Thursday, 26 June 2008

A sacred process II

Some more thoughts in the wake of Sean Blackwell's video and his latest blog entry.

Make sure to read the "Introduction to my new book..." at Sean's blog, where he takes on Kay Redfield Jamison's An Unquiet Mind. Those of you who've been to read Chauncey's analysis of Jill Bolte Taylor's TED Talk, also will have found him praise Kay Redfield Jamison whom he contrasts to Jill Bolte Taylor - in regard to style.

When it comes to contents, both are pretty much the same: both talk about crises being biological illnesses, brain diseases, that are incurable, chronic illnesses, and that need lifelong "medication" in order to be kept under control.

If you've been around this blog only for a moment, you'll know that I strongly disagree with this point of view as there's no evidence so far for crises to be biological illnesses, and as I see that this mainstream-viewpoint actually has stripped and still does strip "countless people of hope for a truly better life, medication free", as Sean writes. Indeed, I find it morally irresponsible by the mental health system to, continuously, make a claim like that, into the bargain often in a way that suggests it were a proven fact rather than a mere hypothesis, a mere theory, and I wish there were more professionals like Ron Unger who'd dare to speak up and challenge the system concerning this matter.

Sadly, I haven't encountered as much as one single professional, psychiatrist, psychologist, or any other, here in Denmark yet, who has shown to be as courageous as Ron (and a number of other professionals abroad). Not even the "brilliant (though not perfect...) guidance". Let me know if you have. I'll be happy to do a piece on him/her!

Now, I can't blame Chauncey for his praise of Kay Redfield Jamison as he, as far as I know, has no personal experience of "madness", his opinion on the matter (whatever it is) thus of course being a result of the information that is immediately available to the public. Which is the mainstream information, stating that extreme states of mind are due to brain diseases. Thus Kay Redfield Jamison's book An Unquiet Mind is published by Macmillan, Jill Bolte Taylor's My Stroke of Insight by the Viking Penguin Group, and both can easily be found at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, while Sean Blackwell's book A Quiet Mind is published by and can only be purchased through Chipmunkapublishing, a small though significant, British underground publisher, specialized in books about mental health and well being.

Well, and although I do not at all agree in neither Jill Bolte Taylor's nor Kay Redfield Jamison's conception of crises to be biological diseases, I nevertheless widely agree to Chauncey's criticism of Jill Bolte Taylor's TED Talk. At least as far as style is concerned.

In regard to contents, I will certainly read Sean's book. I'm actually looking very much forward to it. While I think, I will spare me the doubtful pleasure of reading Kay Redfield Jamison's book. I've read several books of that kind, and the reading always left me with extremely unpleasant feelings of despair and powerlessness.

As for Sean's call for people to share about their experiences with extreme states of mind, I find it just as important as he does, in order to reduce the public's ignorance and fear of these states, that unfortunately only has been increased by the mainstream conception of these states to be caused by biological illness, thus being nothing but meaningless and unpredictable (and thus dangerous) "madness" (that would have to be fought and suppressed at any price). Although I also find it quite challenging to share such a deeply personal experience publicly, I have considered doing so for a while, and will share at least some of it in time to come.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

A sacred process

Sean at Bipolar or WakingUp?! posted the below video on YouTube yesterday. I just love it. Absolutely awesome! Well, and what he says about "mania" applies just as well to any other kind of "psychosis": it's a sacred process.

Here is Sean's video:

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Interesting comment on Jill Bolte Taylor's TED-talk

While almost everyone in the blogosphere seems to be more or less ecstatic about Jill Bolte Taylor's spell-binding eloquence, there actually are a few people out there, who don't go into raptures over it, and thus are able to do a truly interesting analysis of her TED-talk. One of them can be read here.

BTW: Spending some more time at Chauncey's blog - which I find quite fascinating reading, although, or maybe just because, it plays out on a slightly different (philosophical/existential) background than mine - I came across another noteworthy entry, developing further the rather problematic because oversimplifying procedure of "compumorphizing" human beings (or: being human), that our culture in general, and Jill Bolte Taylor not least, often uncritically, resort to employ in their attempt to explain the fundamental nature, the essence of being (human). Check it out!

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Why ECT is torture

In the below video John Breeding takes on the widespread view, that it would be an exaggeration to call electroshock "treatment" (ECT) torture. Watch, and decide for yourself.

Monday, 16 June 2008


While Anja captured the perfection, I was fascinated by the evanescence.

A photo-response to "Rose"

One last update to "Strokes of insight and blind spots"

A reply to Anonymous' comment on my first update on "Strokes of insight and blind spots":

I thought, I'd leave this alone. I changed my mind after I read another account by someone who has directly experienced NAMI's discriminating practices.

a) I definitely will read the book. And, just as definitely, I will do a piece on it, especially if I find, that I was wrong.

b) Some facts about NAMI:

- NAMI, just as mainstream-psychiatry, is extensively sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry. It is no longer a secret, that NAMI between 2003 and 2005 received about three million dollars from Eli Lilly for downplaying the risks of Zyprexa. And alone in the first quarter of 2007 NAMI received 544,500 dollars from Eli Lilly. Correspondingly, NAMI advocates pharmaceutical "treatment" for people in emotional crisis with substances that provenly shorten the life expectancy of those "treated" with them, cause brain damage, especially at long-term, "maintenance" use, that have a chronifying effect on the course of the crisis, thus drastically reducing the chances for recovery, and that have several other serious and sometimes life-threatening "side"-effects. In other words: NAMI advocates the drugging of people with life-problems with disabling health- and sometimes even life-threatening chemical substances, and, as a matter of fact, the organization has shown itself to be open to bribery.

- NAMI primarily is a support organization for relatives of people in emotional crisis, although people in emotional crisis themselves are also welcome as members - though not always at NAMI-meetings, apropos of "Nothing about us without us!". This implies another conflict of interest, in addition to the above mentioned financial one: Often family members are part of the problem. The medical model efficiently covers up this part of the problem: "It's not our responsibility, it's your genes and brain chemistry that something is wrong with." In consequence, NAMI exclusively advocates the biological model ("the mentally ill", Jill Bolte Taylor's "schizophrenic" brother,...), leaving no consideration to psychological/social causes, although these, as mentioned, are at least as, if not more, likely to be the cause for emotional crises. There is no evidence for neither of these theories. Yet, there is a lot more circumstantial evidence in favour of a psychological/social cause, than there is in favour of a biological one. However, since there is no evidence, the only honest thing to do would be to allow both theories the same amount of consideration, and to offer real choice to people in crisis. Unfortunately, this is not NAMI's politics. Just as it isn't the politics of the mental health system in general. There isn't much "grassroots" about NAMI.

- Further, NAMI supports discriminating programs such as Teen Screen, the Mother's Act, and organizations like Treatment Advocacy Center, that advocate "assisted" (i.e. forced) outpatient treatment. A slogan like
"Nothing about us without us!"
in this context becomes meaningless.

c) If Jill Bolte Taylor really took the role I recommend, and showed true compassion for her fellow human beings, she would, as the president of NAMI Greater Bloomington Area, distance herself explicitly from NAMI Indiana, and NAMI in general. She does not do so. Her note at NAMI Greater Bloomington Area's website states: "I LOVE NAMI".

If Jill Bolte Taylor had true compassion for her fellow human beings, she would distance herself explicitly from labelling people's life problems as "mental illnesses", "schizophrenia", "bipolar disorder", "ADHD", you name it. She would distance herself explicitly from labelling people as "mentally ill", "schizophrenic", "bipolar", etc. She does not do so.

As indicated, her not doing so implies that Eckhart Tolle himself would have to be labelled "mentally ill", "severely depressed", though recovered, by her. It implies, that he, according to Jill Bolte Taylor's conviction, suffered from an imbalance in his brain chemistry, that his past had absolutely nothing to do with his development as a human being, and that thus his (and many other philosophers' and spiritual teachers') insight, that emotional suffering is part of the human condition and often, actually as a precondition to it, can lead to enlightenment, is of no value, and indeed an illusion (a delusion of an ill mind??), whatsoever. You can't both have your cake and eat it!

As someone who has experienced extreme states of mind, which the mental health system, Jill Bolte Taylor advocates for, fancies to label "psychosis", or even "schizophrenia", who has experienced the destructiveness of labels - and nothing is indeed more destructive, no label is more negating the labelled human being than that of "mental illness" - , as someone who has seen what the mental health system, Jill Bolte Taylor advocates for, does to people, who has experienced the enormously consciousness-suppressing power of psychotropic drugs (though luckily only once in a non-psychiatric context!), Jill Bolte Taylor advocates for, and who was given the chance to experience the deeper truth of teachings like Eckhart Tolle's - the suffering-part very much included - I don't see true compassion in Jill Bolte Taylor's statements so far.

Which I see in both her and NAMI's statements is a whole lot of (self-)pity: "The horror of mental illness", "The tragedy of mental illness", etc. ("What have we done, that we have to put up with the horror and tragedy of mentally ill relatives?" - This question uttered in a NAMI-context being a purely rhetoric one. Watch Jill Bolte Taylor's attitude when Oprah mentions her "schizophrenic" brother!) While (self-)pity is more like the opposite of true compassion than non-compassion is.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Genuine and truly marvellous show

Methodius Isaac Bonkers, or simply: Dr. Bonkers, aka Ben Hansen, from the "Bonkers Institute for Nearly Genuine Research" notified me of the exhibition "The Nearly Genuine and Truly Marvelous Mental Medicine Show" at his site.

Actually, I'd read about it at Gianna's blog, but didn't make it to the exhibition then, due to both exile - and surprise - confusion.

Well, since the guest room - exile is a thing of the past (while the surprise still occupies me a lot), I took the opportunity and had a closer look, and I can only recommend to everyone to do the same: you don't want to miss this!

A week ago, Gianna posted another entry on the show, including an excerpt from an EdNews - interview with Ben Hansen, and pointing out that, in order to see the big picture, you should click the small ones.

What are you still doing here? Go, see the show, and read more at Gianna's blog! Enjoy!

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Looking the wrong place - Another update on "Strokes of insight and blind spots"

When I say, that Jill Bolte Taylor seems to me to be a very conscious and compassionate person, this is especially based on her statement, that an important, though often underestimated, quality for caregivers to have is being able to meet their clients where these are, as well as to be aware of and take responsibility for the signals (beyond verbal language) they send.

Jill Bolte Taylor's own experience, as she describes it in the interview, is that even though an individual is not capable of communication through commonly understandable verbal language, this doesn't mean the individual neither is capable of perceiving his or her environment's signals. On the contrary, as she states, often individuals who are in a state of mind that inhibits their ability to communicate understandable through verbal language, while the environment interprets this state of mind as also inhibiting these individuals' perception of their surroundings, their sensitivity toward sense impressions, their intuition, actually is highly increased.

As words lose their (commonly agreed upon) meaning, if it is because of a stroke that disables an individual's left brain hemisphere, and thus the language center, too, as experienced by Jill Bolte Taylor, or if it is because of a psychological insecurity in being in the world, that causes symbols no longer automatically to be taken for the real thing, that causes a separation of the symbol (the signifier, the word) from the symbolized (the signified, the thing), all attention is directed toward the real thing, leaving the symbol more or less emptied of its symbolic contents, and being nothing but an arbitrary sound pattern, free to be filled with and applied to purely individual meaning, free to become transformed from being a commonly understood code to being a more or less private, individual code, bordering on becoming a thing in itself.

The ability to use language is a natural one, but language itself is not a natural phenomenon. It is a cultural one. If it were a natural one, different coding would not be possible. Neither "poetic language" nor "psychotic language", with both being a play on words, a code, each on its level, would exist. If emotional crisis were a biological phenomenon, like a stroke, it would not be possible for an individual to regain his/her ability to communicate in a commonly understandable way just through (re-)gaining a certain security in being in this world. Emotional crisis is not a natural, biological, phenomenon. It is a cultural, i.e. psychological, social, psycho-social, one.

An individual's degree of anchoredness in language, his/her degree of anchoredness in which the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan calls "the Symbolic Order", actually is the only criterion diagnozed in regard to emotional crisis. Although it is diagnozed on various levels, thus providing a seemingly wide range of seemingly different "symptoms". Without exception, all these "symptoms" refer to an individual's perception of the world. Identifying this perception through looking at the individual's reaction to whatever is perceived.

Jill Bolte Taylor doesn't say it explicitly, nevertheless her statements at the interview imply a view of "psychotic language" - i.e. a view of "the psychotic way of perceiving the world" - as being a language completely deprived of meaning. Mentioning her "schizophrenic brother" in the context of an interview, that focusses on her own perception of the world during a period at which she herself was physically deprived of perceiving the world by means of language, language thus being nothing but incomprehensible noise to her, she implies, that his "schizophrenic" perception of the world must be the same (and this implication, of course, is which fuels her research-efforts as well as her engagement in NAMI). It isn't.

Verbal language, as well as the human Ego and the Symbolic Order as a whole, is a cultural phenomenon, and as such not nearly as rooted in our being as the natural, non-verbal signals, we send. In contrast to nature, culture, in the shape of verbal language, thinking and the Ego, is built upon more or less shaky ground. Although our culture trains us to ignore non-verbal signals in favour of verbal ones, the non-verbal ones are the only ones for us left to react to, the moment nature (the right brain hemisphere) for one or the other (i.e. for a physiological or a psychological/social) reason takes over. If this is because the function of the left hemisphere is interrupted physiologically through a head injury, or a stroke, or if it is because the value and reliability of its function's results are questioned by the right hemisphere's function, as it is in emotional crises such as so-called "schizophrenia".

"Schizophrenic's" often do not react "appropriately" to verbal language because they, on an unconscious level, see through its arbitrariness. Which they do react extraordinarily appropriately to is non-verbal language. In a culture that widely isn't aware of the non-verbal signals that are sent by its members, this can't be recognized. Neither it can be recognized by the "schizophrenic" individual him-/herself as long as it remains an unconscious process. While an individual who consciously chooses to go beyond the reactive Ego, because s-/he has become aware, conscious, of the reactive Ego's arbitrary character, would have to be called "enlightened", in a spiritual language-code.

Why would an individual, in spite of all cultural training, choose to question the meaning of words, of verbal language, and instead choose to rely on and react to non-verbal signals only? Among others, R.D.Laing and Gregory Bateson have provided an answer to this decades ago: An individual whose reactions to verbal language continuously by his/her surroundings are characterized and, subsequently, rejected as insufficient and/or incorrect, sooner or later, and consequently, will resort increasingly to attempting to read the non-verbal signs that are displayed, while rejecting the verbal ones, in order to "get it right".

This, of course, involves that the individual concerned develops a "sixth sense" for non-verbal signals, that s/he becomes extremely sensitive to these, just as Jill Bolte Taylor experienced herself to be, while her perception of verbal signals was inhibited due to physical brain dysfunction.

The parallels with emotional crisis seem obvious, at first glance and on a superficial, formal level, and may easily be mistaken as a proof for "mental illness" to actually be due to a physical brain dysfunction. As they are by Jill Bolte Taylor and mainstream psychiatry.

However, as mentioned above, restoring an individual's trust in verbal communication just by helping this individual to become aware of the processes that lead to him/her becoming insecure, or distrusting, would not be possible if the distrust was due to a physical dysfunction. Neither would it be possible for anyone to ever find a meaning in "psychotic language", which then truly would represent pure gibberish. While it only is seen as pure gibberish by people, who are not capable of overcoming their own cultural conditioning, in the shape of their own Ego. The parallels between emotional crisis, or what is called "psychosis", and a spiritual emergency are far more striking than those to a physical brain dysfunction as soon as the observer him-/herself is capable of going beyond the limitations of egoic thinking.

We today live in an era, where our culture has moved further away from (human) nature than ever before. Which almost exclusively characterizes our existing culture, is a just as exclusive acknowledgement of the human Ego as the one and only valid standard, everyone and everything is judged by. While the human Ego manifests itself through verbal language and thinking. If Descartes simply was wrong, or if he maybe became misinterpreted, I'll leave to the reader to decide...

I completely agree in Jill Bolte Taylor's statement, that it is essential for caregivers to meet their clients wherever these are at the moment. In contrast to her, I nevertheless don't see the clients of the mental health system met where they are as long as this system remains dominated by the egoic concept of brain diseases (i.e. moral judgements of an individual's behavior, lacking any scientific proof to be real, biological diseases). Actually, I see more harm than good done by forcing the mental health system's clientele to adopt the mental health system's perception of it as being physically brain dysfunctional and thus dependent on physical (medical) help, rather than accepting and respecting the clientele's own perception of itself, no matter how compassionately this coercion is performed. Indeed, the more compassionately it is performed, the more harm is done, as the discrepancy between form and content, the discrepancy between verbal and non-verbal signals, deepens with every increase in compassion with which the coercion is brought forward. Once again, the clientele is exposed to the very same experience of ambiguity that originally caused it to reject verbal communication as inauthentic, and thus unreliable, untrustworthy: the vicious circle becomes consolidated, rather than broken, with a chronification of the crisis as an almost inevitable result.

True, non-egoic acceptance and respect for individuals in emotional crisis requires not only formal compassion and consciousness. It requires even more content-related compassion and consciousness. Unfortunately, I don't see the latter in neither Jill Bolte Taylor's nor NAMI's or the mental health system's thinking at all. While it remains impossible to meet anyone wherever they are with compassion and consciousness limited to a purely formal, and thus inauthentic, level.

No matter how many brains Jill Bolte Taylor manages to sing together for further, neuroanatomic research, neither she nor any of her colleagues will ever find anything that unmistakably could distinguish the brain structure of an individual labelled "schizophrenic" from that of any other individual. It's like a friend once said: "Sometimes I'd like to tap them on their shoulder: 'Hey, have you ever considered that you might be looking in the wrong place?' "


Monday, 9 June 2008

Update to "Strokes of insight and blind spots"

First of all a correction: Jill Bolte Taylor is a neuroanatomist, not a neurologist as I incorrectly wrote yesterday.

And an additional note: NAMI is an organization that, according to its own mission statement, aims to provide "support, education and advocacy" for the "mentally ill" and, especially, their relatives, and "is dedicated (...) to the improvement of quality of life for persons of all ages who are affected by mental illnesses."

One thing that by now would have to be regarded as a real improvement of quality of life for NAMI's target group is the endeavour of minimalizing discrimination of people labelled "mentally ill" through the use of a wording that, for instance, says "an individual who has schizophrenia" rather than "a schizophrenic individual". Jill Bolte Taylor, in her position as president of a NAMI affiliate, should be familiar with this. Nonetheless, she does not correct Oprah when the latter refers to Jill Bolte Taylor's "schizophrenic brother". Oprah Winfrey is a person with an enormous influence in the public. Jill Bolte Taylor here misses a unique and important opportunity to really practice some advocacy, education, and support for people labelled with "schizophrenia".

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Strokes of insight and blind spots

Yesterday, I watched the webcast of Oprah Winfrey's Soul Series-interview with Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor. In her Soul Series-interview with Eckhart Tolle, Oprah calls him a "prophet", and I agree to that, although it, of course, again, is a label, a concept, and in certain contexts can be applied to diminish a human being to an object - of disdain.

Unfortunately, prophets continuously throughout history have been misunderstood. In "the right belief's" favour. One might think, that this would be difficult in regard to a "message", that just exactly says, that essentially there is no right or wrong, thus neither a right or wrong belief. A "message" that says that the only truth is found nowhere else but beyond any such thing as a conceptual belief-system, if it's called "Christianity", "Buddhism", "Socialism", "Neo-liberalism",..., or, well, "biological psychiatry". While the need to label, to conceptualize, is an egoic (narcissistic) one, that does nothing but inflicts harm and suffering both on the labeller and the labelled. A need, that devalues both of them, turns them into objects (of disdain), and in the end inevitably destroys them.

Being the inevitable result of the human mind's compulsion to conceptualize, judge (morally) and label, all wars in human history confirm this. You can only disrespect others to the annihilating point, war is a manifestation of, if you don't respect yourself. You can only disrespect anyone or anything to such an annihilating point, if you don't respect yourself.

Apart from the obvious wars, that are going on, in Iraq and Afghanistan for instance, there are wars going on worldwide, that are not always recognized as such: humanity's war against nature, against the planet Earth, as well as all those against all kinds of minorities: human beings fighting human beings.

As I see it, we're frighteningly fast moving toward a situation, where everyone fights everyone, in a more or less obviously war-like situation. Or, as Eckhart Tolle puts it, never before in human history has man inflicted greater suffering on his fellow human beings.

One of the wars that are going on is the war against people who experience extreme states of mind, people who are labelled "mentally ill". And especially in this war's context, I can't but think of the quote "The road to hell is paved with good intentions". I don't doubt this war's soldiers' good intentions. I don't doubt Jill Bolte Taylor's not only good but best intentions. Unfortunately, they are the result of a profound misunderstanding of a prophet like Eckhart Tolle's "messages". Good intentions are almost always the good intentions of an Ego. The parallel to psychoanalyst Wolfgang Schmidbauer's "helper syndrome" as rooted in what with an analytic term is called "narcissism" is striking. Thus neither Eckhart Tolle fails to mention the myth of Narcissus when he talks about the human Ego.

Jill Bolte Taylor is the president of NAMI Greater Bloomington Area, an affiliate of NAMI Indiana. The website of NAMI Indiana states as "Mental Illness Facts" among other things, that "severe and persistent Mental Illnesses are brain disorders (...) [that] cannot be overcome through will power and are not related to a person's (...) upbringing nor his/her age, race, religion or economic status". Further it is stated, that "[e]arly identification and treatment accelerates recovery and protects the brain from further harm related to the course of the illness. (...) Most people with serious mental illness require medication...". All these statements are, put forward as facts, simply lies.

Jill Bolte Taylor, author of the book "My Stroke of Insight", is a neurologist, specialized in brain research in regard to "mental illness". She is also known as "the Singin' Scientist", lobbying for people, especially those labelled with "mental illnesses" and their relatives, to donate their brains post mortem to research.

Jill Bolte Taylor suffered a stroke in 1996, that affected her left brain hemisphere, thus forcing on her the experience of having no Ego. An experience that lead her to a deeper insight into the aspects of human nature, our modern, western society usually suppresses.

The interview on Soul Series gave me the impression of a highly conscious and compassionate human being. Nevertheless, it also left me somewhat disillusioned. There obviously are limits to insight, consciousness, and compassion, even for people, who not only have read "A New Earth", but also themselves have experienced what Jill Bolte Taylor calls "Nirvana". There obviously are limits, and, just as obviously, misinterpretation is possible.

It seems to me, that the blind spot is due to Dr. Taylor's brother being labelled with "schizophrenia". The same blind spot that is obvious in regard to Edwin Fuller Torrey.

If Eckhart Tolle ever had asked the very same mental health system, Jill Bolte Taylor advocates for, for help, he would undoubtedly have been given a label of "severe depression with suicidal tendencies", he would immediately have been put on an antidepressant, he maybe even would have qualified for ECT, and we would neither have "The Power of Now", "A New Earth", nor any other of his prophetic writings today.

I couldn't help it, all enlightenment disregarded, my own Ego won, and I had to share my impressions with the interviewee, just as I share them here - I still have a long way to go, trying to find a less egoic form for activism, I know that!
Here, however, is what a truly enlightened human being has to say about psychiatry:

"...Restoring mental health does not mean simply adjusting individuals to the modern world of rapid economic growth. The world is ill, and adapting to an ill environment cannot bring real mental health. Psychiatric treatment requires environmental change and psychiatrists must participate in efforts to change the environment, but that is only half the task. The other half is to help individuals be themselves, not by helping them adapt to an ill environment, but by providing them with the strength to change it. To tranquilize them is not the way. The explosion of bombs , the burning of napalm, the violent death of our neighbors and relatives, the pressure of time, noise, and pollution, the lonely crowds-these have all been created by the disruptive course of our economic growth. They are all sources of mental illness, and they must be ended." (Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist peace activist, The Path of Compassion, 1995. Quotation: Freedom Center)

Find the Soul Series-interviews for free on iTunes.


a photo-response to Enjoy the small things

Thursday, 5 June 2008


...from my desk at the temporary guest-room-exile. - Who said Indian Cress was annual?? This ethereal beauty flowers in its second year.

Sunday, 1 June 2008


Things happen. Some seem to emerge out of nowhere all of a sudden. Although even the greatest surprise often has been on its way for quite a while.

Something happened this past week. A great surprise - that had been on its way all along. It changes everything. Literally. Also this blog. In one way or the other. In momentary bewilderedness I thought about deleting both of my blogs. For now, I won't. But, also for now, I'm quite speechless, and I can't say for how long I will be.

What I can say is that this has become one of my favourite quotes: "Be still, and know that I am God." Thank you, Eleanor, thank you so much!

eternity in blue