Word Hugs

Don’t you just love the way a good book can embrace you. Take you in and carry you far, far, away, from the worries of the every day, or reflect some essential truth, hidden in the mist of  daily being?

Words can hug you,

Holding you joyously captive,

Before gently releasing you,

Back into the ebb and flow of life,

Adding always some fresh ingredient,

To the heady worldly  mix,

Of thoughts and feelings,

That eternally surround you.

Words can become life rafts,

Keeping you afloat,

In the ocean of emotions,

That can sometimes threaten,

To drag you under.

Words can hold and hug you,

Keeping you warm and safe,

Becoming a source of nutrients,

Especially when the world outside,

Removes  all semblance,

Of  its grace.

I love finding  authors whose words somehow, always, make you feel as if you are coming home. No matter what the genre. Here are a few authors that always hold me in their words Jane Austen, Mary Shelley,  Virginia Wolf,  Jeanette Winterson, Jenny Diski,   Jodi Picoult, Maeve Binchey,  Stephen Donaldson, Tess Gerritsen, Karen Rose and Karin Slaughter ….. the list quite simply could go on and on…..

Which authors words reach out and hug you?


I (Eye) Contact

Art work by Carne Griffit

Art work by Carne Griffit

It’s not so much that I avoid ‘I’ contact,

It’s more that I avoid your contact.

On my own I am fine,

It’s only when you insist on designing,

My time,

That I am perceived to be broken,

But these cracks are not my own,

They are entirely of your making.

So why is it that you insist so,

On fixing the parts of me,

That are not broken?

You see,

On my own I am fine,

I can make of myself,

My own safe island.

It is you who invade my shores,

Replacing my thoughts with your own,

Meaningless tokens.

Please do not insist so,

On breaking me open,

I do not wish to engage with your ideals of I contact,

Can’t you see I have my own?

How do you deal with uncomfortable comments?

Leave A Comment??????

Share With Me…..

Let Me Know What You Think…..

One thing I have noticed with blogging is that there are some bloggers who always seem to leave beautifully appropriate responses and others who seem to continuously attempt to challenge and in some cases denigrate the opinions or experiences expressed within original post.

Whilst I will always be open to genuine responses to my posts  that invite me to view my topics in a different light , I still find I have a problem with those  comments designed to hijack the overall intent of a post.

Especially when in doing  so  some individuals attempt to embed and reinforce their own individual views by insisting that their own didactic preferences are the only legitimate ways to properly discuss a topic.

I find that such responses make me feel incredibly uncomfortable and leave me wondering why on earth some commenter’s, who may feel strongly to the contrary regarding an issue I discuss, simply do not create a post of their own on the topic.

Rather than leaving me in a quandary as to whether or not I should approve their response or apply my own personal discretion and leave their responses un-aired?

The thing that bugs me about having to make such a decision is the knowledge that in choosing not to air another bloggers response I’m effectively censoring my blog.

This was an issue that I had never even considered when I first started blogging until it was brought home to me by the posting of a few comments that seemed either totally off track or sounded somewhere in the vicinity of hostile.

Now this may sound silly, but I simply did not know what to do with such comments when I first started.

Over time I’ve discovered that you can edit the responses of another and occasionally I will choose to do this if the response is primarily appropriate with a just a few potentially insulting words. On the whole though, I would prefer not to have to do this.

The other option of course is simply ‘trashing’ the comment all together. Once again this is another choice that makes me feel uncomfortable but I’ve decided that airing a comment that I myself find offensive serves no one.

Least of all me and it is my blog.

There are few enough spaces in this world where my wants and sense of propriety are taken into account. For me blogging allows a space in which to do this. If that means leaving out a few comments here and there, then I am willing to do this to maintain the integrity of my blog of as a whole.

Does anyone else out there in the blogosphere find it disturbing when faced with the dilemma of what to do with a blog comment that makes you feel comfortable?

How do you deal with it?


The “Sheeple Defense”

English: Original oil on canvas 2 panel painti...

The “Sheeple Defense”

The phenomenon of applying societal rules to personal situations in an attempt to defend or explain poor personal behavior.

Over the course of trying to understand my own family’s history I’ve come across a phenomenon I’ve called the “Sheeple Defense”.

This defense basically explains away all poor personal behavior of the past with the statement “that’s just the way things were back then”.

I’ve found this statement being applied over and over again by many different people to defend a variety of acts.

At first, I took this at face value and thought that it may indeed, have been a valid response. After all, I reasoned, I wasn’t around “back then” so how could I possibly know the impact of societal pressures on personal behaviors.

As a conversation stopper, the “Sheeple Defense” worked a treat on me for those who used it.

But after hearing this particular defense offered up again and again as a rationale for past behavior I began to take note of the specific situations it was being applied too.

What I discovered was that the “Sheeple Defense” could be used to excuse just about every act of personal dishonesty, impropriety or abuse that it was applied too.


It’s a bit like the idea behind the Milgram Experiment where people were “told” to shock others by men in white coats and so they did.

Milgram discovered that the concept of instruction could be used by participants to justify their own actions in causing potential harm to others.

The key point of course being, that the participants chose to do harm, despite the fact that all they had to do to avoid it, was to say no and refuse to continue along with the experiment.

That’s right, participation in this experiment was entirely voluntary. No one made them do it.

Like Milgram, I believe that no matter what the situation, or how strong the social constructs of any given time may be, people do have the power to make personal choices.

This argument is particularly true when talking about acts that occur behind the closed doors of family homes.  Where there are no men in white coats to direct the action.

Yet here too the “Sheeple Defense” is applied.

The problem with applying the “Sheeple Defense” to personal behaviors

The problem with applying the “Sheeple Defence” to personal behaviors is this:

If societal factors are as powerful a director of personal behavior as they are said to be, then how come the children next door were not also being “disciplined” with a fibre-glass fishing rod?

Why was it only us?

If ‘everyone else was doing it’, ‘if that’s just the way things were back then’,  then why is it that I’ve not once heard another person outside of my own family, share this particular experience?

Owning your behavior

This has left me once again wondering just why it is exactly that people still choose to defend their past actions by applying the “Sheeple Defense” instead of admitting that they may have committed acts of harm on their own accord.

I’m a great believer in the concept that in order to change your behavior you have to first own it.

If people refuse to own their own past behavior then why should any of us to believe they’ve changed simply because of the passage of time.

If the passing of time doesn’t enable those who’ve committed acts of past harm to admit their own transgressions then we must question the wisdom of excusing past acts with the words “that’s  just the way it was back then”.

It seems to me that in applying this excuse the villains of our past are transposing their justification into the present.

If in the present, we accept this claim, then the chain reaction that continually justifies past harms will never be broken and those of us who are struggling to deal with the residue formed by past harms, may never hold in hands the personal tools we need to truly wipe the slate clean.

Forgiveness may be one thing, but acknowledgement it appears, is something entirely other.


The Law of Provocation

A white ribbon to commemorate the National Day...

An Australian man has been sentenced to 6 years in prison after openly admitting to killing his wife because he did not like what she was saying.

So what was she saying that provoked her husband to kill her?

According to the man his wife had been telling him that she was leaving him.

His apparently ‘legally legitimate’ response to this news was to run into another room, grab a box cutter (AKA Stanley Knife), return to his wife, stab her, slice her throat open and willfully leave her to bleed to death while standing above her and watching her expire.

I don’t know about anybody else, but as far as I’m concerned, this  is an act of murder.

To have this murder ruled as a reasonable attack response to a verbal provocation begs the question:

 Since when does a wife attempting to have a discussion about ending a marriage become  grounds for murder?

Given the husbands Indian heritage one must also ask whether or not this is a case of Australian law turning its back on what would have be seen as an ‘honor killing’ in the husband’s home country?

So how does this happen?

Under the law in Australia there are acts understood as arising out of provocation.

Quite literally the idea is that one person can be provoked , verbally, into losing control of themselves and attacking another.

In the USA I think the equivalent term may be the claim of temporary insanity.

In this case  however, there are clear indications of fore thought. The man had to leave the room in which the ‘offending discussion’ took place to retrieve the box cutter he later used to kill his wife.

Given this, how can his murderous actions  not be seen as providing clear evidence of fore thought, planning and a willfully controlled act of  murder on his part?

 As far as I’m concerned this should never have been a case in which the law of provocation was applied.

It should never be seen that killing another person  because you do not like, or are offended  or hurt by what they are saying, provides an excuse for murder.

Especially if that other person is smaller, weighs less, is defenseless and is a woman.

To me, the ruling in this case sends out a very dangerous message to all would be domestic abusers.

What do you think?