Mark Dame Bine And Me


This is for Bine… she’ll understand — photo by me, April 06, 2008

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Watching the rain, wind and sun melt the snow over the past couple of weeks it’s remarkable how much the landscape of my little village resembles the features of mountains and riverside valleys eroding over millions of years. The many snowfalls over the winter have created a history of the past five months in the layers or strata in the curbside snowbank mountains.

Sometimes we forget to notice the passage of time then it’s shown back to us in the weirdest places and in the strangest ways. But then sometimes we feel the time passing with excruciating detail and the strata of those exposed snowbanks act as a now-daily reminder of how deep and how long our winter was.

The exposed rings in the melting snowbanks also act like the rings of a tree. When there was a drought the rings will be closer together, when there was plenty the rings are further apart. Either way, however, the tree kept growing.

This year it also kept snowing. This year my little village received about fifteen-feet of snow, which while close is not a record. I told Bine about the rings in the snowbanks and she asked to see them, hence the photo.

During the winter it always seems as though the snow will remain white forever. Pure in looks if not content. But snowflakes are borne around particulates, grains of dust, dirt or bacteria in the atmosphere. And when a field of several square miles of snow built fifteen-feet high melts it leaves a lot of dirt and grime behind.

Yes, I’m using melting snow as a metaphor for us recovering. Snow looks pure, but it’s not. It’s really camouflaged dirt which sticks around until something happens to expose its true nature and then you’re fucked with a yard full of thawing dog shit, last years decaying leaves, three barrels of trash and three inches of bacteria filled mud.

The life we lead before taking our recovery seriously feels normal, it looks mostly normal and it can even Be normal. But it’s not. And the longer we avoid the hard parts of recovery the deeper that pile gets and the longer it’s going to take to get rid of… but it can be done and it has been done.

On an almost entirely separate topic Mark, who blogged as ‘markps2’ at ‘psychiatricsurvivor.wordpress’, has erased most of his online identity. Mark is an intelligent and funny guy who’s as fucked in the head as any one of us. Within the past few days he has deleted his WP and Blogger accounts. He always left interesting comments here and I miss him already.

Mark, dude I’d appreciate updates on your snowshoe experiments.

Dame Wiggins Of Lee has also stopped blogging, but hasn’t deleted her account. She has taken her blog offline while she absorbs some Life. I don’t think she’ll be back soon, but I do think she’ll be back later. I think she still has stuff to talk about and videos to post.

I’m taking time to figure out if writing about my life and my recovery is something I want to do on other people’s blogs. I’ve been trying to put together some decent copyright notices, and even modified the image I put at the end of my posts. I got freaked out seeing my brother on a splog so I’ve taken that image off and created something somewhat elegant to replace it…

I also put together a copyright banner (very top) which gives me some sense of security. At least there’ll be an explanation of who and where I am on the splog. If I can get my peace of mind back into the ‘peaceful’ range then I’ll keep going.

If I stay freaked out I’ll probably take Salted private and start blogging full time on Cultural Snafu again. For now I’ve also stopped using “categories” or “tags”.

By the way… Plagiarism Today, a website dedicated to plagiarism and copyright issues, has endorsed my Exposing Sploggers blog. Which is a big freaking deal. I’m expecting another huge endorsement in a few days. I’d still like some feedback, ideas and criticisms… and volunteers.

Any comments about the new header images, the image copyright in the photo and the -30- image would be appreciated as well… if you want a personalized copyright banner but don’t have the software just let me know and I’ll send you one.

And if you find Mark give him a little poke in his belly, he likes that… and let me know he’s doing all right. Deep breaths buddy, deep breaths.

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About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression in 1989, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. I have an 8-year old son, and a 4-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at saltedlithium.com....
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11 Responses to Mark Dame Bine And Me

  1. thordora says:

    Apt metaphors my friend. Very apt.

    I would help, but I’m pressed for time as it is. Stupid job and family and my own writing. Plus, I’m wanting to get into painting again, which is crimping already limited time.

    We’re not going to talk about the time I spend on Facebook playing PackRat.

  2. Gabriel... says:

    I’m trying to make the splogger thing as easy and non-time consuming as possible… it’s not ready yet anyway but when it is the idea would be for people to send one email once a week. C’est it. I left this as a reply to Gianna’s similar concerns:

    “I know about the [lack of] energy thing… I recognize that in my actions and inactions over the past year when it comes to protecting my own blog work. But this is why I think keeping it as simple as possible, like simply inserting a few lines of text or a small graphic at the beginning of your post, would be easy enough to follow through on.”

  3. bromac says:

    While I don’t blog, I can understand your frustrations with the issue. You’re writing about Real stuff here, things important to you. No, more than just important, damn necessary. And you’re being violated. The fact that it is for someone else’s monetary gain is all the worse.

    I hope that you find the answers you’re looking for and I hope if you go private I will be invited to read. Reading your recovery has been instrumental in my own. Certainly don’t believe my needs are more important here, just thought you should know.

  4. bine says:

    woohoo, a picture for me, thank you so much! those “age rings” in the snow are amazing. i think i never saw that much snow anyway. or i think i did, when i was 10 i went on a holiday to switzerland with my parents and there were about 90cm/3ft of snow there.

    love the new header image too. the image copyright in the photo is okay, but do you think it is necessary to print it across the middle of the photograph? it might sit at the top or bottom so you can see more of what the photo is about?

  5. Gabriel... says:

    Thanks Bine… I’ve been changing the red text almost every other day just to keep things weird.

    This is the first time in awhile we’ve had enough snow to really notice the snow rings, over the past few years by this time in the Spring the snow was mostly gone… actually it’s melting pretty fast here (Ottawa) now.

    With the copyright in the photo thing I was trying to recreate one on an image I saw… which may or may not be ironic, I’m not sure. It looked as through the photo had been laid down and pulled over a “c-symbol”. There was no distortion and the “c” didn’t really disrupt the photo at all… unfortunately my knowledge of PhotoShop is still in the kindergarten phase.

    I was concerned about the placement as well, and the clutter of the letters. I think the next one might have the C in the middle and Salted Blah Blah on the edge.

    And thanks very much Bromac… I’m actually having a lot of fun recently with creating the Exposing Splogger thing and creating little copyright images, so maybe there’s some therapeutic value in fighting back… even if it’s small steps (that works as a totally shameless plug for the Exposing Splogger thing as well). If I were to take Salted private you’d definitely get an invitation.

  6. Rose says:

    It’s worrying, about Mark. Like a suicide rehearsal. I hope he’s ok. I’ve enjoyed his comments in many places, and now I wonder if I ever told him that….

    Now I wonder if it’s simply a privacy issue?

    We’ve been scooped a few times, even found some of our stuff being mocked on a “humor” site once, but it’s minor in our world. I’m glad you’re taking action to protect your intellectual works.

    ~ Rosemarie

  7. Gabriel... says:

    I’ve had some contact with Mark today, he has responded to a couple of emails… from what he has told me I don’t think he was suicidal when he deleted his blogs, I think he felt threatened.

    I’m almost sure Mark will be back at some point.

    Thanks for the concern, and thanks for the comment…

  8. Nita says:

    Just wanted to tell you that you are very creative. I like the designs you make.
    also your efforts to stem splogging are admirable. I hope this takes off in a big way. I want to write about it, but am not sure how to make it jell with the theme of my blog. Am trying to think of some way.
    however don’t you think that the salted lithium watermark on the photo should be a little smaller?

  9. Gabriel... says:

    Thanks Nita. For the next image copyright I’m going to keep it the same size, but more transparent. I think it looks the way I was trying to make it look.

    I’m hoping the splogger/spam thing takes off as well. I saw the URL for the Exposing Splogger thing in a totally random blogroll yesterday so that was cool. I think just writing about people stealing blog content, yours or someone else’s, would be just fine.

    Thanks again… it means a lot to me.

  10. exactscience says:

    I like the snow metaphor. Always important to remember though that just because the blizzard is over latent flurries and drifts still happen.

    Keeping fighting the good fight dude.

  11. Catherine says:

    Great metaphor of snow and recovery – really hits home.

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