Even More From the Cuckoo’s Nest

This came in my work email:

Dear Staff:

This morning I gave the following assignment to my writing group: “What was the favorite gift you have ever either received or given for any occasion (Christmas, Birthday, Anniversary)?  Write about it and answer these questions:

What was the occasion?

Who were the players—giver and recipient?

What emotions were felt or expressed?

J.N. from Bird 3 (Salem) answered:

“Liz, my group home manager in Grants Pass, when I spent Christmas there gave pajamas to me for a present.  I laugh because I needed P.J.’s.  They were navy blue.  I could put them on before bedtime and unwind in writing on the computer.  They were light and comfortable.  I felt like a million bucks in them because it was decades [since] I had a bed, and P.J.’s to sleep in.  You see, I had spent years on the streets and I slept anywhere out of the weather.  My clothes stayed on me, but my shoes came off when I climbed into the sleeping bag.

 When my care-provider gave P.J.’s to me I acted like a child of joy.  The smell of new P.J.’s was pleasant.  Crisp, fresh P.J.’s were like I was high class.  I did thank Liz for the thoughtful gift.  She is a wonderful person and considerate.  Now, feeling human and high class I wrote better with a new mentality…..Liz [fed] us a balanced diet and shows love in working around the house. 

 Love for P.J.’s is the tender feeling while nights pass.  And I sleep…”

When our patient read this aloud to the class, my eyes filled with tears.  What a wonderful expression of thanks flowed from this patient’s pen!  There are a lot of things to be sad and disappointed about in our world today, but as you reflect on this story I urge you to consider “Who can I bless with “P.J.’s” during this Christmas/Hanukkah/Holiday season?”

Dr. **** ******, Clinical Psychologist

If you have followed this blog you are acquainted with JN and his powerful images, intensely emotional poetry. Of course, he is no longer in the 50 Building- which is now abandoned across the street. He lives in this giant new beast, shiny and deceptive. They rolled up the old hospital and brought it here into a new edifice. Here’s something else-

01-31-2009AD

7:24pm

Believe

Understood into self as the clouds drift away

Sun rises to the word of reality with shinning focus

Wind whispers it while awake in the Desert

Mountains’ tree sings it out with a hoot

Rocks roll in the snowy water stream

The birds fly with uplifting wings

Chairs hold you in faithful promise

I absorb it like food for nourishment

Rain falls to the gravities law

Air gives way to breathe of life

Monks hum to it in meditation

Spirit listens in ah while thought is created

Soul will carry it to heaven

God rewards you for understanding

Flowers wilt by it after seeding

A Babies cry with it when born

Believe while doing all things and it will be

Stories are written with the thought of it

Companions make love for a child

Can’t touch it with your hands, but imagination flourishes

Wake- that sun will make it today

Why then doesn’t it happen when we speak?

Truth and lies are from this tongue of ours

By JN

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Filed under animated gif, JN-Building 50, Oregon State Hospital, poetry, Shameless Commerce, Spirituality

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