czwartek, 24 października 2013

Elegy for a Lady/The Yalta Game

     I like going to the theatre. Theatre possesses almost magic power to insulate me from my own reality and to  catapult me to a different realm. It’s a vicarious escape. It’s such a refreshing and enriching experience to step out of one’s current frame of mind and to step into the tumultuous world of others. If I tend to be a self-centered, self-absorbed individual on a daily basis (who isn’t anyway?), theatre ticket takes me on an over one hour journey to the world where I transform myself into a hyper-empath. Suffering and dramatic conflicts of others temporarily desensitizes my own existential pain.Theatre is all about emotions and complications they bring to our lives. That is why it’s so cathartic. Theatre broadens our horizons, teaches empathy, and enhances our self-awareness. It perfectly features complexities that we all face in our private and public relationships.

     On Saturday 12th of October, I stepped out of the comfort zone of my lovely room and went to see Salisbury Playhouse’s new production, two short plays: Elegy for a Lady and the Yalta Game. The plays were staged at the small and cosy Salberg Studio. It is not surprising why these two works have been placed together:  they have many things in common. Both plays are very intimate and tell the stories of adulterous love between a middle-aged man and a younger woman. Both use just two characters, captivatingly performed by Mark Frost and Ruth Everett. Both works have an emotional spell and strong element of fantasy around them. They are equally thought-provoking, absorbing and moving to watch. They also feel intimate within the tiny Salberg studio. Two short plays were written by two of the 20th century’s finest playwrights – Arthur Miller (All My Sons, Death of a Salesman) and Brian Friel (Faith Healer, Dancing at Lughnasa).

Winter Treasures

In winter when the trees are sound asleep
And the skies are queenly blue and clear
I walk, not minding where I tread
To lose myself in nature’s treasury.

I wade through soft beds of lustrous snow
And watch the twinkling ice and frosty gold,
Crystal flakes and fluffy crests in white
Charm my eyes and wake my soul’s delight.

A milllion, million gleaming rainbow stars
Seem blinking on the snowy ground
A million, million glorious pearls and gems
Are squeking under my light step.

There is a magic spell in a chilly day like this
The wind’s breath froze to death in pure bliss
And from the gilded, dazzling plain around
 Comes no movement and no sound.

I’m far away from home now, must return
Before the Sun ends his majestic sojourn
I made friends with the trees and the frozen lake
Yet, so far from mankind
a frosty pang of loneliness I felt.



Spokojne wody Twej łagodności opływają mnie
Drgające nurty Twego ciepła, Twej delikatności
Wygładzają moje kanty
Szlifujesz mnie niczym diament.
Już niebawem z ostrej bryłki żwiru
Otoczakiem się stanę.

środa, 23 października 2013

The symptoms of major depressive disorder

Source: Angels on Atypical Psychology by Matt Jarvis, Dave Putwain, Diana Dwyer
Nelson Thornes, 2002.

The symptoms of major depression come and go in cycles. During a depressive episode, symptoms can  be extremely severe. Most people who experience a major depressive episode go on to experience further episodes. Ususally depressive episodes last from from four to six months, but there are exceptions and some episodes last over a year. Thornicroft and Sartorius (1993) calculated that the average patient with major depression is depressed 27.5% of the time.

A     Five (or more) of the following symptoms have been present during the same two-week period and
        represent a change from previous functioning; at least one of the symptoms is either (1) depressed
        mood or (2) or loss of interest or pleasure.

Note: Do not include symptoms that are clearly due to a general medical condition, or mood-incongruent delusions or hallucinations.

  1. Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicatd by either subjective report (e.g. feels sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g. appears tearful). Note: In children and adolescents,can be irritable mood.
  2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day (as indicated by either subjective account or observation made by others).
  3. Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g. change of more than 5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in apetite almost every day. Note: In children, consider failure to make expected weight gains.
  4. Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day.
  5. Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness of being slowed down).
  6. Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
  7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional) nearly every day (not merely self-reproach or guilt about being sick).
  8. Dimisnished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others).
  9. Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for commiting suicide.
B      The symptoms do not meet criteria for a mixed episode.
C      The symptoms causeclinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other
         important areas of functioning.
D      The symptoms are not due to the direct psysiological effects of a substance (e.g. drug of abuse, a
         medication), or a general medical condition (e.g. hypothyroidism).
E      The symptoms are not better accounted for by bereavement, i.e. after the loss of a loved one, the
        symptoms persist for longer than 2 months or are characterised by marked functional impairment,
        morbid preoccupation with worthlessness, suicidal ideation, psychotic symptoms, or psychomotor

To the Playful Wind

 Windy Weather. Borrowed from: Internet gallery"Boris & Yuri" - contemporary abstract & realistic landscape painting & drawing. Exhibition & sale of painting works & drawings by the Moscow artists YURI & BORIS KUDRYAVTSEVS ©

In velvet shoes the restless wind
Meanders through the woods and fields
He brushes leaves and blades of grass
With gentle, trembling breathe.
With gentle, trembling breathe ...
He makes them dance and sing.

With whirls of dust, he journeys free
And climbs the crowns of tallest trees
He gives their branches playful shakes
And makes them hum and sway….
And makes them hum and sway.

 With stronger blow and bolder kiss
He robs the branches of their leaves
And for an instant gives them wings
And lets them drift and swirl …
And lets them drift and swirl.

They circle in his soft embrace
The vivid yellows and hectic reds
Perform the scenes of magic bright
A brilliant display of autumn’s art
Then softly settle down…
And rest upon the ground.

With silky movements, here and there
The wind casts wrinkles on the lake
Then like a flighty ghost he slips away.
Where? Maybe to the magic realm
Maybe to the land of dream … or heaven.