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The previous blog to this humble collection accompanied two short poems penned for 2 of my grandkids, added to the lists. Hopefully I’ll sing together with them one day not too far away . That would be a bit of bliss! Breagha and Alba and me
Neither are clever, the poems, that is, not the kids. They are as with all toddlers, into everything and just a blessing to this earth. I have two other grandweans as well. I’m still thinking about Sandy and Anna Grace in terms of joined up words.


Thinking about ‘stuff’, things, people, places, past memories and occasions have filled many hours of recent lockdown time.Time spent in isolation but whilst being alone hit home sometimes, mostly, isolation brought memories and recalled moments, many that I had forgotten about. Consciously or not? Dunno!!


I could fill pages with these memory flashes, maybe some of them at a later date. Perhaps I don’t want to dig some of them up? On reflection, for sure, some should stay buried.


No man is an island entire of itself ;very man/woman is a piece of the continent


Being alone is an immediate experience in one context. It can be a dreaded one in another form, the anticipation of existing with no human company creates its own panic. Yet we are told that there are millions living in isolation through no choice of their own. When things were normal,
we’re told. The recent Covid images of our heroic older relatives staring out through windows, unable to communicate grabbed at so many hearts. With us, without us.


If a clod be washed away by the sea.. we are the less..


The time alone I survived without too much grief for the first and half of the second lockdown. Somewhat settled with this I thought I’m getting by ok, then I was struck with a tangible change in feeling, mood, daily existence and attitude. Going through the experiences I arrived at one conclusion that I was experiencing minor panic attacks. I say minor because through work I had shared time with client and friends who had experienced higher level episodes. None the less, the experience has similar stages to work through.
I would get panicked in the middle of the night about small tasks that hadn’t been completed, Daily chores and simple ‘house’ things became magnified and stayed in the worry zone, not the ‘it doesn’t matter zone’.


Breathing was heavy, sleep at times non existent and I think, from a lay point of view, it piled upon itself and became more of itself.


Any mans death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind.


During the day, thinking things through, I reflected on common territories for the incidents. There were a few common aspects. However the single most thread was the lack of human company. This was so obvious – I had spent 20 years as a counsellor, advocate, coach and social group leader and the main, recurring, message was and still is , find company, lean on others folks it’s not only ok, but necessary.


One occasion was an episode of illness, blocked air ways. My God that is scary, no one to help, lean on and ask for support.
Alone-ness is not a great thing.


This is just a lone person getting by. John Donne’s smacking ‘No Man is an Island’ has always challenged my thinking – how such a short 9 line poem can describe humankind in it’s absolute. Stared at it often.


Never send to know for whom the bell tolls ; it tolls for thee.


So it has resonance for my wee bit of existence too. When I realised it was written for us all (never mind the mention of leaving Europe), we can isolate the moments and remind us that we exist alongside others. We need to, it’s critical. Thats where I found myself, in fact am finding myself at this time.