Saturday, 25 February 2012

To You, My Friend In The Great Blogging Community.

I put up the above photo to enhance the inspiration that fills every fibre of my being.   The golden glow of the setting sun.  The birds of freedom, symbolic of the new life that beckoned me.  Beckoned me to fly, to fly far above the dark and dreary clouds of  doubt and disillusionment.  
The photo above is symbolic of the gratitude I have for you, my friend in the great blogging community.  My last post and the replies you graced me with, are testimony of the powerful magic that we all can share.  We truly are all in this together.  Here for each other and helping each other to make this world a more caring, more compassionate, more understanding place.  This is the positive power that surges through the souls of all of us.
Yes, I am transparent and through such transparency, lies the hope, the dream, the desire, to be as supportive as I can to you.   We both know that through discussion, through better awareness of mental health issues, that the stigma, the stereotypes, the misconceptions, can finally be laid to rest.  We have a long journey ahead. Yet I have witnessed, over the past five years, more and more people reaching out and understanding that there need be no shame in being mentally ill.  Mental health concerns impacts us all.   For the ripple effects spread far and wide.   And that is why we must be here for each other.
I want to thank Delores over at, thefeatherednest, for having that virtual blog party as a celebration of my fifth year blogging anniversary.  It was a kind and touching gesture by Delores.  I am grateful that she also did a follow up post that pointed out various links to mental health resources.   It was a great virtual party with great virtual friends.  Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star, my son and myself were pleased to see so many folks and creatures attend.   We feel blessed by such an open display of kindness at the virtual party.  I remember afterwards having virtual jet lag.
And during some trying times, when I could barely string a sentence together, two dear friends honoured me by submitting a guest posting.   And thus, I wish to thank David, over at, A Day in the Life , a good friend and another champion of seeing the unfair stigma that still surrounds mental health issues, eradicated.   I wish to show my appreciation to Kim, over at,  CindyLu'sMuse , a dear lady with a noble and caring passion to see the precious creatures of our planet treated with the love and respect they truly deserve.   Indeed, Kim a lady who shares with me the gift that is empathy.

Through the wind chimes, ring outs nature's symphonic chorus of peace.  We are all a part of a special orchestra.  The birds of freedom tell us all to fly above the dark and dreary clouds of doubt and disillusionment.  A positive environment starts from within.   From there, we spread the music to all who will listen to the wind chimes. 


  1. And like the ripples from a stone landing on water, the empathy and tolerance will spread like the wings of the free bird. Keep following your important mission to spread awareness and understanding, Gary - good things flow from the positive efforts of the kindhearted. And you, dear friend, have marked the hearts of many.

  2. I'm proud to be part of your community (and of course I love your musical metaphors). May the day go well, Gary, and may every day go well.

  3. I've been out of the loop as my laptop has been in Repair Land so I missed a lot.

    I've taught a lot of students with mental health issues - and I agree that the world is (slowly) becoming a more compassionate world. It's hard to change people's prejudices, but it's possible - and I think with more people speaking up honestly, it's going to get better and better.

    Take care.

  4. What a lovely post!
    I don't know how anyone who's had any interaction with you couldn't be moved. You're an open, strong, vulnerable and honest guy who's just out to make the world a better place. Which is what we should all be doing. Rock on and be joyous, my friend.

  5. I am fairly new to this community and I already feel like I know every one so well.One of my nieces is autistic and my brother and his wife seem to get older faster than the rest of us. I am hoping that the day will come when parents will not have to feel that burden and are capable of living like any other family.
    Great post. Thanks!

  6. Being part of your blogging community is an honour, Gary. At this stage, your triumphant feel like mine. Hugs and big wet smooches for you, Tristen and Penny.

    "Who finds a faithful friend, finds a treasure."

  7. From your words I get an image of virtual hands clasped around the image of strength and peace.

  8. There is an astonishing amount of kindness in the blogosphere I have found. And, perhaps more importantly, an acceptance of difference.

  9. You are truly waxing poetic Gary, and I'm carried like the wind with your compassionate words. You are incredibly dear, and your positive attitude and honesty is so refreshing. I am honored to be part of your blogworld. No...I didn't say blahg world! Have a wonderful weekend.

  10. Whoops! Your fifth anniversary post slipped past me during the week. I'm sorry I missed it.

    Yours is a tough tale to read. You are a brave man and an inspiration. I hope you'll be able to look back on the next five years and tell and tell us some happy endings.

  11. Dear Gary,
    A very poetic and inspiring post.
    Like you, I think the stigma surrounding mental ill health is slowly being eroded. I don't think I've had even one negative comment on my own blog since its inception, and all the support you get here from your many blogging friends just proves that understanding is broadening.
    And thank you for mentioning lil' old me, who slogs away at trying to dispel the many misunderstandings around mental health, I hope, at least, with a little success.
    May you continue to live with positive anticipation, and say "bugger off" to all the negative stuff!
    With Very Best Wishes, from your pal in the great blogging community,

  12. It's good to read a very positive post from you Gary. Long may it continue.
    Click here for Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

  13. Well me and Charlie would like to thank you and gorgeous Penny and your wonderful son for such a fantastic celebration! We had a great time at your virtual party and are now fully recovered from our virtual hangovers! :-)

    Take care

  14. It is an absolute honour and pleasure to be a reader of this exceptional blog!
    And one day, I'd love to write a guest post too, if you ever need it.

  15. I haven’t known you very long, Gary, but I do foresee being your friend for a long time. You are outspoken, kind and considerate – the mark of a true compatriot. You seem to be the kind of person who generates love and compassion amongst his followers, again, the sign of a true friend. I hope that you find peace in your world. You deserve it …

  16. Hi Gary .. your party c/o Delores was amazing and she certainly did you proud.

    Mental Health covers so much - but if only we could stop take time to think before we open our mouths - and then be kind and compassionate.

    Setting our sights high, leading by example are challenging goals for many of us .. I struggle - but see the pleasure I give the elderly - even if only a few minutes with a smile and a positive take ..

    You deserve much for being here with us - so I'm delighted we help as we can - and your great friends David and Kim fill in with guest posts at times .. Delores takes life with big pinch of sunshine ..

    Are you going to see the film Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ... now who on earth could resist that?? Conjures up such fun ...

    From the sunshine town on the sunshine coast .. byeeeeee Hilary

  17. Glad your party was such a big success.
    This blogging community is simply amazing and continues to amaze me more every day.

  18. hi mr gary! for sure youre a real good music maker. your special song chimes out all over the place. that party was soooo much fun and for sure you deserved it. just keep on playing that cool music cause everyones listening. :)
    ...big hugs from lenny

  19. And to think, non-bloggers still don't understand why we blog. The warmth and caring in the blogosphere is incredible, and it's no surprise how many bloggers have enfolded you in that warmth. You reap what ya sow. Wonderful post.

  20. You are an inspiration, Gary. Thanks. That pic is lovely and did an inspirational number on me, that's for sure.

    As for the support you recieve from your online friends, it's only what you deserve for the support you show others. I think I speak for most when I say: "No thanks necessary. You're doing an incredible job and we're just trying to keep up with your strength and drive."


  21. It is so nice to get to know you, Gary. Your words and kindness are clear. Loved the golden glow sunset.

  22. Hi there,
    As you may well be aware, I normally endeavour to reply back individually to each person who so kindly left a comment.
    However, due to this new comment form set up and just double checking on how to reinstate the lost feature of "subscribe to follow up comments", I'm not even sure you will be reading this comment.
    Regardless, I want to collectively show my thanks and appreciation to you all for taking the time to show overwhelming proof that we can all be here for each other. We can, via our interaction, learn more about each other and bring down the barriers that still surround mental health issues.
    I am very grateful to be a part of such a community. A community that is a wondrous force for good.
    With much respect and admiration, your way, Gary

  23. I'm so glad to have met up with you via the blogging world. I often wonder how Louis Armstrong would reinterpret his "What A Wonderful World" song if he lived today...

    Cheers to ya! And here's wishing you many more years!


    1. Hi Avery,
      And delighted to see you here :) I think that Louis Armstrong may well be doing his own version of the song, "Are Friends Electric?", by those electrical legends, "Gary Numan and The Tubeway Army". Indeed, within the blogging community, we can be an 'electronic tonic' to our 'electric friends'.
      And thank you kindly for that award. However, because I have received that award before and do not wish to repeat myself, I would have to respectfully decline.
      Thanks Avery and it was great to have met your good self via "Real Bloggers United".
      Kind wishes and happy writing,

  24. Forgot to mention that I have an award to share with you! You can pick it up and read what I have to say about your blog at:


  25. I cannot believe I missed your party! Argh! Belated congratulations on your fifth anniversary.
    You are truly an inspiration x

    1. Hi Teresa,
      You know, we looked everywhere for you at the party. There were many bloggers devastated at you not being there. Still, we had an awesome time :)
      Thank you for the congratulations on my fifth anniversary of blogging.
      I know we inspire each other.
      Take very good care, Teresa.
      In kindness Gary x

  26. Looks like I missed a party...dangit! I'm a sucker for a good party, virtual or otherwise! Especially with new friends. Sigh. So Gary, are you going to take up the challenge thrown down to you by some of my co-hosts? Can you handle 26 sarcastic, funny, silly, or serious posts in 30 days? My money is on you. AND, I double-dog dare now you're stuck in a dilemma.
    Thanks for your visit today. Your comments ALWAYS make me smile.
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-Host of the April A to Z Challenge
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

  27. Ah Tina,
    I was really sorry you missed that party. A group of us shy, humble and unassuming bloggers searched all over the virtual party. "Anybody see that Tina from that must read blog, "Life is Good"? You know, that awesome lady who is co-host (hostess) of that um 'challenge' that brings further awareness of the alphabet? No? Oh well, she's probably too busy formulating her own ideas about the alphabet!" Anyway Tina, my new electric friend, here's a bit of leftover virtual cake :)
    It would be rather ironic for me to do 26 posts, going from A to Zed, or okay, if you insist, A to 'Zee'. It would bring more awareness of your 'challenge' and do I really want to do that? Sorry but I do my own thing on my blog and thus, you will get the occasional posting by me at my unknown site. Or if you are really lucky, a 'pawsting' by Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star, on what she refers to as the "Alphabark Challenge"
    And because I'm not the self-promoting type, if I wanted to do that, I would set up a Blogfest or Blog Challenge, here's a link that I wouldn't bother reading.

    Then again, maybe you don't subscribe to follow-up comments and may never read my incredibly excellent reply to you.
    Seriously, take care, have fun and make loads new, sincere, 'friends', out there in blogland.
    It was a delight to come and visit your site with one of my much loved, eagerly sought after, comments. Got to admit my comment is better than those who might leave something like "Great post! Thanks for sharing!"
    With respect and a bonus letter Zed or Zee, your way, Gary :)

  28. Hi Gary. It's great you're spreading awareness about mental health issues. You've been at it for awhile through this blog and so many of your past projects and activities. I bet knowing that you do good in this world is sometimes rewarding unto itself.

    People should get the message that mental illness is not taboo and should be talked about. If we're not honest about it... or really, anything else in life... You can't begin to heal, repair or fix anything in life.

    I forgot about going to your blog party. And you said I couldn't come naked so that was a downer. Please don't envy my twelve inch meat log in my pants. I've been cursed with a huge penis that scares the ladies and can be used to dry clothes upon if needed. I hate this clown suit, btw. I want to, at least, come to your endless blog party as a rabid, mindless beast of some sort. A politician would do, I suppose.

    Good post. I follow. :) :) :)

  29. Hi Kelly,
    Thanks buddy and as you know, the ethos behind this blog is to eradicate the unfair stigma that still surrounds mental health concerns. And five years on, I'm heartily encouraged by the positive interaction and the further awareness that we can share. When I hopefully help others, I really do, help myself.
    Absolutely, we should not feel ashamed, to feel alone, in regards to having mental health issues. Through the courage and the transparency that folks have stated in their comments, I know that through caring and sharing, we can be of profound and comforting benefit to each other.
    We were devastated that you couldn't make it to the blog party. You were welcome to have come naked. Would of made for some interesting 'small' talk :) Most politicians would have been rather unwelcome at the blog party.
    Hey, thanks for 'following'. After all, it's all about the number of 'followers' on ones site. Ah yeah....
    Thanks Kelly and you know I'm honoured that we share such positive, sometimes bizarre, sometimes surreal, interaction.
    With respect and peaceful wishes, your way, Gary


I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.