These are my musings and observations on my daily life, loves and the laughter that are all a part of my experience of living now in the shires of England.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Daily court is in session

We do not react too well when others judge us … as drivers, friends, parents, lovers. What happens when we judge ourselves? Are we harsher than others or too lenient?

For the past three weeks I have been thinking about being my own judge. I know that I give myself a hard time. And that’s even with knowing more about me than others do!

Judgement – whatever source it comes from - always seems unfair, harsh and painful. When I examine myself and find fault (as that’s what this judgement session seems to be about) it always hurts.

I think that if I find an area of my life that I am not entirely satisfied with then I will examine it – rather than judge myself – and find a solution to make things better. Instead of castigating myself I will encourage myself.

I know that this will produce a quicker and more positive change rather than feeling the self-imposed burden of being condemned as wrong. Condemnation, personal or not, often has the feeling of a large boulder falling on me, one that I can never move, so I stay prone under the weight of the hurt.

Encouragement is like the multiple strong levers placed under the obstacle to remove it and to make a clear path for forward movement.

So on this day I promise I will be fair and kind to myself. I will encourage myself … forward.


Sometimes I need to be weak. I need someone else to be strong for me. I don’t know when it’s going to happen but when it does I’m too weak to ask for help.

Help me anyway, please.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Leaving ... or being left

I read something the other day and thought it was a reflection of my own feelings even though I hadn’t written it. It was a poignant piece about saying goodbye.

For some people this can be such an easy act while for others it can be the most difficult event in their lives. For me it seems that this all depends on what the first major experience of parting has been like. Similarly to the writer I was reading my first big separation came when my mother died. I was walking with her in our neighbourhood when she collapsed and somehow with the strength of a frightened 14 year old I managed to get carry her back home. Within 24 hours she had died and although I had seen her in the hospital bed it was still not real to me because the form in the bed was not the lively woman I had left the house with on that Saturday afternoon.

My sisters and I stood at the top of the stairs in our house and received the news that our mum was not coming back to us, ever. I know that the shock wave that surrounded me that Sunday morning remained in tact in my life for decades afterwards.

Following that moment, each and every departure has been major. There have been no minor incidents of leave-taking in my life.

I don’t have a good record of saying goodbye. I’d rather not do it at all. It hurts. Always.

It hurts especially when I know that it will be a long time or a permanent departure.

I value people and I love people, dearly. That’s what I do. That’s who I am. I don’t ever regret loving people. It makes me happy - and I hope it makes them happy too. There is no other way for me. If I make a friend of someone I intend to remain friends with them without a time limit or any of life's events derailing our relationship.

We may have to part ways at some point but I like to think that somehow the connection will always remain. Somehow.

(Follow this link to the piece I read ...)

Thursday, 18 March 2010

The gold refining process

It’s been a bit of a struggle to focus positively since Mother’s Day. When I started remembering my mother I also remembered what happened when she was gone. It was painful.

It was then that I thought that some records should be deleted.

I have been reading my diaries that I started when I was thirteen years old. At the start of my entries I smiled as I read them. Each day I ended the note with the following words ‘Thank God for today’. Two years into my recorded thoughts I stopped writing that for a lengthy period and while re-reading them I came to the conclusion that some things in our past should be forgotten.

I have been reminded of the terrible sadness and isolation I felt from that young age even though I was part of a big family. On the flip side I also met a strong determined girl who championed fair treatment for all from an early age – even when threatened with being placed in care (and further isolated) for daring to speak her mind to her tyrant father. I stood up to him while barely fifteen because my large family shattered when my mum was gone and it was just me and my younger sister left in a house that ceased to be a home to us, with a man who found us a burden, didn’t want us around and never tried to understand our fragile states of loss and fear.

It was when I recognised my strength that I was glad I still had my diaries to remind me of my past.

I feel as good as gold tried in the fire and refined.

Now I can really say, Thank God for today.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Trees and friendship

One day, in the very recent past, I had arranged to meet my friend. We hadn’t seen each other for a long time and although we had been in touch through the magic of text messages and emails, it wasn’t quite the same as being in the same space at the same time.

The morning arrived and I planned my activities so that I could get there at the agreed time. When I next looked at the clock I realised that I would be late, again. I hurriedly finished the task in hand and rushed to get ready. While I was doing this I realised that I should have been driving into the car park where we’d agreed to meet. Instead I was running around the house throwing a few essential things into a bag.

I was late, so I called to say that I would be there soon.

My friend said that she had just arrived herself, but would wander around for a bit while she waited for me. I felt bad to have left her waiting.

When I eventually arrived, nearly quarter of an hour late, she greeted me with her brilliant smile and I knew I was forgiven.

As we walked and talked together I realised that to me our friendship is like being on my own with my thoughts when I am having a good day. With her I can just think, act, speak and do as I please without any fear of censure. She gives me the joy of peace and makes me feel safe.

The time together passed so quickly and smoothly.

It was a beautiful morning walk and it is the most beautiful friendship.

I celebrate my friends.

They are like this tree that I saw on our walk that day.

Friends grow in all directions. They change as they mature. They alter with the seasons of their lives as they are adapting to their situations. However, they are always present in some way in my life. Trees may grow bigger, stronger, taller, and sometimes weaker. They come in all shapes and sizes and they blossom at different times but they are all beautiful. The friends that I have been blessed with are firmly rooted in my life. Like the root system of most trees our contact is very wide and it extends a long way. However, just because we all may have big trees in our lives doesn’t mean that we have no more space for new trees. There is always room for more saplings to join the orchard of friendship.

I am glad that I have such great tree friends in my life.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Look ...

Look ...

Wars abound
factions increase,
but I've found some peace,
in your eyes.

Greed persists
divisions grow,
but I've found some kindness,
in your eyes.

Neighbours quarrel
couples fight,
but I've found much love,
in your eyes.

World so full
of distress and pain
but I've found the beauty -
in your eyes.

© Marjorie H Morgan 1996

My truth

powerful emotion conquers knowledge

you are my truth

terrestrial heart loses it edge

Naomi for Ruth

planets fear the literary drought

desire ignites

erratic heart thumps and shouts

awaiting invite

established reason vanquished

without effort

lifelong sense is banished

to live in yourt

reaction to your presence

in mind or sight

drowning with concupiscence

desired outright

© Marjorie H Morgan 1998

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Living Now

Living now is a risky business.

I mean that in the sense of wanting to have a connection with another person. A deep connection, a lasting connection.

We all want to know people and be known by people. Really knowing them and really being known.

This means taking a risk.

That is, unfortunately, how we have come to view the prospect of opening up to someone new. Like it is a risk.

That old familiar feeling of rejection hovers over us like Damocles’ sword. The ever present threat from which we think we’ll never recover.

The truth is that we do have knock-backs and rejections but that’s really all right. It would be impossible – and undesirable - to have everyone we meet in our lives at the same level of intimacy. We have to accept that some people will not like us, not because we are not likeable, but because we may not be right for their lives at that time.

This is a fact that I am beginning to accept because I know that the same thing does happen from my perspective. In theory I’d love to make and keep all friends for ever, but the reality is that sometimes our paths cross and we walk the same route for a while, then we may veer off into our own separate adventures and journeys. On occasions these paths may entwine again and the meeting is usually joyous.

However, when we go our separate ways it is because that is where our personal journeys are taking us, not merely because we are avoiding friendships.

We each have to follow our inner compass.

If my pull is in one direction and my friend is being pulled in another direction then I must let them pursue their way. For friendships sake I cannot stand in their way.

Their way is not my way.

My way is not your way.

Your way is not their way.

Not always …

But sometimes we do walk together,

For a while.

I’m trying to make the time I spend with friends special and accept that the time apart is special as well. For all of us.

The brilliance of sharing time, fun, love and happiness can help to stave off those moments of loneliness. These moments can be redirected to reflection and rejoicing at what we have enjoyed and what we can look forward to enjoying as well.

What I am learning each day is that opportunities can come is all shapes and sizes, and particularly in different guises.

When I remain open to possibilities, then I receive them in abundance.

Getting to know people, even for a short while, is what I now consider an opportunity not a risk.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Releasing control

I like to plan things. I do this because I like to know what’s happening.

If I’m in control then if anything goes wrong the only person I will be disappointed in is me… and I can deal with that.

So it came as a bit of a surprise to me the other day when I text a few friends and said I had a free evening and did they want to do something, anything they could think of. Of course, as soon as I’d sent the texts I began to regret it and thought of immediately inventing a text delete or rewind button to retrieve sent text from cyberspace.

‘Ah well …’ I thought, ‘let’s just see who gets back in touch.’

I had released some of my control and it felt strange for a while. My mind started making plans about how I’d get out of this rash decision making moment. Was it panic that came and settled on my shoulders making my muscles tense? Maybe it was the unfamiliar fear of letting someone else look into my mind and be in touch with my feelings.

I have had times in the past when I felt that I was too quick to trust people, I experienced deep disappointments and then I learnt to trust only myself. But eventually that leads to loneliness. Even when I was surrounded by groups of people I knew that I was standing alone. I only had faith in myself. I somehow comforted myself that that was the best position to be in. It wasn’t.

Having the strength to believe in the goodness of others is not hard. People really do want to know each other and be known.

I clearly remember the first person who asked me to do something for them and without hesitation I said yes. My dear friend said ‘Marj, can you do me a favour?’

She didn’t say what it was or give me any further details about who, when, where, what or why but I knew that because she had asked and because I trusted her that there was not danger in the request. I knew her. I believed in her goodness. I knew her goodness would not mean anything negative for me. So I went ahead without fear.

I think that after disappointments we learn to protect ourselves sometimes we close down our lines of communication and trust in order to heal the injury. What this weekend has highlighted to me is that after an emotional injury you have to learn to have faith in people again just like a baby learning to walk. You have to take small steps until the faith and trust muscles are strong enough to take you through the unknown.

Exercising trust builds good muscles. Control muscles, like everything else, needs balance. These work great together. Fear of letting go can cause intense social cramps. Working the combined faith and trust muscles gives me increased flexibility and wonderful experiences.

I had several replies to my texts. All very bright. People were busy, working or had other arrangements planned but they wanted to do something with me as soon as we were both free. I smiled. That alone was worth the risk of sending the texts. Although I was not going out with them as I had hoped, I was still happy.

Then I got an unexpected call. And from there my whole weekend changed.

I have been learning again.

I have trusted myself to make good decisions.

I have been working my ‘faith in others’ muscles.

I ended up having a spectacular weekend and I don’t feel as if I’ve lost anything by not being in control all the time.

The release and the pleasure that I gained from having faith in someone else gave me a brilliant feeling of satisfaction and peace.

It didn’t really matter whether it all turned out marvellously or not - but on this occasion it did - the point that I learned again was that I cannot trust someone or something until I’ve given them the chance to prove themselves trustworthy. For me, this weekend, trust has meant giving up control and relying on something or someone other than me.

It was fun and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be.

I released control and got stronger at the same time.

It’s all good.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Unique stamps

As a child I used to love collecting stamps.

I still have my trusty, battered but precious, Stanley Gibbons Improved Postage Stamp Album for all the World’s Stamps. It brings back pleasant memories of saving pocket money and buying bags of stamps from all over the world from the classified pages in the Exchange and Mart, then waiting for them to arrive by post.

Some of the countries listed on the pages no longer exist but the stamps that are attached to the pages show that they were there once and important.

I still collect stamps.

Yes, I’m one of those people who enjoys looking at these special little pieces of paper with patterns and prices on them. The Royal Mail Mint Stamp collections are some of the more interesting new additions to my collection. I am particular about which ones I get. Not every new batch of stamps produced finds its way into my Stanley Gibbons Album.

I think the immense range of stamps that are produced around the world is a bit like the people that we have in our lives. They vary in so many ways but they all have a reason for being there. Just like the stamps in my book.

The edges of the stamps (unless mint condition) are often ripped, frayed and worn. If the stamp has been used it has marks all over it, showing where it was posted from and when it was posted. Strangely these marks all make the stamp unique and special. They tell their own story of the character and journey of that stamp. So it is with people. Like the mass produced stamps we have so much in common but we also have our unique marks and journeys to make. Our individual origin and destination is special.

The best thing that I have discovered is that we have a choice, each day, about our destination. We have the privilege to direct parts of our own journey.

The front of the stamp tells us a lot about what is popular, important, interesting or relevant at that time. People are so similar, they show you their faces but to know more about them you have to take time to know their history - where they’ve come from as well as where they’re going. Only then do you begin to appreciate the joys of your unique group of friends – and yourself.

Monday, 1 March 2010


In many homes across the world, including mine, there are mementos that have become lasting impressions of a person, a time, a memory. These may be in the form of photographs, objects and books.

Clay is a wonderful medium for retaining impressions.

Children love to play with clay. Adults also enjoy the pleasure of shaping something pliable into a lasting object. Impressing a shape into clay has become a usual way to retain memories. Parents and other relatives marvel at the imprints of the tiny hands and feet of the new additions to the family that have been preserved and mounted high for all to see.

Clay captures details perfectly. Every line and wrinkle is preserved. They catch the moment and last for a lifetime. The moment passes but the memory stays.

As we enter and share people’s lives we also make lasting impressions.

This impression can be when you or something about you stands out in an observer’s mind. It can be a good or a bad impression.

Each person makes an impact that can become deeply grooved into your mind or flit away like a single autumn leaf in amongst hundreds of others swirling through the windswept park.

I have had people come into my life that have been forceful and left a running impression like a deep tyre track in mud, while others that have been subtle and intricate leaving a memory like that associated with a beautiful perfume.

All these people have left a part their character behind even if they have gone away. Part of them will forever remain with me. The way they leave, the way they entered my life will all become part of the overall impression that they have generated and that I remember – fondly or not – when I think of them.

I’m sure that the same thing happens when people remember me.

I know that all impressions change and shape the receiver – that makes me conscious of the potential impressions that I am leaving in my wake today. Will they be strong positive impression that I have made or weak and distasteful impacts? Some people practice how to make a good impression and by doing this they act in a certain way to creating specific behaviour patterns for their own long- or short-term benefit.

It is unusual for anyone to know beforehand exactly what the result of their efforts will be. The effect of being in contact with others is like the creation of a painting: it is made by one person but many others can be influenced by its image.

I reflect on the mark others have made on my life. On so many occasions I have been extremely privileged to be the recipient of a beautiful expression of their characters. Some marks we leave in others' lives are temporary, some impressions are permanent and beautiful.

I hope that all the temporary impacts will be washed away like a sand castle at high tide, while all the permanent imprints will remain like clay casts retaining all the magnificent details perfectly.

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