though? Would you still listen to Michael Jackson? I don't really propose an answer to this, only to suggest that there are more things that artistic people do wrong than the very news-grabbing things that Michael Jackson (among others) did wrong.
Anyway, all of that was a diversion from the good and simple news: I'm finally home, and I no longer have the company of a bunch of other ill people to entertain (divert? distress?) me. Instead, I have to anticipate every situation in which previously my little boy might have thought it okay to jump with his full weight onto my belly, and make sure he doesn't. For some reason, he doesn't seem to understand the concept of internal infections and recovery times of days-to-weeks. Perhaps if he applied some of the mental energy he diverts to pursuing better snacks, he'd get there at some point. Perhaps not. Being a doctor looks like hard work, particularly in a hospital, and I have the most respect for anyone who would choose to pursue that as a job. Being a nurse looks equally hard. In fact, for both categories, there are some who seem to do their jobs a certain way, with care, integrity and effort. And it's those ones for whom the job looks difficult. When the surgeon breezes in with a large entourage and introduces himself very clearly as Mister (mate, you spent your whole career trying to shake off the distinctive bit of it; I'm bloody Mister), you can't help but feel that his job (it was a bloke in this case) may be technically difficult, but he doesn't commit that part of him that, for example, the nurse who started chatting to me about the universe expanding does.
It's very hard to recover gracefully from an illness. The toughest thing is judging when you're actually up to doing something useful, and you're often very wrong. I managed a five-minute walk this morning, but that's been enough to sit me down for a couple of hours. When you're used to knowing how your body will react, not knowing is full of unpleasant surprises. And it certainly confuses the other people around you (notwithstanding the very small one's general confusion!), because you can come across as pretty well for five minutes here and there, and then need to be asleep for an hour in the middle of the day just to function. This is equally true for the kind of physical ailment that I've recently encountered and for the kind of mental illness that I have experienced in myself and others. A lot of people have all sorts of sympathy for the physical kind, and not for the mental. It's a slow process, and one that takes time, effort, a willingness to confront, embarrass, challenge and argue, but it seems that people in general are starting to take the mental health as seriously as they do physical health. Let's hope so, eh?
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought