A Survey

In clearing space in my studio, yesterday I found a small notebook. It has a couple of stories in, and something else.

I guess I must have been a bit fed up at the time. Perhaps with publishers, who when you have a new book out send you the same old questionnaire with unimaginative questions and you fill in the same dull answers, again. Or maybe it was a survey by phone or online.

Anyway, I guess I had written one with the questions I one day hoped I would be asked. So, now I am asking you.

You can answer if you wish, either in comments below or on your own blog. Invite others also. And I will pick people now and again who leave answers and send some gleanings from my studio.. cards, badges, the odd book, a sliver of gold….

So, here goes:

  1. If you could see through someone else’s eyes who would that be?
  2. If you could see something one more time, what would that be?
  3. If you could make something, anything, what would you choose to make?
  4. How would you describe your desire?
  5. Do you make wishes?
  6. Do you dream?
  7. If you could develop a skill before you die what would you choose?
  8. Do you have any regrets? if the answer is no please move to question 8a.

8a. What are your regrets?

I love finding these old notebooks. Writing becomes memory, and you never know what treasure lies within.

I can do something with this, now.

This was in the pocket in the back of the book. Treasure.

I will fill in my own questionnaire some time. And I have more otterwords coming soon, and more inked creatures.

So, if you wish to answer any or all of the questions, please do.

Look forward to hearing from you.



About Jackie

I am an artist and writer. I live in a small house by the sea in Wales where I write, paint, walk and watch and dream of bears and whales. I love to read, have a wish for wings and prefer the company of animals to that of humans, though at times I can be quite friendly. I am learning how to work with wood engraving tools and hoping to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
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57 Responses to A Survey

  1. Josie says:

    I would like to see through my Dad’s eyes and see my Mum’s face one more time. They would have been married 57 years yesterday if Mum hasn’t died 18 years ago. On the day of her funeral Dad wrote a small card and left it on her coffin. It said ‘See you later Dear’ – what he said every night at bedtime. I know just to see her face once more would make him happy.

  2. Poppy Fee says:

    1) My son’s.
    2) David Bowie playing live.
    3) I’d tailor a suit for myself
    4) Unheeded
    5) Yes
    6) Yes
    7) Guitar playing
    8) No. I wish I could have met my husband sooner, and realised I was non-binary sooner but those were things beyond my control.

  3. Sara Duir says:

    If you could see through someone else’s eyes who would that be?
    The Spare Cat who is a shapeshifter, sometimes smoke and mist, sometimes warm, soft fur and flesh. I would like to see how he perceives the world, and if it changes with his form.
    If you could see something one more time, what would that be?
    The tiny bioluminescent creatures on the beach in the Maldives that made the sand twinkle mysteriously.
    If you could make something, anything, what would you choose to make?
    Really really good bread. Brown and rich and full of nuts snd seeds and wholesomeness
    How would you describe your desire?
    Inconsistent. Ebbing and flowing. Sometimes yearning for the impossible, other times sated with the small comforts of the familiar
    Do you make wishes?
    Do you dream?
    Awake and asleep. Awake I twist ribbons of thought and daydream out into the sky to billow and float and go where they will. Asleep I flounder and puzzle and wonder and jink from place to person to idea
    If you could develop a skill before you die what would you choose?
    Throwing pots on a wheel
    Do you have any regrets? if the answer is no please move to question 8a.
    Ha, of coyrse yes.
    8a. What are your regrets?
    See answer to 8 above

  4. Jo Fletcher-Saxon says:

    1: my 10 yr old dn’s eyes
    2 Great Wall of China
    3: 2 corner sofas for new house
    4: fleets my z d changeable
    5: yes I make wishes
    6: yes I dream
    7 to play the ukelele
    8: many

  5. David Anderson says:

    1. My wife’s – o wad some power the giftie gie us
    3. A music machine – that took the rhythm & melody & song from inside ones head and presented it to a listner’s ears without need for notation, explanation or practice.
    4. Shifting (and constant)
    5. Yes. On candles, dandelion clocks and first stars.
    6. Sleeping and awake.
    7. See 3.
    8. Yes – see 2.

  6. Jaime says:

    1) My first thought was that would want to see through my partners eyes. I think it is fascinating how differently shared times can be experienced. I’m sure there are grander eyes to see through though…
    2) The yellow swallowtail butterflies overnight in our maple trees. One morning, with great luck, I happened to be sitting on the back steps just as they all took flight, falling from the trees like leaves and then fluttering away. It was pure magic and I’ve never seen it again but always keep my eyes on the trees, just in case.
    3) I would build my own house and it would have Badger’s kitchen, from Robert Ingpen’s illustrations of Wind in the Willow.
    4) Too frequently inhibited.
    5) On shooting stars and eyelashes. Birthday candles and dandelion fluff.
    6) Epically and recurringly.
    7) Fiddle or guitar, or both.
    8) Most of the times I have chosen something terribly sensible over an adventure.

  7. 1. No-one. My own: with my imagination I can soar above the earth and swim beneath the sea. As an artist myself I can SEE far more than a normal eye and I am grateful and blessed.
    2. My dog Zoomie. He was quirky, funny, loving and beautiful and I made almost 100 artworks of him.
    3. A multicoloured quilt. I can’t sew because I have Benign Essential Tremor and my hands shake too much.
    4. My desire to make beautiful things is my best friend.
    5. I have hopes, not wishes, because I can do something myself about a hope.
    6. I dream all the time, day and night, and they are beautiful, magical and inspirational things.
    7. I would love the skill of finding courage and self-belief in my own heart.
    8. No. I don’t allow regrets to hinder my love of today and hopes for tomorrow.

  8. Krysia says:

    1 A two year old – when everything in your world is new and fresh and you’re still gathering the words to describe it.
    2 The orchard where I played as a child, with its chickens, beehives, rabbits, grass snakes and toads.
    3 A clay oven
    4 Ever changing
    5 Yes, sometimes I do something about them, mostly they drift away
    6 Yes, sleep dreams very quickly fade to rag tag threads, day dreams – best ideas often pop up.
    7 Wood carving
    8 No. Everything – good or bad – has brought me to a place of much contentment

  9. Tom says:

    1. A child from one of the uncontacted people or lost tribes of South America. To see a world in which family and forest are one.
    2. A storm system moving across the plains and over the Grand Canyon. Lightning flashes and thunder booms in the worlds greatest echo chamber, the sounds rolled on and on. Rainbows flared against the darkness. Or the moment I first saw the person I would marry (thunderbolts also).
    3. A perfect gold coin, without markings. Or the oak mask Gaberlungi with wood from the woods of my childhood (currently planned)
    4. An iron thread pulling me forwards.
    5. Sometimes.
    6. Always. At night in colour or by day in clouds or trees.
    7. To know the names of as many of the plants and creatures as possible, through their shapes, movements and song (a work in progress!)
    8. Of course!
    8a. Playing it safe upon the advice of others, and letting the scientist rule the artist for too long

    Thank you Jackie I enjoyed this.

  10. Heather Adams says:

    Ok here goes
    1.My Grandmother Mary’s eyes-she travelled to Australia in 1928.
    2. Uluru-the most magical place I’ve ever been.
    3. A sculpture
    4.To make a difference to people’s lives as well as my own.
    5. Yes all the time.
    6. I dream constantly.
    7. I’d like to be able to play an instrument.
    8. Yes I have many regrets.
    8a. I regret listening to the advice and opinions of others when I was young and allowing them to undermine me -nowadays I tell them where to go !!

  11. Bernie Bell says:

    1) My husband, Mike, to maybe understand him better. Even if I ‘saw through his eyes’, I might still interpret what I saw, differently to how he would – so it would have to be truly seeing, as he sees.
    2) The Sybil’s Cave at Cumae.
    3) A genuine cure for the common cold.
    4) My desire is – Questionable!
    5) No – I daydream about things, but I don’t make wishes.
    6) Yes – big time. To quote ‘The Electric Prunes’ – “I had to much to dream last night.” Only, in my case, it’s many nights.
    7) To have better patience with life.
    8 and 8a) Yes, but there’s no way I’m telling anyone what they are! I know that regrets are pointless, but they are also very human things.

    You did ask!

  12. 1. Mine, I like mine.
    2. When I thought I was dying, the one thing I wanted to see again was the sea from my family home in Sweden. To sit on the bench with my family next to me and look at that view that is my screensaver one more time. I imagine it will always be that.
    4. Unreasonable
    6. silly question, of course.
    8. Hmm dare I say these out loud? Oh go on then. When I was a very small child, I went round my garden collecting bumble bees in a jam jar. I loved them so much and wanted to keep them safe in my shed and stroke their fluffy backs. I put the jar full of bees in the shed and the next morning, they were all dead. It was done from love but I regret it so much, I still cry when I think about it.
    I did learn a lot about love and letting it be wild with the bees, but I do regret they died for me to learn that. I think I knew it anyway.
    I also regret feeling guilty over my father’s death for years. I was 17, I told him I wished he’d just go away and die in an argument. Those were the last words I said to him. He died a week later. I regret the words of course but I mostly regret the guilt that weighed me down for so long. Otherwise, we learn from our mistakes so I am grateful for many opportunities to learn.

    • Bernie Bell says:

      Karin , Dear Heart, please let those things go – they were done with love – even the anger to your father was love. You know that now. Please, let them go.
      The bees, moved on to the next thing, for the bees.
      Clear the decks for the next thing, in Karin’s life.
      I’m going to quote David Bowie………

      Fill Your Heart

      Fill your heart with love today
      Don’t play the game of time
      Things that happened in the past
      Only happened in your mind, only in your mind
      Oh, forget your mind, and you’ll be free, yeah
      The writing’s on the wall
      Free, yeah, and you can know it all
      If you choose
      Just remember, lovers never lose
      ‘Cause they are free of thoughts unpure
      And of thoughts unkind
      Gentleness clears the soul
      Love cleans the mind and makes it free
      Oh, happiness is happening
      Dragons have been bled
      Gentleness is everywhere
      Fear’s just in your head, only in your head
      Fear is in your head, only in your head
      So forget your head and you’ll be free

      Songwriters: Biff Rose / Paul H. Williams

      When I read what you’ve written, something in me fluttered for you.
      I’m sending this message with a large, soothing, bear hug from a small, slightly rabid, bear.

  13. Adam says:

    1. My daughter’s, my late mother’s or my wife’s
    2. A comet exploding through the night in a streetlight-free sky
    3. Netsuke
    4. Constant, restless.
    5. Sometimes
    6.Yes, but with less clarity than when I was younger
    7. To be able to sketch and draw at will to a high degree of proficieny
    8. Yes if the answer is no please move to question
    8a. I don’t have the courage to write them down yet.

  14. Jackie says:

    If you could see through someone else’s eyes who would that be?
    Today, Frieda Kahlo, tomorrow, maybe Picasso, Chagall?
    If you could see something one more time, what would that be?
    My children the moment they were born.
    If you could make something, anything, what would you choose to make?
    Less mistakes.
    How would you describe your desire?
    Curious and usually wrapped around paper and paint.
    Do you make wishes?
    Yes, and hopes, and dreams.
    Do you dream?
    See 5.
    If you could develop a skill before you die what would you choose?
    Do you have any regrets?
    if the answer is no please move to question 8a
    I regret following convention at times, doing what I thought I ought to do. And wish I had been less governed by the dictates of society, and hope to strive continually to be less so at all times.

    • Bernie Bell says:

      I wrote this when I was about 18 –

      “Why do I do
      Things I don’t want to do?
      I must be out of my mind
      This is what we find”.

      I don’t, these days. Still not right in the heed, though.

  15. John Ward says:

    well now, at first I though I could not answer any, but I managed seven: jfmward.wordpress.com/2018/03/06/eight-questions/

  16. Simon Edwards says:

    If you could see through someone else’s eyes who would that be?
    Somebody like David Gilmour or Mark Knopfler – to stand on a stage, to look out, to see the crowds of people waiting, listening, watching. It must be an amazing feeling.

    If you could see something one more time, what would that be?
    I’d like to see my Great Aunt Pearl one more time, and introduce her to my fiancee – she died before I could.

    If you could make something, anything, what would you choose to make?
    I’d love to make three different things – a house, a record and a book.

    How would you describe your desire?
    Usually hidden, quiet, overpowered by life.

    Do you make wishes?

    Do you dream?

    If you could develop a skill before you die what would you choose?
    I’d learn to play the piano, and I’d learn to play the guitar better than I can.

    Do you have any regrets? if the answer is no please move to question 8a.

    What are your regrets?
    Everything and anything – I wish I’d lived a more honest life – honest to myself and honest to those around me…

    • Bernie Bell says:

      Well, Simon Edwards – if you’ve started now………….it’s never too late to begin to try to produce clarity, which is what honesty is. And dishonesty, is muddle.
      Ain’t I a smug small bear?

  17. 1 – My cat, Pudding.
    2 – Sunday lunch when the whole family was there. I’m the only one left now.
    3 – A world without cruelty.
    4 – A banked up ember.
    5 – For others.
    6 – When do I not?
    7 – Avoiding procrastination.
    8 – None.
    8a – There are things it would have been good to have done or avoided, but I would not then have met the people I now love.

  18. Bernie Bell says:

    And this………..written about the same time……….

    Being Centred

    “If I could live from my centre
    Instead of from my outer covering
    My superficialities
    My ideas of how I should be acting
    If I could do this
    I would find – ? (Joy?)
    And if
    Others abused this living from my centre
    This nakedness
    The fault
    Would surely be in them and reflect on them.”

    I’ll go away now – blimey Jackie, you’ve really started something – again!

  19. Jade says:

    1. My daughters eyes, she’s 5 now and to her the world is magical. Every seagull is a dragon, and every dragonfly a fairy.
    2. The first time I met my partner, to see it all beginning.
    3. I’d make a book.
    4. Feirce
    5. Upon stars.
    6. Always in the day, of hidden things and secret places. Usually at night, of forgotten memories…
    7. A foreign language, school learnt German never stuck at 14.
    8. Many.
    8a. Too many things unsaid, too many moments unlived.

    Thank you!

    • Bernie Bell says:

      You can still say them, if they are to those who you think you won’t see again, for one reason or another. Get a chair, sit down opposite it, picture the person/animal/? that you feel you would like to have said certain words to – and do so! Go with it – have a conversation. It can help enormously.
      As to moments unlived – that depends on if they are things you could still have a go at…………….

      • Jade says:

        I’ve just seen this!
        Thank you for replying so thoughtfully, maybe I will try it. I like to write down what I find/have found hard to say and it does help.
        Its true I still have many more moments to live I hope, and that’s a very positive thing to realise 🙂

  20. Barb Rogers says:

    1. God’s (or goddesses eyes…(a bit presumptuous, but that’s the way I think I’d like to see differently for a bit)
    2. Having just lost a dear friend to cancer, I’d wish to see her giggling as when we were young women.
    3. Design my own home close to nature, lots of windows, fireplaces, cozy nooks, great kitchen, huge beds, plenty of storage, music system, theatre for movies/TV, swimming in natural water…I could go on with that fantasy!
    4. Desire. If not the passion for the beautiful, then the one that loves deeply the beauties nature gives us.
    5. Wishes? Yes, often not in words.
    6. Oh yes, and I set myself up to dream, knowing what sleeping posture, time of night works best, and then recording messages I receive…whatever and however they come…from my own sub-conscious or the greater consciousness of the universe!
    7. develop a skill before you die? To be able to breathe with no more difficulties from physical limitations!
    8. Do you have any regrets? if the answer is no please move to question 8a.

    8a. What are your regrets? Choosing between things without wisdom…and not forgiving myself (or others) for that lack.

  21. Ann flower says:

    I would like to see the world thr. Jeremy Corbyn,s eyes. Too grasp the struggle to make the world fairer.
    I would like to see my dad who died when I was seven. Would love to know if he was like I recall.
    If I could make anything…a magical relationship with another being.
    Desire? On so many levels..world peace, listening to what my heRt desires.
    Wishes..from around aged seven always wished on first Star I see at night..saying the star light star bright first star I see tonight. I wish I may I wish I might have the wish I wish tonight.
    Dreams remember some from childhood……

    Skill, never been artistic…….just learning stained glass so enjoying

  22. Susan Cassidy says:

    1. I am afraid the old cliché – “through the eyes of a child with wonder”
    2. The love light in my partners eyes again, who passed away last year after we have been together for 42 years.
    3. Pottery just like in the film Ghost. – I don’t need the man behind, I have great imagination.
    4. Plentiful.
    5. All the time
    6. Day and Night
    7. To draw and paint I have just started as I now have time.
    8. Oh yes – you don’t get to 60years of age without a few

  23. Wendy says:

    1. If you could see through someone else’s eyes who would that be? My Grandaughter’s; I think she sees the world ‘differently’ and I’d like to understand her point of view a little better.
    2. If you could see something one more time, what would that be? Mine isn’t something but someones… those I have loved and lost, to say the unsaid.
    3. If you could make something, anything, what would you choose to make? A secure future for my children.
    4. How would you describe your desire? Selfish
    5. Do you make wishes? At least once a day
    6. Do you dream? Vividly and wildly
    7. If you could develop a skill before you die what would you choose? The ability to let go of the past
    8. Do you have any regrets? if the answer is no please move to question 8a. Yes
    8a. What are your regrets? Not always being an ‘adult’ in my dealings with others.

  24. Kerry says:

    If you could see through someone else’s eyes who would that be?
    A bird’s. Maybe a kestrel!

    If you could see something one more time, what would that be?
    Really not sure.

    If you could make something, anything, what would you choose to make?
    Right now, a big raft of really amazing, prizewinning novels that are beloved by everyone and made into Oscar-winning films, with the scores written by me.

    How would you describe your desire?
    Creatively restless/restlessly creative.

    Do you make wishes?
    Yes! I roasted a chicken last week and snapped the wishbone whilst wishing for a safe journey home from Ireland on Friday (then, the snow stopped me travelling on Friday).

    Do you dream?
    Yes. I don’t remember huge amounts.

    If you could develop a skill before you die what would you choose?
    Filmmaking. Diving (I can’t dive). Maybe hearing in my right ear (deaf since birth).

    Do you have any regrets? if the answer is no please move to question 8a.
    I always regret not having done things/created things/made things/been better/more successful a bit earlier. But there’s only so far that that gets you…

    8a. What are your regrets?

  25. Jane Johnson says:

    1. If you could see through someone else’s eyes who would that be?
    My husband’s: I am curious to know exactly why he loves me. It is enough to know that he does, but you know, curiosity…
    2. If you could see something one more time, what would that be?
    The Alhambra – the most beautiful place made by human hands. I would like to be there alone, though, to make the most of those serene sacred geometries.
    3. If you could make something, anything, what would you choose to make?
    I wish I could make visual art in the way you do. I know every artist envies other artists’ media, but sometimes I am so sick of words and would like to play with colour and form and have the ability to make something quickly, before it fades from its exquisite moment of inspiration.
    4. How would you describe your desire?
    There are so many – for love, for life, for food, for peace and quiet and time – most of all for time: a slow yearning, perhaps.
    5. Do you make wishes?
    I ask the universe for things. Well, mainly time.
    6. Do you dream?
    When I sleep deeply enough. Most disappear on waking without leaving anything behind but a vague feeling, but sometimes I carry imagery around with me for days. If I’m deep in the writing of a book, dreams sometimes lend their hands to untying knots I had thought would never unravel.
    7. If you could develop a skill before you die what would you choose?
    I would love to be able to climb nimbly and fearlessly, to turn back time and take the fittest version of myself and add the courage I have had to learn.
    8. Do you have any regrets? if the answer is no please move to question 8a.
    I have many regrets. But if I had done things differently events would have led me to a different place and I would be a different person, and I have learned to like myself well enough, and regard myself as a lucky person, despite everything I had had to overcome.
    8a. What are your regrets?
    They are between me and the breath of the sea.

  26. Christopher Morgan says:

    1) Gabriel García Márquez so I can see how one of my favourite authors saw life. As well as Latin America.
    Or Elizabeth I to see first hand all the new discoveries taking place as well as how men reacted to a powerful women in a time when men dominated.
    2) A beach with no litter.
    3) A new area of Native British woodland emerging from a wild meadow. Oak, ash, ferns, bluebells, primroses after cornflower and fritillaries.
    4) strong and constant. Especially in terms of desire for knowledge.
    5) Often
    6) Lots. I dream about books I’m reading or of travel and it’s culture and languages. And see number 3.
    7) Dry stone walling or embroidery.
    8) yes
    8a) presently it’s not fixing the shed roof before the recent snow melted.

  27. Zoe says:

    If you could see through someone else’s eyes who would that be?
    My husband of 32 years, I want to see what he sees in me.

    If you could see something one more time, what would that be?
    My Dad.

    If you could make something, anything, what would you choose to make?
    A beautiful embroidery using ephemera from a walk in the woods and along a seashore that not only captured the sights, but the sounds and aromas too.

    How would you describe your desire?

    Do you make wishes?
    Yes, and spells and charms

    Do you dream?

    If you could develop a skill before you die what would you choose?
    To have the healers touch.

    Do you have any regrets? if the answer is no please move to question 8a.
    Yes, I have a dreadful habit of setting myself up to fail.

    What are your regrets?
    My lack stickability, my fear of failure, my introversion and apparent inability to socialise.

    • Bernie Bell says:

      You do have “the healer’s touch” Zoe – every one does. It’s intent that matters.
      Here’s a tale – when we lived in Suffolk, my friend Carole’s dog, Molly, had bad arthritis. I used to give Molly Healing which did help her. Carole said that she wished she could do for Molly, what I did for Molly. My answer was, that she could – everyone can. I said to open her mind and heart and ask for help for Molly. She did so, and Molly was eased. In fact, Carole then trained as a Reiki Healer, but that’s another story. I’d say the same to you. open your heart and mind, with good intent, and the rest will follow naturally, because that’s what it is – natural, as natural as life itself, because that what it is, too – LIFE!
      And you could seek training, if you’d like to?

  28. Dorothy Hallam says:

    1. To see through the eyes of a child in my class, to see what kind of a teacher I really am.
    2. At first I thought of people who have gone – mum, dad, a close friend. But I can see their faces quite clearly in my mind so now I’m not sure.
    3. A truly delicious meal to share with friends.
    4. I wouldn’t
    5. Yes – mostly to have enough money to retire and have a change of lifestyle or to have the courage to do it anyway.
    6. In sleep? Sometimes – often about work. Otherwise see above.
    7. So many things to choose – I always wanted to be an author when I was a child.
    8. I wish I had travelled more and had adventures

  29. Susan Metcalfe says:

    1. My eyes before age 41 when I needed glasses for short sightedness. Walking in rainy & misty weather drives me crazy.
    2. Museum of Anthropology Vancouver to see Bill Read’s sculpture Raven and the First Men again.
    3. A house of green oak with a swimming pond.
    4. Often deep , but sometimes a cwtch says everything.
    5. I used to when younger, but now at 65 my mantra is find something, however small, each day that brings me joy e.g. today a host of jackdaws wheeling over the house.
    6.Often when out walking.
    7. Guitar – electric and with the skill level of Jim Hendrix!
    8. I lied to my younger son, he was 14, I was 41. I thought it for the best, but really I was a coward & it caused him great hurt. We worked it out over a number of years & get on really well now, but I will never forgive myself for letting him down so badly, he was just a boy.

  30. caro says:

    1. For a new view of the world, my cat’s. I imagine that for him everything is alive – the curtains, the trees, the sun, the balls of wool he chases across the floor. Alive, fluid, and vividly moving. Also, how does he see colour? I like to think he can see colours far outside our imagination. Either way, the world would look profoundly, and beautifully, different, and entirely different things would be important.

    2. The garden I grew up in, and the light in my grandfather’s eyes. If I could choose other senses, though, I would like to feel the dew on the long grass on my bare feet in the garden I grew up in, and hear my grandfather’s voice.

    3. I would make an opportunity. The opportunity to meet the grandparents of my partner, who were refugees at the end of WW2 and walked across Europe to make a new life and eventually, to bring him up. Our paths never crossed – I was too late on the scene – and I will always wish that they did.

    4. Strong. Burning. Always a slight ache, or tristesse. The central force, powering my decisions and creating my whole life.

    5. Every day. More than every day. But I’m never sure if they are wishes, or the beginnings of action.

    6. Night and day. Day, often, to the frustration of anyone who’s ever tried to teach me anything. Night, vividly, beautifully, insightfully and deeply confusingly. The only time I’m really free from dreaming is when I’m playing (I am a musician).

    7. To paint, and to make physical an image or a thought. I can only paint in sound, and it doesn’t last. Or perhaps it does, but not in the same way.

    8. Many. Also, none.

    8a. Not following my heart sooner. Listening to “advice” and ignoring the better advice. Being frightened. Taking so long to learn to nourish myself. Not playing to my grandfather as he lay dying. But we only have what we can do today.

  31. Sarah says:

    What interesting questions. They’ve made me think in ways I have not thought before.
    If you could see through someone else’s eyes who would that be? A hawk, to see from on high with such single-minded focus. I wonder if sight and predator mind are so closely linked that to have the sight would change my manner of thinking?

    If you could see something one more time, what would that be? Oh, damn. One more time? My parents as a couple, when I was a child long before the divorce. To see their faces, happy together.

    If you could make something, anything, what would you choose to make? Something that brings comfort and a smile to the person that holds it.

    How would you describe your desire? To be more than I am. To make things better.

    Do you make wishes? Yes. Sometimes formal, a request to any passing godlet. Sometimes fleeting, a flavour or colour of regret or hope.

    Do you dream? Yes. Sometimes I seem to live another’s life in dreams, sometimes I relive my life, sometimes I live my fears in nightmares of death and loss.

    If you could develop a skill before you die what would you choose? Sports massage? (to make my husband more comfortable 🙂 No, I want to learn to sew clothing that fits people. I spin and weave: I want to clothe and protect people with fabric I have made from raw fibre, handsewn with every stitch a hope for their well-being and happiness.

    Do you have any regrets? if the answer is no please move to question 8a.
    8a. What are your regrets? I regret not knowing my father as an adult, I regret not being strong/adult enough to contact him. I regret my stupidities, thoughtless words that inflicted pain. I regret not trying to jump over the gap to the big stone on Kinder (because I was scared of a 5′ drop!). But I try not to think about them, remembering only that I should in future try to avoid doing/not doing things I may regret. Every day my life grows shorter; I will not waste that precious time on regret.

    thank you, Jackie.

  32. anne says:

    I would choose to see through the eyes of my eldest son , to have a better understanding of his experience of the world. He has an energetic and creative response to living in the world, whereas I find the world more of a challenge. And he has achieved so much despite being substantively affected by being on the Aspergers/Dyslexic spectrum . All through his childhood he retained a massive confidence in who he is and refused all attempts to ‘label him’, choosing to get through school without extra ‘support’. Went on to to a Master’s Degree at Leeds!

    If I could see something one more time – this is hard – once is never enough is it. My dad – I never to to see him before he died – unexpectedly from a minor op.

    I do make – but what I would love to make well is music.

    Desire is something I have had a difficult relationship with over adult years. With a neurological condition since teenage hood , misdiagnosed until in my 40’s and treated with anti depressants, I have spent a lifetime managing desire, not having the requisite energy to fulfil the demands beyond running the family. I feel somewhat hidden – the young woman I was potentially never had a chance to fully materialise!

    I subsequently have never made wishes. I consider the saying ‘ Be careful what you wish for’ as quite sensible. I do, or I don’t . But I don’t wish.

    Dreams – interesting – I used to have a fabulous dreamlife – thought of it as more desirable than my everyday! Looked forward to having them. Then they disappeared. It may have been prescribed meds that helped them on their way.

    A skill before I die? Communication. I am absolutely rubbish at it. I thought I was alright, but then my family put me right on that one. And they are right. Constantly trying harder. I listen alot. And they like that.

    Regrets – I’v e had a few, being rubbish at being a daughter, not having a decent relationship with my father, who is no longer alive, not loving the relationship with my mother who I have respect for , but not enough love.
    Spending to much time on making relationships with boys! I wish I had spent more energy creating a life for myself., growing my interests, developing skills.
    Not having enough time for my friends, not being assertive enough to insist on another dog being allowed to live with us since my old companion died nine months ago. When do I stop?

  33. Kim Williams says:

    I. Maybe a fox’s, like The Many Selves of Katharine North.
    II. A small boy, lost twenty years ago
    III. A sound, a really beautiful sound of a voice mingling with other
    IV. Torpid like my delight. Or, incandescent, cyclical, outside of myself.
    V. Yes! On eyelashes, candles, in moments of silence.
    VI. Vividly and in colour.
    VII. The patience and time to work on all the lost skills I loved so much as a child.
    VIII. Very few real regrets. I’m where I need to be right now, and my choices led me here. I regret that here isn’t closer to my family and the countryside in my heart, though.

  34. Ellie Bartleman says:

    I’d like to see through the eyes of a medieval peasant eg the woman in the blue dress in Bruegel’s The Wedding Dance.
    I’d love to see my father once again – he died far too young.
    I’d choose to make something very small and precious that someone in the future might find and cherish, not knowing who had made it.
    My desires are plentiful and enthusiastic but usually unrealistic – fantastic on the occasions where they are met, though!
    I’m always making wishes and crossing my fingers…
    I dream, I also daydream constantly, have done all my life.
    I’d love to be able to do the Charleston. Or other dancing.
    There are things in my life that I wish had been better, that I could have handled better etc, but I really try not to regret them because if they hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be where I am now, which is in a very happy place.
    If I have hurt anyone through it all, that is what I would regret and I sincerely hope I haven’t.

  35. Helen Jones says:

    Q1 My daughter’s. So I’d know better how to support her, and when to leave her alone
    Q2 My ex partner. So we could have a conversation about how he could say goodbye to our daughter and how I could help her deal with loosing him after his sudden death
    Q3 I would make a perfect meal for all the people I love most
    Q4 My desire – a happy future for my daughter and the children I love. My nation free to choose our own future to build justice. The end of the patriarchy. A lover I could trust and enjoy – not a lot to ask!
    Q5 I do make wishes. And sometimes cast spells. Interestingly, I have just realized that these are always for others, not myself.
    Q6. Dreams – recently many and disturbing in my sleep. Feel as if these are about processing past distress to prepare for something new.
    Q7 Skill – to learn to speak Italian fluently. I have a bit, but it’s not enough.
    Q8 Regrets – I have a few, but then again too few to mention! Seriously, a few more doors knocked to win two elections I lost. Not being able to say goodbye to my child’s father before he died. Too much time reading unimportant books. Sharing this – I assume it’s confidential?

  36. Kirsty says:

    1. My boy is three, and he has made me see the world through fresh eyes. You don’t realise how much you grow to take your surroundings for granted but you do. Everything you look at, and all your reactions, are coloured by your experiences, both good and bad. Sorrow and grief had recently dulled everything for me, but my boy is constantly full of wonder at everything he sees. We go on walks where we take a box and fill it with treasures we find on the way, and his excitement at finding a particular stone, or a bird feather, is amazing. We went on a dragon hunt recently, and he is absolutely sure he saw one – his imagination is so powerful! This does mean we are currently struggling a little with the monkey ghost in his room, but…! He has helped me to see the world fresh, and to see the world completely through his eyes, to see all the wonder and beauty with none of the sadness or cynicism would truly be a gift.
    2. My Dad. He was my best friend, and I miss him incredibly. I would have given anything for him to meet my boy, but it wasn’t to be – and that I think will always hurt.
    3. There are sooo many things I’d like to make – I’d like to build a house, i’d love to be able to draw – in a way that captured feeling and emotion, but my drawings are always clinical and somehow wrong! But I often find myself thinking about making pots, of sitting at a potters wheel and moulding clay. I don’t know why, but maybe one day?
    4. I used to constantly desire things – big things! When I studied I wanted to be the person who discovered a cure, when I first worked I wanted to climb the professional ladder. Now? I desire time with my family, I look forward to escaping to the seaside (Whitby) whenever I can – it settles me in ways I can’t explain. I still want to kayak with Orcas though, that desire has never gone – and see the northern lights!
    5. I do. I wish for my boy to be happy, I wish for snow, I wish for a lottery win, I wish I could be a better human, I wish that Americans would put down their guns, I wish that our government cared more about the people that need help. I think everyone wishes, all the time. I still wish that one day I will see the magic world that I still think is there…that I can never quite glimpse but sometimes think I can see from the corner of my eye.
    6. Yep! Weird dreams a lot of the time, I’ve dreamt of a frog army, of a noise I can’t stop, of running but never getting home. Recently I’ve had sad dreams. I used to have really lucid dreams that I would immediately forget, then days later something would happen and I’d get a massive feeling of deja vu. Then I’d realise that I’d dreamt the situation exactly. So I guess they were prescient dreams? But never predicting anything exciting, usually me having a cuppa and talking to someone about music, or gossiping about a boy…so a talent that could have made me he next Nostradamus, but actually let me dream about future tea drinking!
    7. I’d love to play guitar.
    8. So many. Main one? Not telling loved ones how much I loved them every day, even if it annoyed them

  37. Mimi Thebo says:

    If you could see through someone else’s eyes who would that be?

    I’m not certain I would want to risk this. Either I’d find it profoundly uncomfortable or I’d love it so much it would be painful to go back to being me.

    If you could see something one more time, what would that be?

    Some ‘thing’ would be the Kansas prairie on a summer’s day, when the wind winnows through the tall grass. Someone is a whole other story…I am crowded by ghosts.

    If you could make something, anything, what would you choose to make?

    I’m going to interpret this as something physical, so not a narrative! A beautiful, comfortable home.

    How would you describe your desire?

    I have so many, and some so intense that I feel I could nearly die from them. I am rather an intemperate, passionate human.

    Do you make wishes?

    I set destinations on my life sea and try to chart my way to them.

    Do you dream?

    All the time. Even when I sleep.

    If you could develop a skill before you die what would you choose?

    Listening. Properly.

    Do you have any regrets? if the answer is no please move to question 8a.

    Far too many and too heavy to disturb. They lurk like dragons – a huge, dangerous, untidy heap in the back of my mind. I love you, Jackie, but I won’t go near them.

  38. Angela Hathway says:

    I would see through the eyes of Michelangelo, carving La Pieta.
    I would see again my grandfather’s garden and lose myself in the colours of his flowers, theheat of his greenhouse and the fragrance of his tomatoes. His garden is my vision of heaven.
    I would make a house of wood on my fields and revel in thejoyof beingwith my horses, not two miles away.
    My desire is dormant, suppressed. There is no point.
    There is no point in wishing either, too many hopes dashed.
    I dream always, often frustrated, searching dreams.
    The skill I need is to believe I can actually make a living frommy sculptural work and that self promotion is not a sin.
    I have regrets, there are three.
    I regret not standing up to my family when they would not allow me to go to my grandfather’s funeral because it would upset me too much. Not going resulted in a complete mental breakdown and a belief that I don’t belong anywhere, not even in the bosom of my family.
    Secondly, I regret marrying a wife beating alcoholic, who I thought I deserved at the time.
    Thirdly, I regret not battling on as a strong, independent single parent, and thinking that settling for a quiet, reliable man would be the best option as a father figure for my little boy. They never got on once my son developed a personality, and I allowed myself to become totally disempowered again, and financially totally dependent.

    • Bernie Bell says:

      You do belong, Angela. You belong to yourself. You may belong, more than you realise, in the life that you have, I don’t know enough about that, to be able to say. But you do belong to yourself – to your own self. You belong with and to Angela.
      You do.
      Here’s something written by friend Sally – who has been through the mangle of life – Sally is an artist, trying to make a living that way, but mainly, trying to get through life!

      “Bless Our Indomitable Souls

      If we come to earth consciously from heavenly realms then we’re either fundamentally insane, or, we’ve inescapably adventurous souls, because we all dare enter a place full of danger and unknown outcomes.

      My soul’s latest adventure started when thrown into incognizance from the warm, nurturing nest of home, landing defiantly on this harsh planet – fearful, bewildered and desperately homesick. My offenders relayed to me with compassion that this was necessary for the interests of my soul’s purpose; that they couldn’t intervene, only watch empathetically the intense unhappiness I experienced in the first episodes of life.

      How can the soul enjoy adventuring in a soulless, dehumanising environment such as I found myself in, where to breathe is a crime, to exist a punishable offence?…. It cannot; instead, from necessity, compulsory searching in the dark night of the soul befalls. Innate spirit activates deep critical examination of the inner and outer world as it appears in all its madness, attempting to crystallise an escape route for survival.

      Without normalcy to compare with and nothing perceivable to lose, the soul is game for anything; exploring boldly, indiscriminately, any experience that might shed light on personal peace and meaning. Hence, from that black hole evolved a cornucopia of extreme, incongruous, adventures, encompassing sexuality, drugs, crime, and being almost murdered. A crash course in abundant unpleasantness!

      …. A clever strategy indeed, because only complete saturation of the unrewarding enabled my inquisitive, indomitable soul to piece together what I like and deserve, and to recognise my gifts, true qualities, and potential.

      Sally Case”

      Self- promotion isn’t a sin. If you produce something, which you see as being worthwhile, in whatever way – you can have the courage, drawn from that self I was talking about, that Angela, to present that and promote that to the world. If the world sees it as you did, or as you hoped it would, or in other ways, well, that’s how the world sees it. If you are pleased with what you’ve done, that’s the core of it.
      I wonder what your sculpture is like?
      I wrote this, about this man’s sculpture of an otter, and he contacted me to say that he’d been doubtful about even placing his “tinkering’s” (!!!!!) in the exhibition at all.
      He needs a bit of self-promotion!

      Here is something I wrote some years ago to someone – it’s not exactly to do with what you are saying, but, if it helps at all – well – I just hope it does.
      You do belong –for one thing, you belong to the human race – I know they can appear to be a shower o’ shite at times, but, they can be/are also truly, truly …something else, in so many ways.
      You also belong to LIFE, that huge, big Universe. You do. You are part of all that IS. You are.
      Sent: 17 May 2013 10:00
      Subject: Just being ………….what you are

      You will have done your best, which is all anyone can do , in any situation, the outcome of that, can appear to be positive, or negative, at some time, but, what it comes down to is……if a person has done their best, done what they thought was the right thing to do, at any time, in any situation, that’s all they can do. This is often a thing, with parents, they wonder did they ‘do the right thing’, did they ‘fail’ in some way. If they genuinely did, what they thought was best, then they did, the ‘right thing’. Children often, also, ‘blame’ their parents for how they are. They say it was because Mum or Dad or both to them, ‘did’ this or that ‘to’ them. Maybe so, but I also believe that, once a person ‘grows up’, starts to become themselves, then it’s up to them, to deal with what’s happened to them, and live their life, from that point. Not necessarily to cut it out of their psyche completely, cut it out of themselves, I don’t know if that’s possible, and is possibly harmful, but, to look at it, take it on board, accept what happened, and carry on with their lives, becoming a grown-up. It’s all part of doing just that, becoming a ‘grown-up’, growing into ourselves, saying “I’m me now, not just a product of how parents, siblings, teachers, etc. behaved towards me. I’m Me”. It’s part of going through a growing process, which, as we all know, can be a very painful business!
      One thing……people very rarely purposely ‘do’ mean things ‘to’ people. I came to the conclusion, some years ago, that, mostly, folk are just being what they are, doing what they do, how it effects another person, is a by-product of this.
      Here’s my ‘guilt’ rant…………..
      O.k. if a person does their best, in any given situation, that is all they can do, their best. Then, the result of their action may be positive, or it may appear negative, the main thing is, that they have done their best, in that situation, so, where does guilt come in? If a person, purposely does a mean thing, well, they’re not going to feel guilty, about the outcome, are they? They’ll be pleased, because they wanted to do a mean thing, sick fuckers they may be, but that’s the case! Where does the guilt come in? You’ve done your best, you’ll continue to do your best, realistically, why guilt? As I see it, guilt shouldn’t be seen to exist at all, it’s unreal, as I say, if a person wants to be horrid, well, they won’t feel guilty, if they do their best, and know they do their best, where’s the guilt?
      It is just a natural human reaction though, a person feels un-comfortable about a situation, and they call it guilt, mostly, it’s more just feeling un-comfortable because things aren’t being as you’d like them to be. But when are things ever how we’d like them to be? That’s not realistic. Life is just life, you do your best, and deal with how it works out, as best you can.
      One other thing is, the old chestnut of…..whatever is happening, at any time, is what’s meant to be happening, or else, something else would be happening, wouldn’t it? So, ‘bad’ though it may be, at the time, it’s the only thing that can be happening, and….it can take quite a while, to see that it was, actually, what had to happen, what, maybe, in fact, was for the best, at the time, and also in the long run.
      *************************************************************************I’ll stop now! I hope it makes some sense, and helps. I also hope you have someone who can help you with all that you are carrying, if not – reach out – find someone. A large part of my recovery from suicidal depression, started when I started to reach out to others, and let them do what they could to help. As well as helping myself – of course – that ‘self’ who is always with us, who knows us better than anyone, and who we…..belong to and with!
      Sending all good things.

  39. Raynor Winn says:

    1. Sandy Irvine – the first, the last, so young, so full of wonder.
    2. Those hands – cracked, gnarled, true.
    3. A spider’s web of dawn light.
    4. Unbound.
    5. Hidden and hopeful.
    6. Yellow sparks of real.
    7. To spin time.
    8. Infinite.
    8a. Empty moments of unseen beauty.

  40. Dave Medley says:

    If I could see through someone else’s eyes: my wife’s.
    If I could see something one more time: tropical marine life when snorkelling in Australia or The Maldives of Fiji.
    If I could make something: the novel I’m writing.
    How I would describe my desire: to be able to explore nature and fantasy in writing and have it published.
    Do I make wishes: every day. Often just hopes for a smooth day ahead.
    Do I dream: yes, and daydream about people, places and how events may unfold.
    If I could develop a skill before I die: maybe guitar playing. Without any of the effort required!
    Regrets: not having more time with my father, who died when I was a teenager. Not getting tickets to see Kate Bush live!

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