What a beautiful photograph. Sits there begging to be studied. Rough and Smooth. Yin and Yang. One with wholesome, hard won ultimate contentment and uniformity. Whilst the other? Jagged/ragged experiences still attached, a life filled with imagined hoped fors that will polish away the unwanted baggage. This ‘top stone’ life more ultimately rounded than the other? Won by patience, allowing time to do it’s work in the process. Wearing away the rough edges to bring a gentler countenance. It got me thinking. Patience in waiting and ultimately achieving serenity and harmony? The Buddha under the tree, suffering, learning enhanced from gained, ongoing knowledge learnt and then finally seeking enlightenment. Time passes, a person’s endurance in seeking out the answers continues and finally enlightenment is realised. But only to precious few does the rough become smooth. You have to work at these realisations. You don’t get them handed to you on a platter.
A massive amount of recent news results in the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard situation completely turning around. He abused her…..now……she abused him. Both cases? Awaiting the final curtain. It never was a case of Johnny as guilty in my thoughts. I had a gut feeling when the news broke a few years back, that Johnny Depp, after Amber and her friends blamed him of abuse, was the victim of a wrongful accusation. He was being accused for something so uncharacteristic and bizarre to what I saw in his nature that led me to thinking that this was not really the ‘guy I’d followed’. Nothing ticked the boxes.
Ever since myself, my wife and my kids watched Edward Scissorhands we became fans in following his work in films. And what films they turned out to be. I remember reading info and dipping in and out of his lifestyle over those many years. The way other actors/actresses spoke about working with him. Always very fondly. Abuse! Actually attached to this guy I’d read about? No way. My picture of him was, and is, that of a bohemian, thirst seeker for information, a collector of all that life offers, interested in all other people, a rebel, a presenter of individual performances, humorous, shy and quirky. All artists with genius inherent have qualities that most of us, as lay people, can’t truly understand. Accompanying this lust for life and knowledge? An intelligence, gentleness, humour, humility, encourager to others and a deep interest of loving life for all it offers.
I try to feel and act this way when I meet patients. Trying to understand who they are, what they are, what they’ve been through, where their lives have been up to now. It is the aim I have to try for. Holistically, that is biologically, psychologically and socially, I try to glean what makes them tick. The quiet ones who seem to just get on with their healing and rehabilitate really well. Inner strength. Yet still need support, encouragement and feedback. Then there are the vocal ones who look negatively toward their illness and fail from complaining and looking for excuses. They can achieve. But inherently? They don’t seem to want to. They feed off the professionals that are involved in their care. Attention seeking. Playing a game that requires ‘failure” to keep in place the necessity of individualised interventions in their ‘attempt of fighting’ to get better. A glimmer of success is quickly challenged and the next day? Back to square one. But we, the multi disciplinary health team, all try, nonetheless, to encourage and support. And there it is. People who encourage, show compassion and support to others? They are essentially good people in their make up. Can you envisage a dark, unhealthy vindictive, viscous, nasty side to such a character? I can’t.
As said, in my thoughts here in WordPress, life has Ups and Downs. Each day challenges. Each week, month, year all challenge. Me? I changed every ten years or so. Musician, Potter, Writer, Photographer, Interpreter, Nurse. A Vegetarian for 46 years, with the off balance liking of occasional Booze and Baccy. An ongoing seeking of what life could or will offer. A process of interests and great times alongside a lot of turmoil and heartaches. Ups living alongside the Downs.
Johnny Depp? He kind of did, and does, all the above passions at once. And this latest crazy period in his life? Kept quiet over the last few years and then…….enough is enough. No more accusing or blaming land. If your buttons are pushed enough, then validation of innocence has to be pursued and proved.
And here begs the question. ‘Would he beat and abuse someone?’ You have to laugh. I should imagine (I’m obviously not an expert) that a person who is unhinged and tainted to such thoughts/matters would present unknowingly signs or behaviours with these inherent flaws and cannot hide these matters. Especially someone as high profile and consistently in the public arena as Johnny Depp. Somewhere in a life of continuous monitoring, slip ups would happen. I watched his career, through films, after, as said, my young children fell in love with Edward (Scissorhands). Nothing! Interviews of humour, lived experiences and insightfulness in many subjects. No interview ready false smiles and forced laughing resulting in him humorously smacking out at or pushing people. Just a natural, good humoured nature to his conversational exchanges. Look at the Jack Sparrow hospital visits. Play acting, naturally interactive, no forced nature and, all in all, good fun to have around. Compassion isn’t all seriousness. It’s provision of bringing welcome relief and a normality of happiness. Raising the spirits of others his ultimate aim.
Oh! That uploaded YouTube video. You know the one! I remember when I was younger. About 18 or 19 years old. We had a serious fire in my Mum and Dad’s house on Christmas Eve. The front room was gutted, the windows blown out onto the front lawn, the presents under the tree up in smoke and the whole house was a blackened, smoke damaged mess. Tensions were really high. Our Christmas was ruined. As the fractious situation and emotions of despair heightened I picked up a wooden stool, yelled and threw it at the wall. It was my outlet for frustrations. Was I proud of my actions? No, of course not. But it’s how I released my tension at that given moment. Rather like slamming cupboard doors or a wine glass thrown into a sink. Sometimes life simply overwhelms and you need to rid tensions. You don’t intentionally seek this intervention. It just happens in a flash because the body, soul and mind need release from underlying turmoil. On the other hand. Abusers? A whole different ballgame. Intention to harm others definitely inherent.
Johnny Depp films in my house? The video tapes began to gather shelf space, followed by those videos being replaced by DVDs and, ultimately, I’ve bought or my wife and kids have bought and collected all the videos/DVDs as they were released. Read and watched interviews. ‘Great guy’ we, as a family, all said. Buying the films? It became a ritual. Like my buying Lovejoy, the Good Life collections or different printed/illustrated versions of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Harry Potter books with Adults’ and Childrens’ friendly book covers, and David Mitchell Ghostwritten cover alternatives. Buying T.Rex and the Smiths/Morrisey albums. Not obsessive. Just homage to talent. OK! I admit. Obsessive…. and proud to be obsessive with artistry that gives me a lift.
But. Appropriately, considering the recent abuse allegations, when my kids were younger they felt peace with Benny and Joon, Gilbert Grape, Chocolat, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. These were beautifully fine characterisations and very watchable for the kids. Edward Scissorhands? Akin to my grandchildren watching ‘Frozen’. That is…….Watched a thousand times it feels. A Nightmare on Elm Street, Platoon, The Brave, Donnie Brasco, Arizona Dream, Don Juan de Marco, etc……..no! Why? Too….Edgy? No. Not at all. An exploration of story telling. But for an older audience. But as my children grew older? All his films came into play. Phone call exchanges and ‘Johnny’s got a new film coming out’ excitement. A family share of ‘Wow! What’s he exploring now?’ As an aside…….As a keen black and white film photographer using a SLR camera myself, I’m looking forward to his William Eugene Smith portrayal. I bet he gets it right full on as to how you hold and point a SLR camera in the proper way. How? Imagine cradling an old friend! And being blessed with the ability in looking out for and capturing that perfect moment in time? That’s a gift you have to be born with.
So………These times of the challenging and belittling words linked to worldwide media access? Very unsettling. In my other blog, concerning Johnny Depp and J K Rowling, I really tried to think about what is happening out there. I felt sad. Criticism, lack of true insight and the unfairness of it all. Trial by the Twitter, Facebook, etc, with a few sentences of shallow and poor analysis, or more correctly, ‘statement’ response of ‘Trolling’ nature…… inherent with abuse and accusations. I feel ultimately more than sad. I feel sick to my very core.
I’m a nurse. It has afforded me a humble insight into peoples’ insecurities, frailties and fragility’s. Either from biological disease, being psychological compromised or experiencing social injustice. All considerations to this holistic make up in our treatments and our aim to achieve wished for well being, balance and harmony for that person. Well being is a mixed affair and a rollercoaster ride. We strive day to day for some quality in our lives. We hit lows and fight to get back to some kind of normality. Sometimes we can’t fight and need a helping hand. And we don’t know each others’ insecurities, life’s poor ambitions or ill health. How it massively or minimally they affect each of us. So? Treat everyone as you would want to be treated yourself. With empathy, sympathy, goodness and respect basically.
By the way……….I’ve sat and talked with a few patients (only a few) with a history of past regrets. They provided information that astounded me. They reflect and open up. Whether it is because they consider themselves frail, fragile, old, with opportunity to finally speak about stuff they’ve kept under wraps? I have no idea. But. It got me thinking. If all the current viewpoints turn out to be true and Amber Heard is guilty. Can she, in the future, be allowed to rationalise and own up and explain her perceived actions? Were they borne from childhood, teenage or later experiences. Nature or nurture. People readily state the word “Narcissist” as the person Amber Heard actually is. The narcissist? The actual word and people it is attached to is, in itself, a massive complexity of definitions, character types, different symptoms and presentations. Any Google Scholar search, re: narcissist, will broaden your thinking, but at the same time, leave you utterly perplexed re: understanding. Would she reflect and discuss? I feel as uncomfortable with her now being slaughtered from the media, Twitter and Facebook as I did with Johnny Depp. Why do people perform this instant, reactive typed vicious response? Johnny Depp sat back and went quietly about gathering information for proof of what really happened. He needed to. His whole persona and image depended upon it. This gathering of proof was also in order to protect the future mental health and well being for himself, his children, his family, his friends and his fans. Wait until the final curtain.