The Power of Puppetry ; a Tribute to Corina Duyn

The most insidious lie told about people with ME is that they are victims of “maladaptive thinking”; that they are ill because they think they are ill. A multi-million pound psychiatric racket has been built upon that premise, a toxic perversion of New Age thinking and neoliberalism.
We dream all the time, here : of a new bathroom, of delicious food, of coffee in a cafe, of having friends round, of visiting family, of making things, doing things, enjoying things, like being able to step outside the door into the garden without being destroyed by the environment, of being free from pain enough, even if just for a moment, to really hold and feel each other, of finding anything to eat at all that is safe, of being able to move around freely, without causing catastrophic harm, or by just being present being a danger.
But until my wife’s illness is physically investigated and treated, our entire life, every minute aspect of it will continue to remain on hold.
That is what the psychiatric lobby ignore.
We get through, God knows how, somehow and miraculously still find meaning in our undying love. That’s the sum of our days.
It is within this context that it is so incredible that Corina Duyn was able to reach out to me, from Ireland and successfully teach me the skills of puppet making.
Last September I became her first ever long-distance student. I even became a member of her local puppet-making class in Ireland, “dropping in” on Monday’s through Facetime and Skype.
Can you imagine how isolated the carer is? Not likely, unless you have personal experience. I love groups, meeting people, sharing. But having been isolated for so many years, it took considerable courage to join in with that Group.
While they finished their puppets ages ago, it’s taken me until now. That said, it’s an extraordinary achievement, given our circumstances, that I ever made Johnny Toes.
Here things are so dire, so bad, so complex, so destroying, you find days and weeks passing where nothing whatsoever is possible.
But Corina was quietly there, all the time. Also I felt wonderfully supported by the group in Ireland, their encouragement and enthusiasm and by those who donated the gorgeous material for Johnny’s clothes.
In moments I had experiences of pure joy, as I learned new skills - especially working with clay and overcame all manner of practical difficulties to assemble Johnny.
Surely, that amazement when he sat on my knee for the first time is almost equivalent to childbirth!!! I will never know.
My song is one of exhilaration and triumph!
The film below is my tribute to the incredibly inspiring Corina Duyn who reached out to me.
Here is Corina's Blog:
Here is a link to her her Crowd Funding Page, Corina hopes to be speaking in England very soon,
And here comes Johnny Toes !!


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