Riverside Church, Looe in Cornwall. It’s was a wonderful Church day. …Aaaaawwww it was so lovely. The Church was packed. We sung ‘Love Divine’. The whole sermon by (Biddy Bishop) was about ‘Love.’ Off for a walk in the sunshine now.
Extract from my (not soon to be published) illustrated book, ‘Lincoln Of The Woods.’
‘With one strike of his knife against the flint he starts a fire in the snow. The kindling is amber and glows like the moon above. The animals draw near and are relieved to feel Lincoln’s soft, warm breath. They wait for his story and the cadence of his soporific nonsense.
Bread and Pumpkin soup. Lincoln spreads it around. Gives it out. Warms it up. Offers it up. The lost travellers and the woman with no name take it, smell it and eat it and even the stray dog smiles through that hearty, nurturing bites.
…and his story continues
Let us say that the heart is as big as the oceans we see and the oceans we have never seen. Let’s say too that the capacity to love is more than those stars. More than 3,657 double decker buses. More than 178,800 rolls of toilet paper piled high, longer than a piece of string and bigger than Elvis and bigger than Levis.
Let us imagine that Love is that.
(He yawns. An Owl hoots. The dog scratches at a flea).
…and let us imagine that Hate, in comparrison, is the size of a lentil. Let’s imagine that.(
(The fire in the snow crackles, spits, whispers, glows and dances)
It’s a starlit night.
Thank Goodness! ponders Owl – no pitch tone donkey braying Kumbaya tonight’
Survivor. Artist. Poet. Musician. Trained Nurse. Lecturer. Masters Degree Artist. Public Speaker no. 11 Downing Street. Public Speaker for the ‘National Autistic Society’ House of Commons. Winner of a Koestler Award. Winner of arts Council Award. Survivor of incest and child sexual abuse. Survivor of Depression. Survivor of maternal thalidomide prescription. Postal Worker. Cleaner. Housekeeper. Diswasher. Community Support Worker. Victim and Survivor of multiple violent Hate Crime Attacks. Comedian, National Theatres. Live Literature , Slam poet, National Arts Venues and Theatres. Worship Leader. Guitarist, Singer/Songwriter. Folders of up to a hundred National Qualifications and Certificates.Never used violence/Never fought Back. Survivor of Police neglect, disability discrimination, homophobia, transphobia. – I have friends.And Friend. I am a good friend, I open my heart up to others. Always.
Earlier, in September I was attacked. It was, absolutely terrifying. My friends on Social Media helped me so much. Here is my Thank You to them:
‘Update. Thank You for your kind responses after my recent traumatic experience. Again, my apologies if I don’t respond, I am still recovering. As you can see my injuries are healing well, although emotionally and psychologically – I have a long way to go. At first, I was intent on staying indoors and not venturing out or meeting up with my outreach worker. However, I quickly realised that the effects of that isolation would detriment my independence. I have been walking everyday (for hours on end) to get fresh air, exercise and combat the isolation, anxiety and fear. I have not yet been back to Church, but I hope to this coming Sunday. I have been getting food and even made chips tonight and a home made curry sauce. Thank You so much for your kindness everyone it has made the world of difference. You have no idea how grateful I am. Lots of Love, Alyster. ‘
and another attack in Looe just to add to the collection. 2018. Reason: Transphobic.
Since my last bout of depression, I have been constantly walking for hours and cycling. Anything to keep moving. Here is me earlier today with Looe Island behind me.I have been collecting leaf shaped ornaments from charity shops for years. Today I found the little advocado bowls and plates. They are so cute (see picture) the green bowl sits right in the groove of the plate. The wooden led light cross was a gift from my friend Catherine and the dried grasses are picked as a little autumn dried arrangement (of sorts) I’m trying to find ways to nurture my soul. The weather has been beautiful today, but when the rain and cold come, I will still be out walking. And then maybe make one of the recipes from my library book in my slow cooker. As always, Thank You everyone for your kindness and friendship. x. (oh! and I subscribed to Ultimate guitar chord ap and am currently practicing ‘Knock knock knock on Heaven’s door’.)
Rev Andrew Day and Rev Chloe Jones
I have framed the two portraits of my Minister, Rev Andy Day, and Priest. Rev Chloe Jones. Liskeard and Looe, Methodist Church District, Cornwall.
Soon to be on their way to respective manses as a gift of gratitude for their kindness, support, inclusivity, and shocking senses of humour.
Ps, edit. I also want to paint, yet another Kind Minister – Rev Mark Pengelly, the former Superintendent of our district Methodist Churches. And we share a passion for John Deeres. See Less
‘Good Morning beautiful people. I won’t stay too long on FB, or I will be late for Church. I’m so pleased mine is open again. I tend to get isolated, so it will be lovely seeing friends. Xxx’
I have been so happy this weekend as my Church opened for a service. It’s so good to wear something other than hoodies and joggers.
1h · Shared with Public
And what did our hands do?
did they get washed or wash themselves or did we wash them for twenty minutes?
And what did our hands feel?
did they feel the touch of someone loved or someone hated?
did they hold gently with another passing. Passing through?
And what did our hands do?
When everything was locked.
Did they find a key to unlock compassion?
Did they find a weapon to unlock more crap, more shit, more hate?
And what did our hands do?
did they help someone up from the pavement?
did they hand out food?
did they raise and vote for more disparity of wealth?
did they find a middle finger to salute a voice of vitriol?
did they take a knife to the rope from the tree to a loved one?
And what did our hands do?
Did they write scribbled notes on a census?
Did they heal From attack?
Did they play a lute, or piano or did they bang on a drum in protest?
What did our hands do?
And what did our hands do before and what do our hands do now and what will our hands do tomorrow?
Did they squeeze themselves into powdered blue rubber gloves to lift a dying woman, a dying child, a new born baby, an old man, a drunken magistrate with his flies left unzipped, a cancer patient waiting for a letter, a homeless person taking their last frost breath of the morning, to check a foetal heartbeat and turn it into vision on the black and white screen, to push a wheelchair into an ambulance, to wipe away spit from a hate crime expert on the streets, to sweep the streets, to tick a vote, to cut his hair, to trim her toenails, to brush their false teeth and gently place them in a bowl by the sink – ensuring the owner would still wake up and smile the next morning
What did our hands do?
Did they grab ass cheeks?
hold a chin and cheeks to gently kiss the end of their nose?
Did they rip the Electric Bill and throat from a loan shark?
Did they sign a name away to wilderness?
Did they silently sign in a language without acoustics?
Did they gesture to friends to come forward?
Did they gesture to friends to fuck off?
Did they grab the world’s weight in toilet paper?
Did they hold themselves up to enemy and provide a feeble defence?
Did they open the door to the street to sing for the Carers?
Did they topple a statue into the river?
Did they put a child to bed and open a jaded storybook and cover a yawn?
Did they shake?
Did they tremble?
Did they reach out?
Did they reach out for help?
Did they push away help?
Did they point a finger in ignorance?
Did they always put on a mask? Did they scramble in a bag or pocket for a mask?
Did they pick up a book?
Did they cook spaghetti?
Did they wipe away tears?
Did they drive a tractor?
Did they scramble for the zoom mute button?
Did thy pick up a phone to fill up a vacuum of loneliness?
Did they open palm in prayer?
Did they slap their owner’s face did they kill?
Did they heal?
Did they pick up a teaspoon to feed the very young and the very old?
Did they save a life?
Did they dance?
Before, during and after
Did they dance through
A person doesn’t need ‘curing‘ of the richness, beauty and diversity of that which makes that person.
Mr. Alyster Gynn. 2021
I am looking forward to Church tomorrow morning. I get the chance to see some lovely friends again and sit within the beautiful architecture of Riverside Church in Looe.Many a time, I have taken great care to write about and openly Thank my priests from the circuit and all of those involved in pastoral care and safeguarding. This has been essential to me and I have been shown so much Love as well as being guided to explore my own heart too and share my art skills and music with as many as possible.
All without judgement and that is essential within a Methodist – or any – religious, spiritual sector when one is openly from (and for his entire lifetime) part of LGBTQIA communities.I also wanted to update you as friends, generally, too.I am, currently, still being ‘safeguarded‘ as a vulnerable adult.
This is with good reason.
I am indebted to those professionals whom are really and cohesively bringing exceptionally high standards of ‘safeguarding practice’ … thus allowing me to still live within a relatively safe environment.But there are still challenges. Organisations, Corporate bodies and even Public Bodies can hold a diverse range of actions, views and interpretations of what ‘Safeguarding’ is.
At a stage, now, when I am able to Zoom and attend Microsoft meetings, it is possible that I have the ‘voice’ to convey my experiences. My apologies that this write up or update sounds like the premise for a Sociology homework assignment. I realise it is dry.
I still have art, music and poetry projects on the go. They stop, however, when my priority becomes more basic and that would be going to the local shops to get food safely. I emphasise SAFELY here.
As always, you know that I am so indebted to Social media friends. Those whom I have met in real time, those whom I hope to meet one day and those whom we meet and share kindness and love through a virtual world. Love transcends via wi-fi and the stars.
Once upon a time ago … I was invited on to the morning BBC and ITV news channels to speak about my experience of Autism (on behalf of The National Autistic Society)A naughty question by a host threw me. It was something like …’and do you hope to be cured.’I didn’t understand, at that time, many years ago the broader context or loaded question toward someone with a ‘communication disorder.’
What I should have replied was … there is no cure for autism and a bloody good job too.In a similar vein, the question of being ‘cured’ of my previous homosexuality or transgender identity would or could echo the same.
There is no cure and a bloody good job too.
A person doesn’t need curing of the richness and diversity of that which makes that person.
The sun is shining here in Cornwall. The seagulls are excited and squawking at the potential of someone dropping a chip. The image is of my favourite lamp. All reclaimed car pieces and a wire curled ball shade. An Edison style bulb. But the poetry is a loose strand of flexible loose wire. And of course I flexed it into a word. Love Wishing everyone a lovely Easter I have my shorts on, my legs are like a gnarled chestnut tree. But they remain strong.And in today’s sunshine – My chin will be up.
50You, Linda Innes, Jacquie Hadfield and 47 others27 Comments
True Story. Lincoln.Dedicated to ‘Lincoln.’ My 60th Birthday celebrates too, my lost twin.I name him. After sixty years. I name him.I name him and remember him.
My twin. Lincoln.His name is Lincoln. As we approach midnight I say Hello and Goodbye to my twin in one breath.(A medida que nos acercamos a la medianoche, le digo hola y adiós a mi gemelo de una vez)My 60th Birthday is his too.
That he was still born and that ‘we’ were ‘Siamese twins’ (As Mum has explained to me since I was 8 years old)…Resonates with me now as I approach this birthday tomorrow.
(added clarification 29th July. My Mother was always mistaken in her understanding of identical twins and years later, I did explain and discuss that we could not have been identical. nonetheless, she decribed how we were adhered at our backs but “broke away during the birth”, My Nana, maternal grandmother also described my brother too. The details of such and my Mum’s prescription of thalidomide is written about in my official Cambridge autism research centre diagnosis, as the practitioners interviewd my Mum at great length)
back to original and continued …That he was ‘stillborn’ and cremated in the domestic wood burning stove without ceremony or naming has hung with me for … 60 years. That my Mother was prescribed thalidomide to ease her morning sickness has to be great.Never, in my life time, would I have wanted my Mother to feel sick.The drug took my brother. We were joined back to back.He had no arms or legs, I did and I survived.At 5lbs and jaundiced on a cold, dank, Cornish, damp farm – I survived Deli Farm, Delabole, Cornwall. Now a contemporary wind farm or such – once my Grandfather’s property.
When I was 11 years old At Launceston College, I greeted 100 pupils with a statement that would leave anyone confused.Remember, this was pre my formal autism diagnosis from Cambridge Autism Research Centre thirty years after.Remember, this was pre my formal diagnosis of ‘severe gender dysphoria’ and transition female to male from the Gender Clinic…. A new School, new friends, new environment, new plimsoles. Don’t blow it.At assembly in the BIG HALL, a teacher looking through the register asked (randomly) … ‘Is any one of you a twin!?’I shot my hand up with pure delight.I knew the answer to this. “I am!“ I exclaimed“I am!” I announced excitedly”…” but he’s dead” I added. I explained further… We were joined at our backs … We were Siamese like kittens?
A hall of children and blanket silence (I remember) The teachers silent (I remember) The rubber of a sea of plimsoles on polished wood gave off a smell of innocence and Mr. Sheen. In the vast building of a thousand pupils and too many teachers – one sound resonated over my odd and silencing childhood public announcement… Brett’s fart.That and the growing awareness of stinky socks linking to the cafeteria’s lunch time cabbage on the boil. I think that he quite liked the acoustics. I loved him already.
(in sixty years my brother was never given a name. I name him now, today. My brother whom I lost at Birth is called Lincoln)