“Memories of Lake Hiawatha, et al”

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

(This letter was written approximately 18 months ago)

Dear Sonya, [“Sonya” is a pseudonym to protect her identity and privacy].

(I’m so sorry not to have heard from you in such a long time. About 34 years.)

I really wonder what you think. That’s why I would like to read something you’ve written, to read your thoughts, the ones you’re willing to share, that is. I guess, so far, you’re not willing to share your thoughts with me. Maybe you’re not pleased with me; maybe you’re mad at me; maybe you have a grudge or two or three against me. Maybe you have valid reasons for all that. Maybe I deserve your silence. Maybe I should be thankful that silence is all you’ve given me. You might have done worse to me than that. Thank you, Sonya. Thank you for your long-suffering of me. Thank you from the cellar of my Sonya-missing-soul. And maybe you’re not mad at me. I may be so far from your thoughts that I’m not in them at all. I don’t know.

***

I want to share these memories of Lake Hiawatha with you, so that, hopefully, you will see that we have some things in common.

“Childhood Memories of Being on Vacation at Lake Hiawatha”

Hi Sonya, I hope this doesn’t sound like prying: How are things going, today?

Sonya, I lived at Lake Hiawatha, too. Not permanently, just a few days and nights. My grandmother, Me mere Richer, was kind enough to “take us in” for about three days and nights in a row during the summertime. I don’t recall how many summers this happened; but, it was more than once. Lake Hiawatha was the first place that I ever went on vacation to. I guess I was about 7 or 8. It must have been about 1960, give or take a year or two. My older sister, Lesley (one year and 8 months older than me) and perhaps my younger brother, Dale (2 years and 8 months younger than me) and some of my cousins were there, too. I can’t remember exactly.  What I can remember about those days and nights at Lake Hiawatha was Me mere closing our bedroom windows at night and explaining that it was cooler at night because of the Lake, in contrast to being in Woonsocket. Me mere had a home in Woonsocket, too, on Reed Avenue, off Elm Street.  And I remember her well, her water well, that is. I don’t recall her using it; I just remember that it was there, in front of the house. Maybe the reason I didn’t notice her using the well was because the water from the well was being piped in to the house, by the time this little one came into the picture. I recall my Dad telling us a little about the well, that it had to be primed, and that meant pouring some water down the well, and pumping it, to get it to give up some water. I think there’s a principle of life in that: If you want to receive something, it sometimes helps to give something. Even Jesus said, “give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” -Luke 6: 38 ESV. I understand how that many people don’t believe those words of Christ. They might try out what He said just once, and if they don’t immediately see and receive, plentifully, they judge that it isn’t true. Sometimes the receiving only comes about later. Or, perhaps they don’t give, in love. If we don’t know the whole truth of God’s Word we don’t understand. For example, it is also written: “If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” -1Corinthians 13: 3 ESV.

I had friends on Sweet Avenue in Woonsocket; they lived at the corner of Sweet Avenue and Elm St. And they had a cottage at Lake Hiawatha, too. Their cottage was over on the other side of the Lake, in Blackstone. There was another difference between their place and my grandmother’s. This difference may have had something to do with the direction of the wind, I was told. The wind generally blew toward my grandmother’s side of the Lake, and consequently, the fallen leaves from the trees in Autumn blew toward our side of the Lake. Now, my grandmother had sand placed in the water in front of her shore, for the little ones; but, if we ventured out too far, the bottom was mushy with perhaps thousands of years’ worth of old leaves that settled to the bottom of the Lake. One summer, my friend Charlie D. invited me to spend an overnight at his place on the Blackstone side of the Lake, and, when we went swimming, I noticed that the bottom of the Lake over there was sandy, rather than mushy. I liked sandy much better than mushy. I guess I was just destined to love sandy.

Another thing I remember at Lake Hiawatha, the toads. These cute little toads would be hopping around on the grounds. Just a few of them, here and there; not a plague of them, thank God. I think they had white bellies, too. Someone told me I could get warts by touching them. I did touch them. Picked them up and looked at them; plopped them into the water to watch them swim. I didn’t know any better. I think one of them may have gone belly-up. If toads can’t swim, I didn’t know. I probably thought they were like frogs. And there were fish in the Lake, of course. I saw someone catch a bass. The first one I ever saw. It was green in color and looked interesting.

And then there was the Chowder Bowl. One time, Lesley suggested we go there to see it. So, we walked over there. We must have gone right by your house, Sonya. I don’t recall whether we bought anything. We may have arrived early in the morning, before it opened. We likely didn’t have any money, either. When you’re very young, you do simple things like that: like going to a restaurant just to see it.

Me mere’s property had pine trees, and so, the land in front of the Lake was covered with pine needles, like a carpet. I liked that. But, when we walked out of the water in bare feet, those pine needles would cling to the bottoms of our feet. Funny, yes; but, uncomfortable, too. Me mere would sit in a lawn chair and watch us as we played in the water. I remember her telling me not to go out too far in the Lake. She always watched us while we were in the water. She was a very good grandmother to us. She never let us drown. God bless her. And she had 8 children, four boys and four girls, my Dad and my Uncles and Aunts. 7 married. One stayed single. A big family came from her and my Grandfather; but, I haven’t met him, yet. He departed this life on the night of February 14, 1950, Valentine’s Day, a year and 9 months before I was born on November 14, 1951. It occurred to me once that between February 14 and November 14 is exactly 9 months. I mentioned this to my Mom once, with the notion being that I might have been conceived on Valentine’s Day. She didn’t agree. And once when I was a young boy, I asked her if girls had sexual feelings, too. She said No to that, too. Sonya, maybe that’s why I didn’t grow up to be a valedictorian, like you. I didn’t have an accurate foundation concerning reality. And I was preoccupied with thoughts about sin and guilt at 6 years old.

One winter when it was especially cold, Me mere called us on a Sunday to tell us that the Lake was safe for ice skating. So, we went there that afternoon with our ice skates. I went out on the ice with my cousins and sister. I was intrigued by the idea of going way out there on the Lake, far from shore, because I could not do that in the summer time. So, that’s what I did. The ice near the middle of the Lake was pristine, like no one had ever skated on it, not a scratch. I looked down. It looked as black as night with no stars. I wondered how thick the ice was where I was standing. I looked around. Everyone was gone. They weren’t even near the shore. It felt lonely out there. I skated back closer to the Shore. I realized I had done a dangerous thing by venturing out so far, alone. That was the only time I ever skated on Lake Hiawatha. As I write this now, I wonder if God sent me way out there on the Lake, to show me how it must have felt to those poor little toads that I plopped into the water, earlier, without realizing how they must have felt, all-of-a-sudden in the middle of the Lake. It was “a heart-felt” experience.

When I was a teenager, I often went fishing at Lake Hiawatha; but only fished from the shore. I usually caught bass; but a few times, a pickerel. And once, I caught a horned pout. I think I wrote to you, in the early 80s, about catching that ‘pout, because of this: As I was catching that fish, some children came by, perhaps out of curiosity to see what was happening. And honestly, Sonya, the place where I was fishing was a cove, and it was approximately across the street on Lake Shore Drive from your home. And, after we began writing in the early 1980s, I wondered about the possibility that one of those children might have been you, and perhaps your brother and sister, or a neighbor-friend. Were you friends with Doreen? I might have been about 17 at the time; so, you would have been about 6. I suppose only God knows if one of those children was you. If you were there, Sonya, I just want to say, I had no idea that, about 12 years later, I was going to read your valedictorian address in The Call, including what you wrote about “The Rose” and other things that I can’t even remember now, although I wish I could remember them, and that your thoughts and words and memory, and perhaps your heart, too, would touch my heart and that we would begin a correspondence, and meet at Providence College, and that a seed of love for you would be planted in my heart, and that it would grow so slowly-but-surely and that after not hearing from you for 33 years I had to start writing to you again because it felt to me that you are in my heart and so I just had to write to you again because you are always in my thoughts.

Sonya? There’s something else I remember. I have to admit that I’m not absolutely certain about. It’s about someone who lived at Lake Hiawatha. I was writing to her after reading something very beautiful that she had written that was published in the local newspaper. I can only report this from memory, from 36-and-one-half years ago. She wrote that she was working at Wrentham State Hospital. And that she was working with the patients. And, I think, she told me that she hugged (and maybe even kissed them). I can’t be sure about my memory. I was too shy to include in my reply letter that she was welcome to hug and kiss me, too. But, we had not even met yet. And she was 11 years younger than me.

Even now, I have fears about saying such things. I’m not very daring, I guess. And, I have other fears, too. Fears I can’t even write about. Maybe I couldn’t even speak about them, either.

There’s a beautiful song I listen to on YouTube: “Jennifer Rush -The Power of Love (classical version).” And the same song in instrumental version: “The Power of Love With Lyrics.” This second song has a graphic associated with it in the List, of an orange and white electric guitar. Jennifer Rush sings it with very moving and strong emotion. It’s so beautiful the way she sings it that the song gets into my head and plays automatically. The instrumental version is easier on me. But, I couldn’t appreciate the instrumental version if I had not already heard the song with the words being sung. I like the music on YouTube, because I can often select a version with lyrics included in text on screen; otherwise, I often don’t quite hear all the words and consequently don’t know what is being sung. And, there’s still another beautiful version: The Power Of Love (Helene Fischer), HD, with lyrics. This one has some beautiful photos, too. And still one more version, “The Shadows – The Power Of Love with lyrics – love song.” This version is instrumental-only, with text on screen with beautiful pictures. It has become my favorite version of this song.

***

Sonya, if you ever find yourself thinking of Lake Hiawatha and wishing you were there, you don’t have to drive there. There is a beautiful song on YouTube with lyrics, and the lyrics are against a beautiful picture of a lake that looks, to me at least, just like Lake Hiawatha, from my grandmother’s shore, as I remember it from childhood. The song/hymn is:

How Great Thou Art with lyrics performed by chris rice

Other beautiful songs:

Suzanne (sung by Judy Collins and written by Leonard Cohen)

Joan Baez Barbara Allen w/lyrics

Who Knows Where the Time Goes -Judy Collins

Dana Winner Live Halelujah.mov

Could it be that Sonya’s Silence makes the heart speak and the writer write?

Or is it Sonya’s heart that stirs my heart to write? I don’t know.

If silence is golden…is Sonya Golden? I like the sound of that name: Sonya Golden. Sounds like the name of a very much loved literary character, like David Copperfield, whom Charles Dickens identified with so much. (see “David Copperfield (character)” -wikipedia.org.

If your silence makes my heart speak, what would your words do to me? They might make me weep. It feels good to me to weep, or, at least to feel like weeping. Most times that’s as far as I get, the feeling to weep, like a car’s engine that won’t quite start, the starter not being quite powerful enough to “turn-over” the engine. Maybe a story should be written about this: “The Boy Who Couldn’t Cry.” When he was young, his mother liked to “strap” him, as she called it: hitting him several times with a leather strap. It was like a leather belt with one end cut into strips. The boy couldn’t cry, so she hit him more. He just stood there, like a small tree receiving the blows from a woodsman with a hatchet, until she’d had enough of hurting him, or discouraged that she couldn’t make him cry, and so, with a sigh, she stopped. Until next time, when she felt the urge again…the madness, the meanness.

“Demis Roussos – Rain and Tears (with lyrics)” (YouTube music)

Tears may be salty on the outside and yet sweet inside. Salty on the cheeks and tongue, but sweet to the heart. Maybe they help to soften the heart and that’s why it feels sweet to weep, like a frozen pond that thaws in Spring.

Thinking of the title to a movie: “On Golden Pond.”

***

I read something interesting on YouTube while listening to Leonard Cohen’s music. I can’t remember the exact words but it was something very close to this: Don’t worry about the cracks; that’s how the Light gets in. I thought he was referring to the cracks in our lives and in our selves. And it reminded me of some things in God’s Word, like:

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted

And saves the crushed in spirit.” -Psalm 34: 18 ESV.

“He heals the brokenhearted

And binds up their wounds.” -Psalm 147: 3 ESV.

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,

Because the LORD has anointed me

To bring good news to the poor;

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

To proclaim liberty to the captives,

And the opening of the prison to those who are bound.;

To proclaim the year of the LORD’S favor,

And the day of vengeance of our God;

To comfort all who mourn;

To grant to those who mourn in Zion—

To give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,

The oil of gladness instead of mourning,

The garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;

That they may be called oaks of righteousness,

The planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.” -Isaiah 61: 1-3 ESV. Luke 4: 16-30.

The following song title contains the words, mentioned above, concerning how the light gets in through the cracks. To me, it means that the light of Christ gets into our understanding through our brokenness.

Leonard Cohen – Anthem (w/lyrics) London 2008

“At The Foot of The Cross (Lyrics) Kathryn Scott” (YouTube/music) (the accompanying video may be difficult to view because of a realistic crucifixion scene)

“At The Foot Of the Cross (Ashes To Beauty) Kathryn Scott” (easy to view photos)

I “discovered” a singer this morning on YouTube who I was not acquainted with. Her song is playing now: “At the End of the Day.” Her name is Sandy Denny.

Now, another of Sandy’s songs is playing: “No End”. Her music is peaceful.

Someone might think: You’re lucky; you’re peaceful.

(I’m going to digress now)

But, if I don’t take my medication, then…eventually, I become very nervous and insomniac.

Well, why don’t you stay on your medication?

Because I no longer have a prescriber.

Why is that?

Last July 26, 2016, she said this to me: “You’re paranoid. And, I don’t want to deal with your paranoia. You should find another psychiatrist and go back to _____. Maybe, if I was a better psychiatrist…” she trailed off without finishing.

Are you paranoid, Mark?

No, I’m not paranoid.

Did you go back to _____?

No.

Why not?

Every time I think about calling them for an appointment, I begin having very aggravating thoughts.

Why?

Their past treatment of me was infuriating. –(Not that I became infuriated; no. The Lord helps me to stay calm and to behave myself).  So, I left, twice.

What about The Providence Center?

I contacted them by email last July, right after my psychiatrist told me to go somewhere else.

They emailed back to me a number I could call to see someone at Continuum at The Providence Center.

However, the thought of going all the way to Providence for an appointment has me thinking that by the time I get home I’m going to feel as if I’ve been through a tremendous ordeal. And I’ll feel drained and exhausted.

And, I have enough medication to last a very long time, maybe about 18 more months. I take it only every 2nd or third day, and only a half-tablet. Otherwise it is quite sedating.

What about family?

I can talk with my brother Todd and his wife Karen. And Todd is willing to give me a ride to Providence, if I want one; so, I wouldn’t have to take the bus.

So, what about doing that?

I’m sorry, but I’m still not enthusiastic about going all the way to Providence. I wish I could still just walk three minutes down the street to ________. That was so easy.

Why would your psychiatrist not want to see you anymore, just because of paranoia? That’s a psychiatric condition that psychiatrists should be willing and able to treat?!!!

I fully concur with that assessment.

Maybe she has some paranoia of her own; or counter-transference issues.

What other insights can you share about this matter?

Well, I found her to be beautiful.

Did you tell her that?

No.

[“Just When I Needed You Most – Randy VanWarmer (with lyrics)”]

Why not?

For several reasons. I understand that doctors cannot have personal relationships with patients. Also, I asked her if she was married and she said Yes. (When I came in for my next appointment two months later, I looked at her ring finger, from a distance of about 7 or eight feet. It didn’t look like a wedding ring—more like costume jewelry.) And, there were other concerns about her, too.

Like what?

At my second appointment with her many years ago, she said this to me: “All your medical records went down a black hole in the computer and are lost.” I did not say anything in response to that. Privately, I thought, She just doesn’t know how to access my records on her computer. When I come in again for my next appointment in two months, she’ll probably have my medical records. However, when I came back two months later, she reminded me again that my medical records were gone. Not that I cared about medical records; and perhaps she didn’t care about them, either; but why was she telling me this? What was her intent? As soon as I got home from that appointment I called the office and told the secretary what my psychiatrist had been telling me about my records, quoting her exactly. The secretary transferred my call to another doctor, the head of the agency, I believe, Dr. James Curran, now deceased. Believe his doctor’s degree was in psychology, rather than medicine. I told him exactly what the psychiatrist was telling me. He called me back about ten minutes later and told me: We have your medical records. I said, Thank you; but, did not ask him why my psychiatrist was telling me something different. I didn’t want to make an issue of it. And there was also this: She spoke so quietly to me sometimes that I could hardly hear her. And I told her. And she replied, “Well, I do speak quietly.” That’s all she said in reply. However, I noticed at other times, that she could speak quite loudly, when she wanted to. I wonder if she was deliberately being difficult. And, finally, there were problems with the secretaries making mistakes while making out my appointment cards. Problems like a secretary clearly pronouncing the name “Vernon” while writing my card. And circling the wrong day on the card, so that it did not coincide with the numerical date of the appointment. I still have that appointment card, if anyone would like to see it; so that they can see I’m not imagining things. And another secretary, at another time, giving me an appointment with a different psychiatrist, even though I clearly pronounced my psychiatrist’s name to her. And yet, she wrote my doctor’s name on the card; but, later, had to call me and explain that she had looked at the wrong doctor’s schedule when she made my appointment. I understand that we human beings make mistakes, including me. But all of this that I’m reporting seems beyond the pale of credulity. I honestly believe that some of this bizarre behavior was contrived to provoke me into exasperation, so that they could do something to me, if I became angry. (Did you see the movie, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and what happened to Randle McMurphy?) Or, perhaps, in the hope that I would complain; and then use my complaint as a pretext to tell me to go somewhere else. In other words, I suspect that they were trying to trick me. I understand that someone reading this might think: That’s your paranoia! (Maybe; or, maybe not.) And then, after writing to my psychiatrist and telling her in the letter what I thought about all this, she did exactly what I expected she might do: She said that I was paranoid. I didn’t expect her to tell me to go somewhere else, though. And previously, when I reported to her about the secretary saying the name “Vernon” while making out my appointment card, she said I was having delusions. I don’t believe that I was having delusions. I had never been told by anyone that I have delusions nor paranoia. It is only normal, it seems to me, to become suspicious of bizarre behavior. And, I still have a copy of my long letter to my psychiatrist. At my last appointment with her, while we were discussing my 5-page letter that I’d just sent to her about ten days previous to this appointment, I asked her, peacefully, Why so many errors? She replied equally calmly, “Join the human race.” I did not reply. But, later, I thought: I think I already did that…the day I was born.

My psychiatrist had been making out my appointment card herself at the end of our appointments, before this appointment card bizarre thing began. I wondered why she stopped doing it herself. She had been doing it correctly. I wondered, privately, if this series of errors was “orchestrated.”

People who try to trick me only succeed in tripping upon their own tricks. Like someone who tries to be annoying to someone else, just to make that “someone” angry; but that “someone” happens to have great patience, by the grace of God; and so, eventually, the “annoyer” becomes so frustrated by her failure to make the other one mad, that she goes mad. Isn’t that ironic?

***

“…this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes.” -Psalm 118:23; Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:11 KJV. The reason for that quote is to suggest that God has a hand in our lives. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.” -Psalm 37: 23-26 KJV. Not that I think I’m good. Only God is good, Jesus said.

***

As I was walking home from my last appointment with that psychiatrist, on July 26, 2016, thinking of what she said about me being paranoid and her not wanting to deal with my paranoia, I thought: That’s like a hairdresser saying to her regular customer, “You know, Jane…I’ve been your hairdresser for quite a while now…and you have a lot of hair and it keeps growing back so fast and you want me to cut it and curl it and color it…well, I just don’t want to deal with all that. You should find another hairdresser and go back to Able-To-Cut-It Hairdressing. Maybe if I was a better hairdresser…” And later on, as I thought more about what she said, I wondered if, perhaps, she was upset or hurt about the letter I’d written to her about ten days earlier, concerning all the errors with the appointment secretaries and my thoughts about that (I thought I was being put through “a trial of errors” and that the “spirit of error” the “spirit of falsehood” is in the world, according to 1John 4: 1-21; and that, in contrast to the spirit of error is the Spirit of truth, whom true believers in Christ alone are able to appreciate and listen to) and about what she told me about my medical records going down a black hole, and she just didn’t want to hear it anymore. During a span of several years, I twice brought up the subject of what she’d told me about my medical records being lost; and both times I noted that she said not one word in reply. And, when I asked her, quietly, at my last appointment, “Why so many errors?” she replied calmly, “Join the human race.” And, at another point during that last appointment, she asked, “What do you expect me to do?” I did not reply to that question, being aware that it is not the patient’s place to be telling the psychiatrist what to do.

I’ve been trying for about 3 years to wean myself off that psychiatric drug, so I won’t need to see a psychiatrist for a prescription. I was taking 5 milligrams of it every day, 3-4 years ago. Now, I’m only taking 1.25 mgs. every third day. I tried going without it for much longer periods of time: 19 days, 14 days, even 58 days; but, I become very nervous and after eating food I feel especially nervous, so that I thought I was becoming gluten-intolerant and lactose-intolerant; but, within a few hours of resuming the drug, the nervousness went away. I also get insomnia when I stay off that medication for several days.

Several Weeks Later

I haven’t taken Olanzapine in almost 6 days. The nervousness problem isn’t so much, this time. And, I found that when I do feel nervous, I can take 4 baby aspirin (81 mgs, each) and the nervousness goes away completely. And I only have to do it once a day. I think it’s the anti-inflammatory effect of aspirin. I read that nervousness is a possible withdrawal symptom of Olanzapine. And, I’m not experiencing insomnia, either. I just may, finally, get free of that psychiatric drug, thanks be to my Lord and Savior. God.

I know, the foregoing hasn’t been all about memories of Lake Hiawatha. I digressed, as I said.

***

One more thing I remember about Me mere Richer and being there at Lake Hiawatha during my vacation in childhood. I must have seen Me mere playing solitaire. So, later, I asked her to teach me to play that card game. And she did. And at the same time, she taught me another card game called Clock. They seemed similar to me; but I preferred Solitaire, which I still play daily (sometimes). And when I’m dealing out the cards to begin a game, I remember her, my grandmother Richer, and those summer days with her at Lake Hiawatha, and the fact that she taught me how to play that quiet, peaceful game.

It has now been 9 days since my last dose of that psychiatric medication. The nervousness has diminished. Right now, at 7:36 PM on 2/25/17, I’m not nervous at all. And I haven’t had insomnia at all since I stopped the med. On 2/16.

Star Trek the original series will be on at 9:00 PM tonight. I still remember watching it “at home” on Thursday nights; believe the series started in 1966. You must have been 4 years old, Sonya. Did you watch it, too? If not that first year, maybe later, when you were 5 or 6 or 7? I think it started at 9:00 PM. That’s kind of late for a 6-year-old.

Neil Diamond – Solitary Man (W Lyrics)

Sonya? Do you play solitaire? Maybe, someday, we could both play that game. Even though it is a one-player game, you could play on one side of the table and I could play on the other side of the table. And, I could make us a couple of cups of tea–or coffee, if you prefer; and we could talk while playing our separate games. And hourly, we could turn on the radio to hear what in the world is going on out there. And, on YouTube, we could listen to The Seekers playing “A World of Our Own” and “I’ll Never Find Another You”; and “Donovan -Catch the Wind” (“To feel you all around me/and to take your hand along the sand…”) and “Colours-Donovan.” Maybe we could dance while listening to those songs and many others. And we could look out the window to the North. On the 8th floor here, there is a truly panoramic view. “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever YouTube Movies.” You can see, among many things, a communications tower in the far distance, that must be in Blackstone or Bellingham, that blinks a white light during the day, and a red light at night. Other things to be seen are: Chelo’s, The Bank of America building, Thundermist Health Center, Walgreens, The Seven Hills building, The Elks Club, the Cornerstone Building–and with my Dad’s binoculars, some of Main Street is visible. Sometimes, on the roof of Bank of America, I see several species of birds: black birds, crows, turkey vultures, once I saw a nearly all snow-white dove; and occasionally, a great blue heron flying stately and straightly, way up high, as majestically as a great ship on the high seas… and sometimes a hawk/falcon soaring, and the seagulls of social flatlands flying like Jonathan Livingston Seagull–Neil Diamond’s music about Jonathan Livingston Seagull is so beautiful and heart-touching.

Neil Diamond – I am… I said (W/Lyrics)

Sunday, March 12, 2017. It has now been about 24 days without that medication. I’m doing just fine without it, thanks be to my Lord God and Saviour, Jesus. The nervousness withdrawal symptom is fading away.

Saturday night, April 8, 2017. I haven’t taken Olanzapine for 51 days. The nervousness withdrawal symptom is nearly zero. And insomnia is not much of a problem, if I eat a banana and pineapple chunks in the evening. They increase melatonin. I also stopped another non-psychiatric medication about 28 days ago. And I can function well-enough without that one, too. I am no longer on any prescription drugs. And I usually do not need aspirin, either. Natural foods, like vegetables, fruit, milk, yogurt, fish, sardines, eggs, cheese, whole wheat bread, peanut butter, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, water and green tea and juice are all I’m taking. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.” -Psalm 34:19 ESV. (A Christian’s righteousness is Jesus Christ—not self-righteousness.) Several years ago, I was on 6 prescriptions on a permanent basis and I weighed 178 pounds. Now, I weigh 142 pounds. And many unwanted side-effects are gone. About a year ago, I got down to 132 pounds; but, I could not keep the weight that low.

“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” -John 8:31 NIV.

***

Is that who this is all about—Jesus Christ?

Is it the writer’s job to explain his writing? Shouldn’t the reader work, too? Shouldn’t the reader pray that the eyes of her understanding be opened; so that she may have discernment and insight and understanding from the Lord’s Holy Spirit? Shouldn’t she be born again, by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ and be led into all truth by the Spirit of Truth? Study the Gospel According to John. And 1 John 1-5.

***

“Why Tears More Than Smiles Have Comforted Me”

I have a notion about why “tears more than smiles have comforted me.” When the plants in the garden receive rain from the clouds crying down upon them, they feel better. Our tears nourish our hearts and souls and baptize the same, washing them, clearing them, rejuvenating them. What Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well about “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” -John 4: 13b-14 NIV. Could it be (I don’t know) that the water Jesus was referring to that becomes “a spring of water welling up to eternal life” is our heart-felt tears?  And about smiles: The shortest verse in the Bible is: “Jesus wept.” -John 11:35 NIV. And, in Isaiah 53, (a chapter that may be both a description and a prophecy of the Messiah Jesus, the Son of God) it is written of Him: “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” -Isaiah 53:3 NIV. I don’t recall one single Scripture in The New Testament of Jesus or his disciples and apostles smiling.

The acorn I sent you, in the early 1980s, with a heart and our initials painted on it, in a cloth bag I made: Do you remember that, Sonya? I had a sweet notion to ask you to hide “him” inside your bosom in that warm place near your beating heart. Because that’s where he wants to be always and forever… But, I was too shy.

I never heard from you, about that acorn, whether “he” reached you or not; and what you thought of “him.” I wondered, sometimes, if “he” got crushed on his journey and was broken by the time he reached your mailbox.

Saturday night, April 22, 2017. 65 days without the psychiatric medication and doing adequately. And 43 days without Tamsulosin and functioning just as well, or better, without it. And my weight is 140 pounds.

And when I was taking those drugs I couldn’t write creatively. All I could mostly write was stuff like: Today is November 7, 2___. It was sunny today. The high temperature was 52*F. I went shopping at Super Shaw’s and bought $31.23 in groceries.”

I’d rather write like Loco Linguisto than Mundane Marco. And yet, within reason; and in Christ and by Him and for Him and His Kingdom and His Heavenly Father and His Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, the Helper, the Comforter, the Counselor, Who leads us into all truth and will be with us unto the end of the age, Jesus told His apostles the night of their last supper together, as written in John 14-17 and also Matthew 28:1-20. See also all of The New Testament and all of Holy Scripture, including The Old Testament. It really isn’t old, at all. Read it and believe it—and become young-at-heart again, and enjoy eternal life in Christ, by His Holy Spirit washing us clean and regenerating us and shedding the love of God abroad in our hearts and the joy of His Holy Spirit and the hope of His Return and establishing His Kingdom, the Kingdom of God, on earth, the home of righteousness.

Sonya? I fell through the bottom of my heart into the cellar of my Sonya-Loving soul. Would you give me your hand and help me out, Dearest Lady Sonya?

“I don’t know how to love him by Helen Reddy -with lyrics”

“I Am Woman – Helen Reddy (with lyrics)”

Sunrise Pizza and Creamery. Social and Pond Streets: a meeting place for a drink and reacquaintance, perhaps?

The enclosed tract, “Why Did This Happen to Me?” was in my coat pocket against my heart as I walked in the rain; that’s how it got wet and curly/wrinkled. I don’t know, but perhaps it hints at why Sonya is getting these letters, to get her attention that God loves her in Christ.

John Denver – Rocky Mountain High

Peter, Paul & Mary – Oh, Rock My Soul (1964)

dana winner my friend the wind

Sonya, you sent a lovely sweet card to me long ago with these words on the cover:

“A Man Is What the Wind and the Waves Have Made Him”

You are so special to God, Sonya

(and also to little ol’ me)

Dana Winner – Let the Children Have a World

Sonya? Let the child within you have a kingdom, even the Kingdom of God; for

God is Love and God is Light and God is Spirit.

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” -Luke 12:32 ESV.

Dana Winner’ STAY WITH ME TILL THE MORNING

(and, in the morning, please don’t go away)

***

Sonya, wishing you a clear day forever. And, if you need any help, call me. I’d love to see forever with you, just by looking into your eyes, I believe we’d begin to see it…

That’s where forever is for me, in the eyes of Sonya of Bellingham, Massachusetts.

And that’s why I love you FOREVER, Sonya…

And that’s why I’d love to be with you always, like Mary’s little lamb.

And more than me, God our Savior loves you with an everlasting love in Christ.

“LONGER BY DAN FOGELBERG LYRICS”

***

This is the end of “Memories of Lake Hiawatha, et al” –but, it’s just the beginning of the rest of our lives.

And, in Christ, there is eternal life for those who believe in Him, the Son of God.

“Be there! Aloha.” -Hawaii Five-0.

Where? (in Christ)

How? (By the grace of God through faith)

“Sandy Denny | No End” youtube/music

 

Sonya, you are very much loved just as you are.

Simon and Garfunkel – Why Don’t You Write Me – [Lyrics in description]

***

“April and August, a little dialogue…”

April: “I don’t want you to know why I don’t write.”

August: “OK.”

April: “Is that all you have to say?”

August: “No.”

April: “Well…say something more than that!”

August: “I’d rather hear from you now, than from me.”

April: “I have nothing more to say.”

August: “Why not?”

April: “August! Would you just stop?!!”

August: “April, would you just begin to open the doors of your heart and speak, or write?”

April: “No.”

August: “What is the matter?”

April: “I told you, I don’t want you to know.”

August: “Are you trying to lead me to despair? Are you just leading me astray?”

April: “No. I’m not doing anything to you. Remember that Scripture?”

August: “What Scripture?”

April: “This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.” [1]

***

“WHEN WILL I SEE YOU AGAIN – (Lyrics)”

April: “You want to see me again? We aren’t even talking, yet!”

August: “Why is that, April?”

April: “August, I can’t talk to you, I just can’t.”

August: “Why, April?”

April: “The things I’d say are unspeakable.”

August: “Maybe you only think they’re unspeakable. Maybe you could say to me more than you can imagine is possible. Remember Christ on the cross? After everything they did to Him, and while He was still on the cross, He was able to say from His heart, ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do.’

The love of God is great.

April: “It’s just that, in person August, you’re so unimpressive. And you’re so quiet. And you don’t talk like you write. You seem so dumb.”

August: “Just remember, April.”

April: “Remember what?”

August: “Little is much when God is in it.” (A hymn). Remember how our Good Shepherd fed thousands with a few fish and loaves of bread? God can do a lot with only a little. A great oak starts as just a little acorn fallen on the ground.”

April: “So, what is your point?”

August: “We shouldn’t judge by appearances. King David wasn’t very impressive in stature. On the other hand, Israel’s first king, Saul, was quite tall and impressive; but things did not go well for him.”

April: “True; but David had his troubles as king, too.”

August: “True; however, God called David “a man after my own heart.” That’s saying a lot in king David’s favor, coming from Almighty God.”

***

John Denver has a song, “Some Days Are Diamonds and some days are stones”

As I was walking a few days ago, and was recalling his song, the words occurred to me like this, instead:

Some days are diamonds and some days are gold

Sometimes the good times won’t leave me alone…

***

May 24, 2017. For several days now, the stony days have come back. I’ve been having much nervousness in my stomach after eating. It sometimes makes me very nervous all over; not just in my stomach. I had to stop consuming milk, soymilk, lactaid milk and most cereals because of this nervousness. And insomnia is “acting up.” And urinary voiding is becoming a bit more difficult than usual. I started taking vitamin B-12 about two days ago. The first two times I took a half-dose I had no problem; but this morning I took my third half-dose, and then a few hours later, I felt like I’d been drugged. I did not feel well for many hours. I took some naps. And eventually began to feel somewhat better.

Friday, June 23, 2017. It’s been 4 months and one week since stopping Olanzapine; and 3 months and 13 days since stopping Tamsulosin. I’m OK without them.

A very beautiful and perhaps mystical song by Carole King: Tapestry. There is a lyric in her song about a mysterious fellow who “sat down on a river rock and turned into a toad.” It reminds me of the toads at Lake Hiawatha mentioned in the above text.

 

Footnotes:

[1] -Psalm 118:23 KJV; Matthew 21:42.

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