The Poetic Nursing Heart

The patron and the colour Blue.


The patron and the colour Blue.

On the eve of developing the final installation on my amazing and challenging doctoral journey. The bridge I find myself at now is that of putting together the final links. I have devised three distinctive spaces for references: Kintsugi / Jung /and kaleidoscope (links below).


These spaces are less about the accumulation of facts or proofs and more about thinking and the movement of being. That’s why I have asked for a physical space to be co-constructed with and for me to express what I see as the true meaning of trust, trauma and love. These central and vital themes have emerged like a refiners work from a raku fire.

So, what of patronage, why is the patron important? I focus on the colour blue to make a point. This point will rest on materialism and fantasy. It will dance across the certain and the divine. The sublime and the chaos that I argue are needed so badly if we are to progress.

Lapis lazuli the earliest forms of blue pigment were extracted from the semi-precious limestone rock mixture ‘lapis lazuli’. Originating from the Middle East, in particular, Afghanistan, the word’s etymology comes from the Latin ‘lapis’, which translates into ‘stone’, and ‘lazuli’ meaning ‘blue’. (

The high cost of this colour moved many artists into a position of having to develop a relationship with a patron. This was essential if the artist was to be afforded a space and access to otherwise unaffordable materials. Famous relationships include the heady mix of the Medici family and Michelangelo or the Sforza family and da Vinci.  This relationship produced some of the most important and lasting works of the era. (

What does this have to do with Me and my Final installation for my PhD?

Currently my list of references is almost inexhaustible, the layers of inspiration come from many books, Journals, poems, artists, musicians, views, smells, places, people, tastes, animals and feelings. Some of these elements are hard to accurately cite and therefore the world of my thinking that spans the boarders of fantasy and reality needs to be expressed in an authentic, personalised, blended and visceral experience to get close to the intended meaning through movement and being.

Robb Stark a central character within ‘Game of Thrones’ told Bran Stark about a story Old Nan told him in the past. “One time she told me the sky is blue because we live inside the eye of a blue-eyed giant named Macumber,” Robb told his younger brother. Bran replied, “Maybe we do. “My hope is to move more people into an open aesthetic position, where they might accept more of the fantasy thinking needed to make small changes to what Freire called ‘systems of oppression.’ 

So where do we start with helping others embrace the idea of the blue-eyed giant. A child will find it playful and exciting to believe that we live within the eye of a giant named Macumber. However, as adults we automatically struggle with this flight of fantasy. My feeling is that this is the part that dies within the linear educational oppression of compliance and meeting markers of attainment. SATS/CATS/BATS/GCSEs/BSE/BTEC/GTEC/DEGREES/DUNGAREES I know that I play but I feel sadly this is the biggest fantasy killer.  The more I read of deeper thinkers musing, the more I realise that often there was a joy in the simple pursuit of happiness. The lasting happiness that is sustaining. Not the shorter happiness of dopamine fixing that is now dominant in our society and epidemic within our children’s.  Some argue that this is to do with the pace of the world and the lack of spare time, but this may be just an attempt to appease or hide the harm being done as maladaptive behaviours are best held in the shadows.

My work and my hopes are guarded and protected by myself and now many others. The blog space and related nurse training support group called the Poetic Nursing heart is a space of love and hope. Its central ethos being a desire to move many nurses and other vocational learners to a point of being a true-self practitioner and therefore away from self-defensive or mechanistic care ‘

Recently I was fortunate to meet with two wonderful doctoral researchers; Melanie King and her work on ancient light, rematerializing the astronomical image and Skye William Eade and the links he was making between Art, dyslexia, and the sublime nature of creativity. These moments felt important because of the associations they created. In my mind multiple new links were formed making a truth of a place of unknowing. This is so vital as its momentum for my mind as suggested by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi the flow theorist, it’s a space of highly focused thinking conducive to the creative world of becoming.

Context and clarity (I can feel my supervisor wishing for more guidance and explanation)

Recently I completed a 12hr shift within a busy emergency department and I recognised the vital nature of my research within the needs and traumas carried by both the patient presenting and the practitioners offering the care. It was within this space that the same narratives circled, like vultures over the social carcass of health care provision. I could see and feel how the position of the privileged policy makers continued to push both trauma, fear and judgement together. I argue that this is intentional and can see that it is very demoralising as within an accident and emergency department there is simply too much trauma to be able to humanise. Compassion fatigue and the loss of self in the care professions is palpable.

My Journey as a Nurse poet is clear to me now. I must look to create space. Spaces not confined or manipulated. Spaces left to form with organic values and love. Spaces that allow for positions of healing and conversation. Spaces that will offer a longer and more sustained happiness for those working close to trauma who have been silenced and don’t have the strength to push back above the rising tide.

Back to the patron and the hopes for all the colours imaginable with which to construct the final installation. The reading will not ever come to an end as its less about the books and more about the associations between them. As the interactive reference lists attempt to show. The links are often obvious but sometime ethereal and sometimes divine or principial. That thinking is the lapis Lazuli

Tolle and power of now working with the Flow theory of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and the silence at times mirrored within Martin Lairds into the silent land. Ken Robinsons Imagine if; reflected in the waters of the soul and the Anam Cara by John O’Donoghue.

The list is always malleating like the waters of the sacred river. But as Buddha suggested to Ananda when asked for water to be collected. Ananda did not show the patience needed to allow the water to simply flow not be collected in haste or to be ignored. It was about allowing the movement to clear the water ready for it to offer sustenance and blessing.

I have a pond of people and books that all sing for attention and interconnect  
Barbara Tversky neuroscience of movement
The Hermit to the trinity art installation
The Cloud of unknowing Meiser Eckhart
What happened to you? Perry and Oprah
Iconic meditation with Brother Bernard
My time of breaking the self to know….
The first voice in meditation is ego.
Confucius theory of ebb and flow
Herman Hesse in Siddhartha, Vasudeva the water
The testament of Van de berks
Kierkegaard’s fear and trembling and the painful aesthetics of love
Goethe thinking spaces making the fantasy a reality

Spinoza and the intent to buy his intellect

Plato’s republic and politics within us all
Damasio and his world of shape and community
Druids, tribes and cultures of being not writing

Art music poetry… and the truth of spaces between the finite and infinite

I am aware and I can see the lines that meet between the patient and the nurse. The dissonance of pain and expectation. Its services and people that have the potential for change but are caught in a destructive relationship hosted by an ignorant and oppressive government.

Within this Poem

 I offer you the Chambers of my heart

 So be kind and tread lightly


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