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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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39 Responses to 681

  1. Welshdisastergirl says:

    a man… or a welshdisastergirl :)

  2. herbeey says:

    Looks like he’s in the mouth of a shark.
    But the sentiment is good… just very hard to detach from the tiny man and/or giant shark.

  3. beckyG says:

    Or the belly of the whale … having a Ninevah moment.

  4. ED... says:

    He looks to me like an Eliphaz.

    ‘Can mortal man be in the right before God? Can a man be pure before his Maker?’

  5. Kim says:

    Bless you Jon if this about you.

    ‘he leads me by still waters and into green pastures’ or ‘i will never leave you nor forsake you’ or ‘i have loved you with an everlasting love’ ? Might be a way to combat the nasty thoughts?

    I was taught to write them out on bits of card and i know its very simplistic and I don’t want to ‘bible bash’ but sometimes i need something tangible in my hand to remind me, and help me to conquer the fear my own thoughts bring.

  6. Catriona says:

    As I looked at it the words ‘even through I walk through a valley as dark as death, you are with me’ came to mind along with the end of the Jewish ghetto prayer ‘I believe in God, though God be silent’

    If the man is you, may you find the way out of the dark place. If someone else may they.

  7. Miriworm says:

    So your thoughts are grey hillock shaped things – how odd! :-)

  8. subo says:

    yep, me too. absolutely crushing. think thats why i’ve got so much out of morning bell – it’s not all bright notes


  9. beatthedrum says:

    Dont we have to take our thoughts captive?

  10. Karita says:

    Oh yeah – this is me.

  11. jonbirch says:

    yes we do beatthedrum… but just you try doing it while experiencing fight or flight and having thoughts rushing at nine million miles an hour. very, very hard indeed.

  12. Hayles says:

    Powerful cartoon, Jon. And aren’t your thoughts just like that when you have an anxiety disorder – huge looming dark forms just circling in on you?

    The ‘take your thoughts captive’ verse is an interesting one. I don’t think it means control your thoughts, (because this is impossible), so I think it must mean give them the importance they deserve, which is usually very little when you are threat sensitive or have an anxiety disorder.

  13. beatthedrum says:

    Jon it was more a question than an ‘attack’.

    The question is of course ‘How do we take our thoughts captive?’

    I had this problem, as i have suffered from clinical depression in the past, and its one that at times i still suffer from.

    Reading book by David Holden called “Battle for the mind” helped me, and lots of time with Jesus of course.

    Not there yet but the thoughts are less often and not so LOUD!

  14. jonbirch says:

    sorry beatthedrum… i didn’t think for a moment it was an attack… i didn’t mean to sound at all defensive either, merely to fill in the picture a bit more, which your question gave me the opportunity to do. please accept a humble smiley. :-)

  15. beatthedrum says:

    Lol its hard to tell on here sometimes Jon, but i know from past discussions your not that agressive, at least not to me ;-)

  16. Robb says:

    An elderly monastic I know said a few wise words about thoughts.

    You can’t help having them.

    You don’t have to agree with them.

    You don’t have to dwell on them and let them shape you.

    An example, having a racist thought doesn’t make you a bad person in itself. It is possible to respond to it be thinking “Hang on, I don’t agree with that”.

    It is of course possible to dwell upon that thought and steep yourself in it and become shaped by it and become a racist. That is a problem.

  17. JF says:

    Robb (16) that is very wise.
    There is nothing but thoughts.
    Better that our thoughts are a product of us, than that we are a product of them.

  18. Robb says:

    Haw succinctly put JF!

  19. dennis says:

    Did I miss a fight or something?

    Watch out for those thoughts!! those sneaky things jump out when you least expect them too and tear you apart.

    I think of the lyrics of a marillion song that sort of give me comfort and fear both at the same time, “just leave me alone with my thoughts…”

  20. jonbirch says:

    dennis… i never would have believed that ‘marillion’ would crop on this blog. :-) are we talking ‘pre’ or ‘post’ fish. ;-)

  21. HisGal says:

    I found myself still pondering about this all when I had a walk outside in the sun this avo. Meanwhile this song was playing on my mp3player and thought I’d share..

    “Set Me Free”

    It hasn’t always been this way
    I remember brighter days
    Before the dark ones came
    Stole my mind
    Wrapped my soul in chains

    Now I live among the dead
    Fighting voices in my head
    Hoping someone hears me crying in the night
    And carries me away

    Set me free of the chains
    holding me
    Is anybody out there
    hearing me?
    Set me free

    Morning breaks another day
    Finds me crying in the rain
    All alone with my demons I am
    Who is this man that comes my way?
    The dark ones shriek
    They scream His name
    Is this the One they say will set the captives free?
    Jesus, rescue me!!

    As the God man passes by
    He looks straight through my eyes
    and darkness cannot hide

    “Do you want to be free?
    Lift your chains,
    I hold the key.
    All power on Heav’n and Earth belong to ME.
    You are free!
    You are free!
    You are free!”

    It’s probably all not too hard-core ASBO, and for some perhaps even simply “too easy”, but filling our minds with His words (reading the Bible) and/or words about Him (tapes, books and of course music) often takes the focus off of ourselves so that we can see Him more clearly..

    The most precious thing I still remember and hold close from my dad when he passed away is 11 years ago was: “just try to stay close to Jesus, keep your eyes on Him..”
    Can still hear him say those words to me..
    And doing that surely helped me thru so many situations and circumstances. Actually turned out to be the only thing that calmed me down..it brought and brings peace to my often so troubled soul and my ever worrying spirit quiets down. It honestly helps me to get my thoughts a bit more into perspective..

  22. gilly says:

    love the image
    loving the comments too

  23. dennis says:

    most definitely fish days! He was my one and only role model which probably explains why I am such a mess (ha) the words were from blind curve i think. I didn’t think anyone would know who they were I was going to explain but i forgot. Does that mean you are a marillion fan too?

  24. Caroline Too says:

    I was once accused of thinking!

    but they couldn’t find enough evidence to convict me, so I got off! :-)

  25. Caroline Too says:

    the trouble with thoughts is that we think that they precede action

    that’s very optimistic!

    that they, in some way, define an individual,

    that’s a very western way of ‘thinking’ about people, and
    very damaging

    that thoughts, attitudes etc were all owned by and created by the

    we’re now descending to folly. popular folly, folly supported by pop-psychology and by so-called-serious psychology,
    but folly nonetheless

    but what if thoughts are just a type of action? and are created
    socially in the conversations we’re part of

    and those conversations that hang around our story telling memories,
    affecting the conversations that we have ‘symbolically’ with
    others, when on our own…

    are we, as individuals, guilty (or praiseworthy) for thoughts that
    are owned and created by our social circle?

    I think not

    but where ‘our’ thoughts are potentially damaging, where our
    social ‘thinking’ might lead to hurt,

    then we can slip in to modify them, if only a little…

    like an improvising actor or muscician we can slip in another
    contribution to a conversation that’ll just take it in another

  26. gilly says:

    i think it was Johnny Depp
    2004 who said in 2004, in a newspaper interview:

    “One of the most important gifts we have is imagination. It makes up 95%of our minds and is our greatest assett, our best friend and in some cases our worst enemy”

  27. Carole says:

    Interesting reading, all…I don’t think it is absolutely necessary to have a diagnosis of any kind to relate to this cartoon. I think we are all, at times, able to let our thoughts run away with us. I know someone who really winds me up. I have tried to make myself open to friendship with this person but it hasn’t been reciprocated. No problem, if that was that. But this person knows how to wind me up. Normally I am asleep withing seconds of my head touching the pillow but I have lain awake at night in huge mental turmoil over the many things that have been done, slyly, to hinder me in things I have been trying to do. I have never wished physical harm on this person but I have often wanted to forcibly eject them from my world…their very presence offending my sensibilities. My thoughts were doing a great deal of harm to me. This verse about taking every thought captive seemed to mock me. Trying to put my thoughts into any kind of perspective was a bit like trying to fit a king size duvet into a weekend bag. After a long time I think I have things sorted, largely by my making a concerted effort to avoid my nemesis.

    In my personal experience, time alone in quiet reflection can be great for sorting thoughts out…too much time alone with your thoughts can distort reality.

  28. Bo says:

    The pic reminds me of Aliens quadrology, with the facehuggers hatching from the eggs.
    Got the same shape, though much biggere here.

  29. Carole says:

    Reminds me of the ad for probiotic yoghurty things for ‘good bacteria’ in the gut…the thoughts look like those lumpy finger-like things along the digestive tract.

  30. jonbirch says:

    yes, it’s an odd picture this one… i think in my head the thoughts lurk behind the big bouldery shapes. but make of it what you will… probiotic yoghurt, alien facehuggers all work for me. :-)

    i was always more of a ‘queen’ boy, dennis. :-)

    i am now off to the garden centre with clare to find a little magnolia tree. very exciting! i love magnolia… oh yes! :-)

  31. dennis says:

    I would never have guessed that! Queen.

    Hey be very careful with your magnolia tree they if there small they don’t like frost!! And be careful if you re-pot it they get stressed very easy. Actually I just thought I hope Im not trina teach my grandma to suck eggs, if I am then ignore me.

  32. jonbirch says:

    my wife is one of those green fingered people, dennis. we found a ‘snow queen’ birch tree we love, a ‘stellata’ magnolia we love and a prunus incisa kojo-no-mai, which is a beautiful white flowering shrub… she seems to know what to do with all of them… it seems to consist of digging holes and sticking them in. :lol:

  33. Carole says:

    Hey Jon, I was a huge Queen fan in my teens. Loved the first 6 albums, chose my O level options on the basis of what I’d read about the band in magazines (who said rock stars were a bad influence on the young?), saw them at the cosy Liverpool Empire during Freddie’s ballet leotard phase, felt hugely betrayed when they went on to play aircraft hangars and stopped declaring the lack of synthesizers on the album sleeves! Though I always maintained a huge respect for them thereafter.

    Ah! Magnolia! Saw some early-ish flowering magnolia at Ness Gardens yesterday – always feel sentimental about that. It was always the scented shrub that my dad recommended when asked about such things. He used to sing a song called, ‘Is it true what they say about Dixie?’ which had a line about sweet magnolia blossoming around everybody’s door. Like Clare, my eldest sister has a gift for growing things…inherited from my dad. I don’t have to do anything to kill plants…maybe that’s where I go wrong, by doing nothing…hmmm. :)

  34. Pat says:

    Hey Carole – I used to love going to Ness Gardens when I lived in that part of the world many years ago :-D

  35. doctor ruth says:

    Caroline Too at #25:
    that thoughts, attitudes etc were all owned by and created by the
    Actually, us ‘so called serious psychologists’ have done plenty of research into cognition

  36. doctor ruth says:

    Caroline Too @25
    Actually, us “so-called serious psychologists” do not support the idea that “thoughts, attitudes etc were all owned by and created by the
    individual” AT ALL! On the basis of a lot of research, much of cognitive behavioural therapy is focused on helping people to identify that they ARE NOT their thoughts, that thoughts occur involuntarily, and that we do not have give our thoughts creedence but can simply notice and acknowledge them – this is particularly important for people with anxiety difficulties such as OCD, where intrusive thoughts are misinterpreted as being significant and meaningful to the individual whereas in fact they are not – we all have strange intrusive thoughts, and we all have anxious thoughts. It’s how we respond to them that makes the difference. Techniques such as mindfulness are particularly helpful.

    Rant over.

  37. doctor ruth says:

    oops, don’t know what happened there, looks like it somehow got submitted when I was half way through writing!

  38. Carole says:

    So, Pat, you’ve lived in these here parts? Ness is my favourite Sunday afternoon, blow away the cobwebs before the new week begins outing. Love it!

  39. Pingback: Ambush « If Narky, Feed Profusely

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