The Poetic Nursing Heart

Does that make me crazy? 


Does that make me crazy? 

Does that make me crazy? 

“Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein.”  

Whoever battles monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster himself. And when you look long into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you 


I often feel I might be mad. I try to work and live my life as an effective, empathic, caring, knowledgeable, wise nurse, parent, partner and friend, but there are times when barriers seem to surround me, and a fantasy world seems preferable.  The ever-higher hurdles involved in submitting my work on the arts and the training of nurses have driven me close to crazy…. 

The song by Gnarles Barkley is a truly beautiful insight into a world I call the GAP. This gap is a place that I perceive fits between the fantasy and the reality of life. His lyrics are astounding, and they ask an important question about the misperceptions of crazy and the fallacy of control.  

I remember when I remember, 

I remember when I lost my mind 

There was something so pleasant about that place 

Even your emotions have an echo in so much space 

And when you’re out there without care 

Yeah, I was out of touch 

But it wasn’t because I didn’t know enough 

I just knew too much 

Does that make me crazy? 

Does that make me crazy? 

Does that make me crazy? 


And I hope that you are having the time of your life 

But think twice, that’s my only advice 

Come on now, who do you, who do you, who do you 

Who do you think you are 

Ha ha ha, bless your soul 

You really think you’re in control 

I have Come to another impasse. Not a wall set by others. Or a challenge of a social position. No. they are not barriers, as I will always find a way around under or over those barriers. As they are limited being linearly or algorithmically designed. Or are they defined using a different set of parameters to mine. Parameters I cannot see. Does that make me crazy? 

My biggest barriers are those set within the subconscious and in order to understand and dispel them I have yearly solution focused therapy. Does that make me crazy? I have fallen upon the one subconscious, The Jungian highly contested Universal Subconscious’ the more I learn the more this becomes a genuine and central reality. The sat, chit, Ananda (existence, consciousness, bliss) I have tattooed on my left forearm is a reminder of this process of deconstructing to become. The first step is accepting and acknowledging that we exist. The second step is that of the emergence of consciousness.  

I have an upcoming play to define and script. ‘THE TABLE OF CONSCIOUSNESS’ I don’t need it fully scripted, but I need the skeleton. I felt that to get there I need to find a route map ‘to the farther reaches of Humanity’ (Maslow). I need to understand a few things. I have questions about why am I looking to be valued? Why do I not feel valued in my Role? What is the play asking and answering as a creative expression…? What drives my expression and feeling of loneliness? Why am I driven to self-destruction? 

Each year I set out on this adventure like ‘Frodo Baggins’ the exploration of self or perception of self with a therapist. This time I have a target and I have asked for a therapist who understands the neurodiverse mind. The expression of further understanding your identity is vital in the intention to grow not only as a person but more as a progressive part of the needs for social change. Even if your impact on that change is to ask the questions to the hearts of a few others dreaming of a community focused around the truest expression of love.  

Maslow like myself sees the evolution of self being like a death of a past within your present form. He calls it the alter of your own false identity. Within Albert Camus book a ‘happy death’ (2013) he defines life as being a stage on which to die. The death of self is pivotal as otherwise your life will be engulfed and drowned by the materialist narcissism that has become the highest social tide there has ever been. Go to any city centre and see the people there all trying to illicit something of a joy, almost anything that replicates the gap internal which will and can only be sustained by unconditional love. But it’s not just city centres this is spreading to the homes and schools across the world.  

The stigma associated with admitting and accessing mental health and therapy services is further driving men and women into constant opposition with their own sense of self identity. The explosion happening in the subconscious of many is just not being expressed therefore more and more people are asking themselves as Gnarles Barkley does… DOES THAT MAKE ME CRAZY?? 

I adore that part of my personality and I have learnt to accept and embrace it. I have a Hatters hat that I keep close as a reminder that within all of us there is the part that is socially inappropriate but more than that what Lewis Carrol was saying about our world through the lens of the looking glass was that without a sense of self and a method of self-protection /awareness we like the hatter would be locked within an industry using chemicals each day that would make us feel mad.  


Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” famously features an eccentric character called the Hatter, who’s referred to in the story as “mad” and became popularly known as the Mad Hatter. However, the phrase “mad as a hatter,” used to describe someone who’s crazy or prone to unpredictable behaviour, didn’t originate with Carroll. Instead, the expression is linked to the hat-making industry and mercury poisoning. In the 18th and 19th centuries, industrial workers used a toxic substance, mercury nitrate, as part of the process of turning the fur of small animals, such as rabbits, into felt for hats. Workplace safety standards often were lax and prolonged exposure to mercury caused employees to develop a variety of physical and mental ailments, including tremors (dubbed “hatter’s shakes”), speech problems, emotional instability and hallucinations. 


The scene is set, I have the music in my mind I have the images to adorn the walls and be illuminated for the audiences sensory and perceptual pleasure. My hope is the table of consciousness will become a touring theatre production and will live alongside the audience growing in its intellect as its fed by the stories of the people. So less a play and more a symbiote.  

This Table of consciousness needs some explaining as it has been a place of happiness and destruction for me but it truly came to life in the conversations shared between me and my truest friends. These truths have then been collected by me like dreams caught in the Net of the Big Friendly Giant (Dahl). We have drawn close together and have accepted our fallibilities and tendencies to fail. Within that place of trust, we have them moved to express traumas. These have been personal social, physical and psychological in nature they have been from the grey spaces between the fantasy and reality gap. In sharing them, we have all grown as people.  

I wanted and have always seen spaces of becoming as being too rare in our dead social spaces and I believed there was no community for me to express my eccentric madness, nowhere I could adorn my hat strip myself naked of the garbs of social positioning and truly form a sense of love for me, Tom the hobo poet the broken boy child. A place to deal with my perceptions of sexuality, role and success as a non-toxic effeminate male. Not for me but for my hopes for my boys and my role within that place of parenting but more importantly my role as a partner and husband.  

So, I have two parts of my triangle of outputs now.  

The wandering Lamb is set for publishing in the next couple of months.  

Then I have a date for my first play 13th of April 2023 ‘The table of consciousness’ which will be my fullest expression of self-awareness. Combining my research themes form my art exhibitions and the music of my view on the true and false self-paradigms.  


This #Hobopoet has found kin and community amongst the arts folk. Dr Sam Bailey has found me and is slowly helping me to cut the strings that have bound me for so many years that my form is fearful that it does not have the strength to stand unbound and unoppressed. As Freire found in his initial research with pedagogy of the oppressed. (1970) Often the people he spoke to talked of the oppressors in a favourable light suggesting that they the oppressed were worth nothing greater than that they had been granted. I refute and refuse to believe this any longer built there is a risk I believe as without the ballast I am likely to rise and with this new view am I going to look upon the process of doctoral attainment with fondness or dismissal?  

So, I finish with two questions, Am I crazy? And what is knowledge?  if bound so tight by process that you deliver a thesis that is DOA. or more likely dead on examination DOE 

If you want to find me, I will be staring into the void for an eternity in the hope of seeing that darkness split with the arrival of light.  

If you want to have the void accompanied, so the trauma of being taunted by the ghosts of insanity or the heavy-laden forms of the past seem less burdensome, then use this pure and tortured soul of a musician as company as I think his sounds still echo there for eternity.  

Your perspective gets hazy, as you ask a Dasie what to do what to do. 

Imagination is silly, you go around willy nilly 

For example, I go around wanting you 

And yet I cant imagine you want me too

The Love of self comes ahead of the love from others.  


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