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.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Focus through tears and touch


Certain days make you focus on the important things in life. Today was one of those days.

There are times when you become linked to people you do not know through people you know and love. 

Introductions can be difficult at the best of times but in some circumstances it’s best to remain silent. 

Sometimes, like today, the only communication is done through tears and touch.

It may not be physical – either the tears or the touch, but however you make the communication show it brings life into sharp focus.

Today I should have been in bed. I was so ill, but I needed to be elsewhere. I awoke early and got ready slowly – I have been lacking speed in the recent week due to sickness. Once ready I steeled myself for the hours ahead. No matter how hard it was for me, my physical and emotional pain would be like a drop in the ocean for the people burying their dear relative that morning.

Funerals have a way of bringing life and relationships into sharp focus.

Right there before the coffin I became a part of group of people whose truths of love and life were brought sharply into focus as if placed under a giant microscope.


Saying goodbye is hard. Showing you care can be hard, but sometimes you just have to find that way to focus that emotion so the recipient may know ... one day.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Carol - Poetry by George Mackay Brown


In the first darkness, a star bled.

The war of cloud and summit, other wounds.
Hills cupped their hands
And the rain shone over knuckles of rock and dropped to the
            sources.

Precious that well-hoard.
The priests gathered in secret jars
Lustrations for the passionate and the dead.

You were blessed, young tree
With one apple.
Far on you must bear five godwounds, prefigured and red.

The deer runs on, runs on, swiftly runs on
Before bird and arrow,
Then bends, obedient to the arrow, its branching head.

A hunter’s hand has broken the wild grape
To stain and seed.
And the hunter’s hill opened with a green sound,
A stalk of corn,
And the blacksmith took from his forge a powerful blade.

Now this, a cry in our atom-and-planet night –
A child’s wailing.
A child’s cry at the door of the House-of-Bread.


George Mackay Brown (1921 – 1996)
Taken from The Twelve Poems of Christmas, Volume Three, Selected and Introduced by Carol Ann Duffy


Tuesday, 20 December 2011

An Angel named Gareth


I know that in the traditional Christmas nativity play there is an angel named Gabriel but today I met one named Gareth. He’s a real angel who walks around the town dressed as a traffic warden.

This gentle man (in the true sense of the word) has been at the heart of many ripples in Northampton that has changed people’s lives. I met the Angel Gareth when I was sitting in my car waiting for the time to pass so I could go and meet my daughter. I was supposed to have met her before but she was late as she was in town with her friends and they forgot the appointed time. I was not pleased and decided to sit in the car to regain my focus and think how to use my time wisely. I just received a beautiful text full of love and promise and I was about to reply, then I looked up.

This is when Gareth appeared.

There was no fluttering of wings, just the rustle of protective biking gear. He wandered around the cars near me and took down registration numbers. I wound down my window. A brief exchange about me being parked legally and therefore not deserving of his attention or a ticket ensued during which time his eyes sparkled from beneath his helmet. He almost had a halo of peace and goodwill around him.



Some people you can just talk to as if you’ve known them forever. Gareth is one such person.

There was a reason why I didn’t meet up with my son at the appointed time, I was supposed to meet with this angel. He told me about how he started delivering Easter eggs to children’s homes over 10 years ago because of his desire to share happiness with others, and this random act of kindness led to over a decade of service to children (and others) throughout the county.

Sometimes we never know just how many lives our seemingly simple acts of generosity can touch, sometimes it’s better that we don’t know.

The angel Gareth told me one incident (among many that I’m sure he has in his memory) of a young man who didn’t understand why someone like him would give up his time helping other strangers. The young man rebelled against ... everything. But something in him remembered this angel, on a motorbike, delivering Easter eggs. Now, several years later, the young man is also an angel on wheels performing random acts of kindness to others.

Gareth does not just do these kind acts at Christmas, he is an all-year-around angel who helps others where and when he can.

I think that everyone should take a leaf from the Angel Gareth’s book and extend the season of goodwill to ... every day.



Saturday, 17 December 2011

Futile love exercises


What is love?

Ahh! The age old question that no one can answer with certainty or proof. Love just ... is.

Who you love is not guaranteed. There is no certainty or any specific formula to follow and get guaranteed results. Love is a mystery.  It always has been and I think it always will be.

This is why I have decided that I have had enough of attending the class ‘Futile exercise in love 101’

These sessions were aimed at educating me in how to stop loving someone I already love and also to teach me to love someone I had no connection with. What was the point? You may well ask ...

I spent some time wondering what this ‘connection’ was and I could get no clear answer.

This is where my conundrum comes in: love is both a mystery and not a mystery.

It is a mystery when it first occurs.
Love is organic, natural and magical. It just happens ... or it doesn’t. There is no formula that can be reproduced; it is unique between two people.

Love is also a mystery when you are trying to love someone you don’t love – it doesn’t work. Try to make love happen and it’s a totally different matter. It’s like reversing the natural, yet still mysterious, process of growing love, it is nigh on impossible.

This emotion, feeling, experience of love is so wonderful when a single person experiences it but so much more life-enhancing and encompassing when two people have the same sense of connection to each other.

Mysterious and ... lovely.

But yet – no mystery when you are in it. Just a marvellous sense of beauty, well being and rightness.

Mysterious and ... lovely.



Friday, 16 December 2011

Waiting



In films you sometimes see the moment of impact before it happens. Everything seems to go in slow motion. 

The knife glints, the bullet flashes and time freezes.

There seem to be moments like that in real life as well. When you are just waiting for something terrible and inevitable to become a fact ... of the present, and then – all too soon, of the past.


What I’ve found is that sometimes you have to wait for things that you don't want to happen. I always found it difficult to manage those moments. While thinking about my journey and others’ current journeys I wondered ‘how are you supposed to manage those moments?' I still don’t have any answers to give; all I have is my deepest love for those who are waiting in pain-lined days.

Like the scene in the film the first pain is expected and semi-prepared for. However, it’s the repeated aftershocks that also cause so much distress.

No one ever feels the same as anyone else when this happens. Each pain is unique. All I can offer is my love and friendship. You alone know how you feel in each moment and when you can reach out for ... anything. So I wanted you to know I am here for you if or when you need me. You remain in my heart, always.

Much love,

M.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

End of term Pied Pipers


I love people but unless I initiate it I don’t like standing up in front of a large group of people. You see, I’m easily embarrassed, especially when I’m unprepared. I guess it may be fair to say that I hate surprises ... well, most of them anyway (there are always some exceptions to every rule).

Anyway, there I was, minding my own business and helping the children when I noticed some furtive looks and smiles coming from some of the other children in different sections of the classroom. Suddenly I was called up to the front of the class as a few of them danced merrily in front of me: they were the Pied Pipers and I was following their lead. I felt like a giant suddenly – all the Year 3s seemed like little ants around my legs. Maybe it was because all their little eyes were on me and they we all in on the secret that I had no idea about.

I was thinking ‘What are they going to do?’ They’re only small people but en masse they are a formidable force. I wanted to run out and claim I had a prior appointment but I knew that wouldn’t be true or make any sense, especially when I had to face them again next term, so I stayed put and tried to exude confidence and calmness.

The lead teacher started to talk ... something about gratitude for my time and effort with them. I could hear her and see her lips moving but I was enwrapped by the shining faces in front of me and the ripples of applause that were coming from all corners of the room and settling at my feet.

They were showing me their appreciation and I was so touched I felt the usual tears start to build up in my eyes. Fighting them back I took the beautifully wrapped gift from the two pairs of outstretched arms directly in front of me. I know I was smiling and talking, but again the actual words are a complete mystery to me at the moment.

Somehow I got back to the door and, extending season’s greetings to all of them, I beat a hasty retreat. 

Feeling blessed I signed out at reception.

As I went to leave the receptionist opened the partition and smiled at me, “Did you get your chocolates from the children?” she asked gently.

“I did. Thank you.” I smiled back and pointed to my bag, “They’re in there. Thank you all very much.”

“You’re welcome.”

“Merry Christmas.”

“And to you.”

“See you next term. Take care.”

And with that final exchange I went out of the door into the cold wind but I knew that nothing would remove the glow of affection that had settled around my heart.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Sleep is a true love ...


I love to sleep. I don’t do it enough, but I plan to do more of it because it makes me feel ... happy.

When I am sad ... I like to sleep.

When I am mad ... I like to sleep.

When I cry and don’t always know why ... I like to sleep.

When I can’t think ... I need to sleep.

I curl up and wrap myself with the covers and my arms until sleep gently rocks me into bliss. I sometimes dream, but often I just float and release all the worries away from my peaceful slumber. Sleep is a medicine of unknown ingredients that always seem to work for all my ailments. It heals me, soothes me, wraps me in its arms and cradles me back to a place where I can feel again, and to that place where I know I can think, smile, dance, and love without borders.

I love sleep. Sleep loves me.



Saturday, 10 December 2011

Not invited and blissfully happy



By now you’ll have realised that I am a tad quirky and I have several encounters that I consider strange. Lord alone knows what many of you think about them ...
But, here is another one.

I was not invited to an event. I went. I had a wonderful time. The hosts were more than happy for me to be there ... seriously.

This is why ...


A birthday party was arranged. Guests were invited and the venue was prepared. I knew all about it, so I went along at the time that I knew it would start.

Hours later, after much fun, laughter, dancing, singing and playing had taken place, I left.

The following day I received a series of phone calls from the hosts, they were thanking me for being there, 
for their son’s first birthday party. I smiled and thanked them for the invitation and started to explain that I had had a great time.

They stopped me and said, “You weren’t invited ...” I didn’t know what was coming next but the laughter in the voice told me it was nothing to be ashamed of, “You don’t need to be invited,” the baby’s mother continued. “You are the same as us, you are family, we are one.” I laughed again and thanked her, but she hadn’t finished, “We will never invite you to anything as this is your home as well, you can come and go as you please. You helped us to plan it, without you it would not have been such a great success. You always make things wonderful. You play such a big part in our lives. We are one, sister, we are one!”

So, there you have it. I was not invited to an event. I went. I had a wonderful time.


Friday, 9 December 2011

Stolen identity


Every now and then I get incensed. You may have noticed it.

This time it is not just for me. I know I am often wronged, but in the main I can deal with those injustices, this time I am deeply unsettle (to put it mildly) because of the insidious creeping strategy to steal young people’s identity and disenfranchise and disenchant them with one foul swoop.

How is this done? To whom is it done?

I believe this crime is committed at school, in the shops, on the street, in youth clubs, and in homes across the country.

While in primary school, children usually retain a sense of belief in equality; they are all the same, they play together, eat lunch together and learn together.

When they are fed into the secondary school system it all changes. Many of the staff that deliver the lessons fail all the pupils because they cannot deliver information that they do not believe it. This machine of dictated and organised thinking has a fixed, out-dated model of Britain and it is devastating lives every day. The damage done at school continues throughout life. Meritocracy as an ideal is debunked at every turn, in most subjects across the spectrum. Divisions and disadvantage are taught in a formal manner and take root, like concrete boots.  

I’m talking about English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish people: British people. These British people, like me, are home but are still treated as foreigners.

When I worked in the computing and banking industries my CVs often when ahead of my interviews. There were many occasions when the interviewers – without disguise – said, in total shock, “But ... you’re black! From your CV I thought ...” I got used to it, however, the painfulness of the blows left deep marks especially as despite my outstanding qualifications and experience I didn’t get the positions I went for.




Nowadays the scenarios are being repeated, with subtle tuning changes. Some young people are told that they can’t be English because their skin colour is not white: the perpetrators of these lies (teachers and other pupils) are infrequently and ineffectively challenged. The children whose identity has been attacked are now in a state of flux. They have been taught to believe all they hear at school. Can this be right, they don’t belong here? If that is true where do they belong?

This is particularly true for those children with a mixed cultural heritage, if they try to align themselves to people darker than them they are told, “You’re not black enough”. If they try to align themselves with people lighter than them they are told, “You’re too black.”

They will eventually make their own tribe and fashion their own uniquely British identity and woe betide anyone who stands in their way. When you deny a person their identity and remove it by stealth you will be faced with uncontrollable fury.

Self identification and alignment is at the root of most wars and always comes with a heavy price – especially civil wars.

It is time all British people accepted that there is black in the Union Jack!
















Thursday, 8 December 2011

Accepting Loss


When do we get taught about accepting loss? When we have lost someone or something and everything is raw with pain? Surely there must be a better way.

Why aren’t we taught about dealing with loss when we are young? Maybe that’s one of the good reason why children have pets because it helps them to deal with loss – not that I am wishing the death of anyone’s pet on them at an early age, but I’m sure you get my meaning.

So, how do we learn to accept loss?

Eckhart Tolle suggests there are only three rational choices to any situation: change it (if possible), walk away (if you are able to) or accept it (and love it) exactly as it is.

The final choice, of accepting things as they are – and imagining that we had chosen that situation – is the best mental choice for dealing with loss. I’m not saying that we would willingly choose loss, all I am saying is that once it has occurred (and we can do nothing about it) there will be a more positive outcome if we accept it (the loving the loss may come at a later stage ... if it ever does).

Some days I am at peace with all my losses, other days are not quite so easy but I am getting there and that’s all I can ask of myself right now.


Loss 
by Chris Zuppa













Tuesday, 6 December 2011

It’s heavy ...


Sometimes the heaviest things that I have ever carried are my thoughts.


I sometimes wonder what I should do with these weighty opinions that press down on me. When someone asks me to share them, I wonder if I really should.

Can I risk lightening my load? (It sounds silly when put like that, after all, who wouldn’t want to take pressure off themselves?)

Then I remember the phrase, “Follow your instincts, you’ll be fine!” and I do, and I am.

It’s so much lighter now.

Now. Then. Always.


Now
            I am looking forward
            but I have to look back ...
            and I realise that
Then
            some people never had
            a hint
            of the degree
            of affection that I’ll
Always
            have for them.

            It’s my gift of love
            to them
            that I’ll keep in my
            heart.

            Now.
            Then.
            Always.


© MHMorgan 2011 


Saturday, 3 December 2011

Sometimes I am a sheep ...


It’s getting cold and nobody likes to be standing outside longer than necessary, so I don’t quite understand how the following scenario happened – especially as I am a person who is none too fond of the cold.

I went to the cash point at the rear of the store, there were two machines but people were snaking behind just one of them. I joined them.

I stood there looking at ... nothing in particular while moving from foot to foot in an attempt to keep warm - in the way that queue members do. The people at the head of the queue seemed to be taking an exceptionally long time at the machine. I looked over to the other one, there wasn’t a sign on it saying it wasn’t working, but I still stayed where I was.

Then we moved forwards. I was still cold and as I moved closed I peered even more at the other machine. I still couldn’t see any sign (as if I thought it would materialise as I got closer!).

Other people came and joined the queue.

The man who was behind me cleared his throat and spoke, I looked around at him. “Is the other machine not working?” he asked. The question in my mind was voiced.

I laughed as I said to him, “I don’t know. I’m just a sheep! I saw the queue and joined it.”

The woman in front of me also turned and started laughing. “Me too!” she smiled at us, “I’m not sure, I did the same.”

The man who spoke up repeated his question to the person leaving the head of the queue. “No,” the departing person confirmed, “it’s not working.” Someone then felt brave enough to approach the cashpoint and said, “No, the card reader is damaged.”

With a sigh of relief we all settled back down into our English reserve and resumed our quiet places in the queue feeling justified that we hadn’t broken queuing protocol.   



Sometimes I feel like a sheep but sometimes I just know I’m so English! We love our quiet queuing. 

Friday, 2 December 2011

It’s a blessing and a curse ...



This is a familiar line from the Monk detective series. Adrian Monk is usually talking about his skills as a detective - who happens to have OCD.

I have been thinking about something rather different: beauty.

Is the gift of beauty a blessing or a curse?

I’ve heard that it is advisable to use beauty as a business and career asset. What do you think? Have you done it? Does your CV or Resume have - listed under transferrable skills and assets - the legend beauty shown?

I have just been wondering how, if you are beautiful, you go about enhancing this attribute to your best advantage, you know, for rapid career progression.

I know many beautiful people and they have said that being seen as attractive is more often than not a curse because they suffer from the lack of genuine observation of their intelligence or their personality.

They sometimes wish their gift of beauty away or hide it beneath clothes and behaviour. Is this fair?

This made me think about what else, as a natural phenomenon could be used as a business asset?

Should any birthright be cultivated for a career? Maybe Tyra Banks could give me some answers on this ... then more people could become the Top Model in their particular field.  














Thursday, 1 December 2011

Icebergs, ropes and sunshine

I remember being stuck behind an emotional iceberg for a long time and I became very familiar with the terrain. It is because of this journey that I am now able to recognise when others may be in the same position as I was in all that time.


I did, however, managed to escape so now I provide a search and rescue service to those who want or need it.

When I recently realised that a dear friend was trapped behind their own emotional iceberg I mustered up all my strength and threw a lifeline of love out to them; it appeared on their side of the iceberg as a sturdy rope that they grabbed, tied firmly around their body and started to move forwards.


What we both realised, as time passed, was that the sun was shining onto the top of the iceberg and it was melting thereby making the height of the blockade shrink with every forward step.

When they had fully emerged into the sunlight I was told that being sent the lifeline of love and hope was an act of beauty in the midst of desolation as they needed to know that they were loved but, at that time, they were unable to reach out for help.

Sometimes we are behind the icebergs ourselves, other times we have the ropes and sunshine on our side so we must use them to rescue others from their despair. 













Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Broken spirit


There are days when even Hercules would suffer under the physical and emotional strain of life. Despite all that you are currently bearing, you continue to exude a whisper of strength.  Inside I guess you are in pieces but because of your outside look people forget you are vulnerable, tender and fragile too.

I know that what you’re going through is the hardest journey, sometimes it can be easy to forget who you are on this road – the real you becomes invisible to the naked eye.



It gives you every reason to doubt people, but you should always hold on to the truth that you are well loved ... by someone – always.

I love you.

I see you. All of you.

Know now that you are not forgotten. I’ll never forget you.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Be ... who you are


To be who you really are you need the right space, the right passion and the right reasons.

In other places, with other people, it’s like you’re on vacation from your own life. When it’s right, you’re THERE: fully present and active in your own life.

You can’t be WHO you are otherwise.

Find it (space), find it (passion) find them (people). 

Be who you really are.


Monday, 28 November 2011

Best advice so far ...


I love to communicate and I use social networking sites to aid that task.

When I sent a message out to a special contact this morning I got the best advice that I have received this week. She said, “Create a great week!”

So, from her to me to you ... it’s all yours, go do it!



Sunday, 27 November 2011

Fierce protection


I will protect the people and things I love fiercely: that includes myself.

I am not habitually a violent person but once – many moons ago – when someone persistently violated my personal space I did use physical force against them.  It shook me terribly for several hours, days and weeks. I have never forgotten the feeling of impending danger that I experienced and wanted to avert. I am not proud that I used force, but I am satisfied that I did the right thing at the right time.

That said, nowadays I use (as is my lifelong practice) the verbal skills of negotiation and personal engagement to avert any crisis.

Just last week I had cause to confront two youths riding a scrambler, at speed, on a footpath where I was walking with three children.

I did not approach them with aggression, although I could have, I was just intent upon sharing my thoughts – in a calm way – about the impact their reckless actions had and could have on others.

There was an initial standoff which included revving up of the bike as the rider turned the machine back towards me in a show of aggression. I walked forward regardless. I was determined but not stupid, I quickly assessed the situation and keeping eye contact I proceeded.


Insults were thrown at me, I decided to parry them with soft words and gentle inquiries. It seemed to work. 

Within a few minutes, the rider and his pillion passenger were calmer and nodding in understanding as I spoke with them. I explained that I knew about high-spirited actions but all I was asking was that they be considerate to the possibility of not so able people walking on the foot paths.

We parted amicably. The rider smiled from behind his balaclava and winked an acknowledgement of his understanding.

I was still calm as I went back to where my son and his friends were hiding around the corner. They were all safe that day, as was I. And I know things would have been so very different.

I am not easily deterred from doing right for those who are maligned. You see, I will always remain fiercely protective of those things close to my heart.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Part of my story


It’s the truth that you are part of my story and I am part of yours.

Our life stories have intertwined and become one ... at least for a while. I am happy to share this part of my journey with you. I hope that you, too, will be happy to have me as part of your life story.


Monday, 21 November 2011

Undercover sister



This is not about Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act, although it could be ... it’s about, well, you’ll find out if you read on.

(But just in case you want to know whether you have the time or not – this is about keeping secrets. There, the cat’s out of the bag.)

Right, where was I?

Ah yes, the undercover sister.

I guess many families have secrets. And we may never know about them because ... they’re secrets. I think that’s self explanatory really, however, I will plough on.

I have spoken to several gay people who, when they share the secret of their sexuality with people, are greeted with the words, “I knew you were gay ages ago ...”. Thus revealing that the secret was not such a secret after all. It was really a case of people actively avoiding the obvious to retain a facade for as long as possible. Somehow this facade helps to keep them safe ... from the truth.

Being undercover is about pretending to be someone else.

Being in a family is sometimes about pretending that everything is the way you want it to be. Holding up the curtain of social respectability so that internal and external relationships can continue in a seemingly smooth (and always false) manner. Each family has their own personal way of handling their specific secrets, be they alcoholism, child abuse, drug addiction, incest, sexuality, or ... anything.

At different times and in different places people who carry secrets have their own particular burden to hold. It is specific to that person in that family. No one else will know the weight of the shame or perceived loss of respectability that that secret carries with it. The only common factor is that everyone involved is an undercover agent and must retain their character at all times.

The initiation into secrecy often comes without formal training, just looks, sighs and head shaking. The importance of this secrecy is heightened by the fact that no one ever acknowledges it ... ever.

So, when this undercover sister broke ranks and spoke about the family secrets there was a change in the choreography, new secrets were made and the exclusion zones moved: I was now outside and removed from the bonds of the heavy family secrets. I was branded a traitor who could not be trusted anymore because I spoke openly about how my family worked and how they viewed me – as the enemy within, but I felt lighter and freer.

As I am now a free agent - no longer in deep (family) cover, I can present myself as I like, not as the family dictates: my life is not a secret.

Sadly, they’ve gone into deeper cover than ever now I’m out, they’ve taken the other secrets undercover with them.

“You have family secrets because you want to present your family as respectable.”
 Laurie Taylor, Thinking Allowed, BBC Radio 4, 26th September 2011.


Sunday, 20 November 2011

Protective Factors


Most people have an intrinsic desire to live. They have factors in their lives that protect them against taking unnecessary risks and ending up in dangerous situations.

Other people, sadly, are devoid of the protective factors in their lives that guard them against negative acts to themselves or others. This is usually the case when relationships break down, when beliefs about relationships are questioned and the social bonds that hold us together are difficult to hold on to.

This is not just some random anthropological or social theory, this is a reality – to me, and to many others.

When I was decades younger I thought I was always to be denied regular involvement in special peoples’ lives. I believed that routine bonds and relationships were never meant for me. The continuous denial of my reality caused me to seriously think about a negative action in my life.

It wasn’t helped at all by the fact that in my family keeping secrets and denying the truth were regular behaviours. I felt excluded, and I quickly realised that the bond that kept others together, was not part of my makeup.

All the protective factors that I saw easily glide into others’ lives seemed like a rocket ride to the moon far away for me – impossible. Their positives became my living negatives; it really hurt. It was a period of intense anxiety as my personal identity was realised.


As I became more isolated from meaningful family relationships my sense of crisis was deepened. I went undercover in my ownfamily.

While others did not seem at all bothered by the obvious secret, to me it became almost too heavy to bear. I was sorely tempted to throw it off the top of a local hill – without a parachute.

Somehow I found my own social bonds that have become vital protective factors in my life. For these I am eternally grateful. What others may slip into easily, like a birthright, I had to struggle to reach but now it fits like a hand-made glove.

I have relationships that have altered my perspective and given me a deep sense of social meaning and focus. I have my own protective factors in my life and I am bouncing with well-being and happiness.


Saturday, 19 November 2011

Let go ...


If you hold on to some things, that makes it difficult to obtain other new things in your life: because you don’t have the capacity to hold it all.

There comes a time, with some things – even precious things – that you just have to let go. So that you can grasp the new opportunity with both hands and hold it as securely as it deserves to be held. A tenuous touch on a possibility will not, generally speaking, lead to fulfilment.

For the chance at tremendous possibilities you really have to ...

“Let go. Let go, and move on.”
Management (2008)


Friday, 18 November 2011

Half-hearted


Who wants half-hearted efforts in anything?

Are there any takers for people who are lukewarm about ... anything or everything? I don’t think there will be that much rush to snap those particular people for any team.

I think it’s plain to see that we don’t want uncommitted people working for us or with us. How about apply the question to yourself?

When you do something you really should be totally committed to it. Work in your time frame and to your ability, you will eventually (at the right point for you) be ready to share your passion with the world ... and the world will then be ready to accept the fruits of your commitment.

Half-hearted attempts really don’t cut the mustard.


(Have you ever tried cutting a mustard seed? Focus and determination are required.)



Thursday, 17 November 2011

Embarrassing technology


Now before you get all excited, it’s probably not what you are thinking about! Good. Now that we’ve cleared that up, this is what happened to me the other day. It was embarrassing ...

As a recent owner of a Blackberry phone I was more than pleased that the company decided to give free applications following some downtime in their service. I browsed the gifts and selected ones I thought I could use. Strangely, because they were free they felt ‘different than if I had to pay for them, I don’t think I was quite as selective and careful with the instructions as I could have been.


Anyway, I had this particular application installed and after playing around with it for a while I promptly forgot it. This was my biggest error.

It just sat there on my phone waiting for the appropriate time to behave like a UXB. Well, that’s how I treated it later ...

I was sat with a year 3 child going through grammar and other literacy points when the phone made itself known from the depths of my coat pocket.

I scrambled to get it, the more flustered I became the harder it was to get the phone out, to remember where the controls were and to turn the volume down.

What happened? I hear you ask. Well, I had installed a Drive Safely application that reads your emails and messages to you as you are paying attention to the road. Alas, when I got out of the car that morning I had neglected to turn either the application or the phone on to silent.

The message that came through?

Well, I can’t really divulge that here, all I will say is that it was not suitable for the ears of a year 3 pupil! I mean, although they sometimes have difficulty in their reading skills, their listening and comprehension faculties work very well!

Her eyes were wide open as I eventually made the phone harmless.

I haven’t blushed like that for a while, but I guess hearing that my profile on some long forgotten site has be matched with  Anonymous Blond Curvaceous and that notifications have been sent is not conducive to a calm demeanour in front of sponge-like children!

Thanks for the free embarrassment Blackberry! 

Happy Birthday to ... you!


It’s time for an extra special birthday gift – just for YOU.

What’s that you say? ‘It’s not your birthday.’ Never mind the actual date of your birth, this is an extra special day. I mean the Queen (and my eldest sister) have more than one birthday, so why shouldn’t you and I?

So, here is the gift to follow the greeting ...


Doing what makes you happy is a “gift of love” to yourself (Sir Willard White). 

There you are, with my complements. Again, I say ‘Happy Birthday to you!’

Accepting your own gift of love makes you feel good, it makes you feel better and creates a transformation in yourself. Enjoy your birthday!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Comparisons


We all seem to hate being compared to other people – either because we feel we are too superior to them or that we are totally overwhelmed by them. But, it is a fact of life, that no one is free from comparisons.

Recently I heard a woman on the radio being compared to her father. He was a playwright, she is a playwright ... altering one of his seminal pieces. She felt overwhelmed by his legacy. But, nevertheless, she did her very best. It appeared she did a fantastic job.


Some people may not agree. Because they will always hold someone up as the higher standard to measure things against. That does not alter the fact that if you do your best, you have done your best: that is your own personal standard and you have succeeded – outstandingly.


Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Serve your dream


Recently I have been researching the life and philosophy of The Hon. Sir Willard White for my Historical Geographies blog.  I have read several things written about him and seen his performances. Some of my greatest insights into the reasons why he is where he is today have come from listening to him speak about himself, his life and the journey her has taken.

In one interview, broadcast on CBC Radio in2009, he spoke at length with Bill Richardson about achieving your own particular dream. The way he phrased it has stayed with me since that time.

Willard White said that when you “serve your dream” you will inevitably face questions and obstacles but you can always get over them (or around them) by just being who you are and doing what you want to do ... and you will do it beautifully.

Serving your dream means to be faithful to your vision’s integrity: you have to believe in it, and live for it and continue to be inspired by it. Willard White did this.

I can do it.

You can do it.













Sunday, 13 November 2011

Blogging and psychology


My once private thoughts are transferred by my fingertips to my blog. I work stuff out as I write it. My internal observations are transformed into words that somehow manage to convey the jumbled up bits and bytes that pulsated through my head some time ago.

After all this time I still do it. Why?

Well, blogging is airing my psychological laundry in public.


I get a buzz from seeing the metaphorical shirt-tails blowing to and fro on the waves of the web. Whether it is a stormy southwesterly or a cold northern breeze, it feels satisfying to put my thoughts on virtual paper.

Sometimes there is confusion raging in my head and when I talk about it, and sometimes write about it, it gains its own form of clarity and cleanness of being.

I blog because it’s my self-prescribed therapy ... and it’s still working!

Friday, 11 November 2011

11/11/11 - Remember


11/11/11 - Remember

Man’s desire collides
between
life and duty,
mind explosions, fire!
Silence.



Upright backs
forever straight
under earth’s
pressure.
No peace found.


Bravery flows red.
Love and hatred
unite in the sod ...
forever.

© Marjorie H Morgan 2011 














Remembering ... my brother



© Marjorie H Morgan 2011

For M.G.R.
Remembering ... my brother

My brother was a soldier, he went to war.
He fought proudly for Queen and country.

My brother was a soldier.
His life was a war.

I remember
I used to pretend that
my brother was not a soldier
so I could sleep
at night.

Wars devastate
families
every day as
they bite and tear at hearts and
spit them out on barren ground.

War is hatred wrapped in metal.
War is a monster under the bed.
War is a thief ... of lives, dreams and a future.

I remember when my brother was a soldier.

The heavy
airmail letters bore whispers of hopes
as they thudded on the doormat.

The brief visits home held 
 unspoken dreams and fears distant
at the sharp point of the invisible bayonet -
all family eyes saw the pain
as he shone his
boots to remove the past.

There is no peace
when your brother is a soldier,
there is no peace
when familial familiarity shrivels
in the face of  unspoken horrors.

War diminishes lives.

Yet, I remember
that my brother was a soldier,
proud and strong,
loyal and true.

I remember
that my brother
always came back,
sometimes without his shadow ...
other brothers did not return.

Today, I remember
all the soldiers
who are my other brothers.
The brothers who are like moths
drawn to the flame of war
that scorches their souls,
that steals their eternal youth.

I remember.


© Marjorie H Morgan 2011 













Thursday, 10 November 2011

Destruction


Doing hurtful and negative things to others only hurts them. Right?

Wrong.

Willard White (in the Guardian 15/4/05) said something that rang true to me:

We choose to do things that we think will make us feel good ... If the foundation of that choice is steeped in the poison of what we feel about ourselves, we can do really terrible things. Every human being wants happiness, and wants to be at peace. So why choose to do something destructive, which is actually an act against yourself?"

(Yes, this is Willard White Week!)

Destruction of others leads to self destruction.
















Wednesday, 9 November 2011

I regret ...

How many times do I think or say that?


Not as many as I used to. It’s a phrase that I am abolishing from my life. But like the slave trade the passing of the act does not mean that all evils cease immediately. This too is taking its time.

However, I am now really living my life the way I want to (most of the time) so I seriously have little or no need to express regret.  




“A life lived does not need regrets.” 
The Hon. Sir Willard White



Tuesday, 8 November 2011

My biggest critic


... is me. But there is an upside to that comment as well. You see, my biggest cheerleader is also me! I just have to get those aspects of me in balance to live a healthy mental life.

There are times when I get down. I don’t mean sad, I mean really depressed. And it’s then that I think ‘What’s the point?’

What I now know for sure is that we often get the courage to carry on at the very point when we are ready to give up. This has happened to me repeatedly.

My inner critic will berate me and beat me up and I really want to give up. I intend to. Then, right at that last moment, I awaken the dormant courage that I realise I have and I am practically invincible again. I believe in myself and I know that I must carry on because I owe it to myself.

It’s that simple ... and that hard.

I look at myself and know that I must make the effort ... for me. I do. I will. Thus doing I silence my biggest critic.

Rah, rah, rah!



Sunday, 6 November 2011

Knowing all sides


I heard a line in a film that went something like, “You cannot know your enemy until you know his god.” It was a Maori man sharing the wisdom of his fore bearers.

Who is my enemy?

Hopefully I don’t have many, but I would be foolish to think I don’t have any. They have their reasons.
I know there could be a long list. But I’ll start a lot closer to home as I know that I can be my own enemy sometimes. (Arrow pointing at me reads ‘enemy no. 1’.)

This same advice can be altered to read, “You cannot know your friends until you know what they love.” Of course, the same is true for knowing myself.

My loves and desires are an important part of my being. It’s all about knowing all sides of the story.


"Remember: the enemy has only images and illusions behind which he hides his true motives. Destroy the image, and you will break the enemy." ~ Enter the Dragon (1973)

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Corniche - Poetry by Les Murray


I work all day and hardly drink at all.
I can reach down and feel if I’m depressed.
I adore the Creator because I made myself
and a few times a week a wire jags in my chest.

The first time, I’d been coming apart all year,
weeping, incoherent; cigars had given me up;
any road round a cliff edge I’d whimper along in low gear
then: cardiac horror. Masking my pulse’s calm lub-dup.

It was the victim-sickness. Adrenalin howling in my head,
the black dog was my brain. Come to drown me in my breath
was energy’s black hole, depression, compère of the predawn show
when, returned from a pee, you stew and welter in your death.

The rogue space rock is on course to snuff your world,
sure. But go acute, and its oncoming fills your day.
The brave die but once? I could go a hundred times a week,
clinging to my pulse with the world’s edge inches away.

Laugh, who never shrank around wizened genitals there
or killed themselves to stop dying. The blow that never falls
batters you stupid. Only gradually do
you notice a slight scorn in you for what appals.

A self inside self, cool as conscience, one to be erased
in your final night, of faxed, still knows beneath
all the mute grand opera and uncaused effect –
that death which can be imagined is not true death.

The crunch is illusion. There’s still no outside world
but you start to see. You’re like one enthralled by bad art -
yet for a real onset, what cover! You gibber to Casualty,
are checked, scorned, calmed. There’s nothing wrong with your heart.

The terror of death is not afraid of death.
Fear, pure, is intransitive. A Hindenburg of vast rage
rots, though, above your life. See it, and you feel flogged
but like an addict you sniffle aboard, to your cage,

because you will cling to this beast as it gnaws you,
for the crystal in its kidneys, the elixir in its wings,
till your darlings are the police of an immense fatigue.
I came to the world unrehearsed but I’ve learned some things.

When you curl, stuffed, in the pot at rainbow’s end
It is life roaring and racing and nothing you can do.
Were you really God you could have lived all the lives
that now decay into misery and cripple you.

A for adrenalin, the original A-bomb, fuel
and punishment of aspiration, the Enlightenment’s air-burst.
Back when God made me, I had no script. It was better.
For all the death, we also die unrehearsed.

Les Murray (from his collection - Killing the Black Dog))

Friday, 4 November 2011

Psychology and sexuality


*WARNING  do not read this blog if you have homophobic tendencies *

This is a personal point of view – we all have them. I am about to share mine.

With the fluid nature of sexuality and the constant need to express this sexuality in public, it is sometimes a wonder to me that the majority of the population (i.e. the heterosexual section) can be so narrow-minded in their opinions about how and if (really?!!) homosexual people should express their sexuality.

Sexuality is an innate part of every being. Fact.

In Western society the usual model for containing sexual expression has been (for centuries) with the bounds of marriage. This has been (for centuries) denied to people with different sexualities to the majority. Fact.

This same heterosexual majority that flaunt (yes, really) their sexuality at every opportunity continues to deny this inalienable right to homosexuals, transsexuals and other. This is wrong. Fact.

While heterosexuals look and touch each other without censure those of other sexualities are taught that they must hide their sexuality at all costs. Then ... when they do, the heterosexual majority wonder about it and imbue the homosexuals and others with an identity of a primarily rampant sexual being - just because they don’t know what is being expressed in private and because they are judging by their own behaviours. At the same time the heterosexuals state forcibly that those with other sexualities should remain celibate while they themselves are sexually expressive at all times. This is wrong and is inequality of humanity. Fact.

In the past centuries it was popular to stay celibate until marriage (for heterosexuals) even though marriage was generally denied to homosexuals and others the majority still dictated that celibacy was the only way, yet they abandoned it without a second thought, or so it seemed.

So the idea was that homosexuals stayed celibate until ... well, for ever I guess since equality of marriage is not generally accepted.

This is beyond ridiculous.

This is sexuality apartheid.

This makes me mad. Fact.

I am an equalist and I believe that homosexuals and others should be allowed the freedom to express their sexuality in the same way as heterosexuals do every day, and without blinking and wondering if they will be sanctioned for showing love. Fact.

Sexual identities, like other identities have a right to be freely expressed. Anything else is sanctioned mental abuse. Fact.

From this speakers’ corner known as my blog that is my current thinking on the psychology of sexuality.  

Peace


I realised that I was inhabiting a beautiful peace as I stood with my head rested on the doorpost from the living room to the hallway. I didn’t have anything to do or anywhere to go. I was captured in that beautiful moment.

I looked at the shaft of autumnal sunlight as it streamed through the round window and threw a long shadow of joy on the wall in front of me. Somehow I felt the light enter into my heart and it was a perfect match for the light on the wall in front of me.

All I could do was to smile and say, “How lovely.”


Thursday, 3 November 2011

Blind to self


There are occasions when you know something is there but you don’t look at it. That doesn’t alter the fact that it is still there. It is waiting for the scales to fall from your eyes and the self-blindness to be removed. Only then will it be fully known, as it is part of you.

When you are blind to the attributes of self then the things right there, under your nose, cannot be seen. Even the good things.


Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Who am I when ... ?



Questions for myself ...

When I see somebody hurting who am I to them? Do I add to that hurt or help to take away their initial pain? Do I ease their hurt or increase it?

Who I am when ... you need me?

Who am I when ... I need you?

Who am I when ... they need us?

Who I am when ... it matters? It always matters. Who am I now?


Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Sense of humour


Sometimes people say to me ‘Cheer up. You look so sad.’ Other times I am commended on the speed of my witty repartee and winning smile. It all depends on the circumstances.

But one fact remains ... You’ve got to have a sense of humour when you do the job I do... being alive! It’s the people I meet that make it necessary, you see. Without a dose of humour I’d constantly be given ‘pep talks’.



I am happy. Sometimes people just can’t see it because it’s so deep.

I would say ‘Look a little closer’ but I don’t know you that well ... do I?
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