Journal – July 2011

Perhaps Larkin was right,
maybe it is all my fault;
I am forced to revise
some long held opinions
with the knowledge
that my son
has bought a BMW.


The tree outside my window, which in the winter is bare, now a mass of green, protects my privacy from the view of over-looking blocks of flats. As I stand on my balcony a lower branch stretches towards me, almost as if it wants to shake my hand. I would be delighted to shake its hand.


I hate the word ‘discern’ with a passion
which is irrational, illogical and unreasonable.
It just is.


Don’t just do something, stand there –

     I have spent too much of my life
     just doing something –

          Activity creating the illusion of progress
          Activity creating the illusion of busy
          Activity creating the illusion of important.

     When often I would have been better
     to step back and stand there –

          smell the flowers,
          touch the breeze,
          taste the silence
           hear the wisdom,
          see the bigger picture.


“This could destroy my street-cred”
“You haven’t got any street-cred Dad”


Someone Special it says
on one of my coffee mugs,
Beyond Therapy on another,
Says it all really.


37 Responses to “Journal – July 2011”

  1. You disdain for the word ‘discern’ is disconcerting.

  2. Hi David,

    I enjoyed reading your journal of July. Such a welter of thoughts 😛

    Sometimes we have to adjust our opinions, I like that insight. It is so true.

    Love the way you want to shake the tree’s hand. See: Summer has it good sides! In Autumn the tree will be bare again, leaving (sic) no privacy.

    Activity to create an illusion of progress, busy and important: I thought about that and I think I know what you mean. I am glad you stop to : smell the flowers,
    touch the breeze,
    taste the silence
    hear the wisdom,
    see the bigger picture.

    All those things is what matter really, not to creatre illusions. ?

    ” Someone special beyond therapy. ” I think that is amazing. Wisdom from a coffee mug!

    I hope August will bring you good news, on all fronts.

    With much love, hugs and a smile

  3. midaevalmaiden Says:

    I enjoyed the way you words seemed to paint a picture of a meandering river in my mind. I like your subtle toiuch. I too would be pleased to shake the hand of a tree.

    • What a lovely thought – “meandering river in my mind” – how my mind works really 🙂

      I always smile when I stand on the balcony and breeze blows that branch towards me 🙂

      Shaking hands with trees is good for the soul methinks.

      Thank you for dropping in.


  4. I am sooo guilty of not always discerning well “important” from thriving.. loved these thoughts and your work my friend…

  5. I like this one! The last stanza cracked me up!

  6. christine Says:

    Your Italian Alder tree! I love its leafy branches, it’s catkins and it’s bare branches in winter. It offers such a medley of picturesque stages.

    I dont like “discern” either but I know why. Its because I cant do it, too difficult.

    This entry in the July journal of your life is fascinating!

    Lots of love and hugs



    • Thank you Christine,

      You made me smile this morning.

      And yes, the tree outside my window is a constant source of pleasure – particularly in the early morning when it is visited by the local bird population 🙂

      Love and hugs to you too


    • christine Says:

      Also meant to say I am sure Gareth will thoroughly enjoy his BMW!

      And I eally like the bit abouit the bigger picture. That is a very important part of my life which has been renewed lately in the light of my recently embarking on yet anither recovery path.

      (((Big hug)))


      • *Smile*

        He is very pleased with his car and, to be fair, he did need a bigger car. I am delighted for him. 🙂

        I have been much impressed lately by your ability to see that bigger picture and not to get bogged down in the every-day difficulties.
        You provide a source of inspiration.

        (((Big Hug))) to you too

      • christine Says:

        Anither??? That’s a new one!!

        Lots of love


      • *Smile*

        If you hadn’t mentioned it I would never have noticed!!!


  7. Vera Hazelgrove Says:

    Wow! and are you going to get a ride in it too? (BMW)
    ( yeah! that poem with the long dangling line about men & their cars… 🙂
    I wonder why you would keep the mug with “beyond therapy” but then one can also see it as: finished therapy, going well, am beyond that! 🙂
    I really enjoyed your Journal – and yes, best wishes for August too.
    Autumn on the way soon 🙂

    with Love
    Vera & Karley

    • Big 🙂

      I might well get a ride in it. That long line about men and their cars was my son’s originally. I did remind him of it!!! 🙂

      I have had that ‘Beyond Therapy’ mug for a long time. It reminds me that I am content with my level of sanity now *Grin*

      Thank you for the best wishes. Our weather this morning is more autumn than summer – Lovely, I was able to have my early morning tea on my balcony 🙂

      I hope you have a good week with perhaps more strawberries to pick 🙂

      With love

  8. Hi David,

    I loved the irony of the last stanza. Life has a way of doing that, one way to keep smiling. 🙂

    Your middle stanza on “activity creating the illusion of important”
    is quite profound really. How we determine, discern … dare I say the dreaded word *cheeky grin*… what is truely of meaning in our lives is such a personal one.
    For myself everything is important. Vital sometimes and that includes taking the time to be, just be in the day, in the world and appreciate it for what it is and what I am within it, an observer.

    Your thoughts on your tree made me smile. Even though I have the blessing of being surrounded by many trees I still have my favourites that stand out from amongst the others. Shaking hands with trees is certainly good for the soul. 🙂

    Thankyou for sharing your thoughts in this way. Interesting, insightful, and a good smile. 🙂 I do enjoy the way you make me smile. 🙂

    I hope August will prove itself to be a wonderful and invigorating month for you! 🙂


    • Big 🙂

      Thank you Tikarma,

      I love being aware enough to be able to notice the little things in life which make me smile.

      I do need to remind myself from time to “just be in the day”. You are so right when you say we need to make that time part of our every day.

      I stood on my balcony this morning with my early morning tea in my ‘Beyond Therapy’ tea mug – there was just sufficient breeze to allow me to reach out and shake the tree’s hand. Could there be a better way to start the day? 🙂

      I am always delighted to make you smile 🙂

      I hope you have a real good week as you move towards Spring.


  9. I love the word discern! But I love these lines more:

    As I stand on my balcony a lower branch stretches towards me, almost as if it wants to shake my hand. I would be delighted to shake its hand.


  10. am loving this, David …. what an eclectic mix of wisdom. you know am tempted to present some DISCERNIBLE truths into the reasoning why certain words are ‘hated’! lol …generally for me, it becomes a matter of a 99% probability for misuse. like how so many have used “sublime” because they couldn’t find any other rhyme. and then apply it to a zillion things that have no CAPACITY for sublime quantification.

    the misuse of comparison when someone is actually talking about a contrast. and several others, generally spread by the media because stupid is as stupid sees-done. hehe ….

    but far as ‘discern’ … people use that then for thesaurus “switch-out” for the verb “see” or “perceive.” but it doesn’t mean that. it means a quantification or thought process to WHAT you are seeing — not the process of seeing itself. so that gets misused and we have the fakes and phonies simply switching it in the sentence “from what i can tell.” to “from what i can discern.” so another facet to particular words pissing one off, is their frequent use to ‘put on airs.’

    but sucks how that can ruin a perfectly good word. now …. what else was there? oh yea, BMW’s because German industry had foresight and bought up scrap steel around the globe few years back. why we in U.S. had to have the “cash for clunkers” to get steel back for our industries! lol …..

    (learned that from my sis who was dealing with the steel shortages in her business)

    and so true, on the not being active and how we can be fooled that any activity is good activity. if a rat is running on a wheel, it’s still going in circles.



    • *Big Smile*

      Thank you Eileen,

      Yes, my dislike of discern is precisely to do with its misuse. I have a book called ‘Fowler’s Modern English Usage’ which I often refer to – fascinating book.
      I know that I do play about with language in my poems but I like to think that when I do that I know what I am doing and why I am doing it!! 🙂

      I do think BMWs are very good cars – I am not so sure about the people who drive them!! but now that both my son and my younger brother drive BMWs I am prepared to make exceptions 🙂

      I can still delude myself about activity 🙂 but I am learning

      Take care


  11. (I’ve been away a couple of weeks). These journal entries – they make a great idea for a poem. They revolve around your subject and take snapshots from different angles. I think my favourite is the one about street-cred. How familiar that dialogue is to me!

    • *Wide Smile* Sons do say those sort of things John.

      I am intrigued by this sort of format.
      I have become aware over time that my favourite poets are all story tellers – they tell stories in their poems. Paul Durcan being a supreme example for instance. And, of course, our friend Mr. Shakespeare could tell a story or two. 🙂
      I will continue to play with this journal entry format – it is, after all, a way of telling a story.

      I hope you enjoyed your time away.


  12. I loved your July journal.
    Don’t just do something, stand there –

    I have spent too much of my life
    just doing something –

    This I am trying to do now.

    smell the flowers,
    touch the breeze,
    taste the silence
    hear the wisdom,

    see the bigger picture.

    Exactlt how life should be. 🙂

  13. David,

    I can see Gareth in a BMW–it’s sort of an intellectual’s car. At least BMW doesn’t make white vans. *grin* Hope you enjoyed the ride, which I am sure you took!

    I once told someone in a comment that I had a friend in England who looked at the one small tree outside his window and saw a forest. See, you are an optimist to some of us. I love the idea of shaking hands with a tree, especially one which has meant so much to you through the years.

    Nobody can change what they like, love, or hate. As my Aunt Vivian said; “Your feelings, you can’t control.” All you can do is try to keep them from controlling you.

    It is never too late to learn to stop and smell the flowers. As long as we are living, it is just never too late.

    Come on! Sure you have street cred! It’s just with another generation. Nothing wrong with that! And a ride in a Beemer won’t destroy it.

    And if I ever stop by for tea, I want the special cup and you can have the other one. Don’t say it. *grin*

    Loved the ramble with an Irishman.

    Much love,

    • Shirley,

      This comment really made me smile. Thank you.

      I love your phrase “who looked at the one small tree outside his window and saw a forest”. I never thought of it that way but you are absolutely right and the thought makes me smile. There may well be a poem in that. In which case I will blatantly pinch your words and use them!!! 🙂 I love standing on my balcony and when the breeze is right reaching out to the tree. It is impossible for me to do that and not smile. 🙂

      Wise woman your Aunt Vivian methinks. My aunty Penny said something similar *Grin*

      And I am just delighted that you have given me my street cred. back. I shall pass your remark on. 🙂

      You are welcome indeed to the special cup. The other one I use every morning for my early morning tea so is not really available for sharing. *Big Grin*

      You are always welcome to come along on a ramble 🙂

      Much love

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