Cold, Poverty and NDIS

There is a sound like an aircraft taking off. I would have said tinnitus but I think it is the roaring of blood pressure reacting to the sheer brutality of not being warm in any way for weeks. It  is painful being cold all the time. You get desperate. You sleep fully dressed over days at a time because  getting undressed lets the cold in and sucks up energy. This apartment should be warm. They can be warmed a little just by closing them up and letting the water-heater do it. The problem is that to close this one up locks me in here with all the dust and poisonous fumes. These days even new clothes give off formaldehyde a lot of the time and as clothing doesn’t last very long any more there is always an element of toxic new clothing in an apartment.

Fumes from computer motherboards and various processors can make an office space deadly for users when the machines are new and for a year or more after that. The last place I lived had fans placed in the windows and blowing across the desk for many months after a new computer and then again after some parts were replaced even in winter. With that extreme treatment the fumes still made me ill and caused powerful mood swings and insomnia. In the last place there was also outside storage for all the poisonous things that have to be kept in piles in here. That is how poverty kills you. I wasn’t in poverty until I was finally driven out of my choice of private rental and into this socialist, government-supplied, bus stop. I just didn’t have much money. Now I live in squalor, tripping over my own feet in piles of poisonous possessions with no proper assistance because nobody can clean in here without damaging the paintings. Being crippled is doubly painful and frustrating when you have to have to twist between piles of paintings to sit in the only chair.

My neighbor died. Maybe he went into care.  He was taken away a month ago with lung cancer, brain bleeds, and stuff. Some people came and emptied out his apartment tonight and today. I could hear them parceling out what was left of his possessions as they carted it away. He had been robbed many months ago when some woman he trusted took off with his car and bank account. The story I heard from another woman who came to look after him was he called police and the bank but nobody would help. That woman turned up with her family and took as much valuable stuff as they could carry. Not only was he dying badly, he was stripped of all his cash and transport and appliances as well. They took his little dogs. He had three or four that never stopped barking. They put them down because they wanted his wallet not his animals I guess. They did that to the dog belonging to the woman opposite. She was well into her nineties and had been in this hole for twenty five years or so. She died and her family put the dog down immediately. Am I repeating myself? It is hard to escape things that are constants. You might talk about your family, your job and your holidays. I talk about pain and cold and the deaths of people around me. I talk about poverty and loss because there is nothing else any more.

The attempt to get what I wanted from NDIS before I signed anything with a provider has failed. I am too ill. The pain and cold are too big to allow me the luxury of working through the people who might be available. A few providers were phoned but there are thousands and you have to vet each one. They want grant money and there is no way to tell which one is hiding behind a good marketing facade and which is the one you want. On top of that I decided that the endless reams of paperwork supplied to try and stop Family and Community Services from their threatening behavior over recent years were unacceptable unless I was funded for the bookkeeping, document making and lack of rest. It wasn’t even reasonable then because I am crippled. Crippled people are limited in their joyful ability to embrace massive amounts  of work.

There was that letter from the Anti-Discrimination Board where the writer thought he was informing me of the way things were when he was really  informing me that I woulkd never get through their sense of entitlement and attitude of snide superiority to a place where any help might be given.

The NDIS paperwork was handed to a provider with no real hope life would remain at the low quality it presently holds. Moan, moan moan right!

There is a little bit of art making. It is being experienced through the lens of all the things above and most days or nights embracing the mental state to create anything is not possible.

There was a trip to get a CT scan and they found nothing. Blood tests found some problems with some gland I cannot remember (thyroid) and there will be more tests. My stomach feels as though someone reamed it out with a cheese grater most of the time.

A little art amidst great swaying pillars of pain and loss and cold and confused solitude. It takes an insane amount of determination to make marks. There have been some though. The right kind of loud music seems to act as a key to a part of the mind accessed in no other way. The creative part. Not pop music or country or western. Bluegrass maybe. Rock and roll, electric house and even Vivaldi and Beethoven. If it gets to the point where I am standing with a mark making device in my hand the music will carry me into the dream. Deep Purple, Nick Cave, B52’s. The feeling of being in the dream and experiencing the visions is enough to make me dance in front of the canvas. Sing. Smile. It is not the only thing to smile about but it is the most purely pleasurable. It is so even when the idea being expressed is monstrous.

Distressed Chicken on a Stick has been revisited and looks like the art of the Naive School or even a distant relation of the work of the warm and wonderful Grandma Moses. Disintegrating rooster. Who can that be about?

The major work is something called “Before the High Priests of Mammon” It is a drag down and vicious battle with all those things above. Then it is a flow of pure joy as the marks emerge from the music. Did I never know how to paint? We haven’t covered the amnesia. Truly! Did I ever know how to paint? There are a number of smaller works growing in an attempt to relearn how to handle paint for the large work but most things are held in a glue of cold and pain that leaves my staring at movies trying to stay warm instead of making anything. I think it is an important painting. It is about all this from the point so often ignored or suppressed. My side. Not me. It is essentially from the side of the people who have watched the march of investors, developers, economically over-endowed and privileged as they have taken everything and turned the comfy and safe futures of the low income earner’s world to one of loss and poverty as surely as if this was the potato crop failures in Ireland, the land wars in Scotland and the shedding of the Jews, Gypsys, degenerate artists, handicapped and weak in pre-WW2 Germany.

I am warm for now. Some coffee and then maybe some music. There is an arm on one of the high priests needing to be rendered and resisting my efforts. A little more music to carry my wounded soul into the dreaming with the muses

We have all been struggling with the small text in here. It is a big job to change the theme and reintegrate all the ads and services and Im not well enough. Soon though. Dont give up on me yet!

Before the High Priests of Mammon. Acrylic and graphite on ply. Still at the drawing stage

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