(Audio) Something Understood - In the Shelter of Each Other - BBC Radio 4, May 25, 2014

I presented the Something Understood programme on BBC Radio 4 this morning on the theme of the Irish seanfhocail 'It is in the shelter of each other that the people live" - "ar scáth a chéile a mhaireanns na daoine". 

It was produced by the wonderful Rachel Hooper from Falling Tree. The audio and an outline of all the songs played and excerpts read is gathered on the BBC Something Understoodwebpage too, for about another week.

Visionaries and prophets and wise-women.

I often hear voices. I realise that drops me in the crazy category but I don’t much care. If you believe, as I do, that the mind wants to heal itself, and that the psyche seeks coherence not disintegration, then it isn’t hard to conclude that the mind will manifest whatever is necessary to work on the job.

We now assume that people who hear voices do terrible things; murderers and psychopaths hear voices, and so do religious fanatics and suicide bombers. But in the past, voices were respectable - desired. The visionary and the prophet, the shaman and the wise-woman. And the poet, obviously. Hearing voices can be a good thing.

Going mad is the beginning of a process. It is not supposed to be the end result.
— Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal, pg. 170