my Words


My mother had

A different suffering,

an other strife

to mine.

Or was it just the same?

She had a lot she wanted to say,

She had thoughts to express,

But to her dismay

He didn’t want to hear.

He wouldn’t let her speak.

He found her logic weak.

At first she swallowed what she felt,

Choosing instead to soothe his fear

Of hearing her view

Or hearing who

She was.

That was best,

She thought.

She smiled her smile of victory.

She had conquered herself.

No need for self-expression here.

She’d be her self elsewhere.

Her words were neatly locked away,

She stored them for another day

that never came

it seems.

For when she tried to unpack them,

Or simply let him see she did have some,

He raged against her audacity.

Rage back!

I always cried

To myself.

Speak!

Be

Who you are!

You are your thoughts,

Your words are you.

Without them

How does your heart express its depth?

Or your mind reflect its brilliance?

Despite your dazzling smile,

How do you shine without your words?

How do you live or breathe?

So I have been my word.

My words have been

My breath that feeds

My mind, my heart, my Life.

Thirsty,

I drink words of every sound,

From people or books that I have found

Fascinating;

and pour them into

Every ear I pass.

My words, their words

Kind words, good words,

Words that teach and words that heal

Or simply words that make you feel

Alive.

Words that open up my mind

Or stretch my open hand

Across the gulfs that

Only words can bridge…

Yet, with him

My words fail

To make their mark

They don’t ignite even a spark.

I’m absolutely free to be

But he’s completely bored with me.

When unresponsive to my pleas,

He lets me speak, ignoring me…

I’m left with other words.

Of Rage.

Words that harm, that hit and hurt,

that spill

my discontented heart,

And scorch the coldness they receive

And scatter my anger in the wind

hopelessly.

With all my words not yet spent

they continue to flame

still seeking vent

and spill

Now silently and wet

Onto pages of poetry

That  journal my insatiable

Expression.

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The Colour of a Lie


It’s repugnant and unacceptable when politicians are caught out in a lie. We scorn their reputations, doubt political reporting and express our unanimous outrage at their corruption. Lawyers and journalists are equally infamous and the rest of us raise our noses in indignation at people who “lie for a living.” We don’t trust what we read or hear in the press, on TV, on-line or anywhere for that matter. We’re skeptical about it all.  Did Osama bin Laden die? Hmm, but when? Ha, did he even exist? Suspicious and cynical, we trust nothing and no-one.

But have we considered why we are so comfortable in our skepticism? Why are we so convinced of the lies of others?

Perhaps the answer lies in the next question: When last did you lie?

Think about it. Don’t be outraged at the question. And don’t flap it aside with “Ag, we all lie!” as a flippant response. Think about it.

What is it YOU lie about? And why?

Do you tell yourself, it’s a small thing, just to protect someone’s feelings? Is that really it? Or are you protecting yourself, the way people see you or avoiding an outcome you don’t want to face? Do you find yourself spinning the story according to the enthused reaction of your audience, enjoying them enjoying you, adding a bit here twisting a little there? It sounds better that way and they love the drama you’re adding. Or do you lie about your spending to hubby, mum-in-law or you down-and-out friend? The new shoes were on sale, or they were “a gift” from your mother…It’s interesting when you begin to explore the lies you tell…and WHY?

It’s just a white lie, we say, completely convinced of our justification in tainting the truth, brightening or diminishing it, twisting or distorting it, feigning sincerity or giving our statements false authority or omitting aspects of the facts. There are numerous ways in which we spin our tales and pose them as truth…our creativity knows no bounds.

But is there a difference in the colour of our lies?

Given, the colleague who passes off their under grad Degree as an MBA seems worse than the mother who tells her daughter she looks great in a garish dress. And the man who tells his wife his working late while he’s actually philandering, seems worse than the one who pretends to be “out-of-town for a meeting” when he really just doesn’t feel like saying “yes” to another family commitment. And yet that guy seems worse than the sticky-faced child who says he really didn’t steal the chocolate at the corner shop. There definitely are degrees of magnitude and impact.

But in reality, how different are we to the politicians, lawyers and journalists we sneer at? Are we not motivated by the same basic instincts: to protect or advance ourselves at the expense of the absolute truth and the consequence we’re avoiding? Are we not just plain and simply lying through our teeth, as the expression goes.

Whatever, your reason, excuse, justification, how about risking the truth? How about telling it like it is, regardless of how it isn’t. How about digging deep down and finding the resource to communicate exactly what needs to be said, with self-respect and empathy, owning the outcome and having the courage to face the people in our lives, as we are, as circumstance presents – as Life is. How about being AUTHENTIC?

I’ve heard that lying is easy because “It’s the path of least resistance.”

Yes, lying is common place. It’s human nature. And developing as human beings takes resisting our base nature.

Speaking our truth takes courage. And it is freeing. We are left free of the fear of what others may think. Free of the fear of discovery. Free of the pretense of what we are not. Free of the guilt that we are false and base.

We are left knowing ourselves as courageous. And the possibility of being fully known and loved becomes available.

Introductions


We’re often awkward about introducing ourselves in a whole new arena. We either say too little …or too much. Is it relevant to say what I do for a living? Should I say how many degrees I have? Should I – as is custom in many cultures – say who my father’s father’s father was and where he was from…

One of my Angolan students put it brilliantly, I thought: ” Don’t tell me you’re Dr. So-and-so,” he said. “Let me see your patients take your hand in the street in respect and gratitude…and I’ll know who you are. Nor say that you are a great teacher. Let a child run up to you, taking your case to carry and I’ll know who you are in the world. Let me learn to honour you by what you are to others. Don’t tell me!”

In a cyber world where I could be anyone, anywhere…does it matter how I introduce myself? And yet on all the blogs I visit, I go and look to see who this is writing these words, whose views are these- is it another American? A girl or a guy?  A fanatic this or that? I look for a box to place them in… or to condecendingly cheer them on, for breaking out of a box I enclosed them in! Why does the introduction and the necessary value I place on random “facts” determine whether I hang round to read more, subscribe or not?

…So here is my turn – to introduce myself…I’m a lover of words, colour and life… and I use these elements as a full expression of myself and as a means of connecting with others. My name is Hani.