Living with gratitude and finding joy in every day things. My poetry, essays, and psychology.
Author:Chrisssie Morris Brady
I've read poetry since I was nine and have written creatively since I was fourteen (probably long before that). After writing book reviews and social comment, I decided I wanted to write poetry. I have no formal training, but I surround myself with poets and their writing. I am honing my craft.
I have two published collections which I don't feel good about, but have been published by madswirl.com and other publications. I live on the south coast of England with my daughter. I am seriously ill.
When my neighbour woke me in my bedroom at 3am on 10 11 2018, I should have dialed 999 for the police. Oh, the trouble I would have been spared!
DW would never have known about this blog, she would not have been able to tell subsequent tenants next door about it and those tenants would not have gossiped about me and caused my good name to be flung into the mud which I did not deserve.
Not that those neighbours were pleasant. They knowingly caused me nerve pain by refusing to take down windchimes which they hung close to all my windows. Even the council and the police could not persuade them to stop causing me agonising nerve pain and headaches because of the singularly high pitch. That is sheer cruelty.
Few people know that very high-pitched noise can cause nerve pain. If I had hung wind chimes, I would have taken them down as soon as I was aware that they were not enjoyed by a neighbour. I will never know how my health would be now if those wind chimes had been taken down.
But not just that, the husband shouted and swore at poor M on the other side.
If I had dialed 999 at 3am when the boring man appeared in my bedroom, I would not have been lied about; I would not have had my trust abused, I would not have had a problem with Quay Living, I would not have enabled M to tell lie after lie about me. How wrong I was to think he was sweet and earnest. He was in a blackout. A drunk. An alcoholic.
I am really ill now. Because I did not dial 999 that morning at 3 am my life would be far better now.
This blog was started to document my journey with 2 life-shortening illnesses and my desire to live with gratitude and to find joy in everyday things around me. I foolishly told a man about my blog. A man who seems to have more than one guise. I thought he was boring, but then he betrayed my trust by seducing me while I slept on a sofa after a meal and wine.
My trust was further breached when he allowed a woman to read our emails. That woman’s life is so empty that she watched the internet about a certain house that was a rental. Each time someone moved in, she would write a malicious note to them about me.
One couple in the house behaved so badly that it affected my health. They refused to stop. I wrote about my health here. I did mention their last name, which is not an unusual name, and so a note was written to them again.
When I was told that couple was moving because of my blog, I could not understand how they knew about it. I was staggered but also relieved due to the nerve pain they had inflicted on me.
The next residents also got a malicious note about me. However, they showed it to me. It is photographed and is on the blog and Instagram. Initially, the police were keen to to take action but it got passed from officer to officer and then got shut down.
The gossip created by the couple who caused me nerve pain has gone around social media, and I have experienced hostility although I did nothing wrong. For whatever reason, they were happy to cause me pain.
Yes, I did delete their name as I realised that people who shouldn’t be aware of this blog, were aware.
The owner of the rental the is living there again. He hates me because he thinks I lost him his tenants. No, it was not me. It was a drunk who has nothing better to do than cause trouble for others.
I never thought about that man. Not once. I only wanted to pay him back the ?3 I owed him.
He appeared in my bedroom at 3am one Saturday morning. It all started there. And I thought all the drama was over after he moved. No. It was just starting.
I am so fed up with those whose lives are so empty that they watch for when a house becomes available for rent and then write malicious notes to the tenant. I am so fed up that M told D about my blog, and she broadcast it in her malicious notes. This was supposed to be for those who found it, not used for malicious intent.
My home is beside a harbor; I love it but always dreamt of having a stream running through my garden. So I created the stream in the image above. My inner world is like the image above. I live in a very beautiful place in the UK. I returned there after years of being overseas. Apart from Ireland, and Nowra, in NSW, Australia, nowhere else compares. I miss the climate of southern California, and changing colors in canyons as the sun moved across the sky. Sadly, I hear that’s gone awry recently.
I started life in Germany, speaking German but also a little English too. My Dad is British, but not English. His passport says British because of where he was born. He is a mixture of Central European Jewry, his grandmother had escaped the pogroms in Ukraine with her children.
I spoke German fluently and my family moved to England with my Dad’s work. I was six. Then I had to learn to make sense of the English language.
Speaking English is one thing, writing it is quite another. You see, I was programmed to say things that I read in a logical way. I was puzzled by island. We used to read from the same book in class and take it in turns to read aloud while our class read silently. I was bewildered that our teacher never corrected those who said “Ireland” when the page said island. I finally whispered to a friend, who confirmed that yes, island was pronounced “Ireland”.
So, I don’t recall how I resolved that island is a land surrounded by water, but I certainly learned how ridiculous the spelling of English words is. Take could, should, and would. How does the L play any part in those words? Then look at cough, bough, bought, should. They are all pronounced differently, despite the common ou.Where is the sense? How can two coupled letters be pronounced so differently! What about the silent gh? Then there are soul and foul. Soldier and insure. Where is the sense in the spelling and pronunciation?
Then I grappled with the spelling of words that change with the past tense. Label becomes labelled, cup becomes cupped. I agree, it looks right, but that is because it is the rule. Except not every time. Just almost every time. There seems to be an exception to every rule in English. How do we have eat, eaten, and ate? Is there another verb with two past tenses, specifically the perfect past tense? Gotten is used in America but fell out of fashion in Britain long ago.
Recently, I saw an American use those whereto instead of whom. I wonder where they were educated.
It is not that I struggled; I don’t recall learning to read English. My first memory of reading it is sitting on the floor reading the back of whatever section of the newspaper my Dad happened to be reading. I read everything and anything. However, this did not help my pronunciation. I still say some words incorrectly today. I pronounce the O in front, whilst the English say “frunt”. I say Samsung with a German U. There is no equivalent in English unless you are a northerner. It does not rhyme with hung.
In truth, my English came very naturally and I rarely made spelling mistakes. I do now. Nor did I make grammatical errors. I knew that sentences never begin with and, also that and should not appear twice in one sentence. But should used with care, and cannot always be replaced with however.
Too, there are beautiful words like gallop, succinct, blossom, ditto, mellow, soft, pillow, and kiss.
Learning the art of using one instead of I or we are simple to master. A writer doesn’t want to alienate the reader, or sound lofty. No, one signifies the world, as in One could watch him play tennis. It can also suggest another point of view; I love vanilla ice-cream, but one can choose other flavors.
Here, in order to be selected for further distribution, I must use American spelling. I hate it! I love colour not color, flavour not flavor. Appenditionally, I like organise not organize. Why did the English who sailed here allow such a massacre on spelling?
There are words I would like to ban, along with the attitude behind them. Words like hate, racism, war, argue, irritate, annoy, superior, inferior, segregate, reject, and any other word or attitude that implies aggression between humans. We are all human. We have more in common than that which divides us. As a former human rights worker, I dream of world with disparity, no war, no oppression, no hunger. I have won small accolades for my work. Bishop Tutu retweeted me, as did a few other prominent figures of peace. This work was done almost entirely in English.
English is derived from the Anglo-Saxons, who gave us Germanic vocabulary, then the French invaded us and added words. Also, Latin was visited upon us by the clergy in the Middle Ages. I had to do a year of Latin. It was very difficult but gave me the root meaning of so many words. English is a very rich language.
Good written English is a pleasure to read. It should flow, and render meaning without interference from adverbs and adjectives unless they are vital to describe an object or scene. I am a fan of the Oxford comma. It clarifies so much, and expels confusion.
So, here is my journey into the English language. I was first puzzled by it, but now am a qualified editor. I love this language. I still enjoy using German, mostly now on Facebook and on the phone to my uncle.
When I feel a bit stressed or just have itchy feet, I love to go to the ancient woodland along the harbour.
Half the journey is getting there. I see birds, both waterbirds and the common or garden variety.
The scent of the harbor is the first awareness. The salt air refreshes the senses as if cleansing the pallet. Then wild orchids appear along with other plants and small shrubs. Buttercups, wild geraniums, flax, and blossom from brambles.
Then butterflies and bees and wasps make themselves visible, teasing as they alight and fly away, returning and repeating their dance of flight. Cyclists pass, it is all good natured, and time of day is passed with other walkers.
The reed beds come into sight. I see gulls actually diving for fish instead of eating dropped human food in the town. Swans and ducks glide through the apparent stillness.
Trees approach. I feel a relief, as if all my cares will be lifted by the boughs and leaves gently whisper their energy to me, softly, on the breeze. I go into the green embrace of ancient woods with gnarled trunks and thick roots. I wonder at the mycelium that created this wonder. Trees be. They are living and talking to each other. They feed the needy ones and choose where a sapling will sprout.
The green is soothing. My soul finds nourishment. My eyes rest on twisted branches where moths rest, look closely and maybe there is a bat. All is alive, even dying logs are teeming with life as beetles start the decaying process. I feel embraced and sheltered in the tunnels of green. Sounds of birds are music for the cathedral-like trees, majestic and strong.
Strange entanglements of wood and ferns and undergrowth. Sunlight is dappled through the canopy of green. It is peace and joy both at once. Uplifting but full of awe.
Gradually, I come out to meadow and must leave other paths unexplored until another day.