Listener In Prague

First Aired: 11-28-2008 -- Add comment

Bridges, PragueI was really excited to get this email from a listener in Prague Czech Republic! Here’s the email she sent — and also check out her powerful poem…

Dear Will,

I’m an avid listener to Madness Radio from afar – from Prague in the Czech Republic to be precise. I’m also an editor and poet and a psychiatric survivor.

I am writing because I thought you might be pleased to hear how far and how potently your work travels. The interviews and resources in the Madness Radio archives are just terrific. They have been particularly helpful to me over the past few months while I’ve been dealing with learning the details of my official diagnosis. As much as I have wanted to question and criticise the authority of this label, I have fallen into self-doubt and hopelessness, often only compounded by information (from mental health charities, message boards, etc.) I’ve seen online.

I see now that part of the problem has been that I have been trying to take on the injustices I see around me on my own. Your show has helped me to counter this with a wonderful sense of (often like-minded) community and support. I am hoping that it will become easier in time for me to deal with the trauma of my classification and treatment by mental health professionals. (It’s only recently that I’ve begun using the word ‘trauma’ and speaking openly about the label I was given, and this itself feels like progress).

Thanks once again for your tremendous show.

Home (hohm) n., adj., adv., v.
3. an institution for people with special needs

If X is born at a place (P_______) without a shriek at 7.14 a.m. in the year 19__, and it is there that she has her first bath and watches her fist turn to a blunt-headed fish under the water

if R is a room – her bedroom – of dimensions 10 x 8 x 4 (Do not take into account any windows) with a thick muslin curtain

if there is the thinnest of all possible trees outside

if F– X’s father– bites his lip nervously when talking to strangers

if F is held still by the invisible wire of the T.V.  set until 3 each morning, that is for 6.3 hours most nights a week (Only calculate for non-leap years)

if P – X’s mother- burns the stovetop

and, at that very moment, F looks up and says could I just have some peace for 5 minutes I love this show.

if a farmer is attempting to install an electrical fence around his compound in France

or, say, a team of medical experimenters is doing a study of cancerous cells, and two-thirds of the participants have something to worry about

if all trains always travel north

confidently – in that way of trains – at something miles per hour

and Sam in Cincinnati is painting a room of unknown volume

and Martha, the last of the billions of passenger pigeons, died slowly in a zoo in 1914 aged 29

(Assume that X does not equal 29)

if X is as tired as zero, or

if she leaves P at 4.12 pm heading to a restaurant

when she can sit alone with a coffee

and stuff 4 sugar sachets into her purse

(Always steal things in even numbers)

if it is almost raining here

(Consider the misery of an asymptote)

and there are problems with X’s nervous system

(that is to say, her system is nervous)

or if she is best approached on the other side

of a time difference (minus 10 hours or plus 8),

If, in other words, X is a somewhat negative number

like a bead dropped from the abacus, unreachable

tonight through fax or phone

or your thin limbic algebra

then what is the probability of

the possibility of

what is the area of

what is the product of

how far and how wide

how long

please how much longer

at what white angle

will it happen

who will ever find X?

(Provide workings for your answer.)

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