Blackened Paper

Why Joe Gowerstreet

Why “Joe Gowerstreet”? 

“Joe” is easy. I am Joe. My given middle name is Joseph.

 

“Gowerstreet” is the metaphor that anchors my soul. 

At age 28, I had the proverbial “dark night of the soul” experience. It was the most devastating, painful, life-altering, transformative event in my life. 

It is very difficult to put such events into words. But someone has helped me visualize it. 

Several years ago I was reading G.K. Chesterton’s book “Orthodoxy.” In one of his opening chapters he described “The Maniac.” And he cited examples of extreme mental illness. Chesterton then depicted mental illness like someone going endlessly round and round on the Inner Circle in Regent Park of London. 

By that, he meant that mental illness is a circular obsession. 

But then Chesterton gave hope.  While mental illness is circular obsession, mental health is forward progression. 

If someone is to achieve healing from mental illness, Chesterton said they must courageously and willfully leave the Inner Circle and get out at Gower Street. A street disconnected and separate from the Inner Circle in Regent Park. A street that opens an individual to the rest of London – and to the rest of the world. 

Gower Street symbolizes mental health. Mental health achieved by forward progression. 

I chose “Gowerstreet” because it symbolizes my personal path to healing. 

One day I hope to write a book called “Good Life on Gower Street” which will tell much more of my story.