Category Archives: Ward F

Mozart sandwich with Birthday Cake

I just had a birthday last week. I was born in 1955, 55 years ago.That makes me 5,555 years old! Below is a twenty dollar bill in circulation at the time of my birth.

(click for full size, as usual; you know I never skimp on picture size-always the biggest pictures here at moonsoup!)

Beatles-Birthday

I have a variety of things to share today. Music, pictures, animated gifs, personal history, stories from where I work, other things.

Enjoy! or not.

Okay, some of the Mozart promised in the title:

mozart-sinfonia_

concertante-allegro

mozart-snfonia_

concertante-andante

mozart-sinfonia_concertante-presto

So, this is an odd time of year for me. My birthday last weekend, April 11th will be my older son’s 25th birthday (he’s coming to visit from SF this weekend- riding the dog, ought to arrive by tomorrow morning), and smack in the middle of these things is the anniversary of my oldest/ youngest child’s death- April 6th. I often dread this time of year- if I’m going to be symptomatic mental health wise, this is the time I would do it. These days, however, I’m not expecting badness. She has mellowed in my heart. I experience her as a kind, gentle angel of death; reminding me of the preciousness in each moment. Thank you Erin.

Here’s a doodle by Andrew, the oldest living child,

and one of the most coolest people I know.

One of our cats- Blizzard, has been suffering from glaucoma for years, gradually going blind. Last month she had surgery to remove her eyes- it’s called “enucleation“. Anyway, these are some shots of her recuperation. By the way, she’s doing great. She’s way more comfortable and happy and since she’s been blind for a while she has no trouble finding her way around. My younger son paid for the surgery- over $1000- because he is also a really great guy. Blizz gets the cone off her head later today.

Here’s Blizzard today, sans cone head,

in the arms of my youngest son.

The Jupiter Symphony is one of my favorite Mozart compositions-

mozart-jupiter-allegro

mozart-jupiter-andante

mozart-jupiter-allegretto

mozart-jupiter-molto_allegro

I wrote a while back, I think, about the death of a patient at Oregon State Hospital where I work. The Oregonian newspaper just did it’s first major story about it (better late than never).

From the article linked above:

The body of Moises Perez, 42, was discovered in this bed located just to the left of the door of a room he shared with four other men. The Oregon State Hospital patient had been dead several hours before he was discovered during evening medication checks.

Below- some great pictures of/ from the ESO Paranal Observatory in Chile, high in the Andes. The top picture is a full-sky, 360 degree panorama. The other pictures are of the observatory itself in summer and winter.

Richard Harris is the state Director of Addictions and Mental Health. He wrote this to the Oregon Consumer Survivor Coalition, our primary collective voice as survivors of the Mental Hell treatment system. I don’t know if it’s serious or comic relief. Time will tell. Anyone can yak yak yak.

From: “Richard HARRIS” <richard.harris@state.or.us>
Date: 18 March 2010 12:14:23 PM PDT
Subject: Re: Consumer Voice—-REVISED MEMO

Revised

DATE:        March 18, 2010

TO:            All AMH Staff

FROM:      Richard L. Harris
Assistant Director

RE:            Consumer voice

Over the past several months I have had the opportunity to meet with
many people representing many mental health consumer groups. From
these meetings it has become clear to me that there is a need for
increased consumer voice within local and state government. Len and I
recently met with the Oregon Consumer Survivor Coalition (OCSC) and
together we have identified four ways by which consumer voice can be
amplified:

1.    Increased public education on addiction and mental health issues;
2.    Increased training for those providing addiction and mental
health treatment;
3.    Continued and increased peer support services and;
4.    Supporting and promoting an independent voice in the addictions
and mental health consumer community.

My initial commitment to increase consumer voice and to support and
promote peer delivered services will be for AMH to provide phone and
video support to the upcoming strategic planning summit sponsored by
OCSC. The summit will identify a clear pathway to establishing a
formal mechanism to support consumer voice statewide. In addition
Oregon’s Olmstead Plan calls for increased consumer participation in
all aspects of transition from residential facilities to independent
living with people having a key to their own home with access to
addiction and mental health services when needed.

To further consumer voice and increase consumer visibility in the
community, OCSC will reach out to the addictions community and attend
and participate in the OHA/DHS statewide budget forums scheduled
around the state later this spring.

These are important first steps in creating a solid foundation to
promote consumer voice and visibility within local communities and
local and state government. I look forward to continuing dialogue with
the OCSC and others to develop a highly visible and robust consumer
voice as part of AMH and the developing OHA.

Richard L. Harris
Assistant Director
Addictions and Mental Health Division
500 Summer St NE E-86
Salem, OR 97301-1118
richard.harris@state.or.us
Blackberry: 503-569-3183
FAX: 503-373-7327

Heads up: may contain graphic violence–

By the way, you can’t outrun a Samurai!

My personal favorite by Mozart, his unfinished “requiem”. This is the whole shebang, huge file, high quality-

Mozart_Requiem_July_4_1985

A couple weekends back my wife and I went hiking at Catherine Creek to look at the first wildflowers of spring. You get there by going to Hood River, Oregon, crossing the troll bridge (don’t look! you’ll turn to stone!) into Washington, driving east through the town of Bingen, Washington and at the second roadside lake take the old state road that climbs the hill. You’ll know you’re there when you get to it. There are a few waves of wildflowers that bloom and pass relatively quickly in the stony volcanic earth. By now there’s a whole new batch. By the middle of April they’ll almost all be gone. I hope we get back up there before the end of the season.

Mozart plays the bassoon!

mozart-bassoon_concerto-allegro

mozart-bassoon_concerto-andante

mozart-bassoon_concerto-rondo

Bye for now, have a great day.

-Rick


Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under animated gif, animation, cats, Family pictures, Free Music, Mental Hell Treatment, Mozart, mp3, Music, Nature, Oregon State Hospital, personal story, pictures, Ward F

Mad Poetry from the Asylum

Introductionwish

Poems are by JN- a patient in the 50 building on Ward F. Printed with his permission but anonymous because he didn’t want to mess with all the written approval red tape- which has to be approved by the hospital and somethings just don’t find there way through the process.

JN is a big man- over 6’6″ I think. He wears suspenders and has very broad shoulders. My first impression on meeting him was “Paul Bunyan”. He never hurts anyone- no record of him assaulting staff or patients that I could find.

(JN has published a book of poetry. He has no copy but knows some libraries where it is available. He wrote it in the 1990’s.)

Still, staff are afraid of him. Especially small, female staff. He has a temper and when he’s angry he raises his voice. Usually, it’s over some small issue of arbitrary rule compliance.

Example: the soda machine in the hall outside the ward was out of product in the morning at 10 a.m. when it is on the ward schedule that they can go in the hallway with staff to get a soda from the machine. The machine was filled by noon. At 2 :00 p.m. JN asked to be able to go out to the hallway (6 feet from the ward door) with staff to buy a soda. He was told “No. The time for buying soda is 10 a.m.” JN said, “But the soda machine was empty. We didn’t get our soda at 10 a.m. Why can’t we get something now?” Staff: “That’s the rule. You know the rule. No soda. Wait until tomorrow.” JN raises his voice, red n the face, pointing his finger at the staff person,  one more minor indignity piled on top of so many others, “I am so sick of your rules! I’m sick of being treated like a child!” Staff: “That was a verbal threat. I’m putting it in your chart that you threatened me.”

Being charted as making a verbal threat means that he will have no privileges- sometimes it can mean “ward restriction”- meaning that even some of the small spaces available to sit with others or by yourself, are off limits. Sometimes it means they won’t let you go with other patients to the “yard” for fresh air. There are levels of privilege given within the confines of what is already an extremely restricted space. Level zero is the worst.

JN has not been above level zero in the year or so he has been locked up this time around. He does not expect to ever be above level zero. He has at least 8 more years in the hospital as assigned by the PSRB (the Psychiatric Security Review Board- an agency of the state courts).

Sometime I’ll post JN’s description of how he ended up in the hospital- it will blow you away. It started with a psychotic break, being told what to do by voices. No one was harmed.

BTW- not all of JN’s poetry is as heartbreaking as this- some is inspiring. You know how great it is when you are dreaming and find out you can fly? Sometimes reading his poems I feel like crying and flying at the same time.

I will be posting more of JN’s work over time. Maybe we’ll get permission to show his name- he’d like that. The guy that does the hospital newsletter (which never has patient-produced content since I’ve worked there) says he will print one of JN’s poems in next month’s edition. I’ll be waiting.

love_heart1Girlfriend

written 2/21/09 6:25 p.m.


We watched a butterfly be born into the world

Held hands at a scary film

Thought silly jokes were funny

Smiled with our eyes

I love you was spoken a lot

Mingled with other couples

Broke up once or twice

People talked about our relationship

She wrote when I was gone in jail

This is where we failed

My time was longer than her love

Have a picture of her I can’t tear up

It looks like she is shaking her finger at me in the picture

Wish I wouldn’t have made my mistake

Stakes were too high for me

Alone again with 40 men

Contemplation

written 2/21/09, 5:30 p.m.

The sentences flowed with suicide contempt

Depression is in the suggestion note

He was a perfectionist in writing what was said

It started with “To Whom it may concern”

It was the sadness in-between that will catch your heart

It wasn’t his dear concern that frightened me

It was the truth of his light that shined through

He was the only one feeling

Feeling like life wasn’t much living worth

More of his emotional turmoil churning the past

At last he was drained and insane

Mentally whipped- to no return to serenity

This is was his suggestion

Void was full of that dark stuff

Nothing to carry him to the next moment

At this second he was dead

lotus

All blessings to you, JN, with your deep compassion for the pain of others, your courage in the face of utter dark, with your warrior spirit-heart that lets loose the birds of language you call poems.

I love that you have new poetry for me every time I see you in your prison even though you hadn’t written in years before we met.

My thanks, my prayers for your trust and faith.

kerouac-quote

Leave a comment

Filed under JN-Building 50, personal story, poetry, Ward F