On forgetting we are using metaphors and other fascinating thoughts

  • The most obvious confusion between metaphor and reality is when society labels emotional/interpersonal problems/divergence from norms of society as mental illnesses.In the USA childdhood disobedience is now a mental illness and there are many similar crazy  notions.Homosexuality was labelled as a mental illness for years but no longer.
    Now if you are suffering terrible anguish in various forms it may help to be told it is an illness… or it may make you worse.I am sure that often excess fatigue,personal characteristics like overworking constantly,not eating well,being distressed by the state of the world are very common but there are no blood tests nor any other tests to identify such as being illnesses.Though often physical illnesses casuse mental distress and depression either directly or because of shame and anxiety and other reactions to being ill for a long time.
    The writer Thomas Szasz identified this confusion many years ago.If you disagree and say how can medication help unless a person is ill then I’d say that the placebo effect is one reason and another is that if someone is exhausted and needs to rest then medication maybe helpful to give them a little peace.
    Gerard Manley Hopkins,A Jesuit priest and a poet seemed to be given a job in an Irish University which was exhausting and debilitating but owing to his vow of obedience to his superiors in the Jesuit Order he could not change his life except by dying… so he thought.
    The poet Gwyneth Lewis who has been the National Poet for wales wrote a book[Sunbathing in the rain] about her severe bout of depression.In the book she seems to be claiming that there were personal mistakes and decisions in her lifestyle and job which led her into depression.She saw it as necessary for change.However she did use medication in spite of feeling it was a spiritual turning poimt which she needed to get back onto her true path or vocation in life.
    Her mother had been depressed frequently when she was a child and so she would have learned by this as a way of problem solving.
    Also despite her immense intelligence she had failed to realise that abandoning her strong hopes to have a child [given the age of her husband and the need to earn a living] was going to cause her huge distress.In fact marrying someone who has been sterilised seems unusual for w young woman who wants children.But it is sometimes reversible and maybe she didn’t think so far ahead.
    This blindness to our own feelings seems to lead many of us astray.
    We sometimes get clues to our hidden feelings in dreams or we could find someone to talk to when going through a major life decision.
    Some people don’t know that grief and mourning exist and are stunned when they feel sad and often their families criticise them for “not coping well” Coping here seems to mean remaining happy and calm all the time;this is a selfish demand on a bereaved person or anyone really.
    I also noticed over the years that many famous people suffered from depression but when you examine their lives they seem to demand too much from themselves and be afraid to ask for help
    .Poor Sylvia Plath wanted to be famous which she is now but alas she is dead. It’s hard to know why she felt the need to work so hard except her upbringing was one where acadenic excellence was valued and why she married someone with no obvious way of providing support either financial or emotional… when it got tough he ran off… but who knows why? The point that interests me is that she was compulsively driven to achieve… and she did so much in her short life… but was it worth it?
    We all need to examine our life to see if we are acting stupidly.
    But when worn out mentally it seems thinking is a mistake whereas simple manual work is beneficial as is being outdoors or being with kind undemanding friends…. and if a person has few friends coping with emotional trauma is much harder.This affects people who move to another state or country.And older people moving house even can bring on mental confusion.
    And if we are people who find friendship and intimacy hard then it’s likely that we will suffer more from any problem we run into.
    Finally,is the idea of a vocation for each of us of value?We each have unique gifts plus a need to earn a living.It depends on many factors outside our control whether we can find a job that combines these.Many poets and writers work in menial jobs to earn a living and then they write at night.[Teaching seems to sap creative energy.]
    Other people don’t feel they have a calling but train for something they feel will earn a living in a way that suits them.Electricians and plumbers are in great demand…
    And apart from finding our own true needs we need to contribute to society in some way.And to have a feeling of enjoying being alive which is perhaps denied those millions in Asia who make our clothes,i phones and other goods.

Different points of view

The old red wall is dressed in stems of wood

In wintertime, we see the ancient bricks.

But in the springtime come the flower buds.

We see no more of  Jack Frost and his tricks.

Which vision is the true one, we may ask

Just as with the faces we each show.

But is there any virtue in that task

Reality is impossible to know.

Each perspective gives a vision new.

The more we see , the more we realize.

Other cultures have a different view.

The argument is futile and unwise.

As when and where we stand gives us our view.

l perceive life differently than you

Power or love

One’s motivation may be  either love or power.

In truth, it’s there and  plain for all to see.

They  first  admire and plead a lengthy hour

About how sweet one’s offerings would be.

When   persuaded that they are open and  sincere

One sends them poems like the  poems they praised.

Yet their minds  are altered ,and in fear

They shows repulsion where they fondly gazed.


To double bind another human soul

To knot    barbed  wire around their  only mind

This action seems not from a human whole

But from a being split and  thence unkind


Believe not those who are too quick to praise

Conceal yourself from  charmers and their gaze

How I liked to walk on water and how walking is like staring at nothing

Two Feline Condo-Mates Photo Credit: © Pat W.

Two Feline Condo-Mates

Photo Credit: © Pat W.

[From About.com cats]

I look for cats when I go out walking and like on this last link I find a lot of blogs about cats.I have no cat but I like to stroke them and in the side streets with gardens I find a lot.I would like a Siamese as they will walk with you but they are very expensive to maintain like some women

So I like to walk along as if I am a child playing,looking out for amusing things to do.

When I was at school I used to know all the places where pools would form in the pavement aftera rain shower and I especially liked one place because it looked like one big pool but there was a small island in the middle so that I could appear tp walk through it without getting my feet wet.That was something mothers told you often:

Don’t get your feet wet

.I only had one pair of shoes so I still had to wear them if they were wet.The antibiotic era had not started and so  parents worried about children getting strep throat and other nasty illnesses.Penicillin was around but not in use very much.I once had an injection of it when I had 19 boils on my legs.At once! I had bandages all up my legs.I can see little holes now where the boils were.I don’t hear much about boils nowadays.

I liked to join boys at play because they did more exciting things and would sometimes let me ride their tricycles or bicycles.And they went out into the country roaming about which we were not alowed to do.

Now I look for cats  not boys and watch them elegantly cross the road looking very intent as if they are about to spot a mouse or a bird but often it’s just a game.I  try not to walk as if I am rushing to catch a train… that is more tiring.I like to take my time.

As I walk I find images come to my mind or words and phrases which I use sometimes in writing

Trust begets perception

tWeeds or flowersI have become interested in virtue and perception.It began when I read  a littleAristotle about virtue being a habit.That was quite recent.Before that for many years I believed virtuous acts would follow from being able to perceive well.But when we are fraught our minds and eyes tighten up and so we perceive only what may be a danger to us.To perceive others well we need to be in a position to trust others and we need to feel secure.How is this possible?From my studies I read that our ability to trust begins with a trusted caregiver in infancy,[See” atttachment and loss “by John Bowlby reference to come] We may be able to become more secure later by good fortune,friendship and love.If not,I seem to get the idea that if we are insecure and nervous we cannot truly perceive others and they may be in the same position.If we are very afraid then virtuous acts may be hard to accomplish. The reason is obvious… when. we are concerned with  mere survival as a person , in that state what we do to others  may be impossible for us to consider.We cannot truly see them and so we cannot act well towards them except by good luck.Or if we are able to tolerate great anxiety,we may see better…. if not we are incapable…. Those whom we cannot see properly we cannot truly consider with feeling  and act on this feeling.We see them partly or mainly in terms of the fearful fantasies in our minds and cannot see them as  other and interesting.When we make a friend online we may feel safer but in fact we are more likely to misperceive them. When we are from a sad a or difficut background it may help greatly if we have some friends who might point out our errors if we trust enough to tell them.Or we may pretend to be hard and tough.Neither leads to virtue.If we trust God it may help but I believe we see God through the lens of our parents.. which is not good…depending on the parents. When we live in fear,we cannot see what is there before us.We cannot let go.We cannot accept grace and love nor give it.We will try to live by will power.Ironically people who are fearful inside can develop a shell of toughness and pride and so are not seen as vulnerable  and/or lovable.Tbey may seem frightening to others. This account may help to explain why politics is the way it is and also  we see that arguing is not persuasive when the other is not able to open up and see things more broadly.Arguing makes us tighten up and see less well.And it can be frightening too though some cultures find it more acceptable than others.

Here are some relevant blogs and articles

This author had a lot to say about perception…http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/obituary-marion-milner-1163951.html   http://susannanelson.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/happy-go-lucky/


It’s not that I don’t love you

It’s not that I don’t love you,
only that I don’t want you to become part
of my mind’s furniture
which I sometimes stumble across unknowingly in the dark.

It’s not that I don’t hate you
only that I don’t want you to become fixed
as my resident devil
who’s reponsible for all the badness in me .

It’s not that I want to become indifferent to you,
only that I want always to see you afresh
when my eyes greet yours
and not ignore you as you are always here.

It’s not even that I don’t care about you
only that I want to be unburdened
from the guilt of love
and to love freely when it’s the right time
or not at all.

It’s not that I cannot sing for you
But that I want to sing for others too
when I find my voice
and to sing my own song as the spirit moves in me,
or not at all.

It’s not that you are lacking in any way
only that I need to be alone some days
to digest all I’ve gathered
You know, I am never myself without you,
that’s all.

And it’s not as if we can’t be together
But we’ll be more fully together
when we live our own life
You know I’d never have sung my songs without you
No, never at all.

Is poetry writing therapeutic?

Forms of poetry

Most people who read poetry have heard of Sylvia Plath.She was only 30 when she died but  is now a top poet of the 20th century… her  ambition was fulfilled.But if poetry writing is therapeutic as many people believe,why did it not help her?
I read an article about this  but am sad to  say i can’t find the reference.The author claimed that writing  structured poetry like sonnets is more likely to be therapeutic.Nowadays though,free verse and non structured  poetry is what is fashionable.Rhymes are not.Think of modern music cocmpared to Schubert or Haydn… you get the point.
Plath’s poetry was ,in a way,violent.She went to her depths but as she already had suffered a severe breakdown and  more recently  was deserted by her husband her depths were full of pain and anguish.And she had sole care of two little infants.Was it worth it?
So it you feel you want to write for therapy,try writing in  a traditional form.The structure contains the feelings better.

To win, we need to lose



As days of war now seen to be the norm
And watching bombs be dropped seens like  a game..
We need to think about the  long term harm.
Yet morally most of our world seems lame.

We see,because we have new tools to use,
Dead children gathered into shopping bags.
The horrors and the violence all bemuse
The burials are in grey and bombed out crags.

This is not a movie made for fun…
We must accept it’s real and kills or harms.
Whatever  way its consequences run
I see we repeat today the ancient forms

Can Imagination lead to wider  views?
Can we accept to win we need to lose?

The Promised Land

I have loved you and I’ve held you.
Many years,you have been mine;
If the time has come for parting
Let us embrace for one last time.

You know you have to leave me,
Though you desire a longer stay.
Let me hold you in my arms now
For just tonight and perhaps one day

Then I’ll watch you travel on,love,
We take this last step all alone.
I’ll be here beside you watching.
I shall feel when you are gone.

May you accept,may you surrender.
May you reach the promised land.
Into  earth my tears will fall, sweet,
As I recall your tender hands.

The notes in the margins


I’m finding Derrida de-structured
And Wittgenstein’s‘ mind makes me smile
Who would have conjectured
That one day I’d lecture
On thoughtfullness and all its trials?

I prefer Kierkegaard to Sartre
Who sometimes makes me feel  mere.
Who would have expected
That words would be texted
As men smoked cigarettes and drank beer?

Some people like reading Jane Austen
While others fight with Wittgenstein.
Who would have discarded
The notes in the margins?
So  strangely these words recombine.

Munch  had to paint people screaming,
his premonitions were strong
Who else would have expected
The human destruction
Europe brought to the world before long?



Munch was not only an artist
He was a philosopher too…
who else would have dreamed up
an image that screamed up;
a warning struck, out of the view.



Leave a little space for grace

When you speak,leave a little space.
And I’ll leave a little space before I respond.
A space where my mind can gather in her nets
to see what your sentences draw up.

The inner seas call out.
They ebb and flow
Tossing treasures onto the shore,like
Sea shells where once your ancestors dwelt.

Sometimes it’s good to walk that shore line
with an empty mind.
The vast space of the sky and ocean
can be freeing.

Space for dreamers’ boats to sail.
to unknown and alluring places.
Is the wind fair?
It seems partly chance
and partly readiness.

When you speak to me,
I’ll wait a moment;
Then, in that space, my words will rise
to engage and mingle with yours.
Something new is born…….
Our creation.

Leave a little space,
A little space between us.
Space is the place for grace,
for the spirit to enter us.
Leave a little space for the unknown,unborn,the waiting.
We must make a little space for creation
Keep this all in mind
The in-between is where life starts.

The emptiness and fullness,  in-between.,is where we share.

Posted by K2 at 12:39  
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