Sep 29, 2009

Our Human-ess and the Human Spirit

Human nature('ego') and the human spirit are two different entities, while we blame human nature often we forget we do have a human spirit that can be stronger. It appears to be a question of motivation.

Back to M Scott Peck's book - Denial of The Soul,  I'm currently into the early chapters of part 2.
M S Peck had a story about a man who had literally become a skeleton of himself due to terminal lung cancer, for some reason he was still alive and should have been dead.  He could not eat, even when he tried to force himself. His body had wasted away, he was in anguish in more ways than one.His wife was probably the reason he would not give up. His wife was holding on to him through her strong influence and motivation about not giving up the fight, 'can beat this', it was her 'fighting spirit in conjunction with' her husbands that was keeping him alive.'

The fact was, this man's spirit was obviously stronger than his body, and his body was dying. 
The advice that Dr Peck had for the wife was to consider giving her husband the permission to let go. The advice to her husband was for him to consider 'giving up'. 
[Please bear in mind the subject of the book is Euthanasia].

Most of us are brought up to believe that it is always wrong to give up and that was what the husband thought too.  Dr Peck did not tell him it was the right thing to do but he also did say it was 'not necessarily bad to quit' and left him to think on it.
Both husband and wife prayed for more than day together and then decided to go home together.  Two days later the husband passed away peacefully. The wife thanked Dr Peck for his advice.
I had goose bumps when I read this story, that a human bond can be so powerfully binding, that the human spirit can be so awe-inspiring.

Dr Peck was not just a physician and psychiatrist but also a theologian. And that is what makes his contribution on this subject, rather more complex. He argues that while secularists don't acknowledge the 'soul' per se, they should not ignore that there is a deeper essence to us beyond the body and mind.  When Dr Peck talks about soul it is not so much in the religious sense as that of the inner being, something 'larger than the self'.

In Peck's mind, the husband had not given up but 'chosen to cooperate -to give in to God'. Time for the soul to return. This is the beginning of part 2, questions explored are, are we denying the soul, do we shorten our lives by our 'little' addictions and excesses that harm our body, are we fighting the natural order (for human or soul), should life be unnaturally and painfully prolonged or as Dr Peck  interprets, are we cooperating with God re: the longevity of life.

" We know a great deal more about the causes of physical disease than we do about the causes of physical health. " 

I'll be back with more of Peck's experiences and lessons. I don't expect there to be a conclusion or decision at the end of this book. Dr Peck wanted us to be more discerning when it came to the question of living and dying well.

Sep 28, 2009

 I just read a blog(that's 1 more today) it was so sad from beginning to end, please say a prayer for those in despair.

Sep 27, 2009

The Smell of Rain

Last Monday, we decided we were going to walk the perimeter of the estate. But alas, that little grey cloud that did not look at all threatening, decided we should not take that walk.
Half way up the road, the drops started, my kids and I, we looked at each other and sighed.
They were on wheels so they rushed back. I was on foot but I decided not to rush.
What's a little wet, most of all I wanted to smell the rain.
From my earliest years, this is one of the moments I  replay in my head, I have always enjoyed the smell of rain.  I look up into the endless sky like I did since the land before time, but still 'I cannot see where the rain starts from'.

Sometimes before it reaches us, I can get the scent of it and look forward to its' arrival.
It brings to mind memories of playing carefree in the garden, the field, of netball days, watching the rain from my childhood home window, images of wet green leaves fluttering from the drops.
I can't really pinpoint what it does for my senses - the clean air or the cleaning process, the grey sky,  the torrential sound and then the stillness after the rain.
Perhaps it's the nostalgia that connects it; after all rain has been a constant throughout my life.

Sep 24, 2009

Old socks, books and me

My friend calls me ‘wacky’, in an affectionate sort of way I think (cringe).
Why because my mind works in strange ways, she’s referring to my post Self Conflict & Mortality.
It’s not like I see dead people right ? It must be all that reading I keep doing, that is stored somewhere in my mind and throws up bits from time to time for me to chomp on. But this is me and I am comfortable exploring it.

I have always been a quiet, thinking sort of person. And yet I married a total opposite who is loud and crass. Well they say love is blind and your brain is dead too for the duration. Ah, but to have a child, nothing compares to that experience and nothing changes you more. ahh but...I digress.

Old habits die hard, I don’t stay grounded by the kids all the time.
Perhaps that is my mind’s coping mechanism to get away from the everyday problem that won’t go away today. We all have ‘old socks’ that we hang on to comfortably, mine is books, escape into fantasy or into non-fictional preponderance.
Just give me a (good)book and I’d be oblivious if the world fell apart around me, that’s why I only read when I’m not with the kids and often overshoot my station on my way to work.
Everyone has a comfort zone, what's yours?

Sep 23, 2009

A Wednesday Awakening

It's been a little heavy going, it's time to retreat with a brief interlude..
I wrote the words to this song a few years ago in my note book at a time when it held a special message for me. There was a time when I thought appearances was primary but I've learnt that it is of no importance or use; just be me.  Life's like that,  we don't always have to like it, and we can be honest about it.
It is an old song (reminiscent of ancient tones) with an ever-relevant simple message (Return To Innocence -by Enigma)

That's not the beginning of the end
That's the return to yourself
The return to innocence
Love - Devotion
Feeling - Emotion
Love - Devotion
Feeling - Emotion
Don't be afraid to be weak
Don't be too proud to be strong
Just look into your heart my friend
That will be the return to yourself
The return to innocence
If you want, then start to laugh
If you must, then start to cry
Be yourself don't hide
Just believe in destiny
Don't care what people say
Just follow your own way
Don't give up and use the chance
To return to innocence
That's not the beginning of the end
That's the return to yourself
The return to innocence
Don't care what people say
Follow just your own way Follow just your own way
Don't give up, don't give up
To return, to return to innocence.
If you want then laugh
If you must then cry
Be yourself don't hide
Just believe in destiny.

Sep 21, 2009

Self-conflict & Mortality

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”
I am currently reading M Scott Peck's book 'Denial of the Soul'. Have almost completed Part 1 and impatient to get to Part 2 which is on the spiritual aspects of the subject. The book addresses Euthanasia and Mortality, through medical and spiritual perspectives of individuals.
Apart from discovering more on the mind, the other reason why I picked this book up, is to discover if it is wrong or right to say that I don't want to live that long a life just upto 68 and not 90.. would suffice. I don't think the book will deliver an answer, only God can, but it will give me food for thought. Yes I know it sounds like a strange thing to think about but haven't you ever wondered about it. This topic actually comes up in discussion with my insurance agent who constantly advises me to save more for my future.

Part 1 attempts to uncover definitions, reasons and causes on why we are conflicted, is it right to give up, when we should(alternatively to pull the plug).. from medical and psychiatric points of view.
For most of us, we are able to deal with conflicts and overcome them. Depression is a bi-product if we are not able to solve conflicts. So depression is normal I 'm happy to discover. And depression (Peck describes it like we are in a cage trapped) is apparently useful to us as it helps us grow.
It is interesting to know that conflicts which are inherent in the human condition, are considered psychological pain. These are the simple everyday issues, M S Peck describes these ranging from husband/ wife difficulties, not enough money, job stress, are children  a drag to competitive existence. As long as the world order is not in sync with us (does not conform according to our thinking), we are in conflict. ....  (To continue click on Read more below)

Do Today

If I could be born again, I'd be a bee.
I get to flit between all types of flowers with glee.
What hues and fragrances would colour my view,
I'm assuming, they enjoy it they way we do.

But life's not like that, so we constantly sneer.
A bees' life is so mundane, I hear.
Work so hard, carry the nectar, so keen,
but who gets the credit, but the Queen.

We strive for things and mourn.
never satisfied, for tomorrow we dream,
while time and tide moves on.
Today was the tomorrow, so it seems
Tomorrow will be today, yesterday is no more.
Make today count, and tomorrow will show
the life you want it to be.

(HA - 2009)

Sep 20, 2009

Sunday Solitude

If I could chart my moods according to my posts, it would probably read like a roller coaster.
My fears are mostly centred around my kids, for my kids, that life will get better.
My thoughts wander between the mother and the person that I am,
struggling to keep the light on instead of veering into darkness.
Dear God, I wait for you to show me if this is the course to take, a sign.
It's like we have started down a different road but where and when does it end?
Speak louder please, in case I should  miss hearing you, for there's too much noise around me.
Tug my hand harder, for there's so much distraction within.
Help me keep faith, and a clear head, help us find peace, pray for us dear Mother.
St Jude please continue to carry our words and hope Angels always keep near.

Sep 19, 2009

Discipline or abuse - frustration with the System

The issue of child/parental discipline appears to be very controversial.
There is no right and no wrong.
The 'Help' System in place does not provide a solution to grey areas - it results at best in vague support and an uncertain outcome.

Clearly Wrong = physical evidence or scars.
Right - nobody knows.
Everything else in between, harassment, mental anguish, verbal abuse, threats, instilling terror ...... is grey and subject to interpretation. The concern is if the children are in mortal danger AND as long as it is no, it becomes grey.
Inspite of the information documented that shows a picture of ongoing child abuse/violence, unless you are a judge or lawyer, counselors are apparently not tasked to affirm anything. They may know it but it is your decision. If you went their seeking affirmation and support to do something to help your children, don't hope to get it if it's more grey than black.
In the end it is you yourself who must press on with it (support from family/friends aware of the situation helps alot) . Each counselor at each stage pushes you on but will not affirm that there is unnatural behaviour. In the final stage another counselor who does not have all the facts cites it's 50:50 suggests an amicable situation to ironically spare the children. And so we are back to square one, where you hope for change but now you have the system helping you push the abuser to do something to help himself.
The good thing about putting yourself through this, is that at the end of this you are much stronger and less afraid.

In a family context, I say it's simple, the line should be be clearly defined and drawn by how the child feels toward the person delivering discipline. Is it fear or terror? Parent or mob leader. Definition should be determined by the consequence of the relationship between the two - child and parent.

Therein lies the problem. What this means is that the child has to be involved in the process for it to be proven. The system discourages it, of course so would any parent. But what is the end result - a hope stage that the abusive party will undergo counseling and change.

So if there is no change on the part of the abuser, the next step will involve the children won't it? Hindsight is now experience. There is no point going through the 'vague' system. Get a mouthpiece (lawyer) who will go through all the facts and interpret it as it should have been in the first place.

Sep 18, 2009


Who are we with such privilege
to be made of petals and emotions.
We shade our selves and image
with colours and warm notions.
We ponder
on pale hues to gaudy design,
from head to toe, to paint and flower,
our desire to shine.
We don't need flowers, but we yearn for them.
Fantasize, yet always in realism.

Love our garments, silks, lace, in a closet too small.
Which do we match, mirror mirror on the wall,
I don't have anything to wear, I declare.
Which to choose, the blue or red I toss,
which accessories and cosmetic, the pinks to browns to gloss.
Frame the eyes with mascara and liner, to shadow smoke or natural?
Our crowning glory be neat or wild, to straighten or to curl?
Finally to match our selves from head to toes,
sandals, pumps, or wobble on stilettos,
we'll bear some pain for fashion;
add that handbag full of secrets we cannot mention.

What myriad choices, entitled and bestowed.
There is beauty within, such affection and powers.
With a gift we are endowed
that choice to birth, it is ours.
This is our station, joy and pain,
the choice of birth is not ours.
We are sunshine, we are rain.

To be love and loved,
to bear our children,
to colour the earth,
to be a woman.

(HA - 2009)

Sep 16, 2009

Routines - Living in auto mode

I had (recently) already done my regular supermarketing for the week. On my way home today (a Wednesday) I accompanied my colleague (just for company sake) for a quick stop by the supermarket.

What is it about groceries and me. Is it a home thing or a mom thing? While walking around, I also picked up stuff(sweet corn, yogurt, soup mix) which seemed like good ideas at the time.
When I got home and looked at them, I realised they weren't necessary at all .
It's like my mind auto-detoured into the home zone, the moment I entered the supermarket.

Now that I think about it, there are many things I do in auto mode in the home.
Looks like it's time to break out of routines and fire up a different set of neurons.

This brings to mind an interesting comment made by Thomas Scheff, a Sociology Professor 'Not that all routines are bad. We need routines to live, else we would drown in details. But the question arises, who is master, me or routine?'.

Sep 15, 2009


Cynical Moments

I constantly advise my kids to be the 'bigger person'. Is this good advice?
It's a war between the 'should' and the 'should not'... keep it under control or get mad don't keep it in; be diplomatic or be honest; give in or get satisfaction. It could mean we lose in the end.

There are times I can't apply the same, when I don't want to be objective, when I don't want to play fair, when I don't want to stay calm.

Letting ones' conscience over-rule you takes something out of one. Is having too much of a conscience a good thing? Is being right and doing right, one and the same or different?

Sometimes I think that conscience makes me weak.

Sep 12, 2009

Inner Thoughts: We Don't but We Do

We Don't but we Do
Jodi Picoult wrote this in her book the Tenth circle
'Vengeance was a funny thing, You wanted satisfaction of knowing it had occurred but you never wanted to actually hear the word out loud, because then you'd have to admit to yourself that you'd wanted proof, and that somehow made you baser, less civilized.'
I think this is so true.

From a Distance by Bette Midler (another of my favourites).

Sep 11, 2009

Baggage & Travellers

I started to think about the song first and then the passage came into my head. I was thinking about 'baggage' in the figurative sense the kind that weighs a person down mentally. For some reason I linked the two sets of words, 'Pilgrim Song' and a passage from the bible.

'Man is lonely by birth, Man is only a pilgrim on earth
Born to be Free, Time is but a temporary thing
Only on loan while on earth.'
The passage in the bible was about Christ sending his disciples out into the world, he had said 'take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff.. for the worker is worth his keep...And If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.'

Gaia and I had talked about 'baggage' a while back in the comments after a post.

And I'm left with these thoughts ....we are short-haul travellers, yet we obsess over baggage, instead of the journey; travel light, leave behind what cannot be saved and move on.

PS: I wonder if women are entitled to extra baggage allowance up there afterall we're supposed to be the 'emotional' half of the species!

T G I F ... it's been a rough week.

Sep 10, 2009

Need help with lines... .

Here are some useful Dilbert's one liners..for good days and bad.
For work, I like no. 10,20, 25, 27.
For managing your own life's expectations keep no 31 in mind, it helps.

(Smiling helps too)

1. I say no to alcohol, it just doesn't listen.
2. A friend in need is a pest indeed.
3. Marriage is one of the chief causes of divorce.
4. Work is fine if it doesn't take too much of your time.
5. When everything comes in your way you're in the wrong lane.
6. The light at the end of the tunnel may be an incoming train.
7. Born free, taxed to death.
8. Everyone has a photographic memory, some just don't have film.
9. Life is unsure; always eat your dessert first.
10. Smile, it makes people wonder what you are thinking.
11. If you keep your feet firmly on the ground, you'll have trouble putting on your pants.
12. It's not hard to meet expenses, they are everywhere.
13. I love being a writer... what I can't stand is the paperwork.
14. A printer consists of 3 main parts: the case, the jammed paper tray and the blinking red light.
15. The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot. The guy who invented the other three, he was the genius.
16. The trouble with being punctual is that no one is there to appreciate it.
17. In a country of free speech, why are there phone bills?
18. If you cannot change your mind, are you sure you have one?
19. Beat the 5 o'clock rush, leave work at noon!
20. If you can't convince them, confuse them.
21. It's not the fall that kills you. It's the sudden stop at the end.
22. I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.
23. Hot glass looks same as cold glass. - Cunino's Law of Burnt Fingers
24. The cigarette does the smoking you are just the sucker.
25. Someday is not a day of the week
26. Whenever I find the key to success, someone changes the lock.
27. To Err is human, to forgive is not a Company policy.
28. The road to success.... Is always under construction.
29. Alcohol doesn't solve any problems, but if you think again, neither does Milk.
30. In order to get a Loan, you first need to prove that you don't need it.
31. All the desirable things in life are either illegal, expensive, fattening or in love with someone else.

Sep 9, 2009

Football with Grandpa

On Sunday, I went walking with my two sons and grandpa came along. We walked for about half and hour and stopped by the park. The boys had brought their ball with them and so they started to play football.

What got to me was that grandpa who is in his mid-seventies decided to join them. My dad exercises regularly so I think he might be fitter than me anyway. Grandpa had moves to show his grandsons who have not had too much practise had this.
It was for that moment of time that I wished I could freeze and re-play over and over and just hold on to that feeling that wrapped around me. It was a happy playful half hour in the park, the three of them laughing and just having fun.

I have this thought(I won't say what), I think about it often.
My dad is a great person and a wonderful grandfather and I hope I have him for many more good years.

Sep 8, 2009

The Saturday Evening Blog Post

Check this out, a great meeting place idea from Elizabeth Esther, for bloggers to share any of our favourite posts. Submit your best post for the month of August.

The Saturday Evening Blog Post (follow this link for instructions).

I submitted my post on
Need to Have, Nice to Have, Must Have , one of many reminders that we're only human, that sometimes we should not give in to excess and sometimes it's ok to keep life interesting.

Sep 5, 2009

Let's Talk about Love

Here's one of my few favourite artistes .. Celine Dion singing one of my forever favourite songs for all you lovely people out there....enjoy.

Sep 3, 2009

Moments to Sing

The toys, it's sad, have seen little light,
so infrequently used.
Radio or TV is not blasting today,
as if calm and quiet have fused.
I hear my child,
he is humming while playing with his jigsaw,
To hear such carefree, the tranquil, it touches my core.

I weep for lost time
when madness rules with noise and might.
Always inside, better to be out of sight.
Courage, come out, come out.
O loving Greatness
lead us by little steps out of anger and sadness.

My spirit soars to see the boys playing,
the little one humming.
My heart for a while, is singing.

(HA - Sep 2009)

Sep 2, 2009

The Sound of Music (Version 2009)

It's been a long day at work (everything is a priority). But I always enjoy the blogs to unwind.
I want to let you in on this little diversion in my life right now. It's about good neighbourliness and wonderful music.

The New Neighbour
We have a new neighbour. They are a young family, and moved in, a couple of months ago. There are 2 young children and a dog(terrier of sorts) too. The youngest is a girl just slightly over a year old.

The House
Their home is one of those rebuilt homes which is narrow but built upwards of two and a half storeys. There is a side yard between our two houses and our bedrooms are aligned on the side next to this neighbour..

The Child
Since they moved in, we have had quite a 'few' days and early mornings disturbed.
The young girl for some reason cries a lot and at all hours and mother lets her cry on. Because of the structure of the house, the cry carries through like an echo and is much louder. Unfortunately our bedroom windows open out to that side of the house.

The Music
When the little girl starts her wail, the little dog begins to howl( a mid-pitch soulful sound). And then just when he takes a breath, the big dog that lives in the house behind them begins to bark his part. And this wondrous acapella goes on and on until the child stops. The little terrier always has the last note.

We meet over the fence or at the gate once in a while. There doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with the little girl, just like playful older sister, dad appears apologetic half the time and mum is always silent.
The little mutt (terrier) he appears normal too. Did I mention our bedrooms are on that side of the house ?

Mind you, we never complained. Now we just wait for little girl to grow up and contemplate the sound of music. {or they could move away ... fie fie away with you evil thoughts !..}

And the moral of this story is ..(I have no idea)...

Addendum 4/9 : figured out the moral here.. look at the brighter side, it could have been worse, now that I recall there used to be a neighbour beside the house with the big dog - and they housed a couple of squaking, screeching birds. Imagine, I could have had the full ensemble ( 4 parts).

My Journey

There are days, to work extra hard to keep my spirits up.
Only I can see and hear my children,
something must be up.
Ignorance is out of the question,
Ignorance cannot bring bliss,
for when they are silent, something must be amiss.

There are days, like a boat in the ocean,
up and down, this way and that, any turn.
Like a stock market graph
my spirit and mind follows.
My mind’s eye sees, and knows
where the waters are rough.
Stay the course it's within my control,
for my children, I must keep a hold,
they are my hearts and my balm,
humour, tolerance and prayer, keep me calm.

I strive for balance, and objectivity
hope for patience and sensitivity.
There is a disturbance in their earth,
but we are still finding our way to a berth.

Where is that silver lining?
We have been patient.
Peace will come, I keep singing.
There are days when I feel ancient.

(HA – Aug 2009)

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